Available Now – Pulling Doubles

Apr
23
2016

pdcovers3Available Now On Amazon!

All Devyn wants – besides a tall, fine husband and eventually a few babies to fulfill her “about to turn thirty, running out of time, cute black family” dreams – is to finish her yearlong internship at University Hospital. She’s excited about the experience, eager to learn, glad to help wherever she can… it should be easy, right?

Well, it would be… if it weren’t for arrogant, know-it-all, always-got-something-to-say Dr. Joseph Wright. Devyn can’t stand him, and if his attitude is any indication, the feeling is mutual… or is it?

Joseph doesn’t “do” doctors. Or nurses. Or patients. Or anybody else who has anything to do with the hospital, for that matter. University Hospital has infiltrated enough of his life, and the last thing he needs is a blurring of the lines between professional and private.

… until smart, sexy, sassy Nurse Devyn Echols comes along, and stomps all over those lines.

When you’re pulling doubles with the person you hate to want so bad… something is bound to ignite.

Available Now On Amazon!

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The End… But Not Really.

Apr
18
2016

pdtheendSo… Pulling Doubles, book 2 in the “Wright Brothers” series is going to be published pretty soon. It was nowhere near as easy to write as the first book in the series – Getting Schooled.

I’ve pinpointed a number of reasons for that. I wrote Getting Schooled over Christmas break – took me two weeks, if that. I had several different ideas that had been brewing already when I up and decided I wanted to write a series about brothers, and I melded those together. I sat down, and I wrote exactly what came in my head, researched a couple of things as I went, and I had fun.

Pulling Doubles didn’t quite go like that.

It was a different time of year, I was busier, my kids have been sick, i’ve gone on a trip. Lots happened while I was trying to write this book that interrupted my flow, and stalled my progress.

But that wasn’t all.

Getting Schooled got a lot of love/attention, for reasons unknown to me. Not that i’m discounting myself as a writer, but I was just… shocked at the reception it got. Grateful, but surprised. And a little uncomfortable too. Because with praise, comes pressure. This was just book one in a three book series, and I actually wrote that shit down, so I can’t back away from it… What if book two doesn’t measure up?

That… is a paralyzing thought.

But then I remembered why I do this.

When you read something that I wrote, it’s never something I just made up and put on a page. I mean, it is, but it… isn’t.

pdcovers3These characters are very much real to me, when they come to my head. I write to get them out. To tell the story they’ve given me, no more, no less, and move along to the next couple fighting for my attention. I don’t just “decide” to do this, or that. It has to be organic. Before I write down a single word of any scene, I have to have the visual in my head. It plays for me there, like a movie, and then I write down what I see.  I think through, obsess over, every little thing (my friends can sadly confirm this, lol) until I find what is real for THAT couple.

So… I had to realize that it doesn’t matter if Pulling Doubles “measures up” to Getting Schooled. Joseph and Devyn, just like Reese and Jason, are people, with their own stories.

My only concern?

Telling it.

Something readers should, I think, know about me is that I never, ever endeavor to tell a couples “whole” story. That’s just not me. I’m not that author, but I have peers who will give you an epic love story of a relationship’s trials and tribulations and the fight to stay together.

Because those are the characters that visit them.

I write the characters that visit me.

 

And I think accepting that makes it easier to just tell the story they were generous enough to share, so that I can, in turn, share it with you.

Over these twenty-something books, I’ve gotten accused enough times of not knowing how to end a book. Now, my writing has many flaws, many areas of improvement needed, but you know… I don’t think ending a book is one of them.

I think i’m very, very good at ending books.

On the whole, my books are usually a snapshot of a certain point in these characters lives. The part where they meet “the one” and maybe fall in love. OR maybe they aren’t there yet when they’re done giving me story to tell. I have some books that don’t fall exactly into this, but mostly? My books are the “getting there” part. The relationship part is up to them… or up to you. In my head? When I leave my couples, of course their story goes on from there. In my fictional world, they move on to live happy, boring lives together. Have kids or don’t, grow their business, finish school, start their careers, whatever.

When I write “the end”, it’s not for them. It’s for me.

And my job always, always feels complete.

Pulling Doubles is no exception.

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Sample Saturday – Old Lady Candy

Apr
16
2016

From “Pulling Doubles”. The last sample from Pulling Doubles 😉 As always, unedited and subject to change.

Enjoy!

oldladycandypd

 

“Sorry for the mess,” she said, as I locked the door behind us. “I wasn’t really expecting company.”

