Doctor Untouchable: An Enemies to Lovers Romance
I knew when this day started that it was going to be a fucking shit show. Nothing good ever starts with a wake-up call from your mother asking you to meet her for lunch. Especially when you already know the reason for the lunch and have been dreading it, well, practically since the day you were born.
Then there’s this call…
“All I’m asking is if you think she’ll say yes?”
I clench my jaw and run a hand through my hair, my other gripping the steering wheel so tight the leather creaks. “Luca, how should I know?”
“Because you somehow know Raven better than anyone. You’re like secret girlfriends. She tells you shit. Confides in you.”
I’d smirk at that if my insides weren’t being poked at with something hot and sharp. Honestly, I hope Luca proposes. I hope Raven says yes. I hope they live happily ever after and suck all the attention and limelight for themselves. Then maybe for once in my life I can stop having that pesky four-letter word thrown at me with the hope it’ll finally stick to me.
The one thing everyone from my family to the press, to the endless stream of money-hungry women lining up at the mention of my name, try to shove down my throat. But the worst part, the part that has me mashing my molars is what’s coming for me in the absence of love.
“I think she’ll think it’s too soon. You’ve only been back together a couple of months.”
He puffs out a breath. “Rina and Brecken just got married. Oliver popped the question to Amelia for real on New Year’s. Carter just did the same to Grace on fucking Valentine’s Day.”
“Feeling left out when the rest of your siblings are getting married and engaged? Don’t worry, Landon’s still only dating Elle,” I quip.
“I just want Raven as mine. Truly mine. Wearing my ring and my last name. Forever.”
“She’s not going anywhere, brother.”
“I know that. That’s not why I want to seal the deal. I love her, Kap. This is what you do when you love someone.”
I grunt, so beyond not in the mood for this. I grip the wheel tighter, which I didn’t even realize was possible. Soon my knuckles will split. “I’m ignoring you.”
“You shouldn’t. It’s time, old man.”
“I have enough on my plate without trying to deal with yet another gold digger or entitled fledgling celebrity after more fame and headlines or a socialite looking to sit around in her designer digs and do lunch while we spend decades ignoring each other.”
“There’s that side of it. Or. You know. You could find actual love.”
I blow out a silent breath, my eyes closing as I reach a traffic light. I knew this day was coming too. It’s what happens when all of your younger siblings are happily hitched up to wonderful people and your mother is obsessed with love, marriage, and grandchildren.
But they’re not me. Their path was always easier.
“Not interested,” I tell him, opening my eyes again and shoving any useless frustration at this conversation down as the light turns green and I start to drive again. “How about you focus on Raven and leave me to handle my life. Raven is young. Give her time before you put a ring on it.”
“I know. Maybe for her birth—”
“What the fuck?” I practically yell, coming to a screeching halt as a barrage of white that is absolutely not the snow currently falling practically lands right on the hood of my car with a thud.
“Kap? Kap, you okay?!”
“Luca, I gotta go.” I disconnect the call, throw the car into park, and then get out right into the middle of traffic. The white starts to move, sliding across the hood of my SUV until it’s on the opposite side of me. I slam my door shut and repeat myself. “What the fuck?”
“Oh my God!” the woman shrieks. “You stopped! Thank God you stopped.”
I blink at least a thousand times, trying to make sense of the mass of tulle and silk and lace and unruly dark hair before me. “You flew onto my car. Didn’t exactly give me a choice. What was I supposed to do, run you over?”
She’s standing in the street, hugging the side of the hood so she doesn’t get hit by passing cars, but her wild, frantic gaze is over my shoulder, anxiously watching whatever is there. Reflexively I turn to look, cars honking and shooting around me, spraying slush and ice onto my slacks, and find a cluster of people dressed in tuxedos and gowns standing at the top of the church steps, glaring down at us as if they’re about to give chase.
“They followed me? I can’t believe they followed me out!”
I flip back around to find the woman opening the passenger side door of my car and jumping in, pulling her dress in along with her before slamming the door shut. “What the fuck?!” This time I bellow it at the top of my lungs. “What are you doing getting in my car?”
