Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Love Notes Chapter 10

Have you been  enjoying Love Notes?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think of it.  This is the last installment for the free share.  If you are interested in continuing with Love Notes, leave me a message and I'll let you know when it's published!  Thank you everyone for the support. Next week will begin a new story, a paranormal romance.

Now, let's back up a bit from last week's ending.  I did tell you this was a first draft?  Well I made a huge change in the plot and took off in a different direction.  I think you'll like the changes.

Love Notes Chapter 10
Ellie Mack & Ben Hannigan

chapter 9

            She quickly jumped up to answer. "Hello?" It was a London number, but not Rob.

            "Ms. Colson? Stephanie Colson?" It was a sultry female voice.

            "Yes?" She couldn't imagine who it could be. "Who is this?"

            "Ms. Colson, there's been an accident. Mr. Taylor has requested you be notified. He's in critical condition. "

            She didn't hear anything else the woman said. "What? Rob is hurt? Where? What happened?" Tears welled in her eyes. No, this couldn't be happening. "What room? Where do I need to go?"

            "Calm down Ms. Colson. He's stable at the moment, but if you could get here soon."

            "Yes, yes of course just give me the address." She scribbled furiously, swiping at the tears.   She closed out the call, looking around feeling immense guilt that she'd been masturbating while he was in critical condition. "Oh baby I'm so sorry," It came out barely more than a whisper. Quickly she dressed, and slipped on a pair of sandals. Mr. Prince was roughly tossed back into the box, the lid set on top. She grabbed a light sweater on her way out.

            Frantically Stephanie went to the front desk and asked the man what was the best way to get to the hospital from there.  Smelling the alcohol on her he called a cab. It was only a few minutes before the cab arrived.

Chapter 10
            Stephanie slid into the seat. “Alright love, where’s it you need to be?”

            She thrust the paper in front of him, as she could barely keep from bursting into tears. Her lips quivering , she gave him an anguished look.

            The driver tried to make small talk.  “OK, so you need to get to the hospital, got a mate in there or family?”

            “My boyfriend.”  Stephanie blinked furiously, her breathing coming in small pants, her voice barely more than a whisper.

            "Should be about 20 depending on this fucking traffic.  Get a move on mate!  I haven’t got all sodding day.  Sorry about that.  This fuckwit in the van can’t drive.”

            “No problem.”  She swiped at her tears.

            He reaches into the glove box and hands her a tissue. “If it’s a mate in there they’ll be fine.  It’s a good place.  It’s where I’d go if I had the choice.  Stay green!  Come on you fucking clown move!  Fucking tourist drivers.”  He leaned out of the window towards the car. “Stay out of London!” He turned his head back to her. “Sorry Love.”

            Stephanie turned from the window to look at the driver.   Danny Bowers, the license tag read. “Yes.  He was in an accident.”

            “Is he ok love? Or you not been told anything? Want to stop get him anything? Paper?  Bunch of grapes?”

            “Bunch of grapes?  What?”  The driver gave her a sly grin explaining a British perceived custom.  She realized he was trying to lighten her mood.  The tears flowed now, a steady stream down her cheeks.  She nodded at the driver keeping her blurred gaze out the window. ‘Please God let him be ok.’  She couldn’t picture her life without Rob, didn’t want to.  Somehow, he had to be ok for them to be together. 

                                    *                      *                      *                      *                      *

                Rob  rolled into the small car park and waited.  His orders were to meet the contact and hand over the package; nice, easy, simple. He really needed to come clean with Stephanie, share the truth with her.  He wasn't wearing his body amour because it would have been awkward to hide in the hotel room.  It was a safety violation but the job didn’t seem to be dangerous enough to need it.  Still, he checked his holster making sure it was secured one last time.

                The van rolled in and as the door slid open he realized that he had really dropped a bullock here. This wasn’t going to be a simple package handover.  Rather than the single courier he expected, the van was full of armed men.  They casually stepped out into positions, preparing for a shootout. 

