Saturday, October 8, 2011

HOOKER SATURDAY~7

Morning!  Don't ya just love George? Mmmmmm! Well, welcome and I think you might be pleased you dropped by because I made an executive decision.  I'm posting what I'd planned for SSS tomorrow, but due to my release being moved up to next week, I changed my SSS plans.  This is better anyway, cuz now I don't have to leave you hanging...LOL. Here is part of the chapter of Temperatures Rising. Unedited and if it does make it to publication some day I will have to get rid of some of the more indelicate parts as I was recently told that vivid smells, sputum, and well...other things in my daily job aren't very romantic!! LOL.  Go figure!  But for now, it is the way it is.  I almost feel sorry for my heroine, Ann Raines...Almost!  Enjoy!


TEMPERATURES RISING~Chapter One


“I need three Coors draft, a margarita, and a Bohemian Rhapsody,” a female voice shouted down the length of the bar. The wait staff knew how to make themselves heard over the buzz of music and conversation from the numerous patrons that usually frequented Jolly’s Taproom.


While the crowd laughed and drank with obvious pleasure, Katy Perry’s sultry voice blared from the speakers announcing to anyone listening how she kissed a girl—-and liked it.


“You got it,” Anne Raines replied. She marked her page from the pharmacology book she’d been using to confirm the medications for her first nursing clinical experience. Pivoting to the cooler, she retrieved the large frosted pilsner glasses for the beers. As she stood at the tap pouring the golden, foaming liquid into the ice cold mugs, she suppressed a yawn. Her legs hurt and her feet seemed like they were on fire within her sensible black shoes. She wished she knew of a Swedish masseur named Sven to fulfill her aching body’s every fantasy.


Anne chuckled and placed the beers on the tray for Liddy, and proceeded to fulfill the rest of the waitress’s order. Despite her fatigue, excitement bubbled from deep within her. Tomorrow morning she would take the next step toward her new career to become a nurse. Even the thought that she had three more hours before Jolly’s closed at two AM, followed by a long night of preparing for the day ahead, couldn’t squelch her high spirits.


The old rock tune, Wasted Time by the Eagles began a slow beat overhead. Anne reflected on how she’d drifted through her life so far. Flitting from job to job. Her inability to take anything or anyone seriously. How she’d never accomplished a damn thing. Always too busy having a good time, she’d thought she’d have plenty of time to make something of her life later. Much later. Her lips twisted. Definitely a lot of wasted time.


“Order up, Liddy,” she called as she placed the martini on the tray. Her gaze swept the drinks of the current peeps closest to her, checking for anyone in need of a refill. Most glasses were still half full. Satisfied, she moved back to her pharm book and the short list of medications of her first patient.


At least there weren’t a lot she’d have to memorize for her first day—only four types of pills. This helped tremendously since she had to be out of bed and over at the hospital by 6:30 AM. Her vision blurred on the page she’d been staring at and she blinked. A pang of regret for a lush morning spent snuggled deep beneath her goose down comforter sprang to the forefront of her mind. Anne shoved the notion aside. She could sleep when clinical ended at noon. She’d just have to suck it up.


Working her way through college was her only option, even with the small amount of life insurance her mother had bequeathed to Anne after her death. There would be no getting around the crazy hours she’d have to work at Jolly’s to make her dream a success. This time, she’d be responsible. Even if she had to choke on her obligation. Besides, she owed herself a bright future and challenged herself not to screw up this time.


A roar from a crowd of men stationed behind her at the mahogany bar drew her attention. They enthusiastically slapped their hands in high fives as they greeted a newcomer to their group. He was extremely attractive in an Ewan Macgregor kind of way with wavy brown hair, prominent brows over eyes she could easily immerse herself in, a squared jaw with a hint of five o’clock shadow, and a fantastic pair of lips. A sigh of bliss escaped her.


All contemplation of the commitment she’d sworn to herself vanished from her brain as the cells sizzled. Heart thundering between her ears, she smiled and approached where he leaned against the bar. The buttoned down long sleeved shirt lay open at the throat and revealed smooth, tanned skin. Sleeves rolled back to his elbows provided a great view of strong, well muscled forearms. She swallowed, mouth suddenly dry.


As she placed a napkin on the gleaming wood in front of him, his green gaze swept the length of her. Anne could swear she heard the heat radiating off her skin with a crackle and hiss. Sort of like the breakfast cereal.


Boy, would she like to snap, crackle and pop with this guy!


She chuckled, coming down off the momentary high that often accompanied the sight of a gorgeous hunk of man in her vicinity. “Welcome to Jolly’s. What can I get you?”


A smile played about his lips. That killer grin combined with the steamy glitter in his eyes extremely suggestive of what he’d like to order. Sparks of heat licked a trail down her spine straight down to her toes.


After the stress and grief of the last year, Anne welcomed the distraction. Between classes and Jolly’s, she’d been working very hard and wishing for a teensy weensy break. What could a little play time hurt?


