Owen turned to see the young tech in the doorway. “Yes.”
“The results of the MRI have been loaded. I’ve got the patient waiting to see if anything needs to be retaken or if more tests are required.”
“Thanks,” Owen said, turning back to the multiple screens on his desk. He was getting ready to bring up the results of the MRI when his cell phone rang.
Pulling it out of his lab coat, he saw it was his ex calling him again. At least once a week, if he was lucky, because other times it was more.
Ashley was always calling and trying to start something. And by something…that meant trouble. Since it was his weekend with Luke, he figured she was at it again.
There was no way he was answering. He was working and it would only annoy him if it was some frivolous reason or excuse.
Ashley and he had never married no matter how much she hinted in the beginning; then she’d purposely gotten pregnant hoping for that proposal.
How did he know she had purposely gotten pregnant? Because she’d told him. Her hints for marriage weren’t giving her the results she was looking for so she’d taken matters into her own hands.
He even remembered when she’d told him she was pregnant and then immediately had said, “So we can get married now, right?”
He’d explained that having a child wasn’t reason enough to marry. At that point, he’d actually been pulling away, telling her they needed space. She decided his space was a sign for a drastic measure.
It would be the first and only time he’d take a woman’s word for being protected against pregnancy.
They’d stayed together through the pregnancy as a couple, he tried to make it work, but all the things that weren’t working for him before were just magnified. Her insecurity and mood swings were difficult to handle. He gave her the benefit of the doubt that it was hormones, but she’d flat out given him an ultimatum when Luke was born. Get married or go their separate ways.
She guessed he wouldn’t have gone his separate way. She was wrong.
From that point on, she made his life hell, then tried to play Luke against him. She was forever putting ideas in Luke’s head about the three of them doing things as a family when Owen just wanted to spend quality time with his son.
This was his weekend with Luke and he had big plans. He didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as he wanted with his son, and he’d be damned if he was going to give that up. If that was what her phone call was about right now, it could go to voicemail.
She’d fought him over the custody arrangements because of his job. He got visitations rather than joint custody. Ashley had been convincing with the flowing tears and explanations in court that Owen would have a nanny for his half of the time and that was worse than if Luke was with her.
The female judge agreed and granted Owen a few nights a week—where Luke had to be returned to his mother for the day while Owen worked—and every other weekend. For the past several years it was working…when Ashley wasn’t trying to make them a “family” again.
His phone dinged that there was a message, which he’d check in a minute. Right now he had a patient waiting and he’d push his ex from his mind. No reason to make the guy wait in the MRI machine if he didn’t need to.
Once he was finished looking everything over, he told the tech that the patient was set. Then he listened to the voicemail message.
“This is Officer Smithson from the Houston Police Department. Your name and number were listed as the ICE contact in Ms. Bailey’s phone. She’s been in an accident, if you could please return our call—”
He hung up and called Ashley’s number back, not wanting to call some police department number and talk to someone who wasn’t even at the scene. With any luck, she’d answer or at least someone next to her would.
“Hello,” the same male voice said.
“This is Owen Taylor. Am I speaking with Officer Smithson?”
“Yes, Mr. Taylor. I’m sorry to inform you that Ms. Bailey has been in an accident—”
“Was she alone?” he asked, his heart beating fast enough to make him wonder if he’d pass out. It was the middle of the day. Luke didn’t have pre-school on Fridays. Chances are he was with Ashley just now.
“No. There was a male passenger with her.”
“A child,” he barely croaked out. “Was it a child?”
“No. There were no children. Two adults and I’m sorry, but both are being transferred to the morgue.”