An excerpt from “Broken” on sale for 0.99 cents until Wednesday!
By Robin Nadler
It was an unusual specialty, he knew, but for reasons he didn’t like to share, it was his calling. He sat back at his desk and stretched his tall frame. He was the top infertility specialist in the country, a title he earned by hard work and intense research. He was the best, and he would tell anyone who listened. It wasn’t as if he would ever have a child of his own; he wasn’t the commitment type. He had plenty of chances to see what happened to a couple after they were blessed with a child and he just never saw that for himself. It wasn’t like he hadn’t had offers; it was almost a weekly occurrence that someone requested him as a donor. That would never happen. He was content with the direction his life had taken and he didn’t need anything else.
“Dr. Bryant, you have a patient in room 3,” a voice came through his daydream.
He pressed the button on his phone, “Thanks Susan.” He wiped his eyes and took a last sip of his lukewarm coffee. Time to make someone else’s dream come true.
She should leave. There was no reason for her to be here. This was a silly fantasy and she knew it would never happen. She cursed her best friend Carrie for talking her into coming and she cursed her again for bailing on her when some sort of emergency happened at her job. Some people just weren’t meant to be mothers and that was fine. She was happy with her life and her job and as much as she always pictured herself with a child, perhaps it wasn’t meant to be.
She ran her hand through her long chestnut locks and felt her tears prick her eyes. “Get a grip Frankel,” she said aloud. Her hormones were all over the place and being here, surrounded by pamphlets and photos of happy couples wasn’t helping. Lila Frankel wasn’t meant for that. It had taken months to make an appointment with the prestigious Dr. Bryant and she knew if she left, that would be it.
The thought didn’t deter her.
She just couldn’t do it. She would try to reschedule, or simply cancel. She jumped off the bed and went to open the door when her purse fell and the contents spilled over the floor. “Shit,” she swore and knelt down to pick everything up. She went to stand up just as the door opened and her head hit something and she heard a moan. She yelled and held her head and saw she had head butted a man in the crotch, right in the crotch. He was bent over moaning.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I think,” she stammered, rubbing her head.
“You think? Who head buts someone in the crotch? What is wrong with you?”
Lila got angry as she looked up and met his gaze. He had tears in his eyes as he tried to straighten up and she couldn’t help it, she burst out laughing.
David was speechless. For the first time in his life, he had no words. This woman had punched him in the groin and was now laughing. Was he being punked? He looked around for a camera.
Lila wiped her eyes, the tears from laughter coming even though she knew it was completely inappropriate. “I’m so sorry.” She hiccupped.
He scowled. “I can see that.”
“No, really, I mean, I just looked up and it was all crotch,” she giggled.
David finally focused on her and his breath hitched. She was beautiful, soft tanned skin and chocolate brown eyes. When she smiled, her whole face lit up and he found her attitude contagious.
“Did someone put you up to this? Brian or even Jeff? This can’t just be some random appointment,” he looked at her.
She swallowed and her mouth was suddenly dry. He was like an Adonis. He was tall and dark and handsome and he had a tiny dimple that, shit, it was like a headlight, mesmerizing her. She blinked and shook her head, the giggly feeling gone and something else was there, something much deeper. “No one put me up to this. I was here for an appointment, but I needed to leave.”
His eyebrows creased. “Why were you leaving? Are you okay? I didn’t keep you waiting too long, did I?”
“I’m fine. Look, I’m kind of embarrassed and I don’t think you being my doctor would be a very good idea.”
“So you’re firing me?” He pursed his lips.
What was his problem? “No, I’m just saying that if I choose to discuss such personal issues with someone, I would rather it not be someone whose crotch I just planted my face into.”
“Maybe this is what you do. Is this exciting for you? Do you make appointments and wait to man handle the attractive doctors? I am an extremely busy man. I don’t have time for little girls with crushes.”
She was flabbergasted. “Seriously? Did you seriously just ask me that?”
Okay, so perhaps that was pushing it, but he was angry at her attitude and a little turned on, a thought that irritated him. “What would you think if you were me?”
She crossed her arms. “Well, let’s see. Maybe I had an emergency, maybe I got cold feet, maybe I had to use the bathroom, or maybe I had a question. I wouldn’t think it was a conspiracy to feel someone up. And as for attractive, I’ve certainly seen better.”
He snorted. “Not likely.”
She crossed her arms. “You should talk to somebody about your lack of self esteem.”
She was feisty; he liked that. “So when you, as you put it, felt me up, did you like what you felt?” He smirked.
