Deep End, page 1
Copyright 2019 © by Michelle Iannarelli
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. This book contains sexually explicit material and is for a mature audience. The author acknowledges the trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Cover Design: Golden Czermak, Furious Fotog
Editor: Out of the Blue Editing
Formatting: Champagne Book Design
This book is dedicated to ANYONE
who ever felt that they weren’t ENOUGH…
YOU are ENOUGH
We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks.
That’s what connects us—
that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.
Grady hadn’t fully reached the surface, but he could hear the cheers, and, in that moment, he knew that he had won another gold medal. He emerged from the water, a wide smile on his gorgeous face and a fist pump in the air.
Weston surfaced and shook his head. “Greedy Grady!”
“Wild West!” Grady high fived his buddy.
“Do you think that maybe one day you could let me win?” Weston laughed.
Grady shook his head. “I don’t bust my ass training so that I can lose; even if it is to my best friend.”
“West, you’re good…I’m just about two seconds better.” Grady winked.
Cassidy sat on the edge of the couch watching and waiting to see who would win the gold.
“Jeez, Cass, exhale! You’re about to turn blue.” Jess laughed.
Cassidy glanced up at her friend who was smirking at her. “You know how much I love…sports.”
“Sports? Umm hmm. Last, I checked Grady O’Malley was hot enough to make that water boil and I know darn well he is the only reason that you are watching sports right now.” Jess plopped down onto the couch and grabbed the popcorn from Cassidy’s lap.
“He’s just so tall and gorgeous.” Cassidy smiled at the screen.
“Yeah, but I bet he’s stuck up.”
“He can be a bit full of himself.”
“Sooo, he isn’t perfect. Can we watch the movie now before we eat all the popcorn?”
“I guess.” Cassidy handed Jess the remote.
Grady stood on the podium and watched as the flags rose and then ducked down to have the medal placed around his neck. No matter how many times he won, the feeling never got old. As the ceremony ended Grady turned to the bronze medalist and shook his hand and then he shook Weston’s. “Congrats, West!”
“Time to pack up and get home.”
“You’re not going to stay and party?”
“I’ll party after I take the gold at the Olympics.”
“All work and no play…”
“Makes for a silver medalist.” Grady turned and walked away.
Weston shook his head. “You’re a dick, Grady!”
“That movie scared the crap out of me.” Jess got up to refill the popcorn bowl.
“How about a comedy or action film this time?”
“I don’t care as long as it isn’t something that is going to make me have to sleep with a bat in my bed like the last one.” Jess laughed.
Cassidy giggled. She waited for Jess to go into the kitchen before she crept up behind her. “BOO!”
“AHHHHHHHH!” Jess tossed the bag of popcorn into the air.
Cassidy was laughing so hard she could barely catch her breath.
“I can’t believe you! You know how much that movie freaked me out!”
“I’m sorry. Go sit down and I’ll clean this up.”
“When you’re finished cleaning you can make me a milkshake.” Jess threw a handful of popcorn at Cassidy before she left the kitchen.
Grady boarded the small plane, took his seat, and closed his eyes.
“Can I get you something to drink, Mr. O’Malley?”
Grady opened his eyes and looked up at the attendant. “Water, please, with some lemon if you have it. Thank you.”
“I will be right back with that.”
Grady looked over at the two men across from him. One was already on his second drink and the other was tapping away on his laptop.
A voice came over the loudspeaker. “Hello, this is your Captain. We’ve been cleared for take-off. Please fasten your seat belts. We will be arriving in New York in approximately three hours.”
“Your water, Mr. O’Malley.”
Grady took his water. “Thank you.”
The attendant sat down, buckled up and within a few minutes they were in the air.
Cassidy was putting the finishing touches on Jess’ milkshake when Jess started yelling from the living room.
“Cass, come quick!”
Cassidy grabbed the milkshake and headed for the living room. “You can’t rush perfection!” Cassidy handed the milkshake to Jess.
“Cass, there was a plane crash and they think that your gold medal hottie was on board.”
Cassidy looked over at the screen. “Oh my God.”
“Yeah, what a waste of a hottie.”
“Jess, he is a person. Any person dying is sad.”
“True, it is sad.” Jess picked up the remote to change the channel.
“Oh Cass, do we have to sit and watch?”