                Drawing casually, the last thing he thought before the first shot rang out was “Bugger! I’ve been having such a good week as well.” They shot first; he took one to the right arm.  He radioed in to his boss on the emergency signal that ‘something was very wrong’ before taking his shooting stance. He executed a perfect Mozambique drill on the first two shooters, the third took a bullet to the chest and dropped immediately, and the final shooter dove back into the van spraying a burst from a clunky looking submachine gun.  It nailed Rob in the left leg.  A sharp pain hit him in his gut as he dove out of the rain of bullets.  Rob fired, smiling in satisfaction upon hearing the scream which indicated a hit.  He radioed the plates on the van to his boss before he allowed himself to hit the floor and sink into the relative escapist bliss of unconsciousness.

                He was awakened about fifteen minutes later by a paramedic who tried to convince him to go to hospital.

                 “Look mate, just patch me up. I need to go speak to the boss.” Rob stood and limped from the ambulance bandaged.  When challenged he flashed his ID badge and was allowed to leave when the police realized that this was a “Firm” job.   Flagging down a cab, he got back to Vauxhall and walked through security, dripping a trail of blood as he went to report to the boss.

                After his grilling he limped to his bike, feeling the pain from his wounds now that the adrenaline rush was receding.  He sped home to his flat, feeling the let down hit him hard. He jumped in the shower and threw on a change of clothes.   He  texted  Stephanie asking her to come to the flat.

                He managed to get to the door and the world went black.  Rob’s elderly neighbor Mrs. Tillman found Rob slumped on the pavement in his entryway with a mobile phone in his hand displaying the message “Error message not sent.”  She immediately called Danielle Vicenzi, Rob’s beautiful girlfriend. She arrived in mere minutes, stepping out of a black Range Rover with two other men.  Danielle motioned the men, and thanked Mrs. Tillman.  “We’ll get him checked out.  He’s been working long hours lately.”   The two men carried Rob to the car supported between them.  They rushed him to the small private hospital he officially worked for. He was rushed into theatre, and immediately prepped for surgery.  They were the finest surgeons in the entirety of the UK, but Rob had lost a lot of blood.  They  patched up his wounds and set up in a private room under guard.

                Rob drifted in and out of consciousness as the anesthesia wore off.  Unbeknownst to him his handler was there watching, waiting for the arrival of this mystery yank who had captured the heart of the gent she referred to as hers.

                He awoke to a hand wiping his brow with a damp cloth, dabbing at the sweat.  He smiled deeply “Steph”.  The figure growled and stood fuming, waiting for this yank to arrive.

                *                             *                             *                             *                             *

                Stephanie swiped at the tears, not even trying to hide them now.  She paid the cabbie “Thank you Danny.”  She ran into the hospital, heading for the main desk to ask directions.  She was issued a pass card for the fifth floor.  Stephanie found the restrooms next to the elevator, and washed her face, attempting to hide the swollen eyes, and streaked makeup.  She touched up her makeup, and dabbed a little blush.  It would never fool Rob, but she looked a little better.

                Not having any idea what she was walking into, she said a quick prayer and hoped for the best.  As soon as the elevator opened she knew it was much worse than she had anticipated.  The guard was armed, and asked to see her pass.  He directed her down the corridor to where two more armed men stood by a door.  When she approached, one of them asked for the pass.  She strained to see around him into the room to see Rob.  It was no use.  The guard efficiently blocked her view and her path.  He radioed “Your yank is here.”

                A tall slender woman walked from the room.  She had the grace and beauty of a model.  Long flowing dark hair, big doe eyes that were vivid blue, full luscious lips, a long neck, average sized breasts and slender waist and hips.  She strode with an air of confidence that most women envied.  She wore black fitted trousers, and a black leather blazer over a white mock turtleneck figure hugging sweater.  In two seconds Stephanie knew she was Rob’s lover, either past or present.

                She couldn’t blame him really, what man could resist a woman that looked like this?  Was he still seeing her?  Her heart sank and the tears threatened to rise for another reason.  Stephanie gulped as the elegant woman reached out her hand.  “Dani Vicenzi, I work with Rob.  Let’s walk shall we?”

