Rescuing Dawn: Book 2 in the Lovers Unmasked Series

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Available 06/10/2013

Dawn Granger has loved and lost and she’s not traveling that road again, that is until her past turns up and has her questioning her resolve. Andrew Holmes has sailed the globe numerous times, when he almost loses his life, he decides that he needs to give something back so he returns home and trains as a paramedic. When he runs into his former sweetheart he knows his feelings for her had not died and he will do anything to make her smile again.

Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER 1

Dawn looked at the empty waiting room with a sense of trepidation. She had a feeling the peace the ER was experiencing was going to be short lived.

“It’s a bit eerie, isn’t it? I never expected an ER to be this quiet. Everything you hear on the TV says that ERs are always so busy.”

Dawn looked at the trainee nurse who’d spoken, her enthusiasm for the job shining in the young girl’s eyes. She remembered when she’d been like that. When she’d actually had enthusiasm for life. Sometimes she wished she could grasp it back. But if she’d learned one thing from being the Senior Nurse working the graveyard shift in the ER for the last two years, you could never look back or wish things could be different.

“You know that’s the worst possible thing to say when the ER is empty. It’s like tempting fate,” Dawn said, softening her words with a smile. “It’s a good time to catch up on making sure the resus room and crash carts are fully stocked.” She paused and sent the trainee nurse a wink. “In case of an emergency.”

The nurse groaned at Dawn’s joke. “I wouldn’t give up your job and go into stand-up comedy.”

Dawn laughed; it did feel good to joke around. No sooner had she finished the thought when the ER doors slammed open. Usually if there was an accident they received a call warning them of incoming casualties. She looked up and saw Sophie, the Nursing Unit Manager, clutching her pregnant belly. Of all the nights for Alex, her husband, to take a night shift, it would be the night she goes into labor.

“Alex!” Dawn hollered over her shoulder as she rushed towards the other woman. “I take it you’re not coming for a visit?”

Dawn made it to Sophie’s side as just as Sophie reached out to grab her hand. Dawn withstood the squeezing of her hand while trying not to let emotions overtake her. Her stomach clenched, as if she herself was experiencing the contraction that was rippling through Sophie’s body. Dark memories threatened to overwhelm her; she knew exactly what Sophie was feeling.

“Sophia, mia amore, the baby is coming?” Alex said as he rushed towards his wife.

Dawn controlled the urge to roll her eyes at Alex’s comments. “Looks that way, Alex. Good luck in maternity.”

She turned and headed back to her desk. As much as she was happy for the couple, she had to move away before she lost it totally and started crying in front of them. The thought of her sweet baby boy the day he had been born filled her mind. It was quickly replaced by the last image she had of him smiling at her as she’d left for work. If only she hadn’t taken that shift two years ago, things might have been different.

No, she yelled in her mind and pushed the thought away. She’d just lectured herself earlier about not looking back. She had been dealt her cards, and no matter how many times she wondered “why her,” she would move on. She had to.

The phone rang and on autopilot she picked it up. “ER, Dawn speaking.”

The dispatcher on the line told her about a multi car accident with two victims in critical condition being brought in. As Dawn hung up the phone she was grateful that it had been a quiet night. With Alex now unavailable they were going to be a doctor short until his replacement arrived.

The next few minutes were spent preparing the staff for the incoming casualties. Satisfied the department was ready for whatever was about to come through the door, Dawn let herself relax momentarily, knowing that the next couple of hours were going to be hectic.

The doors slammed open again and two paramedics came rushing in; Dawn directed them to the first cubicle. From what the paramedics were yelling out, the patient wasn’t as badly injured as the dispatcher had made it out to be. But of course, the next patient might not be so lucky.

She heard the yelling through the doors before they opened; it didn’t bode well.

“What’s happening, Dawn?” She swung around, her mouth gaping when she saw Alex standing next to her.

“Why aren’t you with Sophie?”

“She’s only two centimeters dilated, we’ve got a bit of time. Besides,” he said ruefully, “she heard my pager go and told me to help down here. She said she’d call me when she needs me.”

Dawn shook her head. “Trust Sophie to put the needs of the department before herself.”

They had no more time to deal with small talk as the ambulance bay doors opened. It only took one look to know that this patient was far worse off than the previous one. A paramedic was straddling the patient, performing chest compressions. The paramedic pushing the gurney looked vaguely familiar but Dawn put it down to being one of the regular crews that came in. Nothing more.

“Trauma One,” she called out as they passed her by. “Will you need me, Alex?”

“No, we’ve got Phoebe on tonight—pull her from wherever she is and tell her I need her. I’ll need you to deal with family members when they come.”

Dawn nodded her agreement but wished she could be helping out; there was nothing worse than talking to the victims’ families. Horrible memories flooded her mind of the time when she had been the family member of a victim receiving news. No manner of words spoken by the nurse could ease the pain that had filled her the moment she’d heard that her husband and infant son hadn’t survived. Coldness had filled her soul that night two years ago. And nothing had been able to warm it.

“Dawn? Is that you?”

A voice dragged her out of her maudlin thoughts, and Dawn looked up. The moment she locked eyes with the paramedic standing in front of her she wished she was anywhere but where she was.

“Andrew?” It couldn’t possibly be him. Shouldn’t he be in the middle of an ocean somewhere? Shouldn’t he be part of a crew chasing another “around-the-world” sailing title? Shouldn’t he be battling mother-nature? That was his life. He shouldn’t be standing in her ER. He certainly shouldn’t be a paramedic. It was the last occupation she’d ever thought he’d enter into.

“Hey, I thought it was you.” Andrew’s voice was as smooth as it had been when they’d dated in high school. His blond hair was sun-bleached and his piercing blue eyes shone brightly from his lightly sun-kissed face. His six-foot frame had become more muscular with the passing of time, and his paramedic uniform hugged him in all the right places. She had no doubt that if he turned up at an accident scene, the victim would feel instantly comforted. Her heart double-timed when he sent her a brief smile. “How are you?”

It was such a silly question to ask when a patient had been arresting on the gurney he’d pushed in. The last thing she wanted to do right at that moment was make idle chit-chat with her former lover. “Busy.”

She moved away from the desk and rushed down the hallway to get Phoebe from the break room, glad to have a moment to get herself together. Seeing Andrew again had been a shock. She looked up and saw Phoebe heading in her direction.

“Where do you need me?” Phoebe asked.

“Trauma one with Alex.” Dawn laid her hand on Phoebe’s arm. “It doesn’t look good, the paramedics were doing CPR when they brought him in.”

“Okay, thanks for the heads up,” Phoebe said as she continued towards the trauma room at a fast pace.

Dawn took a moment to get her breath. She hoped that when she returned to her desk, Andrew would be gone and she wouldn’t have to face him again. It was the coward’s way, but his presence had her thinking a whole pile of “what ifs” again. What if Andrew hadn’t left her to follow his need for adventure? What if she hadn’t married Tom?

Why did she keep doing that to herself? For the second time that night she’d started a pity party. She was better than this. She had a job to do. People would be coming in and she would comfort them. Like she always did.