I chuckled. The “mess” she was referring to was a glass – on a coaster – on her coffee table, her lab coat tossed across the back of a chair, and a few other things out of place, but no where near enough to qualify as a mess. She picked up her coat, cursing under her breath when the contents of her pockets spilled out.

“You and this old lady candy,” I teased, bending to help her pick things up.

She sucked her teeth. “Werther’s Orginal’s are not “old lady candy”, excuse you.”

“The hell they aren’t. You’re the only young person I know who buys these. Why do you buy these?” I laughed.

“Because they’re good, first of all. And good to have in my pockets when I’m at the hospital. They hold me over until I sit down and eat. Which, speaking of, I need to eat something after that drink at Sammy’s. You want something?”

“No thanks,” I shook my head, following her into the kitchen. “I’m going to occupy myself with a few of your old lady candies.”

“Stop calling them that, asshole.”

I sat down at the counter, keeping my eyes on her as she pulled a covered bowl of sliced cucumbers from her refrigerator and popped some in her mouth before she opened the door again, and pulled out a bottle of water. I took my gaze away long enough to unwrap one of the candies in my hand, then snickered like a twelve-year-old when I saw it.

“What’s funny?” she asked, unscrewing her water and raising it to her lips.

“These look like your nipples.”

“No they don’t,” Devyn sputtered, coughing as she choked on the water. “Those oblong candies?! My nipples don’t look like that, do they?”

“Nah,” I laughed. “The color.”

Devyn lifted an eyebrow, then ate a few more slices of cucumber before she pulled on the front of her shirt, peeking inside her bra. “No they aren’t. You’ve seen so many nipples in the last three weeks you forgot what mine looked like?”

I moved the candy around in my mouth so I could speak. “No, I haven’t. It’s the same. Come here, I’ll show you.”

“Show me how?”

“Just bring your ass over here.”

Devyn tugged her lip between her teeth, then took a deep breath. She seemed in no particular hurry as she ate a few more slices of the cucumber, covered the bowl and put it away, and then moseyed around to my side of the counter.

Grabbing the front of her shirt, I pulled her between my open legs, then tugged the shirt over her head. “Front snaps or back?” I asked, in reference to the lacy, orange sherbet colored bra that had her breasts sitting up like ripe melons.

“Back.”

“Turn around.”

She grinned a little, then turned her back to me, which put her ass right in my view. I indulged myself with enough of a squeeze, to make her giggle, then reached up to undo the hooks of her bra.

I groaned when she turned back around, showing me those hard, dark golden brown nipples and areolas against her creamy, light golden skin. Those breasts were just one of the things I loved about her body. I put my hands at her waist, drawing her close.

“Look at this,” I said, then stuck out my tongue, with the candy on it, putting it right against her nipple. “You see? Almost exact match.”

“That’s a stretch, Joseph.”

“You think so? Let me show you again.”

This time, I looked right up into her face as I stuck my tongue out, making sure to graze her nipple. The shudder than ran through her body gave me exactly the excuse I needed to cover her with my mouth, mixing the buttery taste of the candy with the sweetness of her skin. Her hands went to the back of my head, keeping me pressed to her as I moved back and forth between her breasts. I suckled hard – a little too hard – and a second later I was detaching myself from her chest to try to cough out the candy lodged in my throat.

“Oh my God, are you okay?!” Devyn shrieked. Suddenly she was behind me, shoving her arms under mine to wrap around my chest.

“Dev, chill,” I coughed, hopping up to get away from her. I took a few seconds to clear my throat. “Were you about to do the Heimlich on me?!”

She stared at me for a few seconds, then burst into laughter. “Hell yes,” she said, between giggled. “You weren’t about to choke and die on a piece of candy in my house! With my titties out! How the hell would I explain that to your family?!”

“Choke and die, though?”

She shrugged, crossing her arms over her bare breasts. “Sorry. You were choking, I freaked out. I was trying to save your life.”

“And I appreciate it,” I chuckled, shaking my head.

“So now that you aren’t dying… What the hell was that?” she laughed. “How the hell are you going to try to be all sexy with the candy, and literally choke, man?”

“It was impromptu. My bad.”

“You’re right, your bad.”

“Daaaamn,” I said, moving closer to her, now that my airway was clear. “You know you don’t have to go in on me like this, right?”

