Sunday, November 15, 2015
1st 5 Pages November Workshop - Proctor Rev 2
Author: KD Proctor (please call me Kelley)
First Five Pages:
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Title: Until the End
Elizabeth Channing has been the top seed in everything she does, including being first in her class in medical school. Confident she'll land the internship of her dreams, she also agrees to be a mentor to incoming first year students. Anything to pad the resume, right? Wrong. She never expected to be paired with the one person who publically humiliated her on the first day. In front of everyone.
Brad Payne was on thin ice and it’s only the first day. Not only did he call out his mentor—she totally deserved it—but he was on a mission to prove to everyone around him that he could finish med school, even if his failing health was making it damn near impossible.
With their rocky start, a friendship was something they never expected. Even more unexpected, the budding romance that somehow felt more right than any internship or risky surgery. But when Elizabeth doesn't get the internship she wants, she's assigned to a project that could possibly get Brad suspended, and possibly derail any future together. Can Elizabeth still be the support Brad needs or will she do what she’s always done—sacrifice others needs for her own?
“Son of a bitch!”
The coffee in my travel mug ten second ago is now everywhere after I slammed the brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me. And I’m not kidding. That shit is everywhere.
The floor mats.
My Milton University School of Medicine tote bag.
The dashboard, the radio, even the passenger side door.
I scramble to open the glove box, digging inside for napkins to mop up some of the mess. But all I could come up with is a travel pack of tissues. Or make that tissue.
One. Tiny. Tissue.
Can I get a do over? Seriously. It’s not even seven-o’clock in the morning and this day already sucks.
This is my punishment for oversleeping on the one morning I need to be on campus at the butt crack of dawn. My med school mentor Dr. Phillips—for the record, I was assigned to him, I didn’t pick him—has a motto: If you’re on time, you’re late. As his mentee, he holds me to a higher standard than everyone else.
And I hate it.
Red lights flash around me like bulbs on a Christmas tree as morning rush-hour traffic has now come to a complete stop on the interstate. My head falls back against the headrest and I groan in frustration.
Really universe? Today? Of all days?
“Stop gawking, let’s go!”
Good one, Elizabeth. Yelling always gets traffic to move.
I bite my thumbnail. The list I need accomplish this morning is already a mile long. Unless this traffic jam clears, I’m screwed. Feeling around in my now completely soaked bag, I search for my phone. Coming up empty handed, I dump the contents on the front seat. I find it wedged in a notebook full of my internship interview notes.
Thankfully my notes and my phone survived the tsunami unscathed.
“Happy first day of the semester! You’re calling to see if I want coffee from the Beanery aren’t you?” Cody Jefferson asks in his usual cheery tone.
“I wish. Are you on campus?”
“Of course I am. I’m at the receptionist’s desk spying on the newbies. Half of them look like they’re about to puke.”
“I seem to remember you actually did puke last year,” I tease.
“Bite me. Seriously, hurry up and get over here so we can spy on them together before you have to be all official and shit with your mentor coordinator duties.”
“Can’t. I’m stuck on the expressway.” Traffic starts to move, but not fast enough.
He lets out a heavy sigh. “You’re juggling with fire, girl.”
“Isn’t it playing with fire?”
“Tomato, to-mah-toe. You keep this up and that fire’s gonna scorch your behind. You’re making the rest of us look bad, Miss Future Neurologist. What time did you finally leave the lab last night? Eleven?”
“Three? ?” All second year med students are assigned to a department for a year-long internship and we learn of our placements this week. I hope to be placed with Neurology and I want to be ready for anything they throw my way. The late nights are worth it, even if I overslept a few times during summer classes and Dr. Phillips threatened to take away my late night lab access.
“If you’re going to be up until three, at least be up doing something fun.”
“That is fun. To me anyway,” I say with a giggle. My stomach rumbles and I tear off a bite from the bagel I toasted this morning. A blob of melted strawberry cream cheese drips on my white lab coat.
“Damn it,” I mumble with my mouth full. I hold the bagel in my teeth as I wipe the bright pink blob away. Fran-freakin’-tastic. I am a walking, talking hot mess this morning. Let’s hope that when I give the welcome speech to the first year students, they’re focused on my face, not on the stain.
“Is he there?” I ask, licking my finger clean.
“I haven’t seen him yet, but you know he’s always here early.”
Of course he is. I swear Dr. Phillips sleeps in his office.
“I need you to cover for me.”
“Elizabeth…” he warns.
“I just need you to make copies for the mentors so they know who they’re mentoring. It’s in my network file drive all ready to go. Please?” Desperation makes me beg. Pathetic, I know.
His silence twists my stomach into giant knots.
“Fine, but if I’m stuck testing fecal samples because of this…”
“Thanks, Cody!” I say before I toss my phone on the passenger seat. Stretching my neck I can see an exit up ahead. It isn’t the one I need, but having grown up in Camden, I know all the short cuts. Taking matters into my own hands, I illegally drive on the shoulder. My eyes dart to the rearview mirror, praying a cop doesn’t pull me over.
I check the clock again. Damn it. I’ll never make it if I park in the student lot. I turn the corner and my shoulders relax a little. There’s an empty meter right outside the doors of the medical school building. Finally, my day is starting to turn around.
The light turns red, forcing me to wait. My eyes burn into that parking space.
“You are mine…” I whisper.
If my calculations are correct, I can get from the meter into lecture hall with a few minutes to spare. A few minutes is good. And technically on-time.
I crack my neck from side to side and when the light turns green I punch the gas pedal. Blinker on, I turn to check my blind spot when a silver, all-sport SUV slides into the space, nearly taking out my passenger side headlight.
“Oh fuck no. No. No. NO!!” I growl, punching the horn.
All I catch a flash of a purple polo shirt as I lower the passenger window.
“Hey!” I shout through the open window. Who in the hell steals a parking spot when a car has its blinker on? The guy doesn’t look, instead fumbling with something in the back seat. When he slings his messenger bag over his shoulders, his shirt tugs in all the right places temporarily turning my anger into intrigue with those sculpted back muscles.
Holy Beautiful Deltoids, Batman.
Cars pass by me, honking as I’m still blocking traffic. I snap back from my Human Anatomy refresher to the asshole who stole my spot. My eyes narrow at the Greek letter sticker in his back window.
Frat boy. Figures.
I bark out the window again, “Hey! Frat Boy! Did you not see my blinker? You damn near hit me.”
He turns around and the sunlight bounces off the frames of his trendy, dark rimmed glasses. A smart-ass smirk creeps across his face as he approaches my car. His glasses, the right amount of jaw stubble, and a little bit of smugness oozing from his pores? Oh Jesus H. Christ. He is trouble.
With a capital T.
He rests his hands on the passenger side door, not seeming to care that it’s still wet from my coffee. His left wrist is turned just so, giving me a glimpse of a small tattoo but I’m not able to make out what it is.
“Hey…are you okay? I honestly didn’t see you.”
“Okay? How about ‘I’m sorry’?” I look at the clock. I no longer have minutes to spare, but seconds. “Now I’m officially late. Thanks a lot.” My tires screech on the pavement as I barrel towards the ramp that charges by the half hour. Still miffed that he stole my spot, I roll down my window and flip him the bird. And it feels good to get the last word. Really good.