Chapter 1

Chris

"So you hear we got a new nurse?" my good buddy, Jeremy, asked me as I picked up the files lying on the white tiled counter.

"Oh yeah?" I asked, flipping open one of the manila folders. I scanned the pages that listed the patient's info. Maryanne McCluster. Age 24. Symptoms were vomiting, explosive diarrhea, and bloody urine. Lovely.

"Yeah man. I hear she's mighty fine, too," he added, grabbing a pen from the jar next to the files.

"Seems like a task only the great Christopher John Wrath can take on," I smirked, jotting down some notes about Maryanne.

"Yeah man, I know how you get those new nurses. They drop like flies when they see you," Jeremy sighed. "What's your secret?"

I closed the folder and looked up at him. "Besides my good looks and charming personality, you can't inherit anything else from the situation here."

Jeremy shook his head in disbelief. "I don't know how that mask stays on that big head of yours," he said, motioning towards the thin blue mouth mask on my forehead. Then he grabbed his files and strolled away.

I grabbed Maryanne's file and walked to room A105. I peeked through the door before barging in. I respected my patients' privacy, unlike some doctors. Cough, Jeremy, cough.

I opened the door and spotted Maryanne lying on the hospital cot, looking frail and pallid. "Hello, Ms. McCluster. I'm Dr. Wrath and I'll be your doctor during your stay at the hospital."

Maryanne stared at me with her mouth hung open. "Are you okay?" I asked.

"I'm fine," Maryanne whispered in a surprisingly high voice. "You're just really good looking. Are you sure you're a doctor and not a paid actor or something?"

I laughed. Her reaction was actually common. Even some of the nurses at the hospital couldn't mask their interest in my looks. Well, I couldn't blame them. Trust me, I'm definitely not conceited, but with dark blonde hair and ice blue eyes, how can I think of myself as unattractive? "Well, thank you. I appreciate your kind words."

"Are all the doctors and nurses in this hospital attractive? Seriously, we just had a young nurse come in before, and my brother was all over her. Come to think of it, my brother just left the room to go find her. He thinks he can get any girl he wants. But whatever. Apparently she's a new nurse. You guys would look cute together. You know her?"

Woah. "I have yet to meet her," I admitted, placing Maryanne's folder on the food stand attached to her bed. "But besides all this talk about hot nurses, what brings you here?"

Maryanne sucked in her breath and held her stomach. "I've been vomiting for 3 hours straight and I've had infinite amount of diarrhea. It's so disgusting and I'm really sad that I have you as a doctor. You're so hot and I'm really gross right now. Are you single? Because I am."

I had to laugh at that. "Well, you must feel well enough to say that I'm hot. I'm gonna run some tests on you, but I'd bet that you have a minor stomach virus. If I get you on medication quickly enough, chances are you'll be out of here by tomorrow morning. Just get plenty of rest, okay?" I asked, leaving the room.

"Okay, thanks!" I heard her yell as I shut the door. I laughed as I walked over to the lab, which was conveniently two rooms down. I opened the door and saw Steve sitting at his desk in the corner, going over paperwork. Steve Marshall ran the lab on the 3rd floor of the hospital. He was a real nice guy and very dependable. I knocked on the door frame before letting myself in.

Steve whirled around in his chair and took off his glasses. "Well I'll be, if it isn't Chris Wrath! How are you, man?" he asked, walking over to shake my hand. "I feel like I haven't seen you in forever. You heard my wife had a baby?"

"I'm good, and yeah I heard, congratulations!"

"Thank you, we named her Lilly. But anyway, enough chitchat, what are ya in for?"

I flipped open Maryann's file and checked her symptoms again. "Run a blood test on Maryann McCluster. Also run a urine test to make sure she doesn't have a urinary tract infection. And run another test for rotavirus. I'm curious to see if she has any parasites lodged in her stomach that's causing her symptoms. Get the results back to me as soon as possible," I said.

"You can count on me!" Steve exclaimed, walking back over to his desk.

I walked back to the door. "Thanks man. Have a good day," I said before leaving the room.

As I was putting Maryann's folder in the holder on her room's door, I heard gasps from behind me. I turned around and saw all the doctors and nurses on the 3rd floor staring at the only person walking down the hallway. I was confused at first, but when I looked at the person, I understood why.

She was the most gorgeous woman I had ever seen in my entire life. She had dark, long, wavy hair that bounced as she walked. Her eyes were violet; they glowed against her fair skin. There wasn't a blemish in sight. Her expression seemed unchangeable, unaware of the attention she was attracting. She was wearing scrubs, so I knew that she was the new nurse. I watched in amazement as she strutted into one of the rooms, leaving everyone else on the 3rd floor stunned and amazed.

