|Miracle on 34th
Author: Emily Bowden PM
Bella is stuck an working an overtime shift at Memorial Hospital, the place where the most extreme miracles have been known to happen. Unfortunately, that means she has to put up with the harshest, egotistical man to grace the halls: Dr. Edward Masen.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Edward & Bella - Words: 6,343 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 98 - Follows: 54 - Published: 08-03-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7250434
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
summary: Bella is stuck an working an overtime shift at Memorial Hospital, the place where the most extreme miracles have been known to happen. Unfortunately, that means she has to put up with the harshest, egotistical man to grace the halls: Dr. Edward Masen. Will a sudden trauma on that snowy night force them to finally see eye to eye, or will a final miracle be the fuel to their ever burning fire?
Rated M for mild lemon
author's note: Thanks to Neliz, AJsilentvoice, and Kitsushel for helping me out with the one shot. The banner was designed by vbfb1. Thanks sweetie!
And to all those docs who treat me like shit at work for no damn reason, this chap is dedicated to you. If only you fuckers were half that cute…
Miracle on 34th by Emily Bowden
They said it was the place where miracles happened, but I had a VIP pass to the darker side.
Memorial hospital lived on the corner of Union and 34th street, smack dab in the middle of downtown. During my five year stint in the Emergency room as a seasoned RN, I'd seen various shades of death and despair, but I'd also witnessed a few of those famous miracles firsthand.
It seemed that the PR people here at the hospital played on the coined phrase, hoping to draw more patients to their ER in their greatest time of need. More patients meant more business. Unfortunately, not all of those cases ended up classified as a miracles. Most of them, in fact, became heartbreaking and devastating, but what else would be expected in a traumatic situation.
Memorial was a trauma one level hospital, receiving everything from chest pain to gun shot wounds. We were trained professionals, experts in everything dealing with the human body, and the PR people had made sure our doors were always overflowing.
Which was how I ended up working the graveyard shift on one of the coldest nights on record.
It hadn't started snowing yet, but it was predicted. Usually when the streets were icy, the ER would have an influx of motor vehicles accident victims. Those were the worst for me. I hated seeing a freshly mangled body, the families in tears, hoping we could put their loved one back together. But when a large piece of machinery meets the soft form of human flesh, sometimes, there was just no fixing it.
Going into the shift, I already had a sense of foreboding that my previous experiences had given me. I tried to remain optimistic, hoping that at least I had a good crew to work with.
I checked my belongings at my locker, changed into some hospital issued scrubs, and made my way out to the main nurse's station where our assignments for the evening had been posted.
I had the east wing of the ER, where two of the five trauma units were housed. It was my usual post, so I was hoping the familiarity would help me feel more relaxed. It seemed to work, that was until I saw the rest of the assignment board.
Dr. Edward Masen had been assigned to cover my wing, which meant that I'd be in close contact with my arch nemesis; my very handsome, extremely sexy, arch nemesis.
I couldn't pin point what his issue was with me, but ever since he'd started at Memorial, our working relationship had been less than cordial.
I was still on the nightshift back then, fresh out of nursing school and eager to learn. I loved working the ER because off all the experience I was exposed to. The nurse who trained me, Margaret, had been on the job for over twenty-five years, and she bestowed all of her hard–earned knowledge to me. Having her as a preceptor had been invaluable and I couldn't have been placed in a better situation.
She was quick and precise at her job, coming up with diagnosis before the physicians even saw the patients, which helped her anticipate the direction of care. She'd even put Dr. Masen in his place, earning his extremely rare respect.
I'd heard rumors from other nurses about how demanding Dr. Masen could be on a case. He'd been known to be a little harsh when it came to his nurses, especially with the newbies. I'd had a couple of his patients before, but Margaret had always shielded me from his brusque and demeaning attitude.
I'd asked Margaret the first time I witnessed one of Masen's infamous tirades how the hospital could allow him to continue on the way he was. I knew that more than a few nurses had complained about his treatment. She'd told me that he was an amazing physician with an impeccable bedside manner. Not to mention the fact that he was incredibly gorgeous and made a million hearts melt with his sexy smile and charming demeanor.
