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WA

Part 18

“Would you please hold still?” Danni tried to keep the patient on his stretcher but he kept struggling against her. “You’re going to end up falling and hurting yourself.”

“No, I won’t.  Let go of me,” he pushed up again. “I need to get going, I have a meeting in half an hour.”

Danni blocked the patient’s attempt to get past her.  “Okay, tell me with whom?”

“I…ah…His name was…”  The patient was obviously drawing a blank. 

“You can’t remember, can you?”

Silence filled the room only to be broken by an exasperated sigh. 

“Like this ever changes,” Danni muttered under her breath.  “Okay, Let’s start with the simple questions first.  Tell me what your name is.”

He rolled his eyes.  “That’s easy.  My name is…”

“Yes?”  Danni folded her arms over her chest and tapped the toe of her sneaker on the tile floor.  “I’m waiting.”

“It’s a…”  He drew his brows together in deep concentration but the sound of Danni clearing her throat disturbed his focus.  “Damn it!  I had it right on the tip of my tongue and you just chased it away.”

“I think your meeting has been called off.” Danni sighed and blocked his way one more time. “In case you haven’t noticed, you’re in a hospital.”

“Hospital?” His eyes widened sending a bolt of pain right to his head. “Shit!” The patient groaned but tried to get up again. “I have to call my family.” He edged off the bed and gained a foothold on the floor but stumbled, falling back onto the stretcher. “On second thought maybe you should, ‘cause I can’t seem, to remember the numbers, that along with my name.” He said rubbing his right temple with his fingers.

“Don’t you worry the hospital will get in touch with your family as soon as the phone lines get a little less crowded. Come on, Le—“

“Leo!”  He sat up as though he’d had a stroke of genius.  “That’s it!  My name is Leo.  See, I told you it was on the tip of my tongue,” He asserted proudly.

“Well, now that we have that out in the open, how about we get you back onto your stretcher.”  Danni helped him settle back into his pillow then grabbed his arm to start cleaning out the small slivers of glass from a wound on his forearm.

Leo studied Danni’s face as she began cleaning out his wound.  “So…”

“Yeah, I think you’re going to need a few stitches there.” She pointed toward his forehead.

“Huh?”  Leo drew one eyebrow up causing him pain.  “Yowl!  That hurts.”

“You wanted to know if you needed stitches, didn’t you?”

“No. I was just trying to make some small talk.” He reached for the injured area on his forehead but Danni smacked his hand away before he had a chance to touch the lacerated flesh on his forehead.

“Hey, I thought your motto was to ‘do no harm’.”

“That’s part of the Hippocratic Oath and no, I don’t live by it.  I’m not a doctor you know.  Now sit still and let me take care of this so you don’t go getting it infected and we have to chop it off.”

The whites of Leo’s eyes could be seen entirely around his irises.  He held perfectly still, more out of shocked fright than obedience.

“Are you always this bossy?” Leo grimaced as Danni pulled a piece of glass out of his flesh.

She pinned him with a look that could kill.  “Yes, but only with the uncooperative ones.”

A sigh of relief escaped Leo’s lips. “Good, cause I’m usually a naughty boy.” He winked at her.

“Are you really flirting with me?”

“Of course I am.  At least I think I was…am.   Anyway, my meeting is off and you won’t let me leave this place, so what else can I do?”

Starring directly into Leo’s eyes, Danni narrowed her gaze.

Not to be out done, Leo did the same. Locked in a match of wills, neither of them noticed the door to the room opening and Ann stepping inside.

“I’m sorry, am I interrupting something?”  Ann asked.

 Their concentration broken, both Danni and Leo were startled to see Ann approaching them.

“Hi, I’m Doctor Thomas. I’ll be taking care of you now.”

“What happened to Jackie Chan?”  Leo sized up his new doctor.  “Not that I’m complaining.”

“You mean Dr. Chou?” Ann donned a pair of gloves. “He’s attending to another emergency.”

“There go my martial arts pointers but I won’t mind as long as I get to keep the cute doctor.  Maybe you have a few pointers you’d like to give me.”

“So, now you’re flirting with her.” Danni arched a challenging eyebrow.

His sheepish nature was more than evident when he had nothing to say.

“I see,” Danni scoffed.  “You’re attracted to strong women.”

“Don’t get jealous. You’re much more my type.” Leo tried to wiggle his eyebrows but winced rather hastily instead.

“Does your head hurt?” Ann took out a penlight from her pocket and examined his eyes and ears.

“Yeah, it’s killing me like a two day hangover from a good bachelor’s party.”

