For Josiah Sanchez, it was the start of what he thought
was just another Monday. He woke early, as he did most days. Stretching out
on the hardwood floor beside his bed, he did fifty pushups. He pulled a blue
exercise mat from under his bed, lay on his back on top of it and proceeded
to do fifty sit-ups.
By the time he was finished, hed worked up a good sweat and headed
into the bathroom to shower and dress for his day.
Whistling a tune under his breath, a container of coffee
in his hands, Josiah entered the security bull pen area.
"Morning, brothers," Josiah chirped heartily.
JD grinned, "Morning, Josiah."
"Josiah," Vin nodded.
"Mister Sanchez, you certainly seem to be in a euphoric mood this morning,"
"Well, why not, Ezra? Beautiful day, sun shining, all is right with Gods
creatures," Josiah said.
Vin grinned, "Amen, brother."
"Anything happening I need to be aware of?" Josiah asked.
Vin shook his head, "No emergencies. Oh, but your girlfriend is coming back
for a visit." Vin grinned and added, "Jo-Jo."
JD and Ezra snickered
The Head Valet grinned, taking the teasing in stride. "Due for her yearly
visit already. Well time does fly. If youll excuse me, gents, Im
off to my post."
Mondays' were usually quiet in the front of the Montecito.
There were more guest leaving who had spent the weekend than there were guest
arriving. Josiah saw to it that departing guests had assistance with their
luggage; that their cars were brought around promptly. The morning passed
quickly. Greg Sidney appeared so Josiah could take a well-deserved mid-morning
Heading into the casino, Josiah walked the floor and stretched his legs.
It always amazed him how many folks could spend the better part of a lovely
day indoors gambling. He shook his head. It probably explained why he enjoyed
his job so much. Being cooped up indoors all day would not have suited him
at all. He enjoyed manning the front entrance of the Montecito. Josiah felt
it was definitely his realm.
Josiah returned to his post. He grinned seeing an approaching
car. The Stevenson family was coming for their yearly visit to the Montecito.
George and Sylvia Stevenson were a married couple with two young children.
They loved coming to Las Vegas once a year and always came to the Montecito.
They spent much of their time with their children at the childrens
pool and seeing the tourist attractions, like the Hoover Dam. Their children,
Bobby, who was eight now and Natalie, who was six, were lively, friendly
As the car pulled up, the rear window opened and Bobby Stevenson waved and
yelled, "Hi Josiah!"
Josiah grinned and opened the passenger side door, "Hi Bobby. Welcome back
to the Montecito, Mrs. Stevenson." He helped her from the vehicle.
"Hello, Josiah," the pretty brunette smiled. "Its so nice to see you
"Hey Josiah," George said, handing his keys off to one of the valets.
"Welcome back, George," Josiah nodded. Turning to the rear door, Josiah opened
it and he and Bobby exchanged high-fives as Bobby bounced out of the vehicle.
Little Natalie, an adorable six-year old blonde, smiled shyly up at the big
man. "Hi Jo-Jo." Josiah had to fight not to chuckle at the nickname shed
given him. He gave her a big smile.
"Hi Natalie. Boy, I missed you! Dont you look nice today," Josiah said.
Natalie let Josiah lift her from the rear seat. "Do you like my dress? Its
new," she grinned.
"Its very becoming," Josiah said, setting her down. He looked to George
who was opening the trunk, "Well get the luggage for you."
"Oh, the kids can help," George said. "Bobby?"
Bobby came around to his dad and took the backpack his father handed to him.
"Dad said if we wanted to bring our toys, we had to carry them," Bobby explained
The Head Valet chuckled, "Well, I can understand that."
Bobby moved to stand by his mother.
"Natalie," George continued, pulling a pink backpack from the trunk, "come
and get yours."
Mrs. Rachel McDonald was driving down the road when she
felt a pain in her chest. At 84 years of age, the widow was still happy that
she could get around town in her Cadillac. The pain got a bit more severe
and she decided shed better pull over for a few minutes. She saw the
Montecito Hotel up ahead and signaled to pull into their parking lot.
"Chris! We got a car racing into the front entrance!"
Larabee looked up from his conversation with Vin to see JD gesturing to one
of the surveillance monitors that showed the front entrance.