The patients and families loved him.
The nursing staff's complaints hadn't gone unheard. Rumor was that Dr. Masen had to undergo several meetings with an HR representative. If the hospital nurses were unionized, he probably would have gotten more than a couple swats on the hand.
Our first confrontation took place on my first night flying solo. It was in the middle of a relatively smooth night, and there were no immediate threats to finishing off my shift without a hitch. Those patients with minor complaints had been 'treated and streeted,' and those that needed more observation had been admitted and transferred up stairs. I had my last patient resting, an eight year old with a mild case of gastritis, on the gurney. Her mother had been a trooper, answering every question we threw at her while holding an emesis basin under her little girl to catch every bit of vomit the poor little princess projected. The episodes lasted well into the wee hours of the morning, until both of them passed out, exhausted.
"Ms. Swan, where are those lab results I asked for?" I turned from my patient's room to find Dr. Masen standing there, glaring at me, his expression expectant.
"Which lab results, Dr. Masen?" I asked, rethinking over my shift, trying to remember if I'd forgotten something. I'd been really careful to listen to his instructions, trying to anticipate his care just like Margaret had taught me to do.
"The liver function panels I ordered for this patient," Dr. Masen replied through clenched teeth, his brow furrowing as if he was fighting off a headache.
"Um, I don't remember you ordering those tests," I told him timidly, scrambling frantically for his written orders, hoping that the unit secretary had placed all the orders he'd written.
"Are you kidding me?" he shouted, startling my patient's mother from her sleep. I glanced at her apologetically and closed her door, turning back to Dr. Masen with unbridled fury in my eyes.
No matter if the mistake was mine, he had no business yelling at me in that way. I unleashed the full power of my bitch brow on him, not caring if the resulting attitude got me fired or not.
"Excuse me, I don't care if it was my fault the tests were not ordered or not, you will not speak to me that way," I told him firmly.
"I wouldn't have to speak to you that way if you did your job effectively," he responded.
"It is my job to follow the orders that you have given," I replied, handing him his own order sheets back to him. "As you can see, there is no order for LFTs to be done."
"It was a verbal order," Dr. Masen yelled, throwing his hands in the air in exasperation. "Obviously a patient with profuse vomiting would need LFTs done to check for pancreatitis."
"I didn't hear that order, Dr. Masen," I bristled quickly. "If I had heard that order, it would have been done. I can run the lab STAT off the blood they obtained earlier —"
"A hell of a lot of good that will do now," he replied, storming off to complain to the charge nurse, flailing his arms toward my direction in heated discussion.
I'd stood there swallowing down bile for several more minutes before I could get my wits about me enough to call the lab to place the STAT orders. The experience had left me shaken for the rest of the shift. I found myself second guessing everything I did from that moment on, not to mention for several more shifts afterward.
From that day on, anytime I worked with Dr. Masen, I tried to avoid him. I hated that he made me feel so incompetent, but I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if I was in that kind of position again, and I missed something that could possibly be detrimental to the patient. It bothered me constantly, turning my enjoyable and fulfilling job into something that I dreaded. I even considered transferring to a new hospital or department, but something inside me knew I'd be disappointed with myself if I let him push me away. I also knew that dealing with a crabby, egotistical physician was something I'd have to get used to in my profession.
It was when I had my own orientee, about a year and a half after my initial confrontation with Dr. Masen, that I finally found my back bone. I didn't know what has sparked my confidence. Maybe it was some kind of mama tiger complex, but when he attacked my poor trainee with the same harsh and demeaning tone, I snapped.
We had received a stroke victim who was being evaluated for surgery. He was already suffering right sided weakness and wasn't able to speak to us. His sixty-five year old wife was sitting next to us, completely distraught at the state of her husband.
Jessica, my orientee, was taking a fresh set of vital signs when the patient started shaking uncontrollably. Jessica called the behavior to my attention quickly, worrying that the patient was seizing. I went into the room to assess him, witnessing his entire body shaking forcefully. I went to him to try and get him to respond. When I called out his name, his eyes opened immediately and he looked at me. During this, however, his shakes were still evident. I turned and saw both Jessica and the patient's wife looking at me worriedly.
