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Connie Bretes
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Hi all, I am doing an anthology. the title of the book is Last Man Standing, and the hero’s name is Trent Anderson. The heroine name is Katerina Morgan. This will be a 25,000 to 30,000 word story. Somewhere in the first chapter, he has to be saying that he is a bachelor and never getting married. The story is clean. Thanks for feedback.

Chapter 1

“Married life has literally change you.” Trent glance over at his best friend and partner, then grimaced. “You don’t have near the fun we had together when you were single.”

“I don’t miss it.” Ryan smiled.

“You don’t miss the all night parties, the girls, and the booze?”

“No. Being with Claire and having this little baby girl are the most important part of my life now.”

Trent shook his head in disbelief. He couldn’t believe that two years ago, they were both confirmed bachelors.

Trent pulled his Jeep into the parking lot at Yellowstone National Park, the Old Bunsen Peak Road parking lot in the Northwest Region of Yellowstone. He was lucky he was able to get his friend to come and join him once a month during the summer to go mountain biking.      It was an activity they did every weekend in years past.

They climbed out of his Jeep, and walked to the back to unload the bikes. As they were getting their bikes ready, a truck pulls up beside them. Two more buddies joined the go mountain bike riding. Mark and Devon grabbed their bikes off the back of the truck.

“Hey, how ye’ll doing?” Mark asked.

“Good, glad you could make it.”

“Yeah, wife decided I’ve been under her foot too long and begged me to go away for a while. Kids are at my parent’s house, and she wanted the house to herself.”

“Trisha is studying hard for her final, and hopefully, this will be the last of the classes she’ll have to take,” Devon said.

“Has she got a job yet?” Ryan asked, looking thoughtfully at Devon.

“No, not yet. She’s hopeful though. How’s that baby girl doing?”

“She’s great. Starting to sleep a little more through the night and we’re able to get some additional rest.”

“See what you’re missing out on, Trent? Wife, children, a home and in-laws.” Mark smirked.

“I am a confirmed bachelor. There will be no marriage proposal coming out of my mouth.” Trent waggled his eyebrows. “You guys see what you’re missing? I was out all day and all night yesterday and had to answer to no one! Who needs marriage?”

“What the hell have you got against marriage anyway?” Mark asked.

“I like having several girlfriends and dating someone new each weekend. I don’t want to be committed to one person.”

“Did someone hurt you?” Devon glanced back at Trent, watching him put his helmet on.

“Yeah, someone did, and he hasn’t gotten over it,” Ryan said.

“Oh yeah, and who was that, Mr. know-it-all.” Trent flipped his leg over the bike and put his foot on the pedal.

“Katerina Morgan.”

“Oh, she was just a gal I was going steady with in high school, and we went our separate ways when we graduated. She went to University of Wyoming nursing school and I went into law enforcement. End of story,” Trent said.

“Yeah, well, I remember how upset and disappointed you were when she left. You guys were talking about getting hitched when you were both done with school.” Ryan’s lips formed a thin line.

“Not meant to be.” Trent shrugged.

“Are we ready to take off?” Devon asked as he strapped the bike helmet on.

“I’m ready,” Trent answered.

“Me, too.” Ryan and Mark said at the same time.

Trent pushed the pedal and moved the bike forward and the other three followed.             He picked up the trail and the guys rode their bikes, single file, along it.

An hour into the ride, Trent shifted his bike at the last minute to miss the boulder that was buried in the dirt except a small part, and Ryan came up fast behind him, but didn’t swerve in time and hit the boulder. The bike stopped, but Ryan flew over the handlebars and landed on another rock with his shoulder. He let out a yell, and everyone stopped.

“Ryan, you okay?” Trent jumped off his bike and ran up to Ryan.

“Aw, man. I think I broke my shoulder. I heard something snap.”

Trent looked at his shoulder and saw a bone protruding abnormally from his left shoulder. “Wow, you hit that rock pretty hard. It does look like it’s broke.”

“You need to get to the hospital.” Mark was haunch down looking at his shoulder.

“Yeah, hey, um. You guys take our bikes for us, and I’ll help Ryan here back to my Jeep and take him to the hospital.”

“Yeah, okay. Sure thing,” Devon said.

“Boy, this pain is so intense, I’m dizzy.” Ryan dropped his head down to get the blood flowing to his skull.

After a few minutes. “Are you ready to make the walk back to the vehicle?” Trent asked.

“Yeah, I think I can do it.”

Trent stooped down and wrapped his arm around Ryan’s waist, pulled him up and helped him stand.

It seemed like the walk to the Jeep took forever, when they finally arrived. Trent helped put Ryan in the passenger seat and then helped him buckle the seatbelt. He went around to the driver’s side as Devon and Mark put Trent’s and Ryan’s bikes in the back of the Jeep. “Thanks, man,” Trent said and they did a fist bump then spread their fingers out and indicated a bomb explosion.

Trent drove Ryan to St. John’s Health Hospital and Medical Center emergency entrance and got out to get a wheelchair. He came out with a wheelchair and two nursing staff, who helped Ryan to get out of the car seat and into the wheelchair.

“What happened?” A nurse asked them.

“He went flying over his bike and landed on a large boulder. It didn’t give, but his shoulder did.”

“I see.”

They wheeled him into the triad and cut his shirt off him, then helped him from the wheelchair to the bed and laid him down.

A doctor came into the area. “How did this happen?” He asked.

The nurse explained what Trent had told her to what happened.

“We need an X-ray of his shoulder.”

The X-ray technician is right around the corner doing someone else, I’ll grab him to do this one next,” an RN said.

Five minutes later, the X-ray technician with the X-ray machine came into the area.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to step out of the area for just a bit while we do the X-ray,” The RN said to Trent.

“Okay. Will be out here, Ryan.” Trent looked at Ryan, who gave him the thumb up.

Ryan let out a yell a few times as the technician tried not to touch or move his shoulder while taking an X-ray, however, he was not successful in keeping from hurting him and Trent cringe thinking about it.

“Call the pharmacist and tell them that we need supplies for a soft cast to be placed on a shoulder and upper arm.” A nurse directed.

“Will do.” Another responded.

Trent turned and looked at the blonde bombsell whose voice he recognized. She still had the same color hair, and it was pulled back in a ponytail. She had a nurses uniform on, with a stethoscope around her neck and reading glasses on the end of her nose. He recognized Katerina immediately and his heart jumped out of his chest.

“Hello Kate,” Trent said barely above a whisper.

****

Kate recognized that voice anywhere. She turned and face Trent and smiled. “Hi, Trent.”

“Been a long time.” He smiled slowly.

“Yes, it has been. How are you?” She stared up into his eyes. He always had beautiful gray eyes, and has always had dishwasher blond hair. Although it was shorter now than it was when they were in high school.

“I’m doing good. You?”

“I’m doing good, too.”

“Are you married with little ones running around?”

“No. Never been married.”

“Really? That’s surprising.” Trent dropped his gaze to the floor.

“Why is that?”

“Everyone I know is married and has a family now except me, apparently.”

“Well, except me, too.”

“Kate, we need you.” Someone hollered over to her.

“Okay, coming.” She turned back to Trent. “Well, I got to go, so I’ll see you around, huh?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Oh, is someone here in the hospital you’re visiting? Someone I know?” She raised her eyebrows and shoved her hands in to her smock pockets.

“Ryan fell off his mountain bike and I think damaged his shoulder. He’s being X-rayed and looked at by a doctor now.”

“Okay, well tell him I said hi and I’ll try to stop by in a little while to see how he’s doing.” She turned and walked away.

What were the odds she’d ever walk into the guy who stole her heart in high school and who she never got over? He hasn’t changed much, except he seems to be built more solid then he was in high school, and definitely more mature. She wondered if he finished school and became a police officer as he wanted to do.

She hadn’t expected to ever come back to Jackson Hole, Wyoming after she left to go to the University of Wyoming Nursing Program in Laramie, but after several nursing jobs at other locations, this one came up and it not only paid good money and had good benefits, but it was also near her parents home, who were now elderly and needed family nearby.

****

After consulting on a critical care patient in the process of being transferred to the ICU, Katerina left and went to check out Ryan in another triad with a shoulder injury.

“Hey, Ryan. How are you doing?” She asked as she walked up to his bed.

Ryan stared at her for a few minutes before he responded. “Hey, Kate. How are you?” His voice revealed he was surprise to see her.

“I’m doing good. I hear you got quite the injury.”

Ryan flinched. “Yeah, I guess they have to operate. I’m waiting on the surgeon to come see me to discuss what they have to do. You know, you just missed Trent. He’s here somewhere.”

“Oh, I saw him already. He’s in the waiting room.”

“So, you work here?” Ryan asked.

“Yeah, I’m the nurse supervisor on this shift here in the ER.” Katerina smiled.

“Are you married, do you have any children?” Ryan asked all at once.

Katerina chuckled. “No, and no.”

“Don’t tell me you are a confirmed bachelorette.” Ryan waggled his eyebrows.

“No, I just haven’t had any time to date and get involved with anyone. How about you? Are you married?”

“Yeah, been married four years now, and have a twelve-month old baby girl name Rosy.”

“Did you marry Andrea?” Katerina asked.

“No. We broke up when we were sophomores in college. I met Claire Winston and we got married.”

“So, you have a baby girl?”

“Yeah.”

“I must say, I always thought you’d be the confirm bachelor, not Trent.”

“Are you back living with your parents?”

“No, I’m in an apartment on the east side. Though my parents are elderly, they still value their independence and I want to give them as much of that as I can.”

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