Take Me #2 - Love Me - Bella Andre

Bella Andre - Take Me #2 - Love Me

Love Me (Take Me #2)
Bella Andre


Chapter One

“Car accident. Ten-year-old girl. Possible ruptured spleen.”

Luke Carson dropped the x-ray he was groggily reviewing to run beside the frightened girl who was rapidly losing blood. Her cheeks were stained with tear tracks and her long blond hair blew off the side of the gurney as the nurses wheeled her into surgery. She looked up at Luke with big, barely conscious blue eyes.

“I know you don’t feel so good right now, honey, but in a few seconds everything will be better. I’m going to take care of you.”

“Promise?” she whispered.

“I promise.” He would do everything in his power not to let her, or her family, down.

He held out his hands for surgical gloves just as Robert, another trauma surgeon who’d come on an hour earlier, popped his head in the door.

“You’ve been on for twenty-four, Luke. You want me to take this one for you?”

“Nope. I’ve got it.”

Saving lives was not just a job for Luke. Being a trauma surgeon was what he’d been born to do. He was the best man for the job. It wasn’t arrogance.

It was the truth.

Luke was ten years old when he decided to become a doctor. Even though the rest of his friends – and his brother, Travis - had been out partying in their twenties, he didn't regret a single one of the long hours he'd spent in class or poring over thick textbooks in the library. His number one priority had always been to save lives. Because he knew what happened to families when somebody died.

They fell apart.

Every parent he brought back from the brink meant there was one more kid who had a dad to play ball with and a mom to kiss him goodnight. And every child he took care of meant there was one less devastated parent trying to pick up the pieces of their life.

Luke's job was everything to him. Especially on nights like this when a little girl's life was at stake.

He had caught a very brief flash of her parent's faces as they ran into the ER behind the paramedics. They'd been scared, more frightened than they'd ever been before. If she died, the hole in their hearts would never be healed

Luke couldn't let that happen. But when he moved to press the scalpel down onto the girl’s skin, he suddenly realized he couldn't control his hands.


He pulled his hands away and took a deep breath. Surgery required complete concentration. His strength of will had never failed him before. But even with his hands still at his sides, he could feel the shaking grow worse, damn it.

He looked up and was surprised to see Robert standing unobtrusively against the wall, looking concerned, but waiting for Luke’s cue. When had his colleague come into the OR? Had it been that obvious to him that Luke wasn't up to the job tonight?

Fuck, no. He could do it. He was going to stand by his promise to save the little girl's life.

A second later, everything began to blur, and he felt Robert's hand on his arm, steadying him.

“I'm fresh, Luke. Let me take this.”

Luke had to fight like hell not to shake off Robert's hand.

Damn it. He'd worked plenty of twenty-four-hour shifts. He should be able to pull this off.

Only, this was about a hell of a lot more than “pulling it off.” This was life and death for an innocent ten-year-old girl. Every second counted in the ER. He'd already wasted too many.

If the girl died it would be his fault. He'd have to face her parents and tell them that his ego had killed her. And he'd never forgive himself.

“Robert,” his said in a low voice, “go ahead and take over.”

His friend quickly stepped in, taking not only the instruments from Luke, but his control over the situation as well.

For the first time in years, Luke didn’t know what to do. The only thing that was clear was that he was no longer needed. Robert and the nursing staff had everything well under control.

They'd save the girl. They had to.

All he knew for sure was that if he'd stayed, if he hadn't stepped away and finally handed over the reins, his hands might have slipped at a crucial moment.

He could have killed her.

On leaden feet he left the OR, walked down the hallway, and entered the locker room. He ripped off his scrubs and threw them toward the overflowing hamper in the cluttered locker