Authors: Michel Prince
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Genre Fiction, #Holidays, #Multicultural & Interracial, #cop, #valentines day romance, #red hot valentine, #holiday romance, #interracial
“You must mean a lot to him if his partner thought to contact you.”
“It’s just been harmless flirting.”
There had been real discussions late at night when they both were home from work, but nothing would warrant her being thought of as someone to contact in case of an emergency. Jenna looked at her screen one more time and realized Marcus’ texts had touched her in ways she’d never thought a simple device could. Could someone really fall in love with just flirty banter? Yes, she thought, because right now her world was uneven, scary, and the only thing she could think of was being by Marcus’ side. She needed to.
this is marcus’ partner les he was stabbed he is at regions. if you come ask for noonan.
“I’ve gotta go,” Jenna said as she grabbed her messenger bag and keys.
“Yes, you do. Do you want me to drive you?”
“No. I’m fine. You were ready to go home anyway right?”
“Yep.” As they rushed to the elevator and then to the ramp, Brenda hugged Jenna. “It’ll be all right, he’s going to be fine. And call me if you need me tonight.”
Jenna took off without letting her car warm up. She didn’t care. Her car could be blasting heat at her and she’d still be covered in gooseflesh and shivering. It just said stabbed, she consoled herself. He has a bulletproof vest covering his chest; surely a knife couldn’t penetrate that, could it? The only thing Jenna wanted to do was have Marcus pull her into his arms and tell her he was fine. She wanted to feel his firm lips take control of hers because it was just a flesh wound. His partner was joking or making this out to be more than it was to get her to show up and punk Marcus. That had to be it. He wasn’t really hurt. He couldn’t be.
She trembled as she walked through the doors of the ER. Her heart pounded so hard she could see her chest moving when she looked down.
“Because my goddamn partner ended up in an ambulance that’s why O’Leary!” the officer from Marcus’ earlier text picture yelled at another cop backed up against the wall. “When an officer calls for backup he’s not being a pussy, he’s making sure he goes home at night.”
“Back off, Noonan, or you’ll be on report.”
“Please do. Then you will answer for interfering with real police business.”
“I’ve had just about enough of your insubordination,” O’Leary sniffed like he was scared.
Jenna would be. The pissed off cop’s face looked like he was going to pop four blood vessels.
“Can I help you?” a registrar asked.
“I’m looking for Officer Noonan.” Jenna’s voice cracked.
The registrar looked to the corner where the two cops were standing and gave a nervous smile.
“It’s not really a good time.”
“He said he’d get me in to see Marcus Peterson.”
“Oh, he said a woman would be coming by… Um…” The registrar looked like she was fighting her better judgment. “Les,” she squeaked.
“What?” his voice went from growl to panic.
“You didn’t see that did you?” he asked solemnly.
“See what,” Jenna lied.
“I’m taking her back to him.”
“Who are you taking where?” O’Leary interjected. “Only family—”
“I swear to God, O’Leary, I’ve got just enough connections I’m going to get your ass busted down to the property room if you don’t back the fuck off when it comes to my partner.”
“Who is she?” O’Leary demanded.
“She’s the woman he wants holding his hand,” Noonan said as he walked Jenna back to the emergency room. “I’m Les by the way. Les Noonan.”
“Jenna Turner.” Jenna shook his hand and gave a half-hearted smile.
“How are you around blood? I should have asked before bringing you back.”
Jenna swooned a little and Les caught her arm and around the back.
“Tell me this, Jenna, is it the blood or because it’s Marcus’?”
“His,” her cold lips trembled. “I don’t even understand it. We just met.”
“That’s how my wife and I are.”
“Fifteen years. The only person besides Marcus that scares me when she gets hurt.”
“How does she handle you being on the job?”
“Quiet strength. She never lets me see she’s scared. I know she is, but she hides it well.” He placed his hand on a curtain. “You ready?”
“No, but that doesn’t matter.”
When Les pulled back the curtain Jenna focused on Marcus’ face. He looked ashen like weathered wood. His eyes were closed and his head leaned to the side. She squeezed Les’ hand and said a silent prayer as her eyes traveled down Marcus’ body. His hospital gown was buttoned at his neck and flowed over his body like a teenager still trying to fit into their favorite t-shirt from when they were a toddler. Marcus’ broad shoulders strained against the flimsy fabric. His chest was covered which meant it wasn’t hurt. Her travels down his body stilled when she saw his legs. The right one was covered by a blanket and the left had a screwdriver sticking out of it with red stained gauze wrapped around the base, holding it in place. She squeezed Les’ hand again.
“Should I wake him?” she whispered.
“He’s not asleep. He’s trying some new age bullshit to meditate the pain away.”
“You’re just pissed because you’re a drug seeking pussy,” Marcus said as he slowly opened his eyes. They instantly caught Jenna’s and whatever meditation he was in broke because he winced in pain. “Hey there, sexy eyes,” he croaked.
“Awe, not in front of the girl, you know I hate it when we fight, Chocolate Thunder,” Les goaded, then winked and left the room.
“Is that a screwdriver in your leg or are you just happy to see me?”
“The one on the left is a screwdriver,” Marcus teased then winced from when he laughed.
“Are you really meditating the pain away?” Jenna couldn’t imagine that. Her leg ached looking at the little bit of handle not wrapped in gauze.
“Don’t tell Les, I’m sleepy from the morphine.”
“That makes me feel better.”
“Me, too.” He smiled and motioned for her to come closer.
“I know I’m a work-a-holic but there has to be a better way to get me to visit you. Couldn’t you just haul me out in cuffs?”