Opening my door, I nearly get sideswiped by a passing taxi, the driver yelling and cursing at me. Yanking my door shut, I throw on my hazards, then turn to the marshmallow that’s taking up half the front of my car.
“No! I can’t. You have to drive. Please. I’ll pay you. Just drive before they come after me.” Large, slightly watery, heavily made-up brown eyes plead with me, her hands directed toward me in supplication.
My head whips back around, and sure enough, the guy, who I can only assume is the groom, is shooting down the stairs, his fists balled up, an incensed scowl perched on his face. A couple of women follow him, staring straight at me as if I’m the asshole, and I turn back to the bride in my car, just as miffed as the dude she ran out on.
“Seriously,” she cries. “You have to go now. If he gets to me, I won’t be responsible for what happens next. The blood of many could be on your hands.”
I level her with my no-bullshit glare. The one that makes sane women cower. Not this one. She simply throws her hands up in the air, unnerved and at the end of her rope.
“Please, please, please drive us out of here. Clearly, I’m desperate. Who throws themselves into oncoming traffic to escape their wedding if they’re not?”
“Are you in some kind of danger or just crazy?”
A humorless laugh. “I’m possibly crazy, but not in the psychopathic, I need locking up kind of way. And I guess if you consider being chased after by my mother, my maid of honor who is also my cousin, and my lying, cheating user of a now ex-fiancé who has been fucking said cousin being in danger, then yes, I’m in danger. So now that we’ve cleared up my morning from hell, can you drive, or do I have to hurl myself on another moving vehicle?”
I scrutinize her for a second. What I can see of her, that is. Round face. Those big brown eyes as dark as the piles of hair pinned up on her head guilelessly imploring me in a desperate, slightly unhinged way. Glossy, pink, pillowy lips. Curves for days. Large breasts with an ample amount of cleavage spilling over the top of the stiff bust of her dress. Skin the color of the falling snow. Pretty.
For a runaway bride with smeared makeup and more layers than anyone should be wearing.
The groom is now edging toward the street, trying to find a safe path toward us among the Boston North End traffic. He’s shouting something I can only guess at along with a tall, willowy older-ish—she’s had more work done on her face than the Ted Williams tunnel here in Boston—woman beside him.
“Please,” she says again, this time as a strained whisper. “I can’t face any of them right now.”
I throw my Range Rover into drive and skid on the slushy road as I start to peel out, back into traffic.
Curves for Days sags back into her seat. “Thank you. Thank you so much.” The relief in her voice is palpable. “I don’t even care if you’re a psycho who is going to take me back to his underground basement and make clothes out of my skin.”
“Basements, by definition, are underground, and I think flying into a stranger’s car makes you the psycho here. Not me.”
“It’s been a morning, in case you missed that. I think I should be afforded a modicum of slack.”
She rights herself, ripping a sparkly clip and attached veil from her hair, followed by pin after pin. They fall onto her lap and a wry, incredulous grin hits my lips. I just picked up a runaway bride who threw herself on top of my car to escape her fiancé and her mother, and now I’m driving her… “Where are you headed?”
“Not to Scotland, that’s for sure.”
Huh? Whatever. “Fine then. I’m dropping you off on the next corner.”
She shakes her head. Her long, long silky hair tumbles all around her as her fingers massage her scalp. She moans, throwing her head back and closing her eyes in ecstasy. And hell in a handbasket, my cock twitches in my pants.
“Wow, that might be better than any sex I ever had with Tod. It’s amazing how good that feels.”
I throw her an impatient scowl, trying not to think about the sound of her moan or how good whatever she just did feels to her.
“Sorry. I’m staying at The Newbury. You can drop me off there if it’s not too much trouble or anywhere somewhat close where I can walk since I don’t have my purse or my phone or even a damn coat.” She lets out a cackle. “I just ran out on my wedding. Did you see my mother?” She points past me with something close to a dumbstruck, self-satisfied smile on her lips and an incredulous sparkle in her eyes. “She was furious. She didn’t even care when I told her I overheard Jackass McJackass and perfect McBackstabbing Bitch Face fighting about their love.” She frowns now, her face falling toward her hands.