                It had been her voice on the phone.  “But Rob.”  Stephanie wanted desperately to see him, to make sure he was ok. 

                “He’s stable.  Let’s walk.”  Her voice was curt, and she had a grasp on Stephanie’s elbow that was almost painful.  Dani led her to a small table in a waiting room, where she pulled the chair out for her, motioning her to sit as if she were a criminal.

                Stephanie sat, her defenses rising.  She had never imagined Rob would be hurt.  She certainly hadn’t anticipated meeting his lover, and now the woman was assessing her with a look of disapproval that clearly stated she felt Stephanie was no threat to her. 

                “So I finally get to meet Rob’s yank.  We had a good thing ‘til you came along.”  The woman glanced to the windows, her jaw clenched.  “He’s in this mess because of you, you know.  Trying to protect you from the truth, he didn’t wear his armour, and he’s lost a lot of blood.”

                “What?” Stephanie was stunned by her statement. “What happened?  What truth?”

                “Huh!  As I expected.  He hasn’t even told you, has he?”  Dani leaned forward, clasping her hands together and made a menacing smile.  “Well, I’ve nothing to fear then have I?  You’re just another passing fancy. He’ll ship you back to the states, and this will all be over?”  Dani eased back in her chair, her arm draped over the back. "Hopefully sooner than later."

                “What truth?  What has happened to Rob?”  She had to ignore the woman’s words.  Even if they were true, there was nothing she could do now and crying wasn’t going to help. She cared about Rob, and even if he did ship her back, she couldn’t just walk away from him being injured.

                “He was making a routine exchange, except it went wrong.  There were six of them, and they got the drop on Rob.  He took three bullets. We didn’t know about the third, until we got him here and prepped.”  She  glared at Stephanie assessing her, and passing the guilty verdict all at once.  “He’s been asking for you.”

                “I’d like to see him, please.”  Beautiful women always got away with being bitches.  This one was being especially bitchy to her.  Stephanie gambled, based on her earlier statement that she wasn’t a current lover but the ex.  Probably recent ex, explaining this anger directed at Stephanie.  “I was not aware that Rob was engaged in any other relationship.  When he’s feeling well, we’ll confront him together.  Right now I’d like to see him, please.”  The last almost pleading with the woman’s sensibilities.

                “Hmmph.”  She stood, raising slowly from the table. “Do not upset him.”

                Stephanie stood, squaring off with Dani. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

                They walked the short distance down the hall, Stephanie close on Danielle’s heels.  She knew the woman wouldn’t leave her alone with Rob, it didn’t matter.  She had to see him. When she rounded the corner to his bed, she wasn’t prepared for the tubes, and machines that he was surrounded by.  Her hand went to her mouth as she gasped.  Stephanie quickly stepped to his side. “Rob baby, what happened?”  Her hand stroked his hand as the tears fell.  A light brush from her other hand swiped the strand of hair from his face. “Oh baby, I’m here.”

                Rob shifted in the bed, turning his head towards his angel's voice. “Steph” his voice weak and raspy.

                “I’m here baby.”  She leaned in close to him, kissing his forehead. 

                “I messed up babe.  I was going to tell you.  I didn’t want you to find out like this.”

                The tears welled.  So it was true.  Dani was his lover. She was just a bit on the side, to pass the time.  She leaned over, kissing his forehead again.  “It’s OK Rob, you can tell me all about it when you’re well.”  She pushed down the urge to lash out at him.  She'd been the one that assumed there was more than it was.  She clamped down her emotions like a vice, putting on her professional face. "I'm here for you Rob."

                He smiled weakly up at her. “Stay with me?”

                “Sure baby.  I just got here.  I’ll stay for as long as you want me here.” She couldn’t help but glance at Dani.  The mixed emotions of the woman's rudeness to her, the anger at Rob for putting her in the middle of this triangle, the heartache seeing him pale and weak in the hosptial bed all churned within her heart, causing it to ache  in a way she never even felt at Trevor's betrayal.  How could she be so naive?  She moved the strand of hair that kept falling forward back into place again. Despite the heartache, she decided that she'd stay until Rob was better.  Then she'd gather her things, head home and bury herself in work and try to forget Rob Taylor, the man she loved.  "For you, I'll stay."

