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Authors: Brenda Rothert

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Healing Touch

BOOK: Healing Touch
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Healing Touch

Copyright © Brenda Rothert 2015

Published by Silver Sky Publishing Inc.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the author or publisher.

 

Cover Designer:

Kelsey Keeton of K Keeton Designs

.www.kkeetondesigns.com

 

Interior Design and Formatting:

Christine Borgford, Perfectly Publishable

www.perfectlypublishable.com

Healing Touch

Books By Brenda Rothert

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HEARTBURN.

I learned all about it in medical school—it’s caused by the abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus.

But that definition seemed like bullshit when I saw my now ex-husband nuzzling his voluptuous nurse/girlfriend inside a hospital doorway (and, yes, it was the broom closet). That–the crushing feeling lodged behind my ribs, the sick feeling that made me want to crawl under the covers for the rest of my life—
that
was heartburn.

But I had to get used to this, especially since we all worked at the Tulane Medical Center. The only saving grace was that my ex Dean and his bodacious nurse worked in ER, so I rarely saw them. Unfortunately, tonight was one of those times when it was too late to avoid them.

I pressed my back to the wall and rolled my eyes skyward. Right now, I needed a signature from Dr. Portia Reed to authorize the OBGYN research project I was expanding tomorrow. Trouble was, she worked in the ER, just like Dean and Nurse Nipples.

When my husband left me almost a year ago, my friends on the OB floor had immediately pointed out that his new girlfriend, Amanda, had freakishly large nipples that were usually visible through her thin bra and scrubs. And they also told me that she snorted really loudly when she laughed.

He’d taken a lot from me when he walked out the door. The new flat screen TV, the best coffeemaker I’d ever owned . . .
my pride.
But Dean wasn’t taking this research project, too.

With a deep exhale, I put on my game face and emerged from my hiding spot. Of course, there was only one way to the part of the ER I needed to get to, and of course Dean and Nurse Nips had chosen that precise location to canoodle in. Who used the word ‘canoodle’ anymore, anyway? Just grouchy senior citizens and me—the oldest twenty-nine-year-old in the world.

Dean had his hand on Amanda’s waist and he was whispering something in her ear. I looked straight ahead as I walked by, hoping to pass unnoticed. I had almost run the gauntlet, unscathed, when instinct made me turn my head at the sound of a snort.

“Joss,” Dean said, dropping his hand from Amanda’s tiny waist. “What are you doing down here?”

I plastered a smile on my face and wished to hell I’d combed my hair. “Oh, just getting a signature from Reed.”

“Oh.” He wrapped a hand around the back of his neck, his sheepish expression making me want to kick him in the junk. Because
seriously.
He’d been screwing around on me for three months before I found out, and the entire hospital had known weeks before me. Dean, apparently, had no shame, and I didn’t appreciate him suddenly acting like he did.

Amanda leaned her hip into Dean’s and shot me a coy smile. I wanted to give her a dirty look, but that wasn’t me. I just ignored her and walked on, hoping the entire ER wouldn’t see my flaming cheeks.

Portia Reed was deep in a conversation at the main ER desk, but she did a double take when she saw me coming.

“Joss.” Her grimace held an apology. “I never signed off on your project. I’m sorry.”

I waved a hand and smiled. “No big deal. I’ve got it right here for you.” I passed her the clipboard.

“I would’ve come upstairs,” she said, reaching for a pen, her implication as obvious as my embarrassment. I hated seeing the pity in her big brown eyes. Portia was a mentor to me, and I’d been reduced to a scorned woman in her eyes. Just like I had been for everyone else who knew about my failed marriage.

People really don’t know what to say when your husband leaves you for the woman he’s been banging in the break room. I’d gotten lots of awkward looks and mumbled apologies at first. Now, it was old news up on my floor. But I guess whenever Dean, Amanda and I were in close proximity the history would always create a stir.

“Anything else you need?” Portia eyed me over the top of her glasses.

“Nope. Thanks.” I took the clipboard she held out to me. “I’m not actually working tonight. I’m just here to set up for tomorrow.”

“Set up? For the research meeting? I can get some help sent up for that.”

I waved a hand. “I like doing it myself. That way I’ll know right where everything is for tomorrow.”
Plus, it’s not like I have anything else to do.
The words were unspoken, but their truth still rang in the air between us.

“Dave and I would love to have dinner with you soon,” Portia said.

I smiled and turned back toward the dreaded hallway, glancing over my shoulder at her. “Sounds great. Let me know when. Have a good night.”

“Good luck tomorrow,” she called. “You’ll be great.”

I waved and walked double-time down the hallway. Mercifully, Dean and Nips were nowhere to be seen. The elevator doors were open and I stepped in, relief washing over me when the doors closed and ER disappeared from view.

When I got back to the main desk area of my floor my friend, Hattie, looked up from the computer she was working at.

“You run into Nurse Wretched?”

“Yep.”

She gave a disgusted look and shook her head.

“I think Dean’s lost more hair since the last time I saw him,” I said.

“Hopefully it’s all gonna fall out of his head and sprout on his back and in his ears,” Hattie said. “Lousy bastard.”

Her Southern accent still made me smile. Anything Hattie said came out sounding sweet, even if she was talking about Dean, whom she never said anything nice about.

I was a transplant to New Orleans. Dean had been assigned here during med school and I’d followed. It was very different from my native city of Detroit, but damned if the place hadn’t grown on me. And my research project on maternal blood sugar got started here. Coupled with my work at this hospital, NOLA was my life.

And that meant I’d never be far away from Dean and Nips. Surely they’d break up soon and get jobs somewhere else. Then I could stop being gossiped about, stop being the scorned ex-wife. And I sure didn’t want him back. Absolutely not. Never. Nada. Just the mere thought of it sent a shiver up my spine.

“You okay?” Hattie asked.

“Yeah.” I sighed. Was I okay? Pretty much. Other than still feeling stupid once in a while, and being mad at having been taken advantage of, and worrying about not ever turning a man’s head again, yeah, I guess I was okay. Damn Dean. He’d also walked away with my confidence.

BOOK: Healing Touch
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