On the Surface (In the Zone)

On the Surface (In the Zone) by Kate Willoughby Read Free Book Online

Book: On the Surface (In the Zone) by Kate Willoughby Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kate Willoughby
he was stupid enough to have pissed off a professional athlete from a sport known for brutality.
    “You are so fucking dead!” Scammer shouted. “I’m gonna sue your asses. All your asses. Especially motherfucking Tim Hollander. When I’m through with you, your bank account is going to be nonexistent. In fact, is there a lawyer around here? I’ma hire you on the spot!” He looked around wildly, blood dripping from his nose and down his chin.
    No one replied.
    Except Erin.
    “You’re not going to sue anyone,” she said. “He was only trying to protect me.”
    “Give me a fucking break. Do you see this blood? Guy broke my fucking nose!” He stood there, trying to look pathetic and irate at the same time while he wiped his face with his T-shirt making a bigger mess than he started with. “You’re all witnesses. He broke my nose.”
    Erin had never seen a fistfight in person before. She didn’t date violent types, but she had seen the aftermath of plenty of fights in the ER before she moved to pediatrics. The presence of all that blood didn’t reveal anything about the seriousness of the injury, and yet, he could be right. Maybe his nose was broken. Her conscience gave her a strong poke and little lecture. When people get hurt , even assholes , you need to help them.
    “Oh, for heaven’s sake. Let me see that. I’m a nurse.” She flashed the ID she had on the lanyard around her neck.
    Surprisingly, he let her examine him. She wished she had a pair of gloves on her, but she didn’t. She’d have to be extra careful because of the blood. It didn’t take long to determine that no serious damage had been done.
    “He didn’t break anything. Your nose is not broken. Go home and put some ice on your face. You’ll be fine.
    “But don’t even think about getting a lawyer because I will testify that you laid hands on me first. I’ll also swear that you tried to commit fraud here—impersonating a Big Brother.” Erin decided she watched far too much Law & Order , but she was on a roll. “Fraud is a felony. Did you know that? You want to be labeled a felon all on account of a couple hockey pucks and a jersey?”
    Scammer got this stubborn look on his face, like a child who had cookie crumbs around his mouth but refused to admit to his crime. He snatched up all his stuff and clutched it to his chest, seemingly having forgotten about his grocery bag. He stalked off in a huff while someone said in a scathingly derisive voice, “Pussy.”
    A Barracuda staffer hustled over. “Are you all right? Did he hurt you?”
    Erin exhaled hard. Now that it was over, she felt a little shaky. “I’m fine. I just...I just need to wash my hands.” She wanted to wash off Scammer’s sticky blood and the grime and grit from the asphalt.
    “Oh, of course. I’ll show you where the bathroom is.”
    On the way into the building, the staffer kept apologizing. The restaurant manager went out of his way to reassure her that nothing like this usually happened at Q Burger and that if there was anything he could do to help her, to let him know.
    “You can make this food for me,” she said, pulling out the paper with Dr. O’s order on it. “And throw in a number eight combo and a number five, both with onion rings while you’re at it.”
    “Sure, sure. Right away. It’ll be on the house.”
    After she scrubbed her hands thoroughly, she went back outside. A good number of onlookers lingered. The table had been taken away, and so, apparently, had her hat.
    “Damn it,” she said.
    * * *
    As people slapped him on the back and shook his hand, Tim watched Jasmine and the feisty nurse head toward the restaurant. Her ponytail swung back and forth as she walked. She was small. He could probably toss her over his shoulder like he would a sack of whiffle balls.
    He intended to hang around until she came back out. She looked unhurt, but he wanted to make sure.
    In the meantime, the staffers were hastily packing shit up. Everyone knew video

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