"Shit!" Chris muttered. "Its going to hit Josiah."
The three security men watched in disbelief as they saw Josiah shoving clients
out of the way but he wasnt fast enough to avoid the car that came
careening into the hotels entrance.
"Get Nathan down there!" Chris shouted as he raced from the control room.
Josiah looked up to see another car pulling up behind
the Stevensons rental car. Instead of slowing to pull to a halt in
front of the Montecitos entrance, the Cadillac appeared to be picking
up speed. Without another thought, Josiah pushed George Stevenson away from
his car. He turned and grabbed up Natalie, tossing the child to her mother.
Even though everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, Josiah wasnt
fast enough to avoid being hit by the Cadillac himself.
The call came in to Nathan and he ran to the
Montecitos entrance. Greg had already placed a 911 emergency call and
was keeping an eye out for the police and ambulance.
Natalie Stevenson stood crying with her brother and parents. She sniffed,
"Jo-Jo has a boo-boo. Fix his boo-boo."
Nathan glanced at the child and motioned to Greg. Whispering he said, "Better
have the family taken inside. Im sure this is traumatic for the kids.
The cops can talk to them later."
Greg nodded and turned to talk to Mr. Stevenson, ushering the family inside
Nathan moved toward where Josiah lay on his back. Someone had thrown a blanket
over him. Nathan knelt beside his friend.
"How are you doin, Josiah?" Nathan asked.
"It hurts, Nate," Josiah said. "Pain here." He tapped the left side of his
"Any weakness or numbness in your left arm?" Nathan asked.
"Okay, well dont move till the EMTs' show up," Nathan said, slightly
relieved that the big man wasnt having a heart attack. "Im going
to go check on the driver of the car that hit you."
Chris passed by Greg and the Stevenson family in the
lobby. He raced to the front entrance and flagged down the approaching police
squad car. Two ambulances quickly followed. Chris advised the valets to keep
guests in the lobby, offer them a drink in one of the lounges on the
hotels dime until the emergency was over.
Josiah was loaded into one of the ambulances. Nathan
rode along with him to the hospital.
Chris watched as the EMTs' from the second ambulance and the police interviewed
the elderly driver of the Cadillac.
One of the police officers, shaking his head, approached Chris.
"Mr. Larabee? Youre head of security here?" The police officer asked.
"Yes," Chris nodded.
"Im Officer Lane."
"What happened, Officer?"
"The 84-year-old driver of the car reported that her foot slipped from the
brake pedal just before the car accident," Lane reported. "She said she had
chest pains. We thought it might be a heart attack, but the EMTs' said it
Chris let out a breath and shook his head.
Nathan paced the floor of the emergency waiting room.
Hed lost all track of time until he saw a doctor he recognized who
hurried to him in surgical scrubs. Doctor Susan Johnson was one of the leading
surgeons in the Las Vegas area. Nathan was simultaneously relieved and concerned
to see her.
"Nathan," Susan nodded, taking no time for niceties, "Josiah has a ruptured
spleen and a broken leg. Weve got to get him right in to surgery."
Nathan nodded, knowing how serious a ruptured spleen could be. "Do it."
Susan nodded and hurried back to the examination area. Over her shoulder
she called, "Should know more in an hour. Ill send you word!" And she
Nathan pulled out his cell phone and called Chris.
Things were wrapped up at the Montecito. The elderly
woman was released to a family member. The police and EMTs' finished up their
interviews and took their leave. A melancholy mood descended over the staff
as they waited for news of Josiahs surgery. Chris could finally stand
the wait no longer. He left Vin in charge and headed down to the hospital
to meet up with Nathan.
After an hour an intern reported that the surgery was
going well and Doctor Johnson would be up to see them as soon as Josiah was
in recovery. It was nearly two hours later before the doctor came to see
Chris and Nathan.
"Hes exceedingly lucky," Doctor Susan Johnson said. "If he hadnt
come to the hospital so quickly he could have bled out. The ruptured spleen
is the most serious injury. He also has a broken right leg. Hell have
to spend a few days in the hospital. Hell be laid up at home for at
least a week afterwards. You may have to make some accommodations at work
for him. I dont think hell be up to manning the front entrance
for a while."
