The Millionaire and the M.D.

By: Teresa Southwick

“I’m so sorry, Gabe—”

“Don’t. Just don’t.” He held up a hand as the familiar pain welled up inside him. “No one is sorrier than me. And sorry doesn’t help.” He glared at her. He’d had a lot of practice pushing people away, but regret flashed through him that he’d been a bastard to Rebecca.

Then she did the most unexpected thing.

Without saying anything, she moved closer and put her arms around him.

Gabe tensed, started to pull away, but she moved closer and tightened her hold. The warmth, soft and sweet, seemed to melt the ice inside him.

“I know nothing can make it better, Gabe, but a touch can be healing. A little hug can’t hurt.”

Maybe not, but it could be dangerous. She was so beautiful, her lips so close. The temptation was too much….

Chapter One

It wasn’t sitting in a doctor’s waiting room full of pregnant women that made Gabe Thorne want to put his fist through a wall.

He’d done it before—the waiting room. And the fist. But right now he was remembering the waiting. With the woman who had finally agreed to marry him. He’d gone to every prenatal appointment with Hannah, his excitement and anticipation expanding in direct proportion to the size of her belly as their child had grown within her. The moment he’d seen the plus sign on the stick, it was about being the best father he could be. It was about his child’s brand-new life.

Except there was no life because Hannah had died and so had their baby. And a baby doctor’s office was the last place on earth he wanted to be, especially with his unmarried, pregnant, teenage sister.

Amy was his parents’ “oops” and had come along right about the time he’d passed his driver’s test. He glanced sideways at her, the sun-streaked brown hair pulled into a ponytail and away from her face. Big green eyes full of angry resentment looked back at him. An oversize T-shirt with the words Bite Me clung to her gently rounding belly. The sight brought back more memories of Hannah and a pain so deep he could feel himself being sucked back into the black void he’d just barely climbed out of. And once again, just like he had eighteen years ago when his mother died, he wished his sister hadn’t come along.

Two days ago she’d shown up on his doorstep and threatened to run if he called their father. Part of him was okay with that, but he couldn’t take the chance. There’d been too much loss already.

And just like that, more memories came flooding back—visions of the night before he was going to marry Hannah. After the rehearsal dinner he remembered following her little compact car, to make sure she got home okay. She’d insisted on driving herself because they were into the gray area of the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding. Hannah insisted it was bad luck.

As it turned out, their luck couldn’t have been worse. The whole thing flashed through his mind again, in slow motion, like horrifying scenes in a movie. The car that ran a red light and broadsided Hannah. The god awful sounds of shattering glass and grinding metal. Within minutes, emergency personnel were there with equipment to get her out. Jaws of life? Not so much. Hannah was conscious only a few moments, just long enough to put his hand on her belly and beg him to save their child.

The baby was the most important thing.

So here he was with Amy. And he was angry because the sight of her brought back all the painful reminders of how very much he’d lost. But here she was and he didn’t know what to do. Damned if he did; damned if he didn’t.

Damned if it mattered because nothing did after losing his family.

“Amy Thorne?”

Gabe looked up and saw a young woman in blue scrubs standing in the doorway between the waiting room and back office. He and Amy got up and followed her down the hall and through the last door on the left.

“Hi, I’m Grace, Dr. Hamilton’s nurse.”

“Gabe Thorne,” he said. “This is my sister, Amy.”

“So you’re going to be an uncle.” She smiled. “Amy, if you’ll just step up on the scale, we’ll get your weight. Then I’ll take your blood pressure—all the usual stuff. You’re probably used to it by now. You look like you’re about six months along.”

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