Home > Slade (New Species #2)(2)

Slade (New Species #2)(2)
Author: Laurann Dohner


“Don’t carry doggy blood,” Dennis interrupted.

Trisha whirled around and glowered at him. “I’m working here. I’m a professional. Do you remember what that is?”

His smile died. “Don’t speak to me that way. I’m your boss.”

“You’re only one of them and I’ll go over your head if you don’t back off me right now,” Trisha threatened. “Either help or get out of my way. The life flight should land in under a minute.” She spun on her heel, jogging toward the outer door. She yelled instructions on her way outside to scan the sky.

She heard the helicopter before she saw it. Noises behind her assured that her team moved into place as the doors whished open and she turned her head, throwing her arm up as the helicopter lowered. The wind blown up by the blades made her turn her head even more, tucking it under her loose white coat sleeve to shield most of her face. Her gaze fixed on Sally and the other two medical personnel who had rolled a gurney outside with them. She hoped she didn’t look as apprehensive as the other three did. The helicopter touched down.

Only years of experience kept Trisha calm. She barely glanced at the large, covered bundle being lifted from the helicopter. She gave her full attention to the attendant while he yelled out the patient’s vitals and information. Trisha nodded, listening.

“What’s his name?”

“215.”

Trisha frowned at the life-flight medic. He nodded vigorously. “It’s all we have. It is what they called him.”

“Thanks.” Trisha pivoted, hurrying after the gurney being pushed inside. She flashed Cory a glance as she stormed past him. “Get me more information on him. Call the police handling that mess, whatever it takes, but I need to know everything I can about this guy. The only name they have for him is 215.” She yanked gloves out her pocket and pulled them on.

“I’m on it,” Cory promised, grabbing up his phone.

Trisha loved working with him. He was a “can do” kind of guy. He never bitched, never whined about a thing, and did whatever she asked even if it wasn’t technically his job. She knew he’d do what he could to help. She rushed into the exam room and watched as her team transferred the victim from the gurney onto an exam bed. She moved to his head and her gloved hands reached for his face.

“Let’s go,” Trisha ordered. She glanced at the body being revealed as her team began removing his clothing. The victim had dirt smeared on his face and body, some of it dried clumps of mud, making it difficult to make out his features.

“Look at this,” Sally muttered. “His clothes have Velcro on the sides instead of seams.”

“Handy,” Pete grunted. “Help me roll him, Sally. He’s a big son of a bitch.”

“Possible knife wound to the lower back,” Sally noted. “Four inches at least.” She probed the wound with her gloved hands. “It isn’t deep.”

“We have some burns on his right shoulder,” Pete added. “Second degree, so not bad. I think someone used Taser darts on him. There are small puncture wounds centered in the affected areas. What kind of weapon causes burns? I’ve never seen this before.”

Trisha had been feeling his head. “He’s got a lump but no visible bleeding. Order a CT scan.” She released him and gripped her mini flashlight. She gently opened one eyelid, seeing he had beautiful blue eyes. She flashed her light in each eye, checked responses. Her relief was instant when his pupils reacted perfectly. She touched his throat, feeling for anything off. No obvious broken bones, no swelling, she mentally ticked off the checklist inside her head. She focused on his mouth next and pulled apart his lips. And gasped.

Her team froze, all focused on her. Trisha shook herself from the stunned moment. She stared at the sharp teeth inside the patient’s mouth. They resembled vampire fangs. She carefully reached between his full lips and spread his jaw farther apart to check inside his mouth and get a look at his airway.

“Are those dog teeth?” Pete’s voice came out shaky.

“Gunshot wound to the left thigh,” Sally announced. “Through and through.”

“Bleeding?” Trisha released the patient’s mouth.

“Manageable but he’s nicked an artery. The medics pressure patched it. His blood pressure is stable at the moment. The fluids they pushed in transit seem to have helped.”

“Let’s move him to OR as soon as we’re done. Wrap it up. It should be prepped and waiting for us.”

Trisha ignored the other staff who dashed in and out of the exam room grabbing samples from the victim. She had faith in her team and they worked well together. Mercy Hospital had a reputation of only hiring the best staff. They carefully rolled the patient onto his side and searched every inch of his skin.

“Needle marks on his right ass cheek,” Sally noted. “He isn’t a junkie. He would have to be pretty flexible to reach there and with guns like that, men aren’t real flexible.”

“He has a gun?” Trisha yanked her hands away from the patient. “Where? Be careful.”

Sally laughed for the first time. “Not a real gun. Guns, Trisha. Don’t you know that means big, buff muscles? The guy is total beefcake. Didn’t you notice?”

Trisha shook her head, relieved the guy wasn’t armed. “Let’s get him into the OR and check out that thigh. It’s still bleeding.” She examined the gunshot wound. She prodded the holes on each side where the bullet had gone through.

“Let’s move, people,” Sally ordered.

Trisha headed for the door. “I’ll scrub up.”

She made it to the hallway before she was brought to a stop where Dr. Jose Roldio blocked her path. He looked pale. “I have this one, Trisha. Thanks.” He shoved past her.

Trisha stood there stunned for a few seconds that Jose had just taken over her patient’s care without her asking for a consult. She leaped out of the way quickly though when her team wheeled the unconscious man from the exam room. She stared at the patient’s face now that she had time to think, her mind allowing impressions to register. He had long, thick, brown hair with blond streaks threaded through it. His eyes had been unusually colored—dark blue with lighter blue streaks swirling in the irises, making them really beautiful. She tore her bloody gloves off and stormed to a trash can. It irritated her badly that she wasn’t the one who’d operate on him.

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