Sunday, June 28, 2020

Chapter 18

There roar of laughter in ER treatment room 23 began to catch the attention of most of the staff around that room, as well as the patients in the adjourning rooms, drawing a nurse into the doorway, asking them to tone it down.  The loud howling in the room immediately descended into a quiet snickering from those leaning up against every wall space available.  Matthew and Becca were then summoned out of the room by an attendant, letting them know that a visitor or family member of Katie's was here wanting to come into the ER, and that they needed someone to authorize his entrance.  She let them know that they had exceeded the limited number of visitors in a treatment room, and Matthew and Becca volunteered to be the ones who left.  

"That's probably Scotty," Matthew said.  "We'll go check on it." 

"I hope he brought a lot of food," Becca said as they exited the room.  As they left the room, Nick and Shawn heard Becca's comment and her hope expressed while Nick's hope took a nose-dive, knowing that his Teach would for sure be leaving soon and and on the arm of her safe trooper. With the ladies room at the other end of the ER treatment area, Katie did not see Matthew and Becca leave, and re-entered Nick's room with a new strengthened resolve, bound and determined to keep that man as far from her heart as the 214 miles from Nashville, Tennessee to Lexington, Kentucky.  When she entered the room, all eyes put her uncomfortably center stage, as she walked over to the far side of the gurney. She put her hands on his railing and everyone watched to see what she was going to say to him now. 

“Well, PC, I see my work here is done. I’m glad you are awake and going to make a full recovery.” The fact that she called him PC lit up Nick’s heart, only to have water thrown on the flame to create a muddy smoldering ash. She leaned down into his ear and with a sexy, low voice as if she were seducing him and she spoke her heart. She put her hand on his, caressing it, all the way up his arm to his face while she spoke giving the impression that she was being nice. She lifted her eyes once to make sure that Shawn understood what she was about to do, but made sure no one else in the room could hear her attempt to bury his heart of hope. At first Nick was smiling, loving having her this close to his face and lips. His smile immediately went from happy, to dread, back down to despair the more she whispered loud enough for his boys to hear.   

“I’m so happy that you are going to live,” she said to his face, then leaned down next to his ear nearly touching it with her lips to whisper something only Shawn who was on the other side of the bed could hear.  “Because now I can effectively start World War III in your life. I’m going to make you wish Scotty was sending you to jail to be some convict’s prison bitch after all.” Katie raised her head with a devious smile, and then she looked down at Nick. “Oh, now where’s that adorable dimpled smile?”

“Katie did you say something mean to him?” Becca asked as she crept into the room, poking her head around the curtain. Surprised to see her, and in an overly exaggerated sarcastic tone, with a pitch much higher than her normal voice, Katie looked at Nick with warning eyes. 

“Meeeeee? NO! No, of course not, not me, right PC?” She lifted her head, twisting it back and forth between Nick's turmoil filled eyes, and Becca's vengeful ones.  She stared at his lips with want, which caused him to repeat the gesture. It was almost too much for Nick to hope that he would taste those lips again this night. “You wanna see how nice I can be?” Nick nodded. 

She bent over and reclaimed his lips with a tender, yet passionate kiss, showing off to Becca. An enormous jolt took over Nick, and he put his hand up around her neck holding her in that position to return the sentiment with his lips and partial tongue action. When they came out of the kiss, Nick was breathing heavy with hope and gratitude, happy beyond measure. Katie on the other hand had a straight face, showing no emotion, love, or returned passion as she did that night two years prior.  Katie may have been a happy loving drunken princess, but she was back to her cold sober ice princess mode in that hospital room.  She looked up again, noting that Matthew was nowhere to be seen, and that Becca had left, again.  

“Where did they go, Matthew and my mean sister-in-law  Becca?” She asked with her head crooked up towards the guys. 

“They left, I think to let your trooper in with whatever he has for you,” Jerry said. 

“Ohhhh well, isn’t that convenient?” She said with her voice rising in antagonistic sarcasm. Shawn shook his head, knowing something was coming to knock Nick off that mountaintop. Katie had free range to slap the hope right out of his hands, and she was going to take full advantage of her moment unsupervised. Shawn, knowing Katie, waited for the bomb to drop, and Katie did not disappoint. 

