Authors: Tasha Ivey
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Book Three in the Every Life Series
Copyright © 2015 Tasha Ivey
All rights reserved.
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This one is for my minions.
Thank you for your friendship, laughter, and love.
You’re the reason I do what I do.
“LOWER, DOCTOR HOOVER. The pain is much lower.”
With my hand up the back of her shirt, I palpate along the spine of my newest patient, the latest of at least twenty this week alone. I had grown accustomed to the revolving door of drug abusers and hypochondriacs in the emergency room, and I thought that taking the job in Dr. Miller’s practice would be a nice change of pace for me. Calmer. You know, handing lollipops out to children for being brave during their vaccinations or listening to the stories of long ago from the chatty, lonely elderly.
I certainly wasn’t expecting this.
“I can take my bra off if it will make things easier for you,” the newly divorced Ms. Carlton coos, reaching for the clasp behind her back as she gasps dramatically. “I just can’t bend that way without pain shooting down my back. A handsome young doctor like you surely gets plenty of practice removing women’s lingerie. I wouldn’t mind if you do it. Only so you can do your job more efficiently, of course.”
I fight the urge to roll my eyes. “That won’t be necessary. I think you just have a little back strain, but I’m going to order a few tests to rule out any other causes of your pain.”
Her face lights up. “Oh? Do I need to undress?”
no. “I’ll send my nurse in to help you into a gown, and she’ll take you down to x-ray. Once I get a look at the film, I’ll be back in to discuss.” While her flirty smile dims, I pat her shoulder and choke down the smile clawing its way to the surface.
This will probably get old really quickly, but for now, the humor isn’t completely lost on me.
AND, OF COURSE, as suspected, there’s nothing wrong with the woman’s back, other than she’s been on it quite a bit lately from what I’ve heard. The rumor mill is saying that Mr. Carlton left her because he wasn’t getting any, so I wonder what he thinks about her giving it up to every willing man she encounters.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m her latest target. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an attractive woman, but considering the fact that I’m only twenty-seven, she’s also about twenty years older than the women I usually date.
Speaking of dates,
I think, glancing down at my watch. I still need to run home to shower and pick up the house a bit before Kathryn gets there.
“Oh, come on, Dalton. She only wanted a little backrub from the only hot bachelor left in this town,” my nurse, Ella, jokes. “Now that I think about it, I’m worried we have an epidemic on our hands. All the single women and lonely housewives in a fifty mile radius have been stricken with some mysterious illness over the last few weeks. And every single one thinks that
have the cure for it. Wonder why that is.”
I nudge her with my elbow. “I’m sorry. All I heard was that you think I’m hot.”
“And the fact that you don’t even realize it makes you even more so. If I wasn’t a happily married woman and your pseudo-mom, I might try to play doctor with you, too.”
“Right,” I snicker and roll my eyes, tossing the last of the day’s charts into the wire basket on her desk. “Does your husband know how much you sexually harass me?”
Right on cue, as always, Dr. Stan Miller shuffles into her office. The dark circles and bags under his eyes are telling of too few hours of sleep this week and too many hours on-call, but his eyes are still bright with humor. “I know how she is, and I don’t mind as long as she sexually harasses me when we get home. See, Dalton, I have it made. I can play doctor all she wants, but she can also play nurse. As you can imagine, all of our medical needs, among others, are perfectly satisfied.”
I pretend to cringe at his remark, but I end up laughing. “Well, on that note, I’m going to leave you two to . . . whatever it is you do after I leave. I have a date tonight.”
“Oooh, you’re still seeing Sarah?” Ella leans forward to rest her elbows on an enormous stack of files on her desk. Damn, we’ve seen a lot of patients today.
Dr. Miller taps his chin. “Sarah? Is that the one with the curly blonde hair and the killer legs?”
“No, no. That one was Casey. Sarah is the one with the short brown hair and the cleavage.”
“Oh, yeah. A bit dimwitted, but cute. I like the little butterfly tattoo on her collarbone. It looks like it’s fluttering its wings when she breathes.”
“No, Stan, it was Brittany with that tattoo. Sarah has the tiny diamond stud in her nose.”
Okay, so listening to my colleagues go back and forth over the women I’ve had in my life lately is quite an eye-opener. Yeah, I date. A lot. And I rarely see them more than a handful of times before I find a reason to move on, usually before anything can get too serious. Because I didn’t date in high school or college, I tell myself I’m making up for lost time. And I have a lot of making up to do. Not too many girls were attracted to the school’s least favorite nerd.
“Actually, I’m seeing Kathryn tonight. Our third date. Even though I’ve tried my best to deter her, she’s coming over to my place for dinner.”
Ella sighs. “Never let them too close, huh? So is tonight the night you’re going to end it? How are you going to do it this time?”
“Come on, El, it’s not like that. I just don’t see any point in continuing a relationship if I’m not into it.” That’s the manly thing to say, anyway. Actually, I can always sense when they start losing interest in me, so I end things before they even have a chance to realize it themselves. It saves us both a lot of time and heartache, really.
Dr. Miller snickers. “Sounds a lot like me when I started college. I was making my rounds long before I had a license to do so.”
“Yeah, but that’s exactly what I’m saying. Dalton isn’t in college anymore. He’s finished med school, and he has a good job. Granted, he’s younger than most doctors, but he’s no pimple-faced frat boy. There aren’t any good reasons why he shouldn’t start thinking more seriously about settling down a little bit.”
Yep, she does sound a lot like a mom. “I got a late start, so I’m not in any hurry to rush to the finish line. I want to take the scenic route.”
Ella stares blankly at me for a minute before shaking her head in acquiescence. “Fine. I do agree that you deserve to do a little sightseeing. See what fish are in the pond, and all that nonsense. But just remember, you have to go home sometime. You might want to start thinking about who you want to greet you at the front door every day.”