Cindy's Doctor Charming

Free Cindy's Doctor Charming by Teresa Southwick

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Authors: Teresa Southwick
make it real. Especially with the beeps, whooshes and noises of the high-tech sensitive equipment filling the room. This was where babies ended up when there was a problem pregnancy.
    â€œWhy are you still here?”
    Nathan turned at the sound of the familiar female voice. “Hi, Annie.”
    The petite, blue-eyed brunette was his medical partner in the neonatology practice. They’d met in school and become friends. She’d introduced him to his late wife and was one of the select few who didn’t blame him when the relationship unraveled just before Felicia died. He knew the failures were all his and would carry the burden of that for as long as he lived. This woman’s friendship meant a lot to him, especially because he didn’t deserve it.
    Annie looked up. The pixie haircut suited her small face. “You know I’m on call this week.”
    â€œYeah. I just wanted to come back and check up on this little guy.”
    She glanced at the gladiator. “I just looked over his latest oxygen saturation levels. The CO 2 and PO 2 results are all in normal range. He’s doing pretty well for as small as he is.”
    â€œYeah. I read his chart.”
    â€œRespiratory therapy was just here to check the ventilator. It’s all good, Nathan.”
    â€œI’m worried about a bowel perforation.”
    â€œYou’re always concerned about that. I am, too.” She settled her hands on her hips and slanted a puzzled look at him. “But something’s up.”
    â€œWhat makes you say that?” Was it tattooed on his forehead? One-night stand? Father-to-be?
    â€œThis is me,” she said. “Don’t even try to pretend I don’t know you better than you know yourself.”
    He was pretty sure she was right about that and felt a little sorry for her. Because she was wasting her time on him. “Nothing’s going on.”
    â€œOh, please.” She huffed out a breath. “I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and we can talk.”
    â€œBuy?” He stared at her. “Really?”
    â€œOkay. Technically, I’ll pour. Doctor’s dining room. Now.”
    Nathan looked at the infant, the tiny chest moving up and down with help from the ventilator. “I don’t know. What if he needs—”
    â€œDon’t go there. The ‘what-ifs’ will make you crazy.”
    He shook his head. “Maybe we should—”
    â€œLook, Nathan, we’ll be right downstairs. If anything happens we can be here in a minute or less. On the really bright side—” She smiled tenderly at the baby who couldn’t see her. “This little boy gets two neonatal specialists forthe price of one because you’re going schizoid on me. You need to talk. I know that look.”
    â€œOkay.” From knowing her a long time he knew that it was easier to give in than argue and lose.
    They headed to the dining room on the first floor of the hospital. It was reserved for the doctor’s use and available twenty-four hours a day. The tables were covered with white cloths and there was always one urn with coffee and another containing water for tea. Sodas were packed in ice beside the table with hot drinks. At specific times the steam table held varieties of warm food, but off hours there were only pastries, muffins and fruit.
    Annie went to get two cups of coffee while he filled a small plate with sweets. They sat at a table by the floor to ceiling windows that looked out on Mercy Medical Center Parkway and the spectacular lights of the Las Vegas Strip in the distance.
    Nathan bit into a brownie and realized he was starving. Lunch had been hours ago, and after Cindy’s baby bomb-shell, food had been the last thing on his mind.
    He finished the brownie and scarfed down a muffin, then noticed the expectant expression on his friend’s face. “What?”
    â€œTell me what’s going on.”
    â€œFirst you tell me why

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