Authors: Christin Jensen
The Cowboy’s Redemption
BWWM Billionaire Western Romance
By Christin Jensen
Copyright 2015, Christin Jensen
All Right Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
The loss of one love had been too much for Doctor Melinda "Reese" Resano. And for two years, she carried the weight of his death on her hands, refusing to allow herself to stop from saving lives as her way of coping.
One accident changes everything, bringing into her life Warren Markus, cowboy heir to a million dollar business. At first, she merely tries to get answers from him concerning his medical history, but conversations prove that he may be the only one to understand the depths of losing someone to death.
Eventually, she cannot find it in herself to resist him any longer and finds that the only cure to a broken heart syndrome was to find another heart to mend and be healed in return.
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Note from Author
Christin’s Other Books
Double shifts at a hospital make the days melt together, like butter… or mud. Once upon a time, those same days would mix not unlike how one would stir paint together, pale colors turning vibrant shades that made the canvas of days more interesting to behold when she returned home.
Once upon those days meant something… sometimes they still do. Unfortunately, it was hard to see it that way now.
Coffee breaks had once been something Melinda enjoyed as well. She’d sit down, with a cup in her hands, her eyes pouring over the information in a patient’s file, and she’d enjoy the words being thrown back and forth between a couple of nurses or an anecdote from one of her friends who found something strange in a recent surgery. It had been nice.
She felt like her work brought good results, she was saving lives. Melinda could remember receiving a very lovely ‘thank you’ card from one of the patients she had been able to save with another doctor’s assistance—it hadn’t been a life threatening situation, but when the option to operate had become an insistence to amputate, Melinda had found another option. It required the use of some serious anti-biotics and it had been risky, but the patient had been able to recover and keep their arm.
She remembered feeling incredibly happy with herself, and even though double shifts meant less sleep, less opportunity to go out and socialize, she was changing things; Melinda was saving lives. That much had made the blank canvases each day brought more colorful, even if the colors weren’t particularly radiant or bright—it was still a beautiful result in the end.
And one day, like an abrupt spray of a completely different color, appeared on her canvas in the shape of a name and a warm smile. He was an amusing sort of fellow; the kind who loved jokes and the happier things in life over others and wasn’t afraid to show it. Eddie had been a friend of a friend, introduced to each other in a little party the residents at the hospital prepared for a special occasion (Melinda forgets which). He hadn’t been particularly striking in good-looks, but he had charmed her in ways she hadn’t quite expected he would.
So when he turned up in the E.R a few weeks later after having gone out on a few dates, Melinda couldn’t help a smile—albeit a concerned one—after she greeted him.
Melinda had sighed the moment her eyes landed on his. “
What have you gotten yourself into this time?”
And then he grinned despite the split lip and the large piece of metal protruding from his arm.
“Oh, you know,”
He had replied cheekily.
Melinda’s brown eyes twinkled at his attitude, amused despite knowing that it was most likely the result of the anesthesia swirling in his bloodstream.
“Well, let’s get you out of here.”
He gave her a nod, smiling at her sheepishly and when Melinda peered at his chart, she realized vaguely that she could be actually falling for him.
“He’s a cutie, huh?”
Melinda had chuckled at the words of Hara, one of the resident nurses who enjoyed commenting on the good-looking patients that walked through their halls.
“So, is it true he’s the same guy from the party? You know the on you’ve been dating?”
“I can’t exactly be giving out patient information, Hara.”
Melinda retorted, grin in place.
“Well, he won’t be a patient for long,”
Hara giggled, taking a swig from a coffee cup.
“And when that happens, you should probably go celebrate or something. If you know what I mean.”
A flush dusted over Melinda’s cheeks and rolling her eyes she walked out the break room to get back to work. Hara had been right about him… about how he wouldn’t be a patient for much longer… it just didn’t happen in the way Melinda wanted. Eddie had had several complications, each time confusing Melinda more and more, each time making their conversations drift from the amused and the flirty to more serious… more disheartening.
“I NEED A CRASH CART NOW!”
He wasn’t any different.
“20 CCs of Epinephrine now!”
He hadn’t told anyone about a serious blood condition—because in a way he hadn’t been aware of it. He knew it was an issue in his family, but he believed himself to be incapable of contracting it. Which was not how genetics worked, and for a guy who enjoyed the happier things in life… Melinda had never considered it was because he preferred blissful ignorance over the truth.