“No blood from the ears, pupils equal and reactive to light.” Ann stated then turned to Danni. “Any seizure-like activity noted?”

“No,” Danni shook her head.

“Have you noticed tremors of any kind?”

“Not while I’ve been trying to sit on him so I can get this glass cleaned out of his wound.”

“Hmm…” Ann pursed her lips in thought.  “Follow my finger with your eyes, please.”  She started moving her finger in front of Leo’s face.

“I’m fine, really.” Leo argued, not following her instructions.

“Let me be the judge to that.  Now pay attention, please.”  Ann hid a smirk. Stubbornness runs in the family I see.

Resigned to his fate, Leo complied as best he could in his present condition. 

“Damn it, Doc.  You’re moving that finger faster than I can blink.”

“That’s because you’re not fine.  Danni, order a CT scan of his head,” Ann signed the chart and handed it back to her. “Tell them I want it done STAT.”

“Yes, right away.”  Danni nodded and left the room.

“Hey!  Don’t be gone too long,” Leo called after the retreating nurse. “I don’t want to feel lonely.”

“Oh, you won’t be lonely.  I’ll be right here with you, suturing up that gash on your forehead.   Ann grabbed a suture kit and a few other supplies before she pulled a stool over and started cleaning the nasty wound.

“So, what happened?” Ann asked taking hold of his face gently.

“I don’t remember much. I had just parked my car…” he winced and gasped as the sterile water irrigated his cut.

“Be careful or you’ll have both of us sopping wet,” Ann cautioned as she repositioned her catch basin.

“I’m good at that.”

“What, parking your car?”

“No, getting women wet.”  Leo winked at Ann.

Ann let the remark slide and continued on like a true professional.  “And you were saying about what you remember from this morning,” she prompted.

“I was about to reach for the door of the building when…BAM—” Leo clapped his hands together.  “That’s all I remember.”

“Last one,” Ann flushed the cut using the last of the solution then tossed the bottle into the trash.  She picked up a handful of sterile gauze and patted the area of the cut dry.  Reaching for the mayo stand positioned next to her, Ann moved a bit closer.

“What are you doing?” Leo pulled back at the sight of a syringe with a big needle in Ann’s hand.

“You need stitches.”

“That’s what she said, too.  Is it going to hurt?”  Leo’s gaze stayed fixed on the needle of the syringe.

“That’s what this is for. I’m going to numb the area so that it won’t hurt.”  She raised the syringe higher for him to see.  “Now what do you say we get started?”

“Okay,” Leo said but his heart wasn’t in it.

Ann repositioned his face closer again. She cleansed the affected area with Betadine then used a local anesthetic before starting to stitch the wound closed.  “That doesn’t hurt now, does it?”

“No, I guess not.”

“Good,” Ann said continuing with her sutures.  “So, what happened next after the big boom?”

“I don’t know, when I came back to my senses I was lying flat on my back surrounded by paramedics.  There wasn’t a good looking one insight, by the way.  Now the firefighter, she was a real good looker if you know what I mean.  It’s a shame she had to be all covered up in protective clothing.”

“I can see that you have a real thing for women, don’t you?”

Leo smiled.  “What can I say, it runs in my family.”

The statement caught Ann off guard as she choked out her reply.  “Do you have a big family?”

“Not really. There’s my mother, an older brother and my baby sister.” He tried to touch his temple but Ann stopped him.

“Don’t,” she cautioned.

“But my head hurts.”

“I know.” She offered sympathetically. “Tell me more about your family.”

“Big brother is married with two children. He’s wife is called…” He exhaled a long breath. “His wife…her name’s…uh…it’s…”

“Leo?” Ann frowned as she tied the final knot to the suture and removed the sterile drape to get a better look at her patient. “Are you feeling alright?”

“I don’t know. I feel kind of sleepy.”

“It is okay, Leo.  Considering your symptoms, I’d say you probably have a concussion.” She sent him an encouraging smile.

“Hey, flirt-boy,” Danni reappeared bringing in a wheelchair with her. “Someone’s here to see you.”

Ann and Leo turned to the door where Sam was coming through.

“Sis, thank God.”

Ann stood up and stepped aside allowing Sam to lean in and kiss Leo’s hair affectionately.

Stealing a glance at Sam, Ann could swear she saw her eyes glistening with unshed tears. Ann’s chest tightened as she fought to keep her hands to herself and not hug Sam right then and there.

Leo’s voice broke Ann’s musing.

“How did you find me?”

