Read Before the Moon Rises Online

Authors: Catherine Bybee

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Before the Moon Rises

Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

The Wild Rose Press

Copyright ©2009 by Catherine Kimmer

First published in 2010

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Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee




Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

* * * *


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

Before the Moon Rises


Catherine Bybee

He kept his smile in place despite his state of undress.

"Maybe I can explain my, er, situation over eggs benedict."

She was tempted, even with him dressed in a hospital

issue gown open in the back, she was tempted. "I don't think


"Why not? You said yourself I'm good looking, and I know

you're curious about why I ended up here."

Janet slid the paperwork she held in front of him and

handed him her pen. "Even if I wanted to, I make it a rule not

to date my patients."

"Humm..." He took the paper and signed his name, then

pushed it in her direction. "I'm no longer your patient."

Janet couldn't stop the giggle that erupted. "Listen..." She

picked up the paper and noted his name. "Mr. Ritter. I'm

flattered, really I am, but I don't think this would be a good


"I suggested breakfast, not marriage."

"You're wearing a hospital gown and a smile."

"I'll change. We can drop by my house so I can get my


Janet narrowed her eyes. "Is this some perverse way to

get a free ride home?"


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

"I'll pay for gas." His eyes locked with hers sending a chill

up her spine.

"Hey Janet," a voice called from beyond the closed curtain.

"I've got to go. Day shift needs report." But her feet didn't

move. Instead, she stared at him, knowing somehow she

would give in to his request, and if nothing else give him a

ride home.

Something she had never done before.

"I'll meet you outside, by your car."

On a sigh she said, "Yeah, okay." Janet turned away. "How

do you know what I drive?"

"I don't, but I'll figure it out."


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and

incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or

are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons

living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is

entirely coincidental.

Before the Moon Rises

COPYRIGHT (C) 2009 by Catherine Bybee

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or

reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written

permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press except in the

case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or


Contact Information: [email protected]

Cover Art by
Nicola Martinez

The Wild Rose Press

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0706

Visit us at

Publishing History

First Black Rose Edition, 2010

* * * *

Published in the United States of America

* * * *


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee


To David.


it's easy to write when you live it everyday.

* * * *


To my editor Callie for all her hard work and dedication to

making this story sing.

[Back to Table of Contents]


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee


Catherine delivers a truly heartwarming love story. Author

Lynne Roberts

Ms. Bybee does a wonderful job with the slow reveal, allowing

the reader to discover the characters in a natural progression

rather than having them dumped in the reader's lap, no mean

feat for a short piece. Author Angel Martinez

Wonderful read you just can't put down.

Author Dayana Knight

This short is packed with all the things I love...a talented use

of first person, lots of sexual tension, great descriptions, and

a hero who makes you weak with desire...and that's all in the

first three pages! Author Emma Lai

* * * *

[Back to Table of Contents]


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

Chapter One

The radio squealed in her ear adding to the chaos of the

busy emergency room at County General. Janet grabbed a

pen from the pocket of her hot pink scrub top and poised it

over the run sheet as she hit the talk button with her other

hand. "This is County Base, come in 79."

"We're on scene with an approximate 35 year old male,

about 185 pounds with an altered level of consciousness. He's

unresponsive with a GCS of 13. No visible signs of trauma.

His glucose is 112." The medic continued to ramble off normal

vital signs, which Janet jotted down.

When the paramedic paused, she pushed the button on the

radio and spoke into the mic. "79, is there any evidence of


"Negative. There's no alcohol on scene, and I don't smell

any on his breath."

Janet sat forward and gave her orders. "Try two milligrams

of Narcan IV push, I'll stand by."

While she waited for the medic to carry out the order, she

yelled over the nurse's station at one of the Techs. "Hey Tom,

can you have C-2 ready? 79's coming in with a run."

"County, are you there?"

"Go ahead, 79."

"No response to the Narcan."

She tilted her head toward the radio, trying in vain to block

out the noise of the department. "Mitch, is there anything

pointing to what we have?" The Paramedic on the other end


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

was seasoned. He had seen almost everything in the last

twenty years.

"I think he's psych."

"Based on what?"

"The man's naked."

Janet heard laughter in the background. The men on scene

were obviously getting some levity out of this one.

