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Determined to never make the mistakes of the past, Elena, only wants to help people, which is why she works in the medical field. Yet, her world starts to collide as she meets a man from the past the same time she realizes the patients are mysteriously dying. Soon, her strange pregnancy, her past and her present are all consuming and her life maybe in jeopardy.
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Author’s Note:This time I dreamed a lot about bears last night. but we won’t go into that.
If you’re new to my work, you should be warned. I do draw characters into other books.
One character in particular is coming up. Chance Jeffferson. Readers of Hope Is Love will be familiar with him.
“Your hand looks so much better,” Chance Jefferson said as he carefully applied the wrap to her hand. His touch was strong and sure, but since he was the best looking doctor in the hospital, Elena Holland put her emotions in check and only smiled grateful he took the time to look it over without filing any “reports.”
A man this gorgeous got enough attention from all the other female staff. Unfortunately, Elena learned a life lesson from her handsome father the attention was not all good.
In a way, she pitied Chance, because how could he ever tell if a woman truly loving him or if they loved him because of his looks or his success? He would never truly know that and for that he would lead a life of loneliness and possibly suicide – just like her father.
“Thank you so much, Doctor Jefferson.”
“I told you to call me Chance,” he insisted.
At first when he helped her, she thought he was actually flirting with her. Chance was almost seven feet tall and an injury early in college forced him to “fall back” on a medical career in gynecology. With broad shoulders and a body Angels on high envied, creamy chocolate skinned Chance topped it off with a smile that could melt ice in the Arctic. Occasionally he worked the emergency room at the hospital and happened to be working when she came in with a sprained hand. When he knew she worked at the hospital as a nurse’s aide, he promptly made her paperwork disappear and took care of her problem.
“Just stay out the way of doors when they decide to close,” he teased.
She forced another smile as if she thought that was funny when in truth she had lied to Chance as to how she had hurt her hand. Her older brother, Vick had gotten mad and grabbed her hand just a little bit too much. She told herself Vick was just stressed over his situation, but now, she wasn’t so sure since he started “talking” to Nurse Lori Cummings.
Lori was a bane in Elena’s side. The woman had it out for Elena since inception and Elena was desperate to get removed from the floor she was assigned to.
“Don’t be hating on her cuz you just a medical assistant, Key,” Vick sneered a couple of weeks and then the door caught her hand.
“Stop calling me that,” she sneered not even giving the excuse anymore about how only her father called her that and the way it sounded on Vick’s lips seemed way too intimate for a brother. The nickname from Vick’s lips made a creepy chill run down her spine.
He didn’t apologize. He only shrugged it off and chuckled, “You’re a clumsy ass.” As if it was all Elena’s fought she had sprained her wrist.
Elena stretched her hand out and then balled her fingers in a fist to test the strength and to see just how healed she was. Yes, Chance was right, her hand was all better, but her mind wasn’t. She was still in a flux over her current work and home situation.
The reasons as to why Vick had to move in a year ago seemed too foggy to remember. Job lost, bad economy and other circumstances had forced him to sell his home and then she heard from friends he was bouncing from house to house or living on the street. Despite how he’d treated her all her life, Elena felt a certain duty to her brother to help him.
“I really do appreciate this,” she said to Chance getting off the table to move away. He was eye to eye with her while he was sitting and she really wanted to get away from him so glad she didn’t have to change out of a hospital gown because she really felt uncomfortable within his proximity.
Dang, his handsomeness. Would he be sexier than her father if he were alive today?
Chance didn’t roll his chair immediately back. His beautiful hazel brown eyes crinkled in humor and then concern. “I don’t mind, plus Nurse Cummings was pleasant to infuriate when she came down with all her questions. What gum did you put in her seat?”
“What?” she asked confused.
“You obviously played some cruel practical joke on her to make her hate you so much.”
“I didn’t do anything to that woman. Personally I think she was born that way. The moment I started working here I think she had it in for me. I mean true I’m just a medical assistant, but since they’ve been so short handed on the geriatric ward, I didn’t think volunteering there would give me so much opportunity to learn so much about learning in my studied field.”