She grinned as I pulled her against me, then lowered my lips to graze against hers. “You sure? It seems appropriate, no?”

“No,” I muttered before I kissed her. Immediately, she melted into me, and the lack of skin-to-skin contact made me realize we both still had too many clothes on.

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Recovery – a short story

Apr
01
2016

recovery3

– Aurielle-

 Just act casual. Just act casual.

“Hey!” I called out, my voice falsely bright as I walked up to Dawn and Donovan, looking rather… cozy outside the entrance to The Creamery. It was a place Dawn frequented, according to her Instagram, and Donovan – Donnie – was frequently her date at the ice cream/smoothie shop.

Brit – my handler, for lack of a better term – put a hand on my arm. In censure, warning, or something, but it wasn’t necessary. I really was just saying hello.

It was summer, and Dawn was taking full advantage. Cut off shorts, midriff top, strappy sandals… I swallowed hard as I took in her appearance – lots of creamy caramel skin and big natural hair – then looked at Donnie, who was, I was sure, enjoying it.

He was casual, in cargo shorts and a fresh white tee and sneakers, with a hat pulled backwards on his head. The white popped against his dark mahogany skin, and a little shiver ran over me as he looked up from Dawn, and in my direction.

“Pixie, hey!” Dawn said, with what seemed like genuine enthusiasm, distracting me from being able to see Donnie’s reaction to my presence. She stepped away from him, toward me, pulling me into a hug that was surprisingly tight. “Are you okay?” she asked quietly, looking me right in the eyes. Hers were glossy with concern, and I averted my gaze.

“Yeah. I’m fine. Thank you for asking.”

She smiled that perfect smile, the one she’d been aiming at Donnie since they worked together on that play, then turned to him, glancing between us. “No problem, not at all. I’m gonna… let you two talk.”

Dawn gave me a little nod, then walked away, leaving me standing there with Donnie and Britt, neither of whom had said anything yet. I gazed up at Donnie, looking for… something, but I was met with the pleasantly neutral expression he seemed to have mastered dealing with me.

I glanced over to Britt, widening my eyes. “Give us a second,” I said, with a subtle tip of my head, trying to get her to go away. She let out a deep breath, her face stern as she gave me a curt nod.

“Two minutes.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah. Okay.” keep reading —>

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Sample Sunday – Non-Grocery-Store Flowers

Mar
20
2016

pdhazing(unedited. subject to change)

I turned away from her, glad for the little bit of camouflage my lab coat provided as I strode away. As I approached the nurse’s station, I noticed a man in a suit standing there with flowers in his hand, and immediately assumed he was waiting for one of our patients, a pregnant wife or girlfriend, as a surprise.

“Malcolm? What are you doing here?”

I glanced behind me as Devyn approached, eyes wide. My eyebrows drew together in a frown as she walked up to the wannabe-GQ-motherfucker with the – damn, they weren’t from the grocery store – flowers, with a distinct air of familiarity.

“Malcolm’s” face spread into a smile, and a quiet chorus of sighs happened to the left of me. I looked over to see Nurse Hall, Aviva, and a few other nurses playing captive audience for this little show. “I was here to check in with a colleague, so I thought I’d drop in to see you.”

“Oh. Um, thank you,” she said, accepting the flowers from his hands.

“Also… I wanted to see what you would be doing later tonight? I’d love your company for dinner again.”

Again?

My eyes narrowed a little over his request, and then a little further at the expression on Dev—shit. The expression on Nurse Echols’ face.

“Tonight? I—”

“Can’t,” I injected, and a second later, all eyes were on me. “Nurse Echols will be here at the hospital, working.”

Devyn frowned. “I will?”

From beside me, Aviva spoke as well. “Yeah… she will?”

“She will,” I said firmly, not even understanding for myself why I was pulling this out of my ass. “I’m the resident on the floor tonight, and you’re supposed to be observing. I’m not sure how you can observe from somewhere else.”

Devyn’s top lip curled just slightly at me before she tempered her expression down, back into the cool neutral she’s been wearing for our patients. “Okay. I’ll be here.”

“Good. You and your boyfriend can go talk now since it’s lunch time, but otherwise, social visits are a distraction from work.”

If looks could kill, my brothers would be planning my funeral, based on the venom shooting from Nurse Echols’ eyes. I gave her a wry smile, and then turned to head for my office, looking up when Aviva called my name as I strode down the hall.

“What the hell was that?” she asked, catching up to me.

