I is for Ian - Page 16


“Unfortunately, our generator grid has been compromised,” he said. “An error that I have been assured was accidental occurred on the roof, blowing one of our main generators and ensuring that if we were to lose power to the building in the storm, that we would only be able to power a portion of the building. And possibly not even long enough to have service restored.

“So, we will be evacuating patients on life-giving machines and those awaiting emergency services first. Those who are simply sick will be given the option of returning home or being taken to a clinic a town over, and those who are here with non-life-threatening issues will be discharged for the time being. Protocols are in place for such an event, and they dictate that in a case of an expected sixty percent or more blackout that we evacuate as much of the building as possible.”

“Will we stay open during the storm?” a nurse asked.

“We will keep the ER and the lobby open through the storm and will maintain a staff to stabilize and transport. Everything else will be evacuated.”

“Including the pediatric floor?” Daisy asked.

“Yes,” he said. “Of course, if a birth is happening currently or in the next four hours, then we will keep them here, but anything longer than a six-hour window of expected delivery, we will be moving.”

Another worker came into the room, clearly from the construction crew, and stopped cold where he was. He made eye contact with Ian, and Ian held a finger up to tell him to wait a second. Dr. Sutton then dismissed everyone to go prepare for evacuation, and I waited with Daisy as the crowd moved by us. Partially it was to let them go and not have that crunch in the hallway going up two flights of stairs, but also, I wanted to be nosy.

I sidled up a little closer to where the other worker was, and Ian made his way over after a very short moment with Dr. Sutton. I casually sat down in one of the chairs and pulled out my phone, making it seem like I was engrossed in crafting a message while I listened.

“It’s not right,” the other man said. “He assured you he would be fine.”

“He’s a professional. He will suffer the consequences of this professionally,” Ian said.

“Man, he might have just cost us our jobs,” the other one said. “What if they fire the whole lot of us because of his fuckup? What then? I was depending on this job for the next three weeks.”

“I know,” Ian said. “I’m not going to let that happen. If anyone gets fired over this mess, it will be me, and I will have them send someone else to run the site. You guys will be safe. You did nothing wrong.”

“And if you’re wrong?”

“If I’m wrong, then be mad at me.”

10

IAN

Carl was waiting for me when the meeting was over, but Dr. Sutton turned around and looked directly at me. Apparently, I wasn’t off the hook yet, even though I had received a pretty good lecture before the meeting started.

“You have a few hours,” he said. “Get your men out of here. I am not responsible for them. I have the entire hospital riding on my reputation, and people’s lives who are in danger now because you can’t keep your men in line. Get them out and then get out yourself.”

I nodded. Now was not the time to talk about what happened afterward. When the snow stopped and melted away enough to reopen, to work on the expansion and remodel, I had a feeling I knew exactly my role in the project after that point. It involved me being at home, twiddling my thumbs.

After Dr. Sutton walked away, I headed over to Carl, who was standing near the edge of the rows of chairs. Some of the assistants to Dr. Sutton were removing the partition, exposing us to the people sitting in the ER waiting room, so we spoke quietly when we finally got close enough to talk.

“That son of a bitch is gone,” Carl said. “He up and left.”

“Ben?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. “He knew I was going to fire him anyway.”

“What happened, man?” Carl asked. “I thought you were going to be checking his shit.”

“I was supposed to. He never notified me that he was there. He was supposed to let me know before he did anything and double-check with me, but apparently that part of the instruction was lost on him.”

“No shit,” Carl said. “It’s not right. He assured you he would be fine.”

“He’s a professional. He will suffer the consequences of this professionally,” I said. I would see to that. If I had my way, he wouldn’t be working on any construction sites for several states. Maybe more, depending on how good my word was after all this.


Tags: Natasha L. Black Romance
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