Dangerous Temptation – Excerpt
This was hers! It was her turf!
Mackenna stood in front of the clinic, impressed with the mixture of old-fashioned Wild West type of architecture mixed with reassuring medical building aspects, providing a sense of security and strength. It was a building that inspired confidence.
And she was in charge!
The keys dangled from her fingers as she stood beside her small sedan. She’d just dropped off her suitcases at her new apartment but, since her furniture wasn’t arriving until tomorrow, the place was empty. She couldn’t really unpack until her stuff arrived. Besides, she was eager to explore her new digs, find out if things were really as bad as everyone warned her they would be.
Surely, no medical clinic could really be as bad as people were telling her, she thought as she unlocked the front doors to the clinic.
With a sigh of happiness, she spun around and…
What in the world had happened here?!
No, things weren’t as bad as everyone had warned, she thought as her eyes took in the waiting room and peered through the reception window to the administrative office. Nope. Things weren’t as bad as they’d thought.
They were worse!
“How…what…?” she spoke the words into the silence of the room, not sure what to even say. This couldn’t be the medical clinic, she thought. Medical clinics were clean, neat. Organized.
This was anarchy!
Mackenna wasn’t aware of her mouth hanging open in shock and horror as she stared at the stacks of boxes that were everywhere. Literally, they were everywhere! Even in the waiting room! Places that didn’t have boxes of files had loose documents that most likely needed to be in a file folder, carefully stored in one of those boxes and stacked along with all of the other boxes!
When she peered through the window of the receptionist’s office, there was definitely one of those sliding shelves that should be holding all of the patient files. And yes, there were a few files that were precariously housed on one of the shelves but….
“How is this possible?” she said out loud, hoping that the stacks would give some insight into the rationale for such a mess.
Only silence answered her and it wasn’t giving her any clues.
Why would the patients come to a clinic like this? How could they trust a doctor that didn’t have the history of the patient in front of him or her? It seemed impossible!
“He had it all in his head.”
Mackenna spun around, almost tripping over a stack of boxes behind her in order to find the owner of the deep voice.
She didn’t see the man, but saw a flash of bright color and cringed. “Who are you?” she demanded, trying to see through the boxes. That wasn’t working either.
Panic started to seize her as the extremely large body came into view. No face yet though. But that shirt! Who wore a shirt that color anymore?!
“The clinic is closed,” she called out, trying to sound assertive and confident. “You have to get out. I’m dialing the police now.”
The chuckle that greeted her warning didn’t bode well. “Looks like you’re still searching for your phone in your purse,” that deep, amused voice replied back.
Mackenna froze, her head slowly moving higher, trying to ascertain how he could see her when she couldn’t see him.
But then he moved and her body remained frozen. Well, not her heart. Nope, her heart rate picked up. Not because she was afraid. Okay, yes, she was afraid, but not in the same way.
A tiny part of her mind wondered how fears could be categorized in such a way, but the other ninety-nine percent of her mind admonished that errant one percent for going off on such a tangent at such a dangerous point in time. Mind drifting off during a tedious lecture on the various ways to pronounce the Latin terms for plants…no problem. Mind drifting off when a tall, dark-blond man with sinful, chocolate eyes and muscles in places where most men didn’t have muscles…
Well, they might have the muscles, but not like THOSE muscles. Okay, nope. No men had muscles like that.
Maybe it was just the atrocious Hawaiian shirt. Surely colors like that didn’t happen naturally in nature. And why would he cover up muscles like that with such an ugly, horrifying shirt?
Her eyes drifted lower and, she shouldn’t have been stunned, but she was, to see the man with muscles eating a bag of potato chips. Pretending that her mouth wasn’t watering, she pressed her lips together and forced a look of disapproval. Surely a man with muscles like that should never be caught munching on potato chips. She always imagined studs like this man munching on…kale or something equally gross. Yeah, kale and broccoli. He should be munching on that. It would fit the image. Of course, he’d have to take off that…
Mackenna stopped her mind from picturing the man setting down his kale and broccoli in order to disrobe. Closing her eyes, she forced her mind out of the gutter. Well, she pretended to get it out of the gutter. It was still there, wallowing in an outrageously vivid image of the man taking off his shirt and showing off his…
She gasped when a picture popped into her mind. Where was her self-discipline?! “What are you doing here? This clinic is closed!”
Looking up at him, she stepped back, gasping in surprise to find him standing right in front of her. Too close in front of her.
Way too close in front of her.
“What are you doing?” she demanded.
