I need a bad boy aof bad.., p.1
I Need A Bad Boy: A Collection of Bad Boy Romances, page 1
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I Need a Bad Boy
A Steamy Romance Anthology
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Table of Contents
(A Mafia Hitman Bad Boy Romance)
By Natasha Tanner & JB Duvane
By Kate Pavelle
Billionaire Bad Boy
(Book 1: Tempting the Heiress & Book 2: Teasing the Heiress)
By Jenna Chase & Cynthia Dane
By Beth Wynne
By Nora Ash
By Nessa Connor
(The Goldenhearts Book 1)
By Molly Thorne
By Sophie Brooks
The Billionaire and the Con Artist
By Leanne Brice
The Hawkins Brothers: Marcus (Book 1)
** Get MORE free and discounted titles at TNL **
Bad Patient: A Mafia Hitman Bad Boy Romance
By Natasha Tanner & JB Duvane
"So, what are we doing this weekend?" I asked as I picked up a pile of charts off the ER reception desk. "A movie or drinks?"
"Let's do drinks at Captain Jack’s. I heard the EMTs talking about taking that hot new trainee there tomorrow night."
The incessant ringing of the Lower Keys Medical Center Emergency Room telephone interrupted Madonna yet again in the short amount of time we had been talking and she held up her finger telling me to hold that thought. Things were really starting to pick up with the tourist season under way. Spring break may have been over, but in the Central and Lower Keys the high season was still in full swing. It was bringing in every kind of vacation warrior and filling the ER with wall-to-wall breaks, sprains, and jellyfish stings and the night shift was always the worst. I didn’t miss working as a nurse in emergent care this time of year one bit, but it was for more than one reason.
"Lower Keys Medical ER. Let me check. What was the first name? No, he's been moved to the ICU. Hold one minute and I'll transfer you." Madonna put the caller on hold and looked back up at me. "His name’s Johnny and I think he’s your type, Jess," she said with a sly smile as she passed the caller on to the ICU.
"Oh, come on, Maddy. Don't try to set me up with someone again, ok? I'm not in the mood."
"You're never in the mood, Jess. What you need is a new man to help you get over all the shit you’ve gone through in the last year. Sad sacking around here and holing up in your house all by yourself isn’t helping one bit if you ask me."
Well, I wasn’t asking you was on the tip of my tongue but before I could get it out the phone rang again and Madonna was holding up her finger at me again. She turned her back to me as she rifled through a bunch of charts and spoke sternly to someone from another department.
"I’m telling you the chart you’re requesting hasn’t been entered into the system yet. You’re just going to have to wait. Every department is having a hard time with the transition, you’re not the only one …," she said as she waved one of the nurses over to the reception desk. "Can you run these charts up to the lab, no one’s here to enter them into the system and I’m slammed," she said as she rolled her eyes at me.
I turned around and leaned up against the reception desk taking in the action around me for a few more minutes before I had to get back to the ICU. I knew I had been moping around the hospital for entirely too long, but I had to get over things in my own way and Madonna was just going to have to accept that. Too much had happened over the course of the last year and as far as I was concerned the death of my husband alone gave me license to be sad for as long as I wanted to.
"Okay, so you’re off at seven tomorrow night, right?"
It took me a second to realize that Madonna was talking to me again. I turned around to see her looking at me expectantly.
"Yeah, yeah, seven. Do you want me to meet you down here?"
"Nah, the nurses lounge on five is fine. How much longer are you gonna be in the ICU? Has anyone talked to you lately? It’s been a year since they moved you, right?"
"Yeah, my big anniversary is coming up," I said with mock enthusiasm. It was a year ago this week that I had been removed from my position of primary ER nurse to the ICU and I had just been promoted to head nurse last month. I didn’t know if the hospital administration wanted me back in the ER or if I even wanted to come back to the insanity. "Man, I always forget how crazy it is down here," I said, laughing at myself after jumping almost a foot off the ground. The sound of a metal tray of instruments crashing to the floor didn’t phase me one bit when I was in the swing of things back then, but now it left me wishing I was home in bed.
"So, you think you're ever going to want to come back? We all really miss you down here."
"I don't know, I’ll just have to see how things go," I said as I looked around at the nurses and doctors running from room to room. "I would never be able to forgive myself if … well, if I made another mistake. I don't know if it's just the fast pace or the fact that it's still the same hospital, but it makes me feel a little shaky just being down here."
"Has the superintendent said anything to you? He said he’d reevaluate your case in about a year, didn’t he?"
