The Millionaire and the M.D.

By: Teresa Southwick



“The hell you can,” he said.

“I can take care of myself.”

“Yeah?” Her tone was surly and brought back that fist-through-the-wall-feeling. Her behavior was immature, irresponsible and he resented the hell out of her. He’d done everything right and lost his child. Amy didn’t give a damn and had a baby in her belly. What was wrong with this picture? “If you take such good care of yourself, who was that hungry, scared little girl on my doorstep? Because she sure didn’t look like a grown-up who doesn’t need anyone.”

“Time out.” Rebecca stood and moved between them. “What about the baby’s father?”

Amy’s defiant expression pulled her mouth tight, and he knew she wouldn’t tell the doc any more than she had him, which was exactly nothing. “She won’t give me a name. But if I ever get my hands on him—”

“It’s not your business,” Amy snapped.

“No? You didn’t get like this on your own. He needs to take responsibility. Why are you protecting him?”

“You don’t know anything.”

“You’re right. I don’t. And that’s okay. But Dad—”

“Don’t you dare. You promised.” Amy’s voice shook with the threat and her narrow-eyed gaze dared him to call her bluff. “I’m out of here if you call him.”

He wanted to. He wanted to call his father and hand off the problem. He wanted her gone so he could go back to forgetting. But he knew if he made that call and she made good on her threat, there could be more he’d need to forget about, and he was already on overload.

“Calm down, Amy.” Rebecca patted the teen’s shoulder. “Do your parents know where you are?”

“My mother’s dead,” Amy said, glancing at him.

“Your father, then,” she persisted. “He must be concerned about you.”

“I called him. Gabe made me. But I did it from a pay phone.”

“You don’t want him to know you’re with your brother?”

“No.”

“Okay. We won’t worry about that for now.”

We won’t? Gabe’s gaze snapped to hers. He hadn’t realized until that moment just how much he’d wanted her to order Amy to call her father. He’d been hoping for someone older, wiser, with more seasoning to tell his sister in no uncertain terms that she needed to go home. But Rebecca Hamilton had hung him out to dry.

“Wait a minute,” he said. “We need to talk about this. I think—”

Rebecca gave him a warning look. “What we need right now is to determine Amy’s general health,” she said in a cool, professional tone. “We need to get some blood work. There’s a test that will tell me the gestational age of the baby—”

“Ultrasound?”

“Yes.”

He couldn’t tell if she was surprised that he knew about it. For her the procedure was routine. Not for him. And he didn’t intend to explain that he’d had firsthand experience. His pain was none of her business.

“Are you going to do that today?” Amy asked.

“We’ll schedule it for another appointment. Right now I need to examine you.” Rebecca’s voice warmed and gentled by a lot, and she squeezed Amy’s hand. “Don’t worry. I’m going to take good care of you.”

For a split second, his sister’s sullen look slipped, revealing fear and uncertainty as she stared at the doc. “Thank you.”

When Rebecca looked back at him, the warmth was gone, replaced by a cool, just-this-side-of-disapproving expression that made him uncomfortable. When was the last time that happened?

“I’ll just have a seat in the waiting room,” he said.

Gabe left, relieved to get out of the exam room, away from the reminders. But his relief only lasted until he took a seat in the outer office where several pregnant women waited. Some days he managed to forget what he’d lost but today wasn’t one of those days and the future didn’t look promising, either.

He cared about Amy. They weren’t close, but she was his sister. Hannah had often told him that no one gets family right every time, he just had to persevere. But without her he didn’t want to keep trying, and looking at his sister’s growing belly would remind him every single day why.

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