Authors: Kelly Wallace
©2011 All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
Contacting And Working With Your Spirit Guides
Energy Work – Aura Clearing and Healing
Psychic Living – Developing Your Intuition
10 Minutes A Day To A Powerful New Life!
Soulmates – How To Find and Keep The One
Spirit Guides and Healing Energy
Success - What To Do & How To Do It So You Can Have It
Contacting and Working with your Angels
How To Be Happy All The Time
Fiction - Erotic Romances
A Bitter Pill - Romantic Comedy
Lust In The Outback - Romantic Adventure
Intergalactic Affair - Romantic Suspense
Invisible Evidence - Romantic Suspense
Looking For Mr. Right - Romantic Comedy
Love Immortal - Paranormal Romance
Cowboys Make Better Lovers - Romantic Comedy
Phantom Lover - Romantic Suspense
Bound To The Night - A Dark Romance
Constant Craving - An Erotic Romance
The Chosen One - Romantic Suspense
Hellraiser - Romantic Comedy
Trust me, bud, you won’t regret this.” Tom slid the lease in front of Zach and seemed to be suppressing a smile, or maybe he had heartburn. Either way, Zach had an odd feeling, but shrugged off the weird sensation, knowing his closest friend of the past two years would never steer him wrong.
He signed the paper as they stood at the kitchen counter then handed it over. “I can’t regret anything more than I do now.” He looked around at his nearly empty condo. Most of the furniture had been sold or donated. All that was left of his life had been packed into five boxes. Come tomorrow morning he’d put them in his car and start on the long drive to Baltimore. He was eager for a new beginning and some peace and quiet to recoup his senses. Maybe he’d start a really boring hobby like building model ships.
Felicia really did a number on you, didn’t she?” Tom lit up a cigarette and took a drag then folded the lease and stuck it in the back pocket of his faded jeans.
Zach eyed the man standing two feet away and started to make a remark about his friend‘s non-existent sex life, but knew it was uncalled for. Tom was a good guy. A dark and lanky numbers cruncher who had saved his ass when the IRS audited him a couple years ago. Since then they had become friends and hung out at least a couple times a week. His weird sense of humor mingled with his boyish good looks could catch him dozens of women, but he lived for work and fantasy video games. The man shared little about himself and lived in his head much of the time, while Zach himself did his best to avoid his own thoughts.
I’d rather not talk about it. No divorce is ever fun, especially when you’re left damn near broke. I just want to get on with my life and as far away from Los Angeles as possible.” He snatched the cigarette from Tom’s mouth, walked over to the sink, and tossed the cigarette in. Flipping up the faucet handle he watched the glowing red tip burn out, thinking how it fit his marriage to a T.
In the beginning he and Felicia couldn’t get enough of one another and sex had been twice, sometimes three times, a day…but that lasted all of six months. He rolled his eyes as he stuffed the cigarette down the garbage disposal. Why he had stayed married to her for five years was anyone’s guess. Maybe he was a masochist and loved bitchy women whose only goal in life was to max out credit cards and complain. Was he bitter? Hell yeah, but he’d get over it eventually.
You know those cost nearly ten bucks a pack.” Tom looked irked, even though Zach had asked him several times not to smoke in his house.
Then I’d be more pissed about having the crappy habit in the first place. You’re actually
to give yourself lung cancer? I thought accountants were smarter than that.”
Tom held up a hands up in surrender to stop the lecture. “Seriously, man, you need to relax. I hope this next year out in Maryland does it for you. In fact, I’m sure it will change your life forever.”
Zach narrowed his eyes when he saw the shit-eating grin on his friend’s face. “What’s with you today? You keep smiling like a teenager who’s been laid for the first time.”
Tom shrugged. “Hey, I’m just happy that you’re getting your life in order and I won’t have to deal with your grim reaper attitude anymore.”
Oh, fuck you.”
Tom laughed. “I gotta get back to the office, I just came over on my lunch break to bring the papers. Call me when you get there and let me know how things are going. I'll fax the lease when I get to the office.”
Relax, Dr. Winslow has an established practice in a very quiet part of town. You’ll have a steady stream of patients to keep your mind off your troubles and you may even find Sam good company. I‘ve known the good doctor for several years.” Tom headed toward the door then turned back to Zach, pointing at him gun-style. “You need this, and trust me, you deserve it.”
With a deep sigh Zach closed the door after his friend and leaned against it with his eyes shut for a moment. Though he still felt uptight, he could detect some of the stress leaving his tense shoulders already. Yes, he certainly needed this change.
* * *
As Zach slowly drove down the tree-lined street, he looked at the address written on the piece of paper. It had taken several days for him to arrive in Baltimore, but the long drive had been worth it. He had stopped to see the sights along the way, ate when he was hungry, and slept at motels when he got tired. It was a stark contrast to his normal diet of black coffee and Rolaids, and working long hours at the hospital. Though the trip would have only taken five hours or so if he’d taken a plane, he was trying to take things slower.
