Cheater's Regret (Curious Liaisons 2) - Page 15

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This just happened to be a mansion.

A huge mansion.

With three interconnected swimming pools.

A tennis court.

Two movie rooms.

And a bowling alley.

I think I’d prefer anything but this. If I could choose to live in a dump with my parents and we’d be a family or I could have a mansion and scarcely see them.

I’d choose the dump every time.

“I’ll do my best to help you.” He lifted my legs off his lap. “But first, we ride.”

I blushed. I couldn’t help it.

“You can’t do that anymore,” he whispered, his blue eyes piercing. “You can’t blush when I say things like that.”

“Sorry.”

He muttered a curse and walked away. I could have sworn he adjusted himself near the door, but I was too busy hiding behind the couch to fully commit to ogling him.

“Where’s your bike?” he called over his shoulder before turning around.

“In the garage. It’s kind of dark now, though, let’s ride tomorrow after work.” I totally said it without stuttering or blushing.

“Fine.” He looked exhausted.

“Don’t forget the spider.” I pointed at the bucket. “And don’t let it loose in nature. We can’t have that bastard procreating with another, smaller spider and creating zombie spider babies that take over the world.”

He just stared at me like I’d lost my mind.

And then shook his head as a smile played across his face. “You’re entertaining, I’ll give you that.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.”

“It was meant to be one.”

We froze, both of us smiling at each other.

“Sleep,” I whispered. “You’ve got a busy day tomorrow.”

“Yup.” He gripped the bucket in one hand; the muscles in his forearm flexed. “Take some ibuprofen and ice the spider bite. If you feel any muscle weakness or tightness in your chest, let me know and I’ll prescribe you something.”

“Ah, the power of the pen.”

He rolled his eyes and waved with his free hand. “See you tomorrow morning at eight, Austin.” He hesitated in the doorway. “Be sure to wear something work-appropriate.”

“Oh, so you want me to wear a bike uniform?”

He flipped me off and quietly shut the door against my laughter.

Chapter Twelve

THATCH

I was more nervous for this workday than I’d been since I was out of residency and trying to prove myself. Our Wednesday morning staff meeting took longer than necessary, and by the time it was done, I was in need of coffee. Though for the first time in three days, I’d managed to actually get a good night’s sleep—since I didn’t have to worry about Austin releasing frogs or something else in my apartment.

Really, everything worked out in my favor, since I got a good night’s sleep.

Even though Austin wasn’t a real patient, I still needed to treat her like one. I just hated that every time I thought about examining her, I got so hard, I couldn’t think straight.

Mia, our office assistant, waved me down with her hand, then covered the phone. “Austin Rogers is in your office.”

And so it begins. “Thanks, Mia.”

I only had one augmentation that day, and if the patient didn’t mind Austin watching, I was going to let her scrub in and observe. She’d probably pass out five minutes in, but at least she would get some good material for her blog.

God, was I really doing this?

And if I was being honest, was it really about the fact that I was going to get more sleep at night because I wouldn’t be living in a constant state of paranoia? Or was it just my sick way to be close to Austin without having to commit?

Austin was sitting cross-legged on my couch, wearing black stiletto heels and black on black—it looked hot as hell with her golden-highlighted dark brown hair and pale skin.

“I thought I said work-appropriate,” I admonished, unable to keep the lust out of my voice. I willed my eyes to look at anything but her long perfect legs, the same legs that I used to wrap around my body during sex.

Austin stood. “Hah-hah, very funny, my dress isn’t short or tight, it’s perfect.”

I’ll say.

My eyes greedily drank her in.

I cleared my throat. “Right, so why don’t I give you some paperwork to fill out, the typical patient forms we ask everyone to go through. Once you’re finished, we’ll start on the initial consult.”

“Consult?” she repeated.

“Think of it as an interview that you get to guide.” I started to relax as I went over to the Keurig.

“I brought you coffee,” she interrupted, and thrust a large cup around my body and into my waiting hand. “Hazelnut latte, right? No whipped cream? No calories? No fun?”

Her voice was shaking. This was going to be harder than I’d thought.