"Dont worry, Doctor," Chris said, clearly relieved, "we can do that."
"When can we see him?" Nathan asked.
"He should be out of recovery in another hour. You can see him when hes
moved up to a room," the doctor said. "But hes going to be on painkillers
so he wont be conscious until tomorrow."
Chris and Nathan were sitting next to his hospital bed
when Josiah woke up the next morning.
"Hey Siah," Nathan grinned. "How are you feeling?"
"Sore," Josiah muttered. "My throat hurts."
"From the breathing tube they had down your throat during surgery," Nathan
said. "Ill get you some water."
"Surgery?" Josiah questioned, looking at Chris.
"Dont you remember? You were hit by a car yesterday in front of the
Montecito," Chris said.
Josiah blinked, "Thought I dreamed that."
Nathan brought Josiah some water, "No you didnt."
Chris smirked, "Just dont do it again, Josiah. You scared us real good."
Josiah took a sip of water and grinned back at his boss, "Ill try not
to, brother Chris."
Doctor Susan Johnston stopped by Josiahs room on
her rounds the next day. He was sitting up but still in bed.
"Heard they got you up on your feet last night," she said. "How did it feel?"
"Sore, but good," the Head Valet replied.
"Good," Susan replied. "The sooner you get moving, the faster youll
heal." Then she smiled, "Oh, feel up to some visitors? Theres been
a young lady asking after you."
Josiah grinned, "I could do with some company."
Susan went to the door and opened it.
"Jo-Jo!" An exuberant voice cried as a small blonde dynamo streaked into
"Natalie, its good to see you," Josiah said.
"Hey Josiah," George Stevenson said, following his daughter into the room.
"Hi George. Nice of you both to come see me," Josiah said.
"Couldnt keep us away. Sylvia and Bobby will be by later. We didnt
want to overwhelm you too soon," George replied.
Natalie jumped up and down excitedly by Josiahs bedside. "When can
you come back to the hotel?"
"Not for a couple of days, Im afraid, Natalie," Josiah replied.
"You should ask for ice cream," she offered. "Thats what my momma gives
me when Im sick and it always helps me feel better."
Josiah chuckled, "Ill take that under advisement."
"Josiah," George began, "I dont know how we can thank you. Natalie
could have been "
"George, believe me, it was my pleasure," Josiah interrupted. "I couldnt
have bore anything happening to her."
"Jo-Jo?" Natalie asked.
"Yes, honey?" Josiah replied.
"Can I sign your cast?"
Josiah grinned, "Sure you can."
Natalie moved around to the right side of the bed and her father lowered
the rails on the hospital bed. Natalie removed her backpack and pulled out
a set of colorful marker pens.
"Can I draw a picture too?" She asked.
The big man chuckled, "Have at it, Natalie." He sat back and watched as the
little blonde drew a vibrant picture of flowers, a rainbow and wrote her
name with a flourish when she finished.
Josiah was glad to be back in his condo. Every night
at least one of his "brothers" made it a point to stop by Josiahs place
to see how he was faring and to bring over dinner, books and DVDs so
he wouldnt be too bored.
Josiah also received a call from Officer Lane of the Las Vegas Police Department.
Office Lane wanted to see if Josiah wished to press charges against Rachel
McDonald. After hearing about Mrs. McDonald's bout of ingestion, Josiah declined
to press charges. Her insurance company was picking up the tab for his
hospitalization but Office Lane informed Josiah that due to Mrs. McDonald's
age, there was a good chance she would lose her driver's license. Josiah
felt bad for the elderly lady. She'd sent him flowers and a sweet note while
he was recuperating in the hospital.
Josiah had pestered Chris about returning to work and Chris finally decided
after a week that Josiah could work in the bull pen until he was up and back
on his feet again.
JD offered Josiah a ride on his first day back. Coming up to the entrance
of the Montecito on his crutches, it seemed every employee in the hotel was
waiting in the lobby to welcome him back.
After the rousing reception, Josiah looked around at his friends and co-workers.
"Bet youre glad to be back, Josiah," Inez said.
The big man smiled, "This looks like home to me."