Hey there! This story is going to be chock full of medical references and plenty of ass-clownery. It's rated M for several reasons, mostly because of my fondness for the f-bomb and eventual lemony treats. But there will also be some mature themes discussed, as well as some ob/gyn related...stuff. You've been warned.
Special thanks to the lovely and talented gals over at Project Team Beta for making my words look pretty and clean : )
My clock is reading 4:30 a.m., and the alarm is going off. I glare at it with unadulterated hostility through the one eye that I can manage to open.
Ugh. You've got to be kidding me. Who the hell wakes up at 4:30 a.m.? Me, that's who. Because for the next six weeks, in order to get to Queens General Hospital in time for 6:00 a.m. rounds, my pathetic ass is going to have to get used to waking up at the same hour that most other college students are finally making it home to bed. As luck would have it, one of the last rotations standing between me and graduation from the Physician Assistant program had to be ob/gyn. Gruesomely long hours, on-call every third night, and at a hospital whose preceptor was well known for eating PA students alive…Oh, and let's not forget about all the estrogen and va-jay-jay.
Fuck my life.
I hit the snooze button, perhaps a bit too aggressively, and I'm about to roll over when I hear knocking. Loud knocking. Very annoying loud knocking that is now being accompanied by a rather high-pitched, and even more annoying at four thirty in the morning, voice.
"Bella, why aren't you up yet? I am not going to be late on our first day because of your lazy ass!" Alice. How on Earth can she sound so alert at this ungodly hour? "Come on, Bella. Don't make me come in there. I made coffee."
I sigh and roll my miserable ass out of bed. "I don't drink coffee, Alice. Don't you know that by now?"
I open my bedroom door and face the bright-eyed little powerhouse behind all the noise, who is holding a huge mug of coffee, and wearing a hot pink robe. Her short, dark hair is still damp from her shower. She eyes me up and down and shoves the coffee mug into my chest. I grab it in defense. "Well, looks to me like it's a good time to start."
I narrow my eyes. "It's a good thing I like you." I shove the coffee back at her, and she rolls her eyes and smirks at me.
"You love me," she calls over her shoulder as she walks back toward her bedroom. "And you have dried drool on the side of your mouth. Very attractive."
I snort and head for the shower. Yeah, I do love Alice. We've been friends since PA school started, even though we are complete polar opposites. We decided to get an apartment together when we found out we were doing our second year clinical rotations together.
I think back to the first day of Anatomy lab when she came waltzing over to my group, holding a venti Starbucks coffee cup in her perfectly manicured hands and wearing an outfit that was way too expensive to wear while dissecting a cadaver. But you just can't hate Alice; she's a force of nature. But from that fateful day on, we just sort of bonded. You know how you just connect with certain people for some reason? It's almost as if you've known each other in a previous life or something. I have a theory about that, but I'll get around to that later.
The shower wakes me up at least, and I tie my overgrown, long brown hair in a high ponytail while it's still damp. I'm grateful that I'd picked out my clothing the night before, so I could throw myself together quickly and hopefully allow enough time to stop for breakfast at my favorite bagel place. The place that not only makes the best bagels ever but toasts them and puts so much butter on them that you get a luscious burst of melted butter in your mouth with every bite. Since moving to New York, I've become absolutely obsessed with pizza and bagels. And if I was going to be elbow deep in female anatomy for a twelve-hour day (ew, that just sounds so nasty), it couldn't hurt to start it with a happy tummy.
I meet Alice in the kitchen, who of course looks way too good to be heading off to V-town at Queens General Hospital for God's sake. But I know very well why she looks so damn hot. It has nothing to do with Queens General and everything to do with Jasper Whitlock, another PA student from our class who will be joining us for this rotation. She just won't admit it. I find it rather entertaining. She has her super-sized thermos of caffeine in hand and asks me if I'm ready to go.
I do a quick mental assessment before I head out the door.
OSHA approved comfortable footwear? Check.
Hideous white polyester "student" lab coat that I swear on all that is holy I will burn at the end of this rotation? Check.
"Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility: Handbook for Clinicians-Resident Survival Guide" in aforementioned jacket pocket? Check.
Handful of Hershey's miniatures in the other pocket? Check. Chocolate makes anything more tolerable. I may have a theory about that, too. They should do a study or something.
I take a deep breath and follow Alice into her car, a cute yellow VW Bug. I've dreaded this rotation all year. But all I have to do is get through the next six hellish weeks. After that, my schedule should be smooth sailing clear to graduation, and I can finally go back home to Forks, Washington, where a nice cushy job in Pediatrics already waits for me.
Bring it on.
Forty-five minutes and a belly full of butter-saturated bagel later, Alice and I meet up with Jasper at the hospital. He is tall and lean, and definitely easy on the eyes. Alice is making a good show of not noticing that his thick sandy blond hair seems a bit longer since we last saw him, and there's a well-groomed shadow of scruff gracing his jaw line. But the pretty flush that flourishes her fair skin when he smiles and greets us with his sweet Texas accent gives it away. Don't think it escapes my attention that his smile blatantly lingers on Alice. These two crack me up. It's so obvious that he digs her, but I just don't know what his deal is. I've been watching this bizarre little mating dance go on between these two all year.
We head over to meet with our clinical preceptor, Dr. James Baker. He has a reputation for being quite a hard-ass and supposedly enjoys humiliating unprepared students who don't know their shit. It's a well-known fact that if he doesn't like you, he'll keep you up to your eyeballs in scut work and make your life a living hell. Which is why I have gone above and beyond my usual OCD study habits and have practically memorized "Blueprints Obstetrics and Gynecology" in its entirety. Yeah, I can be a bit like Rain Man like that. But not all of us have a photographic memory and natural born charm like my friend Alice here. So I do whatever I can to optimize survival.
The infamous Dr. Baker is not at all what I expected. He's much younger, actually, probably in his early to mid-thirties. He has thinning dirty blond hair, cold gray eyes, and a nondescript face. He doesn't strike me as intimidating. But I've heard otherwise, so I keep my mask of propriety firmly in place.
He takes us on a tour of the facilities and proceeds to give details about how the clinical rotation will be organized. During the six week long rotation, we will each spend two weeks in the clinic, two weeks in Surgery, and two weeks in Labor and Delivery. That's one of the good things about this hospital at least; it's one of the few that let you actually deliver babies if you can prove competency. Truth be told, I'm both excited beyond words and scared shitless at the mere prospect of delivering a baby. But I digress.
The three of us will each be "assigned" to a fourth year ob/gyn resident. We will alternate taking overnight call every third night - thank heaven no Saturdays or Sundays…I would just shoot myself - and will be required to attend 6:00 a.m. rounds daily, and 8:00 a.m. Grand Rounds every Wednesday. I inwardly curse Lauren Mallory for getting pregnant and taking a leave of absence, because if she was still part of our rotation group, we'd only have to take call every fourth night.
"Miss Brandon, you'll be assigned to Dr. McCarty in L&D on 2 South. Mr. Whitlock, you're going to clinic on 2 North." He turns to me and looks me up and down for a brief moment. "Miss Swan, you can join Dr. Newton in the OR, 5th floor." Dr. Baker dismisses us with a curt nod. "I'll see you at rounds tomorrow. 6:00 a.m. sharp, 3 North." And with that, he's off to bigger and better things.
Alice is completely pumped about starting in L&D. I'm more psyched that the hospital will supply scrubs to wear during this rotation. It makes the decision of what to wear each morning at 4:30 a.m. oh so much easier. I tell Alice to text me if she gets a break for lunch and make my way to the OR.
I stop at the nurses' station and wait awkwardly for someone to acknowledge me.
"Excuse me, can someone tell me where I can find Dr. Newton?"
One of the nurses looks up from a chart she's working on and quickly assesses me, taking note of the universal "student" lab jacket and glances at my nametag. She nods her head to the left. "Room 4."