                Dani rolled her eyes, turned and stepped out of the room.

                She scooted the chair close to his bed. He rolled slightly on his side facing her, letting out a pained wince as he tried to adjust to a comfortable position.  She sat on her knees in the chair, raised up just slightly to be closer to him.  She leaned over again to kiss his forehead and he raised his lips to hers.  “I’m sorry my darling.  It wasn’t suppose to go down like this.”

                She nodded in agreement.  He probably never intended her to know about Dani, much less be in the situation where they’d meet.  Even though she knew Dani was just outside the door and could come back any minute, or maybe even wishing that somehow he’d choose her over gorgeous Dani, Stephanie kissed him.  A light brushing of her lips against his.  A gentle loving kiss like they’d shared  on the sofa.  “I’m here Rob.  I’ll stay with you.”

                Just till he got well.  Until he was able to be on his own.  Then she’d pack up and go home and try to get over her broken heart.

                “Can you get closer darling?  Lay here beside me?”

                “Oh I don’t know if the nurses would like that.”

                He looked so sad and disappointed. “OK."  She conceded.  "But if the nurse yells at me I’m telling her you wanted me to.”

                He grinned weakly “And I’ll deny it and play innocent.” 

                She scooted onto the edge of the bed, easing between him and the side rail.  It was an uncomfortable fit, but she didn’t want to make him move again as painful as it sounded when he did. 

                His arm went around her, and held her close. “OH Gods Stephanie. All I could think about is you.  About us.  How I messed everything up now.”

                How  could it feel so right to lay in his arms, yet know it was so wrong with the other woman outside the door?  “You can tell me all about it later babe.  Get some rest so you can heal.” The sooner  he healed the sooner she could go back to her life alone.

                Just then the nurse came in.  She cleared her throat. “Miss, we generally don’t allow the visitors to share the patient’s bed.”

                Stephanie blushed and started to move back to the chair. “NO!  She stays with me.” For an injured man, his grip was tight as he held her close to him.

                The nurse stepped closer putting a shot of something in his iv drip.  “Yes sir, Mr. Taylor.”  She gave a slight smile to Stephanie.  “Just be careful with your lines.”

                Stephanie was acutely aware of the tubes attached to various parts of him. “Where’s the call button if he needs you?”

                The nurse reached behind Stephanie’s back, “there’s a call button right here on the rail; and there’s one there.”  She motioned on the wall just behind the iv caddy.

                Rob cuddled into Stephanie, kissing her throat softly. The medication was already taking effect as he drifted into sleep.  Her fingers played over his muscular arms and down his back.  He was asleep in minutes.  Stephanie quietly asked the nurse to fill her in on his injuries.  The nurse got the chart and quietly shared the information about the bullet wounds.  Stephanie’s brows furrowed. “Bullet wounds?  What?  How?”

                The nurse answered her “ I don’t know how just where.  She leaned over Stephanie.  He’s been asking for you since he came in, assumin’ you’re Stephanie.”

                She nodded in agreement that she was.

                “That harpie out there has been irritatin’ him something fierce. Pacing back and forth, questioning Mr. Taylor.” She patted Stephanie’s arms.  “Being a regular nuisance, questioning me about my job.  You just stay put right there, and I’ll get a pillow so you can get more comfortable.”   She brought Stephanie an extra pillow and even a blanket.  She placed a plastic bag with toiletries on the tray.  “If you need anything you just buzz me.” 

                Rob snuggled closer, wincing slightly as his movement strained, a drowsy rumble in his chest as he relaxed into her.  She slowly drifted off to sleep entwined with Rob, perhaps for the last time. 


1 comment:

  1. Well-written and highly readable, professional quality work, although it could use proofing. There's definitely a market for this. But I find the content pulpy and unoriginal. Guess I'm just not a romance reader. Thanks for linking it on facebook.