He was so glad that the board meeting was over. In his opinion, Fridays were shit because of it. Sitting in the conference room surrounded by suits that didn’t care about patient care, overworked nurses and other personnel was exhausting; all they cared about was the bottom line. Ted hated this part of his job and wished many times that he could just go back to being a surgeon and forget about the bureaucracy aspect of being the Chief of Staff. But he really liked the normal work hours and the fact that he was able to pick the surgeries he wanted, not just were ones that were assigned.
He put his sport coat back on, grabbed his leather briefcase, waved goodbye to his secretary, and wished her a good weekend. He took the stairs down six flights, liking the exercise. He only was able to run for three miles this morning after getting up late. The power in his neighborhood flashed sometime during the night and turned off his alarm clock. The battery that served as the backup was dead. Ted was more than a little pissed at being so rushed in the mornings and couldn’t wait until he got home to see what Marie, his housekeeper and cook, had put in the fridge for him.
He wanted to go work out, eat dinner, drink a beer, watch some shit TV and relax. The delicate surgery that he led yesterday had kicked his ass. The tumor that was wrapped in the 10 year old’s intestines was extremely difficult and complex to remove. When he checked this morning, the little guy was holding his own and things were looking good for him to start chemo. David Sterling, one of Ted’s best friends and chief of Oncology, was very pleased and he gave the boy a good shot at remission now that the damn thing was gone.
Ted smiled as he thought about the little boy’s mother crying into his scrubs yesterday in relief. He loved that part of medicine; being the reason someone smiles and knowing that he made a difference in someone’s life.
Ted made it to the first floor with little effort and pushed open the stairwell door and went onto the main floor hallway. He wanted to check in on the Emergency Department staff before he left.
Olivia, the head nurse in the department made him laugh and they had a great working relationship, being on the same page about the suits on the board and knowing each other for almost 20 years. He found her refilling bins in each exam room for what would probably be a crazy Friday night.
“Hey Liv, everything going ok down here?”
“Oh Hi Doc! Yeah, so far it’s been pretty quiet; some stitches, a broken leg and a minor car accident. How about you? Great board meeting?”
He rolled his eyes, and then winked at her “Just the best part of my day!”
She chuckled at him, “You are such a player! Even at your age!”
“Oh you wound me Liv! I have been in love with you for years! When are you going to leave your husband for me?!”
“Oh get over yourself! You are 48, not 18!”
“I don’t look 48 and you know it! And you still find me sexy!”
“Of course I do- in the most platonic, brotherly way ever! You may be sexy, but you can go and turn that charm on someone else, you cheeky Bastard!”
He chuckled and kissed her cheek, “Tell Phil I said hi! He has to come to the next poker night! I need to relieve him of some hard earned money!”
“I will! Go find a girlfriend or something and stop bugging me in my ER!”
Ted saluted her and went out to the main entrance, waving to other staff as he went. He noticed a few women stare at him and he hated to admit that it made him feel good. He hadn’t found anyone that he really connected with in a while but he didn’t want another fling or one night stand. He was tired of those, even the ones that were kinky as hell!. He had many over the last five years since his separation and divorce. He wanted something real and lasting. With someone who truly loved him for who he was.
He shuddered as he thought back to walking in on his then wife with an orderly in the laundry room of the hospital, his hospital. He immediately turned her into HR and let them deal with it so he was out of the proceedings. He hung up with HR and walked over to a good friend’s office and golfing buddy, who happened to be a divorce attorney and filed that day. It was a shock to his system and his ego, but was glad that it was over. He and Melissa hadn’t been good for a couple of years; too much ego in one house with her being a doctor too.
He shook the bad thoughts from his head and continued down the hallway and out the front door. He walked through the sliding glass doors and saw the most amazing legs and ass of a woman facing away from him wearing cut off jean shorts. She was sort of bent over and he couldn’t help but admire the view. He heard her cuss lightly under her breath as she dropped her purse and a crutch and he went over to help.
“Miss, let me help you!” he said, rushing over, finally noticing both crutches.
The woman shifted her weight and he saw the cast on her right leg and turned a little to the side. Ted reached the front of her and bent down to pick up the fallen items from her bag and when he stood up and looked at her, he felt a gut punch. All the wind had been taken from his lungs and he couldn’t even breathe as he stared at her. She was incredible, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen!