It feels like I’m lying on warm clouds as voices penetrate the warm glow. My eyes are too heavy to open so I stop trying.
“What are you doing, Marcus?” The voice sounds irritated and maybe a little resigned.
“I’m checking on my patient.”
“You and I both know that’s not what you’re doing. This is Siobhan all over again.”
Silence follows for a while and I think whoever it was must have left the room, but then the other voice answers—a beautiful baritone that I recognize, but this time it vibrates dangerously with anger.
“That’s not what’s happening.”
“Alright, man. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
The voices drift further and further away and warmth takes over.
* * *
I see a rainbow. Well actually, it’s a rainbow stretched out over a beautiful waterfall. White foam laps at the sides of the rocks and spray cascades over the sides. Light refracts and colors so beautiful it makes you feel insignificant, spray in all directions. The picture hanging on the wall is stunning.
Then I see the most beautiful face I’ve ever laid eyes on as faint impressions lick at my subconscious, just out of reach as memories—or what I think are memories—flit across my mind, playing hide and seek.
“Can you hear me?” The smile, the dimple, the unruly hair. Where have I seen it before?
I struggle to keep my eyes open. “Oh, yay.” My words are slurry. Why are they slurry?
“Yay?” That baritone is like silk and his accent is incredible.
“Yeah . . .” My voice wavers and it takes me so much time to gather my thoughts. “I’m having the dream.”
He smiles and saints preserve me but I’d do things—illegal things—just to see him smile like that again.
“What dream is that?”
“My Grey’s Anatomy dream. The one where the doctor does sooo many delicious things to—”
“You’re not dreaming,” he cuts me off.
There’s something to be said for embarrassing yourself enough to snap out of a drug haze. All the memories of the car wreck and the time in the ER come flooding back.
“Oh, shit! I’m sorry.”
“It’s quite okay.”
It’s hardly okay, but I think I might be able to salvage the situation by asking about my injuries. Nothing like getting a doctor to talk about what he does best to derail the humiliation train. “How’re my mashed peas?”
Damn, he looks good when his brow creases in the middle.
I lift my hand and hover it over my stomach, careful not to touch anything because I imagine it’s going to hurt. Actually . . . why doesn’t it hurt?
“Am I dead?”
His mouth tugs at the corner and if I’m not mistaken, he’s trying not to laugh at me. “No, you’re not dead.”
“Then why don’t I hurt? You said my pelvis was like mashed peas.”
He chuckles this time and I swear somewhere an angel is weeping, or a fairy is getting its wings, or a Facebook troll just died because it’s the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.
“I don’t recall using those words but I’ll allow you creative license.” He leans forward in the chair, his arms resting on his knees. He has a full sleeve. What kind of surgeon has a full sleeve? A hot surgeon, you dumb-dumb, and you take it with both hands and thank your lucky stars.
He notices me staring and rubs his hand over the ink and I wonder if I just made him self-conscious. “You fractured your pelvis in two places. You have four broken ribs, one on your left and three on your right and you ruptured your spleen but I was able to repair it.” He doesn’t even look smug as he tells me this and I admire that. If I’d repaired someone’s ruptured spleen, I’d hire a signwriter and public service announcer. I guess if you do it every day, it’s not such a big deal.
“Oh wow, that’s impressive. Why don’t I feel anything?” Suddenly the room closes in on me and my heart starts pounding as is evident by the decreased time between beeps echoing out of the obnoxious machine that until now, I’ve managed to block out. “Am . . . Am I paralyzed?”
He stands and places a reassuring hand on my shoulder. The hand attached to the amazing tattooed arm. “You aren’t paralyzed. We gave you a nerve block. Believe me, if we didn’t give it to you, you’d wish you were. This way, we give your body time to adjust and the pethidine will help too. It’s likely why you thought you were dreaming.” He gives me a wink and all the panic from a second ago leaves me. It shouldn’t though—right now I should be freaking the hell out because he basically told me I would be in insurmountable pain if it weren’t for the block, but I’m oddly reassured. I blame medical shows for my impractical doctor crush.
“So I can walk?”
“You’ll be able to walk after a while, yes.”
I don’t like the sound of the “a while”, so I change the subject. “What day is it?”
“It’s Wednesday.” He fiddles with the machine next to me and that warm feeling rushes through me again.
“Holy shit! I’ve been out for two days?”
“Just about, yes.” And his accent reminds me I’m in South Africa.
“He’s still in the states. He could only get a flight out tonight.”
I’m relieved that Chris is going to be on his way soon, but then I think about all the book porn I have on my phone with the smutty covers. I wonder if Dr. Dire has scrolled through my phone or if he just sticks to calling Chris to update him—supposing he’s the one calling Chris, that is. Well, if he does peek at my phone, he’s certainly giving himself an eye-full of torso porn. I love me a good torso cover. I 1-click them without reading the blurb sometimes. Don’t judge me. Suddenly I’m too tired to give my choice of literature much thought, or wonder when I’m going to get my phone back.
“Sorry, I can’t keep my eyes open.”
“I gave you a little something to help you sleep. The more you rest, the better it will be, Jamie.”
I like the way his accent rolls over my name and I drift off again. Sleep is good.