“He’s crashing—we need to defibrilate now!”
“We can’t do that, the damage to his heart could kill him!”
“If we don’t bring him back, we’ll lose him!”
It had been too late. It took seven minutes to transfer him to the emergency ward… seven minutes in which Melinda had to launch into Eddie’s cot and begin administering CPR because his heart had already stopped. Blood slipped between her fingers, staining beneath her fingernails. Despite how hard she counted, how hard she insisted that they were going to safe him… it had been too late.
At 8:54 pm… Edward Andersen died of heart failure…
And that color on her canvas faded… faded to a background that Melinda couldn’t quite stomach anymore. So, she stopped bothering to paint with those colors anymore. Eventually, days just blended together until there was nothing left but gray upon hue of gray on her daily canvas.
Eddie’s death had been unexpectedly hard on Melinda. Probably not just because she had been emotionally involved with a patient, but because he had been her very first failed case in eight long years as a great doctor. Well… officially speaking anyway. She had been involved in failed cases before, which doctor hadn’t? But, none had been when she had been directly managing the case.
Meeting with the board of the Hospital immediately after hadn’t helped much of anything aside from seal what emotions Melinda had into a dark space in her heart.
If you were to talk to any other doctor in the world…
“Were you, in any way, emotionally involved with the patient?”
They would tell you the same thing.
After you lose a patient, you’re allowed to grieve.
“And yet, other residents have mentioned that you had dated the patient previously to the situation. Even more alarmingly, that you had requested to be made head doctor of his case after his situation worsened, is this correct?”
That, you should never let the loss carry into your work. You find a way to deal with it; be it with counseling or any other method that didn’t hinder your ability to perform.
“Yes, we have gone on dates prior to his admission. But, I didn’t know him well enough to be emotionally compromised.”
“I acted as objectively as anyone else would have.”
It’s all just far easier said than done.
“And yet you were seen crying over the patient’s body as you administered CPR.”
“My ability to be emotionally affected over losing a patient does not make me any less of a good doctor.”
In the long run, Melinda could have done anything else. Counseling had always been available to her, sympathy was never short from her fellow residents and many of her fellow doctors had nothing to say to her aside from comforting gazes, pats on a shoulder, and a look that said
Melinda did carry on. She just left all her emotions behind. If there was one thing she knew she could never allow, was making the same mistake twice.
Doctor Melinda “Reese” Resano, one of Mountain View General’s brightest young minds, had become one of its most ruthless and dedicated of doctors. Cases that came in under her care had a high rate of success… and the few that failed? Melinda would file in her reports, answer in every case meeting, and she would carry on.
She never looked back after that.
And so when a new admission came in, with the face like it had been carved out of marble, and a body to match, Melinda had been more than prepared to get him treated, get him better, and get him the hell out of there.
Sure, things didn’t always go according to plan, but she was far too prepared to push…
She just never expected for someone to pull back.
“Alright, Hara, give me the rap.”
“Got us a real cowboy this time, Reese. Thirty year old male, just checked in after being in pretty bad car accident, got it pretty bad considering he was also the only survivor. He’s got a broken arm, Roger’s last said it looked like he even had a few broken ribs and may be in danger of dealing with a collapsed lung. He’s got a fractured sternum and a shard of glass very nearly ripped his jugular in half.”
“Yeah,” Hara huffed a snort of amusement that was less amused and more incredulous. “You should see the other guy.”
Melinda scowled as her strides elongated the closer she got to the E.R. “I’d rather not. What’s he being treated with?”
“Serious anesthesia for the broken bones, EMTs had a problem trying to keep him quiet on the way here. Wouldn’t stop screaming. He’s stabalized, but that’s sporadic right now.” Chart in hand, Melinda’s eyes scoured over the pages of crucial information. The accident happened only forty minutes ago, and that was nearly enough to make her face remain glued in a dark expression of focus. She was very nearly running by the time she got within the E.R.
A cacophony of noises treated her as soon as she walked in. The E.R had never been a place where one could walk easily. There was always someone screaming, someone groaning, someone bleeding, someone puking… and on and on and on. Of course, in the chaos that consisted the E.R especially after such a pronounced accident occurred on the news, Melinda had wondered shortly if she’d be able to find her patient through the thick tide of patients of other accidents, false alarms, and the occasional hypochondriac that
found a reason to check in even when they were nowhere near the accident.
get Ted out of here?” Melinda snapped when she found the hospital’s reknown false cheiromegaly.
