14 | Priorities
“Your times up, sweetie”
I break out of my daze and turn behind to see a middle-aged nurse hovering behind me, holding a metal tray containing various injections. I cringe at the sight of the numerous syringes and nod my head before glancing at my unconscious best friend for the last time.
I exit the glass space and just like every time, I pause in front of the reception desk maintaining the ICU unit and ask one of the duty doctors, “Is her vitals ok?”
The now-familiar doctor looks at me with the same pitying eyes and assures me that she’s recovering. But for some inexplicable reason, I find his words hard to believe.
If she was indeed doing ok, then why isn’t she conscious yet?
Just like always, I nod my head and exit the dark bleak interiors of the ICU room. My hands push past the polished wooden double doors as I walk out.
As soon as I’m out, I enter the changing room on the left to get out of my protective attire and sanitize my body with the sanitizing gun, hospital rules after all.
After exiting the nurse station smelling like a basket of lemons due to the amount of antiseptics, I spot Kyle lounging on one of the steel chairs, as he kept on typing on his laptop. I was grateful for the fact that he was here. I can bet that being a CEO of a multinational company was anything but easy yet here he was, with no regard for anything other than being there for his best friend while she desperately fought for her life.
Or is she?
After what happened, I’m kind of doubtful of all her actions. Is she even trying to stay alive? Or has she given up on life completely?
Before I can drown myself in my pessimistic thought, Kyle looks up from his MacBook and offers me a sheepish smile.
“I’ve got good news. While you were inside there, Dr. Axton was here to say that they’ll be pulling her out of the coma today and might transfer her inside one of the hospital rooms by tonight”
“Really? That’s a relief. I hate seeing her like this, to be honest. The mere word ‘ICU’ sends shivers down my spine” I say distractedly and inhale the fresh aquatic scent of shower gel that emanates from Kyle’s body as I rest the side of my head on his shoulder.
“God, I miss her hurling insults at me. She really had a good sense of humor didn’t she?” He sniggers and I join him.
“Don’t say ‘had’. She’s still alive, you know”
“Hmm, good point. She better be alive. There are still so many things I have to share with her, yet. By the way, did I mention the fact that Dr. Axton is hot as fuck” He says with wide eyes and I throw my head back laughing. As always, Kyle’s humor was a welcoming distraction.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. I swear if I wasn’t straight, I would’ve totally hit on her” I joke.
“Speaking of which, I really like this Blaze guy. He seems like a really supportive person. Hell, if it wasn’t for him, I would’ve totally considered you as gay. Looks like you took my advice about smashing some French dude way too seriously” He smirks and I throw him a death glare in return.
“Fuck off. I mean ‘smash’, really? No wonder, Sophie’s learning such ugly vocabulary, thanks to you” I roll my eyes at him.
“You fuck off-”, the vibration of his phone cuts him off and I watch him put his laptop aside as he picks up his call.
“Kyle Parker speaking, who is it?” Gone was his playful aura, it was now replaced with the ruthless CEO persona that the entire world is accustomed to.
“Ms. Castillo?” I watch him as a smirk graces his lips before he slips back into his normal brooding aura which he reserves for the world to see.
“Yes, just leave it in my office. I’ll be there by ten” He says abruptly and hangs up the phone.
I decide not to comment on it and tell him, “You should really get back to work. I know you own your own company but still, I’ll call you when Ava wakes up. You need to catch up on some sleep too and I’m pretty sure, Sophie misses you too” I remark and watch him ponder over my words.
Over the last three days, Kyle and I kept on changing shifts. Despite not being able to see Ava for more than 10mins after a 4hours interval, we constantly stayed here in case any news regarding her health pops up. Even Blaze volunteered to stay here often to which I agreed because there were days too when I was exhausted beyond words.
Handling your office issues inside the hospital while waiting for news is definitely not easy, but who cares? The only thing that mattered at the moment was to Ava back home safe and sound.
Even thinking about him made me smile. I didn’t know what I did to deserve a man like him. I was glad that he wasn’t whining about my constant absence or because of our lack of intimacy over the last 72hrs. Instead, he constantly supported me and kept on reminding me that Ava will be ok. Even though I had Kyle, I was still glad for having a person like Blaze by my side.
“Again, good point. But I don’t think Sophie would appreciate me ditching her Aunt Ava just for her. The girl’s an angel I’m telling you. I think adopting her was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. She’s like a ray of hope and God, she’s so selfless” He speaks with utter adoration for his daughter and I verbally agree with him.
