|The Three Fates|
He thought of this as Claire Monroe wrapped the bandage around his left hand.
"Stay out of the kitchen, Nick," Claire said, "and leave the sharp knives to your chef."
"Nah. I've taken pits from hundreds of avocados and never done this," he replied.
Claire met his eyes with one of her looks. "Really? You want to argue about it?"
Nick had been holding the avocado in his left hand when the heavy blade glanced off the slippery pit and sliced through the heel of his palm.
Claire secured the layers of gauze with adhesive tape. "Like the doctor said, you're lucky this wasn't a lot worse."
Nick ignored her. He turned to his wife, Helen, who was sitting quietly in one corner of the ER cubicle. "Helen, go get the car. These quacks are almost finished with me."
Helen had driven Nick to the hospital, where Fate had made certain Claire was the nurse on duty. Once Helen left, the atmosphere in the tiny cubicle changed. No longer buffered by Helen's presence, tension between nurse and patient intensified. Claire wrote follow-up instructions in silence, all too aware of Nick watching her every move. She handed him several sheets of paper and recited the list of possible adverse symtoms.
"Tell your boy to stay the hell away from Selena," Nick said, grabbing at he papers she held out to him.
"Why should I?"
"Jesus, woman, why do you think?"