Dr. Trent Redding moved around the suite quietly as he dressed in the dark. He had the uncanny ability to know when his cell phone was ringing with a call from the hospital, even though it had been turned down to its lowest volume level. He quickly pulled on a worn pair of weekend jeans, a polo shirt, and sturdy Reeboks for the drive into the medical center. He knew he could be on his feet in the operating room for hours. The fact that he was not on rotation this weekend indicated that the emergency surgery he had been called in for had to be one that required a larger team than usual. As one of the preeminent thoracic surgeons in the Southeast, his skills were in constant demand.
He quickly scribbled a note to Paula Greenley, who lay sleeping in the mosquito-netted bed, and put it on his pillow. He hoped she could read it. His doctor’s handwriting never got any better. He smiled as he took a moment to pull the quilt up over her naked shoulders, gently push her mop of dark, curly hair off her forehead, and place a feather-light kiss on her brow. They had had a stellar scene the night before, and his body was still humming from the multiple orgasms they had enjoyed. She really is adorable, especially when she’s asleep. He really enjoyed this little handful of trouble. She had made a big difference in his life.
He rushed out the door to the parking area and hopped into his sports car. As he pulled out into the quiet of Fort King Street in historic downtown Ocala, he blasted a CD of Van Halen to help him wake up. The go-cup of high-test coffee he had snagged from the club’s kitchen on the way out the door would help as well. The drive to Gainesville took about forty-five minutes. Without really remembering the trip, he parked in the doctor’s lot at the Pinewood Medical Center and jogged into the hospital. Once in the locker room of the surgery wing, he quickly changed into a pair of sea-green scrubs. He greeted his favorite surgical nurse, Janet, and Dr. Drew Profette, who was on call this weekend.
“Sorry to get you out of bed so early on a Saturday morning, Trent, but there was an accident on the turnpike, and we need all hands on deck.” The short and slightly round Dr. Profette was an excellent trauma surgeon. Nothing ruffled his feathers. He just solved one problem at a time, and he always seemed to know which particular problem should get his attention first.
“Don’t worry about it, Drew. So what if I had to leave Paula all warm and cuddly in my bed?” Trent grinned at his portly friend and colleague, who didn’t appear the least bit sorry for the inconvenience. “Give me the rundown.”
While Trent proceeded to scrub for the first operation, Drew gave him the pertinent facts about the two critical patients. While heading south on the turnpike toward Orlando and Disney World, two carloads of teens had apparently been disoriented by fog on the roadway, and one car had piled into the back of the other car. The second car had then rolled over and several kids were thrown out onto the road. Two were critical with the others just needing some major patch-up work.
As they discussed the particulars of the first operation, the cell phone in Trent’s pocket started to vibrate. Since he had already scrubbed, he ignored it. Janet, who had not yet scrubbed, offered to get the phone for him.
“No, never mind. It’s probably Paula. I left her a note.”
As they stood in the anteroom waiting for the first patient to be wheeled into the operating room and prepped, the phone continued to ring and beep to indicate a text message.
“Maybe you should get it, Janet, and then just put it in my locker. I don’t want to be distracted.”
Janet fished into the pocket of his scrubs while he held his wet arms up in the air. “Hello, this is…Sorry Dr. T, whoever it was hung up. I’ll just put the phone in your locker.”
Janet scrubbed and the team entered the operating room for the first of the two critical surgeries that would each take several hours.
* * * *
Paula woke up when she subconsciously registered the absence of Trent’s big, warm body behind her. She looked at the clock. It was four forty-five. She groaned. Ugh! Too early! She loved waking up with his morning hard-on pressed into her bottom. It was the safest feeling, not to mention sexy as hell. They always had morning sex. It seemed Trent was up for it absolutely anytime, and she had really discovered her inner sex kitten since they had been dating.
She was chilly and reached around to feel the bed. It was cold. Where is he? As she jostled the quilt, she heard what sounded like the crinkle of paper, but she could only see the blanket when she turned to look. She settled the quilt around her as she shivered in the breeze from the open French windows. She got up and padded naked out into the small kitchen of the corner suite. She checked the bathrooms, living room, and the veranda. He was nowhere to found. How strange. Maybe he went down for coffee and the paper. She picked up the telephone on the desk in the foyer and dialed his cell phone, but it went to voice mail. Next she got her own cell phone and tried a text. No response. Well, hell! She waited a minute or two and tried again. This time the cell was answered….by a female voice. Shocked, Paula instinctively hung up. She looked at the phone as though it was a poisonous viper instead of a mechanical device. A woman had answered Trent’s cell phone for the first time since she had known him. That didn’t sound right. She calmed herself down, and after a few minutes, she decided to try the call again. Maybe she had dialed wrong. This time, it just rang and went to voice mail. She had no idea the cell phone was lying on the shelf in Trent’s locker at the hospital.