“Concussion, ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, lacerations around the head and face, bruising inthe rib and chest area.”“I take it he was in a car?”“Yes. It was a multicar pile up on I-270. Three cars involved, two fatalities. Mr. Trent was alone.There was something in the paper this morning about it.”“I just glanced at the headlines.”“You certainly wouldn’t recognize him from his pictures. I doubt that his own mother wouldrecognize him at the moment.” She looked down at the chart. “He’s on a respirator, and theyhave tubes into his chest and abdominal area.” She motioned to the chart. “You’ll see it all here.”“Has any of his family shown up?”“No. A business associate, Justin Drake, arrived before Mr. Trent was out of surgery. He’s in thewaiting room at the moment.”Diana quickly reviewed the chart of the other patient whom Elise would be responsible for during the next shift. Fortunately the second patient wasn’t in quite so critical condition.When she was finished Diana grinned. “I’ve got the next two days off, so I’ll be seeing you onWednesday.” She reached for her purse and waved goodbye, then disappeared behind theswinging doors.The first thing Elise did was to check on her patients. Mrs. Coleman was resting comfortably andElise was fairly certain she would be moved out of ICU within the next day or two.Damon Trent was another matter. His monitor was registering a rapid heartbeat, the slight beeping noise accompanied by the hiss of the respirator. He was as white as the linens on whichhe lay, except for the rumpled black hair that fell across his forehead. Elise could see the faintdiscoloration that marked new bruises around his face. The stark stitching that ran just above the brow line was mute evidence of how close he’d come to losing his eyes.According to the information on his chart, he would be forty later in the year. She wondered if he’d make it to see that day. She leaned over and spoke softly.“Mr. Trent?”There was no response.“Mr. Trent, I’m your nurse, Elise Brandon. You’ve been in an accident and are now recoveringin the hospital.”She watched for sign of reaction. His eye lashes were thick and long, forming smudged crescentsalong his cheekbones. His face and neck were swollen.After checking his vital signs, she returned to the nurses’ desk.A tall well-built man stood there watching her as she approached. He appeared to be in his latetwenties. “Are you Damon’s evening nurse?” he asked in a polite voice.