Read Exquisite Online

Authors: Ella Frank

Exquisite

 

Exquisite

By Ella
Frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text copyright
© 2012 by Jennifer Accardo

Cover Art ©
2012 Dustin Wright

All rights
reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in
any print or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in
or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation to the author’s
rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

This is a work
of fiction. The names, people, places and incidents are products of the
author’s imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special
Thanks

I need to thank my wonderful family who
are many miles away but have always supported my love of writing, even when I
was supposed to be doing my homework! I love and appreciate all your praise and
willingness to read my story. This is especially true for you three because I
know you’d all prefer at least one person to be murdered, a bit of blood, some
guts and a detective or two. Thanks for believing in me.

I also would like to take this
opportunity to thank Dustin who took my ideas and constant nagging and turned
them into a cover even more beautiful than I had hoped for. Thanks for all your
hard work and creative touches.

And of course, my fellow nerds. You all
know who you are. We may have many “nerd fights” around the office cubicle but
without your encouragement and willingness to read, a first go at a dream, I
wouldn’t be here writing this dedication to the most wonderful friends I
could’ve hoped to find. Just remember nerds I know all your secrets when it
comes to;

“Nerd Girl Problem#235”

That unexplainable crush

You have on fictional characters.

Love you all,

Ella

 

 

 

Dedication

To my wonderful husband, who lets me get
away with reading way to many books with no complaints. He’s also the first
person to insist that I believe in myself. Without him I wouldn’t know the true
meaning of a happy ending. I love you very much.

 

 

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter
Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter
Seven

Chapter
Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter
Eleven

Chapter
Twelve

Chapter
Thirteen

Chapter
Fourteen

Chapter
Fifteen

Chapter
Sixteen

Chapter
Seventeen

Chapter
Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter
Twenty

Chapter
Twenty One

Chapter
Twenty Two

Chapter
Twenty Three

Chapter
Twenty Four

Chapter
Twenty Five

Chapter
Twenty Six

Chapter
Twenty Seven

Chapter
Twenty Eight

Chapter
Twenty Nine

Chapter
Thirty

Chapter
Thirty One

Epilogue

Chapter One

 

 

 

2001

“I know mom had to be driving you
crazy tonight cause she was making my head spin.” Carly laughed rolling her
eyes as she launched into the exact imitation of their mother’s high-pitched
voice. “So Lena? When are you going to meet a nice boy and settle down? You
spend too much time with your head stuck in a book studying.”

Lena laughed turning to look at her
sister who stuck her tongue out.

“Thanks for driving me home sis. I
swear if I don’t get a car soon I'm gonna go insane.”

Focusing back on the dark road they
waited at a red light.

“Go insane? That’s impossible,
you’re already there.”

“Whatever, loser.”

Grinning Lena watched the road then
slowly started to accelerate as the light flicked to be green. They’d moved two
inches forward when a blinding light came hurtling toward them. Tires squealed
in protest right before a bone crunching noise splintered through Lena’s ears,
and everything went black…

 

2010

Sitting up suddenly Lena felt the sweat
drip down her spine as she clutched her chest tightly. Glancing over at the
clock by her bed she watched as the red numbers flicked to 3:21am. Shit. Every
night the nightmare was the same. It was like a bad scene in a movie that was
stuck on repeat and wouldn’t stop. The only major difference was this was her
reality. No matter what she did, for the last nine years of  her life,
Lena had been living with the ugly truth that she’d been behind the wheel the
night Carly was  killed. Leaning against the headboard, she squeezed the
bridge of her nose and inhaled deeply. Lena looked over to the picture on her
empty dresser, of Carly and herself at Carly’s 18th birthday, and sighed.
Closing her eyes she slid down into her bed staring at the ceiling fan as it spun
slowly making that irritating, thwump, thwump, thwump with every rotation. Just
another thing she’d neglected to fix, she thought to herself and added it as a
mental note. Kind of like the rest of her life. With that depressing thought,
Lena rolled over onto her side squeezed her eyes shut and willed herself to get
at least one more hour of sleep before she had to get up and go to work at 7am.
However, as the seconds turned into minutes, she knew sleep was beyond her, and
as she did every morning, Lena woke up thinking, well shit.

Chapter One

 

L
ena raced through the hospital lobby and into the
staff cafeteria.

“Late again Lena? I bet you haven’t
been on time once this year.”

Looking over at Shelly, who sat at
one of the tables drinking her coffee, Lena saluted her with her middle finger.

“Bite me Shelly. You only get here
early so you can stuff your face with the breakfast they bring.”

Lena got there right as the time
turned 7:01am.