Then she understood. He was stopping her from making a fool of herself. Well, more pointedly, he was stopping her from falling over yet another stack of boxes. Or…maybe it was the same stack of boxes but…
“I’m fine!” she gasped and stepped around the stupid box of files, furious with herself for focusing on broccoli and kale. Right, her mind laughed. She wasn’t really focusing on the veggie part of her mind’s image. Her mind was still in that gutter. Without the crazy, colored shirt.
“I’m fine,” she said again, pushing her dark hair out of her eyes and trying hard to focus on getting this man out of her clinic. “You have to leave. You’re not allowed to be here when the clinic isn’t open. I’ll make an appointment for you but…” she suddenly realized that she had no idea when the new doctor was due to arrive.
“Um…actually, you’ll need to call.” She stammered when a dark brown eyebrow lifted in…well, she wasn’t sure if that was amusement or a question. It didn’t matter. She was finished looking like a fool. “Call during business hours if you need to see the doctor,” she snapped out, irritated with him for laughing at her, and at herself for giving the man something to laugh about. “But you have to leave now.”
Vince watched in fascinated delight as the smokin’ hot brunette huffed and puffed through her embarrassment. She was sexy and adorable and he wanted her instantly. His body wasn’t put off by her huffing and puffing because he knew it all to be a façade, a way to hide the fact that she was feeling this intense chemistry between them too.
Damn, she was cute. And sexy. And she hated his shirt. Too bad, because this was his favorite shirt. He might have to wash it and wear it for his first day of work, just to see her eyes light up in that same manner. She definitely looked hot with her cheeks all pink like that.
“I’d love to call you,” he finally replied, crumpling the bag of chips he’d finally found in the staff kitchen. He’d been driving for the past fourteen hours and was exhausted, hungry and curious. He knew he could head on over to his mother’s house, and would definitely get there eventually, but seeing this woman with her long, black hair and her pink cheeks, not to mention those burning, golden eyes, made him reconsider his evening agenda.
Vince couldn’t believe the amazing sight in front of him. And no, his amazement now had nothing to do with the insane number of boxes filled with files and everything to do with the lovely and immensely enticing beauty that had walked into the clinic. He suspected that she was the uber-efficient office manager that the Billings Hospital had sent to clean up this clinic and, despite her lovely features, he felt a pang of guilt over the task she was about to undertake, even though it hadn’t been his mess that she was about to clean up.
Doctor Jacobsen had been known for his ability to diagnose just about any ailment as well as his bedside manner. He was definitely not renowned for his organizational skills or his filing. Apparently, the two nurses and receptionist who also worked in the office hadn’t been able to control the good doctor’s tendencies either.
Ignoring the monumental mess of the boxes of files stacked everywhere, he moved closer, taking in the almost black hair and fascinating pale skin of his new office manager. She was lovely! Even without the long hair and starkly contrasting skin, her long black lashes hid eyes that were a shocking gold. Not brown, but definitely gold. With small green flecks in her eyes. Those eyes made him think of a dragon. A very fierce, very angry dragon. Maybe it was the rising anger he could sense inside of her that added to that image in his mind. Or maybe it was because her nostrils were flaring as she tried hard to hide the physical attraction she was feeling. Didn’t matter. He could see her nipples pressing against the soft material of her sweater and the pulse beating rapidly against the delicate-looking skin at the base of her neck. She was slender but curved in all the right places. Not too curvy but a “just-right” curvy. Enough to fill a man’s hands with soft, touchable curves.
She was gorgeous! And with a figure to die for, he knew he was in trouble!
Never one to back down from a challenge, he moved closer, enjoying her soft, feminine scent. She smelled like lilacs, he realized. His favorite flower and one that his mother planted all over the yard. In the springtime, she would open the windows wide and let the wind blow the lilac scent throughout the house.
Now he had his own personal lilac!
Oh yeah, he was in big trouble!
“So you’re the brilliant manager who has come here to fix all of this mess?” he asked, trying to start a conversation. He wanted to hear that soft voice again. She’d only said a few words but it hadn’t been enough. He wanted to sit back and listen to her talk, to hear the soft, lilting quality of her voice while he let his hands drift over all of her white skin. Yes, she would be naked in this particular fantasy. He hadn’t yet decided if she would be on top of him or if she would be underneath him, her legs…
He stopped, thinking it might be better if he got to know her first before he started to introduce her to all the things that were instantly popping into his mind.
Gentlemanly behavior, he reminded himself. Dig deep. He tried to remember all of his mother’s lessons, but with this lovely woman standing in front of him like this, it was hard to remember anything.
Her dragon eyes glanced at the stacks of boxes, the receptionist’s desk that was a mess and the bedraggled waiting room. Everywhere but on him. A challenge! He liked that!