Brothers and sisters may fight like they hate each other, but they’ll always have each other’s backs. So watch your face if you say something about one in the other’s hearing.
—Note to self
“I can’t fucking believe that that stupid cunt marked my face!” I hissed, staring at my face in the mirror of the exam room.
“Your face was too pretty anyway. You need to get over it,” my sister said distractedly, not even bothering to look up from her magazine.
I turned around and glared at the crazy girl.
“Why are you even here? How’d you know I was here so fast?” I asked with annoyance.
I loved my big sister and all, but she really was a shit head. We fought like cats and dogs, even now, with both of us well over the age of eighteen.
Payton was nearly thirty two, and I’d just turned twenty five. And I still couldn’t count the number of times we got into a hitting match each week.
Something that annoyed our parents and Max, Payton’s husband, to no end.
Then again, we found it amusing that they didn’t like it, which was probably why we did it so often.
“Hey, how about we not do this right now?”
That was Nico, always the voice of reason.
Nico was what I’d call my best friend, even though he was a little standoffish at times.
He was on the SWAT team with me and the reason I’d joined the team myself.
I’d been on the team now for three years and I enjoyed it, most of the time.
Today, however, wasn’t one of those days.
Today was a total cluster fuck that I’d like to forget if at all possible.
However, now I had scratches that started just under my ear and went all the way down my neck and collarbone.
“You’ll probably get rabies, and they’ll have to put you down like the dirty dog that you are,” my sister said helpfully.
I threw the bloody compress I was using, to stem the flow of blood oozing from the cuts at her, nailing her in the middle of her breasts.
“Bennett, you dirty, rotten bastard!” She hissed.
I grinned evilly at her. “What were you saying?”
She flipped me off, took the rag at the cleanest portion between two fingers, and threw it towards the trashcan.
She missed, and it landed on the foot of the nurse who’d just walked in through the door.
“Hmm,” the nurse said, lifting her foot and kicking it off into the trashcan. “Nice try, at least.”
I snorted, but didn’t say anything.
The woman was cute. Long wavy brown hair in a ponytail at the top of her head. The blonde and red streaks in her hair, paired with her makeup, as well as her jewelry, practically screamed ‘high maintenance.’
“Which one of you is Bennett Alvarez?” She asked, scanning the room.
It could be hard to tell, I was sure. There were five people stuffed into the tiny room, and I was the only one standing. I was fairly sure she would have a hard time figuring out who she was supposed to be taking care of, especially since the scratched part of my face was facing away from her.
“That would be me,” I said, drawing her attention, and the full force of her gaze.
It felt like she could see right through me.
It was almost as if she’d stripped me naked in the ten seconds it took her to take me in.
Then she offered her hand to me as she walked closer.
“My name’s Lennox Jane. I’ll be sewing you up today,” she introduced herself.
I took her tiny hand in mine, and shook it twice, up and down, before dropping it as if she’d burned me.
Electric shocks had poured into my hand from hers the moment our skin touched, and both of our eyes had widened.
“Are you a doctor?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No, I’m a PA, or physician’s assistant. Is that okay?”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
Was she even old enough to be that? She looked to be twenty two at most. Didn’t that shit take a lot of time to get accomplished?
She nodded her own head, and then gestured to the bed with her hand. “Have a seat and let me see what’s going on.”
My sister didn’t bother to move at all, which was why I sat on her.
“Goddammit, Bennett, you fat fucker,” she growled, pushing at my back with her knees to free her hand.
Lennox’s eyes narrowed at Payton. “If you’d move off the bed, then he wouldn’t have sat on you.”
Payton narrowed her eyes at Lennox, but nonetheless moved off the bed and went to her husband.
Max yanked her down onto his lap and promptly covered her mouth with his hand when she would’ve made a move to say something.
When I moved my eyes back to the sweet thing in front of me, I was surprised to see her not studying my face, but my hands.
I looked down, surprised that she’d even seen them over the bloody scratches on my face.
“Your knuckles might need a little Derma-bond, but other than that they look good. Open and close your hand for me,” she said, sticking her tiny hand in mine. “Good, squeeze.”
I did, unsure of if she wanted me to really squeeze, or just show her that I could.
I went with just showing her that I could so I didn’t crush her hands.
She looked like a crier.
“Excellent, I don’t see anything other than that wrong. That face of yours, though, will probably need a few stitches. Once the nurse gets them cleaned up, I’ll come and take a look, okay?” She asked, eyes on mine.
I nodded, trying to figure out just what it was about her that was so different. So intriguing.
She didn’t give me long to stare, though. She left without another backwards glance, and the room stayed silent for a full minute while everyone processed what they were thinking.
“Did she look like that girl off of House to you?” Payton whispered to her husband.
House, the TV show.
Payton was obsessed with that show and the show’s main actor, House.
I liked it and all, but I was more into action shows. Not ones that required me to actually think.