“No idea what you’re talking about, Vi. Ouch!” I pulled away from her, rubbing the spot on my arm where she’d just pinched me. “What was that for?!”

“For acting like you don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Aviva was tiny – at least a full foot shorter than me – with a baby bump protruding from her slender body like a basketball. Even with those two things working against her, she was capable of doing real damage.

“I don’t,” I said, dodging her when she tried to pinch me again. “You know visitors aren’t supposed to be hanging around the nurse’s station.”

Aviva shrugged. “But he was handsome, and had flowers. I didn’t even know Devyn was dating anybody, so when he came back here of course I wasn’t going to turn him away. It was sweet.”

“It was against protocol.”

“Who cares?”

I care.”

“Because you’re mad she has a man.”

I immediately started sputtering, damn near tripping over my own tongue to deny it, but I couldn’t. I was annoyed by the presence of a man in her life.

And why wouldn’t there be?

Devyn was an attractive woman. Smart, successful. Just because there was no ring on her finger, that didn’t mean she was as uninvolved as I’d assumed.

Or not assumed.

To be frank, I hadn’t given the possibility of Devyn having a man any thought at all. When she entered my mind, in nothing but those heels and a lab coat, I was thinking about one thing – her. And yet, this “Malcolm” dude honestly did have me bothered.

I had to shake this shit off.

Clearing my throat, I faced Aviva head on, meeting her eyes. “I have no reason to be pissed about her having a man. I don’t date coworkers, so even if she didn’t, nothing was happening there anyway.”

She smiled. “If you say so. I just know that in all the years I’ve known you, I’ve never seen… this.”

“This?”

“Yes, this,” she said, waving a hand in my direction. “When I pushed you to hire her, I thought we were going to take her under our wing, nurture her into a colleague we could depend on. Embrace her. Instead, your ass is hazing her… since you won’t touch her.”

“That’s not true.”

Aviva laughed. “What’s not true? Are you not thirty-four years old, picking on a girl because you like her? It’s been too long since you’ve had a girlfriend, Joey. You’re devolving back to middle school.”

“Damn, Vi!” I said, clutching my chest. “That hurts.”

“Truth does that sometimes,” she giggled, then stepped away to head in the opposite direction. “Get some ass, Joseph. So you can stop taking out your sexual frustration on our intern.”

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Sample Sunday – Joseph Wright, P.D.

Mar
13
2016

pd2(Unedited. Subject to change)

“Girl, if you say so. I’m actually surprised you say he’s an asshole to you. I mean… I think all three of them, Jason, Justin, and Joseph have a little streak of it in them, but Joseph is usually laid back around me. He can take himself a bit too seriously sometimes with the “eldest brother” thing, but I figured how to shut that down immediately. I gave him a nickname.”

I lifted my eyebrow. “A nickname?”

A mischievous glint came to Reese’s eyes as she flipped her newly-installed braids over her shoulder. “Mmhmm. At first, it was “Little Joe”, since their dad is Big Joe, right? But that felt too much like I was insulting his dick size, so I had to think of something else.”

“Reese!”

“What?” she asked innocently, sipping her drink. “I’m just saying. Calling a grown man “Little Joe” just doesn’t sound right.”

Laughing, I shook my head. “You… have a good point. So what’s the new nickname?”

She smiled. “Pussy Doctor. He hates it, so much. So whenever he starts getting a little out of pocket, I just start referring to him as Pussy Doctor. Me and Jay laugh our asses off, Joseph goes away, and it’s a done deal.”

“… Pussy Doctor?”

She shrugged. “Joseph Wright, P.D. Is it not a fitting title? I’m telling you, next time he starts with you, pull that out. I bet he leaves you alone.”

“I’m not calling him that.”

“Suit yourself,” she said, taking another sip. “But you know what your only other option is, right?”

I narrowed my eyes, knowing my best friend in the world well enough that I had some inkling of what she was about to say. “And that is…?”

“You have to fuck him. Soon.”

I was expecting that, but still choked a little on my drink as the words left her mouth. “Reesie, please. I will not be screwing Dr. Wright anytime soon. That man can’t stand me.”

Reese pulled her face into a scowl. “Dev, are you stupid? First of all, “that man” is only thirty-four, stop acting like that’s sooo much older than you. Second, please. He’s bugging the shit out of you because he wants you, and he’s mad about it.”

“Thirty-four is grown as hell. And men who are grown as hell don’t pick on you because they like you, like a boy on the playground yanking your pigtail.”

