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I met Rafe at the same time that I thought I might be losing Matteo. I had gone with Matteo to the ER because he’d been shot. At home, not while on duty. His wife, Marissa, had done it. I had wanted to kill the bitch and probably would have if a bleeding and suffering Nicholas hadn’t stopped me.

As soon as we got him to the ER a guy in motorcycle gear rushed in past us. I thought he was real fucking rude but couldn’t stop to care since I was busy willing my partner to survive. I just noticed him because he had the blackest hair and the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen on a person before.

They rushed Matteo back to surgery. I was left with nothing to do but sit around the ER waiting for news impatiently while almost losing my fucking mind. Still covered in his blood, I tried my best to keep myself from thinking that he wouldn’t pull through. It seemed like it had been more hours than I could count when this doctor in scrubs came from the back through the double doors.

He seemed to float toward me. I couldn’t really tell if he was headed my way. He seemed to be walking in slow motion as my heart plummeted to the floor. Tears spilled from my eyes and my body began to tremble and shake. Finally he was standing right in front of me. I stood up even though I felt like I was going to pass out.

As I lifted my face to meet his, through my tears I noticed that it was him, the model in the bike gear. I had the irrational thought that he couldn’t be that good of a doctor and that he was going to tell me the last thing I’d want to hear.

“Mrs. Nardozzi?”He asked before starting to speak to me. I didn’t correct his error.

My heart beat like a drum in my chest. Just tell me I screamed inside my head. And then he did.

“Your husband pulled through the surgery just fine. I was able to get the bullet out of him and stop the bleeding, he’s still in critical condition, but he’s stable–“

He stopped talking when we heard a loud screeching voice coming toward us. It was cursing in Italian but I understood every word. Bitch, whore, slut, home wrecker. The words were directed at me.

Matteo’s mother was on a rampage and when she reached me and the doctor she slapped me, hard.

I had to steel myself against hurting this woman, the mother of the man I was in love with.

She turned to the doctor and continued in English, “She is not his wife, she is his whore and the reason he is here in the first place.”

My voice was hard when I told her that I wasn’t the one who shot Matteo.

“No you just defiled his marital bed” she spat.

Marital bed my ass! This woman had no idea what Matteo and I had, that he was planning to leave his wife to be with me. We were going to be married and that wasn’t some made up shit by a married dude out to get some pussy from someone other than his wife.

I was actually still wearing the engagement ring that we’d picked out together earlier this year. Caressing it as I sat trying to wait for news had been the only thing keeping me sane.

“Can I see my son? I want to see my son.” She was hysterical.

The doctor was taking this all in with calm and professionalism but even that couldn’t hide the curious shock in his eyes when she’d slapped me.

“He will want to see me” I told Mrs. Nardozzi certainly.

“Over my dead body” she snapped.

I wanted to tell her that it could be arranged but instead I just took a seat feeling like if he was okay at least I could breathe again. They walked away together.

****

Rafe had been down in the locker room about to get prepared for his shift when he was called to the ER stat. He had rushed over still in his street clothes. He knew what the story was before he was told somehow. Their story wasn’t one he hadn’t encountered before. He knew when he saw the death grip of the male’s hand that was going into surgery on the the hand of the female holding onto him, that the woman wasn’t the man’s wife. He didn’t know how he knew, he just did.

The rock on her finger did throw him for a loop though, so did the man he’d worked on. The patient had opened his eyes after the surgery and the first thing out of his mouth had been the name Nicole.Rafe understood from what he’d been told that the wife’s name was Marissa.

He was breaking all kinds of codes not to mention the law to go talk to this woman but he felt he should. He waited until the room had all but emptied and then he’d gone towards her as she sat twisting her ring around her finger.

She was beautiful to him, even covered in tears and blood. Looking at her he could see why his gunshot victim was taken with her, her eyes spoke volumes. He’d never paid much attention to a woman’s eyes before, in an unprofessional way, he was usually focused much further down. He was a tits and ass guy.

As soon as he had begun to see small amounts of relief flowing through her, as he had told her about his patient’s condition, all hell had broken loose.

