A/N: I really only wrote this down as a distraction to keep my sanity. I may continue if people like it (and RL works out to make it possible). I'm open to constructive criticism and suggestions for the title. I'm NOT open to playing Twilight-fandom drama, so flames regarding the pairing will be deleted.
A/N2: Chapter one revised. I added a little bit extra to create a better breaking point for the next chapter. I'll try to get another chapter posted soon.
Her hands had been shaking when she handed him the tray of sutures. He noticed, but, after nearly a decade in the ER, triage was second nature to him, so his bleeding patient took precedence.
The thud a few seconds later didn't surprise him, though. What did was finally recognizing her the moment he looked back and saw her crumpled on the floor.
"Ooh, that one looked like it hurt," his patient's comment brought his attention back.
"It happens pretty often with new people," he said turning his lips up slightly as he instantly went back into doctor mode.
"Yeah," she answered glancing down at her wound looking slightly green, "I may join her."
"No, you won't!" he said, giving her a stern look, "You're fine."
With that he put his mind to finishing stitching up the gash across her hand the patient had accidentally given herself with her kitchen knife. After covering the stitches with gauze, he set the instruments aside and tossed his gloves in the biohazard container.
"Okay, you're all done. You're going to want to watch for any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or oozing. I'll also write you a prescription for some painkillers, and have a nurse bring it in soon along with your discharge forms."
"Thank you, Dr. Cullen," she nodded with both gratitude and weariness in her voice.
"You take care of yourself, Mrs. Lewis," he said giving her a flirtatious smile, which, he was pleased to see, she instantly relaxed at.
He had to give up some dignity though in dealing with the unconscious girl at his feet. Luckily, he managed to both hoist her up into a bridal carry, and hold down the groan of exertion that tried to escape his mouth.
He backed them both out the door, and found that luck was on his side and the head nurse was passing by.
"Joan, could I get a gurney here?" he asked.
"Another one bites the dust, huh?" she smirked before barking the order to another employee, "She hit her head?"
"I don't think so,"Carlisle answered as he moved her over to the stretcher, "but check her just in case. Also, if you could have someone handle the discharge on Mrs. Lewis that would be great."
"You got it," she nodded, moving to wheel the stretcher away.
"And once she's awake, send her to my office," he said nodding to the stretcher. The nurse raised her eyebrows at the order, but didn't question him.
He left the two women, making notes on his patient's chart as he made his way through the halls to his office. Once inside he dropped the file onto his desk, and sat back contemplating what had just happened. It might mean nothing. After all this was a small town, it was inevitable to run into almost everyone else at one time or another. However, he couldn't shake the feeling that Isabella Swan's showing up at the hospital for a second time was not a coincidence.
It was just after noon, and things had reached a lull. He'd just finished up the necessary paperwork for that day, and went down to the ER.
"Afternoon, Dr. Cullen," the shift nurse greeted when he arrived.
"Good afternoon, what have you got for me today?"
"20 year old female in room 2. Fell down the stairs at her house. Has what looks like a sprained knee," she answered.
"Thanks," he took the chart and went directly to the exam room. Inside were two young women.
"Hello, I'm Doctor Cullen," he introduced himself, offering his hand to the one sitting on the exam table, "Ms. Swan?"
"Yeah, um...Bella," she nodded accepting the handshake.
"And you are?" he asked turning to the pixie-like girl standing next to her.
"Oh! I'm Alice Brandon," she answered shaking his hand as well, "We live together."
"I see," he nodded, "Are you family?"
The two glanced at each other uncertainly.
"Not officially," Bella finally answered.
He wondered what that meant, and asked the next question very carefully, "I ask because hospital policy states that you can only be released to a family member, so is there any one you'd like to call..."
"Um, my dad...he's the chief of police."
"Charlie?" he asked in surprise.
"Yeah," she nodded.
"Well I'm sure he'd like to know that you're here, so if you want I could have a nurse call or perhaps..." he said looking toward Alice.
"No need. I can call him on my cellphone," she took the hint, digging through her purse as she walked out of the exam room.
"So you fell down your stairs?" he asked as he checked the dilation of her eyes, "How did that happen?"
She shrugged, "I'm clumsy sometimes."
"Have you had any dizziness, loss of consciousness, or blurry vision since you fell?" he asked, bringing out the stethoscope to listen to her heart.
"No," she shook her head.
"What about any nausea?"
He looped the stethoscope around his neck, and put his hand up to support her back, "Okay just lay down here. Have you had pain anywhere?"
"Just my knee," she answered.
"Lets take a look," he moved around to manipulate her knee. She winced a few times at various points, and grabbed the edge of the table.
