Forever and a Day(7)

By: Jill Shalvis



“It’s so great that you found him,” Grace said.

“Yeah.” Josh sighed in grim resignation, swiping the puppy drool off his chin. “So great.”





Grace watched Josh set Tank onto the backseat. Again. Tank cried and leaped forward. Josh caught him in midair and dangled him in front of his face so that man and puppy were eye to eye. Tank panted happily, looking thrilled.

Not so the good doctor, though it was hard to tell what he was thinking behind his sunglasses. “You warmed up now?” he asked.

“Arf.”

Grace smiled in relief. The puppy was okay. “I guess that means yes.”

“I meant you,” Josh said.

“Oh!” She laughed. “Yes, thank you.”

He just looked at her, and she realized he was waiting for her to get out. Right. He had to get back to work. She opened the door, and he did the same, getting out with Tank tucked under his arm like a football.

“Want me to put him away for you?” she asked, thinking it was the least she could do.

“I’ve got him.”

Grace watched him head toward his house. He was a big guy. Bull-in-a-china-shop big. But he had a way of moving with surprising grace. He was very fit, and very easy on the eyes. She wasn’t often steered astray by bouts of lust, but she felt it stir within her now. No doubt he would be a very interesting item to add to her list of Fun Things to Do, but he was a doctor. Most would be attracted by that, but not Grace. She knew his world, knew the crazy hours, the life that wasn’t really his own, knew what it was like to compete for even a smidgeon of attention. Fair or not, the initials MD after his name would keep him off her list. “You said you’d kiss me if I lost Tank.”

The words popped out of her unbidden, and she covered her mouth. Too late. Turning back, Josh shoved the sunglasses to the top of his head and leveled her with a long, assessing look from dark brown eyes.

He looked exhausted. As if maybe he’d been working around the clock without sleep. “Ignore that,” she said. “Sometimes I have Tourette’s.”

Some of the tension went out of his shoulders, and for a beat, his features softened into what might have been amusement. “You want me to kiss you?”

Oh boy. “You were happy I’d lost your puppy?”

He was looking like he was still thinking about smiling as he glanced down at Tank, tucked under his arm. “No. That would make me an asshole.”

Right…

“And he’s not my puppy,” he said. “He belongs to my son, given to him by my evil sister, who I’m pretty sure bought him from the devil.”

They both looked at Tank, who soaked up the attention as his due. He managed to roll in Josh’s arms, over to his back, showing off his good parts with pride.

Such a guy. “If you don’t want him, couldn’t you just give him back?”

Josh laughed softly. “You don’t have any kids, I take it.”

Or dogs. “No.”

“Trust me,” Josh said. “I’m stuck with him.”

“Arf,” Tank said.

Josh shook his head, then started toward the house again, his wet scrubs clinging to those broad shoulders and very nice butt as his long legs churned up the distance with ease.

Apparently they were done here. “Uh, Dr. Scott?”

“Josh,” he corrected.

“Josh, then.” Since he hadn’t slowed or looked back, she cupped her hands around her mouth. “Should I come by your house at around the same time tomorrow, then?”

His laugh was either amused or horrified. Hard to tell. “No,” he said.

Grace paused, but really, there was no way to mistake the single-syllable word. No was…well, no.

Which meant she was fired. Again. One would think she’d be good at that by now, but nope, she didn’t feel good at it.

She felt like crap.





Chapter 3





Happiness is sharing a candy bar. Even better is not having to share.





This is all your fault,” Josh told the wriggling puppy as he walked toward his house.

Tank didn’t give a shit. He’d caught sight of a butterfly and was growling ferociously, struggling maniacally to get free so he could attack.

Tank was the Antichrist.

“Look, we all know you think you’re a badass, but that butterfly could kick your ass with one wing tied behind its back,” Josh told him, tightening his grip as he used his other hand to reach into his pocket for his phone.

His wet phone, which—perfect—was fried. Seemed about right, given his day so far. “You could have kept running for the hills,” he said. “Or at least stayed ‘lost’ long enough to get me that kiss.”

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