Feisty Francesca

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#61 That’s all that matters

Holy fucking shit.

Christopher is not the easy-going guy I thought he was. At least, he’s not that guy at work. That man is a machine. He doesn’t take breaks longer then 10 minutes, he knows every single nurse, doctor and other staff member in his wing, even though he’s only been at the hospital for a few weeks, he walks so fast that I’m pretty sure he’s being chased by the devil, and although he takes his time to talk to children and their families, he’s also extremely efficient. My first day is spent by his side, because he thinks I should get a feeling for how he expects things to go in his department. He fires instructions at me at top speed, expecting me to type information onto the online charts on my tablet while we walk through the hallways, and he doesn’t repeat anything he says, even though he talks as fast as he walks.

I can’t even feel my legs by the end of the day.

“You look exhausted,” a fellow nurse tells me when I slump down into a chair in the breakroom at the end of my 12-hour shift, trying to get myself to get up and go home.

“I am,” I say, rubbing my eyes. “Fucking hell, Dr. Davids is insane.”

The nurse laughs and hands me a cup of coffee. “I know, right? I’m Jacob, by the way. You’re Francesca, right?”

I nod. “Call me Franny.”

“Okay, Franny.” Jacob sits down across from me. He’s got light brown hair that sicks up in weird angles, and he eyes me curiously. “It’s your first day, right? Dr. Davids said you worked in the ER before. I think I’ve seen you around a few times.”

“Yeah, your face looks familiar too.” I yawn. “Sorry, you’re not boring, I’m just so tired. I’m used to working hard, but this was one hell of a first day. I thought Chris – I mean, Dr. Davids – was a little les…”

“Intense?” Jacob offers. “Insanely driven? That man expects the highest level of commitment from his staff, I’m pretty sure he lives on coffee alone, he runs miles with his dog every single day before he comes to work … I mean, the man is a legend. He’s so much better than Dr. Massenheimer, that dirty old handsy gay terrorist.”

“Erm… okay…” I laugh awkwardly.

“I can say that, I’m gay too,” Jacob says, winking at me. “Massen-asshole only hired male nurses so he had asses to grab, people to harass, to bully into sleeping with him… I think I filed a thousand complains again him the past years. He’s horrible. Well, he was horrible. He’s in hell now.”

Wow. Okay. I thought Dr. Massenheimer was a dick as well, but all he did to me was not hire me for my dream job. I had no idea the guy was that bad. That doesn’t mean he deserved to die, but I don’t feel particularly sorry for him either.

“You’ll get used to Dr. Davids,” Jacob assures me. “He’s only been here a month, but he’s already made every single one of us here at peds feel more valued than Dr. Massenheimer ever did. He’s a very hands-on guy, doesn’t just do surgeries, but also tries to help out with anything and everything else. Plus, he’s easy on the eyes.”

I smile at that. “Yeah, he is. He kinda looks like an older version of my boyfriend.”

“Ah, you have a boyfriend.” Jacob smiles. “Did you drop that bomb because you think I’m hitting on you? I mentioned I’m gay, right?”

“Yeah, you mentioned that.” I yawn again. “I’m so sorry, Jacob, this was just a really tiring day. The minute my legs start working again, I will get up and go home. Just… not yet.”

“Did I wear you out?” Christopher’s voice sounds behind me, sounding amused.

I look at him over my shoulder. “You sure did.”

“And to think you came highly recommended,” Christopher jokes, pouring himself a cup of coffee and sitting down with me and Jacob. “Just one shift and you’re wiped out. I expected more from you, Franny.”

I roll my eyes. “Fuck you, Chris.”

Jacob looks from me to Christopher with wide eyes. “Do you guys know each other?”

“Sort of,” Christopher says, his eyes twinkling. “Franny and her boyfriend went skinny dipping in my pool, thinking the house was vacant. I can home to find her in my yard, running around naked.”

