Instead of working on the family ranch, Evan broke the mold and became an ER doctor.
He’s good with his hands—in more ways than one—smart as a whip and is the definition of God’s gift to women. Being a gentleman is in his Southern roots, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t flawed. Exclusive dating has never been a top priority and his tragic past makes him stay at arm’s length. Deciding to let loose for a wild night, he takes a page from the Bishop brother’s relationship book and hooks up with a mysterious girl he’ll never have to see again, which is perfect for this self-proclaimed bachelor.
Emily Bell is a city girl through and through but is determined to get away from her family and past. All she wants is a fresh start and to make a name for herself in the medical field. No random hookups and no dating coworkers—that’s her new motto after being burned time and again. When she agrees to attend a wedding as a plus-one, she’s soon ditched and left to drink solo—but not for long. Mr. Suit is the ultimate temptation with his Southern charm, messy blond hair, and irresistible sex appeal. Everything about him screams bad news, but he makes her reconsider her rules just for one night.
After all, some rules are made to be broken.
They want the same thing—one night of passion then they’ll go their separate ways. No cuddling afterward. No next day phone calls. No awkward goodbyes. Too bad the universe has other plans—one that’ll be obvious when they report to work on Monday morning.
Evan and I suit up in our surgical gowns, gloves and masks but before I can ask for help to tie me up, he’s behind me knotting the ties around my neck and waist.
He only nods in response without making eye contact. I see Veronica is already tying him up and that’s when I get the impression she’s his right-hand man. She always has his files ready for him, relays his messages, and I’m pretty sure she handed him a coffee yesterday afternoon.
She’s his work wife.
I giggle a little to myself at the term I’ve heard my dad use about one of his assistants. When you work in the hospital as much as we do, you’re more married to the people you work with than the actual people you’re married to.
“Something funny?” He shoots daggers at me.
“Are you seriously going to scold me for laughing to myself?”
“This isn’t a laughing matter. We have a job to do.”
I roll my eyes, but he walks off before he can see me. You’d think the guy didn’t just get laid last weekend or something by his bad attitude.
The paramedics rush in just moments later and the whole scene unfolds. Three stretchers are brought in with patients with minor injuries and Evan directs them to the three nurses to assess them. An unconscious patient is brought into trauma room one and when the last patient is rolled in, I follow Evan into trauma room two.
“Transfer on three,” Evan orders before counting and the nurses and I help him move the patient off the stretcher and onto the hospital bed.
“Patient is a twenty-nine year old female and was the passenger when she got T-boned on her side. Driver said she smacked her head and couldn’t get her to wake up. BP was at ninety over eighty,” one of the paramedics tells us. Veronica is already hooking her up to the blood pressure cuff and heart rate tracker.
“That blood pressure is too low,” Evan mutters, unwrapping his stethoscope from his neck and listening to her heart. “Her heartbeat is slow and her breathing is unsteady. Bag her.”
Moments later, Veronica hands me the equipment to manually ventilate her and Evan watches as I push the tube down her throat and into her lungs. I’ve done this hundreds of times but with his piercing eyes on me, I get nervous.
“Dr. Bell…” His warning tone has my nerves on fire.
“I’ve got it,” I say, attaching the bag to the mask and pumping.
Once he checks for himself, I roll my eyes when his expression doesn’t change. He orders Veronica to check the head wound where blood is pooling and Heather places an IV in the woman’s arm so she can administer medication.
“She has a pretty deep cut near her right temple. Going to clean it up and probably need some stitches,” she tells Evan.
“She might have some internal bleeding, so let’s get radiology in here to do some scans while her breathing is stable for now.”
Evan gets radiology within minutes since they’re in the next room. Once the x-rays are done and processed, we see she has a bleed in her spleen.
“Ruptured spleen,” Evan confirms what I already knew.
“Her abdomen must’ve been hit pretty hard,” I say, handing off the ventilator bag to Heather so I can look at the x-rays more closely.
“Or she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.” Evan’s body tenses and his eyes go dark. His mood shifts, and I wonder what the hell just happened. “Veronica, she needs to be prepped for surgery. Page me when she’s in recovery,” he orders before facing me. “Stay with Veronica and help her prep the patient then find me.”
He walks off before I can respond.