"Okay, well I don't feel any fractures. It does look like it's just sprained, but knee injuries can be complicated so I'm going to call a consult from orthopedics," he explained as he took out his blackberry to send a text message to the on call orthopedic surgeon, "I'd also like to check you over just to make sure you don't have any internal injuries."
"Okay," she answered with obvious apprehension.
"Don't worry, it won't take long," he smiled at her as he started to gently palpate her abdomen, but it didn't seem to put her at ease the way it usually did for his patients "So Charlie Swan is your father?"
"Oh um...yeah," she answered.
"I've known him for several years. Sometimes doctors from here are called to help with case, but I didn't know he had a daughter."
He tried talking to her to help relax her, but it only seemed to make her more uncomfortable.
"Well I grew up with my mom in Phoenix and um...then moved back to Washington for college, so I, I only live in here during the summers," she stammered.
"Are you alright?" He finally asked, wondering if her unease had to do with the exchange between her and the girl she came in with.
"Yes!" she answered too quickly, "I mean, um, I'm fine. I just..."
She trailed off as she met his eyes. Suddenly, in seeing her looking up at him his suspicions about her and her companion were forgotten. So was his professionalism, apparently, as he eased the pressure he was putting into his hands, and his touches on her stomach became caresses. He saw and felt her intake of breath briefly before the door banged open loudly startling him.
"I'm sorry to intrude," the orthopedist apologized, "You called for a consult?"
"Yes," he answered, immediately putting distance in between himself and the exam table.
"You look like you're alright, Ms. Swan, so I'll just let Dr. Roberts take over here and look at your knee," He explained, quickly turning to leave the room.
Once outside he tried to recover his composure after what had just happened. He was surprised at himself. He was cavalier in his personal life by nature, it was a well known fact that only remained untalked about because he was well respected in the town, but he'd never been inappropriate with a patient before. It was something he prided himself in.
That day stuck with him in more ways that one. Which was why he was surprised he hadn't noticed sooner that she was working at the hospital.
He didn't have much time to think it over, though, as his office door opened and the girl in question timidly stepped inside.
"You wanted to see me, Dr. Cullen?" she asked tiredly.
"Yes, please sit down," he gestured to the chairs in front of his desk, "Are you feeling better, Bella?"
Her eyes widened in surprise when he said her name. Evidently, she hadn't expected him to remember. Well, no need to tell her that he only had for the past half-hour.
"Um, yes, I'm alright,"she blushed, "Just really embarrassed. I can't believe I fainted, I'm so sorry."
"Is there something that's upsetting you today?" He asked, "Perhaps some kind of stress at home?"
"No, no," she shook her head quickly, "Nothing like that I've just always had a problem with blood."
"Yeah, the smell...it really gets to me."
"Hm," he mused, "Well that makes me rather curious about why you decided you wanted to work in a hospital."
Her reaction was the epitome of 'deer in the headlights'.
"Um..." she began, but then trailed off.
He rose and walked around his desk to take the chair next to hers. As he moved around she chewed her lip in an unintentionally alluring way as she picked nervously at the edge of her striped smock. He quickly reached out and clamped his hand over hers to still her fidgeting.
"Is there a specific reason you chose to work here?"
Her mouth dropped open slightly releasing the grip she had on her lip, but she didn't say anything. How had he overlooked that she'd been working right next to him? Being this close to her, able to smell her skin, that kind of oversight seemed incomprehensible. However, she was so jumpy it was hard to be certain, and if he was wrong...
He moved his other hand to her knee. She didn't flinch away, and her eyes stayed on his. He let her watch as he moved his gaze to her lips, and relaxed when hers followed suit and moved to his. Good, he didn't need a sexual harassment complaint.
"So what are we going to do about this?" he whispered across her lips, letting his voice go husky.
Her eyes lidded, and just as they slid closed he released her hand and pushed himself up.
"I think we both know how we need to handle this situation," he said as he walked back behind his desk.
Bella blinked a few times in confusion. "How?"she finally asked.
"Well, Bella, I think it would be best if we ended your employment here," Carlisle answered.
She opened her mouth as if to protest, but after a moment closed it and nodded resignedly, "I understand."
"I'm glad, I hoped you would," he answered. She signed, her shoulders sagging. He had to hold down a laugh, "Also hoped that you'd let me take you to dinner tonight in Port Angeles."
Her gaze snapped back up, the surprised expression back.
"To commemorate your brief career in medicine," he clarified, giving her a teasing smile.
"Um...yes, sure," she finally answered.
"Well I don't really see that you need to stay the rest of the day, so why don't you go ahead and go home and get some rest, and I'll call your later? Say around 6:30?"
"Yes," she repeated as she stood and walked to the door, "I mean...6:30 is good."
"Excellent, I'll see you then," he answered.
"See you later," she nodded as she eased herself out letting the door drift shut behind her.