“I have my sources.” Sam stole a quick glance at Ann who was standing off to her side then focused back on her brother. “Are you doing okay?”

“Sure, I’ve been treated by the hottest staff members.”

Ann held back a giggle when Sam turned to her and rolled her eyes.

“Is he okay?” Sam looked into Ann’s eyes and fought off a silly grin.

“He’s fine. Just some small laceration wounds on his forearm and hands, I’ve stitched the gash on his forehead. I’ve also ordered a head CT and a bed for twenty-three hours ob…obser—”

All eyes were on Ann as her speech slowed to a whisper.  They watched the color fade from her face as her lips started to move only this time no sound was emitted. 

“Ann?” Danni furrowed her brows.

“I don’t think you look to good, Doc.”  Leo commented.

Ann wilted slowly like a delicate rose in the heat of day before stumbling sideways and nearly crashing into the mayo stand.

“Ann!” Sam stepped forward and eased her lover into a chair. She then turned to see a look of shock and surprise on both Danni’s and Leo’s face before kneeling down and focusing on Ann again. “What is it?  What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know, I guess I’m a little hypoglycemic.” Ann threaded her fingers through Sam’s dark trances to put her at ease. “I haven’t eaten in a while. Actually, I haven’t eaten since yesterday morning.”

“That’s over twenty-four hours, Ann.” Sam scolded gently.

“I couldn’t have lunch and dinner was…well, complicated.” She offered Sam a knowing smile. “And I skipped breakfast this morning.”

Their eyes met and in that split of second a subtle but sultry smile reached their faces.

“Come on, I’ll take you to get something to eat,” Sam offered.

“I can’t.” Ann argued, suddenly aware of the other people in the room. “I have to work.”

“Someone can take your place,” Sam stated firmly. Standing up, she looked over to Danni. “Is there any place to get food that doesn’t come out of a vending machine around here?”

“Yeah…” Danni blinked then blinked again trying to figure out the dynamics of the whole situation. “There’s the hospital cafeteria. It’s down the hall and to the left just past the gift shop.”

“Then that’s where we’re headed.” Sam helped Ann up. “She’s taking a break.”

Sam and Ann left the room leaving an astonished looking couple behind.

“What did I miss?” Leo asked when he found his voice again.

“I’m not sure.”  Danni thought for a moment.  “What’s you sister’s name?”

“Sam,” Leo answered cautiously.

“And with that little tidbit of information,” Danni snickered, “It’s beginning to make perfect sense to me.”

“Really?”  Leo sounded surprised.

“Yeap!  I can say that I’m ninety-nine point nine percent sure.” 

Leo waited but when no further explanation came he addressed the issue.  “Are you going to tell me?”

A sly smugness came over Danni as she turned a knowing eye toward Leo.

“I would if I could but I don’t have the time.”  Danni patted the wheelchair and gave Leo her most welcoming smile.  “You have a date with a Cat Scan.”

Sensing a change in directions, Leo added one of his own.  “Ah, but the real question is: do I have a date with you?” He eased himself onto the chair struggling against his dizzying state.

“Maybe, but first we’ll have to see if you have any brains up there.” She motioned toward his head.

“Oh, I can assure you there are. I’m a rare case of complete package – brains and looks.”  Leo grinned.  “So, what time do I pick you up?”

“If you don’t mind, I’ll wait for the results of the scan before setting a date.” Danni scoffed as she wheeled him out of the room.

***

Moments later, Sam sat across the table from Ann. The look on her face could best be described as one of amazed-amusement as she watched Ann seriously devouring her breakfast.

“You’re like a bear, aren’t you?” Sam teased with a single raised eyebrow.

“A bear?” Ann stuffed another piece of waffle into her mouth. “Why, do I look fat?”

Sam threw her head back and released a genuine laugh earning a few curious glances. “No, not all…” She shook her head and enjoyed the puzzled look coming from Ann. “You know, before going into hibernation, bears eat tons of food so they can go through the entire winter without eating.”

“And…?”

“Well, that’s what you do, isn’t it? You store up as much food as you can so you can go fasting twenty-four hours straight, right?” Sam bit her lower lip trying hard not laugh.

Ann chuckled and shook her head while washing the food down with a large gulp of OJ. “If you’re trying to make me blush, it’s not going to work.”

“Oh, really?”

“Really. When it comes to food, I’m shameless.” Ann smirked, shoving another piece of waffle in her mouth. “Besides, I do have to store some food, because God knows when I’m going to have time to eat again. I need to keep my energy level up.”

