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milaramos
March 15th, 2008, 05:32 PM
Jaded Beasts 5: Smoke & Mirrors
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The early morning of a clear and barely lit sky held the promise of a new day. The dawn rays seeped into the expansive six-building complex known as <st1><st1:placename>Huntsville</st1:placename> <st1:placename>Medical</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Hospital</st1:placetype></st1>. Night personnel of various trained professionals left for respite, as the day crew took over. Reading over assortments of charts, graphs and medical literature, the rhythmic ballet of the machines and monitors soothe the workers keeping things in a calm and stable motion. At each station, on every floor, the usual barrage of paperwork was filled out by head nurses and signed off via corresponding doctors. On the recently built Pediatrics building, the flow of traffic was special as were the patients. Specializing in several children’s specialties, the <st1><st1:placename>Huntsville</st1:placename> <st1:placename>Pediatrics</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Building</st1:placetype></st1> housed the best doctors who had spent their lives perfecting their art. <o></o>


The second floor of the Pediatric building housed the Neurology Wing filled with the nation’s most brilliant minds. Though the current activity on the Pediatric floor was slow, nurses and doctors kept their usual routine. Patient’s vital signs were monitored and needed medication administered. Down at the end of the hall was one of their most dedicated doctors arguing with Pathology over the progress of one her patient’s reports. <o></o>


“This is Dr. Ana Fiore still waiting on Pathology reports…Yes I know I called earlier...I see your powers of observation haven’t failed you yet…Well Deidre, I’m going to explain something called urgency…Yes I know you know what that word means, but it has obviously failed your range of understanding. I have a patient who’s in the Intensive Care Unit, and I need the reports that Pathology has still failed to send. I ordered the biopsy two weeks ago and I still am getting the run around….Yes, I’m sure you are extremely tied up, but how can that procedure take two weeks when normally analyzing and reporting takes a two hours from start to finish?....So when will my report be ready?....Really next week….Well Deidre how about this idea. I expect that Pathology report on my desk in 30 minutes or I’ll walk you through the fine details of work termination with your employer…Do we understand each other Deidre? …We do? Oh good, speak with you soon.”<o></o>


Hanging up the phone, Dr. Anabella Fiore let out her annoyed sigh and stretched her neck. Frustration started with the minute she walked through the building doors the previous night and kept encouraging the flame long into the night and now into the early morning. A majority of the irritation was the confrontation with her colleague, Dakota Hastings, but the rest was with the opening of the Chief of Staff position. The candidate list was made of three nominees: Dakota Hastings, herself, and Shannon Worth. All three candidates were qualified and respected neurosurgeons, but the final decision came to the current Chief of Staff Jack Fiore. After years as the hospital’s head, he was stepping down to ‘enjoy the good life’ for as many years as he could. Though many of the fellow doctors and staff didn’t believe he was actually retiring, it seemed this time he was serious. With the list of candidates out and floating through the building, the retirement announcement was more believable. <o></o>


Ana overall was proud her father was at last retiring. He promised her mother a two month cruise out somewhere and she knew they deserved it. She envied her parents for their marriage. Though married to a doctor wasn’t an easy life, being married to a neurosurgeon wasn’t a picnic either. Ana remembered many days and nights without her father around, but it didn’t stop her parents from giving her the best education and life possible. Love was never short and neither was the support. As the oldest of 5, she grew up knowing that even though her father wasn’t able to be around for certain moments in her life, he was there for the most important ones.<o></o>


When she decided to enter neurosurgery, she changed her last name to her mother’s maiden name –Fiore- and walked through the prestigious doors of her father’s specialty. Her father was pleased and in certain senses she felt the torch was finally passing over to her. Going through the exact rigors her father endured, there was a special, unspoken bond between her father and herself. She understood just what he sacrificed those years he had to be gone and the reason he did it.<o></o>


Years later, she was the doctor but the situation was a little different. Being the best neurosurgeon in Huntsville Medical made things just down right difficult when it came to different requests, and any medical need that didn’t need a male type of approval. It was hard being one of the few female neurosurgeons in <st1><st1:city>Huntsville</st1:city>, <st1:state>Indiana</st1:state></st1>. Yes, there were some things that could be tolerated, things that could be disposed of with just two Tylenols and a stiff drink. <o>

</o> It was small compared to the accolades she received for her work in Neurosurgery form the many Neurosurgical Boards. She worked hard for her Neurology specialty in Pediatrics. Those who understood the rigors of Neurology knew that it took years for a surgeon to become licensed and specialized in their field. Only the best could perform an operation on the brain, just those who had endured the rigors could proudly be called neurosurgeons. She took that distinction as a badge of honor. With that distinction, she put all her time and effort into the dream that became a reality. <o></o>


Using part of her salary and constant contributions she received from various donors, the <st1><st1:placename>Huntsville</st1:placename> <st1:placename>Medical</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Center</st1:placetype></st1> was able add a floor and add a Fetal and Neonatal Neurological wing. Outfitted with state of the art equipment and staff, it had through time become the best hospital in <st1:state><st1>:place>Indiana</st1>:place></st1:state>. Currently in national hospitals, Huntsville Medical was ranked fifth but she knew after the Pediatric Neurosurgery Gala that would hopefully change. With new incoming surgeons and donors, there would hopefully be more improvements to the quality of patients.<o></o>


