Guest Author Saturday
My guest today is Layla Rogue, she is sharing an excerpt taken from her book Voting for Love, book 1 in the Passionate U series which is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Layla Rogue is the pseudonym for an author who loves fun sexy romance, as well as mysteries and fantasy/paranormal romance.
By Layla Rogue
Angelica begins work as a university librarian in her old hometown, only to rediscover feelings for high school friends Rick and Ted. Ted's campaign for mayor brings the trio's new relationship under the spotlight. Can they handle the heat? This is the start of a series set in Hopeton.
Angelica talked to the staff in charge of the public desks to let them know she was leaving. From the end of the well-lit library parking lot, she could see the clinic across the street.
She recognized a man when she walked in, as he looked at a computer with an employee behind the front desk.
“Hi, I’m Angelica.” But before she could finish, he jumped in.
“Angel Terrone! Like I wouldn’t know who you are?” The doctor came around and gave her a hug which lifted her off her feet.
“Rick? You work here?” She recognized her old friend as he came closer. She’d never seen him at work as a doctor before, in the white coat.
“I do. It’s my cousin’s clinic. I heard you were coming back. What’s going on with you?”
“I tried to break up a fight but got hit in the eye. Apparently, I have to check in here per university policy.”
“Every patient has been looked at for tonight, and I have a few minutes. Come on back.”
“Hey, Katherine, look who’s here!”
“Kat? I didn’t know you worked here!”
Angel looked at the smiling woman in scrubs. Katherine was another friend from high school, like Rick. She thought Kat worked at a local hospital.
“I help out here when they are short staffed,” Kat said.
“She got hit in the eye. Put her in room 2.” Rick said as he got supplies together to look at her eye.
Angel hugged her friend. “How can you still be so fit when you have three kids?” She hadn’t seen her friend in person for a few years, but she often saw pictures of her and her family on Facebook.
Katherine handed her an ipad with some forms to fill out. “Running around after them? But you look amazing. Except for that swelling eye – and nose. Did he hit your nose, too?”
“Maybe. It happened kind of fast.” Angel told Kat about her new job at the university library and the ensuing fight.
“Are you staying with your mom and dad? I’m sorry he has been so ill.”
Her dad was now at a rehab facility after another fall from his Parkinson’s. She wasn’t sure what the next steps would be, but she knew she’d be in town a while, helping them sort out care for him.
“I was, but I got one of the new townhomes near the train station.”
“Those are gorgeous! We’ll have to have you over soon, to meet everyone.” Kat put a blood pressure cuff around Angel’s arm.
“I’d like that.”
“Your blood pressure is kind of high.” Kat frowned.
“I think likely from the adrenaline of the fight.”
“Could be, but I know Dr. Salazar will want a blood test.”
“No, really, that’s ok. I have to get back.” They’d told her to take the rest of the night off, but she felt strange about doing that when she felt fine.
Katherine rattled off her vitals to Rick Salazar when he returned to the room.
“Let’s grab a quick blood test to see if we can find out why your blood pressure is so high.” He stepped near her as she sat on the table, ignoring her protests about the blood test. He smelled really good, she thought, as he removed her glasses. She felt strangely exposed. He shone a light in her eye.
“No scratches in the eye, that’s good,” he said absently to Katherine, before feeling her nose. “I think this might be broken, though. I could send you for a consult to a plastic surgeon.”
“But it’s not bleeding that much. Can’t you just fix it?”
“I could rebreak it and set it, but I don’t think you’d like that.”
“Angel.” Katherine said, using her high school nickname. “You’re not a boxer.”
“How about this?” Rick said. “Why don’t you ice it? Come back tomorrow, and we’ll see if it is affecting your breathing. You could leave it if it is not too noticeable. But it could cause you to sneeze more or have other issues.”
Great. She was paying for COBRA for a few months until her new insurance kicked in, but this sounded like a nuisance she didn’t need.
“And I think you should see an eye doctor.”
She’d been to enough doctors with her old fiancé to have a extreme reluctance of going to one. “I don’t really have one yet. Just moved back here.”
“We’ll give you a referral. And set you up for an appointment for your nose, tomorrow.”
“Hey Rick, I thought you were done at 6. I need your help tonight. Oh! Sorry, miss.”
Angel knew she’d broken her nose for sure after she walked right into Ted Dillson, another good friend from high school, as she was walking towards the door of the clinic.
The blood streamed from her nose, onto her shirt – and his, before she really knew what was happening.
“Pathogen protocol, grab the gloves and cleaners.” The young man at the front desk was motioning for her to head back again, along with Ted. “Mr. Dillson, I’m sure we can find you a scrub shirt to wear.”
“I have an appearance tonight. Rick, can I borrow one of your dress shirts?” He stopped short in the room where they were helping Angel sit in a chair with a towel under her nose.
“Angel? Is that you?’
She nodded, not sure she wanted to open her mouth and taste more blood. This hurt. Almost more than getting hit.
“You should have seen her take down the kid.” The admin said, getting an ice pack going for her.
“What?” She managed one word.
“It’s going viral. Someone tagged the university with it.”
“Oh no.” She thought. There went her job.
“What happened?” Dr. Salazar came back in, this time with gloves. “You broke it for sure this time, Angel.”
“She bumped into me.” Ted was buttoning a new dress shirt on over what looked like cut abs.
Angel couldn’t help but stare, though soon Rick was in her face again, carefully touching her nose. “I’m going to have to reset it, Angel. Best to do it now, then we’ll ice and make sure it’s ok.”
He had her sit back up on the table.
“Ted, you will have to go ahead. I know you have to give that speech.”
“I think I’ll wait. I still have an hour. I just wanted your help protecting me from all the woman flirting with me.”
Rick snorted. “You wish.” He put his hands on either side of her nose. “Ready?”
He did it without waiting for her answer. She thought she would pass out from the pain and the nausea. The next thing she was aware of, Kathleen was holding an ice pack on her nose and Rick and Ted were talking in the room.
“Guys, maybe you could go outside.”
“We were her friend too, Kat.” Rick said.
She just wanted to go home, though her worried and anxious mom would likely go into orbit if she saw all the blood.
“Can I borrow a scrub shirt? My mom will freak.”
“I have a spare sweater, too,” Kat whispered. “We’ll fix you up. Don’t worry.”
“Can I see a mirror?”
“No.” Everyone in the room said. She closed her eyes.