Explore with Me
The Army is the only thing that First Sergeant Danny Glenn has known in his adult life. From the age of nineteen on, he's worn a uniform every day. He's seen so much in his twenty years but the last deployment did something to him. Danny's begun to wonder if he can't do more good helping people in the US instead of other countries but to do that he'd have to get out.
Doctor Liam MacNamara is finishing up the last of his residency in Emergency Medicine. Now's the tough part, which offer to accept. He could stay in New Orleans where shifts are never dull or choose to uproot and experience somewhere different. College followed by medical school and then residency are the only things he's known since he was eighteen. There's got to be more out there, right?
Can a retired first sergeant and a brand-new doctor balance each other enough to explore their options together?
"Dr. MacNamara, you're needed in the ER," a voice in the dark called out.
Liam rolled over groaning. "Tell them I'm on my way." He looked at his watch. Shit, only thirty minutes. Liam must have crashed hard into dreamland.
"Yes, I'm up. I'm coming." Dr. Liam MacNamara sat up on the edge of the cot and turned on the light, squinting at the brightness. "Just going to throw some water on my face and I'll be there." Shoving his feet into his sneakers, he stood up and walked over to the sink in the sleep room. One look in the mirror told Liam that he looked as bad as he felt. You would think after college, medical school and in his third year of residency his body would be used to the long hours but alas, that wasn't the case.
Accepting a residency at Tulane Medical Center in Louisiana was either the best idea he'd ever had or the worst. Liam wasn't sure which some days. Yes, he got to study and learn Emergency Medicine under some of the best ER doctors in the nation but the hours that he worked were a killer. New Orleans was always a busy town with nine million visitors to the Crescent City each year. But the month before Mardi Gras and the celebration itself made the city insane. Why anyone would choose to come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras was beyond him.
Liam grabbed his lab coat and shrugged into it as he pulled open the door. Controlled chaos greeted him. You would think it was the middle of the day with the number of people in the hallways. Even at two in the morning, the waiting room was already packed and there seemed to be a back-up at the receptionist's desk.
"What's up?" Liam asked as he approached the nurses station.
"Dr. MacNamara, you're needed in number two. Dr. Sagney had to accompany a patient upstairs. Female with a large laceration on her arm. Says her tetanus is up to date and has no allergies but she's drunk as a skunk," Gloria told him as she handed him a patient's chart. Gloria ran the floor during her shift with a steel hand and Lord help anyone that didn't move at her behest.
"On my way." Liam didn't look up as he glanced at the chart while he walked. As he got to the curtain, he called out, "Hello, I'm Dr. MacNamara--"
"Well, hello handsome," a voice slurred. And with that he was back on duty.
An hour later, Liam was suturing up the laceration on the patient's arm that she'd gotten when she stumbled over the curb on Bourbon Street. Liam could only shake his head; wearing stilettos while walking in the French Quarter at night after drinking for several hours and 'earning' her beads...not the smartest move. She was lucky stitches were the only thing she needed tonight.
"Okay, Miss Caprice. The nurse here will wrap your arm and give you aftercare instructions. Do you have any questions for me?" Liam was hoping the answer was no; she hadn't been the most cooperative patient he'd had tonight.
"You single? I'm lonely and you're cute," she asked as she tried to run her finger down Liam's arm. That she was still this drunk said a lot about how high her blood alcohol level had been when she came in.
It wasn't the first time he'd been hit on. "Sorry ma'am, I'm on staff and it's against policy for me to interact with patients in that manner." He looked up and Molly, the nurse assisting him, was trying to hold in her laughter. Liam stood quickly. "I'm sure you can finish this, Molly. Miss Caprice, remember to follow up with your primary care doctor in eight to ten days."
When Liam got outside the curtain, he stopped and let out a breath. Lord, tonight was stranger than normal. He shook his head as he walked toward the station. A quick glance at the clock told him that he'd been on for close to thirty-six hours and still had three to go. "Okay, next?"
Gloria held her hand up to stop him in his tracks; she was standing at the radio listening to whoever was on the other end. "Roger 115, see you in five." She put the radio handset down and turned to Liam. "Have an unconscious patient en route. Seems he fell off the balcony at Lafitte's after being a hero. Gown up."
Well, that wasn't something he'd seen before in this ER. "Okay, who's assisting? Let's get ready, people." Since Liam was the chief resident these days, running a trauma solo was something that energized him. Yes, there were still doctors to check over his procedures and they were there if he needed assistance but Liam pretty much was on his own these days. He only had a few months left on his residency before deciding where he was going to work. He had four different offers to review. He just needed to make up his mind where he wanted to settle.
Liam and his team were waiting at the door as the EMTs rolled the patient into the hospital. First glance at the guy and Liam didn't see anything wrong other than he was unconscious.
"Male, approx. 30, fell approximately fourteen feet off a balcony at Lafitte's, landed on concrete. Witnesses said he said 'fuck' and passed out. BP 104 over 72, monitor has him at normal sinus rhythm with a rate of 68. Resps are 16, equal and regular. Physical exam reveals a raised contusion on the occipital. Pupils are equal and reactive to light. No posturing noted. He was boarded and collared at the scene. No medical history available. Couldn't find any friends or family at the scene," the EMT, Chauncey, finished.
As they got to the trauma bay, Liam's team moved into action. The transfer from the gurney to the cot was smooth. Soon the patient was stripped and his clothes replaced with a loose gown, hooked up to the cardiac monitor, sat machine and the IV was transferred. Moving to start his own hands on evaluation, Liam asked, "He fell from the balcony?" As he waited for the answer, Liam continued with his exam. He pulled out a pen light and began to shine it in the patient's eyes. Moving his hands over the patient's head, Liam could feel a good-sized hematoma. The patient looked very familiar for some reason. He had what Liam's brother would call a high and tight but it looked like he was a red-head and was in good shape. No telling his height while he was lying down.
"Seems Galahad here was up on the balcony having a drink when he witnessed some guy hit a twink. Galahad apparently took offense to him hitting someone not his size and stopped him. Laid him flat with one punch. Guy's friends didn't like that and shoved between guy and Galahad. Galahad overbalanced and went over the rail. He caught himself then lost his grip, I guess, and fell." Chauncey shrugged. "If you're set, Doc Mac?"
Liam was feeling along the patient's collarbones and felt something underneath the shirt. He reached in and pulled out a set of military tags. "Guess our patient is in the military?"
"So it's Sergeant Galahad," the other EMT said.
"Actually the patient's name is--"
A voice cut Liam off. "That's First Sergeant Galahad."