The Soul Mate Page 4

“What’d they say?”

“They had a cancelation this afternoon. You’re in! You have an appointment with Dr. Bentley at two.”

“Wow. Okay, and you’re all right with me leaving early, then?”

She waved a dismissive hand at me. “Of course I am. Call me the second you know something.”

The nauseous feeling was back, but this time it didn’t have a thing to do with the possibility of being pregnant.

Chapter Three


“Nine pregnancies,” I told Trent as I leaned against the counter.


“Yep, nine. And two sets of twins. I’m telling you, if I get one more pregnancy this month, I’ll win the nurse’s baby bingo league. Mrs. Ramirez cried for half an hour when I told her about the twins. She already has a pair at home.”

“That poor woman.” Trent gave a sympathetic wince and shook his head. “I’m going to grab a coffee. You want one?”

The lure of caffeine called to me, but I shook my head. “Nah, I’m so behind on my paperwork. Gonna catch up before lunch.”

We parted ways, and I trailed down the fluorescent-lit hall until I reached the office at the end. “Dr. Bentley” was emblazoned on the door in shiny gold.

The name placard had been there since I was a kid, when I’d played in the waiting room and waited for my father to come out and join my mother and me. Then, when I was older, I’d spent even more time in that same waiting room, insisting that I go along for every little screening and test while my mother battled through ovarian cancer with one of the other doctors in my father’s practice.

And now? As an adult, I’d taken control of the office that had once belonged to my father and replaced his certificates and diplomas with my own—though I’d left the old baseball pennant that hung from the window, a memory of my good old little league days.

On my desk sat the pile of papers I’d been avoiding for a solid week, and as I collapsed into my worn leather chair, I let out a muffled groan. Almost on instinct, I checked my work email and pushed aside the little stab of disappointment when nothing even remotely personal was there.

Not that I’d expected anything at this point anyway. If I hadn’t heard from Bren by now, I wasn’t likely to. In fact, I wasn’t even sure she knew my name. I’d introduced myself once at the beginning, but some people were bad with names. I often was, forgetting them almost the second a stranger told me. Plus I had no way of knowing how tipsy she was that night. Of course, she hadn’t seemed drunk at the time.

My cock pulsed at the memory.

Scrubbing my hands down my face, I tried to forget what it’d been like with her. Not that it did any good. I hadn’t slept a full night since we’d been together when she hadn’t found a way to infiltrate my dreams.

Speaking of dreams, if you want to be able to pay for that fancy-ass apartment and a bed to lay your head in at night, you better get on the ball with this paperwork.

After a quick email to my assistant, asking her to order my lunch in, I flipped over to the first sheet in the stack of papers—Mrs. Ramirez’s intake form from this morning.

Poor woman was right. I could only imagine what it would be like to have one baby, let alone to be saddled with two more when you already had a pair at home. Her husband had stayed strong, of course, but if I’d been that guy? Well, I think we would have made an extended stop at the liquor store after a doctor’s visit like that.

She was a great mom. I’d seen her during her aftercare when she’d had the first set of twins, and she’d been like a superwoman, on top of their every move, rocking one while patting the other. The parents would be all right once they adjusted, but damn, that was going to be a motherfucker of an adjustment. Hoped they didn’t like sleeping at night.

A gentle knock sounded on my door, and I looked up to find a slender brunette woman slipping into the room, a nervous smile on her thin lips. “Dr. Bentley?”

“What’s up, Jean?” She was the newest of the nurses and still referred to all of us by our titles even when we weren’t in front of patients, so I tried to make my smile extra friendly.

“There was a cancellation this morning, and we had someone fill the spot with a new patient. I know you’ve got a lot on your plate, but I was wondering if maybe—”

I held up my hand. “No problem. When’s the appointment?”

“Um, that’s sort of the thing. She’s here now.”

I made sure not to wince visibly, knowing Jean was already walking on eggshells due to nerves. I didn’t want to make it worse. “Right, okay. Well, draw her blood, take her vitals, and get her into a gown. I’ll be in as soon as I can.”

Jean started to leave the room, but I called her back.

“The intake form?” I asked, and she let out a shrill laugh as her cheeks flamed red.

“Right, right. Duh! Here you go.” She dropped the slip of paper on my desk along with a medical history folder, and I glanced at the tidy, pretty script.

Ashley Matthews.

Pretty normal history and on the younger side. I flicked through the pages in her folder, then sent off the last few emails in my inbox before heading back down the hall. Trent was going to owe me for taking on yet another new patient. If he was smart, he would bring back a coffee for me regardless of the fact that I didn’t go with him.

Gently, I knocked on the door, and Jean appeared from around the corner.

“Dr. Bentley is here,” she informed the woman who was lying like she’d recently been hit by a truck. Her hair was slung over the side of the examination table, and her arm was flung dramatically over her face.

This ought to be fun.

Chapter Four


“Not feeling well?”

A deep male voice interrupted my nausea. My churning stomach was as insistent as a gnat buzzing near my ear, and I just wanted to slap it away. But in order for that to happen, I had to subject myself to this exam. Damn the comfy robe that Mandy thought I’d enjoy. If I had the usual paper sheet covering me, I could just pull it up over my head.

“Ugh,” I groaned, and the nurse piped in.

“Miss Matthews isn’t the biggest fan of…lady doctor visits.”

“Can we…uh… just get the uncomfortable part over with as soon as possible, please?” I added in a strangled whisper, still not removing my arm from over my face. Another flip of my churning gut caused a moan.

“No problem. I totally understand.”

Why did the voice sound familiar?

The doctor ran the water in the sink, and I peeked out from underneath my arm mask in time to see his rigid back. The snap of the rubber gloves sounded like gunfire to my sensitized body. I closed my eyes once again. God, could this just be over with already? There was nothing worse than the annual stirrups of shame, and now I had to be subjected to it twice in one year. And if I was pregnant? I’d have so many hands inside my hoo-ha, I could tattoo an open for business sign right above it.

“Please scoot down to the end of the table.”

That voice.

If I hadn’t been so miserable, I would have garnered the energy to peek at whoever was looming over me. Instead, it took everything inside my soul to move down until my bare ass was hanging over the end of the table. A hand gripped one foot, then the next, helping me place them in the dreaded stirrups, but I kept my knees pressed firmly together.

The light creaked, and then it snapped on. Its searing heat pierced my sensitive flesh, and I felt on display. Exposed.


“Okay, Miss Matthews, I’m just going to—”

“I’ve had an exam before. I know the drill,” I groaned. If I could have flashed a green light in his face, I would have. Anything to speed up this torture.

“All righty then, let’s not waste any more time.” With gentle hands, he pushed my legs apart. “Relax, this will all be over soon.”

The doctor pressed on my stomach and slid two fingers inside my vaginal canal. Just when I thought he’d hurry up and get it over with, he stopped. My heart raced, and my already sweaty palms moistened to the point where I thought they might drip onto the paper lining the leather exam table.

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