Read A Love Like This Online

Authors: Kahlen Aymes

Tags: #romance, #love, #sexy, #erotic romance, #oliviamk1218, #kahlen aymes, #dont forget to remember me, #a love like this, #the future of our past, #the remembrace trilogy

A Love Like This (9 page)

“Hey, Ryan. How long you been on?”

I continued my walk to my locker. “A little
more than twelve hours. You?”

“Just ten. I have a couple more then I’m
outta here. Do you have any of Julia’s deliciousness with you?”
Caleb asked with a smirk.

I smiled as I fumbled with the padlock. “Not
today. She’s been in Spain all week. I haven’t seen her.”

“Spain, huh?”

I flipped my phone open and saw a text from
her. She’d paged me earlier, but I couldn’t get to my phone to call
her back.

 

I’m back in town. Cluster at the office.
AGAIN. Going straight there from JFK. Home later. Can’t wait to see
your handsome face. Love you, BB. XXOOXX!

 

I sighed and then registered Caleb’s words.
“Yeah. She was working on a shoot in Gibraltar and Barcelona.”

“Sounds like a rough gig.”

“It can be. Coordinating our schedules can
be murder.” He made no move to leave so I decided to go into one of
the sleeping rooms to call her. “Hey, man, I need to call Julia.
Will you excuse me?”

He smirked at me. “Sure, I understand. Does
she look as good as she cooks?” I laughed and went back to the
locker. I pulled out my wallet, flipping it open to the photo just
on the inside and handed it to him. It was the close up of her
outside of Harvard that Mike had taken of just her face, veil and
flowers. Caleb’s appreciation was apparent in the low whistle that
came out.

“Wow. She’s a beauty.”

I just smiled and took the wallet back when
he was finished. “Thanks, I have to agree.” He moved past me to
leave the room and I continued toward one of the sleeping rooms to
place the call. The light was low, only a small built-in fixture
strip at the top of the shortest wall. It was designed to give
enough light to get around, but dark enough to sleep easily. The
doors were heavy and the space small, only slightly wider than the
single cot along one wall. I sat down and hit the speed dial to
reach Julia.

It rang several times and then went to
voicemail. I sank down on the cot and leaned back slightly. I was
disappointed. I wanted to hear her voice. I missed her and longed
to hear more about her trip. It was bad enough when I couldn’t see
her, but I absolutely hated it when I couldn’t talk to her. My eyes
burned from tiredness and my stomach grumbled. I’d hoped that Julia
would be able to pop in for dinner with me, even though I hated
when she came down here alone in the evenings. I needed to set eyes
on her. I pressed redial and this time when it went to voicemail I
left a message.

“Hey, sweets. I’m sorry I couldn’t call
before. It’s been so busy, but hopefully it will settle down now.
I’m going to grab some dinner and then I’ll try to call again. I’m
beat, but if I can, I’ll try to catch a couple hours of sleep here
later so I can be up with you when I get home. I love you,
baby.”

I rubbed my stomach as it grumbled again
wondering what delicacies they’d managed to dredge up in the
cafeteria tonight. The food at St. Vincent’s wasn’t horrible, but I
was sick of it; the same things over and over, week after week.
Ugh. When Julia was traveling, I was left at its mercy.

I couldn’t wait for Sunday. We had the whole
day together and I knew she’d spoil me with something delicious.
And lots of sex.
I grinned to myself as I imagined her warm
and soft in my arms, murmuring my name in that enticing, guttural
moan I loved. Suddenly I was hungry for more than just food.

I longed for the days when I could just walk
across campus to her dorm or the few blocks between our apartments
in the last two years at Stanford. I took her presence for granted
then, never realizing how much I would miss it. I huffed in
self-annoyance. I was married to the woman of my dreams and I was
whining like a baby. “Stupid ass,” I muttered.

I pushed off of the cot to head back to the
ER. It wasn’t busy. The nurses were hanging out at the nurse’s
station and Caleb was leaning against it with his hip, leisurely
sipping coffee, listening to them with interest. He had a crush on
Jane. I recognized the way he looked at her as the same way I used
to drool over Julia before she knew how I really felt about
her.

I didn’t wait to be invited into their
conversation. I was tired and I really wanted the time alone. “Do
we have anything inbound that we know about?”