"Yeah, that’s what he said. I haven’t heard anything …"
The phone rang again just as the ambulance sirens blared less than a block away and I figured I should probably get out of there while I had the chance. Just as Madonna picked up the phone the ambulance bay doors slid open and the stretcher that came busting through was met by one of the ER doctors and a couple of nurses.
"What have we got?" a doctor I didn’t recognize said as he ran alongside the gurney. I was starting to get a little overwhelmed by the activity and I fell into a trance, remembering what it was like to be a part of the trauma team but not wanting to be a part of anything that was going on.
"Gunshot wound to the stomach. Patient is shocky and tachycardic, bp is eighty over forty and dropping. Pulse is fifty …"
It felt like it was just yesterday that I had been a part of this madness, but back then, back before my whole world came crashing down around me, it felt more like excitement. I was starting to feel like I was going into shock like I had a year ago because it was all suddenly starting to feel eerily fa
"All right, I'm gonna need a CBC and CMP and get him down to X-ray for a chest and pelvis and CT scan of the belly. Then get him prepped for surgery." Everything that was happening in front of me slowed down and the room that just seconds ago had been filled with loud noises and yelling went silent. I looked down at the man who passed right in front of me on the stretcher with a blood-soaked abdomen and tears filled my eyes. He looked so much like Marcus it took my breath away and the feelings of that day a year ago came rushing back.
He had the exact same dark hair and chiseled features that my husband had, but what really brought it all rushing back was his wound and the intensity in the room. That day a year ago when Marcus had been brought in we were slammed and everyone kept telling me to leave, but we were short staffed and I just couldn’t abandon everyone like that. But since then I had wished more than a million times that I had taken their advice. I’d wished as I lay in bed in the dark and stared at the ceiling night after night that I had let someone else take care of the little boy with the bee sting because if I had he would still be alive today.
I couldn't take my eyes off of the man they had just brought in. He was incredibly pale and his entire chest and abdomen were covered in blood, just like Marcus had been. As the doctor and nurses were working furiously to get him into surgery all I could think about was what kind of man he was. I wondered if he was like Marcus, kind and gentle and funny and always able to make me laugh or at least smile. And I wondered if anyone was worried about him or would miss his smile the way I missed my husband’s. I hadn’t felt any of those feelings that Marcus had brought out in me since the day he died and now all I felt was a sickness that spread from my stomach and up into my throat.
"Possible multiple organ lacerations and pulmonary contusion, as well as spinal cord injury. Do we have his blood type?"
"Not yet, doctor, transport is ready …"
I could still see the man from where I was standing. They had taken him into a curtained off room while he was waiting to be transported to X-ray and the curtain hadn’t been drawn completely closed. They were packing his wounds with gauze to stop the bleeding, but there was just so much blood. I tried to look away but all I could do was stand there and stare while I used the reception desk to hold myself up. Just then another stretcher rolled through the ambulance bay doors, but it stopped right in front of me. This one had a man in uniform on it. A cop.
“Another gunshot wound to the chest. No pulse or bp.”
“We need the crash cart, STAT!”
I was completely caught off guard by everything going on around me and felt like if I didn’t get out of there soon I was going to wind up passed out on a stretcher right next to these guys. I watched them try to revive the man on the gurney in front of me, and by the time they gave up and called his death the man with the stomach wound had already been taken off to surgery.
“Do you know where they took that guy?” I turned and asked Madonna after the ER had cleared out.
“The guy that died? Down to the basement, I guess.”
“No, the one with the gunshot wound to the stomach? What was his name?”
“Let me see if he's in the system yet. Oh, yeah, here he is. He was just entered in. Man, I wish all of our patients went into the system this fast. I’m getting so tired of this damn switchover to digital. They should have just hired a group of people to put in all the old …”
“Madonna, I know about all that. What’s his name?”
“Oh, sorry, Carmichael. Brody Carmichael. Why? Do you know him or something?”
“No, I mean, I don't think so. I was just curious. Okay, I'm gonna head out.”
“Are you okay, Jess? You look a little pale.”
“Yeah, I'm fine. I skipped lunch today and I'm a little tired. Plus, you know what it's like for me when I come down here,” I said with a little laugh.
“Ok, I'll see you later. Don’t forget about Captain Jack’s … and Johnny,” she said with a smile.
“Sure thing,” I said as I turned and walked toward the elevators. I got off on the fifth floor and made my way back to the ICU but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I got from being down there in the ER and from seeing that man. I didn’t know why he reminded me so much of Marcus, or why all those feelings from that day had come rushing back.