****


Be careful what you wish for. Hadn’t her mother repeated that old cliché about a zillion times during the course of Anne’s lifetime? Moments before, she’d awakened alone in a foreign bed without a stitch of clothing on.


How the hell did I get here?


Stomach queasy, she forced her eyelids back open. Focus, damn it!


Mouth dry with the old sour taste of liquor tattooed to the inner membranes, she sat up and peered into the dimness cast by the fog through the large window that encompassed an entire wall. The movement initiated a series of painful spikes along the base of her skull that vibrated in agonizing waves to her temples. A soft moan escaped her parched lips.


God, she needed to remember she wasn’t as young as she used to be. Besides, she’d put her party days behind her. The new and improved Anne Raines was a responsible person striving to earn her nursing degree. In fact, her first clinical was…today!


Shit! Clinical!


Anne sprang into action. Ignoring the building nausea and throbbing of her head, she jumped from the huge four poster oak bed and searched for her clothing. A quick glance at her wristwatch where 5:00 AM glared at her through the luminous background of the lighted crystal made her groan.


What if she didn’t make it to the hospital in time?


Her nausea intensified and she feared the reaction had nothing to do with her hangover. Choking back her apprehension, she spied her lucky pair of jeans slung haphazardly over the open armoire. Her leopard print thong and matching bra lay on the carpet in a tangled heap by the closed adjoining bathroom door. Where the hell was the T-shirt with Jolly's logo displayed across the front?


Conscious of the dwindling minutes, she snatched her pants from the towering chest and hopped one legged over to where her undergarments lay as she stuffed each leg into the wrinkled denim. In her haste, her fingers fumbled with the button-fly opening, accomplishing the miniscule task over a period of minutes instead of seconds.


Anne bent and retrieved her undergarments. A wave of dizziness slammed into her and perspiration beaded her upper lip. She flattened her palm on the bathroom door and steadied herself by turning around, leaning heavily against the solid wood. The frigidness of the exterior cooled her heated bare skin.


"Breathe, Anne," she told herself in a stern tone. "Inhale. Exhale. You can get through this."


She stood there while precious moments ticked by. The sound of her own ragged exhalations filled the room, seeming louder than normal. Soon, the lightheadedness passed. Once again grounded on her feet, she stuffed her bra and panties into the front pocket of her jeans.


An unexpected male baritone erupted into a cheesy song from beyond the barrier of the bathroom door. She froze even as her heart zipped into overdrive. The voice was vaguely familiar. Who was he? Eyes closed, she concentrated on her sluggish memory. Suddenly, the vision of the sexy Ewan Macgregor look-alike from Jolly's crashed into her thoughts.


Flashes of the heat they'd shared exploded behind her closed lids. Time wound backwards. She could actually feel his moist breath as his lips trailed hot, wet kisses from the hollow of her neck down to the valley between her breasts. Her nipples hardened and her sex clenched.


Anne shook her head, clearing the images from her mind and instantly regretted the action as a million nail spikes hammered against her skull. With a groan, she pushed off the door to search for her shirt and shoes. She planned to make her escape before Mr. Baritone finished with his shower.


****


Anne popped three ibuprofen, a couple of vitamin B tablets, and swigged the last of her Gator Aid. Her cure all for the tough hangover. With the dry bagel she’d choked down earlier, she’d be back to her normal self by the time clinical started. She turned her attention to her patient's medication administration record, stumbling over the unfamiliar names. Terms like hydrochlorathiazide, metoprolol, and clonidine leapt from the page as if written in a foreign language.


This was not what had been displayed in the chart yesterday when she'd pre-labbed. Rubbing her aching temples, she glanced at the surname on the chart and verified the date of birth and medical record number to what she'd written down previously. This was the correct patient and the right chart.


How could the meds have changed so quickly? Anne's heart pummeled against her rib cage. If her instructor thought she was unprepared, there would be hell to pay! Anne had heard rumors that the woman had reduced two of her fellow classmates to a pile of blubbering rubble during clinical last quarter.


"Finally getting my life together and I get stuck with a fire breathing dragon for a nursing instructor," she muttered under her breath.


At twenty-six, and one of the older students enrolled in the nursing program, she had something to prove. Her mother’s gravely ill face appeared in Anne’s mind. Towards the end of her battle with breast cancer, Elizabeth Raines had required a lot of hands on care before succumbing to the disease.


Fresh grief wrenched Anne's gut. Even though she couldn't vanquish her mother's pain, Anne had known her mom had been comforted by her presence. In a strange twist of fate, her mother's death had propelled her to help others. The experience had somehow grounded her, guiding her toward her new career. She sensed the direction her life was supposed to go and enrolled in nursing school.


"But not if old dragon breath flunks me!" she whispered fiercely.


