Series: Twisted Fox #1
Author: Charity Ferrell
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2020
I donât want him.
I canât do this.
Thatâs what my ex said after our son was born, leaving me a single dad.
These days, my world consists of two things: Noah and my bar.
Until herâthe woman I want âbut can never have.
My exâs sister wasnât supposed to be stirred into the mix.
Even though I try to push her away, my son falls in love with her.
As much as I want to keep my distance, I canât break his heart.
Lines become blurred, and fighting our attraction becomes nearly impossible.
Even though we know itâs wrong, desire doesnât always fade away.
As soon as we cross that line, nothing will be the same and everything will fall apart.
And it does.
Five Years Later
Nine hours down.
Three to go.
Three hours until I can go home, finish that box of Thin Mints I shouldnât have bought, and binge-watch a show on Netflix.
Netflix and cookies.
Netflix and single.
Netflix and story of my life.
âTell me he finally agreed?â Lauren, our charge nurse, asksâreferring to the appendicitis patient whoâs been refusing an appendectomy all night.
I nod. âAfter his wife promised to buy him a new TV.â
She scoffs. âIâd love to say someone being bribed to have life-saving surgery is a shocker, but after working in the ER for so long, Iâm not easily shooketh.â
âTell me about it.â I glance around the emergency room. âWhatâs next for me?â
Itâs been a slow night at Anchor Ridge Memorial Hospital, and as much as thatâs a good thing, it can get boring.
She points down the hall. âExam room three. Five-year-old with a fever.â Her tone turns bubbly as she wiggles her shoulders. âDad is super hot, by the way.â
I shake my head and tap my knuckles against the triage desk. âIâll let you know if I need anything.â
âAsk him for his number,â she half-whispers with a thumbs-up.
I roll my eyes and dismissively wave my hand. âAbsolutely not.â
âAll work and no play makes Jamie a grumpy doctor.â
âYeah, yeah, yeah.â I spin on my heel and walk to the room.
The door is cracked, and I knock, snatching a pair of latex gloves on my way in.
âHello, Iâm Dr.ââ I stop, stumble back two steps, and cover my mouth with my hand.
My body tenses, and as soon as my gaze meets his, his jaw flexes.
I struggle for words as anger and disgust line his face.
Words Iâd planned if this moment ever happened.
Unfortunately, those words become a scared bitch and run away.
âCohen,â is all I manage in a whisper.
He stands tall from his chair, his narrowed eyes pinned to me, and moves to the side of the bed, blocking my view of the patient.
Laurenâs words hit me.
My attention slides from Sir Pissed Off, and I shift to the left.
âOh my God,â I whisper, gaping at the little boy in the bed.
A little boy whose eyes are sleepy and nose is red and irritated.
Those sleepy eyes, a walnut-brown with a slight slant, match his fatherâs.
The same with his thick ash-brown hair.
But the dimple in his chin and heart-shaped face match hers.
âIs this ...?â My hand shakes when I point at him.
Itâs a dumb question.
Even if he says no, heâll be a liar.
âWhat are you doing here?â he repeats, his tone harsh.
If I wasnât at a loss for words, my smart-ass self would throw out something along the lines of, What do you think, dumbass? Iâm sporting a doctorâs jacket with my name embroidered on it.
But I donât.
Because I canât.
Itâs a challenge, wrapping my head around them being here, let alone dragging out my sarcasm.
âIâm your doctor,â I finally say before signaling to the boy. âIâm his doctor.â
Sound cool. Confident.
Youâre the fucking professional here, Jamie.
âWe want a different doctor,â he hisses, his voice low enough so only I can hear.
âIâm the only doctor on shift tonight.â Iâm speaking to Cohen, but the boy holds my interest.
Heâs watching this exchange, his eyes pinging back and forth between his father and me with curiosity on his tired face.
âWeâll go to another hospital then.â
âWhy, Dad?â the boy whines, sniffling. âI donât feel good, and what if I puke in the car?â
âI want another doctor.â His broad shoulders draw back.
