Home > Beyond Just Us (Remington Medical #4)(9)

Beyond Just Us (Remington Medical #4)(9)
Author: Kimberly Kincaid

“Okay, well, it sort of is,” Connor admitted. “But trials are controlled experiments with treatments that have already been tested in other ways and approved by governing bodies. So it’s not like you’re going to turn green or grow a second thumb or anything.”

Declan deadpanned, “Well, that’s a relief.”

Not that Connor was deterred. “In a way, it actually is. Your health is monitored really closely when you participate in a trial, so you get a lot of care. Everything is run by medical professionals and documented to the gills, so there’s little room for error, and in a lot of cases, the treatments really do improve the participants’ health and quality of life.”

Fucking Connor, had to go and make it sound all sensible. At least Declan had a work-around. “Dr. Trufant never mentioned trying for one.”

“That’s true,” Connor said. “But Dr. Michaelson is right. There could be really valid reasons for that. Look, I know better than to try and tell you what to do. You’re a grown-ass adult.” He paused for a smile that softened the rest. “But if you want my medical advice—and I’m thinking you might, since you hauled your sorry ass all the way across the country to see me—I’ll tell you that I think a trial is worth looking into.”

Declan let his gaze travel to the door, his thoughts going along for the ride. “And you trust her?”

“Who, Tess?” Connor let go of a soft laugh. “With my life.”

A thought occurred to Declan then, chased by the bitter aftertaste of the glucose gel. “You and the doc. You two never…?”

“What, dated?” His laughter increased in both volume and intensity. “No. God, no. I mean, I love her like a sister. A really smart, really sarcastic sister who sort of scares me, but still. That’s all.”

“But you trust her with your life,” Declan pointed out. He’d known Connor for a long time, and they’d seen a lot of things together that most people couldn’t even nightmare up.

“I do. Look, I know she’s a hardass, and you’re a hardass, too. But I trust Tess like I trust you. She’s had my back when a lot of other people wouldn’t have.” A look crossed Connor’s face, then, one that Declan would’ve called wistful if it hadn’t disappeared too fast for him to give it a closer inspection. “I’m not saying you have to like Dr. Michaelson. All I’m asking is that you give her medical advice a shot.”

If the seriousness in Connor’s words hadn’t done it, the pure truth on his face would have, and ah, hell.

Problem is, y’do like her a bit, now don’t you?

A knock at the door had them both looking up, and Declan heaved a silent breath of relief. Saved by the blonde.

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to interrupt,” the woman said. She was knockout beautiful, from her tastefully twisted-up hair and ice-blue eyes to the expertly tailored blouse and skirt on her nearly six-foot frame. “Tess called and said you might need me?”

Even a blind man half out of his mind would be able to see that this was Connor’s woman. His smile was practically its own living thing. “Hey. Yeah. Come on in.” The tension in the big guy’s shoulders eased visibly as the woman neared. “Harlow, this is my buddy, Declan, from the Air Force. Dec, this is my girlfriend, Harlow Davenport.”

Her eyes widened behind the dark red frames of her glasses. “Oh. Oh. I’ve heard so much about you,” she said, her gaze growing concerned in less than a beat as she took in the whole hospital-bed/IV-tubes scenario. “Is everything okay?”

There were few things Declan hated more than sympathy, even though Harlow’s was clearly well-meaning. “It’s a long story, and boring, to boot. I’ll be fine.”

“Declan,” Connor warned, but he waved him off.

“I’m not goin’ anywhere. So, for now, can’t you humor me? After all, it’s not every day I get to meet the woman who brought a big oaf like you to yer knees.”

Connor exhaled. “You know you can’t put this off for long,” he murmured, just quietly enough to keep the words from Harlow’s ears.

Oh, Declan did. Because he’d seen the fire in Tess’s eyes as she’d promised she’d be back, and he knew that it meant he was far, far from done with her.

 

 

5

 

 

“I am an absolute fucking genius!”

Tess spoke the words to no one in particular, since the tiny corner of the medical library where she’d been hiding-slash-doing research was dead empty. But the electronic tablet in front of her didn’t lie.

There was a trial—no, the perfect trial—for Declan, and it was right here in Remington, with one of Dr. Rosenthal’s colleagues at the helm. Granted, there were a lot of meds that had to be administered at very specific intervals, and a lot more observation and tests that needed to be done by a licensed medical professional, so getting Declan in might take some convincing. But while, to her mother’s dismay, she’d never learned which fork to use for salad or how to make perfect polite small talk (fine. Any small talk. Or anything polite), Tess did have one skillset at which she excelled.

When it came to patient care, she was one hundred percent determined to do whatever it took.

This trial could save Declan’s life by keeping him healthy and off dialysis while he waited for a new kidney. And that meant Tess was getting him in.

No matter what she had to do to make it happen.

“There you are!” came the familiar voice of her best friend and fellow doctor, Charleston Becker, from behind her, and only then did Tess realize that her legs had auto-piloted her not just out of the library, but halfway down the hall, too.

“Oh, hey,” Tess said, slowing only marginally as they headed for the elevators. With any luck, Rosenthal would be in his office. If not, she’d have to page him. Or figure out where he was and wait, toe tapping and arms crossed, outside of the room. Whatever.

Charlie grinned. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Word on the street is you’re treating Connor’s friend. The cover model.”

Her tone tacked on no less than nine pounds of curiosity, and shit, Tess had to tread with extreme caution. Charlie knew her better than anyone, and while Tess hadn’t disclosed exactly how filthy or how numerous her fantasies of Declan had been over the past few months—she liked to read, so sue her—Charlie would see right through her if she wasn’t careful.

“Who told you that?”

“Um, everyone,” Charlie volleyed, arching a copper-colored brow. “You don’t really think that the guy who’s on the cover of pretty much every single romance novel that all the nurses and half the doctors in this place trade like stockbrokers on Wall Street could literally fall into your arms outside of your ED and it would stay quiet, do you? He’s as hot as a freaking supernova, Tess!”

Tess frowned and pressed the button to summon the elevator, then pressed it again for good measure. “I’m firing everyone, I swear to God.”

Charlie laughed, undeterred. “Oh, come on. You know you can’t do that, and Connor introduced me to him and gave me the scoop, anyway. I take it you got Declan’s labs back?”

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