“Did you love him?” I don’t know why I’m bothering to ask questions if for no other reason than I’m curious. And oddly, I want her to keep talking. Her voice… it’s sweet and smooth and rich and warm—like caramel on a sundae.
She shrugs, her gaze going to the window, staring out at the passing landscape. “I thought I did. Or maybe more like I told myself I did?” She shrugs again. “I don’t know. One of my stepfathers, Mitchell, told me love is for pansy asses and suckers, and my mother for once agreed with him.”
Can’t argue that.
“But I chose not to listen,” she continues. “Always optimistic, glass half-full, blind to what’s actually in front of me, Bianca. That’s me. Oddly I’m more furious and hurt than heartbroken. But maybe that comes later? What are the stages of grief again?”
“Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.”
Her gaze slingshots over to mine. “Wow. You just pulled that right off the top of your head. Are you a shrink? Because likely, I could use one of you right now. Or maybe a vat of vodka and fried food I could pretend is a shrink. Alcohol and carbs are medicinal, right?”
“No. I’m a different type of doctor.”
“Hence the nice ride. One of my other stepfathers, Duke—he’s the one who’s currently married to my mother—has a car like this though his smells more like the ranch and less like sexy man cologne.”
She ignores me as she continues to orate and fidget in her seat. “Incidentally, thank you for stopping and not running me over. I figured it was a fifty-fifty chance I could die when I flew at your car but was willing to risk it given the alternative. I hope I didn’t dent your hood.”
“Well. Thank you. Again.” Her fingers toy nervously with her dress.
“You’re welcome. You can relax. I’m not a psycho. I’ll drive you to the hotel because as luck would have it, that’s where I’m headed too.”
I nod in concession. “Way.”
She smiles a crooked, shaky smile and something about that sparks something in me. A familiarity or a memory I can’t place.
“It’s like fate knew I was gonna need to run out on an asshole today or something.”
I crack a hint of a smirk as I change lanes. “Or something. He cheated? That’s why you ran?”
“Yep. The entire time he and I were together apparently, which was about two years. I had no clue. None. I don’t know if that makes them exceptionally brilliant at hiding it or me insanely stupid for missing it.”
I glance quickly in her direction before turning back to the slippery roads. “Them good at hiding it. You don’t strike me as the stupid type.”
“I launched myself into traffic and am now in a stranger’s car after running out on my wedding,” she deadpans.
“Besides, it was two years. I mean, he and I were living together for the last six months I was finishing up grad school and yet somehow, I still missed it. I realize I was busy, but come on. That’s just pathetic. I wish I could go back in time and smack myself upside the head with a healthy dose of sense.”
I have nothing to say to that, but luckily I don’t have to as she continues on without missing a beat.
“I thought he loved me. He gave me this whole dog and pony show about how he loved me all through college but was always too nervous to make a move or risk our friendship, which is why it took him until fucking graduate school to make a move. I was gullible, I guess. Hopeful. I didn’t have a lot of guys pounding down my door and certainly not ones who looked like Tod. I never imagined when he proposed six months ago that he was actually in love with my cousin. Or that the only reason he did propose was because he has to marry me.”
My eyebrows knit into a V, and I briefly catch her eye. “Why does he have to marry you if he’s in love with her?”
She shifts, staring down at the white of her lap. “His last name is MacMillin as in MacMillin Investments. Only as it turns out, his father isn’t much of an investor. His parents also have expensive vices. His dad’s a gambler and his mom’s a shopper. I don’t know the details. I just heard him tell Ava, that’s my cousin, that his family money is gone and the only way to save the company is to marry me.” Another loud cackle, her hands flying all about, and I realize this woman is incapable of sitting still for a minute. “He genuinely thought that by marrying me, I’d fix his family’s wealth. Fool clearly did not read the prenup my stepfathers made him sign.”