"I don't think it's a seizure," I told them. "Usually patients can't respond during a seizure, and he was looking right at me. What were his vital signs?"
"They were stable except for his temperature. It was very low," Jessica answered, looking back on her worksheet as she read them off to me.
"Okay. Why don't you go and let Dr. Masen know what happened while I get the blanket warmer. Let's get him warmed up."
Jessica nodded and made her way out of the room to find the doctor. I gave the patient's distraught wife a reassuring smile and made my way toward the supply closet to grab a couple blankets from the warmer.
On my way back to the room I saw Jessica speaking timidly to Dr. Masen, a broad scowl on his face while my poor nurse looked terrified as a frightened kitten.
"Um, I don't think he was actually seizing, though. His temperature was 93.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so I think he was shivering," Jessica explained.
"Really, I've never known a dead person to shiver," Dr. Masen replied, his tone condescending.
"E-e-excuse me?" Jessica asked, looking genuinely confused.
"Well that temperature you gave me would suggest that the Hypothalamus is gone, so the patient should be dead," the asshole explained in a clipped tone. "So like I said, I've never known a dead body to shiver."
Jessica stood there, slack-jawed, for several moments, not knowing how to respond. It was obvious to me that Dr. Masen was just being an asshole, but Jessica looked like her brain was going a million miles a minute, trying to understand what he was saying. I rolled my eyes and approached the situation with a lit fire under my ass.
"Dr. Masen," I said coolly, giving him my bitch brow once again. "Don't you think you should be assessing your patient for any changes since your nurse is expressing her concerns over a fresh stroke victim?"
"I'm trying to understand how the patient is alive," Dr. Masen explained with a humorless chuckle. "It seems we need to call the morgue to pick up a body rather than the OR."
Jessica gave me an incredulous look, her eyes wide in shock and embarrassment. Her expression sparked something inside of me that had my blood boiling, and I turned my hardened gaze onto Dr. Masen, hoping that the saying 'if looks could kill' would somehow come to fruition.
"I mean, how is a patient with a temp of ninety three point six even breathing?" he asked of no one, his tone insinuating that Jessica had just discovered some kind of medical miracle.
"I-I-I meant ninety six point three," Jessica mumbled quickly, embarrassment blooming once again across her features for her mistake.
"Oooohh," Dr. Masen replied dramatically. "You're not just stupid and incompetent, but dyslexic as well. Perfect."
Jessica opened her mouth to say something in her defense but I cut her off quickly. I'd had enough.
"Dr. Masen, can I speak to you in private?" I asked, turning toward a vacant trauma room and pulled him inside by the lapel of his white coat. He followed behind me without protest, and I was at least grateful he wasn't making a scene before I let into him. As soon as the door closed behind us, I whirled on him.
"What the hell is your problem?" I spat, glaring at him with all the fury I had boiling inside. "How can you sit there and talk to a human being like that. Yes, she made a mistake, but that's not an excuse. She's new and nervous as hell speaking to you in first place, because, let's face it, speaking to you about anything is like walking in front of a damn firing squad. You are horrible to every nurse here!"
Dr. Masen hadn't said anything to me as I went on my tirade, letting the equivalent of a physical lashing come out in my words. He just stood there leaning against the door, watching me intently with a hooded expression. When he didn't respond for several moments, I exhaled loudly, putting my hands on my hips in frustration.
"Say something, you egotistical jerk! Explain to me how you can live with yourself day after day, treating us all like the scum of the Earth!"
"You're cute when you're angry," he said huskily, and I hated that my body reacted to his words. I felt a spark go through my body, radiating until in congregated in my core. I pushed those feelings aside, letting my astonishment at his nerve charge through.
"Excuse me?" I replied, my eyes widening in indignation.
"You are," he said smoothly, pushing away from the door and taking a step closer to me, making me take an automatic step back. The way his gaze fixed on me, narrowing, looking at me as if I was something to eat, did two things to me.