“Nope, felt like a banana pepper with a few pebbles attached,” she didn’t miss a beat.
Now it was his turn. He burst out laughing. “Banana pepper? That’s the best you got?”
She needed him to stop laughing because his dimple was making her insides melt. “Maybe it was more like a fig.”
“Maybe an eggplant?”
She rolled her eyes. “So this was fun, but now I really have to go.”
He went to move when he dropped the chart. They both bent to pick it up and he smacked his nose into her chest.
“Ow, shit,” she said and held her hand on her chest.
“Damn,” he said and rubbed his nose. “Are you okay?”
She rubbed her chest and he swallowed thickly. She needed to stop that, right now.
“No, you hurt me,” she said.
“Well you hurt my nose.”
“Right, because my chest is so hard?”
“I think a wire cut me.”
“I don’t wear under wire,” she said.
“I know, just wanted to be sure.” He winked.
“I think they are swelling,” she said and then realized her words. “Can you just go before I die of embarrassment?”
He smiled. “Do you want me to check them out?”
“I’m good, thanks.”
“Right, so shall we start the appointment?” He sat down on the chair.
“Not if you were the last doctor on the planet,” she said and stalked out.
David watched her leave and tossed the chart on the counter. Maybe he just dreamt that. No one could have such a weird experience. He chuckled to himself and moved to adjust his crotch. She really smacked him hard. Perhaps a warm bath was in order. He stood up and saw something on the floor. He reached down to pick it up and the door swung open, knocking him to the floor.
“Fuck, he said and saw her standing there again. “What is your deal?”
“I don’t have my keys, I must have dropped them,” she faced him and saw her keys on the floor. “There they are,” she reached for them and Susan opened the door, smacking Lila on the behind and propelling her to David. She hit his chest and he fell back, his head hitting the chair, knocking him out.
“Oh, shit,” Lila said and the next thing she heard was Susan calling for security. In no time flat, strong arms pulled her off of David and held her arms behind her back. That’s it, she was never even thinking of having a child again.
“Dr. Bryant? David?” a voice was yelling at him and then something stung his nose. Smelling salts?
“What?” he said and opened his eyes.
“Don’t move too fast, you hit your head,” Susan said.
The memories of what happened filled his mind and he groaned in embarrassment.
“Are you in pain?” Susan asked. “Brian is on his way.”
He sat up slowly. “I’m fine. Thank you. The only thing injured is my pride,” he grinned. Susan was like a mother to him, she had been close with his mother and he felt she was family. He looked into her eyes and saw her concern. “Really, I’m fine.”
“When I came in and saw that woman on top of you and you were unconscious, I assumed the worst. Probably another one of your fans trying to get you,” Susan stood up and David joined her, sitting in the chair.
“I assure you that wasn’t it, just a comedy of errors.” He looked at Susan. “Did she say anything before she left?” He realized he wanted to talk to her.
“She didn’t leave. I called security and they took her.”
”What?” David stood up and the room started to spin. He sat down and Susan picked up the phone.
“Where is Brian,” she said and dialed again.
“Susan, stop, why did you call security? She didn’t do anything,” he said, his head pounding.
“That’s because I got here in time. Who knows what she would have wanted to steal,” Susan eyed David who chuckled.
“You need to get over that. One sperm stealer per career, I assure you,” he said and Susan crossed her arms. Almost a year ago, a crazy client had attempted to drug David and make him be her donor. The police found him tied up before anything had happened. Susan was super protective of him after that.
“One can never be too careful,” she said.
“Can you call down and have them let her go? She didn’t do anything,” he said.
“If she is so innocent, they will release her,” Susan said in her stubborn tone.
Brian walked in and Susan began to fill him in on what happened. Brian was the top neurologist at the hospital and David’s good friend. He walked over and looked into David’s eyes.
“I’m fine, just a bump on the head. I told her not to call you.”
Brian looked at him and grinned. “Rumor has it she fell into your lap, literally.”
David blushed. “Susan, can you leave us alone?”
“You take it easy on him Dr. Brian,” Susan said and smiled before walking out.
“How are there rumors already? What are we, in high school?” David rubbed his temples and Brian checked his pupils.
“You didn’t deny it,” he said with a grin.
“Look, can I just go home? I’m done for the day anyway.”
“You need to be off tomorrow. Doctor’s orders.”
“What? I’m fine,” he started to complain when Brian stared at him. “Right, I was already off tomorrow.”
“Just checking your memory,” Brian said. “I know we were going to go out for drinks tonight, but I think you should just go home and relax.”