When I watched TV, it was to relax, not to try to figure out who killed who, or who had what.
“Sure as fuck did. Uncannily,” Max rumbled in his deep voice.
“What’s her name again?” Payton asked.
“Olivia Wilde,” Michael said, not bothering to look up from his phone.
“Why are y’all here?” I asked, turning around.
Before they could answer, an older nurse walked in, jabbering away about needing to clean me up for ‘Nox.’
Nox. That was a really weird nickname.
No matter, though. It seemed to fit her. She was short. Probably about the same height as Payton, which was not even five foot.
It was a spunky name, for a little sprite of a woman.
“Alright, my boy. This’ll sting a little. Try not to move, though,” the nurse instructed.
* * * * *
“Goddammit! That doesn’t sting a little. That burns like a motherfucker!” The big man in room three bellowed.
I covered my mouth and tried valiantly not to laugh my ass off.
I didn’t accomplish it, however, if the looks I was getting from the nurses and doctors was anything to go by.
“Tsk-tsk. Making the big SWAT guy yell like that, Lennox,” Paxton, the other PA, and my best friend, chastised.
I held up my hands. “I wasn’t the one to hurt him!”
“No, but you were the one that suggested Donna go in there. You know how she is around big men. Always treating them badly because they remind her of her ex-husband,” Paxton said, raising his brow at me.
I stuck my tongue out at him.
“Yeah, I guess I did do that, didn’t I?” I laughed unapologetically.
“Hey, did you hear why he’s here?” Melissa, a nurse, asked.
I shook my head. “No, why?”
Melissa was the woman that would know. She was married to a firefighter who was on the local fire department.
She knew a lot of stuff that was happening before most.
“Some crazy lady tried to rob the deli they were having their weekly SWAT meeting. Bennett, that man in there, was the one to stop her. Except she went fucking batshit the moment he caught her and tried to put her in cuffs,” Melissa explained.
My brows raised. “What kind of dumbass would rob a restaurant and not look to see who was inside first?”
“A stupid one,” Melissa said, gesturing two rooms down to a room that was being guarded by two uniformed police officers.
“Oh, she’s here?” I whispered in excitement.
Melissa nodded. “Yep.”
“She’s mine,” I said, standing up, grabbing the chair and moving around the nurse’s station.
“No she’s not. She’s mine!” Paxton said, but I was already headed into the room before he could stop me.
Passing the two officers with a nod of my head, I walked into the room.
The woman that was cuffed to the bed wasn’t hurt. That much was more than obvious.
Because if she was ‘hurt’ she wouldn’t be sleeping soundly.
She’d be in pain.
Which she most definitely wasn’t.
“Mrs. Bonillo?” I announced loudly, startling the woman.
Her eyes that had huge black circles under them, widened in anger, and then immediately dimmed, feigning pain.
“Oh, my back!” She cried loudly.
I ignored the fake crying, flipped through the chart and shook my head at what I saw.
Frequent flier for pain meds. Check.
“Can you tell me what that pain feels like, Mrs. Bonillo?” I asked her, walking up to the counter and leaning my butt against it.
She thought about it for a moment, most likely trying to figure out the best way to say it that would get her the most sympathy.
“Um, stabbing pain in my upper right back,” she lied.
“Uh huh,” I said, doodling hearts on the notes page in the chart. “And is it constant or intermittent?”
“Constant. It goes away, but comes back. It never goes away for long, though,” she said, putting a little whine into her voice.
I nodded and scribbled, ‘Doesn’t know what intermittent means’ into the notes.
“Alright,” I nodded. “Well, Mrs. Bonillo, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you’ll have to get in touch with your PCP, your primary care provider, and explain this back pain to him. Unfortunately, the injury you’re proclaiming to have does not indicate a need for narcotics. I can give you a dose of Tylenol, however.”
“Tylenol? Are you fucking kidding me? Tylenol ain’t gonna touch the pain I’m feeling!” She screamed, bowing up off the bed before she tried to kick me.
I jumped out of the way of her massive clodhoppers, moving to the side of the room and watching her struggle with the handcuffs that attached her to the metal railing.
“Mrs. Bonillo, you’re going to need to calm down, or you’re going to hurt yourself,” I said soothingly.
That did nothing to soothe her and only served to heighten her annoyance with me.
Then, with one great heave, she yanked so hard that the entire mattress, bed, and gurney she was laying on, flipped, dropping her down onto the floor like a sack of potatoes.
“Ahhhhh!” She screamed, just as the police officers from outside came through the door.
“Ma’am?” The first officer said. “Will you step back some to allow us to get her up?”
Except, suddenly, the woman and her massive bulk was free, and she started to go fucking wild.
Both handcuffs were off her hands, her very deformed looking hands, and she was swinging at anybody that would get within reaching distance of her.
