Something Like That

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Stitched Up


Lia woke to feel the sunshine hot on her face. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes sitting up, she yawned. Looking at her phone, she gasped at seeing it was after three in the afternoon. Lia hopped out of bed and made her way to the kitchen. Half-awake, she began preparing her coffee.

“Hello Sunshine,” Dani sang from the kitchen table.

“Hey!” Lia cried, happy to see her friend. Dani stood, reaching out her arms for a hug. Lia quickly let her squeeze her close, thankful for the warmth.

“Heard about your rough night. You okay?” she frowned.

“Yeah, I’m alright.” She whispered, remembering Cody and Nathan in the living room but now not seeing either of them. Dani realizing Lia was looking for the men, answered her thoughts.

“The guys got your car this morning. It needed a new battery; Cody got it replaced for you. He headed home a few ago for work. Nate’s in the shower now.” She sat back at the table, sipping her coffee.

“Really? He didn’t have to do that.” Lia sat with her.

“No, he didn’t. But he did for you.” Dani smiled behind her mug, raising her eyebrow.

“What?” Lia asked shyly.

“He totally likes you.”

“We just met and under crazy circumstances.” Lia rolled her eyes despite her excitement at Dani’s observation.

“So? Love at first sight, ya know?” Dani laughed.

“Love? Who’s in love?” Nathan bellowed as he exited the bedroom. Lia could feel her cheeks burning red.

“Well, I thought maybe Cody, but your sister is looking flushed too.”

Lia gave Dani an ‘I could kill you’ look.

“Oh, God.” Nathan groaned.

“You are insane,” Lia said, standing from the table now.

“You should’ve realized that when I said yes to your brother.” She laughed, kissing him softly.

“We got your car taken care of, sis. Should be good to go now.” Nathan stated.

“Thanks. How much do I owe you? Or owe Cody?”

“Nothing. Cody paid and did most of the work anyway. He ain’t gonna take your money.”

“Ugh. Well, thank you, and please thank him for me.” Lia chugged the last bit of her coffee and set the mug in the sink. Looking over at Dani, she could see a wide smile forming.

“Thank him yourself.” Nathan nodded at the front door.

Lia turned to see a uniform-clad Cody entering. She blinked her eyes a few times, adjusting to seeing how amazing he looked. Her heart fluttered in her chest, and she almost couldn’t breathe. Nathan snorted from the table, seeing her reaction. Cody smiled and held up a backpack.

“Noticed this in my truck and figured I should drop it by.” He sat it on the counter in front of Lia.

“Oh, thank you. I’m such a helpless mess, I swear.” Lia grumbled, annoyed with herself.

“Since when?!” Danie snorted. “You’ve always been the most organized, collected, strong person.”

“Yeah, well, apparently she took the night off last night.” Lia moaned.

Cody couldn’t help but laugh as his heart fluttered at her disheveled, sleepy appearance. He tried to hide his attraction, but Nathan and Dani saw straight through.

“It was a rough night. I think you’re allowed at least one night off.” Cody shuffled on his feet, looking shyly at Lia.

“I suppose.” She shrugged.

“Well, if this isn’t the most boring afternoon ever,” Nathan growled.

“Oh, it gets better, babe! Cake tasting!” Dani squealed as they all laughed.

“Well, I’m going to leave y’all to it and get to work. Eat some cake for Miss Lia and me, enjoy your afternoon.” Cody smiled, heading out.

The rest of the day was uneventful, which Lia was most grateful for. She sent her brother and Dani off to eat cake while she cleaned up the house, took a long relaxing bath, and found herself several times thinking about Cody’s gorgeous eyes and muscular body. It had been some time since Lia had any relationship. As a traveling nurse, relationships just never worked. She dated here and there, mostly when friends set her up, despite her protest, but that was the extent of it until him. He had ruined her, nearly killed her, and emotionally held her captive. She thought she was done with relationships after him. Boy, how wrong she was.