“You work outside my jurisdiction or your ass would have been in cuffs a few days ago.”
“Can I?” Jenna motioned to a sliver of the bed so she could sit by Marcus.
When she sat on the edge of the gurney Marcus put his hand on her right hip and slid her body up so his arm was cradling her.
“So these handcuffs,” Jenna began, trying to fight the nerves in her stomach that increased ten-fold when Marcus touched her. “They just for bad guys?”
“And girls.” He smiled softly. “I’m glad you came.”
“I was surprised by the invite.”
“Guess I wasn’t hiding how much I liked you as well as I thought I was. Then again Les is practically my brother and I wasn’t too pissed when he told me he texted you.”
“I practically swan dived when I heard.” Jenna placed her hand on Marcus’ cheek and leaned her forehead on his. “I mean here I meet this great guy…and I haven’t even…”
Marcus cradled her head in his hand and brought his firm lips to hers, claiming them and her heart in one swipe of his tongue. Her hand fell to his chest and traveled to his arm looking for anything firm to keep her grounded. The opposite happened as she felt his taught bicep while the hand around her waist found her hip, then ass, and held it in such a way that visions of passionate nights to come overwhelmed her. Both of them forgot about his injury as hands searched bodies in order to feel the electrified flesh neither could resist.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” a nurse said quickly as the curtain flew closed and the two lovers finally broke from their embrace.
“Did someone just see us?” Jenna’s panicked voice made Marcus chuckle just a little.
“I have a feeling more than one person was behind her.” The heart monitor beside him was returning to normal although the beating in his chest felt as if it barely slowed.
“And they saw…”
“You haven’t moved your hand yet.”
“Oh my God.” Jenna removed her hand from his swollen shaft and backed into the corner of the room. “I can’t believe I just did that!”
“You didn’t do much. We got interrupted and my hand was about an inch and a half from a similar outcome on your body.”
“What is it with you?” she spat.
Marcus looked at her with his head cocked to the side.
“I can’t control myself around you. You’re lying there with a screwdriver sticking out of your thigh and all I can think about is how good your body feels.”
“At least you weren’t trying to stroke the screwdriver. Then I would question your love of serial killer shows.”
“If it makes you feel any better I’m wondering if other parts of your body taste as good as your lips.”
Jenna’s face flushed bright pink and Marcus chuckled until the numbness in his leg turned into a sharp stabbing pain. Why was that again? Oh yeah, because some damn kid thought stabbing a cop was a good idea.
“Officer Peterson,” the voice of his ER doctor called through the curtain. “Are you decent?”
“Not a day in my life.”
“Good,” he said as he slid the curtain over with a swoosh. “This is Dr. Roes, the orthopedist who’ll be performing most of your surgery.”
Behind the middle-aged ER doctor in his blue scrubs and lab coat was a short red head with killer green eyes. She was wearing similar blue scrub pants, but instead of a scrub top she had a form fitting heather gray Henley. Any day before he met Jenna he would have been propositioning the sprite of a doctor to all sorts of acrobatics, but now his mind had an all- consuming focus. Lucky for him, she was less than five feet away in the corner hiding as if her rust colored satin top could ever blend with the beige wall.
“Hello Officer,” Dr. Roes said as she pulled up the bedrail on Marcus’ left side and used it as a bench to lean her arms on. “I’ll be removing the screwdriver from your leg, but the tip is less than a centimeter from your femoral artery.”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“Personally I wouldn’t want it hanging out in that area for the rest of my life, but you know cops are weird people.”
“That we are, but I’ve got some projects around the house that require a Phillips head...”
“So, I’ll have Dr. Navad scrubbing in. He’s a vascular surgeon. He’ll also be able to access any damage I might see along the way.”
“My leg is going to be fine, right?”
“Yes,” she assured him. “It’s more muscular than skeletal, but we still want to be careful taking it out. How’s your pain level right now?”
Jenna covered her lips to hide her little smile.
“I could use another bump, just don’t tell my partner I took any drugs.”
“Okay,” she replied warily. “One more thing.” she looked over her shoulder at Jenna, then back to him. “I need you to stay as still as possible. Any sudden movement or bouncing,” her voice lifted. “Could cause the tip to puncture the artery and you’d bleed out in a matter of seconds. Well, a minute and a half or so.”
Marcus glanced at Jenna who now looked truly mortified.
“It’s not really that serious is it?” he asked.
“I’d hold off until you have no extra items suck in your body for convalescence.”
“It’ll be hard Doc, but if you insist.”
A tech walked into the room and gathered all of Marcus’ belongings and unhooked his monitors.
“Time for surgery. An anesthetist will meet you in the OR and I’ll see you before they knock you out.”
“You ready?” the tech asked. “I’ll make the ride as smooth as possible.”
“Can you give me two minutes?”
The tech looked at Jenna, nodded, and left the room.
“I’m staying in my corner.”
Marcus chuckled. “Awe come on, I need a kiss before I go to surgery. You heard her, I could die.”
“Not funny. And if that first kiss is any indication of what happens when we get together you will die.”
“With a smile on my face.”
“You’re such a brat.”
“Please Jenna. Just one…little…”
“There ain’t nothing little about you, Officer,” she said as she crossed the distance between them, took his hand in hers, and delicately kissed his lips. The smell of lavender and vanilla calmed him more than her heartfelt caress. “Do me a favor.”
“Breeze through this operation so you can take me on a date. I’d like my heart to pump for reasons other than fearing for your life.”
“You know fearing for my life proves you like me.”
Jenna kept her lips a tight line as she stepped back and drug her fingers to the edge of his, then finally broke the connection, causing a chill to run down his spine.