“Doctor Reese, something’s wrong with me!” came the tell-tale cry from the older man.
“I’m sure there is, Ted.” Melinda said, forcing a quick professional smile over her lips that probably looked more like a snarl than anything. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted one of the E.R nurses, and with a swift snap of her fingers, Melinda called her over. “Wanda! Could you get him out of here? He’s going to start making a scene and the last thing is another false alarm.”
Just moments after Melinda managed to have the man taken out of the E.R, she spotted her patient. Several nurses were already on hand, one of them pressing a large wad of gauze to the man’s blood soaking neck. The gurney had just recently paused in its travels, no doubt awaiting her for consult while a junior doctor was taking rapid information into a file that would be added to their patient’s chart.
“Doctor Reese!” She met her junior’s eyes with a swift nod, and she held up a hand to keep him from running in her direction. He was so hilariously prone to tripping that right now was certainly not the time.
“Why isn’t he being taken to the O.R, Flint?” Melinda demanded without ceremony.
The young doctor gave her a desperately anxious look, “It’s overstocked, Doctor. There was another accident prior to this one, it was a doozy.”
Melinda nearly smacked herself in the forehead. There was a myriad of things she wanted to do to her junior and smacking him was climbing up rather speedily to the top. “Doctor Flinnegan, please memorize the hospital’s floorplan ASAP, for the love of god. Haven’t I already told you to stop listening to Richards? Jesus. I need a small team! Get this man to the O.R, now!”
A flurry of nurses appeared just seconds later, their hands landing on the gurney before strolling the cot down a hall, Melinda and Flint in tow. Complete file in hand, Melinda’s eyes scanned the patient’s chart.
Warren Markus, age 30…
The remainder of the next hour and a half went in a blur all too familiar in Melinda’s veins. The adrenaline rush and spin of swift information made her fall into a state of mind so automatic it was almost soothing. The caffeine in her blood brought her alertness to an entirely different level, making her mind process the events and spit out orders so efficiently she nearly felt unstoppable.
It was a difficult thing to explain since most people tended to break under such pressures. Not Melinda. She thrived on it.
The fiercest bit of action faded as soon as her patient was wheeled into an operating room, and she took some time to compose her mind to slow into clinical precision. Of course, much of her focus nearly exploded when she walked int to scrub down. The sight of a rival doctor would make most people get irriated—Melinda believed herself to be above petty differences—but this man had caused her more problems than aid in her cases and she knew it was because he was just a genuine bastard.
“Richards, what the fuck are you doing here?” She snapped, not bothering to wait until he saw her. Richard turned around, already fully scrubbed down and prepared. His eyes twinkled smugly over the face mask and she was proud of her ability to remain professional even after feeling her blood boil.
“I’m about to save a man’s life, Reese.”
She threw him a final nasty glare as she dumped her hands under scalding hot water. “There’s an entire room of dying people in the E.R, go there.”
“Nah, I’d rather save this guy.”
“Typical,” she hissed, feeling her skin sting with the force of the bristles she dragged over her palms. “I get it, you hate the fact I’m here, but don’t risk people’s lives to play your little games. This man should’ve been in here twenty minutes ago.”
“Typical,” Richards parroted. “Of a woman to overreact to the smallest little accident. However do you do your job?” She was inches from pissing off the board, because she was very tempted to reach over and kick the surgeon in the balls. Instead, she tugged on her gloves and finished sterilizing herself.
Ignoring Richards would be something she would grow to do with more elegance in the future, of this she was sure. Dealing with misogynistic assholes wasn’t unusual in her line of work, but she usually let her experience speak for itself rather than to settle into pointless debates. She learned this three years into her residency in the hospital. Something else she learned was the unfortunate level of success she had with Richards when they worked together. Off work, the two loathed one another, but when in the same room and saving someone’s life, they were nearly unstoppable. Still, she would much rather work with Doctor Ansari—he was a million times more amicable than his counterpart. With a deep breath, she walked into the operating room, finding the room prepared for the procedure.
All her patients looked peaceful when under the full weight of narcotics and shock, yet this man’s face didn’t seem to ease off from a pained scowl even after it all. Then again, that wasn’t too surprising when the man’s name was Warren. Lights on, equipment ready, Melinda got to work to saving this man’s life as she monitored his heart readings… if only she knew she’d have more to do with his heart.