“You take to it very well, I’ve heard,” he said.
“You’ve been asking about me?” she asked suspiciously.
“Just a little. You looked out of place when you first came in and that’s why I’m doing this now.”
“What do you mean out of place?”
“As if you didn’t want to be there but needed to be there and then you gave me this…” He looked lost for words for a quick moment. “As if you didn’t want me to notice you.”
She didn’t want to admit she was doing exactly that. Soon as she saw Chance Jefferson was working in emergency that night she wanted to get out of Dodge, but she needed medical care from the sprain.
“I didn’t know doctors came out to the lobby in emergency,” she lied.
“I was looking for a friend.”
“Just any one?”
“No, a friend coming to meet me for my break to talk, but when I saw you and knew you worked at the hospital, I thought I should help a fellow employee and that look bothered me a lot.”
She wasn’t going to apologize for her look. Her milk chocolate eyes were the windows to her soul and a lot of times got her in a lot of trouble because she couldn’t help to show honesty in them all the time.
Chance still had not rolled his chair back for her to move from the examination table to her bag so she could leave. Clearly the look she gave him told him her intentions.
He ignored her look. “Can I ask you a favor, Elena?”
Her chest tightened. Warily, she asked, “What?”
“Well, I have a feeling you aren’t like other women around here and I can be a little honest with you when I say I’m in a predicament and need your help.”
“What kind of help?”
“You know the hospital’s banquet is coming up and I’m sure you’ve heard the rumor I don’t have a date.”
Her stomach dropped in her stomach. “I can’t.”
He narrowed his eyes for a second and then the twinkle he constantly kept reappeared.
The fact that he still didn’t move when after her refusal clearly told her Chance wasn’t used to a woman saying no to him. She could read him just like she use to read her father.
He folded his arms emphasizing the muscles in his chest despite the shirt and hospital jacket he wore that was custom tailored for his brawny size. “Are you busy that night?”
“A disapproving boyfriend would be jealous of a handsome man using you as arm candy?”
She couldn’t help to giggle at his reference to her. “No.”
“No!” she exasperated.
“You’re in love or trying to be in love with someone and don’t want to make them jealous?”
“I don’t like you like that,” she said uncomfortably.
“I know that Elena. That’s why I’m asking you.”
Now it was her turn to be speechless for a moment. “Maybe I missed something.”
“Like I said, you don’t look at me like other women and I perceive it to be you’re not the least bit attractive to me. Given the firm nos you’ve just issued, you would make perfect arm candy-”
“Why me?” she demanded to know cutting him off.
“You’re perfect, refreshing and I don’t have to worry about performing at the end of the night.”
Her crazy look must have popped out at him because he hurriedly added, “And I think it’s great to go out with a woman who’s honestly not attracted to me. Usually I don’t get to talk intelligently to a really nice looking woman unless she’s deeply in love or very married.” He shrugged a huge shoulder sheepishly. “My married friends are tired of me borrowing their wives and girlfriends. I’m already going to hate being at this banquet, but I’d much rather be with you at this banquet than some silly ninny that giggles and fawns all over me.”
Elena sat back on the table. “I don’t know whether to be honored by that invitation or insulted.”
“Be honored and you’ll have me in your debt.”
She couldn’t refuse when he smiled like that. Could a person’s teeth get any whiter?
“Fine, I’ll accept your invitation, but if you happen to change your mind, fall in love or the perfect woman for you falls into your lap and wants to go, I won’t mind,” she said.
“See there,” he said approvingly. “That’s why I’m very glad to have you as my arm candy.”
“Stop calling me that.”
“But it’s just so cute.”
She rolled her eyes in more exasperation getting back down from the table. He moved his chair back this time and allowed her to go toward the door.
Grabbing her purse, she looked back at him. “Why aren’t you taken already, Doctor… Chance?”