“Well, I wanted a refresher of what that felt like to kiss you, seeing how it’s been so long and all. With your lips all over all those beautiful groupies these past couple years, I didn’t know if you lost or changed your technique, or something.” She backed up, standing at the end of the gurney to give herself a little space from the heat that permeated from that gurney. Standing that close to him was spellbinding, and she needed space, but she did her best to cover. She had to cool it down; she wanted to put him on the spot in front of his homeboys. She crossed one arm across her middle and leaned the other elbow on that arm, cupping her chin with her index finger and thumb. 

"Katie," Shawn said, trying to let her know that she was taking this a bit too far. She was not in the least bit inclined to tone it down in any way, shape, or form.  She dodged his message, shook her head and went in for the kill.  

“I have to decide whether to go with the holster and all its neat little weapons and those cold metal handcuffs," she said with antagonizing envy-producing sarcasm, "Or the guitar and its six little strings that can create the most beautiful, romantic and awe inspiring music and it's little pick," she said lowering her chin exaggerating the word little and looking down at the center of the bed when she arrived at the word pick. "You up for the challenge, PC?” She asked with bluffing it as her motivation.  She was caught off guard at Nicolas Paul's confident acceptance of her challenge. 

“Absolutely.” He looked around at his buddies, confident that he could shiver her, and he addressed them. “Ah, guys, you wanna give us a minute.” 

A round of “oh sure’s” buzzed about as Katie’s eyes widened. She didn’t expect to be trapped alone in that room with him. She was toast now, and they both knew it, even if Katie refused to admit it. Clearing the room like that, meant no holds bar on what was to come next. There was a quiet rumble of men’s voices and a few chuckles as they exited the room. Katie watched them leave, knowing that they were her life preserver in Nick’s sea of seduction. Nick’s eyes and the tilt of his head, called to her. She hesitated not wanting to move from her spot. She feared if she got closer, she would not be able to hide what her eyes clearly were saying to him. After all this time and hurt that he caused her, he still did it for her. 

“Are you coming over here, or what? Maybe you’re the one who is a little nervous, now?” He saw the tension in her body as her muscles became rigid and her sarcastic wit was left defenseless. There was no one there for her to show off in front of, it was just Prince Charming and Princess Cindy, again. She shuffled over to him, stopping before she got within arm’s reach. He smiled at her, knowing he had her. 

“You think you’re so special, don’t you, Mr. Big Shot Headliner.” He nodded his head slowly with a sensual look of want and desire in his eyes. 

“I am with you still, otherwise, you wouldn’t be afraid to come to me.” Her body started to shake and quiver. 

“I’m not afraid of you.” 

“Then why are you so far away?” She took the challenge and stepped in closer. “Put the railing down.” 

“What?” She asked.

“No barriers, between you and me, now, put the railing down.” 

“I don’t think I know how.” 

“Yes, you do. There’s a latch, find it.” She took in a deep breath and looked half-heartedly. “It’s around here somewhere,” he said pointing with his hand through the railing. 

Katie looked for the latch that would fold down the wall of resistance for her, and unfortunately, for her, she found it. She lowered the railing and stood there with her arms wrapped around her concaved waist in a defensive self-hug.

“Now, what?” She asked. Nick patted the area beside him and shuffled over some. 

“Sit here.”  She shook her head. He nodded his. “You challenged me. Now, are you going to back down, admit defeat, or are you going to brave the rapids and sit here?”

Katie sat down with her body half turned and both legs hanging off the side of the gurney. Nick pushed the button on the other railing to raise the bed and then sat up perpendicular, closer to Katie. Her breathing became shaky as he put his hands up to her shoulders. One hand slipped behind her neck, while the other caressed her face with his giant thumb. He stared with want for her lips, and she stared at his with the exact same sentiment. 

“Well, are you coming in for a kiss, or do I need to call the guys in and let them know what I’m doing to you right now.” He moved his face slowly closer to Katie, enough so she could feel his hot breath of want. 

In her mind, she was screaming for help. 'Scotty, where are you when I need you?'  

“Umm, maybe this isn’t a good idea, because if Scotty walks in here and sees this, it won’t go well for you. He’ll throw the other side of your head up against jail cell bars.” 

“Oh, I hope he does. I want him to see the heat between us and how powerful it is still after all this time.” He pulled her face closer to his.

