The Playboy's Proposal (Sorensen Family)(5)

By: Ashlee Mallory

The phone buzzed, and Marion’s voice chirped in. “That Mrs. Davenport is still holding.”

He knew the woman, and that a few compliments and effusive apologies would go far and he’d be in the clear.

Benny Sorensen, on the other hand, was going to be harder to get off his back.

He’d clearly underestimated her. He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

Despite himself, he smiled at the challenge.

Chapter Two

A grape Popsicle in hand, Benny was on her way back to finish up with her sixth patient of the day when the sound of a deep, masculine voice from inside the exam room slowed her step. Her pulse instantly quickened as she recognized the voice.

She stepped inside, pinning on her brightest smile. “Here you go, Chance,” she said to her seven-year-old patient, pretending she didn’t know there was a visitor. She stopped when she saw him. Her throat felt like it was constricting. “Dr. Seeley, I—I didn’t expect to see you here,” she said, but it came out so quietly and choked she didn’t know if anyone even heard it.

He was sitting on the stool, his legs kicked out and crossed in front of him. He seemed to fill the whole room with his presence—which she supposed wasn’t too difficult in the small, confining space. He turned his dreamy, greenish-gray eyes—eyes that even the glasses perched on his nose couldn’t hide—on her and grinned before returning to Chance. “Couldn’t miss a chance to see how one of my favorite patients was doing. Sorry I wasn’t able to squeeze you in today, buddy, but I assure you, you are in extremely competent hands.”

“Aren’t you the sweetest? It was a shame that we missed you, though,” Chance’s mother said in a fawning voice. Apparently Benny wasn’t the only one awed by his presence. “But we’ll see you in two months at his well visit.”

“I look forward to it,” Dr. Luke Seeley said, rising to his feet. He glanced down at Benny and winked. “Thanks, Dr. Sorensen.”

She managed a quick nod but looked away under the intensity of that gaze. Why was it that speech seemed to escape her whenever she was in the presence of this man—or any man, for that matter, that she found remotely interesting?

She’d been working at the practice for almost two months now, and if she were to count the number of actual conversations she’d had with Luke Seeley, she would only need one hand. It was mortifying, really, her complete inability to function in his presence. She was sure every one of the other four pediatricians—and the office staff—had noted the fact.

“You have one of Dr. Barnett’s patients waiting for you in room three,” Roz said, her voice toneless.

“Thanks, Roz.”

Roz was officially her RN, who took the preliminary information from the patients before Benny saw them. Roz had been Dr. Martin’s nurse before Benny arrived, but for reasons unexplained, she was reassigned to Benny and Dr. Martin was assigned the more friendly and kindhearted Cindy. After having worked with the woman for two months, Benny had some suspicions about the reassignment. Her cool stare alone when Benny took too long with a patient could practically freeze water. But it wasn’t like Benny was in the position to ask for a different nurse. She was the newbie. She only hoped that with time, the woman would thaw a little. Glacial would be an improvement.

Outside room three, Benny took the clipboard from the door and read through Roz’s notes.

“Thanks for helping me out with that one,” Luke Seeley said from behind her. She froze. “Ms. Taylor can be a little more…thankful than I’m comfortable with sometimes.”

She turned, reminding herself he was only human, not a god, and that it was okay to talk to him. “Sure—”

But she’d misjudged his proximity and the clipboard she’d been holding sailed to the floor. Crap.

She bent down to grab it a second after he had apparently made the same decision. Blinding pain shot through her face as her nose connected with his head. She stumbled back, only to have two hands steady her.

“Whoa. You okay?” He was looking into her eyes and she blinked, trying to focus. “You’re bleeding. Hold on a minute.” He let go of her and watched for a second, as if to make sure she wouldn’t collapse, before walking the five feet to the counter area behind them to soak a paper towel. “Here, hold this to your nose and pinch. Lean forward.”

“I think it’s okay,” she said, pressing the towel around her nose. She could imagine what she looked like standing there, red faced and holding a Brawny towel to her face. If she could, she’d hide her entire body behind it.

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