I do as he says and help Veronica while the trauma surgeon comes in all ready to go. We roll her down to the OR and once she’s securely inside, Veronica and I walk out.
“Good job, Dr. Bell,” she praises me, which takes me off guard a bit. I don’t even feel like I did that much, but I smile at her compliment.
“Thanks. You too. You’re the superhero of nurses.” I smile.
She blushes, a small smile gracing her lips. “Thanks, I love my job. Dr. Bishop makes it easy to do my job well.”
My stomach twists at her words, wondering if that means what I’m thinking. Does Veronica have a thing for Evan? I mean, I wouldn’t blame her in the least, but this is only my second shift so who the hell knows.
“It’s obvious you two make a great team. I envy that.”
“We do. It’s nice.” She smiles wide, and that’s all the confirmation I need that she definitely has feelings toward him.
Once we’re back to the ER, I find Evan and wait for his next order. The other three patients are in beds and all stabilized with minor injuries. The other unconscious patient is a child and I rush in to help once Evan calls for my assistance.
“She’s crashing,” one of the nurses shouts, announcing the code.
Evan grabs the crash cart and I add the gel to the paddles before I charge it to three hundred and he shouts, “Clear!”
He shocks her chest and her heart begins beating again. She’s so little, I’m relieved that we don’t have to do it again.
“Bag her,” Dr. Moody orders.
Veronica hands me the tube and supplies, but the tube is too big. “Her throat is too swollen.”
“Here,” she says, handing me a smaller sized one.
I’m quick to grab it and attempt it once again with no luck.
“Veronica, take over for Dr. Bell.” Evan’s tone is cold and harsh.
“I can do it,” I bite out, trying again but the way he’s scolding me with his eyes has my nerves all over the place. I can do this in my sleep, so my frustration grows the longer it takes.
“I said I got it!” I shout, but it doesn’t matter because Veronica grabs the tube from me and pushes me out of her way. She manages to ease the tube down her throat and quickly attaches everything together.
“Compress the bag,” Evan directs his order at me, keeping his eyes down as he assesses her other injuries that have already been checked. Veronica steps aside so I can take over ventilating. My blood is boiling, but I know I need to remain calm and indifferent right now.
Two hours later, the ER is calm again but that doesn’t mean my annoyance has died down. Evan continues his bossy demeanor, and I’m so irritated with myself that I let him get to me. I’ve done that procedure so many times in my career and have never had issues, but him watching me and shouting made my nerves get the best of me.
I’m sitting in front of my locker, taking angry bites of my licorice when I hear the door behind me open. I immediately know it’s him when the hair on the back of my neck stands up, and I prepare myself for an ass chewing.
“That’s a gross habit,” he starts, walking to his locker that I realize is next to mine.
I snort at his first choice of words. “Eating?”
He scoffs, digging around his bag. “That isn’t eating. It’s high in sodium and carbs and filled with corn syrup.”
“Well I could be a smoker. Or drinker.” I smirk. “Or I could—”
“Or you could eat food that’ll help sustain your energy levels instead of falling asleep on the job.”
“I did not fall asleep on the job!” I stand up, appalled at his accusations.
“Could’ve fooled me.”
“You screaming and shouting at me while I’m trying to do something isn’t how I work!”
“You want to be an ER doctor at a trauma hospital?” he taunts, stepping right into my space. “Then act like it. There’s no time for emotions or your feelings to get hurt. You focus on the patient and you get your shit done. Bagging is med school 101 so forgive me if I have my doubts about you, Dr. Bell.”
We’re both breathing hard and my heart races at an intense speed. Knowing what he looks like under those scrubs has my brain malfunctioning on a witty response. I want to grab his face and kiss the attitude right out of him, but I won’t let him win.
“Though considering your last name, I expected more from you.”
His words sting and I know he said them to get under my skin, but I won’t give him the satisfaction that it hurt. I ignore him and pretend it doesn’t phase me at all.
“Goodnight, Dr. Bishop. Hope you sleep well,” I say smugly, widening my smile before taking another bite of my licorice.
I see the corner of his lips twitch and the thought of driving him crazy the same way he does to me makes me do a little victory dance in my head.
“Sweet dreams, Dr. Bell.” He reaches for his bag and before he turns, grabs the half-eaten piece of licorice out of my hand and walks out.