It’s here! It’s here!
In celebration, I’m gifting you an excerpt from my just released Fallen Death (The Trihune Series Book 3). Enjoy! 🙂
Asjhone pulled the sheet up to the patient’s waist. Her eyes trailed over his face, pausing at the scars again. Though healed, they more than likely caused discomfort whenever he smiled, laughed, yawned. Maybe every time he spoke. She wanted to touch him, offer comfort.
Her perusal continued. Chest, arms. She leaned closer, examined the tattoos sleeving his arms. A spider web on both elbows. Large grim reaper on his left bicep, partially blocked by the BP cuff. Other skeleton faces on both forearms. An old world scripted B with three interlocking circles on his right upper arm.
People didn’t look scary when they were unconscious. The scars on his face drew her sympathy, but with the number of tattoos—the types of tattoos—it was safe to assume he lived a hard life.
Her gaze trailed down his chest and abs again. How many hours a day did this guy work out?
She pressed her lips together. Made herself step back. Ogling patients was not cool. Especially when they might be seriously injured. Or a little crazy. Why did he want to kill himself? She eyed his cheeks again. Had those been self-inflicted?
Asjhone eyed the machine near the side of the bed. His blood pressure was still too high. “What internal secrets are you keeping?” If they didn’t figure it out soon, there was no way the patient would last the night, especially if he didn’t regain consciousness. She stripped off her gloves and after a moment’s hesitation, brushed the back of her hand across his cheek. “There’s always something worth living for. You just haven’t found yours yet.”
After one more glance to make sure the bed rails were in the up position, Asjhone turned to leave. She’d check on that x-ray call.
A hand wrapped her wrist. She gasped. Whirled. A pair of confused, pain-filled eyes bounced from her to the room then back to her.
“The children?” The patient croaked.
“You’re okay,” she soothed. “Do you know what happened?”
“The children? In the park.”
“I don’t know about any children.”
His forehead crinkled.
“No children were brought in,” she said softly. “Only you. You’re at the hospital. Astoria Memorial. You were brought in by ambulance.”
The patient didn’t respond. Just continued to stare at her.
“You’re lucky to be alive.” She paused. “Let me call the doctor.” Asjhone stepped away, planning to hit the button against the wall to alert the nurses at the hub, but didn’t make it very far. He still had a tight, not painful, hold on her arm. She pulled gently. He didn’t release his grip.
Her heart skipped a beat. Fears rose. She pushed it away. He was disoriented. “It’s okay. I’m not going to leave. I just want to press that button on the wall. Get the doctor in here. She needs to look at you.”
“No.” The one word was brusque, full of command.
Anxiety spiked. She tried to yank her arm free. “Let go.” Would she be able to pull the emergency cord by the front of the bed before he . . . did whatever he wanted to do with her? Oh, God.
“Let me go!”
He released her wrist so suddenly she almost fell. Instead, she only stumbled a few steps. He rose, hand outstretched as if to reach for her again.
His hand fell to the bed. Face expressionless. Gaze still on her.
The room filled with the sound of her heavy breaths, until the blood pressure cuff around his upper arm began to fill with air. Her eyes moved to the machine. “You shouldn’t be sitting up. Lie down. You could have internal bleeding.”
Before she finished speaking, he’d pulled the oximeter off his finger. Next, the cuff around his bicep. When he fumbled for the brace around his neck, Asjhone leapt into action, fears forgotten. She grabbed his hands. “Stop.”
“Lie down.” She grasped his shoulders, pushed gently.
It was as if he’d been given a shot of Ativan; his body became liquid, eyelids falling to half-mast. As soon as her patient was prone, she pushed the button on the wall.
He lay still on the bed. Made no attempt to sit up or remove his neck brace. His eyes were on her. Her fear from earlier had abated, but his stare unnerved her.
It was okay. Help was on the way.
She placed the oximeter back on his index finger. When he didn’t object, she refitted the blood pressure cuff, as well.
“I’d like to check your heart now.” She waited until he nodded before removing the stethoscope from her pocket. After warming the end against her palm, she set it on his chest. Her eyes trailed up to meet his gaze. Then stayed while she listened to the too fast beating of his heart.
Since he’d regained consciousness, she’d barely noticed his scars. His gaze held all the power.
“Do you hurt anywhere?” She removed the stethoscope and put it back in her pocket.
“Your pulse is very high. And BP. Blood pressure,” she amended. “That’s not a good sign.”
“I’m fine. They’re always high.”
“Are you on medication for it?” She paused. Some medication prescribed by psychiatrists had those side effects. “Any medication?”
The male shook his head.
“What’s your name?”
“It’s nice to meet you, Sarid. I’m Asjhone.”