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Dr. Daddy's Perfect Christmas Jules Bennett 2022/8/5 16:55:32

Eli was going to be in town for a few months and she’d already tasted his lips. What would getting more attached to him do to her mental state?

Kissing Eli may be one of the sweetest things ever, but nothing good would come from it. Nothing.

Nora walked back through her kitchen to turn the lights off before heading upstairs to bed.

After changing into her nightgown and collapsing into bed, Nora remembered she hadn’t talked to Eli about a surprise anniversary party for his parents in the new year. And that was the main reason she’d wanted him to stay for dinner.

Proof that the man had her mind solely focused on him and not reality or priorities.

Yeah, she was in big trouble.

Treating patients’ ailments was damn hard when all Eli could think of was the kiss he’d shared with Nora. Granted, it was little more than a peck, but he’d touched her, tasted her and his body had responded.

So far he’d seen two cases of strep, one case of a basic cold and filled a few prescriptions. Nothing exciting, everything very mundane in Stonerock. Not that he wished anyone to get hurt, but as a doctor and ex-military he thrived on the adrenaline rush of the traumas. He had a natural calling to heal people.

Perhaps that’s just another reason Nora pulled at him in her current state. He’d sensed a thread of vulnerability in her, but once he’d learned of the pregnancy he realized just how vulnerable she truly was.

Eli closed the door to his father’s small office in the back of the clinic. It was lunchtime and he needed a few minutes to himself.

Todd had been a great friend, even better soldier, but he’d been a terrible, selfish husband. And a good part of Eli was angry Todd had left Nora behind, alone and pregnant.

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Eli knew full well Todd had sacrificed himself for his country, but the man would’ve never done so much for his own family. If he were alive today, Eli seriously doubted Todd would stick around to play husband and daddy.

Eli hated the bitterness that rolled through him and he really needed to get a grasp on this situation. Right now, all that was important was Nora—her comfort, the baby—and taking care of his father.

Unfortunately his mind kept returning to the last night he and Todd had spent together. Absently Eli reached up to trace the scar, a visible reminder of how ugly jealousy could be.

When his cell rang, Eli pulled it from his lab coat pocket and smiled. A reprieve, thank God.

“Hey, Cam,” he answered.

“Bad time?” his brother asked.

“Not at all. What’s up?”

“You talked to Nora today?”

At his brother’s serious tone, Eli sat up straighter in his chair. “No, why?”

“Her clinic was broken into. We just got everything all straightened out and cleaned up.”

Jerking to his feet, Eli was grabbing his keys from the desk drawer. “Was she hurt?”

Fear raced through him at the thought of her or her baby being injured. This was certainly not the type of adrenaline he’d been hoping for. Be careful what you wish for.

“She’s fine. Angry, but fine,” Cameron assured him. “She came to work and found the back door open.”

Eli sighed, closing his eyes. “Tell me she didn’t go in and check it out before calling you.”

On the other end, Cameron laughed. “She may be stubborn, but she’s not stupid. She called me and I went in to make sure the perp was gone. Then she went through and we made a list of all that had been taken.”

Eli took off his lab coat and hung it on the peg by the exit. “What on earth would someone want from a vet’s office?”

“Syringes. Nora’s office was easier to break into than a drugstore and the druggies are desperate. They’ll take things any way they can get them.”

No longer relegated to big cities, the drug problem had unfortunately trickled into small-town America, causing damage to so many lives, ruining too many families.

“I’m on my way,” Eli told his brother. “Tell her to sit tight.”

“No need for you to leave work, Eli. She’s fine. I swear.”

Yeah, well, her world had been shaken—again—and he intended to go support her. Pain didn’t always come in the physical form.