One, it pissed me off that he thought he could speak to me that way. I wasn't one of those damn smitten girls who had some kind of fantasy crush on her boss. Of course, I thought he was good looking, but his attitude had put the kibosh on his appeal for me.
But the second and more disturbing response was the pounding in my heart that sent a pulse of wanton need down into my groin.
"I don't think if I look cute or not is relevant," I told him, taking another step back as he approached. "You were horrible to her—"
"Oh, I think it's completely relevant," he interrupted, backing me further across the room until I felt something hard behind me. The counter…
"I think I like you all riled up like this," he said, leaning into me, trapping me as he placed both of his arms on either side of me. "Makes your skin flushed, do you know that?"
"Fuck you," I responded, hating that my voice sounded both angry and inviting simultaneously.
"Gladly," he told me, forcefully locking his lips with mine.
I didn't have time to feel ashamed or outraged. As soon as our lips met, my body responded, robbing me of any good sense that I may have had. We were embroiled in a criminal kiss, tangled and fighting, touching and igniting passion I never knew existed between us. I hated this man, yet he did things to me that were insanely wrong, but oh so good.
Before I could find my bearings, he lifted me up and set me on the counter. My legs opened invitingly, forming a cradle for his body to rest. He pulled me into him automatically, and the feeling of him pressed up against my heated core took my mind scorching heights.
"Do you always do this with the nurses you treat like shit?" I asked as his sinful mouth roamed across my neck. "Does fucking your underlings make you feel good?"
"Just ones with mouths like yours," he told me as sucked my ear lobe into his wet mouth, sending a thrill through my spine. I groaned.
"I'm sure many women have put you in your place." I pushed away his lab coat, yanking it off his shoulders and tossing it across the room.
"Not one, actually," he grunted, grabbing at my scrub top and pulling it over my head in one swift motion.
"No one's put you in your place?" I asked breathlessly, fisting his scrub top and hauling it off, letting my lips move against his neck. "Or you've never treated a woman this way who has?"
My hands roamed his chiselled abs, bared for my viewing. I couldn't help my gaze from traveling down his body, taking in every single hard line, every cord and sinew. I looked back at his face with a heady gaze, the heat inside me escalating me to a fevered pitch. He returned my stare just as intently, leaving me panting through the sexual tension in the room.
"Both," he replied, and we both reached for each other simultaneously.
I'd never been the type of girl who threw herself at any available guy. Shit, I could count the amount of men I'd slept with on one hand. I believed that I was the type of woman who had standards and would never budge from them, no matter how attracted I was to a guy. Personality and respect were two of the most important traits, to me, in the opposite sex. Deal breakers, really. Had I ever seen myself being with Dr. Masen – the most egotistical, beautiful man I'd ever met?
Hell fucking no!
He was the epitome of what I considered to be bad news. And yet, there I was, stripping myself naked, tearing at his clothes in a vacant trauma room, where not only my fellow colleagues awaited outside, but my orientee and about fifty patients needing care.
Despite that thought pounding in the back of my brain like a nagging, dripping faucet, I pushed it aside and went with my gut reaction for the first time in my life. My brain shut off and I let myself…feel.
I felt his strong hands cup my bottom and pull me closer to the edge of the counter. I felt him slip his fingers under the waist on my scrub bottoms, encouraging me to lift slightly as he slipped them down my legs. I felt him pull my tank down to reveal my swollen breast, felt the tip of his tongue encase my nipple and pull it between his lips. I felt his fingers travel my body, searching, exploring, and finding every place that made me sing.
And when he was poised at my entrance, waiting to take me to a higher level, I felt the shudder of anticipation run through my body, echoed by his soft sigh.
We made love that night fast and quietly, not as much as a whispered word shared between us. And when we left the room, we both went our separate ways. He made a bee-line towards the physician's lounge, and I nearly ran back to my orientee.
Neither of us spoke about that night. In fact, we seemed to avoid each other completely. When we did have to work together, we never made eye contact, even when we spoke. I'd relay to him the bare essentials about his patients, and he'd give me his orders and plan of care. It was a bland, structured, and orderly working relationship, and nothing more.