_

While I was working for the next 3 hours, all I could think about was her. I didn't know her name, but I was yearning to find out.

"You were right…she's definitely fine," I told Jeremy as we were changing out of our scrubs at the end of our shift.

"I told you," Jeremy said, throwing his scrubs in his cubby. He grabbed his wallet and car keys from his cubby and put them in his pocket. "Well, I'm heading out. I'll see you tomorrow, dude. Bye."

"Kay, see ya." I watched as Jeremy left the changing room and waved at the security guard at the front desk as he exited the hospital. I threw my scrubs in my cubby and left the changing room.

As I was leaving, I heard footsteps following me. I turned around and the person behind me crashed into me. I fell to the floor and felt unbearable pain in my nose. I put my hand up to it and felt warm liquid. I pulled my hand away and saw it covered in blood.

"Ugh," I moaned, wiping my nose again. I looked up and saw the person that crashed into me standing above me. It was the new nurse.

"Oh my God!" she cried, kneeling down to grab my hand, ignoring the blood that was seeping onto her clothing. "I am so sorry! Here, I'll lift you up. I'll take you to one of the rooms and fix your nose."

Her voice was so gentle and smooth that I didn't feel any pain as she lifted me up and led me to one of the examining rooms. Her voice was like bells and made me dizzy. I heard the security guard ask, "Is he okay?" and her say, "He'll be fine."

When we reached one of the rooms, she pushed me back onto the cot and grabbed tissues for my nose. She wiped the blood off my face and grabbed an IV from the bag hanging next to the cot. She wiped the top of my hand with an antibiotic wipe and stuck the IV needle in it. Then she gently touched my nose and I yelped in pain.

"Yikes…I'm sorry if I'm hurting you. I need to check if your nose is broken, though. Bear with me, please," she said, grabbing a few medical instruments that I couldn't identify because of my shaky vision. I knew that my nose was broken. I could feel bruising under my eyes and my vision was blurred. I felt her stick something up my nose but I didn't cry. I tried to look tough in front of her.

"Yeah, your nose is definitely broken. I must've crashed into you mighty hard. I'm so sorry. I feel horrible!" she cried, wiping the rest of the blood off my hands.

"It's okay," I said, not wanting to hear her cry. I heard her leave the room for a second and return with an ice pack.

"I can't really put a cast on it. Your nose will have to heal on its own, but you'll have to keep a close eye on it. Of course, I don't have to tell you that…you're a doctor. But if it heals crooked, chances are you'll need reconstructive surgery. Again, I'm so sorry for all this."

"Don't feel bad," I said, sitting up with the ice pack pressed to my face. "What's your name? I should know whose taking care of my nose, you know."

She grinned. "I'm Sophia Vitale. It's my first day working here."

I smiled back. "I'm Dr. Christopher Wrath. Call me Chris, though. And wow, if I didn't know it was your first day, I would've thought you worked here for 10 years without me noticing."

"I look that old?"

"Well, you look like you're in your 40's, maybe 39," I teased.

"Gee, you really know how to make a woman feel good about herself," she teased back.

"Hey, it's what I do."

"Yeah, you seem like that type of guy."

"And what type is that?"

"The I'm-the-biggest-lady's-man-you'll-ever-meet-and-no-one-can-top-me type," she smiled.

"You're good at reading people," I noted.

"It's what I do," she mimicked me in a deep voice. I laughed.

"I didn't know my voice sounded like a guy from To Catch a Predator."

"It doesn't sound like that. It sounds worse."

"Way to boost my self esteem.

"Thanks, I try."

I threw my legs over the side of the cot and stood up in front of her. "How long do I have to keep this on, Nurse Sophia?"
"Oh boy," Sophia laughed. "Just keep it on for a few hours until the swelling goes down. Take tons of medicine to relieve the pain. But let me know if anything unusual happens, like sharp pain or bad headaches."

"Don't I need your number for that?" I asked, grinning.

She sighed. "Here," she said, whipping out a piece of paper and writing her number on it. She handed it to me. "This number should only be usedfor medical reasons."

"So if I need someone to heal my broken heart, I'll call you," I said slyly.

"You're quite the charmer, Dr. Wrath," Sophia said, putting the medical instruments away. Then she took the IV out and wrapped a bandage around my hand.

"You're not the first to say that, Sophia. And Dr. Wrath? You make me sound like a villain."

Sophia laughed. "Well I hope you aren't a villain. And are you trying to make me jealous?"

"Well I don't know…is it working?"

Sophia laughed and shook her head. "Goodnight, Chris. I'll see you tomorrow. And again, sorry about the whole breaking-your-nose thing."

"No worries. Thanks for everything, though."

"You're welcome. Bye," she said, winking. Then she left the room.

My life changed from that moment on.