Lia sat with her phone and a glass of wine at the kitchen island. She scrolled aimlessly through social media as she saw Cameron’s name come across.

“Hello?”

“Lia? I’m so sorry to bug you. I know I said I’d adjust the schedule, but I could really use you tonight. If you’re up for it and available.” Cameron quickly blurted out.

“Yes, of course!” Lia replied, immediately standing. She poured out the win, grateful she hadn’t sipped any yet.

“Amazing! I’ll be at the front desk; come see me when you get here.”

Lia made her way to the hospital, texting Nathan about her change in plans before she went in.

The evening went smooth and quick. Lia found her groove and fit right in, making friends with her coworkers quickly. Taking a minute to respond to some texts she was caught off guard when a call came in that an officer-involved shooting had occurred and an officer was shot. . . she rushed up to get ready for what was coming. Lia and her coworkers handled the chaos with ease, and fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening for the officers. As Lia took over a few patients as another nurse got a break, she noticed the patients’ name. Cody Hudson. She felt a twinge in her gut, knowing there couldn’t be that many Cody’s in this small-town squad. Bracing herself, she opened the door.

Cody felt like shit. Getting shot sucked. Lucky for him, the bullet merely grazed his side, nicking his rib just below the bulletproof vest. The doctor was a jerk and did a piss poor job stitching him up, so he laid waiting for the nurse to return to get him straightened out.

“Hello again,” Lia spoke softly as she entered the room. She held back a gasp as she saw a shirtless Cody sitting on the bed. His muscular chest on full display, noticing a few perfectly placed tattoos as he held his side.

Cody almost forgot how uncomfortable he was when he saw Lia’s beautiful face enter the room; he even smiled like a dope, from the pain meds, of course.

“Lia.” He whispered.

“Oh my! I thought you were stitched up?!” She questioned, getting her gloves on to tend to his side that was now bleeding.

“Yeah, me too.” He laughed. “No offense, but that ‘doctor’ sucks.” He groaned.

“I’m not a fan either, and I’ve just met him.” She rolled her eyes as she cleaned Cody’s wound, remembering the encounter with Dr. Wallins earlier in the evening where he pretty much sexually harassed her.

“Oh yeah?” Cody questioned.

“It looks like he just didn’t put enough stitches. I’ll get you sewn up. I’m sorry. Are you hurting?” She asked in working mode.

“No, they gave me a shot of something for pain, so I’m good. It’s mostly just a scratch.” He watched her work, watching her concentrate on the intricate movements, studying her face, and surprising himself, wanting to kiss her perfect lips. Lia could feel his eyes burning on her, and once she finished the last stitch, she met his gaze. For a moment, her breath caught, and the room silent until the jerk doctor came in.

“Nurse Morgan. I already stitched this patient.” He said hatefully. His blonde hair, green eyes, and tall frame entering the room.

“Yes, sir. His wound needed additional stitching. ”

“You should have called for me.” He interrupted.

“My apologies, sir. It’s taken care of now, though.” She tried to smile.

“Well, I suppose I can look over this infraction if you respond favorably to my request earlier.” He smirked, entering the info into Cody’s chart.

Lia rolled her eyes as she looked at Cody, who lifted his eyebrows, questioning, and before Lia could respond, Cody couldn’t resist.

“What was that request?” He laughed. Dr. Wallins shot a dirty look at him.

“Nurse Morgan, we can speak outside once you’ve cleaned this.” He motioned to the stitching mess and Cody. Once the door closed, Cody turned to her.

“Well, will you tell me?” he smiled.

“He asked me out on a date.” She groaned. Cody had a feeling that was the answer though he was still disappointed when he heard her say it.

“Not interested?” He asked, looking away.

“God. No!” Lia laughed.

“Nurse Morgan!” Dr. Wallins called, opening the door.

“Yes, sir, I’ll be right there.” She hurriedly finished cleaning up, and as she stepped toward the door, Cody called out.