When Katie leaned close to him, he became lost in the gaze of her lips, showing her just how much he’s longed to have them on his these past two years. He was a starving man, and she was his banquet. He lightly brushed their lips together, giving that little pre-kissing tease. She swallowed hard, as he pulled her into him with that gaze. 

“You’re not so tough when you don’t have an audience that you’re showing off your tough girl act to. You are a stage performer, my shy princess, even more than I am.” 

Her lips parted to make way for the extra breaths she needed to take. He knew he was having that effect on her, and she had to fight it. He then went in for the kill when he quickly and passionately took back ownership of her lips, just like he did two years ago on that sidewalk. 

He put two years’ worth of want into that kiss and what he hoped would be the game changer. His soul called out to hers, and she sensed it. She tried to keep her soul from responding to his. He let his tongue just brush her lips, seeking entry. She slightly opened the gates of passion, and he took full advantage. She moaned as if a tidal wave of the love-cocktail was coming crashing into her shore, after so long of her trying to sober her heart up from its affect before. 

The most powerful shiver that Katie had ever experienced overwhelmed her, causing her body to quake, which did not go unnoticed by Nick. She fought with everything she had to not react. Her heart rate was off the charts as was Nick’s. She refused her lungs the sought-after oxygen needed from the increased heart rate. Nick did not fight the jolt; he accentuated its affect with guttural groans, in an attempt to remind Katie of the unrequited passion that tormented them both that wonderful night. For a brief second, her body melded into his, until she got her wits about her. 

There was only one way to take care of this trap she was in and that was to fight fire with fire. She put her hand behind his head, pulling him up into her lips, then combing the back of his hair, hitting dead center one of his zones. Nick sucked in a deep breath and had to pull out of the kiss, or the guys would have something with which to torment him, endlessly. She could tell by his deep breath, that she lit up both zones. As they released each other from their grasps, and both panted for air, he had one more trick up his sleeve. 

“Do you remember what I said I was going to do the next time we were together, regardless of where we were?” 

“Huh?” She asked in a daze. 

“Do you remember what I said I was going to do to you the next time we were together? I said I was going to lavish my love all over you, the way I wanted to then and the way you begged me to. Do you remember that? Because now is our chance, my love.” 

“Oh yeah. So, you want to do it right here, in the ER treatment room?” She said laughing to break the tension. 

“Nope, I’m going to make love to you, after they put me up in a private room.”

“And how do you think you’ll pull that off, big shot?” 

“You will go to the nurse’s desk, and tell them that I need a good two hours of sleep, and I am not to be interrupted at all, by anyone. Then you’ll shut the door and come to me. I won’t just rock your world; I’m going to create an earthquake of at least ten on the Richter scale, crumbling all your defenses and force fields. Our souls will call to each other, again like they did that night and just now, but this time, they’ll join permanently, and we will become one. You said you wanted to feel the love of a man all over you, well, here’s your chance.” He pulled her back into him and kissed her with all the passion of two years ago. 

She moaned, and her body melded into his, again. Her hands went to his face. When a second of their present reality hit her, she pulled away and jumped back.  “Damn it, you jerk,” she said in her deep breathing, while Nick smiled and raised his eyebrows. He put his hands with his fingers clasped behind his head, until the pain in the back reminded him of why he was there in the first place. He quickly lowered his hands. 

“You want it, just as much as I do. I can tell.” He laughed at her collapse of his love reconstituted in her heart.  The guys came in when they saw Katie up against the wall. They were talking and chuckling amongst themselves as they approached. Katie’s dazed look, locked in a trance like state, did not go unnoticed by all, as they entered the room. Nick had an evil genius’s victory smile going on all over his face.  

“You okay, Katie?” Shawn asked. 

“Huh?” She said in a daze. Nick just smiled and looked at Shawn who nodded and smiled. He was proud of his boy. Katie shook herself out of her daze, and with her audience present, she was going to tame the beast inside her and drop him right in front of his guys.

“Katie, are you there?” Shawn asked. 

“Oh yeah, I was just comparing, and it’s a no contest for sure.”

“Well, we are all waiting?” Jerry asked. 

“I’m definitely wanting to go with the holster and all its’ neat toys, especially those handcuffs, they are my favorite. Scotty knows just how to use them, like a real trooper. No pun intended, well maybe intended a little bit. Nick can tell you all about that, can’t you darling?” 