Rolling her eyes, Reese gave me a look full of nonverbal “bitch please”. “I hate to be the one to break it to you, but men absolutely do revert to little boys when they want something they can’t have. He’s messing with you because it’s the only thing he can do. Don’t y’all have a work rule against screwing each other or something?”

I pushed my hair away from my face, tucking it behind my ear as I sighed. “Yeah, we do, but… even if we didn’t. I couldn’t sleep with him. He’s… he’s…”

“An arrogant, fine ass doctor. I distinctly remember a conversation where you used those exact words describing your perfect man. Remember Malcolm?”

“Yeah. I know better now.”

Reese shook her head, pressing her lips together to keep from breaking into a grin. “Whatever you say, Nurse Echols. I can already see where this is going – stop pretending that you don’t.”

“I don’t. You’re just trying to pull somebody else into the Wright family with you, talking about some “already see where this is going.” Uh, no bitch, I see where this is going.”

Laughing, Reese grabbed me by the hand. “Come onnn, Dev. Get with the program. You could be my sister in law one day.”

“As if I really need another connection to the likes of you,” I teased, squeezing her fingers. “Speaking of future hubby, where is Jay while you’re over here making yourself at home, serving me his liquor in the middle of the day?”

“His internship at Newton Motors started today,” she said, her eyes shining with pride. Jay was graduating soon, with a degree in mechanical engineering. Positions at Newton Motors were hard to come by, and from what I heard, the internships that guaranteed those positions were even more scarce. She definitely had reason to be proud.

“I want to have dinner waiting on him when he gets home,” she continued, standing to go to the refrigerator. “I have chicken, greens, sweet potatoes, a couple of blocks of cheese for macaroni.”

“So you just went full domestic on me, huh?”

With her lip pulled between her teeth, Reese turned to me, wrinkling her nose. “Is it too much? I’m doing too much aren’t I?”

“No,” I laughed. “Being in love looks really good on you. It’s sweet, and I think he’ll appreciate it. I don’t know what just the two of you are going to do with all of that food though.”

“Ah!” Reese smiled as she let the refrigerator door swing closed. “I was thinking about inviting his family, feeding everybody.”

I nodded. “That would be cool.”

“And… hey… maybe you could stay for dinner too?”

“Girl, hell no,” I scoffed, shaking my head. “I see enough of Joseph Wright at work. I’d rather not share a meal with him.”

“Come onnnn.” Reese came back over to me, propping her hands on my shoulders. “You know you want to spend an evening in the presence of these fine ass Wright men.”

I laughed. “I really, really don’t. Jay is the homie, but I don’t know Justin, and Big Joe and Auntie Imara are just gonna be sucking face all night like teenagers. Jose—”

“Pussy Doctor.”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. Pussy Doctor is not nearly enough of a draw to get me to stay for dinner.”

“Not even if I’m making a sweet potato cheesecake?”

An involuntary moan worked its way up my throat, and my eyelids fluttered a bit. “Ooh, you don’t play fair Reesie,” I whined, crossing my arms. “But… no. Not even that. But I hope you’d save your bestie a tiny piece anyway…”

“Only if you help me cook.”

Laughing, I pulled myself up from my seat.

“If I’m helping cook, I expect a damned plate.”

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Sample Sunday – Explain The Difference

Mar
06
2016

pdcovers2(As always, unedited, and subject to change)

This. Is. Your. Job.

I reminded myself of that annoying little fact as Dr. Joseph Wright strode away from me, mumbling something under his breath about being the one M. D. behind his name. He made me so damned sick – no pun intended – and as it stood, there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

Now, if this followed the natural course of a romance novel – and why the hell wouldn’t it? – in a few weeks, I would be in Dr. Wright’s bed. As fine as he was, under other circumstances, maybe that would be appealing. But as it stood? There was only one bed I wanted his arrogant, know-it-all, can’t-let-anybody-else-get-a-word-in ass on.

His deathbed.

Did I mention I couldn’t stand him?

All I’d done was make a simple recommendation for a patient, and he wants to go reminding me that “You’re still in your probationary period, Nurse Echols. You report to me, not the other way around.”

Just eight more months of this, and then I was free.

Surely I could handle eight more months.

“Nurse Echols?!” I looked up to see Dr. Wright standing a little ways down the hall, and quickly registered that he was snapping his fingers at me, to get my attention.