“Oh. My. God.” Jacob roars with laughter, his green eyes twinkling. “That’s the best story ever.”

I grunt and lower my head onto my arms. I hadn’t expected him to tell that story. Although I actually prefer this to him telling people about Aston, Annabel, him asking me out… No, the skinny dipping story is a lot funnier and it explains how we know each other and why we’re on first-name basis without having to admit he tried to date me.

“You’ll fit right in,” Jacob tells me, ruffling my hair. “I’ve got to get to work. Which surgeon is in tonight, Dr. Davids?”

“Me,” Christopher replies, chugging his coffee and getting up as well. “Dr. Yemmings called in sick, so I’m sticking around for a few more hours to make sure everything is running smoothly.”

“Didn’t you get here hours before me?” I ask, looking up at him in surprise. “Aren’t you tired?”

Christopher shrugs. “Maybe a little.”

“You really are a legend.”

“Who says I’m a legend?” Chris asks, raising his eyebrows.

“Me,” Jacob replies, putting his mug in the dishwasher. “Come on, Dr. Davids, let’s show nurse Berger how it’s done. She’s such a pussy.”

“Just because I have a pussy, doesn’t mean I am a pussy,” I yell after them, causing both men to grin.

How the hell will I survive two more shifts like this later in the week?

Still, I love it here. I absolutely love it. And Jacob is right, Christopher is an amazing boss. I can tell everyone respects him – all the nurses, surgeons, cleaning staff, technicians, anesthetists… Every single person seems to want his approval, and he deals out compliments easily, but isn’t afraid to call people out on fuckups either. Watching him in the zone makes me admire him in a way I didn’t before. He’s a great head of his department, a good surgeon, a kind yet firm boss, and just a damn good person in general.

I can’t believe he’s not married. Why did Annabel, Chloe and I all turn him down in the end? My head tells me that this guy would be great for me, an amazing person to be with, but my heart just doesn’t lie with him. My heart belongs to Joshua, that much has become clear to me the past few weeks. Besides, it’s not like Joshua is a dumb choice or anything. He’s so sweet, he gets me, he’s smart and cute and funny… And fuck me, he’s good in bed. So good it should be illegal.

I just don’t get that no woman has ever fallen for Christopher. Why the hell did his ex-wife ever leave him? Or did he leave her? I don’t know what happened there, but I do wonder.

After five more minutes of drinking coffee and trying to force myself up, I make my way out of the hospital and drive back home. I just want to snuggle up to Joshua with beer in my hand and some stupid movie on the TV.

***

The next day, Joshua has classes and he goes to the gym with Yord, so I’m on my own. I sleep in and take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, talking to Marcia on the phone. She and Yord are completely and utterly in love, and it’s so cute to hear her talk about him. I’m glad that Joshua and I managed to give them the final push, because those two are so great together. She shares a little too many details about their sex life, so I try to top that by telling her about Joshua, but she doesn’t seem to mind at all, asking all kinds of inappropriate questions.

“I’m not going to measure his dick for you!” I laugh, shaking my head.

“I’m just saying I bet Yord’s is bigger when it’s fully erect,” she insists.

“Who cares? Joshua’s cock isn’t the largest I’ve ever had inside of me, but that doesn’t matter in the end. He knows how to get me off and he’s insanely sexy. I’ve got zero complaints.” I smile, thinking back to our two-hour-long session last night, with him massaging me until I was mush in his hands, and then the slow, sweet lovemaking afterwards. Hmm. I’d love to do that after every single long, exhausting shift at the hospital.

We chat for a little while, but then she needs to go to class, so we hang up and I take a long, hot shower in Joshua’s apartment. I’m just toweling off when my phone rings, and I’m surprised to see it’s Thomas. We don’t talk much these days, and although that makes me sad, I get kinda nervous knowing I’m about to talk to him again.

“Hey,” I say tentatively, feeling weird being naked in the bathroom while I talk to him, so I slip into a bathrobe.

