The Millionaire and the M.D.

By: Teresa Southwick

All Rebecca could focus on was the fact that this guy’s teenage sister was “in trouble” and troubled, so much so that she’d run away from home. He wanted to send her back and she couldn’t believe that he had the nerve to ask for her help. Grace might be fooled into thinking Gabe was a noble human being, but Rebecca knew different. She’d learned to spot a jerk a mile away. Unfortunately, this jerk was a lot closer than that.

After what happened to her Rebecca had known first fear, then anger. She was clear on the difference. When she pointed to the door and saw that her hand was shaking, she knew without a doubt it was outrage.

“If you can’t be part of the solution, then you should take yourself out of the equation. My office hours are over, Mr. Thorne. Please leave.”

Chapter Two

“You have to understand, Doc—”

“Oh, I think I get it.” She stared at him for several moments. “I’m pretty smart, Gabe.” Pointing to her framed diplomas on the wall, she said, “I didn’t buy those at the dollar store.”

“This isn’t about you.”

“Or you either. It’s about Amy. She’s young and scared. And she needs her family.”

“You’ll get no argument from me. But it’s her father she needs.”

“Apparently she doesn’t agree, if actions are anything to go by. She chose you.”

“She’s wrong. Like you said, she’s young and scared. And not making good decisions. I’m asking you to give me a hand in convincing her to go home where she belongs.”

If actions were anything to go by, he couldn’t be bothered with his sister. Rebecca put her glasses back on and sat up straighter as she met his gaze. “If that’s why you brought Amy to me, you’ve made a big mistake. I won’t pressure her to do something she doesn’t want to do simply because it would be more comfortable and convenient for you.”

His eyes narrowed. “This wouldn’t be about losing a patient and the revenue, would it? I mean, you’re running a business—”

“How dare you.” She stood up and glared at him. “I would never put business above the welfare of a patient. Especially the welfare of a teenage girl who’s at risk—”

“Risk?” He tensed and was instantly alert. “What risk?”

“No, you don’t.” She’d let him sucker her temper into a twist and slipped up. It was a mistake she wouldn’t make again. “I’ll supervise Amy’s pregnancy until her baby is born or she fires me, whichever comes first, regardless of her ability to pay. Is that clear?”

“Perfectly. And send me the bills.”

“Fine. Then I think we understand each other. And we’re finished.”

“For now.” The man had the audacity to grin but it didn’t chase the anger from his eyes. “See you around, Doc.”

“Not if I see you first,” she mumbled.

And she wouldn’t hold her breath about seeing him at all.

There was no question that he was good-looking, and she hated that she noticed, but Rebecca knew her judgment in men was seriously flawed, and Gabe was all the worst parts of mistake number two. If that was anything to go by, it was pretty unlikely that she’d see him around.

And yet she couldn’t help wondering why he’d pushed so hard for Amy’s medical information. Why would he bother to get her examined when he planned to pack her off to Texas? Probably to make sure she was healthy enough for the trip.

He’d shown his true colors, and any minute now she would stop thinking about Gabe Thorne because it was a waste of time. Thanks to men just like him, she’d already lost too much that she could never get back. Smart women learned from their mistakes, and she was nothing if not smart.

Rebecca walked briskly along the sidewalk under the portico and toward Mercy Medical’s automatic front door. There was a whooshing sound as it opened into the two-story rotunda with marble floor and information disk on the right, gift shop on the left. Every time she entered this hospital, the echo of hushed voices and hurrying footsteps surrounded her along with a feeling of reverence. The medical center endeavored to treat the whole patient with a combination of technology and compassion that healed mind, body and spirit.

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