Dr. Liu’s assistant called to say he was held up in surgery and wanted me to go ahead and introduce myself to Vaughn Breland. I hated to admit it, but the prospect of meeting the handsome actor jangled my nerves. In order to appear cool and professional, I would have to put on my game face and approach him as I would any other patient.
Still amazed at the news of my prospective patient, I sat at my desk and studied Vaughn Breland’s file. His injuries were extensive, but from what I read, it appeared that Dr. Liu had done his usual marvelous job in surgery. A knock on the door interrupted my contemplation.
Oh, my God. This can’t be happening. I recognized the trademark heavy baritone without even looking up. I had just heard it a few nights before. It belonged to Devon Burke."Hope you don't mind, but I asked at the nurses' station where your office was. May come in?
I glanced up, smoothed my hair and smiled, conscious to keep it from being too wide. “Of course, Mr. Burke. What can I do for you?”
He entered the small office dressed in a body-hugging black t-shirt and jeans, instantly increasing the ambience one thousand percent, took a few steps toward the desk then paused.
Oh, he’s waiting for me to invite him to sit. Pull yourself together. “Please, have a seat.” I pointed to a chair.
“It’s Devon. We might as well be on a first name basis, since we’ll probably be talking to each other a lot.”
After an unsteady plop into the chair, I managed a smile and folded my hands on top of the blotter to keep them from shaking.
“You haven’t met Vaughn yet, but Dr. Liu told me you’ve been assigned to his case. I need to explain a few things to you, if you have the time right now.
“Of course. What can I do for you?”
“He wants to be transferred back to LA., and according to Dr. Liu, that would not only be expensive but could also be disastrous. Could you try to talk some sense into him about coming back to Cali? He has no family there to look after him, but he has an opportunity to stay here in Telluride for as long as it takes to get back on his feet. Will you convince him this is the best route for him to take right now?”
The pleading look in his deep-set dark eyes showed the concern he had for his friend. “I can only stay here for another day, and if I don’t do everything I can to get him straight before I leave, Shontae - my wife is going to kill me.”
“That’s right. You’re married to Shontae Nichols, the author. I’m reading one of her books right now.”
He smiled, and it seemed as if the entire office lit up. “Really? Which one?”
“The latest one, Standing in the Shadows of Love.”
“Wow, what a coincidence. I’ll have to tell her.”
“I’ve read her last three.”
“Really?” The brightness in the office increased again when his smile widened. “She’ll be pleased to hear that.”
“I’d be glad to talk to Mr. Breland, but the decision is up to him. We can’t force him to stay here.”
Devon leaned forward and clasped his hands on the edge of the desk. “Vaughn can be really stubborn, but he’ll usually listen to reason. Today, he’s been hit with more bad news than a brother can handle.”
“He woke up to discover that he’d lost his custom-made car, the use of his legs for the immediate future, his latest movie role, and possibly his looks. Normally, V is a pretty positive guy, but this might be more than he can deal with emotionally.”
“That’s awful.” I sighed. “I can’t promise you anything, but I’ll try my best, Mr. Burke.”
“Devon,” he insisted again with that knee-weakening smile.
“Devon, my name is Trenyce. Are you going back to Vaughn’s room?”
“Just let him know I’ll be back to see him before I go home this evening.”
Devon rose to his impressive height and extended his hand across the desk. “Thanks, Trenyce. Shontae and I really appreciate your help.”
The moment the closed the door, I picked up the phone and dialed Penny at work. “Hi. It’s me. You’ll never believe what happened here today.”
“Ooh, workplace gossip.” Penny whispered. “Come on, spice up my day. What’s going on at TMC?”
“You remember when we watched Monaco Rain a few weeks ago?”
“Sure, that was a great picture, and the eye candy was amazing.” Penny chuckled.
“Well, all that eye candy is here at the medical center.”
“What!” Penny shrieked then went back to her office whisper. “What are you talking about, Tren?”
“You can’t tell this to anybody, do you hear me? Vaughn Breland was admitted after a horrific car accident. Guess who’s been assigned to his case? And Devon Burke is his best friend. He just came into my office to ask me to convince Vaughn to stay in Telluride rather than being transported back to Los Angeles,” I babbled.
“Oh my God! And you were talking about your job being boring. I’d give me right arm to switch places with you right now. What are they like? Besides being drop-dead gorgeous, I mean.”
“I’ll be meeting Mr. Breland in a few minutes.”
“I didn’t hear anything about that accident, and I’m an entertainment television junkie.”
“The press hasn’t gotten word yet, so please don’t be the one to tell them he’s here. I could lose my job.”
“You know I wouldn’t do that. Well, what’s he like?”
“Devon seems so nice. He flew here from California last night to see about his buddy.”
“And you’re on a first name basis with him already?”
“He told me to call him that, because we’ll most likely be talking to each other a lot.”
“Are you freakin’ kidding me? That’s like a dream come true.”
“He’s married, Penny, but you know what else is wild?
“His wife is Shontae Nichols, the author of the book I’m reading right now.”
“Gee, this is crazy. St. Albert must really like you.”
“Huh?” I’d known Penny for years and still wasn’t able to remember all of the Catholic patron saints my best friend seemed able to call on in an instant.
“He’s the patron saint of medical technicians,” Penny answered, as if everyone should know this fact.
“I don’t even know if he’s going to be my patient yet. Devon said he wants to be transported to a Los Angeles hospital, but Vaughn has no one out there in California to take care of him”
“That’s impossible!,” Penny insisted. “Vaughn Breland is known as a real Hollywood player. I bet there would be women lined up around the block to give him a sponge bath, if they knew about his accident. Heck, I’ll volunteer. Tell him I’m available day or night. Day and night would be even better.”
“You’re nuts. I’d better get off the phone and go to work. Just wanted to tell you that.”
“Thanks, Tren. Make sure you call me if anything exciting happens, and think about how you might be able to sneak me in to see them.”
I had to laugh at that, knowing she was dead serious. “Now I know you’re trying to get me fired. I’ll talk to you later, girl.”
You can read the final excerpt here: http://sisterscribbler.blogspot.com/2012/09/saturday-sneek-peak-8.html