First Meeting from Free Zone ~ A Love Under the Sun Romantic Suspense by Dellani Oakes

First Meeting image smallestThough she doesn’t ultimately end up with him, I think this meeting between Dr. Lorelei Ward and her patient, Manu Astor, is a fun one. He’s decidedly interested, but there are all kinds of rules for not getting personally involved with a patient. If there weren’t, I’m pretty sure Lorelei would have given in to her attraction. I include it, because it’s a first meeting to a romance that wasn’t meant to be.

I brought my students back into the room, and we talked about Mr. Astor’s surgery. They had seen pictures of the carbuncle, since it was quite a thing to behold.

“How did you let it get that bad?” one of my students asked. “I mean, dude! It was huge!”

Manu Astor looked embarrassed. I glared at my student. He was the hot one, of the new batch, not the ones already terrified of me.

“Is that any way to talk to our patient, Hughes?” Priya said.

“No, ma’am. I apologize, Mr. Astor.”

“Despite how it was stated, it was a valid question.” I directed it at Manu.

“I travel a lot, all around the world. I got injured while I was in—Africa. It was tended to, and I thought it was fine. Then, I got home, after a long flight, and it was uncomfortable. But on your ass….” He shrugged, holding his hands wide, helplessly. “Didn’t bother me when I was standing up.”

“But absolute murder when you sat,” I commented.

“Yes, ma’am. Or when I got thrown on the mat during training. Thought I was gonna die. Still….”

“You’re a man, and didn’t want to admit how bad it hurt,” I finished.

Blushing, he ducked his head. “Yeah. But when it hurt like hell in the shower, I knew I had to do something.”

“Well, the good news is, you had the best surgeon in the state,” Priya said.

“Thanks,” I said.

“I meant me,” she winked, grinning at me.

“I’ll get you for that, Dr. Ahuja. You want scut for a week?”

She just laughed at me. “Seriously, Dr. Ward is the best. How is your pain level?” she asked, suddenly all business.

Manu inhaled sharply, puffing an exhale. “Five?”

“Really? Want to try that again? I can see you purse your lips and wince, if you shift your hip. Given where that is, Mr. Astor, I imagine you’re sitting on an eight.”

I snorted. I didn’t think she meant that like it sounded, but sometimes my sense of humor is that of a twelve year old boy’s.

“What?” Priya glared at me.

Manu Astor was chuckling. “Yes, I’d say I was sitting on an eight.”

“You’re as bad as she is. Are you sure you’re not related?”

“Hope to hell not,” he said honestly. “Cause I’m not the kind of guy to think my sister is hot.” He and Hughes exchanged a knuckle bump.

© 2020 Dellani Oakes

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