“Nope.” Beth, a young nursing assistant,
piped up. “Thank goodness.”

The ambulance dispatch or the public
services, police and fire departments, usually alerted the hospital
if they had any critical issues on the way in. “Okay then. Since
it’s slow right now, I’m going to run down to the cafeteria. I
haven’t eaten all day.”

“Sure, Ryan,” Caleb nodded in
acknowledgement.

I made eye contact so he knew that I heard
him and then turned around and walked out the double doors that
separated the emergency department from the rest of the
hospital.

The cafeteria was several floors down and in
the opposite wing of the hospital. It took a good ten minutes to
walk there. The hospital halls were quiet and the lobbies empty
with only one or two visitors roaming the halls. Visiting hours
were over and only the more critical care patients or emergency
patients were allowed to have visitors. The administration staff
was gone and only one admissions clerk remained in the department
for emergencies to be admitted as needed.

“Ryan…” I heard some footsteps behind me and
Jane’s voice calling after me. I stopped and glanced over my
shoulder.

“Yes? Do they need me in ER?” I asked
anxiously as I paused in the hallway.

“No. But I haven’t eaten either. Want some
company?” She was half running down the long corridor toward me,
her long ponytail wagging behind her.

“Sure, that’s fine.”

Jane smiled and I resumed walking when she
reached me, but truthfully, I didn’t feel much like conversation or
company. I could tell she wanted to talk. We knew each other a
little bit, talked a little over coffee or hanging out in the ER
between patients, but it had been pretty impersonal. Except for the
day I lost my first patient. Jane was working on the little girl
with me and had been the one to call time of death, practically
pulling me off as I continued to work on her. It still hurt to
think about it. Especially after what happened later when Julia
remembered losing our baby.

“Rough day, huh?” she asked, and it was
clear that I wasn’t the only one who felt uncomfortable. She’d
arrived at work several hours after I did. The nurses worked three
twelve-hour days, but the residents practically lived at the damn
hospital.
Someday you’ll make the big bucks
, I reminded
myself.

“Not terrible. Surprisingly, no trauma.
Usually we have three or four really bad cases a day.” I ran my
hand through my hair as we entered the cafeteria. It smelled good,
even if the flavor of it was less than appetizing. I smiled weakly.
“Of course, you know that right? You’ve been here longer than I
have.”

“Yes. Almost five years.”

I looked at the menu for the day. Standard
hospital fare: Meatloaf, hot turkey sandwiches, lasagna, some sort
of Mexican glop that was supposed to be enchiladas, burgers,
chicken sandwiches and then the sandwich and salad bar. I ordered a
grilled chicken sandwich, and to my surprise, Jane got the
glop.

I didn’t realize it, but my face must have
reflected my horror because she laughed. “You don’t like
enchiladas?”

“Is that what that is?” I joked lightly. “It
looks like barf.”

“I’ll let you know in a minute.” She
chuckled lightly.

We each paid for our own meals and then
found a table near one of the windows. I pulled my pager off of my
belt and sat it on the table next to my tray. No word from Julia
yet. This was weird and I was starting to worry slightly. I sighed
loudly as I picked up the top half of the bun and opened one of
those little packets of mayonnaise.

“What’s the matter?”

“I’m expecting a call. Julia was out of town
all week and got back today. She has some issue at her job and so
I’m not sure if she’s home yet.”

“Julia’s your wife?” She glanced at the
platinum and diamond band on my left hand.

My face split into a huge grin as I
reassembled my sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes. “Yes. Are you
married?”

“No, but I have a boyfriend. We’ve been
dating for four years. I wonder if he’s ever going to get around to
asking me to marry him.”

“Four years is a long time. That’s how long
Julia and I were technically a couple before we got married as
well… but we were best friends for another four before that.”

“Holy cow!” Jane’s eyes widened
incredulously. “That’s forever!”

I watched her take a bite of the glop and
waited for her reaction. Her nose wrinkled a little bit and I
laughed out loud.

“See? If it looks like barf, don’t eat it,”
I teased. Jane nodded, but took another bite.

She smiled. “I don’t see you in the
cafeteria much. You get used to the barf over time.”