He was snapping.

His fingers.

At me.

To get my attention.

So… maybe I wouldn’t make it those other eight months without putting my hands around his neck. Or his dick.

“Are you coming, or not? You don’t have time to stand around daydreaming. Or hell, maybe you do. But our patients don’t, so… chop chop.”

Okay.

Definitely his neck.

I took a deep breath, literally biting my tongue as I hurried to catch up with his long strides. That was just one more thing that pissed me off about him – why’d he have to be so damned tall, broad shouldered, and lusciously dark-brown-sugar toned? It would be so much easier to hate him if my traitorous body wouldn’t react so strongly whenever we were in close proximity.

Which was often, because just my luck, my year long position as intern would take place under his direct supervision before I could begin seeing patients on my own – also under his supervision, since for some unholy reason, he was head resident at University Hospital’s Women’s Center.

I followed him to exam room 4, where he rapped his knuckles against the door three times before turning the knob and pushing it open. Inside sat a couple, who couldn’t have been any older than me, but were obviously married – the rings on their fingers were a dead giveaway.

“Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair, how are you doing?” Dr. Wright asked, extending his hand first to Mrs., then to Mr. “And how is baby Sinclair?”

Mrs. Sinclair – Lauren, according to her chart – put a hand to her swollen belly, then smiled at her husband before turning back to Dr. Wright. “As long as he’s doing good, we’re good. So, we’re hoping for you to give us some confirmation.”

Dr. Wright nodded, returning her smile. “We can definitely do that. Before we start your ultrasound, let me introduce you to my colleague, Nurse Devyn Echols. We’re expanding our team here to include nurse practitioners, and she’s our first hire.”

“Oh, congratulations!” Mrs. Sinclair gushed, beaming at me. “You look so young though, to be in that position! Isn’t that pretty much a doctor?”

“No,” Dr. Wright interjected, before I could even speak. “I’m sure Nurse Echols can explain the difference.”

I shot him a look bordering on murderous, then wrestled my mouth into something I hoped resembled a smile as I turned to address Mrs. Sinclair. “First, thank you so much for your congratulations, and the compliment. Some people like to think of a nurse practitioner as the step between a nurse and a doctor. I’ll be able to provide many of the same services your primary care physician can, but not exactly the same.”

Ahh,” she said, but I could tell there was still some confusion. Dr. Wright stepped between us, asking Mrs. Sinclair to lay back to start her ultrasound. I stood back, observing closely as he spread the warm jelly over her skin, and then put the ultrasound wand to her belly as he easily engaged she and her husband in conversation.

It was confusing, honestly.

I didn’t understand how he could be such a complete asshole with me, but when it came to his patients – our patients, technically – he was warm, friendly… charming. Hell, not even just the patients. He was nice to literally everyone else. If this were high school, I’d think it was his way of combatting the fact that he actually had a crush on me, but no. I’d seen the way he flirted with other women, making them giggle and blush. And true or not, I’d heard the rumors of the way he… got around.

The man knew how to show he was interested.

So, no. For whatever reason, he simply hated me.

But whatever.

Eight more months.

He finished up the appointment with Ty and Lauren Sinclair, and we left them to get cleaned up. As usual, Dr. Wright strode out in front of me, but this time, I stopped him in the hall before we got back to the nurse’s station.

“Dr. Wright, I need a second please,” I called out, then fought the urge to roll my eyes as he turned to me with a smirk.

“Yes, Nurse Echols? How can I help you?” He tucked his clipboard under his arm, and pushed his hands into the pockets of his dark grey slacks, an action that pulled the open sides of his white coat further apart. Underneath, he wore a starched white button up, with gorgeous tie in tones of cranberry and grey – matching his socks.

I couldn’t stand him.

“What you did in there, that little comment about me not being a doctor—”

“You’re not a doctor.”

“I know that,” I snapped, then immediately took a breath, calming myself. “I am fully aware that I’m not a doctor—”

“Then what’s the problem? We’re on the same page.”

I lifted an eyebrow. “No, we’re not. The fact is that very soon I’ll be able to provide a level of care that meets, and in many cases, exceeds, a great deal of doctors, even though you seem to love reminding me that I hold that title. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get here, and I don’t appreciate you talking down to me in front of patients as if I’m less than.”

For several moments, Dr. Wright didn’t say anything, his warm brown eyes glittering with interest – or maybe malice – as he looked at me. Suddenly, those long legs of his started moving, and he was right in front of me, looking me directly in the eyes. I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t let him win.