She tossed her pen down and stopped worrying about

giving the wrong orders. Following procedure, she rambled off

a list of things to be done with the patient before he made it

to the back door. She knew the medics had already

completed most of them, making the exercise a waste.

Finished, she signed off and logged in the run.

It had been a bitch of a night. Janet glanced out the back

doors of the ER where the sun started to rise. Unfortunately,

day shift wasn't due in for another hour. They couldn't get

here fast enough as far as she was concerned.

Patients had bombarded the ER nonstop since she arrived

at 7:00 PM the day before. Graveyard sucked. Add a full

moon to the equation, and it always proved to be a

nightmare. So much so, she'd learned long ago to schedule

her days off around it. As most good plans go however, she

was stuck with a full moon shift when one of her fellow nurses

ended up sick with the flu.

Now beat, she rubbed the back of her neck, urging the

muscles to relax, and counted the minutes to when she could


Less than five minutes later, Emergency Medical

Technicians wheeled the patient-laden gurney into C-2 with


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

the paramedics in tow. Janet nodded to them, grabbed a

triage sheet and walked behind the curtain.

"Anything change?" she asked, then set the papers on the

overcrowded crash cart.

"He's responding to pain a little more. But he's still

completely out." Mitch tore off his paperwork and handed it


Janet grasped a set of EKG patches and started placing

them on the man's chest. Lucky for him his torso was free of

hair. Otherwise, she would have had to shave the

unconscious man.

Surprisingly, the man was rather well-groomed considering

he was most likely some psycho off his meds. His flawlessly

shaped bronzed chest caught her attention and his arms

appeared as if they lifted weights on a daily basis.

He wasn't homeless. That was a given.

So why was he naked in the busy streets of LA? No matter,

it didn't change what she needed to do.

"Is LAPD coming in?" she asked the medic before he left.

"They were on scene and took a report. They'll come by

later for a follow up." Mitch reached for his radio. A series of

beeps told them both he had another run. "Man, tonight is

never gonna end."

"You can say that again," Janet agreed.

"See ya in a few minutes."

Janet watched as he high-tailed it out the doors.

With her attention back to her patient, she started

pressing buttons on the monitor and studied the different

leads on his EKG.


Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee


Yanking the stethoscope off her neck, she quickly checked

his lungs and heart.


She placed a knuckle to his sternum and gave a deep turn.

He grimaced but didn't wake up.

Looking around first, Janet picked up his arm, placed it

over his head and let it drop.

Down it went, right on his face.


"Humph." Janet studied the man's face for the first time.

He had deep-set features with a firm jaw. His five o'clock

shadow was more like a 7:00 AM shadow, but hell, it was

almost 7:00 AM. She opened his eyelids and checked his

pupils. When she did, she found the deepest midnight blue

eyes she had ever scene.

His dark hair, somewhat long, was well-kept. His even tan

made her wonder if he spent most of his time on the beach.

No, he definitely wasn't homeless.

Even his skin held the scent of some exotic cologne. It

wasn't something she could point out, but it certainly wasn't

'Eau de Street.'

After checking to make sure his IV ran freely, Janet went

to find one of the ER doctors for a consult.

"Well, let's start with a CT and a full set of labs. Drop a

catheter in him and get a urine analysis and a serum drug

screen. We'll see what we get then." Dr. Henry followed the

same triage assessment she had done before sailing out the



Before the Moon Rises

by Catherine Bybee

Within minutes, the patient's blood was on its way to the

lab and radiology wheeled the man into CT before loaded him

onto the x-ray table. Janet stood in the wings waiting for the

test to finish.

Jack, the radiology tech, talked through the entire exam.

"Damn, did you see the last guy?"

"Yeah, he was completely FUBAR," Janet said while

watching John Doe's monitor.

"What's FUBAR?"

Jack glanced over at his trainee and then started to laugh.

"Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition."

The kid's face went green with the memory. Janet had to

admit, the scene was really grotesque. Right out of a horror


"Do you think it was an animal attack?"

Janet glanced up from her paperwork and shook her head.

"Had to be, but I'm not sure what kind of animal."

"Looked like a dog to me. Probably a Pit." Jack tapped

buttons on the massive keyboard in front of him. Black and

white images of John Doe's skull appeared.

"I don't think it was a dog. The bites were deeper and

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