“It’s complicated.” She hiccups out a sob, her moods swinging faster than a newborn’s, and I glance over at her as I try not to kill us on the congested streets. “I should have known he never actually loved me. The signs were there all along.” She shifts and then I hear a ripping noise as she tears apart her dress.
“What are you doing?”
“Removing some of this nonsense. I can’t breathe.” She starts yanking at the back of her dress and then tugs at the bustline, more of her full tits spilling out, and Jesus. If she doesn’t stop doing that, I’ll crash my car for sure from all the blood flow in my body rapidly shooting to my dick.
“Can you not do that?” I practically groan when she bounces in her seat and her tits do the same.
“There. Better.” She sucks in a deep breath. “Do you have any clue how tight my mother cinched my corset? ‘It’ll make you look skinny, Bianca,’” she mocks, who I assume to be her mother. “‘Come on and suck in. You couldn’t lose weight for your own wedding?’ Ugh. I didn’t even want this dress. I wanted something sleeker. Something that accentuated my curves, not hid them. She’s the one who made me look like Cinder-fucking-ella to hide my hips and thighs because she thinks the world has to be a size two or they’re fat.”
She starts to cry, and dear God, what have I gotten myself into?
“I’m such a fool. They turned me into such a fool. I must look so insane to you right now, but I’m not. I simply trusted the wrong people. I know I shouldn’t be babbling on like this, and I’m positive you’re likely annoyed with me, but I can’t help it right now.”
Shit. A strange woman in a wedding dress is having a breakdown in my car and I have no clue what to do other than drive and keep my mouth shut. But as insane—yes, that word again—as it seems, the idea of her crying like this, being this sad over a loser guy like that, hits me strangely. Almost… protectively? No. Maybe. I don’t know. In a way that makes me want to right all her wrongs, which makes zero fucking sense given the situation.
She lets out a wet, mirthless laugh, her gaze casting over to me. “We were going to Scotland for our honeymoon.” Her hands fly up in the air again, her voice rising with them. “Scotland! Can you believe it? Scotland in fucking February.”
“I’m not following,” I admit.
“You’re a hot, sexy guy with money. In my experience, guys who look like you and drive cars like this only have sex with model-hot women. I bet you like looking at them naked any chance you get, right?”
I open my mouth to say something only to close it immediately. I can’t decide what I’m supposed to focus on there. The fact that she thinks I’m hot and sexy or the way she just nailed my dating life down to a cliché. She’s tall and young, but other than that, there is nothing about Curves for Days that even remotely resembles the women I typically date or, more aptly, fuck—not that I’ve been doing any of that recently.
Despite her observation, I have a very valid reason for that.
“Um…” I try again, still incapable of an adequate response because I’m not about to get into my personal life with this woman even if in the ten minutes she’s been in my car, she’s somehow managed the impossible. She intrigues me. If for no other reason than she has a nice rack and an interesting story.
Thankfully her question is rhetorical, and she continues blathering on without waiting on me.
“Most couples go to the Caribbean or Hawaii for their honeymoons. They go skinny dipping, snuggle on the beach together, and fuck in random public places like the ocean. We were going to Scotland in winter. You get me now?”
“Not exactly.” I glance over at her, taking her in for a moment now that we’re stopped at another light by The Commons. She’s a mess. Her wild mane of hair is all over the place. Her face painted in dripping black makeup. Her huge dress is ripped and covers most of her and the front seat. I still don’t know what to make of her while she spills her life story to me as if I’m Dr. fucking Phil and give a shit.
“Sweaters and parkas and heavy coats,” she tells me, staring straight into my eyes as if the answer should be obvious. “He didn’t want to see me in a bathing suit because he’s disgusted by the way I look. I’m not a size two or a four or even a six or eight. I don’t look like my perfect cousin or my perfect mother. He said something to her about it today. ‘You think I like having to fuck her? It’s all I can do to get hard. I close my eyes and picture you.’ That’s what he told my cousin.” Her face falls to her hands once more, and she sobs into them. “He was always commenting on what I was eating. What I was wearing. How often I was exercising. He was going to marry me, and I disgust him.”