He raises a brow when I hold up a finger, turn, and scurry out of the room.
I rush over to Lauren. âCan you watch the boy in three for a minute? I need to talk to his father privately.â
She peeks up at me from her computer and tilts her head to the side. âYeah ... sure.â
Cohen is pacing the room when we walk in. âA word,â I say, jerking my head toward the doorway. Cohenâs attention darts to the boy, and he delivers a gentle smile. âIâll be right back, buddy.â He gives him a quick peck on the head and swings his arm toward the door, his eyes cold. âAfter you, Your Highness.â
Lauren throws me a curious glance when he walks past her, and I shrug as if this isnât about to be awkward city up in here.
As we leave, I hear Lauren asking the boy what his favorite cartoon is.
Cohen keeps his distance while I lead us into a private room, the one reserved for breaking bad news to families.
I speak as soon as I shut the door., âCohenââ
Too bad he doesnât let me get more than his name out.
His deep-set eyes level on me. âThis is a conflict of interest, Jamie. The nurse can help us. We donât need you.â
âWe donât need you.â
The memories of the last time he said those words to me smack into me like a headache.
It was the last time I saw him.
The last time he looked at me with the same resentment.
Either he doesnât realize how hard his insult hit me or he doesnât care.
I snort, anger biting at me. âWhat do you think Iâm going to do, huh? Kidnap him?â
âConsidering who youâre related to, who knows?â
âWow.â I clench my fists to hold myself back from smacking him in the face since his words are like a slap in mine. âYou have some nerve.â
Itâd make for some bad headlines if a doctor slapped a patientâs father.
Thereâs no apology on his face when he holds up his hands. âJust saying it how I see it.â
âThen allow me to say it how I see it.â I thrust my finger toward the door. âYou have a sick son in there, and itâs my job to treat him. Donât like it? I donât give a shit.â I shove past him, stalk out of the room, and donât check to see if heâs following me.
âEverything okay?â Lauren asks, her eyes glancing over my shoulder, and I realize Cohen is behind me, still keeping his distance.
âPeachy,â I chirp before approaching the bed and smiling down at the boy. âWhatâs your name, honey?â
âNoah,â he croaks.
Even though I was sure it was him, my head spins at his confirmation.
I tenderly squeeze his arm, and my tone turns cheerful. âHi, Noah. Iâm Dr. Gentry. Can I ask some questions about how youâre feeling?â
Cohen stalks to the other side of the bed, his eyes on me, and Lauren migrates to the corner, her nosy ass interested in this shitshow.
âHe has a fever,â Cohen tells me, his tone softer.
âFor how long?â
He scratches his scruffy cheek. âOver twenty-four hours.â
He shakes his head. âNot even sugar. I can hardly get him to drink, and he has no energy, which is very rare for him.â
His jerk attitude settles while we turn our attention to Noah. I ask question after question as I take his temperature and go through all the motions.
âSymptoms tell me itâs the flu,â I say, removing my gloves and tossing them into the trash. âWeâll do a test, and I also want to run some blood work to make sure weâre not missing anything.â
Cohen nods. âThank you.â
I smile at Noah. âWeâll get you back to feeling good in no time.â I give Lauren, whoâs gathering supplies for the test, a head nod and leave the room.
Iâll definitely be pairing wine with those Thin Mints tonight.
Lauren comes scurrying into the doctorsâ lounge ten minutes later. âWhoa, what was that about? Dude was super nice to me but acted as if youâd pissed in his Cheerios.â
A chill sweeps up my neck. âThatâs my sisterâs ex ... and her son ... the ones she left.â
âOh, Jerry Springer.â
Releasing September 22
Releasing February 2, 2021
Charity Ferrell resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. She grew up riding her bicycle to her library and reading anything she could get her hands on. Angst is her happy place, and she loves writing about flawed people finding love. She loves the basicsâbooks, shoes, and online shopping.