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Good Time Doctor
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For a good time call…
That’s what the number on the wall said.
This book contains my hottest hero yet! He’s a brutally handsome doctor that knows how to make the woman he loves feel sooooo good. Ready to get a BIG dose of romance?
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“Another?” The bartender grins at me. Her smile widens when I groan and shove my now-empty glass toward her across the bar top.
“Make it a double.”
“Celebrating something?” She arches a brow, and I wish I could shrink away from her gaze. What does she see when she looks at me? Someone to pity? If she does, she’s too nice to say it, at least. “Or mourning?”
“The latter,” I mumble, as she slides a brand new double vodka soda back to me. I tip the glass at her in salute, and she pours herself a shot too.
“To better days ahead, sis,” she says, tapping her glass against mine.
“Amen to that.” I take a long drink, then glance at my bag. At the manila envelope peeking out the front pocket of it. Inside is the contract I signed earlier tonight. The one all my friends will be telling me “I told you so” over for years to come.
They were right. I should have listened. But I thought it was real.
I thought it was love.
I take another drink, longer than my last, while the bartender drifts away to nurse some more of her ailing customers. There’s plenty of us in here. I checked in to the largest, fanciest hotel I could find downtown for exactly this reason. Because the only people you find in places like this are the other dregs of society. People like me with nowhere else to go. No plans on a rainy Thursday evening like this one. People in transit—here on business trips or passing through on their way from point A to point B.
I thought I was done with this life. The single life, bar-hopping, the cesspool that is dating in the modern era. All of it. I figured, when I met Kevin, I was done with all that.
From the get-go, he seemed perfect. Well-adjusted, a totally normal guy. Okay, so our first and last date was at a Starbucks. And okay, after I moved in with him a month later, we pretty much stopped leaving our house entirely, and only saw our friends whenever they showed up on our doorstep to forcibly drag us out to events. But that was normal, I thought. That’s what couples do. When you find Mr. Right, you don’t need to bother with fake romantic stuff or going out on expensive dates. You just… settled into life together.
That’s why we got engaged after just four months together. Then we eloped a few months after that.
My friends all told me it was too soon. They told me to be patient, give it time. It’s not like we were planning some big church wedding, so what did it matter if we went down to the Justice of the Peace a year or two later, instead of right then?
But, exactly, I argued with them. We weren’t planning some big wedding, so why not tie the knot now? It was love—or so I told myself. We cohabitated, we got along okay. Plus Kevin had already pointed out to me how much money it would save us on our taxes.
Well. How much it would save him. He was the one with the high-paying job as the director of an investment firm. Me, I was just the behind-the-counter girl at the local florist shop, who enjoyed spending her days arranging bouquets for other people’s weddings, and other people’s Valentine’s Days, and other people’s anniversaries.
He used to joke that all that exposure to romance in my day job must make me immune to it in my own life. I agreed. But now, I wonder if I wasn’t just agreeing because I wished that were true. Not because it actually was.
How did I not see this coming?
I swirl my vodka soda on the bar and take another deep swallow. I mean, I knew Kevin had his flaws. Sure. Don’t we all. I knew he wasn’t into romance; I knew he hated any ‘unnecessary’ expenses (which included birthday or Christmas gifts, too, apparently). I knew he liked to keep everything in his life neatly categorized and organized. But I figured, that was the price of marriage. You compromise. You learn to live with each other’s quirks.
My friends tried to warn me. I didn’t want to listen. I just wanted to be done with the dating game. I wanted to move on to the next step in life, and he was… well. He was there.
Until two weeks ago. Just 6 months into our marriage. When I stopped by his office for a spontaneous visit (another thing he hated) to bring him his favorite lunch (a chicken sandwich, no toppings, and side salad, no dressing). His secretary told me he was busy, but I ignored the guy.
“I’m just going to drop this off and then I’ll be out of your hair,” I promised the secretary.