“I bring my lunch most of the time. Julia
rocks in the kitchen, so I’m spoiled. Puts this shit to shame. When
she travels on short notice, I’m stuck with it, however.”

“She travels? What does she do?”

“She’s a fashion editor at Vogue and is
working her way up the ranks. Sometimes she needs certain settings
or a certain designer for a layout but other times, someone else
can’t go as scheduled and they send Julia instead. Those are the
times my stomach pays. When she knows she’s leaving, she sets me up
in advance.” I was talking more to myself than to Jane, wistful in
my thoughts.

“She
does
spoil you. I can’t cook to
save my life.”

“That explains your open attitude toward
this shit, then,” I quipped and we both laughed.

We passed the rest of dinner in easy
camaraderie and soon went back upstairs.

I stopped by the lounge once more and tried
Julia again. Still no answer, which made the next two hours pass by
at a snail’s pace. I was clock watching. We had a heart attack
victim and a minor car accident to deal with, but we were way
overstaffed for the amount of work we had to do. More snail’s pace
clock watching. Finally, at midnight, my pager went off from Julia
and when I had stabilized the heart attack victim and we’d gotten
him admitted, I was finally able to call her from one of the phones
in the department.

Julia answered on the first ring and my
heart lifted at the sound of her voice. “Hi, sweetheart. I’m sorry
I didn’t get back to you earlier. I fell asleep.”

“I forgot about the time difference and the
jet lag.” There were too many people around to speak to her in the
intimate way I wanted. She sounded sleepy and I could imagine her
all warm and rumpled in our bed. “Are you feeling okay?”

“Yeah, babe. I’m just a little sleepy,
still. I woke up with a start knowing that you’d probably be
freaking out that you hadn’t heard from me.”

“I was a little worried. I knew your work
wouldn’t go until midnight. Did you get it fixed?”

“Um… not completely. I know what has to be
done, but um… baby, just don’t be upset, okay?” I could hear the
trepidation in her voice which told me I wasn’t going to like what
was coming.

“What now?” I couldn’t help the defeat that
flowed through the words.

“We have a re-shoot and…”

My muscles tightened and I sucked in my
breath in preparation for an angry retort. “What did that little
fucker screw up this time, Julia?” I shot out.


Nothing
.” Her voice was soft. “It
wasn’t Mike’s mistake this time. He went to the set, he used the
models and clothes that were there, but someone screwed up the
production instructions. The wrong designer’s line was brought in.
So now I have very good photos, but I don’t have shots for the
clothes I need for the issue I’m working on. The cover is printed
so I’m screwed. I have no choice but to re-shoot.”

I relaxed a little as I listened to her. She
sounded soothing even if her words meant the weekend was royally
fucked.

“When?” I asked, already knowing the
answer.

“Sunday. I couldn’t get it together in time
for tomorrow. I tried.”

I didn’t say anything because the nurses
were looking at me, clearly wondering what I found so upsetting. My
face felt flushed and I turned my back on them, lowered my tone and
leaned on the counter. “I know. I just…
shit!
I was looking
forward to spending the time with you,” I rasped out roughly.

“Me, too. I was really mad about it, but now
I’m just sad. I’m so sorry, Ryan. You know where I want to be.”

I could hear it in her voice and I didn’t
want to make it worse. I sighed deeply. “I love you, Julia. I’m not
mad at you. I’m just…
pissed
at the situation. We can’t get
a fucking break.”

I could hear her breathing on the other end
of the phone and my heart melted. This was my baby and I had no
right to be irritable over something she couldn’t control anymore
than I could control my own God damn schedule.

“I’ll keep the bed warm. When will you be
home?” she said softly.

Love flooded through me until I felt like my
chest would burst. “I don’t know. It’s up in the air. It’s not busy
but I don’t think they’ll let me leave early, just in case
something happens, but it’s boring as hell. Most of tonight we’ve
been doing nothing. Don’t wait up, honey.”

“Did you eat?” My lips lifted at the
corners. She was always worried about me. After all this time I
didn’t know why it still shook me to the core.

“Yes. I had a cardboard chicken sandwich two
or three hours ago.”

“Will you get time to rest if it’s that
quiet?”

“Probably. But I wish you were here. I’d
sleep better with you next to me.”

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