Sunday, March 23, 2008

Round Robin: Part 3

Yay, it's my turn. :) You'll find my addition in bold at the bottom. The previous two posts are up first in italics for those who are trying to catch up.

Samuel closed his eyes to catch a moment’s peace in the hospital’s break room before he had to head back to the overly-busy emergency room. He’d run out of coffee and blood in the same day, making him one very cranky vampire. If it weren’t for the fact that he’d just celebrated his one hundred and seventy eighth birthday recently, he’d think he was a new fledgling fresh out of med school. At least he’d been able to handle the residency process. Being over a hundred and fifty when you did rotations allowed some tolerance to sunlight and not needing any food or sleep.

“Dr. Wexford to emergency. Dr. Wexford to emergency,” Ken, one of the latest crop of residents, said over the intercom.

Ken doll. Samuel smiled as he downed the rest of the hospital’s god awful coffee and tossed the empty cup into the trash. It made a perfect arc and sailed neatly into the center of the receptacle. With his surfer spiky blonde hair and eyes the color of the ocean outside his the view from his remote home, Ken looked like the proverbial childhood toy. And boy would Samuel like to play with him. He shook his head to clear the thought as he hurried from the break room and down to whatever the latest crisis was. Tonight was his last night before a two week vacation.

He followed the sound of commotion into one of the bays and stopped. His blood ran cold. The mortal on the table looked heart-stoppingly familiar, and for once Samuel was thankful that his heart didn’t beat. Blood caked the man’s midnight dark hair to his forehead. A gash ran along the outside of his left eye. An air splint held his right arm, and Samuel bet he’d see bruising on the man’s chest from a steering wheel.

“Car accident. He rear ended a truck on the Pacific Coast Highway, just past the turn off to Malibu Canyon Rd. Apparently the truck thought he saw something on the road and our patient didn’t stop quick enough. At least that’s what the truck driver said.”

Samuel listened with half an ear as he stared down at the man he’d once professed to love until the end of time. “Blake Bothman, the founder of Wirefly International,” he said.

“You know him?”

Samuel nodded, his throat too tight to say anything more. He drew a deep breath. Damn it, where was his emotional detachment when he needed it.

Ken laid his hand on Samuel’s shoulder. “We’ll take good care of him. He’ll be just fine. I promise.”

Sam looked down at Ken’s hand with his neatly manicured fingernails. Such youthful optimism. He’d had it once long ago. “Thank you,” he said, and hoped like hell Ken doll was right.

On the table, Blake groaned. “Samuel. Must. Get. To Him.”

Samuel surged forward. He touched Blake’s shoulder. “I’m here,” he said. “You’re in the ER. You’re going to be all right.” He glanced at Ken and saw the resident nod. He grabbed a chart and shoved it in Samuel’s free hand. Scanning it, Samuel saw nothing more than a few minor injuries, nothing some rest wouldn’t cure.

“Samuel,” Blake groaned again. His eyelids fluttered open for a moment. Green eyes connected with dark brown. And then they dipped closed. Blake’s moment of consciousness had passed.

"Damn." Forcing himself to ignore the surge of fear, Samuel lifted his head to meet the gaze of the nurse standing on the other side of the stretcher. "Let's get a head CT."

Nodding, the nurse trotted off to call radiology. Samuel stared at Blake's face. Once, he'd called Blake his own. Thought they'd be together for years, decades. He'd even considered giving Blake the Gift, so they could be together forever. But that was years ago. Before everything changed. Before Blake left and took Samuel's poor undead heart with him.

Blake would no doubt say Samuel had driven him away. These days, Samuel tended to agree.

Samuel shook himself. This was no time for wallowing in his regrets. He touched Blake's bloodied cheek. "I'll be back, sweetness," he whispered. "When you wake up, we'll talk."

Straightening up, Samuel turned to leave and ran smack into Ken doll. "Oops. Sorry."

"No problem." Ken curled a hand around Samuel's upper arm when he tried to brush past. Those pretty ocean-colored eyes radiated concern. "You sure you're okay?"

Samuel forced a smile. "Yeah, I'm fine. Blake's... an old friend. It sort of threw me for a loop, seeing him here after all this time." He glanced over his shoulder, not quite looking at Blake's too-still form. "Especially like this."

Ken's eyes narrowed. Samuel could practically see the wheels turning. Ken was smart and perceptive. The way he could read people was just scary sometimes. If Samuel stayed there one second longer, he knew Ken would figure out what Blake had once been to him. From there, it would be nothing for the kid to see just how much Samuel wanted Blake back.

Ken moved closer. "Sam..."

"I'm fine. Really. Um, thanks."

Twisting loose of Ken's grip, Samuel strode away with his gaze firmly fixed on the while tile floor.

"Samuel..." Ken called after him, the sound of his feet slapping against the hospital corridor in an effort to catch up. "Sam, wait."

Sam dodged into the men's room, hoping Ken would take the hint and realize he didn't want to talk, not about Blake, not about their own fledging relationship -- if one could call two months of frantic, sweaty sex during their few shared off hours a relationship. Ken was adorable, with a mouth that could suck the chrome off a bumper, but Sam couldn't see it ever being more than that. Ken was too young, too perky, too...everything. He was like a tiny dog nipping at Sam's heels, and right then, Sam couldn't take it. He needed a moment of peace to figure out why Blake was back. Why Blake was here, in his town, when the man had been overseas for the better part of the last decade.

Ken walked through the swinging door, spotted Sam standing by the sinks, and smiled as he headed toward him. "Hey, I thought you might want to talk. I couldn't help but notice the way you were shaking."

Fuck. Sam ran a hand over the bristle on his jaw. "Yeah, well, there's nothing to talk about. I just needed to splash some water on my face. It's going to be a long night."

Ken walked up behind Sam and laid his hands on Sam's shoulders, giving them a squeeze. "Are you sure? You know I'm here for you, right? I know you want to keep things casual, but I care about you, Sam. There isn't anything you can't tell me."

Sam white-knuckled the cool ceramic edge of the sink and closed his eyes, relishing the feel of Ken's hands massaging the tension out of his muscles. "I know. I feel the same way, but there really isn't anything to talk about. Blake is an old friend; there isn't anything else to say until I know more about his condition."

"Sure." Ken pressed his chest to Sam's back and brushed a gentle kiss against the nape of his neck. "You must be worried sick."

"I am," Sam said, leaving out why he was worried. He wished it was over something as simple as Blake's health. His old lover would recover, and quickly. His immune system would allow nothing else. It was what would happen once Blake regained consciousness that Sam feared.

Their relationship has been a volatile one at the best of times; the thin line between love and hate so blurred it was almost nonexistent. While it was true that their passion had risen to beyond the heights of normalcy, so too had their fights. When they hadn't been ripping each other's clothes off, they'd literally been at each other's throats in anger.

Their love had been anything but healthy. In the end, love hadn't been enough. He'd left, too afraid of what they would do to each other if he'd stayed another night.

Now, almost ten years to the day Sam had ended things, Blake had finally tracked him down. God help him if Blake wanted him back, because regardless of what he had going with Ken, Sam wasn't sure if he'd be able to resist Blake once he turned on the charm.

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