“In that case…” Sam pushed her plate forward. “Here, have mine. Who knows, you might have to spend some extra energy tonight.” Sam smiled provocatively causing Ann to choke around her swallow. “Oh, now you blush???” Sam offered her a napkin when Ann started coughing harder. “You have no shame to eat like that, but when I make an innocent comment implying sex you turn beet red?” Sam teased mercilessly.

“It’s not that…” Ann coughed a little more before gathering the courage to look at Sam. “It’s because…well, you know…” Sam’s brow furrowed at Ann’s hesitance. “I’ve never…before you, last night was the first time—”

“Oh, no…” Sam’s face lit up when she realized what the problem was. “I don’t buy the ‘that was my first time’ bullshit talking.”

“I swear, I had never—” Ann looked around the place and lowered her voice. “I had never been with a woman before.”

“Then, I’m really lucky.” Sam whispered leaning closer to Ann. “Because you’re a natural.” Sam winked and felt her insides churning when Ann blushed.

Sam had to fight not to reach across the table and kiss Ann right then and there. You’re falling hard for her, Mathews.

Sam stared at Ann’s green eyes sensing a healing energy emanating from them.

She’s just what the doctor prescribed.

Both women were so lost in each others gaze, that they didn’t hear somebody approaching the table. The sound of someone clearing their throat startled them sending another wave of flush into Ann’s cheeks.

“Mark,” Sam acknowledged her partner. 

“Finally, I found you.” He stopped by Sam’s side.

“The question is ‘how’?”

“Through the GPS device I.A. installed in your cell phone, of course.”

Sam’s eyes went big and round as she nearly jumped from her seat. “What?”

“Gotcha.” Mark sneered at her. “I went to see Leo and an Amazonian looking nurse said you might be here.” He finally turned to Ann. “Dr Thomas,” he offered his hand politely. “It’s turning into quite a routine us running into each other.”

“It’s always a pleasure lieutenant.” She shook his hand.

“I’m really sorry to interrupt your meal, but I need to speak with my partner.” He informed.

“Now?” Sam’s voice was louder than it needed to be.

“Yes. Unless, of course, you’ve changed your profession and are taking up doctoring.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Mark?  I haven’t changed—”

“Yes, you have,” he cut her off.  “The detective that I know would be jumping at the gun for news of a lead in a case.”

 “Can’t you see we’re eating?  Interruption is bad for digestion,” Sam scoffed.

“It’s important.” He threw her a knowing glance.

“That’s okay.” Ann offered gently. “I need to get back to the ER anyway.”

“But you haven’t finished—” Sam looked at the nearly empty dishes on the table. “Mine…entirely.”

Ann chuckled getting up from her seat. “Don’t worry detective. I have plenty of energy stored for any situation that may arise.” She winked flirtingly causing Sam’s insides to mush up. “I’ll see you later.” Ann held Sam in her gaze for a few seconds before turning to Mark. “Good to see you again lieutenant.”

“The pleasure was all mine,” Mark nodded before taking Ann’s seat. He waited until Sam’s gaze left the retreating woman and turned to him. “Do you care to explain how it went from ‘we’re done’ and ‘I never want to see her again’ to sneaky flirting glances around breakfast in less than twenty-four hours?”

“We talked.” She shrugged nonchalantly

“Elaborate.” He narrowed his eyes.

“She came by my apartment last night and we talked…a little.” Sam averted her eyes raising Mark’s suspicions.

“Bullshit!  You did more than talking.  You slept with her, didn’t you?”

Sam sat straight before leaning closer to her partner. “And what business would it be of yours anyway if I did.”  She narrowed her glance in Mark’s direction establishing a change of subjects. “You said you had something important to talk about.”

“Right,” taking the hint Mark turned into a professional mode. “Lab results came back. The skin under the victim’s nails and the pictures from the surveillance cameras all match up to—”

Their eyes met and they said the name in unison.  “Sergeant Miller.”

“We got him Sam. I.A. wants us to break him so the D.A. can work out a deal. Miller gives the name of his sponsors and they take the death penalty off the table.”

“What are we waiting for?” Sam jumped from her seat already grabbing her jacket. “Let’s arrest the son of a bitch.”

“What about Leo?” Mark followed Sam out of the cafeteria.

“I’m working on it.” A wicked smile formed on Sam’s face as she tapped a number on her speed dial then held her cell phone to her ear. “Mom, we’ve found Leo.  I need you to come down here right away.  He’s at County General hospital.”

“We?”  Mark’s curiosity was peaked. “Very interesting…”

To be continued.

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