Chapter 9: Ascension Graveyard by Candice Coates

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Chapter 9

Jørn ran his hand down his face as he sat in the darkness of his office. He was completely exhausted, but at the same time could not find a moment long enough to relax. There were too many gears in his mind cranking to allow him any rest.

He had been at the hospital well past his fourteen-hour shift. It ended up being nineteen and a half hours to be exact. Part of him regretted doing so. It had been almost a complete day since he had spoken to Etta, and even though she had made him mad as hell he still wanted to move past this mountain that was growing between them. If he let things keep going the way they were, there would be no turning back, especially if Baldwin was lurking somewhere in the shadows.

On the other hand, Jørn was glad he had stayed on the extra hours. One of the emergency room NP’s had called in and Jørn volunteered to cover their shift before anyone asked. He was the only NP available anyway.

Staying had allowed him to be present when Mayor Vanessa Wong came into the ER close to eleven that evening with a badly fractured nose and bruises on the back of her head. Jørn didn’t work on her case, but he did overhear Doctor Rachel Steves complaining about it.

Being struck with a spell of curiosity, Jørn eased himself into the conversation she was having with two of the nurses.

He let the conversation replay in his mind:

“Can you believe her?!” Doctor Rachel Steves tore open several packets of sugar and dumped them into her steaming cup of coffee. “Her nose was fractured, the base of her skull bruised like someone had punched her repeatedly  in it, and yet when I am trying to get information from her as to how this happened, she reads me the riot act like I am overstepping boundaries?!”

Rachel snatched up her coffee. Some of the dark liquid splashed out burning her hand and staining her scrubs. Setting the cup back on the counter, she cursed. “This is exactly what I need! It’s going to be a long shift.”

            Jørn eased forward, showed her the napkins in his hand, and began to wipe up the coffee. “Did you ever find out what happened to her?” He asked.

            Rachel dabbed at the coffee spot on her shirt. She frowned and shook her head. “Thanks and no. She refused to take an EEG.  The woman refused any real care at all.” She looked at Jørn, and then at the other two nurse who were in the break room with her. “The only thing she wanted done was her nose fixed, and some pain meds. She was completely unreasonable. There was no talking to her.”

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