She shakes her head, her hair flying, and I catch a hint of vanilla and brown sugar, sweet and richly warm, enticing like a cookie straight out of the oven. Falling back against the seat, she wipes at her face, all the while, I’m gripping the steering wheel again, enraged. I don’t even know this chick, but what kind of man says things like that about a woman? Uses a woman like that and to such an extreme? It’s taking everything inside me not to turn this car around, find that small-dicked asshole and bludgeon him to death with one of the golf clubs I have sitting in my trunk.
“If I were a stronger woman, I would have done more than chuck my engagement ring at him and dump the bottle of water I was holding on his head and run. I should have kicked his ass and then plotted his death. Hers too, for that matter. There were so many signs that I ignored over and over again,” she effuses, oblivious to my fury. “My mother pushed me on him. ‘He has a good last name. Family money. He’s interested in you. Marry him, Bianca,’” she mocks again, gesticulating all over the place as she builds steam. “Now I’m in Boston and not Texas or California or Colorado and it’s like… shit. What am I going to do now? We moved here last week so he could head up the Boston branch of his father’s failing company. We don’t even have an apartment yet, which now I see as a blessing. We’re staying in the hotel.” She snorts. “On me, of course. He had me book the room, and it’s on my credit card. God, I’m so stupid. So blind and stupid.”
“To me, it sounds like you dodged a bullet. You can do anything now, right? No apartment. Doesn’t sound like you have a job here either. You obviously have money since that’s what he was after. You’re free. He’s the one who’s fucked. You’re not marrying the loser. You should be out celebrating.”
She doesn’t say anything and that just pisses me off. I pull over into an open parking spot on the side of the road, throw the car in park, and turn to her. I give her a big once-over. I still can’t see much. She’s not small, I get that. But fuck all to hell if her curves for days aren’t sexy. She edges back toward the door, because yeah, we don’t know each other.
And I’m visibly angry.
And I have zero business doing anything that I’m doing right now.
She blinks at me, those milk-chocolate doe eyes wide as tears drip from them.
“You are beautiful, and he is a loser. You hear me? Any man who treats a woman like that is a fucking loser. A waste of space and life. And your mother and that asshole should shut their mouths about your body. Nothing hot or sexy about bone-thin, sweetheart. Nothing.”
She tilts her head, studying me for a moment, her eyebrows knitting together and crap. Here we go. She’s two seconds from recognizing me, and I’m not in the mood. I have enough of my own madness to deal with. My own family shit.
The last thing I should be doing right now is getting involved in her mess.
Without another word, I throw the car back into drive and head toward the damn hotel. I don’t even know why I said all that to her other than I can’t stand seeing a woman cry. Or hurt. A personal flaw I’ve been working on overcoming over the years. That’s all that was.
But truly, she should know she’s better off without him.
I pull up in front of the hotel and immediately the valet comes to open her door, icy wind and snow spilling inside and she shudders. But those big brown eyes are back on mine, a soft, sweet smile too, and something foreign inside of me shifts a little with it.
“Thank you again for rescuing me,” she says tenderly. “I think you’re right. I’ve been looking at this all wrong. I dodged a bullet today. And if I decide to stay in Boston, maybe fate will step back in, and I’ll see you somewhere again. Then I can buy you a drink to thank you properly.”
With that, she launches herself across the console, drops a kiss on my cheek, and then flees my car, racing into the hotel, a flutter of white trailing her.
I stare after her, a bemused smile curling up my lips as my fingers find the slightly wet, sticky spot on my cheek she just kissed. A chuckle hits the air and I shake my head. I step out of the car, handing the valet my keys and accepting the ticket in exchange.
That was the strangest half hour of my life. As I head toward the entrance of the hotel, the same one she just fled into, I can’t decide if I’d mind running into her again or not. And if I did, would I let her buy me that drink?
|September 17, 2022
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