Be Mine, Valentine(6)

By: Jessa Chase

Kit followed him into the room, where a small child was laying on the exam bed.

“Hey Charlie,” she said when she saw him. His eyes lit up and he smiled, showing off two missing front teeth. “Did the tooth fairy stop by recently?”

“Yep,” he replied quickly. “I made 2 bucks this time.”

“Nice! Where’s your mom?” Kit knew from experience that Charlie’s mom never went far from her son when they were in the ER. Unfortunately for both of them, they were there quite often.

“Why am I not surprised that you know them?” Robert said quietly. “I guess this won’t be the interesting case I thought it would be for you.”

Kit waved him off and smiled. “Don’t worry about it. Small town, small hospital. I’m more surprised when I don’t know somebody.”

“Well Charlie here is in for a check of his lungs. His mom is worried he’s got some junk in there.”

“He’s well known around here,” Kit remarked. “It’s not every day you see a case of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis in somebody his age.”

“I’m special alright,” Charlie quipped. “Mom says I’m a special pain in her butt.”

“I’m sure she meant it with love, little man,” Kit ruffled his hair and grinned. “She loves you dearly. Dr. Whiting and I are going to talk out here a minute, then I’ll be right back with your mom.”

They passed through the curtains and stopped just outside, Robert standing so close to Kit that she was suddenly very aware of his presence. His height. His…smell. She felt herself blush and swore internally.

“What are your thoughts?” Robert was doing everything in his power to ignore the blush that was rising on Kit’s cheeks. He was a sucker for a blusher, and seeing an already attractive woman like Kit blush made him want to find the nearest on-call room and see if the blush extended any lower than her neck.

“Charlie’s no stranger to antibiotics, unfortunately. Other than the frequent lung lavages he has to have to clear out the surfactant, he is here most often with some kind of infection or other.”

“Poor kid,” Robert said, eliciting a look of surprise from Kit. He seemed to genuinely care about the condition and care of this child, and seeing him concerned about a patient went a long way toward ingratiating him to her.

“So let’s push Vanco and get him feeling a little bit better, and make sure he’s got his next lavage scheduled up in pulmonary upstairs.”

Robert had turned to leave but Kit reached out and grasped his arm. “Wait,” she said. “Charlie’s allergic to Vancomycin. He had a severe reaction a few years back when we gave it to him.”

“Huh, it’s not in his chart.” Robert showed Kit the chart. Indeed, where there should have been a bright red strip at the top of the chart indicating an allergy, there was nothing. “But I believe you. Let’s use doxycycline instead.”

He turned to leave but stopped himself. “Good catch, Kit. We should go out.”

“Excuse me?”

“I’m new around here, you obviously aren’t. You don’t completely hate my guts, at least not as much as you did when you first met me, and you seem like the kind of girl who feels it’s her duty to show the new guy around town a little bit.”

Kit wasn’t sure if he was complimenting her or insulting her, but the truth of the matter was that she did enjoying playing tour guide for out of town guests. It gave her a chance to see her town through the eyes of tourists and gave her a greater appreciation for the place.

“There’s a sports bar not too far from here,” she said slowly. “The food’s not terrible.”

Robert chuckled. “Not terrible. With a recommendation like that, how could I not go? Are you free for Saturday night?”

Not trusting herself to speak, Kit simply nodded.

“I’ll pick you up,” he said, then added as an afterthought “If you’d like.”

“I’d like that,” she replied.

When he did finally turn to go, Robert found great pleasure in the look of confusion that clouded Kit’s face. Hell, if he was going to feel as tangled up as he did about her, he figured he could at least return the favor a little.