“You back from lunch, Jess?”
“Yeah, just let me put my stuff in my locker and I'll be back on,” I said as I walked up to the ICU nurses station. “Anything exciting happen while I was gone?”
“Nope. The open heart in 512 asked for dinner but other than that it’s been pretty quiet.”
“He only gets soft, bland foods for the next day or two. Did you talk to patient services?"
"Yeah, he won’t be too happy about that, though."
"Well, he should have thought of that when he was eating all those foot-long baseball stadium hot dogs," I joked as I walked away from the desk. I pushed open the door that said Nurses’ Lounge ICU and listened to the noise blaring from the TV that was always left on in that room and for some reason was always turned up to a deafening volume.
"Just across the horizon is the private dock of one of the world’s richest men, a multi-millionaire tycoon who happens to be the owner of his own private island. And in our second segment, we’ll take a look at resorts on the Florida Keys that only the richest of the rich have ever even heard about …"
I stood there for about a minute watching people in bathing suits lounging on tropical beaches with crystal clear blue water and I wondered what it was that I was doing here. I loved being a nurse, at least I used to, but I just wasn’t feeling it anymore like I had in the beginning. This last year hadn't gone the way I had hoped and even though I was grateful to have this job I still had to make myself get up and come into work every day.
I had wondered many times if maybe I transferred to another hospital if that would be the change I needed to get me out of my funk. I had started filling out applications at hospitals in Florida and other states at least ten times in the last few months, but something always stopped me. Maybe it was the knowledge that it's not the place that changes you, it's something inside of you that has to change. But no matter what I did I felt like I couldn't get back to the person I was before my husband died and I let that little boy die.
"Boy, some people have it real hard," one of the other nurses said as she sat down on the couch with a cup of coffee.
"Yeah, looks real tough to be them," I said as I took one last look at the picture of paradise on TV as I walked back out into the ICU.
I felt my eyes open a bit but I couldn't see anything and I had no idea where I was. My eyelids felt like sandpaper and the room was so bright that it sent a searing pain shooting into my head every time I tried to open my eyes the tiniest bit. I didn’t think I was dreaming because my dreams were always vivid and filled with feelings of paranoia and doom. My first thought was that I was blind, or that my eyesight had been damaged because everything had a white haze around it. I was somehow lucky enough to retain the feelings of paranoia and doom though because of the voices that were echoing around me.
"Get me an updated CMP. I want to check his electrolytes and liver function."
"Yes doctor, right away."
I saw vague outlines of bodies moving around me but I couldn't make out who or what they were. My throat was dry and when I tried to lick my lips my tongue kept getting stuck. Suddenly a wet sponge was on my lips and I felt liquid trickle into my mouth. It felt so good I almost started to cry and when I tried to open my eyes again to see who was standing over me I got that same searing pain.
"He's waking up doctor."
I turned my head from side to side but I still couldn’t seem to get my bearings. The figures around me were starting to appear less fuzzy, but that didn’t make identifying them any easier.
She said doctor. I'm in a hospital.
I heard other voices b
"Get them out of here. I told you guys that you couldn't talk to him until he was fully conscious. Yes, I am aware of that, Officer, but he is my patient and I will decide when he is well enough to have visitors, even official visitors. Now you and your partner need to step out into the hall."
Officer. Oh, fucking hell.
The half of the conversation that I heard kick started my consciousness a little, and when I opened my eyes again things were appearing even clearer. I could make out the doctor’s coat on one side of the bed and the outline of a woman’s figure on the other. I could feel them poking and prodding me and lifting my eyelids, which made me wince.
"How are you feeling Mr. Carmichael? Are you in any pain?" a woman's voice asked.
I opened my mouth to say something but all that came out was a scratchy groan.
"Would you like some more water?"
Apparently it was a rhetorical question because she immediately put the sponge back on my lips and I felt the cold water trickle into my mouth. The watery sponge pressed into my lips a few more times and I finally started to feel like I could actually speak.
"Where am I?" I asked, still trying to bring the outline of her body into focus.
"You’re in the hospital, Mr. Carmichael," the nurse said in a deep, throaty voice.
"Yeah, but where? What hospital? What city?" I asked still not entirely sure where the hell I was or how I got there. I was having a hard time remembering anything.
"You’re at the Lower Keys Medical Center, Mr. Carmichael …"
Oh, fuck, the job at the resort. The poker game. That damn asshole Joe Fontinella.
by Sophie Brooks have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes