I is for Ian - Page 37

Sure enough, when I opened the door to the triage, it was empty. There were the signs of a hurried exit, though, and I sighed in frustration. How could I have slept through it? Even if they were still here in the lobby, which by the absolute silence of the hospital I highly doubted, I would just barely be able to catch a ride out of there. That’s if there were any rides left. The storm hadn’t stopped, and they likely only had a short window to get everyone out of there safely.

I made my way down from triage to the hallway leading to the lobby and thought I heard something out there. Good. If there was someone out there, then that meant I wasn’t alone and there would be another bus along soon. Maybe I hadn’t missed my chance to get back to the hotel and get a good night’s rest. And maybe some whiskey. And the rest of my pizza.

But as I opened the door, the view of the lobby showed me that it was empty. Or at least, mostly empty. There was one person, on the phone, standing stock-still and staring at the door.


She was on her phone and staring at me with a combination of confusion and fury. What she could possibly be mad at me for at that moment I wasn’t sure, but that hadn’t really stopped her thus far, had it? I held the door open and watched as she got off the phone hurriedly and started stomping toward me. It was the stomp of someone who wanted to make sure the person they were stomping over to understood that they were being stomped at. It was a stomp of purpose.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“What the hell are you doing here?” I shot back.

She seemed to reel at that and made a disbelieving sound, almost like a cough, and shook her head.

“That doesn’t matter. I asked you first. What are you doing here?”

“Dr. Sutton offered to let me use his suite to sleep in,” I said.

“Oh, I know all about that,” she exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air. “But that doesn’t explain why you are right here, right now.”

“Apparently, everyone left,” I said. “And I didn’t know. I got a shower last night and left my phone on the sink in the bathroom. I didn’t get the messages that they were sending busses to get the rest of us out.”

She stood silently for a moment, her eyes almost watering in anger.

“You… took… a… shower?”

“Yeah?” I said. “There’s a shower in Dr. Sutton’s bedroom. I figured he wouldn’t mind since I brought my own towels and toiletries.”

“You are unbelievable!” she shouted.

“Hey, it’s not my fault he offered me his suite.”

“Yes, it is!” she thundered. “If it wasn’t for your idiot electrician, we would have had multiple working generators, and they wouldn’t have had to evacuate!”

“Again, not my fault,” I said. “Even Dr. Sutton seems to understand that. I wonder why you can’t, even after you said you did. What about all that stuff about your dad?”

“My dad wouldn’t have fucked up this bad!”

“Now listen here,” I began.

“We are stuck here, Ian,” she said, saying my name with as much venom and contempt as I had ever heard it said. “Stuck in this hospital, with three feet of snow outside of the windows.”

“I don’t think it’s quite three feet,” I interrupted, but she bulldozed right by my interjection.

“Stuck inside a hospital with only one working generator, which means that only a few rooms have electricity and heat. Meaning we are not only stuck in this hospital, but we are stuck together in a small space in this hospital. And when the generator runs out, we are stuck in the fucking cold in this hospital.”

“Yes,” I admitted. “That’s true. All that is true, and it sucks, I’ll grant you that. But just because we are stuck right now doesn’t mean we’re stuck for long. If they got busses here less than an hour ago, it’s entirely possible they will get another one out here to get us.

“Look, you don’t have anything to worry about. You’re an employee. They will bend over backwards to rescue you because they can’t afford to have the hospital look bad and reflect on Dr. Sutton’s reputation. It’s me who’s fucked, lady. I’m out of a job after this. This is my worst nightmare, and to top it off, I’m stuck here with you.”

“And I’m stuck here with you!” she said. My phone dinged, and she let out a groan of frustration as I pulled it up to my face and swiped it open.

“Well, that isn’t the worst part,” I said.

“It isn’t? Could have fooled me. What is, then?”

“This is,” I said, showing her the text message. “This is the worst part.”

Tags: Natasha L. Black Romance
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