“I DON’T THINK this is necessary,” Noah Parks said, his eyes wide as he stared at the needle in her hand.
Tough guy was afraid of a needle. What a surprise, Lindsay thought, reaching for his arm. “Well, we do. The last time I slid you in the MRI without the sedative you almost broke the scanner, trying to get out.”
“The noise freaked me out,” he mumbled, shoving up the sleeve of the green hospital gown to allow her access to his arm.
And what an arm it was. At six feet and two hundred pounds of solid muscle, Noah was the definition of chiseled strength and athleticism.
Even though she was a professional—the head nurse of the clinic—Lindsay wasn’t oblivious to the effect his smooth, tanned biceps could have on a woman.
It was too bad he used that strength to beat the crap out of other men... That kind of ruined it for her.
She cleared her throat as she wiped the injection site with an alcohol swab. “That’s why we give you headphones.” The scan was painless but without the noise-canceling headphones, patients were often discomfited by the constant thumping and tapping.
She wrapped a rubber tourniquet around his arm and tapped his skin. A quick look at his expression revealed he was already nauseous. “I haven’t even poked you yet.”
He flinched and gripped the edge of the exam table a second later as the needle pierced the skin.
She shook her head. “You get punched in the face for a living and a tiny prick of a needle makes you woozy.” She steadied him. “I’ll leave the room for a moment to let you get settled. When you are ready, lie on the table, head pointed toward the machine—” She stopped. “You probably know the routine better than I do by now. I’ll knock before I come in.”
Picking up his medical file, she left the room and stood outside the door. Scanning his history, she sighed. Three MRIs this year so far. Luckily the magnetic resonance machines didn’t involve X-radiation, otherwise the frequency of these brain and tissue scans could be more detrimental than they were worth.
She didn’t understand why mixed-martial-arts fighters insisted on a career path that made it necessary to have their brains checked for signs of trauma before each fight. The clinic often saw fighters training at Extreme Athletics for their prefight medical clearance, but none as often as Noah. Three fights since January—what was the guy thinking?
She didn’t follow MMA, but even she knew three fights in six months were too frequent to be safe.
A glance toward the reception area revealed it was full. And she had to waste a half an hour of her time and everyone else’s on this scan. She shook her head as she placed Noah’s file on her desk.
Every day she cared for patients with injuries and diseases beyond their control. Patients who would love to be healthy and free of their medical issues.
And then there were guys like Noah—perfectly healthy guys who put their bodies in danger every time they went to work. She’d never understand the sport or the mentality of the men who competed in it.
Tapping once on the door, she let herself back into the room. In most city clinics, a technician performed the scans, but here in Brookhollow, the five nurses on staff had been trained to perform a variety of duties—operating the MRI machine was one of them.
“How do you feel?” she asked Noah. The sedative worked quickly in most cases, but with his body mass, she wanted to be sure of its effect.
“Okay.” She handed him the headphones. “Put these on and relax. Remember to stay as still as possible. If you move, the pictures will blur and this will take longer.” She handed him the communication button. “If you need to talk to me, hit the button.”
When he nodded his understanding, she turned her attention to the controls on the side of the machine. She placed the helmet-shaped scanner over his head and he flashed a wide smile.
“You don’t like me much, do you?”
“I’d like you better if you stayed still.”
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