“Yeah, good idea,” David said. “I just need to make sure security lets that woman go.”
Brian smiled. “I told them you would be down soon, hence the rumor mill. She told people a ridiculous story about accidentally touching your groin and then knocking you out. Is that what happened?”
David followed Brian out and to the security office on the floor. “She must have left out the part where my face was stuck in her chest.”
Brian burst out laughing and saw his friend scowl. “Oh, sorry, but come on, David, you can’t make that shit up.”
They arrived at the office and David smiled. “I guess you can’t. Thanks man, I’ll catch you later.”
Brian left and David walked in. “I would like to make sure no charges are pressed on Lila Frankel,” he told the security officer.
“She was already taken downtown,” the officer said.
“What? That’s ridiculous!” David cried.
“We are instructed to take all threats to you seriously after what happened. It is protocol.”
David groaned. What a mess. He went to grab his keys and head down to the station.
“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you that I was at the office for an appointment. I don’t understand why that is so hard to believe,” Lila told the officer for the millionth time. This was the most embarrassing, humiliating and awkward experience of her life. It was hard enough going to see a fertility specialist, but this? This was absurd. “When can I leave?”
“When we can talk to the doctor who you knocked out. Last I heard he was critically injured,” the officer said.
Lila chuckled. “I’m a doctor and the only thing critical was his ego.”
“You think you’re a smart ass?”
Lila sighed. “No. I just want this to be over.”
The officer glared at her. What was his problem?
“Is there something I’m missing?” Lila looked at him.
“Dr. Bryant isn’t someone to mess with. He helped me and my wife have our twins. Before him, my wife couldn’t find a reason to smile. He saved our marriage and gave us our miracles. After he was attacked by that psycho, well, we here have little tolerance for women who hurt him.”
Lila was stunned. He was attacked? What happened? “I didn’t mean to hurt him. I was looking for a miracle of my own,” she said quietly.
“I’ll bet you were,” he said and stood up. “He is here, sit tight.”
Lila put her head in her hands. This couldn’t be happening. No one has experiences like this. No one has this much bad luck. She wasn’t arrested, so she wasn’t able to make a phone call. She was being ‘detained’ as they called it. She looked up as David walked into the room. So much for him being critical, she thought.
“I’m sorry about all of this,” he said.
She glared at him, but his words had softened her. “Can I go?”
“They are working on it. I told them you didn’t do anything. The people here are kind of protective when it comes to me.”
“Whatever,” she said and looked at her hands.
Oh he didn’t just say that. She looked up and exhaled. “I didn’t thank you for anything.”
He smirked. “I know, but you should have. You seem to be a bit, how shall I put this, closed off.”
“Oh really? And you based that assessment off of what? Our office visit or my jail stay?”
“Okay, point taken, but you don’t have to be so rude,” he said.
She stood up and walked over to him, crossing her arms and looking up into his face. “You have a lot of nerve. Everyone here treats you like you’re this Greek God or something, but believe me, as handsome as you are, there is a lot more to life than good looks.”
“You think I’m handsome?” His eyes twinkled.
“You just called me handsome, a Greek God, I believe were your exact words,” he flashed his dimple at her.
“What? No, I mean that’s what other people think of you. I’m not one of them. I like my men different,” she said, wondering why she was so flustered.
“Different?” He felt his heart sink. “Oh, so you aren’t into men.”
She blinked at him. “What?”
“You’re gay. That’s fine, it makes sense, actually.” Why was he so upset by this?
Lila’s mouth dropped open. “You cannot seriously be so arrogant. Just because I’m not into you doesn’t make me gay.”
“But you said you like your men different.”
“Right, I said men, you know, MEN.” She enunciated the last word.
Relief flooded through him. “Whatever.”
She couldn’t figure him out. It didn’t matter; she needed to leave. She walked to the door and pounded on it. “Excuse me, I would like to leave.”
He smiled. “What’s wrong? Too close for comfort?”
She eyed him. “Yeah, that’s it. I am in awe over your pheromones and I am about to swoon and give in to your potent testosterone.” What was she saying?
He grinned. “Most women think I’m potent.”
“Ugh,” she pounded again.
They were both quiet and David realized it had been awhile since the officer let him in. He wondered if something was wrong.
They both looked up as a cadet opened the door. “We have a police situation out here, so the safest place for you both is in here. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to stay locked up for a bit.” He left and closed the door.
Lila looked at David and slid against the door to sit on the floor. This was not happening.
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