Calistos (Guardians of Hades #5) - Felicity Heaton
“Clear the way!”
Marinda plastered her back against the cream wall of the busy hospital corridor as two paramedics rushed towards her, pushing a gurney. From the opposite direction, a doctor hurried to them, meeting them just before her.
“What do we have?” The woman looked the patient over and Marinda didn’t miss the flicker of horror in her dark eyes.
Marinda could understand her shock. The unconscious man on the gurney was covered in a black oily substance, had blood pooling beneath him on the pale sheets and staining his long blond hair, and had multiple lacerations across his bare chest.
Together with a bone sticking out of his left arm.
“Adult male. Early thirties. Someone found him on the Pont Sant-Michel. Unconscious.” The male paramedic glanced at the doctor before he went back to attending to the man. “He hasn’t regained consciousness.”
Coupled with the grave look he exchanged with the doctor and the other paramedic, Marinda knew what that meant.
He was bound for the morgue.
They rushed past her and her gaze tracked them, focused on him. How had he even managed to survive such extensive injuries? She had seen people in better conditions lose their lives, and didn’t hold out much hope for him. She hated nights like this, when she saw such horrible things, when she felt hopeless despite how badly she wanted to be able to help these people.
She drifted back along the corridor in the direction she had come, not noticing any of the people or the things happening around her as her feet carried her towards the ER.
Towards the man.
Was it morbid curiosity or something else that had this need awakening inside her? A desire to remain at his side. To watch over him.
She paused at the door of the room they had moved him into and watched as nurses joined the paramedics and another doctor, this one a man, rushed into the room from the doors to the theatre. She only caught snippets of their conversation as she stared at the blond man, her eyes transfixed on his face.
“We have any hope here?” a man muttered. One of the nurses.
“Just get him hooked up,” a woman hissed back at him as she worked to clear some of the black from the patient’s chest. “What is this stuff? Motor oil?”
“It stinks, whatever it is.” Another man moved around the blond on the gurney, blocking Marinda’s view for a moment, and she inched another step closer, compelled to remain within sight of the man.
“Vitals coming in now.” The first male nurse shifted to his right. “What the hell?”
Marinda glanced at the machine as he punched the buttons.
“That can’t be right.” He looked at his colleagues.
Marinda agreed with him. She had worked as a receptionist long enough to know what normal vitals looked like, and this man’s were as normal as they got. The machine had to be wrong. There was no way a man in his condition could have stable, near-perfect blood pressure. He hardly had any blood left in him judging by the crimson now dripping from the gurney to splatter on the tiled floor.
She inched another step closer, bordering on entering the room now as that compulsion grew stronger. Her gaze dropped to his face again, and a feeling struck her.
He felt like home.
The strangeness of that thought had her frowning at him. She wasn’t normally one for such fanciful thoughts, and definitely not about men. Did she know him? It was possible he had lived in the small town where she had grown up, where she had spent her entire life before she had moved away to study at the Conservatoire de Paris.
The entire room erupted into pandemonium, shattering her thoughts and hurling her back into the world.
The blond jacked up off the gurney, growled like an animal as people rushed to restrain him, and she gasped as he kicked one of them. His heavy black boots caught one of the men in the chest and sent him flying across the room.
“Get him under control!” The doctor who had been the first to attend to him barrelled across the room with two large male nurses.
The woman seized the man’s legs, a vain attempt to contain him as he bucked and thrashed. The two nurses grabbed his shoulders and tried to pin him, and the second doctor joined the first, helping her keep the man’s legs under control.
The male paramedic fumbled with some straps, almost had them around the man’s legs when someone injected the blond with something.