Madison: We’re back! Only two more St. Blaise stories to go. I’m sad but excited. Know what I mean, Macy?
Macy: I know exactly what you mean. I promise you, these two were worth the wait.
Madison: So tell us about Mr. November.
Macy: You know how you think you know someone, but you don’t really know them at all? Well, that was the case with Luke Langston. For the longest time, we thought the guy was kind of a jerk, you know? A beautiful jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.
Madison: Why is that?
Macy: Cool. Standoffish. Never very friendly to anyone other than a few of the other doctors. We thought he was an ass.
Madison: But he’s not?
Macy: Not at all. Of course, he had to get shot in the ass before we discovered he was actually a pretty nice guy.
Madison: Shot in the where?
Macy: You’ll see.
Here’s the setup:
The doctor becomes the patient when Luke Langston lands in St. Blaise’s overrun emergency room with a keister full of birdshot. Aside from the obvious Dick Cheney jokes, he has to endure the abject humiliation of having a woman he never got around to calling pluck bits of shrapnel from his ass.
Intern Elena Mendes can’t wait to pull the last shard of shot from Luke Langston’s magnificent tuchas. The minute she’s done, she is going to strip off her gloves, march into the waiting room, and shake his assailant’s hand. Hell, she may even tongue kiss the guy. It’s about time Dr. Iceman is taken down a notch. Or twenty.
Luke’s cockiness makes Elena crazy, but she can’t resist the sparks that fly each time they butt heads. Every time he’s near, she’s compelled to turn it up a notch, curious to see how much heat it will take to melt the ice-man’s heart.
She doesn’t know Luke has been on a slow simmer since the day he first saw her. A tease, a taunt, a whispered confession, and a heated kiss are all it takes for their attraction to boil over.
And here is a snapshot:
Elena twirled the dial on the combination lock and tucked her purse under her arm as she turned from the bank of lockers. Brushing a wisp of hair from her cheek, she huffed an annoyed breath. Her ponytail had started slipping mere minutes after she came on shift, but she hadn’t had a spare second to deal with it. If that wasn’t irksome enough, it looked like today was the day Luke Langston had chosen to start keeping his word. Wasn’t she the lucky girl?
“Hey,” she replied and started toward the door.
“How was your shift?”
She froze, her hand on the handle. Escape was within reach if she were just strong enough to grab it and run. But she just couldn’t resist the pull of him. Straightening her shoulders, she turned to find him standing beside the ancient couch, tracing the outdated pattern on the upholstery and looking unbelievably uncomfortable. Unable to process the picture of the aloof Dr. Langston looking so achingly awkward, she stared at the sofa trying to envision him falling asleep on those faithful old cushions as many times as she had in her tenure at SBRMC. She looked up to find him staring at her expectantly. Fuzzy-brained, she had to backpedal to latch onto his question again.
“Oh, uh, we had an angina attack, a bee sting allergy, and a little insulin shot. Those were the headliners.” Tipping her chin up, she stared him straight in the eye. “Nothing as exciting as an ass full of bird shot.”
A breathy little chuckle escaped him, but it came and went as quick as the smile that spawned it. “Good.”
Bobbing a nod, she shrugged. “Yep. Well…there you go.” Looping the strap of her bag over her shoulder, she pulled the scrunchie from her ponytail and slipped it onto her wrist. “How are you doing?” she asked as she finger combed her hair. “Any trouble with the tuchas today?”
The way he bit the words off sharp set her back on even footing again. She glanced up from under her lashes to find him watching her intently, his gaze following every movement of her hands. She lowered them slowly to her sides and the spell was broken. They stood facing each other, unmoving and unflinching as the seconds ticked past.
At last, a corner of his mouth ticked up. “I feel like I should wear one of those buttons that says ‘Thanks for asking about my ass’ or something.”
The dry humor in his complaint made her laugh. “Yeah, I imagine you’ve taken a butt-load of grief today.”
The twitch of a smile twisted into a full-blown smirk. “Couldn’t resist that one, could you?”
She grinned. “Nope. Been saving it up.”
He conceded with a nod, but his smirky smile faded away. Once again, his thumbnail followed the pattern on the sofa. Silence fell like thick, heavy snowflakes all around them, blanketing the time-worn doctor’s lounge in a hush. Suddenly, the walls of the room that too often felt like a home away from home started to close in on her.
“Yeah, well…” She offered a weak smile as her hand tightened on the handle. “Have a good night.”
“It was too late.”
The words echoed through the room like the report of a shotgun. Elena had to check to be sure she could draw a steady breath before she asked, “What was too late?”
“I wanted to call you.” Every muscle in her body tensed, but she didn’t dare turn to look at him. “I did.”
She swallowed his earnest insistence with a quick hit of oxygen, knowing by the sound of his voice that he was moving closer. Instinct warred in her gut. Fight or flight? “Why didn’t you?”
“My dog ate chocolate.”
Madison: Okay, I totally relate to his “It was too late” excuse. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve avoided calling because I waited too long.
Macy: I know, right? And extra points for admitting it too. I totally don’t blame Elena for falling for him now, but at first, we were thinking about sending her in for a psych evaluation.
Madison: But he’s hot.
Macy: Yeah, but hot can only carry a guy so far. Elena was the first woman to get close enough to scratch the surface. Of course, she nabbed him there and then. Greedy girl.
Madison: A girl should get points for being brave. Thanks for sharing this one with us, Macy.
Macy: Thanks for having me. I’ll be back next month for the grand finale!
Madison: Looking forward to it! Remember, Nabbing Mr. November by Maggie Wells is available now in all ebook formats at the Turquoise Morning Press bookstore or your favorite online retailer. For more information on the Hot Nights in St. Blaise series, readers can visit www.maggie-wells.com .