I prep myself before going into the room by donning a cap and surgical mask. I realize that my ponytail under the cap gives me the appearance of having a cone head, but I don't really care. Who exactly am I trying to impress, anyway?
I enter the room as quietly as possible and stand by the door, unsure of what to do next. There are two men standing on opposite sides of the patient, both wearing surgical caps and gowns. I wonder which one is Dr. Newton. The one facing me is significantly taller than the other; I'm guessing about 6'2" or so. After a few minutes, he looks up at me. And in that instant, my breath catches. Because even though all I can see are his eyes, since just about every other inch of him is covered, those eyes are, well…kind of beautiful. Even from the distance I'm standing, I can tell they're a striking shade of green, almost like a cat…and rimmed with dark long lashes. I realize I'm probably gawking and reflexively cast my gaze downward and am suddenly grateful for the surgical mask that is hiding my blazingly hot cheeks and gaping mouth.
"You can stand by her head, next to the anesthesiologist." His voice is actually…silky. Yes, silky. Because it feels to my ears the way expensive silk feels to the skin. It causes a strange tightening in my chest. I don't like it.
I position myself where I'm told and become entirely engrossed in an abdominal myomectomy of several uterine fibroids. He's removed three so far, and there are apparently six more to go. They oddly look to me like large chewed-up wads of bubblegum.
By fibroid number six, a larger one that is shaped a bit like a headless Pillsbury Doughboy, I've become a bit bored. Some doctors like to talk during procedures, or grill students with questions to test their knowledge base. Dr. Newton has done neither so far, and the silence in the room is a bit unnerving. I find my mind wandering, and I realize I've become far too enthralled with something that is totally unrelated to uterine fibroids; because in my overcompensating effort to not look at Dr. Newton's eyes, I've become utterly fascinated by what has been in my line of vision for the past hour or so - his hands. Well, more like his fingers. They're long and graceful, and move with confident and meticulous precision. My mind is somehow hijacked with uninvited thoughts of what other talents those fingers might have.
Why the hell is this room so damned hot?
My eyes dart up in a sudden panic and are met with a set of curious green ones. I can't help but notice that they're not just green; they're probably the clearest, prettiest green eyes I've ever seen. And they fade to a lovely shade of amber at the center. Except now they don't just look curious, they look a little irritated. Shit. Eyes down.
"Excuse me, Miss Swan?"
"Um…yes?" Fuck. I suddenly feel like a kid with her hand caught in the cookie jar. I even sound flustered. I inwardly smack myself on the side of my head.
"Do you need to use the bathroom?"
I stare at him dumbly. I blink. Several times I think. Words. He's expecting words. An answer. Brain kicks in and gives my mouth a shove. "No thank you, I'm fine."
He looks back down again. "Very good. Then could you please stop shifting around like a five-year-old that needs to pee? It's a bit distracting."
No, he didn't.
It just got infinitely hotter in here, and I can't tell if it's from embarrassment or indignation. I know the look on my face says it all because now he looks rather amused with himself.
Stupid, pretty green-eyed jackass.
For the rest of the procedure, I make sure I am completely invisible. I don't make a single move, don't ask a single question, and don't glance at him or his lovely hands. I am strictly focused on the pure clinical aspects of the procedure. I review in my head the different phases of the menstrual cycle and different types of ovarian cysts. I do not wonder what he looks like under that surgical cap and mask. Not even once. I swear. I'll bet the rest of him looks like a Neanderthal, anyway. He obviously has the bedside manner of one.
Dr. Newton finishes suturing the incision. He looks up at the ceiling with a deep sigh and rolls his head around to loosen his neck muscles. He removes his bloodied gloves with a snap, drops them unceremoniously on the table, and pulls down his mask.
And I'm dumbstruck. And royally pissed. Because Dr. Jackass does not look anything like a Neanderthal. Not one bit.
Stephanie Meyer owns everything that started the obsession. I just want to play doctor with Edward.
This is my first story, and I'd really love to hear what you think.
Thanks so much for reading : )