Rafe gaziantep escort understood every word that the patient’s mom had flung at the unflinching girlfriend. He wanted to say something about the woman slapping her too but he knew he would be way out of line.

She’d handled it well but maybe that was because she was a cop, or so he’d been told.

He hated to leave her standing there but the patient’s mother was causing a scene. He wanted to get her away from prying eyes and ears.

****

Nicole still sat in the same chair, her head down, as Rafe got ready to leave the floor some hours later, to grab a bite to eat. He didn’t know why but he felt himself being pulled towards her. Something in him just told him that he couldn’t leave her like that.

He’d gone over to her and touched her softly on her shoulder. He jerked his hand back to make sure they hadn’t thrown down rug recently on the ER floor. The jolt that went through him at his touch was very real. It even hurt his hand. He wanted to shake his hand off but she was now looking up at him with tired and red rimmed eyes.

Rafe knew the patient’s entire family was now outside his room and in other places of the hospital. He also knew that they were not going to allow her entrance. He had overheard them talking when he went up to check on the patient.

I was surprised at the jolt I felt from the doctor’s hand. I didn’t know it was him until I looked up into those stormy blue eyes of his. I imagined it was my jacket rubbing against the hard plastic chair that had caused the spark of electricity. I sat up and looked around realizing that I had fallen asleep in the chair and that many hours had passed, as it was now daylight outside.

“You should go home and get some rest” he said to me, using that same thick voice that seemed to calm my nerves instantly before.

I could tell he wasn’t trying to be insensitive but it still hurt that I couldn’t see Matt.

Tears began running down my face again as I stood. Because, of course he was right I wasn’t going to be let into the room. I thanked him with everything in me for saving Matteo and then I left the hospital.

I went home but I couldn’t sleep. I took a bath, couldn’t eat so I cleaned the house. For three days straight I did nothing but wander around my house. Finally, one day as I was lying on the couch trying to quiet my mind of terrible thoughts I got a call from a number at the hospital.

I was surprised to find that it was the ER doctor calling. He told me to come up to the hospital right away. I flew up there, that’s what it felt like.

I entered the hospital room quietly. It was loaded with cards and flowers. Matteo was lying in bed with the TV on; a large part of his chest to his shoulder was bandaged. His short black curly hair was all over the place. I felt like crying again.

“Hey” I spoke, standing just inside the door.

He looked over at me. Surprise registered on his face, in his chocolate brown eyes, and then he was looking down as if it was hard for him to look at me. I felt so much guilt at that moment and I wanted to apologize. I hadn’t realized that I had started apologizing and crying when he said loudly to me that it was not my fault.

“This is my fault” he said, barely looking my way.

I just looked at him thinking that he was

suffering from guilt too.

“Matt this isn’t your fault” I went over to him and took his face in my hands.

“It is” he argued as tears started to roll down his face.

I leaned over him and kissed them all away but more came and then he pulled his hand out of my grasp.

“I don’t want you to come up here to see me, I’ll be home in a day or two and we can talk then.”

He took my hand and it held it to his face.

I took a deep breath and said to him, “baby you don’t have to go back to that house.”

“I’m not” he said as he looked away from me again, “I’m going to my moms.”

“You don’t have to do that either.”

“I do” he said finally meeting my eyes. “I have a lot of shit to straighten out and I–“

The moment he started to get upset I kissed his mouth to quiet his words. He held my head to him. It felt so very good.

Before I left I told him that I would be home waiting for him.He nodded at me giving me a tiny smile. I left feeling better than I had in days.

*****

After I left Matteo I went to find the doctor. I wanted to thank him for giving me a call so that I could see Matteo.

I tracked him down at one of the nurse’s stations. For a doctor he didn’t do thank you well. It seemed to me that Matteo wasn’t the only male who had trouble meeting my eyes today.

“What is it?”I found myself asking him.

I wanted to know why he refused to look me in the face. Funny, how I had not asked Matteo the same thing.

“It’s none of my business” he said but he met my gaze.

I wanted to konya escort know and I asked him again to tell me. Finally I guess he decided to.

