The Millionaire and the M.D.

By: Teresa Southwick



“I’m Amy’s brother. The way I see it that close personal relationship trumps your professional obligation.”

What the hell did he know about her professional obligations? She sat up straighter. “What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a builder. T&O Enterprises is one of the fastest growing companies in the country.”

“And aren’t there rules you have to follow? Standards you have to maintain in order for the integrity of whatever you build to pass inspection? Obtain a certificate of occupancy?”

“Yes.”

“And if you don’t follow the rules, there are people you have to answer to. Isn’t that right, Gabe?”

“You know it is, Rebecca. Do you mind if I call you Rebecca?” he asked, turning on the charm.

“Yes, I do mind.” But she minded more that her heart had sped up again and it wasn’t because he’d startled her. This so wasn’t a good time to find out her high IQ was no match for his charm. “So you can understand that doctors have rules, too.”

He moved out of the doorway and farther into the office, stopping in front of her. She swallowed the familiar taste of fear. It was automatic; it was habit. She owned this problem. He’d done nothing threatening and she wasn’t afraid of him.

“My sister left home without a word to anyone and when things got rough she showed up on my doorstep. In your opinion, is that sound judgment?”

Of course it wasn’t. But Amy’s judgment might have been impacted by trauma, and Rebecca had no intention of sharing those suspicions. “It doesn’t matter what you or I think. In the eyes of the law, she’s old enough to call the shots.”

“She’s eighteen. Just a kid herself.”

“Even if you were her parent, I couldn’t give you her medical information without her permission.”

“That’s nuts,” he said emphatically.

She shrugged. “That’s the way it is.”

He stared her down for several moments, then ran his fingers through his hair, his frustration obvious. “Can you at least tell me she’s fine? That’s not actual information. It’s more in the nature of how’s the weather. How about those Dallas Cowboys. Or have a nice day. Just tell me she’s okay.”

“As I said before, it’s not that simple.” Rebecca couldn’t tell him anything without divulging her medical information.

“What’s wrong, Doc?”

“I never said there was anything wrong.”

“Your face does. You’re worried about something.”

Was she that easy to read? Or was he just good at it? Or was he simply fishing for information? She hoped not—on all counts. Because she really didn’t want him questioning whether or not she was nervous. Her jumpiness wasn’t about the present, it was about the past. And that’s where she wanted to leave it.

“I gave Amy all the facts she needs for now.”

Facts like her blood pressure was high and a cause for concern. The minuscule amount of information she’d been able to get out of the teen convinced her that when she’d eaten at all, her diet had consisted primarily of fast food, which meant too much salt and fat and not enough nutrition. Teen diets were notoriously bad, which increased the number of high-risk pregnancies. And a teen who’d had no prenatal care was at even higher risk. None of which she could discuss with Gabe. He seemed the type who would push the advantage if she gave an inch.

She stood. “I’ve said all I can. We have nothing more to talk about.”

“Actually, we do.”

“I can’t imagine what.” Rebecca stared up at him, way up. He was tall and muscular and very good-looking. A normal woman might flirt, but she wasn’t normal.

“Doc, I need your help.”

“With what?”

His blue eyes snapped with intensity, and his big body practically hummed with a nervous, almost desperate energy. “Help me convince Amy to go back to Texas.”

She hadn’t expected that. “I don’t understand. If you planned to send her back, why did you bother bringing her to see me?”

“I knew she hadn’t seen a doctor and that prenatal care is important.”

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