I couldn’t stand him.

Magnetic brown eyes, perfectly toasted brown skin, always well-groomed facial hair, those broad ass shoulders, and big ass hands that looked like he could easily toss even a curvy girl like me around. And his smell… God he smelled so good, and I couldn’t even tell the source of the scent. It was subtle… clean, leathery, manly, and only when he was very, very, close, close enough for his body heat to radiate onto me, making it hard to keep inappropriate thoughts from blazing a trail through my mind.

“I don’t feel that you’re less than anything, Nurse Echols,” he said, still holding my gaze. “I think you’re a very talented young medical professional. Have I ever said anything otherwise?”

“Well, you just made that little comment in front of the Sinclairs.”

“I provided clarity for my patient because it’s required by law, and then deferred to you for further explanation.”

I narrowed my eyes. “Okay, but what about the comment earlier, and I made my recommendation to the patient? That reminder you like throwing around, that I’m not a doctor.”

“You’re not. And you still have a lot to learn before you start making recommendations to me about patients. Is there something incorrect about that statement?”

“No.”

He shrugged. “Then…”

“Well, it’s not even really what you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying it.”

“How am I saying it?”

“Your tone.

He tilted his head to the side, removing his hands from his pockets to put one on his chin as if he were really trying to figure it out. “So, you’re telling me that the problem is that I’m… mean to you?” he asked, peering down at me.

My lips parted, in response, but I quickly clamped them shut again. Because… was I really, at twenty-eight, complaining about him being “mean” to me? I wasn’t a child, and I wasn’t some weak, helpless woman either. He wasn’t the first – or worst – asshole I’d dealt with on the job.

“You know what?” I asked, taking a step back, and squaring my shoulders. “Never mind.”

He shrugged. “Okay. Was there anything else Nurse Echols?”

I turned away, started to walk off without answering, but thought about something. “Yes,” I said, pivoting back in his direction. I strode right up to him, tilting my head back to meet his eyes – which took a little of my steam away, honestly, because those intelligent, slighted hooded eyes of his were a damned trap – and said, “Don’t you ever, ever snap at me again. I may report to you, but I’m your colleague. Not a puppy, or a child. Okay?”

I didn’t wait for an answer. I turned away, heading down the hall to I-didn’t-know-where, just anywhere to be away from him for a minute.

“Nurse Echols!” he called, and I forced myself to stop, but didn’t turn around.

“What?”

There was a brief pause before he chuckled, a sound that sent brand new tingles over me – annoying, because ugh – “Understood.”

My eyes widened in surprise, so much that I was glad I was facing away from him. Instead of responding, I nodded, more to myself than anything, and then started walking again.

 

 

 

Posted in Randoms | 3 Comments

Life Changing

Mar
05
2016

image

So on Facebook, there’s this memory feature, right? It shows you your posts from that day, from previous years. The above photo is me, receiving a breathing treatment two years ago today.

At that time, I was a full time student, running a business, being a mom and wife, and also trying to make time to write. It was a lot. I was stressed, and exhausted, but determined not to drop any of those balls.

And then this happened.

I was on campus, rushing to class. I took the stairs up two floors, like I always did, except this time, I couldn’t catch my breath after. I sat through class, heart racing, panicking, quietly. I barely got to my next class, but when I did, my professor took one look at me and told me to go to student health services. So I did.

They tried a lot to figure out what was wrong. I ended up in the emergency room, then back to student health the next morning, which is when that picture was taken. Then to a cardiologist, for ultrasounds, and stress tests, and Halter monitors.

All of that for them to ultimately decide I’d basically been having a slow, extended panic attack.

And it made sense.

I was so consumed with not dropping anything that I hadn’t taken the time to really look at it if I was actually happy with what I was doing. I was 27 years old needing to visit a cardiologist because I had a bunch of stuff piled on me that I didn’t even really want to be doing.

I finished that semester, but I haven’t been back. Maybe eventually I will, but the degree would honestly be vanity for me right now. I no longer run my graphic design business either, because that was a whole other level of stress.

Now, I write.
I mom.
I wife.
And that’s not to say I never have stressful days, cause I definitely do, but they aren’t like before. Now, at the root, I at least WANT to do the things I’m dragging myself out of the bed for in the morning.

And that makes a world of difference – I haven’t had another panic attack since.

Posted in Randoms | 2 Comments