She winked as she said those last heart-stabbing words. She raised and lowered her eyebrows, with a devious smile on her face. She shot Shawn a look and walked out of the room. Shawn gave her a look of disapproval and shook his head, indicating that she went too far, again. 

Nick’s heart dropped two stories to the sub-basement of the hospital where no man usually goes. The smile on his face became a tight-lipped grimace with his jaw clenched and his fists rounded. 

“Oh, man that was cold,” Jerry said. 

“Cold, nothing, that was arctic,” Mike said. Nick looked at Jeff. Jeff rubbed his jaw line and then squeezed his chin with his thumb and forefinger. 

“You got something to say?” Nick asked aggravated.

“Yeah, I’m thinking the whack job just got better looking and may need some reconsidering.” All the guys started laughing out loud, shaking their head and loving the way she could humble their cocky super star friend, knowing that she was the answer to keeping their Nicolas Paul with them. Nick looked over at Shawn, who had a compassionate, empathetic look on his face. 

“You do know she wasn’t serious, she’s just trying to hit you where it hurts the most. Don’t give in to it. That tells me just how much she loves you. If she didn’t she wouldn’t have sunk that low.” 

“Oh, I had her, while you guys were out of the room. She was putty in my hands. I know her weaknesses and strength. She’s better with an audience, but when it’s just me and her, she’s toast. She’s still got it for me, and she can’t fight it.” All the guys laughed and put their fists out for a fist bump.   

“I particularly liked the handcuff comment and the visual I got from that,” Mike said. 

“Shut up, Mike,” Nick commanded.

“You gotta admit, it was good,” he retorted. “She dropped you with it. I saw your face. You got a visual of her and him with them, don’t say you didn’t?” Mike added.

“Shut up, I said. Damn it, where’s Becca when I need her.” Nick said whining. It’s going to be like this isn’t it.?'  Shawn nodded his head with a sad empathetic smile. They all listened as they heard an unfamiliar man’s voice in the open area. They looked puzzled at each other, but Nick recognized it right away, from earlier. 

“The cop,” he whispered and they all nodded. Katie made sure that she was standing right near the doorway, wanting Nick to hear her banter with Scotty. She had every intention of throwing it on thick for that little stunt. It was payback time, and she knew just how to get him which was with the security of Scotty and the history they had together.  

“Scotty, what the heck took you so long? I’ve been waiting forever.” Scotty approached Katie with a large handled shopping bag in hand, and he greeted her, which she interrupted him with a long passionate kiss. 

“Wow, thanks Katie-bear. I’ll keep you waiting more often for a greeting like that!”

“Matthew says you have a surprise. You know I love surprises, so what’s in the bag, c’mon tell me.”  She kept the loud giddy banter going in the doorway where it was obvious what she was doing to all who witnessed her performance. 

“Give me another one of those kisses, and I will.” “Sure thing, my big strong handsome trooper.” There was a momentary pause, and a slight moan that could be heard coming from Katie. 

“That little brat. I just reclaimed those lips.” Nick said, aggravated. 

“She’s doing it on purpose, to get you.” Shawn said. Nicks feet were banging together. 

“Shhh! I want to hear what he’s gotten her.” Jerry said who was enjoying the showdown. Nick darted Jerry an angry stare as they listened with great anticipation. 

“I’m sorry that I took so long, Katie-bear. I was looking for a place to get your supper, but there were no restaurants open. Soooo, I got creative.”  

Shawn asked with his lips, “Katie-bear?” Nick nodded, rolled his eyes and then shook his head with disgust. 

“Okay, so what’s in the bag?” Katie asked with increasing excitement. She quickly rubbed her hands together loud enough to be heard in Nick’s room. “I love it when you get me surprises. You always nail it. So, c’mon, what did ya get me?” 

“Hold on, my little hungry cub.” Nick made a disgusted face when he heard that. Shawn chuckled at Nick’s jealousy. “Becca, come here. I think you are going to love this,” Scotty said holding up the bag. Katie was bouncing with over the top excitement, just to make a point with Nick. 

“Okay, c’mon. Let’s see it, Scotty. C’mon I’m dying; you’re always so good at this.” 

