Provocative Professions Collection(4)

By: S.E.Hall & Angela Graham

"It's a big deal." His stern voice leaves no room for argument.

"Sir, yes, sir, I'll get right on that," I salute, shutting down the conversation. I go grab Dylan another slice, his hand already out when I arrive at the beanbag throne.

"You bet your ass you will," Brady calls out and I try to ignore exactly what that means. He's the most persistent man alive, scarily stubborn and renowned for getting his way…especially when it comes to his friends' health.

Chapter 2

"Well hello there, Mimi," I coo at the brilliant scarlet macaw when I walk in the next morning. The clinic "pet," she's allowed to roam free overnight. "Who's a pretty bird?"

"Mimi's a pretty bird," she responds, flying over to perch on my shoulder.

I flip on the lights and set down my bags, turning the blinds to open as my cell phone begins trilling from my purse.

"Tell her I'm not here, tell her I'm not here," Mimi sing-songs.

I roll my eyes, snickering. Dr. Burns, the town vet I work for, married almost sixty years now, taught the bird that phrase as a passive-aggressive dig at his beloved wife. He thinks it's hilarious.

"Hello?" I answer, slowly, unsure of the caller.

"Ms. Porter?"

My brows pinch. "This is Addison Porter."

"Good morning, this is Whitney from Dr. Reynolds' office. I'm calling to confirm your appointment for tomorrow morning at 10 am."

Appointment? It hits me in two flat seconds. Brady. Shaking my head, I blow out a breath. I should have known that condescending bastard wouldn't let up, but making an appointment for me?! Why am I even surprised? And because this tiny, off the grid town has only one gynecologist, of course it's at Dr. Reynolds' office! Never been and never planned to go, but suddenly faced with it, I need to take a minute to consider my options.

There are only two choices—drive thirty-five minutes to the next town, the closest thriving metropolis, defined as such because it boasts both a Taco Bell and a Wal-Mart, and bring Brady back a "proof of pap" note, or…

"I'll be there," I manage brightly into the receiver.

"Wonderful, see you then."

I disconnect that call, and am feverishly dialing the next one when my coworker, Maggie, breezes through the door. I guess Brady's reaming will have to wait.

"Are you kidding me, Brady? Presumptuous much? Who makes other people's doctor appointments for them?" I growl into the phone the moment I step outside the office for my lunch.

Know it all, wannabe big brothers who are doctors themselves—that's who.

His tone is stern, making himself clear as he lays it out. "I wasn't kidding, Moe, you can't play around with that stuff. And don't even think about cancelling."

Yeah right, like I'd let him see me sweat! I may have been the wind to his and Dylan's wings growing up, always the shy, bookish little sister tagging along in their shadows, but I'm a grown woman now! I may very well strut into that appointment naked, wrapped in twinkle lights! My life, my vagina…I say who, I say when!

That'll show 'em!

"Oh, I won't," I challenge. "Bet on it."

"Good." Triumph annoyingly evident in his voice. "So what's that blonde coworker of yours with the tight ass wearing today?"

"Nothing she'll let you near again!" I hang up in his ear, smiling gleefully to myself that I got the last word.

The victorious grin I boast is short-lived. As usual.

Only seconds later, my text dings and without even looking I know, I just know, who it is. Argh, that man!! See, now even if I don't look, he doesn't know I didn't look, and he's still won!

Brady: Last word infinity.

A bubble of laughter catches in my throat as I shake off the grin I can't help. And I wonder why he's the first person Dylan runs to when being a grown up proves too much? They were made for each other; brothers by blood don't have a thing on them.

Releasing some of the anxiety fluttering through me over the appointment, my shoulders drop and my head falls back to rest on the brick wall of the building. What did I get myself into? Any time Brady has control over something in my life, I get burned. I close my eyes, sighing as my mind replays the last disaster courtesy of my so-called buddy.

It was a pottery class, a birthday gift from him that he even agreed to attend with me. Less than twenty minutes in, he was bashing the hot young male instructor for his overly friendly help to the female students, me being one of them. Not that I minded, did I mention he was hot?

Brady pinned the guy with his pointed glare each time he came near me to offer assistance and cracked constant jokes about the guy being a putz a little too loudly. The case cracker, however, was Brady's "the man needs to bend her over already" comment that got him physically removed from class. Turns out the "her" in question and Teacher were actually a couple, happily married. And me—sitting pretty, hands gooey, loving the vase I was slowly creating—was shown the door before I could finish. Why? Because of Mr. I Know Everything and Can't Keep my Opinions to My Damn Self.

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