“Charlie Brown!” I bellowed loudly as I stepped back. Right into a hard wall of muscle.
Turning around, I looked up, and up, and up some more into the same hazel eyes that had given me shivers earlier.
“Might be best if you wait outside,” the man, Bennett, muttered lowly before pushing past me and wading into the fray.
Then there was a freakin’ wall of men! And not small men, either. I was sure that the room couldn’t seem any smaller when the woman started to swing at me, but then the SWAT team showed up, and I suddenly felt tiny.
Where had they all come from?
I know I’d only seen two men from the SWAT team in the room with Bennett. Now there were at least six of them, but I couldn’t get a full count because I found myself outside the room and staring at a shocked Paxton.
“Yum,” he said, eyeing the man candy.
And that’s what they were, too. Man candy. So sexy, each and every one of them.
Even Bennett with his scratched face was sexy.
“You’ll never take me alive!” Mrs. Bonillo screamed. “I want my lawyer!”
The loud screech was heard over the loud grunts of exertion, and the sound of bodies piling onto bodies.
“What the fuck is she on, PCP?” Paxton asked curiously.
I looked into the chart I was holding and grimaced. “Try heroin.”
Fuck. I’d been so busy looking at the woman’s past medical history that I hadn’t bothered to look at her current blood tests.
“Cuff the bitch!” A loud male demand sounded from near the bottom of the pile.
The woman literally had seven men on top of her and she was still fighting!
Melissa came to a stop beside me and enjoyed the show for a few long moments before she held out a clear glass vial and a syringe.
“Here ya go,” she said distractedly a while later.
She offered up the things in her hands, but kept her eyes on the scene.
I took it from her hands, double checked the date and drug, withdrew the medication, and then started to walk back into the room.
“Alright, boys,” I said authoritatively. “Someone bare me some ass.”
The one on top’s shirt had come loose, baring a very muscled back covered in tattoos. Yet that wasn’t the type of ass I was looking for.
“You can have my ass anytime,” a strained voice sounded from the bottom of the pile again.
I laughed. “Yeah, I’ll take you up on that offer…later.”
Then I skirted around the dog pile, squatted down until my knees were straddling a face of some man with a black hat, and started pushing bodies to the side until I got to the woman’s body.
Lucky for me, the first thing I came to was the thigh, which worked well enough for me.
“Bottoms up,” I declared, then stabbed the needle home.
Then she started to buck, making the men under me buck as well.
With quick thinking and ingrained muscle memory, I flicked the safety cap onto the needle and tossed it into the corner of the room just in time.
The head that was very nearly between my legs became officially acquainted with my lady parts, and I went flying on top of the pile.
I laughed the whole way as I landed, rolling until I was on my ass near the doorway.
Paxton was laughing when he helped me to my feet.
“Jesus, you find the weirdest things entertaining,” Paxton rolled his eyes.
I winked at him and watched the last struggles flitter out of the woman as the Narcan I’d just injected her with started to work.
Then all her struggling just…quit.
She was so still, in fact, that the men on top of her didn’t trust it.
I did, however.
“You can get up now,” I yelled loudly. “She’s done.”
“How do you know?” One of them asked cautiously.
“Because I shot her up with some Narcan. She’s sober as a motherfu…uh, nun,” I amended.
Cautiously, they stood, one by one, until they were all looking down at the woman on the floor.
“Why is it always the ones that are the strongest that fight the most? Jesus, every fuckin’ time!” What looked to be the oldest of the group growled, tugging his shirt down and tucking it back into his pants.
“Because they’re inconsiderate assholes, boss. Always out to get you,” a red head quipped as he, too, fixed his shirt.
Bennett, though, was the one to hold my eyes as he stood, looking at me like I was a crazy loon.
“You do realize that you’re about a buck ten and a fourth of this woman’s size, right?” Bennett clarified, gesturing to the prone woman with a finger.
I looked behind me, checking to see if he might be speaking to the person at my back, yet I saw nobody there.
“Are you yelling at me?” I asked innocently.
He narrowed his eyes. “Yes, Mizz Jane, I sure am. That was incredibly idiotic.”
I blinked, surprised that he’d actually said yes.
I was a grown ass woman! If I wanted to wade in with the men, I sure as hell could! I could do anything a man could do…within reason.
“Yeah, whatever,” I said, twirling on my feet out of the room. “She’s all yours, Paxton. Mr. Alvarez, let’s get you sewn up so we can get you home.”
I didn’t wait for him to follow me, instead going to the nursing station and charting the shot I’d just given the dumb woman that was probably going to be extremely sore in the morning.
“I think you made the big man worried,” Melissa laughed lightly as she passed me.
“Yeah, I get that. I’m not his responsibility, though. That’s my job,” I sighed.
Been there, done that. I was over having a controlling boyfriend.
And one Bennett Alvarez resembled my ex in the worrying department.
No thank you.
I didn’t care how hot he was!