“All right, now, I couldn’t find any restaurants, so, we’re going to go to the Pavilion, and I’m going to transfer it into Scotty’s Place, where the finest of cuisine will satisfy the heartiest of  appetites and tickle your fancy, making me the best ex-fiancé worthy of another chance.” 
Nick squeezed his eyes closed, and Shawn patted him on the shoulder. 
“You are going to love this. I went to Kroger and raided it for you. So, we’ll start the evening off with your favorite main lunch course.”
He bent over and pulled out a sandwich. “Fresh cut deli honey baked turkey, on whole wheat bread, with fresh tomatoes, provolone cheese and honey mustard strategically spread on both pieces of bread.”  
“How did you get fresh cut deli honey turkey at this hour?” Becca asked. 
“I had the manager come cut it, because the deli was closed.” 
“How did you do that?” Katie asked. 
“My little skinny bear, I’m a state trooper, we know how to coerce. We are very resourceful, remember?” Nick shook his head, again. Shawn and the guys chuckled. 
“Yep, that’s true, I’ve seen you manipulate the most stubborn of people and win.” 
“What’s next?” 
“Okay, how about a nice ice cold bottle of Coca Cola classic, and I couldn’t decide on light sour cream Pringles, or Cape Cod potato chips, so, I bought both.” Scotty pulls out both with a smile on his face seeking approval. 
“Awe so sweet,” Katie said less than enthusiastically. 
“And this is how well I know you, my darling starving cub. I knew you would react that way because it has been forever and a day since you’ve had some of these—,” Scotty pulled out a large black bag, the biggest Smart-food Popcorn the store carries, the four dollar bag. He had a proud grin on his face, when Katie threw her hands to her mouth, surprised and delighted. 
“Oh my gosh, Smart-food, how did you know I’ve been craving this for days? You do know me so well. We are going to eat together, right?” 
“Yes, but wait, I’m not finished. I have one more surprise in here on this auspicious occasion of your post-birthday. Seeing how he ruined another birthday of yours, I had a thought that may make you feel better.” 
Nick threw his head back, looking up toward the ceiling. He squeezed his eyes closed, shook his head and then rubbed his thumbs on his palms with his hands clasped together. 
“Shit, her birthday, I forgot, again. He’s got me on that one.”
“Today’s her birthday, oh yeah, I forgot about Nick's valentine lover.  Mike said, receiving another angry glance from Nick. 
“Well, technically it was yesterday,” Shawn said who likewise received an angry glance from Nick. 
“Katie-bear, I walked through the new Pavilion, and it is gorgeous. The moonbeams shining down from the skylight reflect off the water fountain and it’s breathtaking. The water becomes like glowing crystals. You are going to love it, and these just may put you in the mood for some serious law enforcement between the sheets.” Nick clenched his fists together and bit down on his teeth grinding them together.
“Oh, you bad boy! What do you have in that bag that I’m going to love?” She said with such enthusiasm, pouring on the acting to aggravate Nick, who was losing his cool. 
“Hold on. Hold on, now, I know what you’re going to say. You won’t let me lock you up between the sheets, outside of wed-lock, sooooo…” Scotty paused to draw out the suspense. He raised his eyebrows, ready to light up her night. So, I got the next best thing, according to your opinion, to please my Katie-bear.” 
Katie gasped very loud, wanting Nick to hear her excitement. She put her hands to her mouth and took in a large breath, squealing with delight. 
“Don’t tell me. Oh my gosh! You didn’t. You did! You didn’t, did you? Scotty, hurry, show me, I want to know if it’s what I think it is.” Scotty whipped out bakery fresh éclairs. Katie started to jump up and down, celebrating. “Ahhh, yes, yes, yes, Oh, I love you. This is so great. Can I have ‘em now? Do I have to share them?” Scotty put his hand up for a victory fist bump from Matthew, to which he responded, nodding his head and very happy to see his dear adopted sister, in his heart, so delighted about food. 
“Nope, I won’t even ask for one little taste, they are all yours, baby to enjoy. I’m going to love watching your face when you devour them. I love that face when you have these in your hot little hands ready to bring them to those lips I love to have on mine, which you have been teasing me with, as of late, by the way.” Scotty raised his eyebrows and bent his head toward her. 
