Emerson leads me out of the bedroom and past the kitchen to the living room where Callum is standing by the couch, telling one of his many stories from being on the force. There are about twenty people listening to him, all engaged in every single word that comes out of his mouth. He’s tall with light brown, closely shaved hair and he’s built like a bodybuilder. With him being a Boston cop, there’s always something crazy going on, but Callum loves the danger. Whether it be murders, burglaries, gang fights, or high-speed chases, he’s been in the crossfire more times than I can count. I’ve seen the toll it’s taken on Emerson, but she loves him and it’s what Callum wants to do.
Emerson nudges me in the side and leans in close. “That’s Zeke,” she says. I follow her line of sight to a man in the corner, dressed in a pair of gray slacks and a light blue button down that hugs his muscular arms. His hair is dark and from where I stand, I can tell his eyes are a bright blue. He’s very good looking and he’s laughing along with whatever Callum is announcing to the room. Maybe if I hadn’t seen Brennan, I’d be more excited about meeting him.
Emerson grabs my arm and pulls me to the other side of the living room toward Zeke. “I’ll introduce you.”
He sees us coming before we even get to him and he smiles. Emerson puts her arm around me and grins at him. “Zeke, this is my best friend, Natalie. She’s the one I was telling you about.”
Zeke’s smile widens and he holds out a hand. “Ah, yes. I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s nice to meet you.”
I shake his hand and grin back. “It’s nice to meet you too.”
Emerson tries to whisper in my ear, but it turns out to be her normal voice. “I’m going to give you two some time to talk.” She pats my shoulder and leaves, dancing to the sound of the music as she walks through the crowd.
Zeke chuckles as he watches her. “I’m surprised we haven’t met before. Callum and I hang out a good bit.”
Sighing, I take another sip of my wine. “I work a lot,” I inform him. “You wouldn’t believe the number of of patients we get in the ER every day.”
He nods. “I can imagine. I bet you see all sorts of stuff in there.”
I go on to tell him some of my most interesting stories, one of which happened to be a middle-aged man with part of a bar stool leg stuck in his anus. He said he’d fallen on the broken chair and left it at that. I really didn’t want to know the details.
Zeke and I talk for a few more minutes about random things about our jobs. My wine glass goes empty and I really wish I had more. It just so happens that Emerson comes by to save me.
“Girl, you need more wine.” She loops her arm with mine and starts to pull me away. “I’ll bring her right back, Zeke. Can’t let her go dry on you.” Her comment garners the attention of others and I can feel the blood rushing to my cheeks. Emerson slaps a hand over her mouth and gasps. “Oh my God, did I really just say that?”
“That’s hot,” someone yells from across the room. “Can I come watch?”
Callum throws his hands up in the air. “Hey, if anyone’s going to watch, it’ll be me.”
He winks at Emerson and she rolls her eyes. “You all need to get your minds out of the gutter,” she hollers out to everyone. Then she winks at me. “Come on. You need more to drink.”
I follow her back to her bedroom and she shuts the door behind us. She pours me more wine and then flops down on her bed. “I could really use a nap right now.”
Giggling, I sit down beside her. “Sorry, Em. There’s still four more hours till midnight. You have to stay awake until then.”
She sits up and sighs. “Hopefully I can last. I’m sure I’ll regret all this wine tomorrow morning.”
That’s exactly why I’m pacing myself. Having a hangover is no fun at all. “Stop while you’re ahead and drink lots of water. You’ll be fine,” I tell her.
She turns to face me. “Yeah, maybe you’re right.” I take another sip of the wine and her gaze narrows. “So, what do you think about Zeke? He’s pretty cute, isn’t he?”
I nod. “He is.”
Her lips pull back wider. “Think you guys will go out?” she asks curiously.
“Don’t know. I’m not really thinking about that right now.” There’s another man on my mind, one I really didn’t need to be thinking about.
Emerson snorts. “What exactly are you thinking about then?” When I don’t answer, she sits up straighter, her expression serious. “Uh-oh, I know that look. Something’s going on. What is it?”