Sometimes you run in to love. Sometimes it runs into you.
Fated, Book 3
Love at first sight? It's so not happening for Morgan. Never mind that her two best friends, who are both up to their eyeballs in happily ever after, are playing matchmaker. She wants out of her worst blind date ever--and her "out" abruptly finds her when she's knocked out cold walking into a door.
One look into the eyes of the beautiful woman with the gash on her head, and paramedic Evan Marshall is a goner. Professional ethics say hands off the patient. Once her stitches are out, though, he can't resist the impulse to ask her out. As their first date flares into a white-hot affair, he feels it in his bones--she's the one.
Evan's everything Morgan could ever want in a man, but things are happening way too fast. She made that mistake once before and, certain this relationship is careening down the same road to heartbreak, she slams on the brakes.
To her surprise, Evan lets her go. And by the time she realizes she just let her one chance at happily ever after slip away, it could be too late...
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August 15, 2011
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Excerpt from Simple Twist of Fate by Karen Erickson
Evan carefully wound the gauze around her head nice and tight to stem the flow of blood. It had slowed to a mere trickle by the time they got her into the back of the ambulance, but he wasn't going to take any chances. It was a deep gash but nothing terribly serious. That door had caught her just right, and she'd need a few staples along the edge of her hairline.
He didn't dare mention staples again, though. The first time had nearly sent her into a panic. And the last thing he wanted was a panicked patient.
She smiled at him when he finished wrapping her head, and a little zing zapped through him. Her shoulder-length dark brown hair was a haphazard mess, sticking out in odd waves because of the half-mummy look the gauze gave her. Bits of dried blood were still on the side of her face, and she watched him silently with big, dark velvety brown eyes.
Eyes he could drown in if he didn't watch out.
Shaking his head, he went about his tasks with measured efficiency, putting away supplies then making sure she was comfortable. He'd been a paramedic for six years, and he was damn good at his job. So good it tended to take over his life, but hell, the overtime pay was worth it. He had enough time for a social life later. Right now, he had a job to do and plenty of money to make. He had big goals, wanting to save for a piece of land in the country and eventually build a house on it.
"Thank you for helping me," she said softly.
"Just doing my job." He shrugged, trying to pretend her appreciation didn't mean anything beyond the usual.
"You're very good at it." He met her gaze and lifted his brows. "Your job. You have a very...calming nature."
"Until I mention the word staples." Her eyes widened, and he felt like a complete ass. "See? I did it again. Sorry."
"It's okay. It won't hurt, right?"
Nah, the staples never hurt. It was the shot the patients got in the head to numb them before the staples that usually had them freaking out. But he wasn't about to mention that. "You'll be fine."
"Of course, I will." She smiled, but it didn't quite reach her eyes. She looked worried more than anything, and he wanted to reassure her. Take her mind off what was going to happen next. They were still a few minutes from the hospital and traffic was kind of hectic, he could tell what with the crappy way his partner Wes was driving.
"So that guy you were with..."
She shook her head and winced. Her head was probably killing her. "My friend set me up with him."
"Does your friend hate you?"
She giggled. "No, she's one of my best friends. She means well, but the outcome is rarely successful. She just wants to see me happy."
"Happy with a jerk?" It was none of his business. He was just making idle conversation to pass the time.
"No, she wants me happy with a nice guy. But they're never nice guys. They're always sort of...weird. I think it's me." She frowned. "I must repel normal men or something. I attract weirdoes. Selfish guys who only care about the Lakers game they're missing."
Evan laughed. "He must be a diehard fan."
"Totally. I only agreed to the date because I've never been to a professional basketball game before. And Mia swore he was a good guy."
"And you still didn't get to go to that game."
"No, I didn't." Her smile was rueful. "He made me quit eating my dinner so we could get there in time for the beginning."
"What a loser." Evan shook his head. He wouldn't rush her for anything. Well, maybe for some hot and sweaty sex. There was nothing wrong with a quickie here and there...
Jesus. What was wrong with him? He never thought of patients like that.
"He was pretty awful. I think I'm going to ban myself from dating for a while."
Disappointment filled him. Not that he'd act on his urges. He had a strict rule--no dating patients. There were a few of his fellow paramedics who had no qualms asking out their injured patients. They had quite the reputation among their coworkers, but Evan wouldn't do it. It was unprofessional.
And more than anything, he was professional.
"One bad date and you're done?"
"Oh, it's been more than one bad date. More like an endless string of bad dates." Her cheeks turned pink. "I probably shouldn't be confessing any of this to you."
"I'm making myself look worse. And you probably don't even care to hear about my dating endeavors and how awful they are." Her entire face was flushed.
He smiled. "You're cute when you're all flustered." There, he said it. He was flirting. If Wes had been there, he would've been shocked. He never flirted on the job.
She tore her gaze from his, her teeth sinking into her lower lip--her very plump lower lip. "I must look awful."
She did look plenty awful but he still thought she was pretty. "I've seen worse."
"Great." She rolled her eyes but smiled. "That makes me feel so much better."