“Why him?” he asked me taking the breath from my lungs.

“You’re a young, beautiful woman and he’s married.”

“You’re right. It is none of your business” I said shutting myself off from him.

I started to walk away when I felt his hand wrap around my arm. He held me there as anger washed through me.

“I didn’t mean to offend you” he said in a strained voice.

I ignored the warmth of his hand on my arm and concentrated on regaining my composure.

“Well you did and you don’t know the first about us” I told him.

“You’re right. I apologize.” He let my arm go and took a step back from me.

****

Rafe watched her walk away and for the life of him he couldn’t figure out why the hell he cared or why he couldn’t stop thinking about this woman that he didn’t even know, who was in an impossibly fucked up situation. He didn’t know why her being in love with his patient bothered him. It shouldn’t have.

He thought of all of the ridiculous reasons this could be. He hadn’t been that long without pussy for sure. It had only been a few weeks up until the other night when he’d invited Lauren over, but even then all he could see was cinnamon colored skin and big brown eyes as he’d pounded away at Lauren with errant enthusiasm.

Rafe could not wait until this patient was released from his care so he could get this, whatever it was, out of his system. It made no fucking sense for him to be feeling this way.

****

It had been two weeks and still I had heard nothing from Matteo. I was beyond worried, stressed and only barely coping well at work. I could do my job but socially I was a mess. I kept my head down and my ears turned to off, not wanting to see or hear the speculation going on around me, about me.

Everyone at the precinct where we worked hated Marissa. They had known about our relationship and our engagement. Our relationship had been going on for three years. Matteo had been beyond miserable when I met him, he had been hateful and mean and no one had liked working with him but I saw into him immediately and I fell in love with him by mistake.

It wasn’t until one night when we were shooting the breeze together that he told me he had feelings for me, that I was able to open myself up to let him see that I cared for him too.

I had never been made love to so passionately by anyone before Matteo. He was aggressive and rough but he was a thorough lover leaving not one part of my body and soul untouched.

Still, after two weeks of not hearing from him I had begun to doubt the strength of our bond. I couldn’t call Matteo’s cell phone, it was off. I had driven by the house he’d shared with his wife and there was a for sale sign in the yard, which I felt was a good sign. Maybe it was just hard for him to take care of everything that needed handling.

****

A couple of days later I was sitting at my desk, at work, staring at a sandwich that I should have been eating but couldn’t because it looked more like maggots than a turkey on rye.

I heard a chorus of “hey Matt” and “what’s up, how’s it going.”

My head whipped around so fast I got dizzy.

Seeing Matteo walk toward me, his arm still in a sling, I wanted to cry but for a good reason. All of my worries disappeared in that instant. Stupidly I’d been thinking that he’d forgotten about me, how much he loved me, and was just going to disappear from my life.

“Hey” I spoke keeping my composure as he walked over to my desk.

“Can we talk?” he asked.

I wanted to say yes but I had to ask if he meant right now, as I was at work.

“No it’s cool. I talked to the sarge and he said you could take the day off.”

“Really” I couldn’t stop grinning like an idiot.

“Yeah” he said, smiling at me like I was the sun or something.

It took me a minute to take care of what I needed to but then in no time we were off in his black charger.

“Where are we going?” I asked him but he just drove, not telling me a thing.

The pier! I thought as soon as we pulled up, why the pier?

We got out of the car and then I got a good look at his face and I realized that the smiling and shit at the station, it was all a show.

“Just say it.” I told him as tears suddenly filled my eyes.

I was too cold in side suddenly to even feel the dread I should have feeling.

“Tell me” I shouted as I walked over to him and stood so close to his face we might have been kissing.

He looked down at me with a pained expression on his face and told me that what we were had to end. I was expecting it but it still hit me like he’d punched me in my stomach.

No. No I thought until it was coming out of my mouth.

“I don’t accept that, you’re feeling guilty and–“

“She’s pregnant” kayseri escort he said silencing me.

This couldn’t have been more of a shock to me. So many different things ran through my mind as I processed it. The one thing he’d always asked of her,she withheld from him and now she was, pregnant. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

“I thought that you weren’t fucking her” I accused in a quiet tiny voice.