This of course didn’t matter to most of the staff at Huntsville Medical. Through instance and interaction Ana was known as Dr. Ice. She was cold, callus and the hardest surgeon to work with; she knew and admitted it to herself. It didn’t matter that she spent most of her time taking care of her patients or that the rest of her free time went to the working as chairperson of the Neonatal wing going to conferences, charitable meetings, and seminars to make sure the wing was running smoothly financially. <o></o>


The hard work strained and taxed her personal life, in more ways than she ever liked. She was reasonably attractive. At 5’6, she had several stunning assets which she thanked to her long and distinguished Irish and Italian heritage. She was blessed with full, luxurious set of flaming auburn hair, each lock fused with the color of sunbursts. The flaming auburn tresses reminded her of a dangerous, wild and untamable woman instead of what she thought it to be just simple stroke of genetic luck. Many times she would twirl her hair in her finger and lay amazed at its rich shade. <o></o>


Her mother once said her hair color reminded many of a <st1:city><st1>Phoenix</st1></st1:city> its radiate flame changing hue and intensity depending on where you looked. Her eyes were purely her father’s, green as the Emerald Isle she descended from and which she would soon one day be visiting for a vacation. Though at times it irritated her, she knew each feature she received from her parents were ones she would never change. <o></o>


There were times, like any woman, she wanted to change her shape even if it was a little bit extreme at times. There were several instances after working out she would stare at her full figured curves and wish to the imaginative Slim Fairies for slender hips and thighs. She had curves and plenty of them to go around. With almond-shaped green eyes, long thick eyelashes, and lips so full it would make Angelina Jolie jealous; her countenance at times passed her for an impish fairy than for a doctor. It was some of these features that won the attention of a good number of men.


It didn’t matter at times that it was her genetics that attracted the men to her, most of the men she dated wouldn’t have noticed any of these important elements. To her, in her own honest opinion, they were too self-involved in themselves and their careers to really find out about the woman they could possibly share a few good moments. Pity, some of her dates had some great potential. She learned rather quickly that most men were intimidated by a beautiful and smart women but she could only think it was their fault if they were insecure. <o></o>


She did have a meaningful relationship once but that was a matter best saved for when she could dedicate time to truly reliving the memory. None of the men she dated knew anything about that part of her past. Even those she had dated for several months didn’t qualify for that type of trust and knowledge. <o></o>


So yes, because of her emotional distance and all of the complexities her life carried, she remained to be aloof and unapproachable. It worked for her job; got the things she needed completed and finished in a functional amount of time. With such a mentality it did earn her the reputed nickname the ‘Ice Queen’ or Dr. Ice. <o></o>


It wasn’t her fault she couldn’t find a man who could really spark the inside of her heart. She had a man who made her swoon at the mere timbre of his voice, but things didn’t turn out so well. She hadn’t felt that type of stirring in along time, not since him. It’s not that she hadn’t tried searching, but most of the men she dated wanted a maid or mother, not a lover and companion. She wanted someone who could take control in the bedroom, satisfy her down to her last sexual desire but still be able to romance her and make her feel like she matter. Tall and non-existing order in this day and age, she knew but that special man had to be out there.. <o></o>


The phone rang again breaking her thoughts and luckily just in time. <o></o>


“Dr. Fiore?”<o></o>


“Good Ana, you’re still in your office.” <o></o>


Damnit, she mentally replied as she tried to keep her annoyance at bay, what did he want now? Irritation didn’t come close to the spiteful resentment towards her fellow colleague. Letting out a deep breath, she gripped the phone with all her strength. <o></o>


“Dr. Hastings, how may I help you?”<o></o>


“Hennessey wants to talk to us in his office. I think, in my opinion, it has to deal with the Neurology conference coming up in <st1>Northern Italy</st1>. He said he’s sending us to make presentations and from there determine whose going to be Chief of Staff.” The baritone voice of her colleague spoke confidently over the phone. The slight tinge of arrogance worked its way up her spine, firing the neurons labeled ‘back-talk’ to gather strength for the offensive attack. <o></o>


“I shall wait for his phone call then. Good-bye.”


“Ana, wait.” <o></o>


“Dr. Hastings –“<o></o>


“Ana, you know my name is Cody.” <o></o>

“Dr. Hastings, I am currently rather busy-“She continued talking, unfeeling as to his current impatience.<o></o>


“Ana, don’t act like this-“<o></o>


“So if this is a social call-“ <o></o>


“Damnit, Ana quit acting like a bitch.”<o></o>


“Please keep them to an absolute zero.” She continued without care to his growing impatience. “We have already discussed our relationship in quite exhausting detail.”


“Ana, that was four years ago, let it go.”

Rage, undiluted and pure burst in her veins. “Sure; you do it first.”<o></o>


Ana slammed the phone down knocking it out of place. Her hands trembled trying to replace the phone and regain her composure. She walked to the bathroom and performed her ritualistic breathing exercises to calm her nerves. It didn’t matter what <st1:city><st1>Hastings</st1></st1:city> did or how kind he was, he still affected her enough to lose her calm. <o></o>


Dr. Dakota Hastings, brilliant doctor, ex-fiancé, jerk extraordinaire.<o></o>

He probably sat there at his desk staring at his 8-ball asking what were the chances that he would piss her off. She could just see what that ball said ‘Outcome looks good’. She knew he had her number on speed-dial just to make her work days a living hell. The man lived to be an insufferable pain in the ass. Maybe there was a special section on the square that said ‘Get a life’ or one could only hope.<o></o>
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