The Good Luck Charm Page 55

“That makes sense. There’s not really a reason for them to stay put all summer if you’re not going to be there, so they might as well come see you, right?”

“Yeah. So I try not to get all uptight about how much they call, or that they want to know every detail of every little thing.”

“That’s a mature attitude.” I had the opposite experience as a kid with my own mother. She was too busy juggling jobs and trying to put food on the table for all of us to be interested in the details of my life.

She shrugs. “I’d rather have parents who want to know everything instead of nothing, I guess.” Her phone buzzes in her pocket, and her eyes light up as she checks the message. “They’re here! Want to come meet them? I kind of told them about you … ” She scrunches up her nose, like maybe she’s embarrassed. “Except—and don’t be offended—I called you Nurse Ratched. I meant it as a joke, though, because, like, clearly you’re the opposite of a manipulative psychopath.”

I bark out a laugh. “I should probably get an introduction, then, just so they’re not worried about your medical care.”

“My dad says they’re waiting by the front entrance. I hope they didn’t bring the RV, ’cause that’d be kind of embarrassing.” She bounces with excitement as we walk down the hall. A couple in their fifties stand close to each other by the main doors, heads bent together as they check a phone. They lift their gaze as Emery calls out, “Mom! Dad!”

She breaks into a jog, throwing herself at her parents, and my heart aches a little, but in a good way, as they wrap her up in their arms, the three of them parts of a whole. I stand back, a silent observer, and wonder if I’ll ever have a family of my own. And if Ethan will be a part of that or not. Regardless, it would be nice to have someone who loves me as much as Emery seems to love her parents.

“Mom, Dad, I want you to meet my friend, or my nurse.” She flails as if unsure how to introduce me.

“I think I’m safely both of those things.”

I smile at her mom and then shift to greet her father.

“Delilah Jane?”

I stare at him, openmouthed and unable to speak. It’s been twenty years, but even with the lines on his face and the receding gray hair, I couldn’t ever forget him.


chapter twenty-one




I open my eyes and find myself surrounded by medical staff. It takes me a few seconds to process what’s going on until I see the concerned face of Emery, arms crossed over her body as if she’s hugging herself. Beside her, twenty years older than he was the last time I saw him, is my father.

“I’m fine.” I brush away the hands of my colleagues, embarrassed. I’ve never fainted in my life.

“You hit your head pretty hard,” Emery says.

“Let me do a quick assessment, Lilah.” Dr. Lovely isn’t asking—he’s telling.

I acquiesce because there’s no way I’m getting out of an exam to check for a concussion at the very least. “Okay. Fine.”

I ignore his offered hand and manage to get to my feet on my own, but I’m a little off balance. Still, when a wheelchair appears, I balk. “I can walk to an exam room.”

“You will take the chair, and you will be a gracious patient, Delilah,” Dr. Lovely replies evenly.

I purse my lips, give him a glare that would wilt a lesser man, and drop into the chair.

“Lilah?” Emery’s soft voice brings my attention back to her. She looks so confused and maybe a little scared.

I give her a small smile. “I’m fine. It’s okay if you have to go. I know how to get in touch with you.”

She bites her lip and rushes over, throwing her arms around my neck in an awkward hug. “I hope you really are my sister, because that would be the best ever.” She lets me go and steps back, using the sleeve of her shirt to wipe at her eyes. I feel my own pricking with an echo of her emotions.

I don’t look at the man responsible for providing half of my DNA as they wheel me away.

Despite assuring everyone I’m physically fine, a thorough assessment is done before I’m given the all clear. The whole thing takes an hour.

“I’d like you to call your sister and have her pick you up,” Dr. Lovely says when he’s finally satisfied I don’t have a concussion, just a bump on the back of my head.

For a moment I’m confused, and he must read it on my face, because he adds, “Carmen. Is she available to take you home?”

“I’m fine. I don’t have a concussion, and I have three hours left in my shift.”

He crosses his arms over his chest. “You’re not finishing your shift with a head injury, Delilah.”

“Stop calling me Delilah, and I fainted—it’s not a head injury.”

“You fainted and hit your head on a cement floor. That’s a minor head injury, and while you may not have a concussion, I’d prefer not to take any chances with you, or with any of my other patients. You also have the next two days off.”

“For a bruise?”

“I think your headspace might not be the best right now.”

When I begin to argue, he gives me a look. “Lilah, that man out there said he was your father, and he hasn’t seen you since you were six. You’ve been treating your half sister for weeks because of a shattered ankle. Now, I’m just guessing here, but I think you may need a couple of days to get your head around that.”

“I thought you were a physician, not a psychiatrist.”

His cheek tics with a suppressed grin. “Call Carmen, please.”

I slide my phone out of my pocket with an irritated sigh. “You know, you might think you have a great bedside manner, but really it’s just your face that allows you to get away with ordering people around like this.”

He smiles. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Carmen answers on the third ring. “Are you busy?” I ask.

She snorts. “That’s your greeting?”

“Hi, Carmen. How’s your day going? Are you busy?”

“Tell your sister hello for me,” Dr. Lovely says as he removes his gloves and tosses them in the trash.

I give him my WTF face but do as he says. Otherwise I’m sure he’ll take the phone out of my hand because that’s the kind of mood he seems to be in. “Dr. Lovely says hello.”

“Noah Lovely?”


“Oh, uh, I guess tell him I said hello back? Why’re you calling me?”

I address Dr. Lovely. “She says hi back. This feels very eighth grade, by the way.”

All he does is grin. What the hell? I shake my head, which is starting to ache, and return to my conversation with my sister. “I fainted and hit my head and Dr. Lovely would like you to pick me up because he feels I’m unfit to drive.”

“Are you okay? Why did you faint? Is something wrong? Did something happen? Is Martin okay? What about Ethan?” Her voice continues to rise as she peppers me with questions.

“I need you to calm down, or I’ll have to call someone else for a ride. I’m fine and so are Martin and Ethan, as far as I know. I’ll explain everything when you get here, if you’re available to pick me up, that is.”

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