Unedited Draft: WARNING: Intended for Mature audience

| Damsel's Tattooed Temptation 
CHAPTER 1: Stone Tablets |

Damsel inhaled the fresh air-conditioned scent of hospital and exhaled with a smile. She loved the smell. There was something about it that felt like home.

“Good morning Karrie.” Damsel strolled up to her locker and started putting in the combination.

The woman glared at her. “I hope you have a better morning than night.”

Damsel frowned. “Dr. Greggs, again?”

Karrie shook her head. “Worst, patient. Pain in the ass patient to be more precise. Remind me why I love this job again?” She pulled her scrubs off then tugged a plain grey t-shirt over her head.

“To help people remember?” Damsel said batting her eyelashes.

Both women held each other's gaze for a moment before they laughed. “Soon you'll be out of the trenches once you take your doctor exams.” Karrie started wiggling into jeans.

“You mean, once I pass, my exams.” Damsel pulled the uniform top over her head.

“You'll do fine.” Karrie waved her off. “Hey, once you get to Chief of Staff promise to throw me a bone?”

Damsel slammed her locked and attached her lock. “I make it that high, I'll make sure you have a pile of bones.”

The two women laughed and walked together to the door. Damsel’s smile faded after she waved good-bye to her co-worker. Switching careers so late in the game was risky. Ten years ago she followed the opportunity which was nursing like her mother suggested… or rather, demanded. Nursing was cheaper, in fact, paid for, and paid well. You got to be in a hospital, that counted for  something, right?

Damsel knew it wasn't enough for her. Being a doctor was all she ever wanted after she found out she couldn’t actually be Patti Labelle even after she grew up. Now, he goal of being a doctor was so close at hand it was terrifying.

The test date was a cold chill settled in her spine. Failure was a very real reality, but for her it wasn't an option. Pursuing her medical license was against her mother's wishes so Damsel had to prove the woman wrong. Damsel pushed her insecurity and anxiety from her mind and focused on the pathetic face of her best friend and colleague, Cammie, as she approached the nurses station to get her day’s assignment.

Cammie attracted the wrong kind of men. Sexy, loaded with swag, but the worst kinds of people who took her caring nature for granted. Bottom feeders… they were fine as hell, but terrible, no good scrubs.

Damsel placed the piece of paper on the nurses station in front of Cammie. “You asked. I answered.”

Cammie took the piece of paper. “Damsel what the hell is this?”

“Life is chaos. It is our job to bring order.” Damsel was proud of a lot of things, but her list was one of those things that was a secret joy. She was saved so many times by following her list. A list that gave order to the chaos that was the dating battlefield.

Cammie shook her head after scanning the page. “The heart wants what it wants Dame.”

“I’m calling you on your bullshit right now. Your heart is too important to leave it’s protection up to chance and life is too short wasting it on people that don’t deserve you.”

Cammie rolled her eyes and was silent while she read the page. “I mean some of them I get

‘Thou Shalt Not: smoke, partake in excessive drinking or experiment with recreational drugs, lie, cheat, steal.’

That all makes sense, but no tattoos, seriously? What's wrong with tats it's about self expression and frankly down right sexy. And what's up with the ‘Thou Shalt Not’ like these are on the stone tablets written by the Lord?”

“The Ten Commandments were written ultimately to protect our hearts. Your personal well-being, mental and emotional health is just as important  if not more important, and these commandments are written to curb your weaknesses, specifically.” Damsel raised a knowing eyebrow at her friend.

Cammie glared at her and looked down at the desk. Slowly a sinister smile crept across her face before she handed Damsel a chart. “O.D. Patient in five twenty my preachy, nosey, overbearing cohort. Night nurses said he was trouble.”

Damsel winced meeting her friend’s honey brown eyes. “Karrie was talking about this guy.”
“I thought since you were in a freakishly controlling mood he’d be just what you need to get it all out of your system before girl’s night this weekend.”

Damsel glared at Cammie before taking the chart and perusing the man’s textbook long hospitalization history. Damsel took a deep breath and squared her shoulders.
“You might be nurse in charge today Cammie, but Karma is a fickle foe and even worst friend.”

Cammie laughed. “Oh, don’t act like you don’t like a challenge Doctor Kane. You love giving lectures and speaking from your soap box. I’m just giving you an opportunity to get paid doing it.”

“I’m really not that bad.” Damsel’s face twisted in question.

“Uh huh, have fun.” Cammie waved her away as she scanned Damsel’s dating commandments again.

Damsel turned page after page of her new patient’s chart while she walked to his room. Good God was there something he wasn’t admitted for? Oh, yeah like any actually sickness: broken bones, substance abuse in excess, burns. She was afraid to see his criminal record. She was sure he had one.  

"How bad did I fuck up Doc?"

Damsel faulted at the door and glanced over at her patient. When she met those hazel green eyes her chest tightened. His tousled greasy hair lay all over his head his tattooed arms rested above the thin coverings. He tugged at the shift annoyance pulling his thick well formed eyebrows together.

"P-pretty bad-" Damsel blinked bringing her attention back to her clipboard. "Mr. Stevenson. You could have died. And, I'm not your doctor."