Palms slick with sweat, Anne yanked the pocket Mosby's Drug Reference Guide out of her backpack, flipping straight to the index in the back. She inhaled a deep breath and searched for calm, scanning the MAR once more.


I can do this. I will not let myself or my Mother down.


The only familiar medication on the list bounced from the page--aspirin. Anne hunted Mosby's pages for the drug.


At least I know why people take aspirin. Duh!


But why was the med scheduled daily for 0900? Does the woman have a headache everyday at 9 O'clock? Or does she take the pill to ward off any potential headaches?


Anne scanned the reference manual to the correct summary on aspirin, and her mouth dropped open. Right next to dosing and administration were foreign words like carotid artery stenosis, transient ischemic attack, and systemic lupus ererythematosus bulging off the boldly printed paper. The only two words she recognized were migraines and fever.


Oh my God! I'm doomed!


"You there! Nurse! Get in here right this minute!"


The loud booming voice that held contempt and authority jolted Anne from her misery. She glanced from the cubby-type desk in the hall between the two patient rooms that were assigned to her. Her glance swept the corridor. Empty except for stray medical equipment and a linen cart pushed along one wall.


"Young lady are you deaf?" the male voice said carrying more than a hint of exasperation.


Anne turned toward the exclamation. The owner stood in the doorway of a patient room across the hall directly behind her. He was tall and lanky and wore green surgical scrubs. Grey hair protruded from under a blue paper surgical cap. Angry blue flashes of light through his narrowed eyes glared at her from beneath a pair of bushy eyebrows. His hands were adorned with synthetic gloves and clasped in front of him as if he were praying in a church pew.


"I said get in here! I can't do this crap by myself." He muttered expletives under his breath.


"Oh, no. There must be some mistake." Anne shook her head. "I'm not the nur--"


"I don't want to hear your excuses," he snapped. "Get in here, now!" He spun on his heel and reentered the patient's room.


Anne again inspected the hallway for reinforcements—anyone who would notify the doctor that she wasn't a nurse --yet-- and therefore couldn't help him with whatever task he was trying to accomplish. To her dismay, the passage remained void of all life, leaving her no alternative but to inform the man herself.


Anne stood, resignation dragging her feet. Her glance shot to the list of medications she still had to look up in her Mosby's. She sighed and approached the door. At least he could've asked nicely. She hoped all doctors didn't act like this jack ass.


At the entrance, she stopped short, her gaze drawn to an elderly gentleman lying in a traditional hospital bed. Cheeks hollow, his pale face lined with age. His brow was pinched together and his thin lips strained tight. Concern for his discomfort tugged at her heart.


As she approached, the scent of rotted flesh slammed into her nostrils. The dry, whole grain bagel she'd choked down earlier sloshed around in her stomach. The patient's belly looked like someone had sliced him from stem to stern, the flesh halved and gaped open. The tissue within oozed yellowish puss and bilious fluid.


Anne wretched and squeezed her eyes shut, covering her mouth with her hand. Don’t puke. Don’t puke. Don’t puke. Please God! I will be a good girl from now on, just help me out here, would ya?


Prayers unanswered, she pivoted as her breakfast rushed from her stomach. In her haste to escape, she bumped into a solid mass which loosened her grip from her mouth. She clasped her arms around her waist as she bent and spewed her breakfast right there in the room. A loud splat echoed off the tiled floor.


"Hey!" A familiar male baritone exclaimed.


With a steadying breath, Anne opened her eyes. A pair of what appeared to be brown loafers came into view, only now they were covered with the remnants of her morning meal. The sour smell of her own vomit jelled with the stench of the patient's wound and she gagged. Damn hangover!


"Whoa! Lady, if you're going to be sick again, let me get you a nurse or something. Jesus!" The owner of the ruined shoes said. He gingerly stepped back, slipping in the muck that covered the nondescript cream linoleum, his feet, and his brown slacks.


"She is the nurse, Ryder," the doctor who'd sucked her into this mess said with unveiled contempt behind her.


Heat flamed Anne's cheeks. She straightened and swiped the back of her hand across her mouth. Her gaze latched onto the greenest pair of eyes of the owner of the shoes she'd just assaulted. Recognition deepened the emerald color.


Ryder! An onslaught of memories from last night rushed her. She now recalled the name of the man whose bed she’d awakened in this morning, along with vivid images of their love making.


Mortification engulfed her from the tips of her toes to the roots of her hair as the heat in her face intensified. By now, she had to be the color of the proverbial beet.


"Umm, sorry. There’s been some mistake. I'm not the nurse," she said, retreating a few steps. At least her voice sounded even. "Let me get someone who can help in here."


Anne rushed from the scene, guilt and embarrassment clashed within her. Her mother’s words echoed in her mind.


Be careful what you wish for…



Have a great Saturday!
Kathleen

1 comment:

mirriamsmyth said...

So, um, where can I get this book? :)