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The coffee in the break room had long turned into some sort of weird, unidentifiable sludge, but Kyle drank it anyway, needing some sort of caffeine infusion to make it through the next few hours. Although his shift had technically ended, the middle of the cold and flu season meant the Philadelphia General emergency room was overflowing, so he wasnâ€™t going anywhere anytime soon. Moving towards the window, Kyle sighed as he watched the snowflakes fall and hoped it wasnâ€™t the beginning of a snowstorm. Snowstorms meant car accidents and car accidents meant heâ€™d never get to leave.
A booming voice interrupted the quiet of the break room. "Hey, Doc! What are you doing?"
Turning, Kyle saw Trent, a paramedic, walk in, balancing a carton full of Styrofoam cups in one hand, and a white bag with the delicious aromas of pastries wafting from it in the other.
"Donâ€™t drink that poison. Take one of these."
After pouring the rest of his coffee in the sink, Kyle gratefully took one of the cups Trent handed him. "Whatâ€™s this? A belated Christmas present?"
"Nah. We lost to the ER again in hockey, so this is the last of the pay-up. I guess you werenâ€™t here when Joe did the first drop-off?"
Kyle shook his head. "This is the first chance Iâ€™ve had to come up for air all day. But should you be giving me this? Iâ€™m not on the hockey team." Too clumsy, Kyle silently added, feeling inadequate next to the muscular and fit Trent. Despite the baggy paramedic uniform and the bulky jacket, Kyle could tell Trent had the well-toned body that came from hockey and working out. While Kyle had a decent body, the long hours he put in as an ER attending physician didnâ€™t leave a lot of time to create a brawny build like heâ€™d had in high schoolâ€”the kind of build Trent had now.
Get your mind out of the gutter, Kyle scolded himself as Trent continued, "Donâ€™t worry about it. I wonâ€™t tell anyone if you wonâ€™t. I know you guys have been slammed today, so I doubt anyone would begrudge you a coffee. Take one of the pastries, too. The bear claws are my favourite."
"No, I better not." But a loud growl from Kyleâ€™s stomach betrayed him.
"I think youâ€™d better," Trent laughed, taking a bear claw out of the bag and handing it to him. "Otherwise, youâ€™re going to scare off the patients when you go back out there."
"Youâ€™re probably right." Kyle bit into the sweet and flaky pastry. "But if thatâ€™s a way of clearing out the ER so I can get out of here, maybe thatâ€™s not such a bad thing."
"I hear ya. Iâ€™m just finishing a double shift myself."
"Lucky you." Kyle wondered what the paramedicâ€™s after-hours plans were. Although he didnâ€™t know the man very well, heâ€™d heard enough from the hospital grapevine to know that Trent was very popular and didnâ€™t often lack for company. No doubt, he couldnâ€™t wait to get home before the snow started to fall even harder so that he could plan an intimate evening with his latest conquest.