Cassidy wanted to watch in hopes that the news was wrong, and that Grady wasn’t a passenger. She had followed him since he won his first championship. “Can we?”
“I guess, but only because you’re my best friend.”
Grady could hear people talking but he couldn’t open his eyes. He tried to move but his body felt heavy and filled with pain.
“Doctor, he moved his fingers.”
The doctor walked over to Grady’s bed. “Grady, can you open your eyes?”
Weston leaned over and placed his hand down onto Grady’s arm. “Hey, it’s me West, wake the hell up, Buddy.”
Grady blinked a few times and then was finally able to move his fingers again.
“Grady, my name is Dr. Martin, you’re in the hospital.”
“There was a plane crash but you’re safe and, in the hospital, now.”
“I’m right here with you, Buddy.”
“You’re going to be ok.” Weston squeezed Grady’s hand and Grady gave him a weak squeeze back.
Weston looked at Grady who now had his eyes open. Then he looked over at the doctor who wasn’t quite sure what to say.
“What’s dark, Grady?”
The doctor took out his penlight and flashed it into Grady’s eyes.
Weston’s heart broke when Grady’s eyes stared at the light and didn’t even blink.
“Grady, I’m going to send you for some tests now that you’re conscious.”
Grady blinked a few times. “I c-can-t see.”
The doctor placed his hand down onto Grady’s shoulder. “Try to relax. I’m going to run some tests, so I know what we’re dealing with.”
“You’ll be ok, Buddy.”
Grady didn’t respond to Weston he just laid there almost wishing he hadn’t survived the crash.
Cassidy sat, ordered her coffee, and then picked up the newspaper. America’s Golden Boy, Grady O’Malley, sole survivor.
“Amazing isn’t it?”
Cassidy looked up at her server. “It truly is.”
“I sure hope that when he finally wakes up that he will be able to swim again.”
“Me too.” Cassidy smiled up at her server.
“Are you going to have your regular this morning?”
“But, of course.”
“Figured as much. I’ll be back with it in a few.”
“I’ll be here.” Cassidy sipped her coffee as she read about Grady.
Grady had never experienced fear…until now. Not knowing where he was going or how much time had passed as he was wheeled back and forth through the hallways and placed in and out of machines. He began to panic and started to gasp for air. “I, I can’t breathe.”
The technician placed her hand down onto Grady’s leg. “It’s normal to experience some anxiety during an MRI, Mr. O’Malley.”
“I feel like I’m dying.”
“Ok, let’s take a break. I’m going to contact your doctor and see if he can give you something for the anxiety.”
“I think I’m going to be sick.”
“You’ll be ok. Take a few deep breaths and exhale.”
Grady inhaled and exhaled a few times and he could feel himself starting to relax a bit.
“That’s it. You’re doing great.”
For the second time today, Grady regretted surviving.
“Good afternoon, Doctor.”
“Dr. Edwards called in sick so you’re going to have to squeeze in a few of his emergency patients.”
“Good thing I had the morning off and I’m highly caffeinated.”
“I left the patient’s charts on your desk and your first appointment will be here in about five minutes.”
“Thank you, Sheila.” Cassidy walked into her office and plopped down onto her chair. She reached for the pile of patient charts she had waiting for her on her desk and the phone rang.
“Hey, Cass, do you have a few minutes to discuss a trauma patient with me?”
“I have a patient now, but I can come down in about an hour.”
“That’s prefect. I should have all the test results in by then. Thank you.”
“Sure thing.” Cassidy hung up the phone and exhaled. What a day she had ahead of her.
Grady finally relaxed after the doctor gave him some anti-anxiety medication. He knew he was staring at the ceiling, but he still couldn’t see anything.
“Yeah, it’s me.” Weston rubbed his hand up and down Grady’s arm.
“West, nobody is telling me anything.”
“I’m sure the doctor will tell you what’s going on as soon as he knows.”
“I know that I broke some ribs and…”
“Grady, it’s Dr. Martin, I have your test results.”
“When will I be able to see again?”
“Do I have permission to speak with your friend present?”
“It seems that all of your test results have come back clean.”
“Yes, everything appears…”
“Then why can’t I see?”
“I have an associate that I’d like to bring in to speak with you.”
“I don’t care who you bring in if it will help me to see again.”
“Grady, I need to get going. I will stop back later. Hang in there.”
“I am going to meet with Dr. Scott. Try to rest until we come back.”