“Oh, Scotty, you are so great, I can’t believe this. How did you know? C’mere you bad boy and get part of your reward, for now.” Katie threw her arms around Scotty and planted a long wet kiss on his lips, causing a groaning sound from Scotty to permeate Nick’s treatment room. 
“Wow! Katie-bear, I’m not sure now what’s going to be the best part of this night, throwing Nick Thomas up against that brick wall, watching you eat, or that kiss.”
“Oh Scotty, I can’t believe you got me the next best thing to good sex,” Katie said in true Yankee form, which was loud enough for everyone to hear. Becca ducked her head, Matthew shook his, and Scotty laughed as everyone looked over toward Katie who had her shoulders shrugged and was embarrassed. 
Scotty glanced at Becca, waiting for her to congratulate him on a job well done. “Well, Becca, did I do well?” Becca walked over, pulled herself up and gave Scotty a kiss on the cheek, while Katie eyed the éclairs. 
Matthew popped his head back, as did Scotty, as that was so out of character for her, in particularly with Scotty. 
“I gotta hand it to you. Very well done,” Becca said excited to see Katie so happy about eating and not recognizing her malevolent behavior to hurt Nick, just a few feet away. 
Her intentions were working, and Nick’s headache increased three-fold, with the aggravation, jealousy and hurt from her obvious effort to take out revenge on him. 
“I wonder what it is.” Jerry asked. Nick shot him an angry stare. Jerry shrugged his shoulders. 
“Shhhh! Mike said. I want to know what the next best thing to good sex is.” 
“Hey, you get out of there. You don’t get to put your finger in there unless you ask!” Katie said giggling. The guys all laughed, not knowing if she meant for it to sound the way it did. 
“Sorry, Kate, can Becca and I share one. We haven’t been able to get any of this lately,” Katie started laughing.  
“What the sex, or the éclairs?” Katie asked, giggling, causing Scotty to break down laughing. 
“I love those!” Jerry whispered. I have a mind to go out there and ask her for one.” They all chuckled at the comment, but Nick was not amused. 
“She’s doing this to get your goat. Don’t you know that?” Shawn asked.
“She is such a manipulative, conniving little brat,” he said, defeated, again after having had that victory kiss shiver her so much. “Stupid cop.” 
“That stupid cop just got your Teach all her favorite foods to eat, and it sounds as if she’s going to go after it, enthusiastically. You ought to be grateful,” Shawn said, facing Nick with his hands on his hips. 
“You’re right, bro. He did that. Gotta give credit where credit is due.” 
“Seems to me, that if he can get her to eat, then being with him right now is what’s best for Katie,” Jeff said. 
“Better alive with Scotty, then dead with Michael.” Nick said, defeated. 
“Well there’s nothing more exciting going on here now, unless she brings the cop in here. Now, that would be some fun.” Jerry elbowed Mike. 
“Shut up, Jer,’ Nick said aggravated. The men could hear them packing the food back in the bag. 
“Hey Katie-bear, will you share your Coke with me? I forgot to get a Pepsi.” 
“Sure, Scotty, I’ll share, maybe I’ll even let you have that first sip.” Nick winced and banged the rail with his fist.
“Bro, she’s not going to do that. She’s just trying to get you mad and hurt you. She’s lashing out.”
“Yeah, well Shawn, it’s working. She’s going to go back to him, just to make me squirm.” 
“Well, Katie-bear, are you ready to go have a post-birthday celebration with all your favorites?” Nick slammed his palms down on the bed. 
“I gotta say, Scotty my big strong handsome trooper, you really are a trooper. You out did yourself. Lately, you never cease to amaze me with your surprises.”
“Nope, I told you, this is the new Scotty. I’m different, when are you going to believe me?”
“I’m just thinking your creativity lately has been over-the-top. Have you been reading some romance novels for inspiration or something?” Matthew and Becca laughed, while Katie giggled and reached up to kiss him. “I’m just playin’ with ya,’ I love you. I know you did this because you love me. I’ll eat every day, now. He won’t be a problem anymore.” She tilted her head back to indicate Nick. 
“Hey I forgot to ask. How is he? I’m assuming by the way you’re behaving, he’s okay?”
“He’ll live. He won’t be on stage being worshiped by his Barbie groupies for four weeks. He has a severe concussion, but he’ll recover. I’m sure the twit will be glad, that he’ll be home bound, and she can cater to all his little heart desires, oh, and that other little part.” Scotty laughed. 
