Relentlessly Reckless
Author:Lucy Covington

Relentlessly Reckless by Lucy Covington








Was this what a broken heart felt like?


It had been two weeks since I’d talked to Justin, and they’d seemed like the hardest two weeks of my life. I knew that my reaction to being away from him was ridiculous and immature. I hadn’t even known Justin that long, and in the grand scheme of things, two weeks was nothing.


But this feeling inside of me was just… it was awful.


I couldn’t stop thinking about him. My heart jumped every time I imagined him close to me, holding me, his hands on my body. When I closed my eyes, I could still feel him sleeping next to me, his chest moving up and down in a soothing rhythm with his breathing.


I just missed him. I missed everything about him.


Every five seconds I though about calling him. It was complete torture. One night I got so close to dialing his number that I had to bring my phone to my gym locker and lock it up for the night just so I wouldn’t be tempted. I wanted to ask him what happened, why he’d just disappeared out of my life with no warning. I knew we’d had a fight, but still.


He’d dropped those movies off at my dorm room, and he’d come when Rachel needed help.


So then how could he just leave me like this, without even really saying goodbye?


I didn’t understand it.


Of course, I didn’t really understand anything about Justin.


And as the days went by, I started to convince myself that maybe he was just a boy, and not some great college romance I’d been meant to have. Maybe he was right to stay away from me. Maybe we were just too different.


That is what I was thinking about while I walked to the Cambridge University Medical Center for my first day of work as Dr. Klaxton’s research assistant. I was supposed to meet Carter there at noon. We’d been trying to get together for the past couple of weeks, but it seemed like whenever we’d figure out a good time to meet, he’d have to cancel for some reason.


It was kind of making me anxious. Everything involving Dr. Klaxton felt so unpredictable, and I didn’t want anything about this new position to be weird or unsettled. But then Carter called this morning and asked me if I could meet him today to get started.


Of course I said yes. I even made sure to leave fifteen minutes earlier than I needed to, just in case.


The Cambridge University Medical Center was one of the premier centers in the whole country, and as I walked through the doors, I got that familiar twinge of excitement. This was what I was meant to be doing. This was what I’d been working toward my whole life. And no one, especially not Justin Brown, was going to distract me from that.


I followed the signs to the research clinic, then gave the receptionist my name.


She told me Carter was in the back office. I walked down a hallway past examination rooms, followed her instructions and took a right.


The door to the office was slightly ajar, and I could see Carter inside, his back to me, feeding papers into a shredder.


“Hey,” I said, leaning against the doorframe.


Carter jumped and turned around. “Oh,” he said, clearly startled. “What are you doing here?”


I grinned. “You asked me to meet you here, remember? Don’t tell me you forgot already, Carter, it was just a couple of hours ago.”


“Yeah, I know. But you’re fifteen minutes early.” He sounded slightly annoyed, and almost accusing. Which made no sense. Why would he be upset that I was here a little early?


I shrugged. “Better to be early than late, right? You know I’ve learned my lesson about that one.”


Carter smiled, and his easy demeanor returned. “No problem,” he said. “I’m glad you’re here.”


“Am I the first one?” I asked, readjusting my messenger bag on my shoulder.


“The first one?”


“Yeah. I’m assuming the other research assistants aren’t here yet?” I hadn’t even met the other research assistants. They were in a different section of Dr. Klaxton’s class.


But I knew their names were Levi Folsom and Michael Schwartz. They’d been included on the joint emails we’d been sent.


“Oh, they’re not coming,” Carter said. He fed another piece of paper into the shredder. “I thought it would be good for you to get some experience before we really started. You know, see the clinic, that kind of thing.” He flicked off the shredder and turned around and gave me a grin. “So it’s just me and you.”


“Sounds good.” My stomach did a flip. Had Carter he invited me here so we could spend some time together alone? No. That would be ridiculous. Ever since Justin made that remark about all guys having ulterior motives, I couldn’t stop thinking that every guy wanted something from me. Which was stupid.


Carter was a grad student, he was older, he was more mature. He was just being nice. In fact, he was probably going to invite the other assistants over here at some point to have their own solo session.


“Let’s go back up to the receptionist desk so I can show you our schedule,” he said.