I got much louder because he wouldn’t say anything. He wasn’t looking at me.

“Was all of this a lie?, were you just using me?” I demanded of him.

“No.” he grabbed me and glared into my eyes angrily.

“I love you, you know that. I just–I cant walk away from her when shes carrying my child.”

I knew that that had been coming,knew it the moment I heard the words– shes pregnant.

“And I can’t” his voice shook as he looked away.

“I cant keep you on the sidelines forever. I never planned to do that.”

“Do you love her?” I found myself asking him from a strangely foreign and empty place.

“You know I fucking don’t” he turned to face me, “but it doesn’t matter.”

“It matters to me” I stated weakly.

“I’m not ever going to leave my kid. I can’t be like my father, and im not going to do that to you.”

My insides folded in on themselves, “I just don’t get a fucking choice then?”

“You know that’s not what you want Nicole, you know its not and I don’t want that for us.”

I didn’t know if I wanted him that way or not. All I could hear and feel was him leaving me.

“I told her if we were going to be together like that we would have to move, so were going to leave” He continued to speak though I wished he would shut up.

“When?” Was that even my voice?

“Two weeks” he answered.

I needed to know, “How long have you been planning this?”

“She told me she was pregnant the night I was shot.”

“How do you know its true or that its yours?”

“Why would she lie huh?” He looked at me like he wanted it to be a lie, like he wished it were but knew it wasn’t.

“You should go” I finally said to him, barely breathing.

“What?” he asked as if he hadn’t heard me but I knew it was only because he was stalling.

“Leave. I need to be alone.”

“Not here! I’ll take you home.” He reached for me.

“Fuck you” I screamed about to explode, “leave, just go, Now.”

I screamed as he just stood there looking at me as I broke into pieces.

He finally got in his car and left. Then I did explode and railed and contemplated suicide.

I ended up laying face down in the dirt and sand not knowing if id ever be able to pick myself back up ever again.

****

The next two weeks dragged by. I was an emotional wreck and trying hard not to show it, but they all knew, everyone. What’s worse is the pitying looks they threw me when they thought I wasn’t looking.

I was sick in the worst way, walking around like a perpetual zombie, I couldn’t eat I was nauseous all the time, fatigued, emotional.

The day after he was supposed to have left I walked into work and his desk was empty cleaned off. It hit me so hard in more than just an emotional way.I bent over the desk grabbing my stomach. I felt the need to throw up, my body felt clammy, and then I realized that blood was pooling on the floor between my legs.

Oh god I thought what the fuck is happening to me. I screamed as another pain hit me twisting my insides and the next thing I knew an ambulance was being called and I was being rushed to the ER.

****

It was him the doctor with the eyes like the sky over me telling me I was going to be okay as I was rolled into surgery with him. I knew good damn well I wasn’t. I was never going to be okay again.

When I woke up from surgery he was in my room.

When he tried to tell me what happened I turned away, tears immediately filling my eyes. I didn’t need him to tell me what I already fucking knew. I had been pregnant and now I wasn’t. I wanted to die, really just end it.

Because of some complications I had to stay in the hospital a few days.

Matteo came in on my second day and the moment I saw him I turned away from him in every way. I had no words, no tears as he laid his head on my bed. He cried for the both of us as he kept telling me how sorry he was, how much he loved me.

From somewhere I found strength, strength from the anger I felt.

“Get out” I said in an eerily calm voice to him, “go back to your pregnant wife.”

I know I cut him deeply with my words but I was certain that it couldn’t have been more pain than I’d felt.

I asked him to leave and he wouldn’t. We started to argue loudly and then a nurse came in. Shortly after that security was called and he had to be removed from the room. After that I asked that no one be allowed in to see me. I wanted to be left alone entirely.

The doctor did come in to visit with me a couple of times per day but I never said a word to him. He always asked how I was and if I needed or wanted anything. I always told him no but having him in the room did cheer me up some, if only a little. He talked alot, I listened.By the time that I was released from the hospital I felt like I knew him.

This is how it all began.

****

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