The man ran his fingers through his hair then brought a side smirk to Damsel who approached him to do her assessment. "Oh, so you're my nurse." He ran a tattooed finger down Damsels arm a chill caused her body to shiver. "Got damn you’re soft nurse…” He searched her scrubs until he found her name tag. “Kane. Call me James by the way.”

"If you touch me like that  again Mr. Stevenson, a failing liver will be the least of your worries." Damsel stepped away from James anger filling her chest. She hated the way her body responded to this creature. She'd known her body her whole life and never had it done all this at the mere touch of a man. A man that was miles away from the type of man she was actually attracted to.

James smiled his white teeth on display his eyes glittering with amusement. "I like you Damsel." He stated glancing at her name tag again. "Now,” His eyebrows pulled together. “Get me out of this place." He pulled the covers off his lap and started picking with the IV in his arm.

"Mr. Stevenson, please don't do that." Damsel tossed the clip board on the side table pressing her hands and body weight on her patient to stop him from doing any more damage.

He frowned. "You can't keep me here."

"Please let me just get your doctor."

James stopped trying to move and nodded.

"Will you wait… right here for me, please?"

James crossed his tattooed arms over his chest. "Sure my lovely Damsel. I'll do that for you."

Damsel glared at the roguish man his lopsided smile made her insides twist and float simultaneously.. "Y-you wouldn't be lying to me would you?" Damsel assessed those hazel green eyes awed at how mesmerizing they were.

"I'd never lie to you sweetheart." Damsel enjoyed the base in his raspy voice. It tingled her spine.

"Don't call me that." Damsel sneered her lip curling with distaste as she shook her trance. “I’ll send your doctor in and he can go over when you can be released. She quickly left the room to page James’s doctor strongly disliking how far from in control she felt while in the suffocating man’s presence. Once in the hallway, Damsel breathed for the first time fresh air. This was going to be a long and tiring shift not to mention she signed up for a double. It was doable as long as she stayed far away from that devilish reckless fool of a man.

|*|

James watched his sexy ass nurse walk out the door. Even those got damn scrubs couldn't hide that body from him. Them curves, that smooth dark skin, those lips that he wanted to kiss. Got damn. And here his dumb ass was sitting ass out naked on some bed with needles running in and out his body. Smelling like last night's whore house.

What the fuck did you get yourself into this time James? James ran his fingers through his hair and curled his upper lip. Disgusting ass shit! What a fucking first impression. James waited impatiently for an obnoxious amount of time before the doctor finally strolled in the room his white coat billowing  in the wake of his stride.

"Good afternoon James. I'm Doctor Greggs. How are you feeling?"

"Like shit. When can I leave?" James shifted uncomfortably in the thin shift.

The doctor pierced his thin lips preparing to tell James something he didn't want to hear. "Well James, let's talk about that. Nurse Kane informed me that you were anxious to leave. Was it her standard of care? Sometimes she can be-"

"No." James frowned instantly annoyed by the ass in front of him talking bad about his sexy nurse. "Her care is not in question. I hate hospitals." He wanted to say he really hated his doctor and wanted to drive Dr. Jackass’s  BMW off a bridge. James knew his type all too well. High on their fucking white horses couldn't see the world below them without getting a got damn nose bleed.

"You went down pretty hard this time James. I took a look at your chart you've been admitted a number of other times but nothing like this. Your liver started to fail this time because you overtaxed it. I'd like to keep you for a couple days run some tests so we can get a plan to help you recover."

James palmed his head grumbling under his breath.

"Does that sound fair James?"

James finally looked up at his doctor. "If I have to."

The doctor stood to his feet with an obnoxious smile. "We'll have you back up and running in no time."

Right before the doctor left James shouted. "Hey can I get a toothbrush or some shit?"

"I'll send in a nurse." The doctor replied over his shoulder without breaking stride.

James palmed his forehead. Got damn James you mother fucker. Fuck did you do?

|*|


Damsel bared her teeth looking at her white chiclets checking them for residue in the mirror before placing her toothbrush back on its charging stand. There, clean teeth and a hot shower that just made an insane day feel ok. She pulled back the covers and slipped in bed clicking the light on her bed side table. She’d get a few hours of sleep before having to face another double. It would all be worth it in the end. Her mother pushed her to work hard her entire life to think about a practical future.

“Focus, discipline, planning that Damsel Kane is what’s going to get you where you need to go.”

Damsel closed her eyes the quiet sounds of night settling around her. Instead of a thoughtless peaceful sleep; however, hazel green eyes smiled back at her full of mischief and temptation. Damsel bit her lip and rolled on her back a smile pulling up her lips.

No questions, hands down James Stevenson was trouble. Damsel didn’t need stone tablets to figure that out. She turned over in her bed facing away from the window that looked down at the parking lot below. But damn he was fine as hell. Under the layer of grease and grime that it she was sure he was a diamond in the rough. What the hell did he do to end up in the hospital like that? Damsel sighed that smile fading into black. She ran her hands down the length of her plaid pajamas imagining those tattooed digits leaving a trail of goosebumps down her skin. Damsel growled annoyed with her own imagination. Why was it always trouble that looked so good?

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Continue to Part 2...