“Hey Doc, you can’t blackmail a beautiful woman, who happens to be the sister of the chief of police and a close friend of a deputy, to date you. Most men, real men, use their good looks and charm to get a lady.” He winked at her, confident. The pain meds were in full effect. Lia nearly choked on air, not sure quite what to think, as Dr. Wallins replied.

“Excuse me? I’m not sure any of this is your concern, officer. You’ll be discharged shortly. Nurse Morgan, triage needs your assistance.” He closed the door after that.

Lia looked at Cody, smiling.

“Thanks, I think.” She laughed.

“He’s an ass.” He groggily replied, to which Lia giggled again.

“Who can we call to pick you up?” she asked.

“I got no one.” He laughed.

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.” He confirmed.

“I’ll be back,” Lia said, leaving the room.

“Nurse Morgan,” Dr. Wallins greeted her immediately.

“Doctor,” Lia nodded, grabbing her phone.

“Personal call while working?” He questioned with a smirk.

“No. I’m calling a ride for Mr. Hudson.” She spoke as she pressed Nathan’s name.

Lia worked the rest of her shift with ease, avoiding any alone time with Dr. Wallins. Nathan had arrived not long before her shift was over and taken Cody home. She couldn’t help but wonder why Cody had no one to call; when she looked at his emergency contact, it was indeed Nathan.

Excited to put her first day behind her, Lia grabbed her bag and turned to leave, and ran into the chest of Dr. Wallins.

“Nurse Morgan.” He smiled.

“I was just heading out.” She huffed.

“I would love if you’d join me for dinner this evening.” He handed her his card. She fought the urge to throw it away in front of him.

“Dinner is the furthest thing from my mind. I’m sorry, Dr. Wa. . . ”

“Please, call me Trevor.”

“Trevor. I’m just getting started here and dating, or dinners, I’m just not interested.” Lia sighed.

“Hmm. Well, perhaps that will change in time. You have my number; my personal cell is on the back.” He turned and walked away.

Lia shook the gross feeling off her and left for home.

When Lia walked into the house, she immediately saw Cody fast asleep on the couch. Nathan was sitting at the kitchen table while Dani was cooking presumably breakfast.

“Morning all.” She said in a sing-song voice.

“How was your first shift?” Dani asked, looking over her shoulder.

“Why. . . Why did you not warn me about Dr. Wallins?!” she growled then turned to ask about Cody “How is he?” Lia asked Nathan, nodding toward Cody before Dani could answer.

Nathan smirked. “he’s fine.”

“Dr. Wallins is an ass, but I didn’t think he was that bad as to need a warning.” Dani laughed, handing Lia a mug of coffee.

“He’s an ass and then some.” Lia took a sip. Nathan raised an eyebrow at her.

“Cody said he had to put him in his place. I thought it was the meds talking.” He questioned.

“No, he gave him a few words for being a jerk.” She giggled.

“Do I need to go talk to this guy?”

“No. He’ll be gone in a month or two. The Doctor’s never stick around here.” Dani slid a plate in front of Nathan before serving Lia and herself.

“Thank you.” Lia side hugged Dani; she was so glad to have her in her life and for Nathan to have her too.

“I’ve got to get to work in a bit. I assume you ladies will nap for work. Can you keep an eye on the baby over there?” Nathan laughed between bites.

“I’m heading home. Laundry to do and lots of sleep. It’s up to her to keep him alive.” Dani winked.

“I was just filling in last night. I doubt Cameron will need me again with you back. I’ll be on shift with you tomorrow, though.” Lia bit into her bacon. “I suppose I can keep him alive.” She laughed.

“Y’all realize I can hear you? I can also smell the breakfast no one bothered to offer me.” They heard from the couch.

Lia’s eyes went wide as the others laughed.

“How are you feeling, man?” Nathan asked Cody as he tried to sit up.

“Like a bullet from a crackhead grazed me.” He peeked over the couch. “A likely story.” Dani teased.

Lia made a plate of food taking it over to Cody, then went back to begin cleaning the kitchen. Nathan and Dani both heading out, leaving them alone.

“Feeling okay?” Lia asked quietly, sitting next to Cody on the couch.

“Yeah, I’m good. No thanks to Dr. Jerkface.” He laughed, finishing his food. “Thank you for the grub.” He smiled.

“Ha! Well, thankfully, you had an awesome nurse who possibly saved your life.” She kicked off her shoes and leaned back.

“Yes, I’m very thankful.” Cody attempted to stand, but his side was just not quite ready for that much movement yet. “Okay, guess I’ll just stay here.” He chuckled.

“It’s okay. I’ll get it.” Lia grabbed his plate and took it into the kitchen. She was feeling tired but wanted to enjoy Cody’s company a little longer.

“Can I ask you a question?” Lia asked softly as she returned by Cody’s side.

“Sure.”

“Do you... Do you have family around?” she spoke.

“Ah, tired of the wounded man already?” he smiled.

“What?! No! I was just surprised that Nathan was your emergency contact. Your only emergency contact.” Lia explained.

“Oh yeah. Pretty sad, isn’t it?” he ran his fingers through his hair.

“No, I’m sorry. I was nosey and rude.” She felt bad for prying.

“It’s okay. Actually, my parents split years ago, and my Mother lives out west now, and my Father, well, he passed about a year or so ago. My family isn’t that close with one another, so my friends are family.” He explained quietly.

“Oh, I see. I’m sorry to hear of your father’s passing.”

“Thanks. It’s okay.”

“I’m sorry for prying.” Lia felt bad for being so intrusive.

“It’s really okay.” He laughed, patting her knee. This time he felt the spark when he touched her. His eyes went to hers to see if she felt it too, but if she did, she didn’t show it.

“I’m going to freshen up and change; then I suppose I can keep you company.” She smiled.

“I’d like that, but I’m sure you’re tired. Silly cops keeping you busy all night.” He joked.

“I’m good, for now at least.” She said, heading to change.

When Lia came back through, she noticed Cody on his phone. Trying to stay quiet, she fixed herself a glass of juice and stood at the kitchen island.

“I’m fine, seriously; it’s like a bad scratch.” She heard Cody groan into the phone. He listened for a minute, then sighed. “Yes, yes, sir.” He hung up, sitting there staring at the wall.

Lia cleared her throat and made her way back to the couch.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“Oh, it’s fine. Just your brother being my boss.” He laughed with sadness in his eyes.

“Oh? Do I need to have words with him?” she raised her eyebrows.

“Ha! I think I’m going to like having you here.” He smiled, and Lia felt that flutter in her belly again.

“It’s fine though, just rules, protocol, whatever. I hate being off. I feel useless and get bored.” Cody shrugged.

“Ah, desk duty after your recovery?” Lia asked knowingly.

“Yep. But enough about all that. What fun are we gonna have couch surfing today?”

Lia laughed. “You’re going to be loopy on pain meds soon, and I’ll be slap happy from lack of sleep. What’s more fun than that?”

“No pain meds for me. I’m good. We’ll still have fun, though.” He winked, and Lia raised her brows. “Innocent fun.” He corrected.

Lia laughed. Cody loved hearing her laugh; it made him smile from the inside out. He watched her move to turn on the TV, scrunching her nose up, trying to figure out all the remotes. He couldn’t help but laugh.

“He has it like a space station!” she cried.

“No, he has it like an awesome surround set up. The basement, now that’s like a space station.” Cody smiled as she looked over her shoulder at him, making his heart skip a beat.

“Of course.” She handed the remotes to him.

Cody got everything on and turned on a random sitcom.

Cody leaned back, propping his feet on the coffee table, hands behind his head. Lia took in his body head to toe. In sweatpants and a plain black t-shirt, he was just gorgeous, and she could see one of his tattoos peeking out under his sleeve. Her eyes lingered too long, and he could feel her staring though he didn’t mind at all.