Some of the nurses had asked me, at one point, how I happened to be so lucky. After all, since my tryst with Dr. Masen, he hadn't yelled at me or said anything disrespectful. I was one of the rare few he left alone, no matter my faults on the job, and the others seemed to notice it.
Funny thing was, all I noticed was the lack of attention I got from Dr. Masen. I didn't expect him to fall head over heels for me after our fling, but a fucking smile or a smirk of acknowledgement would have been nice. He didn't even have a fucking swagger or a 'yeah I hit that shit' kind of attitude. It was as if it never happened, and that chapped my fucking ass.
For some reason, it hurt. It bothered me more than I liked to admit, and I didn't like the way my thoughts were consumed with him at work.
The last straw came when he brought a date to our annual Christmas party. I'd shown up stag because I hadn't dated anybody in a while. In all honesty, the last time I'd had sex was with the asshole doctor, and my nights had been consumed with reliving it over and over again. It was pathetic and despicable on my part because I was feigning for a relationship I didn't even want. Not really, anyway. I was content with my life; I was happy being single.
At least until the Christmas party.
Her name was Tanya, and she was gorgeous, not to mention she had a body that most models would kill for. She fit next to him perfectly, and that fact had my skin crawling.
Was I jealous? Fuck yeah, but not because she had something that I wanted. It was because he acknowledged her. No, more like he flaunted her in front of me without care. I'm sure I wasn't even a thought in his mind, but he was my obsession. Not him, per se, but his inattention.
No one knew about what happened but the two of us, and that was enough. Every time he looked at her with his sexy smirk, it was like a smack in my face. Any time he touched her alabaster skin or placed his hand on her supple hips made me harden inside. And when he left with her at the end of the night with promises of passion in his eyes, I felt nauseous.
I transferred to the dayshift shortly after that without looking back. I hadn't really seen Dr. Masen in six months, except for the occasional glimpses during shift change. But now I didn't have to speak to him; I didn't have to acknowledge him, and that seemed to give me the chance to move on.
And I had, for the most part. I dated a couple of guys, even had a three month long relationship with one. In the end I called it off because I didn't feel the same way he did, but I was proud that I hadn't been consumed by the doc. I had given myself a chance to realize that his opinion of me, or lack thereof, didn't matter in the slightest.
I was a blimp on his screen. So what? I could live with that.
As long as I didn't have to see him.
"Bella!" Jessica called, smiling at me widely. She was standing outside of trauma bay three, receiving report from one of the day nurses.
"Hey Jess!" I waved and gave her a warm smile.
"You working with us night owls tonight?"
"Yup," I replied, picking up a report sheet for the patient in trauma bay two. "I got suckered into the darker side."
"The more fun side, she means," Alice replied, the resident respiratory therapist that worked the night shift. She was one of my closest friends when I worked on nights, but our friendship had fallen to the waste side due to our different sleeping patterns. I was ecstatic to find out she was working tonight, and as she bounced over to me in her usual exuberant way, I wrapped my arms around her in a genuine hug.
"How you doin' little bit?"
"Ugh, why do you call me that?" Alice asked with a chuckle, pulling away from my hug and giving me her evil eye. "You ain't that much bigger than me, darlin'"
"'Cause it suits you," I told her, copying her thick southern accent to a 'T'. She just rolled her eyes, swatted my ass playfully with a wink, and walked off.
I smiled as I picked up the chart for Trauma Two, starting to go through the paperwork and familiarize myself with my patient. Just as I got to the lab work section, the door to the Trauma room opened. Dr. Masen came walking out, scrubbing some antibacterial wash between his palms.
"This patient will need a CBC, Chem panel, and an ABG repeated in about an hour," he told me without looking up, his expression calm.
"Sure," I replied, taking my gaze from him quickly. I stared at the papers before me, trying desperately not to look back up at him. I could sense him standing there staring at me, but I refused to meet his gaze. "Anything else?" I asked, flipping the page so I could see the other results.