“I’m so sorry,” Thomas says, his voice tight. “I’m so, so sorry Franny, I didn’t mean to leave the door open – I was distracted and… I just… I don’t know if he’s going to be okay.”

“What?” I ask, grabbing the wall for support. “Who got hurt?”

“It’s the General,” he rushes out. “He’s hurt. Really hurt. You need to get over to the vet right now.

“What happened?” I ask, tears in my eyes while I hurry to put on clothes.

“I left the door open for just a few minutes, and I guess he snuck out, and he got hit by a car.” Thomas sounds like he’s on the verge of crying. “It’s all my fault. I’m so sorry, Fran.”

“It’s not your fault,” I assure him as I rush out of the house and get into my car. “It’s not the first time he snuck out. Surely you remember us putting up flyers all over the damn city a year ago, right? Shit happens.” I take a deep breath, trying to remain calm. “I’ll be there in ten.”

The moment we hang up, I step on the gas and speed to the vet, trying to get there as fast as possible. When I walk in, I spot Thomas right away. He’s in the waiting room, looking utterly devastated. He’s definitely been crying. He has his eyes closed right now, leaning back in his chair like he wants to disappear.

“Hey,” I whisper, putting a hand on his knee.

He jerks up and immediately pulls me against him, squeezing me tightly. “He’s in surgery right now, and the vet said that there’s a good chance he’ll pull through. I’m so sorry, Franny. This is all my fault. I get that you hate me right now. I’m horrible.”

I stroke his back and give him a kiss on the cheek. “You’re not horrible, Thomas. Like I said, this happens.” I pull back and try to smile, but I’m heartbroken just like him, so I probably look mental with the fake smile on my face. Tears are already starting to spill out, and I wipe at them angrily. “I should have been there. It was wrong for me to leave the General with you for weeks without coming in to see him, feed him, play with him… I’m the worst.”

Thomas shakes his head. “No, you’re not. I put so much pressure on you, I made you feel uncomfortable around me. I wish I hadn’t done that. I just… I don’t know. I’m sorry.”

We hug again, holding each other for a long time. He’s one of my best friends, no matter how messed up things got between us the past few months. We know each other so well, and I know he’d never do anything to hurt the General. Not on purpose. He loves that little far furball just as much as I do, maybe even more.

“Where have you been for the past few weeks?” Thomas asks when we break apart. “You don’t even sleep at home anymore, do you?”

I shake my head and look away from him. “I… erm… I’m staying with Joshua.”

“Ah,” Thomas says with a sigh. “I guess I should have known. So much for not being ready for another relationship, huh?”

“Thomas…” I don’t even know how to reply to that. He’s right, I did tell him I wasn’t ready to be anyone’s girlfriend, that I needed him to wait before I could make up my mind, and then… All it really took was one kiss with Joshua and my mind was made.

“It’s fine,” he grunts. “He’s a great guy. If you’re not with me, then I guess I should be happy it’s him and not James. The General hates James. Loathes him, even. At least he likes Joshua. And I’ve talked Joshua enough to know that he is as into you as I am. Does he make you happy, Fran?” He looks at me with those wide blue eyes, trying to find the answer in mine.

“Yes,” I breathe, feeling horrible for telling Thomas this. “He does.”

“That’s all that matters.” He slumps down in his seat and runs his hands through his long blonde hair. “Let’s just hope the General gets out of surgery okay. I get it if you want to take him to Joshua’s place to recover, or to your own apartment. I’d be happy to take him, though, if you want him to stay with me for a while longer.”

“We’ll see.” I can tell that Thomas wants to keep the General, but I’m not sure if I want to give up my cat. I love the little furball and I’ve been missing him these past weeks. At the same time, Thomas has been taking care of him as much as I have, if not more. It’s not fair to just take him from Thom and move him into Josh’s apartment. “I just want him to be okay.”

“Me too, Fran.” Thomas takes my hand in his and gives me a sad smile. “Me too.”

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