“Any story behind your tats?” she finally asked, breaking the silence.

“Ahh, more prying?” he laughed.

“Sorry!” Lia whined with a laugh.

“I’m just joking.” He pulled his sleeve up. “This was just a tribal design I liked, and this” he pulled his shirt up, revealing his beautifully sculpted abs covered in perfectly colored skin and just a hint of chest hair. His fingers ran over the tattoo of roman numerals. “my sister’s birth and death date.”

Lia noted that he hadn’t mentioned a sister earlier.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered as he continued.

“And this, just another design I liked, and your brother has a similar one.” He chuckled.

“Matching tattoos?” she questioned.

“No, not matching. Similar. . . Similar.” He corrected.

“Ah, okay. Similar.” She nodded with a smirk.

“You have any?” Cody asked.

“A few small ones” Lia smiled with a little twinkle in her eyes, telling Cody there location was a secret to him, at least.

“Ah, I see” He returned her smile.

Lia picked up her phone, seeing several texts. She quietly checked them while Cody dozed off next to her.

10 a.m.- Sooo, how’s it going?-Dani

-10:30a.m.- Fine? What’s up?-Lia

10:15 a.m.- Cody still alive?-Nathan

-10:31 a.m.- Yes. *eye roll* -Lia.

10:05 a.m.- Your first day was great! So glad to have you on our team. I’ll see you tomorrow evening. -Cameron.

-10:32 a.m .-Thanks so much. -Lia

10:32 a.m .-I miss you! -Meg.

-10:33 a.m.- I know! Miss you too! I’ll come to visit and you can too!-Lia

-Definitely. I’ll get some cowboy boots and find me a cowboy to love!-Meg

-I don’t doubt that for a second, though Todd would get jealous. Lol.-Lia

-Call me later?-Meg

Sure-Lia.

Lia was already missing her NYC friends. Meg had become one of her best friends during her time there. She hated to leave her but too much sadness and bad memories for Lia, so she decided it was time to go home; only having no real home, she decided it was time to make a home close to the only family that mattered, Nathan.

Since Cody was resting and she herself feeling tired, she rose to go to bed. As she stopped to put her coffee mug in the sink, her phone rang. She smiled, thinking it was probably an impatient Meg, but a number she didn’t recognize appeared instead with New York City underneath.

“Hello?” She answered cautiously.

“Ms. Calia Morgan, please?” The lady spoke.

“Yes, this is she.”

“Good afternoon. Your name and number are on the Victim’s Notification list. I’m calling to notify you that offender . . . . . ”

Lia felt like she couldn’t breathe. This is seriously happening right now, she thought. She steadied herself against the counter, turning away from the living room so, even at this moment, not to disturb Cody.

“I’m sorry, Ma’am. Can you repeat that?” Lia whispered.

“Yes, sure. Offender 117800591, Brett Brosen, will be released from the Queens facility on Monday morning. We’re notifying you as part of the Victim Notification program.”

Lia felt the fear filling her up, and the tears poured out without her even realizing it.

“Do you have any questions?”

“No, No, Ma’am.” She laid the phone on the counter and looked up to see Cody staring at her, holding his side, standing next to her.

“I realized you got up. Then I saw you frozen in here. I’m sorry. You’re obviously not okay. Do you wanna tell me what’s going on?” He spoke soft, looking at her with pure concern.

Lia did not want to tell him. She did not want his pity or to be seen as a victim, and she sure as hell didn’t want her brother or even Dani to know, and she couldn’t ask Cody to keep her secret. Realizing she was taking too long to respond and Cody was clearly in pain standing, she spoke in barely a whisper. “You need to sit.” She held his arm, leading him back to the couch. Cody went along, waiting for her to explain the scene he had borne witness to.

“I need sleep is all, exhausted.” She laughed nervously. “You rest.” And with that, Lia hid away in her room before Cody could say a word.

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