Cassidy took two steps inside Grady’s room before coming to a screeching halt.
“Is something the matter?”
“You neglected to mention that your patient is Grady O’Malley.”
“Is that a problem?”
“No. I just wasn’t prepared…umm…expecting it to be someone I know. I mean that I know of. I don’t actually know him.”
Dr. Martin looked at Cassidy and chuckled. “Then let me introduce you.”
“Grady, are you awake?”
Grady turned his head toward the doctor. “Dr. Martin?”
“Yes, and I have Dr. Scott here with me.”
“Pleased to meet you, Grady.”
“Can you help me?”
“I think I may be able to.”
“May? Either you can, or you can’t.” Grady looked away. He didn’t want to even think about the possibility of can’t.”
“Dr. Scott specializes in Conversion Disorder.”
“Conversion Disorder?” Grady looked back toward Dr. Martin’s voice. “That sounds serious. Do I need surgery?”
“Grady, Conversion Disorder is psychological.”
“You think I’m crazy?” Grady swung his arm up.
Cassidy grabbed his hand in hopes of comforting him. “No. I don’t.”
“Then why you? Why do I need a psychiatrist?”
“Grady, Dr. Scott can help you get through whatever it is that’s causing your blindness.”
“You think I’m making myself like this? Do you think I want to be blind?” Grady pulled his hand away.
“I know how hard it is for you…”
“Please leave. I want to be alone.” Grady looked away from their voices.
Dr. Martin patted Grady’s leg. “I’ll check in on you later.”
Cassidy stared at Grady for a minute and then she stepped back. “I’m going to give you some time to process this. When you’re ready to talk, have one of the nurses contact me.”
Rylan strolled into Grady’s room carrying a tin of cookies that her mother baked for him. As she approached the bed, she noticed that Grady’s eyes were open. She had assumed he was asleep when he didn’t acknowledge her. “Grady!”
Grady turned his head toward Rylan’s voice. “Ry?” He lifted his arms.
Rylan grabbed Grady and hugged him.
Grady flinched a bit. “Not so tight.”
“I forgot about your ribs.” Rylan released her hold and took his hand. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t here sooner, Babe, but our flight was delayed three times and then I had to stop by my mother’s and pick up these cookies.
Rylan looked Grady over. He had bruises and stitches but that wasn’t what she found alarming; it was the emptiness she saw when she looked into his eyes. “Grady, what’s wrong?”
“You’re kidding me, right?” Grady pulled his hand away and painfully rolled over.
Rylan pulled on his arm. “No, I’m not? Are you upset with me?”
“Rylan, why does it always have to be about you?”
“What? Grady, you’re not making any sense. I’m wor
Grady shook his head. He realized what an asshole he was being. “Come here.” Grady extended his hand toward Rylan’s voice. “I’m sorry. I know that none of this is your fault.”
“Babe, you almost died. I guess I should be a bit more compassionate.”
“I wish I had.”
“Grady, why would you even say that?”
“Because I don’t want to live like this.”
“Your ribs will heal; the stitches will come out and you’ll be back in the water in no time.”
“Ry, I appreciate you trying to keep positive, but I’m scared.”
Rylan kissed Grady’s forehead. “Babe, you have nothing to be afraid of…”
“Mr. O’Malley, time for some more tests.”
“Why bother when they’ve already decided that it’s psychological?”
“I’m just doing my job, Mr. O’Malley.”
“I’ll be here when you get back, Babe.”
As soon as the orderlies wheeled Grady away Rylan turned to the nurse. “What did he mean by it’s psychological?”
“His blindness, poor guy.”
Rylan blinked a few times and then stepped back. “Grady’s blind?”
The nurse looked shocked. “You weren’t aware?”
Rylan shook her head. “The news didn’t mention it, he didn’t tell me and I…well, I didn’t notice. I only arrived a few minutes ago.” Rylan sat down.
“If he can work through whatever it is that’s causing it, there is a good chance that his sight will return.”
Rylan sat there nodding her head in disbelief.
Cassidy thought about Grady as she awaited the elevator. She wanted to help Grady more than she had ever helped another patient, but she knew that he had to be willing to accept her help for it to work.
“Did you hear that Grady O’Malley is in this hospital?”
“He is? Oh my God!”
“Yeah, the news said his family had him flown here after the crash so that he would be close to home.”
“Lucky for us.”
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