That girl is truly a ball of sunshine. It’s a shame that her parents abandoned an angel like her. I was glad that people like Kyle still existed in this cruel world. I shudder to even think about what would’ve happened to her if it wasn’t for him saving her from the streets.
“Hey, I think we should tell Ava's parents about the fact that she’s in hospital. Her mother has been calling her since yesterday and trust me, if I were her, I would’ve lost my shit by now” He says pointedly and I sigh with frustration.
Seeing my state, he continues, “Just tell them that she fainted because of anemia or something like that. Besides, it is partially true. Ava is indeed anemic, remember?”
I light up with his words and exclaim, “I swear, you’re a fucking genius!”
“Trust me, honey, I know” With that said, he winks mischievously in my direction.
Exiting the elevator, I march my way over the red carpet to Ava’s unit. My fingers danced over my illuminated phone screen as I kept on texting Blaze about Ava’s condition and about when I’ll be over at my home.
However, my front collides with a wall of chest and I almost lose my balance but strong pair of hands holds my triceps still as I lose my footing.
Before I can look at my savior, my attention is captured by the sound of a loud thud which alerts me of my phone’s unfortunate demise and I instantly kneel on the carpeted floor to pick it up.
“Shit, I’m so sorry that I didn’t notice you there” A deep masculine voice gains my attention as I scramble to pick up my phone, and looking up, my eyes are locked with a familiar pair of light cerulean blue orbs that look vacant of emotions.
I almost lose my footing again when I realize that this same shade of eyes belongs to Blaze.
What the fuck?
However, the owner of these eyes looked a lot different from Blaze. He had a chiseled jaw which was marred with two days’ worth of stubble which with all due respect, looked quite hot on him. Unlike Blaze’s jet black hair, he had a mix of dark dirty blond hair and mahogany brown hair. Almost as if his hair can’t decide which color they want to be. He was dressed impeccably in a formal fitting two-piece navy blue suit with a baby blue shirt underneath with the top two buttons undone which made him look even hotter.
Wait? Am I literally ogling that this stranger? Fuck!
Snapping out of my daze, I see him peering down at me warily with his 6foot height, and as stupid as it may sound, I still ask him.
“Ok, this might sound kind of weird, but do I know you? You look extremely familiar. I mean your eyes just remind me of a certain person that I know…” I say and watch his expression cloud with surprise before it turns stone cold again.
“I don’t think I’ve met you before. If you’ll excuse me” He nods in my direction and side-steps me to walk in the elevator’s direction.
Feeling stupid at myself for coming on to a stranger like that.
For fuck's sake, he looks a lot like Blaze!
I shake my head and make my way towards Ava’s condo unit and pause outside the door to dig inside my purse for the spare key that I retracted three days back from under the doormat.
As I pull the key out of my purse, I feel a pair of eyes staring at me and look up to see the hot stranger from earlier, striding in my direction with confusion etched over his masculine features which make me frown.
“Ok, now this might seem weird to you. But do you live here?” He asks me eagerly which makes me wonder if he already knows who lives here.
“No, I don’t. This is my friend’s apartment. I’m here to pick up some things of mine” I say honestly in hopes of knowing the agenda behind his question.
He exhales with frustration and asks me politely, “Uh is your friend by any chance Ary-Ava Hayes?”
I inwardly frown at his slip of tongue on saying Ava’s middle name ‘Arya’ which she reserves for basically…no one
I shake my head to get rid of my twisted thoughts and eye the man warily before saying, “Yes, she is”
I mean for fuck’s sake, he doesn’t look like the type of man to be messed with and clearly, he already knows that Ava lives here, judging his challenging stare.
“Is she...like not here at the moment?” He drawls out slowly and I wonder to myself, ‘Who the fuck is this guy and why hasn’t Ava ever mentioned him to me?’
“She’s actually out of the states for a few weeks. I’m not exactly sure when she’ll be back” I lie skillfully without blinking my eyes and judging from his expression, it’s pretty obvious that he bought my lie.
“Can you not tell her about me, I mean the fact that I visited her home and all? I actually need to talk to her face to face and it will be better for me to do it without her knowing that I dropped by. Trust me, I mean her no harm” He says genuinely and if I’m not wrong, I think I caught a hint of desperation too, in his voice but decide not to ponder much on it.
“Yeah, sure” I smile at him tentatively to which he replies with a nod, and without another word, he turns back and enters the elevator.
Just when the elevator doors close, I realize that like the idiotic bitch I am, I never asked his name.
A/N - Life moves on, what can we say? Let me know your thoughts on this chapter and don't forget to hit the like button if you've enjoyed it so far ;)