“Well, I’m glad he’ll live. Now, I’ll get to see his butt thrown in jail. They’ll arrest him tomorrow morning and taken to central booking as soon as he is released. I just may come up for that.”  
“Scotty, we are going to have to have a talk about that. How about if I give you an entire éclair if you don’t file those charges.”
“One éclair would not do it, Katie, you know that. Hell, one night with you, making love like we used to wouldn’t do it, and you know how much I want that. Besides, I already filed them. I did that right after you rode off in the ambulance with him.” Katie stomped her foot. Her excitement turned to anger.
“Damn it, Scotty, now we have to go to central booking to drop them. C’mon let’s go.” 
Katie took his hand but Scotty stood still. “I told you Katie, I was filing.I’m not dropping them.”  Nick squeezed his eyes closed. Reality hit. He was going to be arrested for sure. “They won’t release him until he’s arrested, but I may want to go up there and watch. Do you know what floor he’s going to be on?”
Katie bent down and took the brown paper bag by the handles and stomped over to the nurse’s station and held up the bag. 
“Hey, is anybody hungry? There’s an awesome sack lunch in here, two fresh turkey sandwiches, two kinds of chips, Smartfood, a Coke and even Éclairs.” 
“Hey, that’s great. I forgot my lunch, I’ll take it," said a young man down at the end of the station. Katie walked it over to him and handed it to him. “Thanks.” 
“Enjoy it,” she said. Scotty’s eyes popped open. She brushed past Scotty and gave him an angry stare. “I’m all of a sudden not hungry.” She shook her head with disgust at Scotty. “Don’t follow me, I want to be alone.” As she walked by Matthew and Becca, she pulled out her phone. “I gotta call Jay and get Nick that lawyer I ask for and have him get the bail money ready. I’ll be right back. I’ll stay at his place, so we can get the bail taken care of as well as anything else we can do.” She walked away briskly with an angry stomp and slammed the door open. 
“Damn it, Katie, you have to eat,” Scotty said as he headed toward the doors. She paused, turned her head back with absolute anger beaming from her eyes and directed point blank at Scotty. 
“Go home, Scotty P,” she said as she disappeared behind the wall. Scott grabbed the door as it was closing to follow her, when Matthew stepped over to him to stop him.  
“Forget it, leave her be. She won’t eat now,” he said. Scotty looked at Becca who stood there shaking her head, just waiting for something to get all over him for this newest fiasco. 
“Why did you do that? She asked you not to file,” Becca said in a reprimanding and disgusted tone.” 
“And I told her that I was filing, regardless. I’m not going to let him get away with a felony crime, and if that is the only way I can keep him away from her, then I’m going to protect her anyway I can.” 
“You can’t protect her if she starves herself to death,” Becca said with accusatory disgust. Scotty lowered his head in defeat and left the emergency room doors to head to his car and go back to the farmhouse, despaired and defeated. 
Nick laid his head back. “Shawn, I’d rather she have the food,” he said with tears welling up in his eyes. 
“That’s how much she loves you. Now, do you see it?”
“All I can say is, wow! That’s the most caring, kindest, thing that a manipulative, conniving, little brat has done, that I know of,” Jeff said with his eyebrows raised and his forehead wrinkled. 
“I’m really getting arrested, Shawn,” Nick said with somber resignation. 
“Looks like it. It’s a felony crime, even if you don’t do jail time, you’ll forever have the word felon on your record after your name.”  
Nick closed his eyes and shook his head. 
“It’s going to kill your Mom to watch you get arrested,” Jerry said.
“Mom, nothing, Gran and Gramps, what the hell have I gotten myself into?” 
“A mess, bro, a real mess. Dude, I’m heading out to go back to Nashville. I can’t watch you get busted. Shawn you want to come with us? Jerry asked.
“No, I’ll stick around until Jeannie gets here, then we can take the bus back, okay with you Jeff?”
“Sounds good to me.” 
"I'll go and try to find Katie and see if I can get her to eat something."  Shawn said, putting his hand on Nick's shoulder.  Nick nodded while breathing out a despaired sigh. Matthew and Becca got ready to leave and exchanged phone numbers with Shawn and left the hospital exhausted, heading back to Shelbyville. 

Part 4


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