Tired of relationships gone bad, Doctor Nick Davros has sworn off dating. Between his student loans and his erratic work schedule, he doesn’t have the time or the energy to spare.
Of course, that’s when Construction Supervisor John Turner walks into his clinic. Not just once, but twice. Despite his attraction, Nick is determined to not give in. He couldn’t bear it if John became the one sitting across the table giving him the break-up speech.
John Turner is tired of being alone and wants a family again. He gave up a scholarship in favor of construction work in order to raise his brother and sister. Now, just like his college boyfriend, they are embarrassed by his blue-collar life. He’s attracted to the delectable Dr. Davros, but when he makes his move Nick turns him down.
When tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nick to make a house call they’ll never forget. Will their 3rd meeting be the charm to bring their opposite worlds together?
Nick placed his hands behind his back and pushed his hips forward. Owh. He winced at the catch in his tight muscles before he reversed direction and bent over his feet. Double owh.
He hung upside down while the pressure built behind his eyes and his scalp tingled from the rush of circulation. Seen this close the shiny tile floor needed a good scrubbing. Gross.
Could he handle thirty more years of grossness as his life calling? Would he even have paid off his student loans by then? That was a depressing thought. And no, the counter-posture didn’t release any of the tightness in his back. He was getting old. When was the last time he went to the gym?
Next week, Nick promised himself. He’d get up earlier. Do some yoga stretches with his morning coffee. Spend at least ten minutes of his non-existent lunch hour walking around the building. Grab a salad from the deli next door instead of the oh-so tasty Ruben.
He'd do better next week, because this week? This week sucked. Each day dragged without end, and while only Wednesday, he'd already clocked seven hours of overtime. Then again, since he sworn off dating, what else did he have to do but work and dream of a life without student loans?
A low whistle told him he wasn’t alone in the small staff lounge any longer.
"Now we're talking."
Nick jerked upright, his back protesting the sudden movement. He stuck his tongue out at Sheri. She stood behind him, cell phone extended.
"A picture of my ass better not end up somewhere it shouldn’t."
Sheri gave his threat the minimal attention it deserved. "Does a two-foot by three-foot matted poster in the nurses’ locker room count?"
"Aren't you ashamed of yourself? What would your granddaughters say?" Nick grabbed one of the coffee pots from the industrial-sized machine and gave it a swish. Years of late shifts taught him how to judge the time on the burner by the color and thickness. He gave the syrupy liquid a sniff. And by smell .Yeah, he’d pass.
"They've already told me." She pushed past him and poured herself a cup of the dark sludge. "You're blatantly cruel not to share that ass with the female of the species."
Despite the constant stream of sensitivity classes and harassment training Nick had never met a group of people more overtly sexual than his coworkers in the medical field. He blamed the old reaffirmation of life in the face of human mortality thing.
Whatever the cause he appreciated the clinic staff's easy acceptance of his relationship preferences. They still didn’t let up on the teasing, but he could handle them. "Got to give the straight guys something to aspire to."
"Right." Sheri plopped onto the nearest seat. She lifted her legs, circling her feet while she groaned.
She patted the chair next to her and offered a shark-toothed grin. "Take a load off. Tell me about your date. You talked up the restaurant for a month and we’ve not had a chance to talk."
"Turned out to be an intervention, not a date." Nick sat beside her and lifted his own legs, imitating her actions. Huh. The motion actually felt good. "The shift ran over, so Michael and my friends had a bitch session on how inconsiderate I am."
Nick's blood pressure rose all over again. "Dan and Steve bailed, and instead of dinner, Michael breaks out this Power Point presentation on why I make a shitty boyfriend and how happy he'll be when I die sad, blue-balled, and alone."
Sheri took a swig of her coffee with every sign of enjoyment. He spared a second to admire her ability to drink that rotgut and not flinch before he pointed his finger at her chest. "No way. My mom does the same thing. You agree with them, but you don’t want to say so. Next you'll lead me on some circular soul searching until I arrive at your position."
Sheri slouched in her chair. She rested her cup on her stomach in a perfect picture of unconcerned relaxation. "The only reason you’d get so mad is if he spoke the truth."
"I warned Michael about my crazy job commitments." Nick’s shoulders climbed closer to his ears. The defensive posture already signaled his defeat in this discussion, but he refused to go down that easy.
"People want to feel they’re important in your life. They need to know they matter."
Sheri gave him one of her patented, piercing glares. Usually reserved for miscreants and those who caused her more work. The whip-like sting lashed Nick all the way to his toes.
"We make time for the people and the things in our life we care about. Can’t blame him for being mad when you showed him where he stood."
"I didn't lead him on." Okay, whining now. Never his best defense. But if he admitted she was right, then he was the jerk in this break-up.
"Just means he’s not the one for you." Sheri casually brushed aside everything about Michael Nick thought he wanted. "Love is like buying a house. When it’s the right one, you’ll know."
Nick snorted. "With my luck I'll end up with a fixer-upper."
"Nothing wrong with putting in a little hard work. The result is always worth the effort.”