Tom mentioned that Dr. Winslow had an overflowing practice and needed the help. Zach was happy to step in. Not only would he have a place to work for the next twelve months, perhaps longer, but since the doctor’s business was out of his home and he had an extra bedroom, Zach himself would have a place to live. It seemed like a win-win situation.
He squinted, trying to find the numbers on the big Victorian homes. Though they were old, they seemed to be kept up, and Zach liked the greenery of the area since L.A. didn’t have many trees, yet alone grass.
Rubbing the side of his forefinger across his chin he looked at the house that he supposed was the correct one. It was painted gray with dark green trim. The lawn was perfectly manicured and a few square bushes, like neatly stacked boxes, sat beneath the windows. He smiled to himself. It looked very peaceful and unassuming. He could tell by the look of the place that Dr. Winslow was a no-nonsense man. Zach already liked him, though they’d never met or even talked on the phone. Tom had handled all the arrangements concerning the lease and new partnership. Zach was grateful for the help since he himself had had a long list of other things to wrap up before closing that chapter on his life. Besides, he trusted Tom.
After he got out of the car and locked it, he straightened his tie and started up the brick walkway. He then noticed the sign on the lawn. It was for a dental practice. Looking up at the address right above the mailbox to the right of the door he realized that he had the wrong place. Evidently, the office he was looking for had to be two buildings down.
He squinted against the late afternoon glare of the October sun and walked passed the first house. He then held a hand over his mouth while he felt his eyes nearly fall out of his head. “No…fucking…way.”
With his stomach in his throat he saw the address and thought he’d lose his lunch. The house standing before him was a huge monstrosity that looked like it had sprung right out of a fairytale. It was painted sunny yellow with white gingerbread trim and every shutter was a different color, while the cobblestone walkway led to a bright green door. A big wreathe made up of plastic candy hung from a hook on the door and a riot of wildflowers laughed at him from the gardens to his left and right.
Zach felt his blood pressure shoot up and his pulse thrummed in his ears. That heart attack his doctor had warned him about seemed to be lurking around the corner. There was no way this was the geriatric practice he had been hoping to find. He had half a mind to just turn around and leave on the spot. To rip up the lease and kick Tom’s ass. This had to be a setup. A practical joke.
In the next moment he calmed himself as he knocked on the door. Okay, maybe it was a general practitioner. He could deal with that. Besides, his condo was on the market and he didn’t want to trek it all the way back to the West Coast. At least out here he’d never run in to Felicia and her latest boy-toy.
Taking a deep breath, he knocked again, wondering if a Munchkin from the Lollipop Guild would answer. Just as he finished the thought, the door burst open and he jumped as a person stood before him with a huge grin, a rainbow colored wig and red rubber nose. “Hiya!” The clown took a bow and made a sweeping gesture. “Come right on in.” The voice sounded female. He gave a quick sweep of her body. Yep, the generous curves clad in jeans and a magenta T-shirt were definitely female.
Reluctantly, Zach walked into the small entryway. A million things ran through his mind as to why this person was dressed like a clown, and every reason just made him regret his decision to move out here even more.
“Does your child have an appointment?” The clown looked to his right and left then leaned over to look in back of him.
“Child? No, I’m Zach Taylor. Dr. Winslow is expecting me. I’m his new partner.” He detected the scent of fresh raspberries and figured it must be her perfume.
The clown’s eyes got huge and she bit on her bottom lip. Zach felt a twinge in his lower stomach, just a few inches below his navel. Her eyes were a soft caramel brown, and her pupils were large.
he thought. Her skin was a velvety cinnamon color.
He blinked a few times. What the hell was wrong with him? He’d definitely been out of circulation too long if he found a woman in a clown wig and nose enticing.
“You’re Dr. Taylor?“ She reached up and snatched off the nose and wig. Silky black hair fell down her shoulders in loose waves.
“Yes,” he said the word slowly, his gaze sliding around the room hoping Dr. Winslow would make his appearance. “Could you let Dr. Winslow know I’m here?” Zach felt himself becoming impatient, refusing to ponder over how he’d deal with a receptionist who wore asinine costumes. He then wondered if French maid was in her repertoire.
The woman tossed the nose and wig onto a chrome and faux-leather chair then stuck her hand out. “I didn’t expect you so soon. I thought you’d get here sometime tomorrow or by tonight at the earliest. It’s great to finally meet you.”
“I left earlier than I had planned.” Taking the woman’s hand he gave it a quick up and down motion, noticing her handshake was firm. Somehow he found it sexy. He raised his eyebrows and said, “Um…could you please let Dr. Winslow know I’m here?”
She frowned at him, leaned forward and whispered, “Um…Dr. Winslow already knows you’re here.” She took her hand back, stuffing them both in the back pockets of her jeans. “Please, call me Sam.”
Zach’s heart skipped several beats and he experienced a quick moment of deafness. He saw her talking, her lips were moving, but damned if he could hear anything. He backed up a few inches and felt the door close, the doorknob pressing into his ass. “You’re Dr. Winslow.” The statement came out as he felt; shocked, duped, pissed off.
jumped at the harsh sound of his voice and looked confused. “And you’re Dr. Taylor. I think we‘ve established that.”