“Thanks.” I kept my voice cold, detached. “We both get to feel each other out, you decide if my bedside manner is what you are looking for in a plastic surgeon.” I really should not have said the word “bed” . . . or “feel.” Already I was rising to the occasion. “And”—I turned around to keep myself hidden—“I decide if you’re a good candidate. We’ll start with a simple breast-augmentation consult since, according to you, your professor will eat that right up, but if we have time, we can go over a few more elective surgeries before your three weeks are up. Sound good?”

She was quiet. Too quiet.

I glanced over my shoulder.

To find Austin staring at my ass.

When I cleared my throat, she jerked her head up and blushed. “I’m so sorry, I just . . . sorry.” She partially covered her face with her hand and let out an embarrassed moan. “Breast augmentation first and then other things, got it.”

“Great.” I forced a smile I didn’t feel—after all, I was officially getting no action from a girl I actually loved. No chance in hell my body was going to be cheered by it. “Why don’t you go ask Mia for a new-patient form and a clipboard, and I’ll have one of my nurses call you into an exam room in, say, a half hour?”

“Perfect.” She stood and turned on her heel, marching out of my office like she owned the place.

A small smile formed across my face as I caught a glimpse of her thumb and the Little Mermaid Band-Aid wrapped around it.

I refused to find that adorable.

And that, mixed with her incredibly sexy body—one I was going to touch in about thirty minutes—was slowly driving me insane.

Damn me to hell.

I pulled my long hair into a bun at the nape of my neck and stared up at the clock.

Hell on Earth in twenty-nine minutes.

I grabbed Austin’s clipboard and went into the exam room, making sure to read through every single item as if she were a real patient.

“Austin,” I said warmly, “how are you feeling?”

She blinked up at me with wide eyes. “Like I just gave you way too much medical information for a silly little slit that goes in here”—she pointed at her breast—“while you stuff whatever the hell you stuff up in here”—she pulled her hand away—“and sew me up.”

“I can’t decide if I’m offended at your lack of knowledge about a breast augmentation or just surprised you even know where they are at all.”

She sucked in a breath. “Professional, remember?”

“Right.” Yeah, this was going to be a hell of a lot harder than I’d thought. “Let’s get started with your sheet here, feel free to take notes for your blog, and when it’s time to examine you, I’ll have one of my nurses pop in.”

“Wait, what?” She went white as a ghost. “A nurse watches?”

I stopped reading her chart and glanced up. “A nurse always watches, so I don’t get sued for touching you inappropriately.”

“But,” she said, her look frantic as she lowered her voice, “it’s all inappropriate if we ar

en’t together, isn’t it?”

I let out a long sigh. “Austin, it’s my job. Besides, you don’t think these things when you’re at the gyno, do you?”

“My gyno doesn’t look like Brad Pitt and James Franco’s love child!”

I laughed. “Wow, and it’s funny because I so often get told I look like Orlando Bloom with blond hair.”

She slumped in her chair. “I don’t feel comfortable with your nurse seeing my breasts.”

“So, she can’t see them, but the ex-boyfriend you hate can?”

“I don’t hate you.” It was the second time she’d admitted it in the last twenty-four hours. That had to mean something.

“But you don’t exactly like me, do you?” I just had to ask.

Austin was quiet and quickly averted her eyes to her hands on her lap. “So, did I fill out the chart right?”

“Yes, you’re very good at checking boxes. Well done.”

“Hah-hah, sarcasm.”

“You know you don’t actually have to fill in the boxes, right? A simple check mark will do.”

“When I get nervous, I color!” she snapped. “You know this. Lay off.”

“Well, it looks like in order to keep your design intact,” I said as I showed her the clipboard, “you had to gain a stroke and heart palpitations.”

“Hey, the heart palpitations can be real—I’m freaking out about passing this class, and I got bit by a spider last night!”

I glanced down at her swollen thumb. “Does it still hurt?”

“No. Ariel made it all better,” she said in a sarcastic tone.

The day was getting longer by the minute.


Tags: Rachel Van Dyken Curious Liaisons Romance
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