“Shit.” she muttered and walked
over to where Shelly was and picked up the other half of the donut and bit
down. Pulling out the chair she slumped into it flinging her bag onto the
table.

“One minute. One lousy minute! I’m
telling you McKinney is going to kick my ass. He has eyes everywhere.”

Shelly grinned as she continued
stuffing her face. “What the hell do you do all night anyway that you can’t be
here on time?”

Lena rubbed her eyes then forced a
grin onto her face, motioning Shelly to come closer, she whispered. “I stay up
all night getting hot and sweaty.” Well, it wasn’t
that
far from the
truth.

Shelly raised a blond eyebrow then
sat back picking up another donut. Munching down on it, she watched Lena
closely then tilted her head to the side.

“You’re full of shit Lena. No one
as tense as you could be getting laid regularly.”

Standing up Lena slung her back
pack over her shoulder then started to walk out. As she got to the door, she
looked over her shoulder.

“Shelly I'm not tense. I am stiff,
there’s a huge difference.”

Lena left with Shelly’s laughter
ringing loudly in her ears,
and
before she could call her bluff. Shelly
knew her too well. Her friend knew that she hadn’t dated anyone more than once
in the last nine years. She also knew that there hadn’t even
been
a
first date in a very long time. Getting into the elevator, she rode it up to
level six where she got out and wandered down to the lounge. No one was in
there thank God, and McKinney was no where to be seen. Lena had been late so
much in the last few months he'd called her into his office and asked her if he
needed to buy her a watch, asshole. It didn’t matter that she happened to be
the best damn pediatric doctor he had, he still had to give her shit.

Opening her locker, she took her
sweater off and hung it on the peg on the door. She stashed her back pack on
the bottom level then pulled her lab coat on. Picking up her pens, she stuffed
them in her scrubs and unzipped her bag pulling out her glasses. Looking at the
picture stuck to the door, she kissed her fingers and placed them on it. Then
she shut the locker with a firm hand and turned on her heel ready to face the
day.

 

As Mason Langley stood at the front
desk of the pediatric ward he mentally reminded himself over and over that he
was
so
not ready for the challenge of children. Looking over at the young
mother to his left, clutching a chubby dark haired monster, he watched in
horror as the child screamed like someone had got his hand stuck in a door. She
kept cooing to the child but the tiny terror was having none of it. He would
take three deep breaths and there’d be a lull, for all of twenty seconds, then
the little demon would start the ear blistering shrill all over again.

Mason looked around the waiting
room tapping his foot impatiently. He was standing at the desk with a huge
bunch of red roses, who he was assuming were for a patient, and he’d been
standing there for the past twenty minutes. He was waiting on the little
receptionist behind the desk who'd scurried off looking for Lena, whoever the
hell that was. Quite frankly he was beyond caring. At this stage he just wanted
to put a
lot
of distance between himself and the child who was trying to
make him deaf before he reached thirty five. He still couldn’t believe his
mother had suckered him into dropping off flowers to a customer on his way back
to the restaurant. He was about to call her and demand a phone number or at
least a paycheck for his time,
ha like she’d go for that
, when the
receptionist reappeared looking frazzled.

“She wants to know who they're
from.”

Mason stared at her like she’d gone
mad. He leaned on the desk and placed the vase down slowly.

“Does it matter who they're from?
They're roses for God sake.”

The lady peered at him over the rim
of her thick black glasses. He was sure she thought they were hip, but really
just took away from her eyes.

“It matters because it's Lena. She
doesn’t like anything…” she stopped and it looked to him like she was looking
for the right word. “Cheery.”

Mason frowned then sighed.
See?
That was the problem with women, who the hell knew what made them tick?
He
braced his elbows on the counter.

“Look. I don’t know who they’re
from, the card’s sealed. To be quite honest I really think that
Lena
needs to be a bit more grateful and just come and sign for the damn flowers.”

He knew his voice had got louder
towards the end, but with the screaming child and the way the receptionist was
staring at him, he thought she was lucky he hadn’t picked the flowers up and
walked out with them. He watched as she shrugged.

“I don’t know what to tell you,
Sir.”

Mason clenched his teeth, prayed
for patience then slowly he smiled. All of a sudden it came to him that maybe,
just maybe charm would work. He watched the lady’s eyes soften and her posture
become less rigid and thought to himself,
oh yeah charm works every time.
It
was whether or not he could keep up the pretense with a wailing banshee in the
background and the start of a major headache.

“Well maybe you could go and get,”
he stopped for a moment forgetting the not so cheery lady’s name. “Lena? So I
could talk to her?”

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