He stood there for several moments not saying anything. I tried to fight the urge to look, but it became ridiculous rather quickly. As I glanced up, I saw him watching me intently, a confused expression on his face.
"I thought you worked day shift."
Great. Guess he wasn't rolling out the welcome mat.
"I did," I said, clearing my throat from the sudden lump before I continued. "I d-do. I'm just filling in."
"I see," he replied in a flat tone.
"Is there anything else you needed?" I asked, turning back to the chart to finish my investigation.
"Yeah, there is, actually," he said, and when he didn't say anything else, I looked back at him curiously. Was he actually going to say something about our night together? Did he finally want to talk about it?
"I, uh, need the chart," he said, gesturing toward the very thing currently sitting in my hands.
"Oh," I replied numbly. Of course…
I handed him the chart without further ado, and turned toward the nurse's station to find the person I was supposed to get report from, feeling completely pathetic once again.
The first two hours of my shift went in a blur. My time was spent mostly finishing up admitting half of my four patients, then sending the remaining two home. It was about ten thirty when I was finally able to take a coffee break. I didn't have any patients currently, but I was slated to receive the next trauma patient that rolled through the doors.
It had been a relatively quiet night. I assumed it was because the roads were icy and most people were staying home. Of course, I knew it would change. The Emergency Department rarely stayed calm for long.
"Can you pass me the sugar, please?" I heard a deep voice ask, and I looked up from the coffee pot to see Dr. Masen standing there expectantly.
"Uh, sure…" I replied reaching over my head to the sugar I knew was kept in the cupboard. I turned to give it to him, trying my hardest not to look at him as I did. But, as he reached for the sugar, our fingertips brushed. The slight touch sent a spark of electricity down my bones all the way to my central nervous system.
I closed my eyes automatically, taking a deep breath to steady myself before I turned away from him and made my way to the large table in the center of the room. Sitting was good; it was definitely something I needed to be doing in that moment. Preferably on a different continent than him, but I was going to have to settle for just giving him my back and pretending he didn't exist.
"I haven't seen you in a while," his melodic voice stated without inflection, as if he was reciting the weather. It made me cringe and pant simultaneously, and my self-respect dwindled down that much further at the reaction.
"Yup," I replied blandly, sipping on my steamy hot coffee, fighting through the burn the hot liquid caused on my tongue.
"You like the day shift?" he asked, his voice moving closer to me than it had been before.
"Yeah, it's great," I answered, not wanting to give him a hint that I had been miserable for so many reasons, least of which was his complete avoidance of me, which caused me to change shift in the first place.
I heard a chair being pulled out next to me and I saw him take a seat out of my peripheral vision. I took another sip of coffee to avoid looking at him, hoping that I could keep my rabid thoughts out of my eyes. My mother had always told me my face was like an open book, broadcasting my inner monologue expressively. If that was the case, there was no way in Hell I wanted Dr. Asshole to see what I was thinking. Or who I was thinking of…
Avoidance was the key. Stoic, like a cemented statue. No emotion, only hard lines and vacant expressions.
"Listen, I wanted to talk to you…" he said softly, and my insides clenched automatically at his indication.
"What about?" I asked, taking in another gulp of the scolding hot liquid.
"You know what about…" he said, his voice closer to me, as if he was leaning in to me to keep our conversation more private.
I glanced around the room and over my shoulder to see who was near us. The room was vacant, so I let out a sigh and told him how I felt.
"It was nothing, Dr. Masen. Forget it happened; I have," I answered blandly, my expression flat and my eyes avoiding his.
"It's not that simple," Dr. Masen answered, causing me to scoff at his words.
"It seemed that easy for you after it happened," I answered automatically, without thought. I immediately cringed, hating that I let my words run away with me, showing my insecurities to a man who could care less. "Shit. Forget I said that. I get it, I really do. There's no need to explain or smooth shit over. It happened, it's done. End of story. I won't be working the night shift for long, so you won't have to feel awkward."
"I don't feel awkward," he told me, and I laughed.
"Yeah, I know you don't."
"What does that mean?" he asked brusquely, having the nerve to sound offended.
