May 31, 2013
After that awful experience at the Ski Party with Ashley, I called Betsy into my office as soon as I arrived to work that morning. When she stepped in I closed the door. I told her everything that had occurred, including the run-in with Ashley at the supermarket when Esme and I were shopping.
Betsy’s eyes grew wider and wider as I spoke; I was sure they were going to pop out of her head. I knew that Betsy believed me and we decided that, in order to not start any weird rumors or have a scandal on our hands, she would rotate Charlotte with Ashley and have me work closely with the former, as opposed to the latter. She, herself, was going to keep an eye out on Ashley. When I asked her where Ashley was that morning, Betsy said she came in on time humming to herself and had gotten straight to work. Last she saw, Ashley was headed to the ER. I knew I wouldn’t be working there today so I thought I was in the clear. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a snafu at home and I still ended up in the ER.
Here’s what happened: While Jacob, Seth and Leah were running patrol, Nessie decided to sneak into the garage and take one of the old motorcycles that Jacob was working on restoring. She decided that it would be a good idea to take the thing out for a run. Mind you, she has never been on one before. So to make a long story short, she got on it, turned it on, drove it out of the garage, quickly lost control, and was sent flying into the air, landing badly on her left leg and breaking it. The wolves heard her scream from about a mile away and raced back home. They all phased back and Jacob flew to her side, followed by the other two. Leah quickly ran for a car. When it arrived, Jacob loaded her into it with Seth in the passenger seat.
While Leah was driving to the hospital, Seth called Edward and Bella, who in turn called Rose, Emmett, and Esme. All of them converged in the emergency room. As I was walking through one of the wings, I heard my name being paged over the loudspeaker to come to the ER immediately. I didn’t hesitate and jogged toward the elevator wondering what it could be. When the double doors opened and I entered the ER it didn’t take me long to figure out where I had to go, as most of my family were in Area 5 surrounding Nessie on the bed. She was crying as Bella held her.
“What happened?” I asked, surprised.
“She broke her leg when she fell off a motorcycle,” Jacob explained as Nessie continued to sob on Bella’s shoulder.
“What the hell was she doing on a motorcycle?”
I looked around as everyone looked at Nessie, who gulped down another sob before she finally spoke. “I . . . I . . . th—thought I . . . c-could just ride it around the back-k-y-yard. I-I didn’t realize it was going to go so fast. I didn’t press anything. Then all of a sudden it just started going fast on its own and I lost control and fell.” Her eyes didn’t meet mine. I could tell she was embarrassed.
“And where were you guys during this whole episode?” I asked the wolves.
“Patrolling. We heard her scream from a mile away and raced back,” Seth answered. Jacob shuttered at the memory.
“Well, let me have a look. Can you guys give me some room please?”
They all moved aside except Bella, who was still holding Nessie’s hand. I started by making sure she was breathing properly and that the fall didn’t give her a head injury. When all of that was done, I moved down to the obvious location of the break. As I touched it, Nessie let out a cry of pain. Just then I heard someone clear their throat behind me. When I turned to look it was Charlotte, who was smiling and holding a medium sized purple teddy bear that lit up and moved its arms and legs.
“Hi ya’ll! Nessie, I brought you this bear so that you could hold it while your uncle checks you over. That way you won’t feel the pain that much.” She handed the bear to Nessie, who took it gladly with wide eyes.
“Thank you. Can I k-k-keep him?” Nessie asked.
“Of course you can, honey!” Charlotte said with a smile and a wink. I gave her a grateful nod and she moved to the side waiting for my direction. She could tell this would be a handful.
“All right, Ness . . . I’m going to send you to x-ray to see how bad it is, though I imagine it’s a clean break—which means we won’t have to operate. But I want to make sure this is correct. Charlotte will you please call up to radiology and tell them we have a patient with a fractured lower leg that we need an x-ray stat.”
“Right away Dr. Cullen,” she said and hurried down the hall to the phone. I turned to my family.
“Nessie, what were you thinking?” Edward asked firmly. “You could have really hurt yourself! You’re not entirely immortal.” That last part was whispered.
“I . . . guess I wasn’t. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. I’m sorry Daddy, Mommy, everyone,” she whispered through her tears.
“Oh, leave her alone, Edward! A broken leg is punishment enough,” Esme pointed out to Edward, who ran his hand through his hair in exasperation.
We stood there talking amongst ourselves or soothing Nessie. By that time, I had given her some morphine in order to ease the pain and she was feeling a bit woozy, but still clutched that teddy bear Charlotte gave her.
I was standing next to Rose and Emmett when I felt the latter stiffen in response to Esme doing the same. I then noticed everyone looking in a certain direction and followed their gazes. There stood Ashley, her coy semi cocky smile suddenly turning unsure and even a little fearful as she took in Emmett who, if looks could kill, she wouldn’t be dead but in a lot of pain. She actually took a step back. She hadn’t met him yet; she had only met Esme, Nessie, and Jacob. Here stood quite a brigade of people who didn’t look friendly toward her at all. Little did she know, this wasn’t even everyone.
That’s when I noticed her hair. I hadn’t realized that it was different. It was still curly but it was no longer blond. It was now a light brown color and it parted differently. I wonder why she had colored her hair. Who knew what went on in that head of hers; that’s when I remembered Edward, who was looking at her absolutely puzzled.
Before anyone could say anything, Charlotte appeared and said, “They’re ready for her in x-ray Dr. Cullen. I’ll take her up if you wish.”
