You let out a long, annoyed sigh as you watched the big hand of the clock on the wall slowly make its way towards 12. You’ve been in that hospital for two hours and all you wanted was to go home, but your grandma insisted on bringing you there after the little incident this morning.
She said you fainted, but you only remembered feeling dizzy and stumbling on the front steps of her house after a long morning of doing chores under the scalding summer sun. If you did lose consciousness, it wasn’t for more than a few seconds, a minute at most. It wasn’t bad enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, much less getting a specific doctor to come in on his day off just because she didn’t trust anyone else to see you.
You tried to argue, explain that you were fine, that you didn’t need to a doctor, but there was no reasoning with her. No wonder your mother would always say you got your stubborn streak from your father’s side of the family and your grandmother was just proving her point.
After another ten minutes of staring at the wall since you weren’t allowed to use your phone while in the infirmary and your grandmother wasn’t allowed in, the curtain isolating your bed was pulled revealing one of the most gorgeous men you’ve ever seen.
He was tall, with strong broad shoulders, but a slim frame. His hair was dark, curled a little by his nape and framed beautifully his kind brown eyes. When he flashed you a smile as he stepped closer to your bed, you felt butterflies in your belly.
“It’s Y/N, right? Cecily’s granddaughter?” he asked, picking up your chart. “I’m Dr. Julian Mercer.”
“Yes, hi,” you replied, suddenly feeling like there wasn’t enough oxygen in the air around you.
You shifted on the bed, fidgeting with the hem of your shirt, which made you realize you were still wearing the old shorts and oversized t-shirt you had picked for tending to your grandmother garden and lawn. There were dirt and grass stains on your shirt and your hair still sweaty and in a messy ponytail.
Why did you always have the misfortune of meeting cute guys when you were such a mess?
“Nice to meet you.”
“You too.” He settled the chart on the bed and picked a penlight from his whitecoat. “So, you fainted?” Dr. Mercer asked, flashing the light in your eyes.
“Maybe. I don’t think I actually passed out. I just got really dizzy and fell down.”
“Do you know if you hit your head?” He inquired, pocketing the penlight again.
“I caught myself,” you replied, showing the friction burns on your hands and Dr. Mercer winced in sympathy. “It wasn’t that bad. They didn’t have to call you.”
“I don’t mind,” he reassured you. “Cecily’s one of my favorite patients.”
Dr. Mercer smiled at you as he took your wrist, his hand was a little rough and warm against your skin. His touch careful and gentle and your heart sped up. Held held onto your hand for a moment as he checked your pulse, his smile widening a little.
“Your resting heart rate is a little above average, but nothing to worry,” he commented letting go of your hand to pick up the blood pressure monitor.
All you wanted was for the ground to swallow you whole. Not only did he notice how nervous you were, he also knew why.
You avoided his gaze throughout the rest of the exam, replying to his questions monosyllabically, wishing the entire thing to be over so you could die of embarrassment in the safety of your grandmother’s home.
“Y/N, when was the last time you ate?” Dr. Mercer asked and that caught your attention as you thought about it.
The whole reason for you to come to your grandmother’s house this summer was to finish the first draft of your novel. You’ve been working for a publishing house for the last three years and finally got a chance to publish your own stuff, which had been your dream for so long.
So, you packed a bag and headed to the Hamptons to seek some inspiration and to stay with your grandma while your parents traveled Europe for their thirtieth anniversary.
Once you were there, you decided to help out with a few chores around the house: mowing the lawn, repotting some of her flowers, repainting the railing of the front porch…And maybe you skipped breakfast to get an early start and since you had dinner with your grandmother and she was always in bed by nine, the last meal you had must have been around six or seven last night.
“That long, huh?” he commented when you took a little too long to answer. “Give me a sec.”
Dr. Mercer moved away, only to return a few moments later with a wheelchair. He helped you to get on it and wheeled you through the hallways of the hospital until the two of you reached a vending machine.
“Peach or grape?” he asked, pulling out a couple of bills from his wallet.
“Grape,” you replied a little confused until he handed you a purple juice box.
“My favorite too,” he said with a wink that nearly made your heart stop, before grabbing a juice for himself and a package of saltines.
Then, he wheeled you to the hospital garden, parking your chair by a bench. Dr. Mercer took a seat by your side and opened the crackers, offering it to you.
“Low blood sugar and overheating can cause dizzy spells,” he explained. “So, make sure not to skip any meals from now on, ok? Cecily shouldn’t be worrying too much considering her heart.”
“Yeah, I know,” you replied with a sigh, a little ashamed of your behavior.
All of this because you wanted to be done as quickly as possible and return to your book. Not only you gave your grandma quite a scare, you were making Dr. Mercer miss his day off.
“She really shouldn’t have dragged you here for this, Dr. Mercer.”
“Julian,” he corrected with a smile. “Truth is, I was glad for the call. I always feel like I’ve reached a new low whenever I’m watching daytime TV.”
You couldn’t help but smile at his awkward little chuckle. He was handsome and charming. That was an irresistible combination for you.
“That is bad,” you commented. “I’d think a guy like you would have better things to do in his day off.”
“I might’ve been avoiding running into my ex,” he confessed, giving you a sideway glance. “She’s in town with her new husband.”
“Bad breakup?” you asked, sipping your juice. You tried to picture a scenario where anyone would dump a guy like Julian and came up empty.
“No, just…” he sighed and shrugged. “So… Cecily told me you’re a writer?”
“Not officially, but soon. Hopefully,” you replied with a grin. This was the first time anyone called you a writer. In front of you at least. It sounded really good.
“What’s your book about?” Julian asked, turning to face you, resting his elbow on the back of the bench and watching you with soft smile as you babbled about the general idea for your story.
From there the two of you talked some more about favorite books and movies and bands. Julian surprised you by being a fan of both romantic comedies and punk rock, which was a nice contradiction. And he teased you for loving trashy horror movies. It was light, fun and comfortable and both of you lost track of time, too involved on each other.
It wasn’t until one of the orderlies came around looking for you that you realized you and Julian had spent the last half-hour talking, oblivious of your grandma still waiting and other appointments Julian might have.
“I should probably take you back and discharge you,” he said, standing up and maneuvering your chair towards the door. “I bet you’re getting sick of this hospital.”
“I don’t know,” you said, feeling less nervous around him. “It has its perks.”
You smiled at Julian who smiled back as he wheeled you to your bed in the infirmary. He took out his prescription pad and wrote a quick note before handing it to you.
“That’s to avoid another dizzy spell,” He said as you looked over his vitamin suggestions and instructions to eat every three hours.
“And this is for when you need to relax… if you’re interested.” Julian flashed you quick smile as he handed you the second note.
He picked up your chart again and signed your discharge papers.
“Feel better, Y/N,” he said, before walking away.
It wasn’t until you were in the car with your grandma on your way back home that you looked at the second note Julian gave you and grinned at his phone number.