“Can you believe her?” The eye roll that accompanied the question was epic.
“Oh Jeanie, knock it off.” Mischa sighed at the dirty look her fellow RN was aiming at the approaching form of Dr. Whitley Ferriero, accompanied by the head of security for the Paragon Center. The strict set of his shoulders and length of his rigid stride screamed former military despite the expensive cut of his business suit. Next to the swaying glide of the doctor it was even more noticeable. She’d been on the receiving end of one of his stares and shivered slightly at the memory. Of course, Jeanie was there to make sure her attention stayed on the more relevant conversation.
“You’re not really going to tell me you haven’t noticed how often she is in meetings with the head of security.” Jean tutted scornfully with a blatant look in their direction. Whatever they’d been conferring about was over as the blonde-haired man stepped inside the stairwell and disappeared—definitely no elevator for him, he’d probably viewed it as cheating at life.
“So what? He’s a good looking single man, unless you know about a happy housewife and a bunker full of babies–?” Mischa tried to enter in her nightly report at a faster clip, anything to not have to listen to Jean and her gossip, but as Brecken joined them she knew she was about to get an earful.
“Oh you know a man that looks like that has at least several ex-wives and probably child support payments coming out of his ass. Besides, she’s hooking up with the other security guy. I’ve seen them meeting in the parking garage and walking in together. I think I even saw them leave together the other night.” Sure enough, Brecken jumped right in as if she had been a part of the conversation from the beginning.
Jeanie gasped with just the right amount of affected shock, “The dark-eyed one with the ass?!”
“Mm…I know we have to be talking about Jones.” Gabriel threw in his two cents as he slid his tablet into the slot for record-keeping and drew out a low appreciative whistle, “That man’s ass would make a straight man gay…and I’ve never claimed to be straight.”
The computer screens beeped insistently and all of them went quiet for a moment as they turned their gazes to the list of room numbers and patient IDs. Sure enough a green glow highlighted one of them. Mischa frowned as she registered that it was John Doe’s room and gathered up her tablet to head that way. But as the conversation geared up around her again she interjected, “Gabriel, careful, you like Dr. Ferriero and these chicas were just ragging on her for sleeping with the entire security staff.”
“Noo!” Gabriel feigned surprise, “You girls are always so damn catty. What’s with that?? You know Dr. Nunez is chowin’ through you all like a soldier at mess h—“
“Gabriel!” His name drowned out the rest of his thoughts on the matter as they all erupted in denials and laughter.
Mischa definitely wasn’t sticking around for that conversation, after all, she felt her cheeks getting hot, Dr. Nunez was incredibly too good at his seductive antics and even she had let him put her in an compromising position or two.
“Okay, well so, at least Nunez isn’t playing around with the interns. I swear I’ve seen Dr. Ferriero with that young guy that is running the Alliance Call Center upstairs, and if that ain’t bad enough, she was just a little too close to that Ricky kid.”
“The one that broke Dr. Dobbs’ clipboard!?” Mischa actually stopped in surprise as they all shared a conspirator’s laugh. After all, that scene had been epic.
“Oh! I wish I’d been on call that day!” Gabriel gasped on a laugh, “Tell me again the look on his face!”
Again the computer screen beeped and the green highlighted link revealed itself to be the comatose John Doe’s room for a second time. Now that was just odd, leaving her fellows to their laughter, Mischa made her way down the clinic hallways that were so clean that they practically looked glossed. State of the art technology decorated every alcove and wall she passed and the doctor’s names on the office doors were undeniably some of the best. There was the Immunologist, the Geneticist, and the Neurologist, not to mention the charming Psychiatrist’s office. He wouldn’t be down here now though, his hours were day time only and Mischa only saw him at the mandatory session she had to keep once every 2 weeks. The orders had come down from the board that everybody who worked with the Upsurged were to be given free treatment. After some of the shit she’d seen around here Mischa couldn’t fault them for the precaution. Sometimes she doubted her choice to come here, there was no doubt that it was dangerous, but also deeply rewarding.
She rounded the corner for the patient rooms that were more hospital than doctor’s office. Quiet but for the occasional beeping, swishing or chirping noises of various equipment, Mischa felt the hair on her arms lift as her heart rate accelerated. An odd reaction for what was so normally routine for her. With a shake of her head at her nonsensical response she reached for the door handle of John Doe’s room and felt a sharp snap of electricity. From the corner of her eye she saw a purplish hue flash across her fingertips.
“What the–!” Jerking her hand back she stared in surprise at the handle.
Static electricity. It was a common enough phenomenon but this time it had really packed a punch. Lifting her fingers to examine them she realized she must’ve imagined the purple light.
“Get your shit together Mish.” She muttered around a laugh and reached for the door handle again. Her shoulders relaxed as no repeat injury occurred and she let out a breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding.
The door pushed inward and she pulled her tablet from its sleeve in her scrubs, the stylus slipped free to fall from her hand. She might have noticed that it hovered in the air in a strange gravity field had her gaze not been locked in shock at the sight of Dr. Ferriero floating above the hospital bed like a scene out of a bad horror film. The same purplish hued light she’d mistaken for her imagination seemed to glow and swirl all about the doctor and clothe her from sight, but it was unmistakably Whitley who turned toward her.
And it was her voice that emanated from John Doe’s mouth as his sightless eyes stared at the young nurse, “I really wish you hadn’t come in here.”
“Earth to Mischa.” Brecken’s voice drew her out of a dazed stare. The vision of her locker slowly blinking into focus. Startled, Mischa turned toward the other nurse and then back to her locker before slowly sliding her gaze to the clock on the wall. 3 AM!
“Weren’t you off the clock at one?” Brecken asked, grabbing her Northface jacket and pulling it on with a quizzical stare.
“Umm..” Mischa tried again to make sense of it all, “I was at the desk, we were…you were…you thought Dr. Ferreiro was hooking up with the security…” The computer screen with John Doe’s ID number flashed in her mind, but that wasn’t right, she had a call to check on him and he was sleeping as usual, just a sensor gone faulty… Purple stars splotched their way across her eyelids as she blinked them closed against a pressing headache.
“Ooh hoo! No no. We had it ALL wrong.” Brecken crowed in delight, just as Jeannie entered to get her purse from her locker. “Dr. Ferreiro just left the building in a brand new Bentley—courtesy of William Foster!”
Jeannie squealed and spun about, “No Way! I thought he was engaged!”
“He was! Not too long ago either, I bet money she probably is the reason they broke up!”
Jeannie shook her head, “No, he’s into blondes right? Doesn’t he always date short blondes??”
Blonde hair with dark empty eyes, the face of John Doe swam up in Mischa’s mind again and she felt a wave of nausea.
“I got to go.. I don’t feel so good.” Pushing past the two of them Mischa hurried from the staff room, Brecken’s voice following, “how rude, I mean seriously, where’s she been for the last two hours anyways? Last I saw her she was going to check on John Doe.”
Jeannie weighed in, eyes wide as she followed the clues, “Dr. Nunez is down on that floor right?”
“Ooooh!” Brecken giggled. “What do you want to bet—“