“Thank you, Charlotte, I’ll come too. This is a good chunk of my family, by the way,” I told her with a small smile.
“A good chunk? You mean there’s more of you? And I thought we had large families in Texas!” she said, surprised. Everyone laughed. I knew that Ashley was listening. Didn’t care though, I wanted her to know how large we were.
“Yeah, there’s two more in Sweden on a second honeymoon, plus our neighbors/significant others who are like an extended family of sorts—but they are doing different things today,” Rose explained.
The others introduced themselves.
“Wow!” Charlotte said again, impressed.
We then proceeded to wheel Nessie down the hall toward the elevators without giving Ashley another look. Well, I didn’t look, but Emmett did. He later muttered that she looked angry and a bit afraid. I guess she wasn’t happy that she wasn’t acknowledged.
“Oh well, tough shit,” said Jacob.
Charlotte was filled in on the events by Betsy so she knew what was going on but was the absolute professional.
“What’s up with her hair? I thought she loved being a blonde?” Charlotte wondered while we were all sandwiched in the elevator on the way up.
I shrugged. “Never a dull moment around here, that’s for sure.”
Everyone either nodded or grumbled consent.
We reached the proper floor at that point. Charlotte and I wheeled Nessie toward the radiology lab where the x-ray was waiting and a smiling radiologist got her all prepped for it. The family and I waited outside; it didn’t take very long. When the x-rays were developed and I took a look, turned out that I was right. It was a clean break and she would need to be in a cast for about a month or so; less than most humans as she does heal faster but not fast enough. We then wheeled her back out and down to the ER where she was put into a different location so that Charlotte and I could put the cast on her. She was already falling asleep and I wanted the family to take her home soon.
It didn’t take long to put her in the cast. After it was on and dry, everyone signed their names and put cute little messages on it. Charlotte drew a little stick figure with a cowboy hat and boots with a smile and holding a teddy bear. Nessie wanted to save room for the others, including her best friend. Michelle had heard by then and wanted to come to the hospital, but we assured her that she could just come visit Ness at our house when she got back.
Just as we were finishing up, a code red sounded in the area a few feet away. I saw Ashley scramble for the crash cart and start working on the patient. Charlotte ran off to help. By the time I arrived, they had managed to get the patient breathing again. I congratulated them both. For some bizarre reason, though, Ashley was pissed instead of feeling happy. She all but pushed Charlotte out of the way as she walked past.
“What is your problem?” Charlotte demanded.
“You are!” Ashley said and walked away in a huff.
“What the hell was that about?” Charlotte asked. No one could answer her. But I had had enough. I followed Ashley into the hallway and called her name. She turned around, her face still flushed.
“What is going on with you, Ashley?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she barked, crossing her arms over her chest.
“I want you to listen to me, and listen real well: that kind of behavior in my ER is unacceptable! If I see you talking to any other staff member in such a manner, I will personally have a talk with Dr. Connolly. Do I make myself clear?” I said through clenched teeth.
Her face was still contorted in anger but then gradually it was as if someone pulled the plug on her expression, it started to shift until her eyes were wide and she was as white as a sheet.
“Oh my God . . . I’m . . . I’m very sorry, Dr. Cullen. You are right. Charlotte was only trying to help. I think I was so in the zone with trying to save the patient that I just over reacted. I’ll apologize to Charlotte when I see her later. It won’t happen again.”
“It better not,” I warned, then turned around and walked away leaving her staring after me in the hallway with those same wide eyes and open mouth.
Shortly after the confrontation I forgot all about Ashley as I discharged Nessie and sent her home, along with the others. I gave my reassurances that I would be fine. I finished my rounds and as I was going into the locker room to change into street clothes, I saw Ashley talking to Charlotte. I heard her apologize and Charlotte nod once or twice, offering a small smile.
I managed to get changed and leave without incident. When I got home everyone was in Bella and Edward’s cottage as Nessie went straight to bed after the hospital. When they saw me, they all stepped outside to talk so we wouldn’t wake her. I’d given her some knock out drugs so she would sleep through the night without pain.
When we were all out of earshot, Edward started talking as he knew what my question would be. “I know you’re wondering why I was so puzzled when I was reading Ashley’s mind. The reason being was that, unlike a regular a human being, her mind was so busy that you couldn’t pick up on one single thought. It’s like multi-tasking for the brain. I have never witnessed anything like that. I don’t think she even realizes she does it. The only thing I was able to discern was that she was afraid of Emmett. But that one I think was obvious to everyone.” Emmett grinned and Edward continued. “I think she got pissed at Charlotte because she wanted to save that man herself doing it her way, and she thought Charlotte was going to get in the way. Not really sure what that thought process was about. Human beings are still quite mind-boggling to me.”
“She seemed sincere in her apology to me and to Charlotte. But it seems like her behavior is getting weirder and weirder as the days go on. I have no clue what she will do next,” I said.
“Well, I told you she was a drama queen. Maybe that’s part of it,” Rosalie thoughtfully.
“You could be right. Some people just like that extra attention. I guess we have no choice but to wait and see,” I sighed.
At that point we all hugged and said goodnight. It was after 10pm, and though night and day bleeds into one for us, it seems all this extra drama at the hospital has been draining me mentally. Who knows, maybe after Alice and Jasper return, as well as Rogue and Alexander, Esme and I may take a little vacation of our own.
I’m glad Nessie wasn’t badly hurt. Teenagers aren’t always the smartest—and that also goes for hybrids! For now, I’m just going to go and relax after this long day with my beautiful wife.
Have a good night!
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