He unhinged his arm and rested his hands on his knees expelling a large breath longingly. “I work too much. I want my own practice and if I’m going to have a queen, I want to be a king to her in every way possible. That means being my own boss so I can go home for afternoon delights on my own time and not waiting for my lunch.” He winked mischievously. “A man like me never would want his woman to ever doubt his love for her and I want to be able to prove my love for my woman every moment of every hour of every day.”
The idea was breathtaking and she was positive when God made Chance he must’ve broken the mold. The man was certainly unique.
“I’ll speak to you later,” she said. “I have to get to work.”
“On the seventh?” he questioned, confirming her work location. “Geriatrics?”
She nodded. “Are you stalking me?”
“Actually no. I overheard another administrator singing your accolades actually the day you came into the ER and really I thought it was strange to hear about you and then see you on the same day. Plus the colleague I was meeting that day for my break just inherited a geriatric facility. Call it fate or destiny; I knew I had to see what the administrator was talking about.”
“Accolades?” she questioned.
He waved his hand away. “You’re good at your job in so many words for a medical assistant, although I find it strange you’re doing hands on when you have a bachelors in Geriatric Care Administration.”
She explained simply, “When I came out of college I had a lot of loans, needed money fast and the old folk homes weren’t hiring where I could apply my degree. I figured getting on the seventh floor was at least close to my goal, but…” She shrugged not really wanting to say something mean.
“You don’t need to speak anymore. I’ve met a couple of nurses that refuse to work on that floor. Some even say it’s haunted.”
“With evilness,” she quickly finished up. “Talk to you later, Chance, and thanks again.”
“Oh wait,” he said. “One more question.”
Her chest constricted again. She really hated surprises, but wasn’t that caught up with Chance’s gorgeous face, she couldn’t really read him. “I’m worried, but go ahead.”
“Would you be interested in applying that fancy degree where it should be applied?”
The offer was magnanimous of him, yet she was always skeptical. “You mean to that friend’s inherited geriatric facility?”
He smiled that gorgeous smile. “You really are smarter than some medical assistants.”
His teasing was infectious and she returned the smile. “In what capacity though?” she questioned.
“Well, I had to cancel our meeting, but I had a feeling he was looking for feelers to run the faculty properly. It’s located here in Detroit on the Southwest side and I haven’t been there to consult about its medical needs or even talk with him about what he knows he needs. Would you be interested though if there is room at the top?”
Containing her excitement was easy in herself, but she knew her eyes were clearly showing her eagerness. “I could possibly be interested. Let me know.” She started to leave out again, but stopped when he called her name again.
“Why does your badge say K. Elena?”
Blushing, she said, “My first name is Keath. K-E-A-T-H. Like the boy’s sound, but it’s spelled out for a girl.”
“Isn’t Keath a boy’s name?”
“My mother thought I was a boy. She wanted me to be boy because she had this thing the first baby always looked like their mother, but the second one always looked like their father. They even told her I was a boy in the womb, but I came out a girl and she was angry. They’d already called me Keath during my nine months and even had things monogrammed with that name, so my father just changed the letter I to and A. It’s worked out fine for me except when I go on interviews and people are really expecting a guy.”
“Interesting. Do you look like your father?”
“Actually I do, except I didn’t get his height thank goodness. He was about your height.”
“Well he must have been a very good looking man.”
“He was attractive.”
“I see. Now I know why you look at me like that.”
“Oh you do?” she asked.
“Yeah, you pity me, don’t you? Your father was handsome and women fell all over him.”
She flinched remembering the gunshot loudly. “Yeah,” she admitted. “I do pity you.”
He stood up and walked one step to her. Even though it had taken three steps to walk away from him, he only needed one to get to her with his long strong legs. “You don’t have to worry about me, Elena.”
“I won’t.” She promised. “Thanks again.”
He didn’t stop her from leaving this time and she was glad, yet she did notice vicious glances of jealousy as she walked out of the room. Ignoring them, she went to the elevator and pushed the seventh floor.
As usual a lump lurched in her chest as she headed up to work. She enjoyed working with elderly people, she just hated her co-worker or to be exact, Lori Cummings.
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