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The Five of Wands

Author(s): Sara Bell

 Dr. Travis Gordiani's life has officially gone to hell in a hand basket. A senior resident at a prestigious Atlanta hospital, Travis should be on top of the world. Instead, his love life sucks, his father hates him, and his work days are miserable thanks to a blue-eyed, black-haired pain in the ass named Jeremy Bowman. That Travis thinks Jeremy is one sexy SOB just makes it that much worse. Travis is pretty sure his life can't sink any lower when the unthinkable happens and he's accused of harming a patient and then covering his tracks. More shocking than that is having Jeremy Bowman come charging to his rescue.

Jeremy Bowman isn't the kind of guy who's afraid to admit when he's wrong, and he was wrong about Travis Gordiani in a big way. Far from being a spoiled daddy's boy, Travis is a stand up guy. A mouth-wateringly hot, hunky stand-up guy. No way in hell would Travis ever forge patient records, and Jeremy intends to prove it or die trying.

Excerpt


 "I've had the day from hell, Bowman." He wadded up his napkin. "Go away."


"I feel you. My day sucked the big one, too." Jeremy took a swig from his glass of iced tea. He pointed at Travis' salad. "You always live off that rabbit food?"

"Maybe." Truth was, Travis liked junk food as much as the next guy -- right at the moment he'd give his last dollar for a three-cheese pizza with extra sauce -- but this was the first time in four years he could remember Jeremy ever starting a conversation that didn't begin with an insult. Travis felt like he was treading water in the deep end with no way out of the pool. He decided to proceed with caution. "You always eat like that?" He pointed to the burger, which actually didn't look half bad now that he thought about it.

"Only when I lose a patient." Jeremy took another bite. His eyes closed again, but not before Travis saw a flash of raw pain.

"Shit." Travis tossed his greens around with his fork. They'd all been there, but that didn't make it any easier. The first time he'd lost a patient, Travis had been an intern working a trauma rotation in the E.R. There'd been a bad wreck on I-285, a mom and three kids in a minivan hit by an eighteen-wheeler going eighty. By some miracle, the kids had made it through with only minor injuries, but the mom was already bleeding out by the time the rapid responders rushed her through the trauma unit's doors. Travis and his attending at the time, Dr. Ramona Stowe, did all they could, but the patient died five minutes after they started working on her.

He could still remember the look of devastation on the husband's face when Ramona gave him the news.

He looked at Jeremy, who was wiping the grease off his fingers with a wet-nap. "Sorry."

"I keep telling myself it was her own damned fault." Jeremy guzzled his tea, then set down his glass and wiped his mouth. "Heart patient, been coming here for years, always seemed to end up with me." He balled the used wet-nap and tossed it onto the table. "Three confirmed blockages, suspected cardiac event last year around this time. Wouldn't follow up with any of the specialists I set her up with." He let out a long, slow breath. "Husband brought her in this morning, complaining of angina." He pinched the bridge of his nose like he was staving off a headache. "She arrested while I was doing her workup. I tried to restore a normal rhythm after she coded but I..." He looked away. "I pronounced her at 10:43." 

Travis wasn't sure what possessed him, but almost of its own free will, his hand found the back of Jeremy's and squeezed. "This one isn't on you." He smiled at the other man for probably the first time since he'd known the guy. "Contrary to your opinion of yourself, you aren't God."

Travis half expected Jeremy to pull his hand away and revert to the nasty status quo between them. Instead, Jeremy laughed, the sound rusty but real. He turned his hand over and folded his fingers in with Travis' like someone who desperately needed the connection. Travis was still marveling at the odd shift in their dynamic when a shadow fell across their table.

"Excuse me." Matthew was standing over them, mouth set in a hard line. "I thought I was in the cafeteria." He looked down at their joined hands. "Not a gay bar during happy hour."

Travis cursed the white-as-paste skin he'd inherited from his mother. He knew he had to be the same shade as the uneaten cherry tomatoes on his plate. He had no idea which way Jeremy swung, but given the way the guy felt about him -- temporary reprieve not withstanding -- he figured Jeremy was going to be furious at Matthew's implication. Travis tried to take back his hand.

Jeremy wouldn't let go. He looked up at Matthew, cocky as he ever was. "You think I'd need to take him to a gay bar to get my freak on?" Sounding once again like the Jeremy Bowman Travis knew, he said, "I think maybe I'd take a page from your book and sneak into one of the changing rooms down in radiology to bang him." He trailed his thumb over the back of Travis' hand, right where Matthew could see it. "Isn't that where you and that X-ray twink you're fucking go for a nooner every other Thursday?"

Matthew gripped the plastic tray he was holding tight enough to break it. Giving the two of them the dirtiest look in his repertoire, he said, "Enjoy your lunch," and stalked off.

"'Enjoy your lunch?'" Jeremy shook his head. "Somebody really needs to teach that guy the value of a good exit line."


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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781603708784
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 02/14/2014
Publisher: Torquere Press

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