Just One Night - Josh & Bailey

By: Melanie Shawn

Bailey didn’t appreciate being patronized, but she held her tongue. Her losing it on Sierra wasn’t going to help the hospital.

Seeing that the tactic she was taking had little to no efficacy, she changed course. “This is a fundraiser. Right?”

Sierra didn’t answer her.

“I’m here, I’m ready to dance, and I raised the funds. My partner did not. He had nothing to do with the money pledged.”

“The money you collected was collected as a team.”

Oh for the love of Michael Bublé.

“Peter was a stand-in. A prop. Anyone could be him.”

Without missing a beat and her smirk smirkier than ever, Sierra shot back, “Great. Then it shouldn’t be a problem replacing him.”

Well played. Bailey gave the girl props. Silently, of course. She might not like her, but she was beginning to respect her.

“Now, if you could move to the side. Only ticket holders are permitted at the event.”

“I am a ticket holder.”

Sierra ignored her statement and tapped on the electronic notebook she was holding.

Bailey was not someone who took no for an answer. She’d spent months gathering pledges. People had donated and she wasn’t about to let it go to waste. “I need to speak to your supervisor.”

If a smile could be classified as condescending, that’s exactly how she’d describe the smirk that curled at Sierra’s lips. “I don’t have a supervisor.”

“Really?” Bailey found that difficult to believe and her irritation was beginning to reach the point of no return, which she knew was only partly to do with Sierra.

Bailey’s mind naturally compartmentalized in pie chart form, especially when it came to her emotions. Some might find that strange, but it had served her well as a coping mechanism. As she stood staring down Sierra, she visualized a circle filled with different-sized triangles and the smallest one was this situation. The next, comprising about twenty percent was her losing her patient. Then there was about thirty percent devoted to miscellaneous, i.e. not being able to sleep, getting stood up, Buford breaking down, etc. But half the pie belonged to one man: Joshua Scott.

She was off-balance and completely shaken by their encounter. There was a strong possibility she was about to take out her frustration on one Ms. Sierra.

Bailey could hear her voice rising, even as she reasoned with herself that it would only make it worse. “You have no one that you report to? You are in charge of this entire event? You are responsible for each and every aspect of this fundraiser?”

“Well, hello there young ladies!” A full, rich voice that put a smile on Bailey’s face no matter what kind of a day she was having projected from behind her. “What seems to be the problem?”

She turned to see Grandpa J, a man that had adopted the entire town of Harper’s Crossing and called everyone under the age of sixty, kids, emerge from the ballroom. He volunteered at the hospital where his daughter-in-law, Grace, was a nurse. In the years since Bailey had been back, she’d grown very fond of and very attached to the man.

No one could ever replace her own Grandpa Amos, but Grandpa J held a very special spot in her heart. Whenever she, or anyone else at the hospital needed it, he always seemed to be around with an encouraging word, a strong shoulder, or even a slightly off-color joke. His ability to show up and take the edge off, make things bearable, and lighten a mood was uncanny.

“There’s no problem, sir.” Sierra turned, so her back was facing Bailey, making it very clear that the conversation they were having was over. “What can I help you with?”

“You can help me by telling me what the problem is.” Grandpa J was the kindest soul that Bailey had ever had the pleasure of knowing, but that did not make him a pushover. If he wanted information, he got it.

He’d been a Colonel in the Army and had an air of authority that had not diminished with age. In fact, the entire male population of Harper’s Crossing referred to him as The Colonel. He effortlessly commanded respect.

“To check someone in for the competition I need an ID and a ticket and a partner. Ms. Rossum has none.” The girl who had copped quite the attitude with Bailey, softened while speaking to Grandpa J.

Smart cookie.

“I left my bag in my ride—,” Bailey began to explain but Grandpa J cut her off.

“This is Dr. Bailey Rossum. She’s the senior attending physician of pediatric surgery at HCC.” He took out his phone and Bailey had to admit she was surprised when he turned it around and her physician page from HCC was displayed. He scrolled down the list of awards and recognition she’d received. “See here. Look at all these. She’s a big shot.”

Bailey had to grin. She honestly didn’t care what anyone thought about her, but hearing Grandpa J say that she was a big shot had her heart expanding.

“That may be, but Dr. Rossum’s dance partner was unable to attend and unfortunately participation stipulates that you must be part of a couple.”

“That doesn’t make a lick of sense, young lady.”

“Those are the rules.” Sierra held her ground.