"Nothing," I replied, wanting to change the subject quickly. "Why are you in here, anyway? Don't you doctor types have your own lounge?" I tried to smile in attempt to lighten the mood, but I was sure it came out more like a grimace.
"Uh, yeah," he replied, sounding flustered for the first time. "We were out of sugar."
"I see," I nodded. "Just for future reference, there's a supply of sugar packets in the stock kitchen."
We sat there in an uncomfortable silence for several moments. Only the sipping of coffee and the ticking of the wall clock above broke the quiet.
"You know, I apologized to her," he said after a minute or two. I looked at him questioningly, meeting his eyes for the first time. I didn't want to; I'd avoided his gaze for a reason, knowing that his hypnotic eyes could ensnare me into some kind of sultry trance, and damned if he didn't hold me captive without the hope of breaking away.
"Jessica," he answered when I didn't respond, only staring at him like a guppy fish. "I apologized for how I treated her that day."
"Oh," I replied, turning back to my cup with an approving nod and wishing beyond hope that he didn't affect me the way he did. "Well, that's good."
"Yeah," he replied, and then let out a tiny chuckle before continuing. "The nurses seem to work more cohesively when I'm not acting like a complete horse's ass."
"Imagine that," I chuckled, liking this side of him. He'd always seemed so straight laced and up tight before...well, except for that night. I'd never heard him joke before. I decided to play along a bit more.
"I guess you are proving this place really is where miracles happen," I said with a wink and a genuine smile, keeping with the light banter. I heard his breath catch and I looked up to meet his smoldering gaze.
"You have no idea," he all but whispered, insinuating more than words indicated. I let a stuttered breath out between my teeth at his implication, wanting more than anything to understand the meaning behind his statement.
Our eyes met and the tension rose. Something passed between us in that moment. Whether it was a solemn apology for his behavior before or an acknowledgement for the passion we'd shared, I didn't know. I could feel my face heat under his stare, realizing that I'd let myself be vulnerable to him in such a way I'd never let happen before.
He leaned in closer to me, his eyes expressing a desire to do much more than chat. I licked my lips in anticipation, not caring a bit that we were in the middle of the break room, crossing those boundaries once again. There was something about him that made me lose all sensibility.
Just as our bodies approached the other, just as all our inhibitions were disregarded, the break room door came crashing open, making the both of us jump back at our compromising positions.
"Bella, you have a trauma coming in," Jessica informed me, slightly out of breath as if she'd run across the unit. "They'll need you, too, Edward."
I looked at him quickly, gauging his reaction to her addressing him so informally. He just gave her a surprisingly warm smile and started to get up from his chair.
"What's coming, Jess?" he asked, taking a last sip of his coffee before throwing the Styrofoam cup into the trash.
"Pile up on the Interstate," she said with a sigh, running her hand over her face as she relayed the details. "They're sending two our way, intercept in five minutes."
Jessica turned and ran off toward the direction of the Trauma bays. Dr. Masen turned to look at me with an unreadable gaze on his face.
"Edward?" I asked; my eyebrow quirked in question, my mouth quirked into a smirk.
"I…ah, I've found it's kind of nice feeling like I'm on the same level as everyone else. You know, new found humility and all," he replied with mock seriousness. "What better way to show that than to forget the formalities."
I laughed, taking the chance to really enjoy his sense of humor. It was refreshing, and knowing we were going into the next room to fight for someone's life set the mood for the rest of the night. I thought that light-hearted atmosphere was much better than the hostility I was used to enduring when I worked with him.
"Well, if that's not a miracle, I don't know what is…" I said through a giggle. Edward smiled, reaching out his hand toward me.
"Yeah, yeah," he replied with a slanted smirk that was enough to make my panties melt on the spot. "Let's go see if we can make a few more happen tonight."
I didn't know if he meant about saving a life or about making my insides come alive like he'd done before, but either way, I was on board. Taking his hand, I stood from my seat, looking at him truly for the first time.
"This is the place to do it," I said in all seriousness, smiling to myself as I saw his eyes narrow and shadow with lust.
A miracle… yeah, it was pretty amazing…