Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Excerpt: PLAYING DOCTOR By Allison Gatta 14 stories 0.99

 1of the 14 stories.
By Allison Gatta
High-powered executive Felicia Webb went on the company retreat to Hawaii for one reason: To win over her new boss. Well, that and to finally score the promotion she’s had her eye on for a solid two years now. Still, grabbing the boss’ attention may be easier said than done when a freak accident forces her into the hospital…and the arms of the handsome doctor hell-bent on showing her just how screwed up her priorities are.
Trey Patterson is determined to live a life without complications. Now that he’s moved away from the big city and settled on the laid back island of Oahu, he’s made some pretty big changes to his life—the biggest of which is his new no-dating policy. Still, when a fiery redhead practically falls into his lap, it’s all he can do to control his anything-but-hands-off urges.
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*Here's an excerpt from Playing Doctor by Allison Gatta: *

She'd been replaced.

Barbara glanced at her from across the room again and Felicia scooted from her chair as quickly and quietly as she could, then backed out into the resort hallway.

She had to find a bathroom. Someplace to clear her mind, to think things through and get right with herself.

She sprinted down the hall until she found a water fountain and stopped short. She took a quick look around, then leaned her hip on the little lever and splashed her face with some of the cool, crisp water.

"Get it together, Felicia," she whispered. "This doesn't mean anything. You just have to...have to..."

She sighed, then splashed her face with water. "If you can't beat them, join them. You just have to beat them at their own game. Chill out. You just have to--"

"Talking to yourself?" A familiar voice sounded from behind her and she turned to find Doctor Patterson staring down at her. This time, though, she didn't have to imagine what he'd look like underneath his lab coat and professional-looking slacks. Today, he was dressed in bright red swim trunks and nothing else, leaving every line of his perfectly contoured abs open for her to ogle.

She trained her vision on his cool blue eyes, then swallowed hard. He was smiling a toothy, white smile she hadn't seen the day before. The lines of concern on his forehead had been replaced with clear amusement.

He was laughing at her.

"I wasn't--" she started, but he cut her off.

"You were. It's okay. Perfectly sane, in fact."

Something warm dripped on her cheek and suddenly she was all too aware of how her face must look. The lines of her mascara were probably running down her cheeks, making her look like a discount rodeo clown.

Quickly, she swiped her cheek with the back of her hand. "Glad to hear it."
"I'm glad you read the pamphlet, too."

"The pep talks, the cold water. It all helps. Though, if you're not busy, maybe you'd like to try those stress tests--"
"No offense, but you don't seem to be dressed for work."
He glanced down at himself, then smiled. "No, I guess you're right. I'm going to meet a friend who does surf instruction on the island."
"That sounds fun."
"It's a nice way to relax, for sure." He placed the emphasis "relax" and she had to fight not to roll her eyes at him.
"You know, some people just like to work."
"And some people work until it kills them," he shot back. "Besides, since I'm off the clock, I might mention that your hair would probably look great if you let it down every once in awhile."

"I let my hair down."

"Far be it from me to disagree."

She glanced up at him, suddenly noticing exactly how close he'd gotten.
Somehow, in the few moments since they'd been talking, they were now only inches from each other. Close enough for her to feel the sun's heat still radiating from his skin. Close enough that if she got on her tiptoes she
might just be able to...

She studied his lips, full and supple and still so strong. Silently, she wondered what he tasted like. What the heady mix of his piney, masculine smell would do to her as she kissed him.

"I have to get back to work," she said.

"Color me surprised." He smiled down at her, but she didn't bother to smile back at him.

Instead, she rushed back to the conference room, determined to never, ever
see him again.
*Here's an excerpt from  Over It By Christine Bell:*

"You hate when I cry. That's what you said to me the other night, right Robbie?" Her voice sounded choked and the tears that had clearly been locked and loaded now fell freely down her golden cheeks. "Yeah," I said
softly, clenching my fists at my side in an effort to keep from wiping those tears away. "Do you think that's kind of ironic," she asked, cocking her head to the side to study me through bleary green eyes. "Like, when you
cheated on me and then dumped me, do you have any idea how long I cried?"
The question lay between us like a venomous snake. I refused to pick it up, knowing if I did, the pain of her answer would stay with me for a lifetime.
"Years. I cried for years," she whispered, swiping a hand over her mouth to
wipe the tears away. "After all we had been through together...after all we had done, and meant to each other, that you could just walk away and never
look back?" A sob broke through her lips and I swallowed the golf ball that had lodged in my throat. "The fact that you never once called to see if I was okay? To this day, I can't wrap my head around it. Was I crazy? Was
that whole four years a lie?" "No, God, no." I reached for her but she held up a hand like a shield and I stilled. "I know it's hard to believe, but I never meant to hurt you. I thought a clean break was for the best." "What would've been best for me is if you had kept your fucking dick in your pants." She jabbed her pointer finger into my chest as her voice went shrill. "What would've been best was if I hadn't lost the person I loved most in the whole world. What would've been best was if you hadn't been such a good fucking liar from the start." She curled her arm around her waist, and pursed her lips before meeting my gaze again with one that
seemed so broken and resigned, it made me nauseous. "I’m sorry. I know that’s not fair. I’m supposed to have grown. Moved on. Forgiven. And maybe some part of me has. I loved being there for you tonight. No one was
rooting harder than me. I want nothing but the best for you, Robbie. But know this. You’re no fucking Boy Scout. You’ve already made me cry more than any other man could. And I don't want to love you anymore. I'm
graduating and about to embark on my dream. The thing I've worked so hard for. It means everything to me.” Her eyes looked so sad, so full of despair, they cut into me like lasers. “So why can't I stop thinking about you?" 

The words I'd been holding in like a scream for the past four years died in my chest as I looked down at her. Nothing had changed. Except now it would be even more of a sacrifice for her to be with me. She was going
to med school three thousand miles away. If I told her the truth now she'd either hate my guts for lying to her all those years ago, or she'd want to give that up for me. In either case, we'd never get our happy ending. Not
ever. I took a step back, cursing myself for being a blind fool for thinking for even a second that there was a way to make things right, but before I could make my excuses and leave to lick my wounds before I did something stupid, she was talking again in a low voice. "Maybe we should...maybe we can..." She swallowed hard, her throat working as she closed the distance between us and laid her hand on my chest. "Maybe if we finally had our night. One last night to say goodbye, we could get some closure. What do you think, Robbie? One last night." No. No fucking way.
Absolutely not. That was the worst idea ever created. One that could only end in utter and total heartache for us both. But I said none of that.
Instead, I let out a muffled groan as all the longing and sadness and need broke loose, and I grabbed her. Her fingers curled into the cotton of my t-shirt, her eyes going wide a second before I slanted my mouth over hers.

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