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Just Fooling Around(2)

By:Julie Kenner & Kathleen O'Reilly

Every year on April Fools’ Day, he was in her E.R. with something new. Last year it was a broken leg sustained while hang gliding. The year before, it was a motorcross accident, complete with a distal radius fracture and more lacerations than Alfred Hitchcock could ever imagine.

Even with all the medical trauma, she still wanted to pull him behind the curtain and show him how doctor was meant to be played.

What she couldn’t figure out was why Bertie was immune. Every other female in the E.R. had spent many a private moment in the staff lounge, fantasizing about Cam Franklin—including Jenna.

Paging Doctor McSlutty…

Feeling the familiar pangs, her medically trained scrutiny drifted over his anatomy in a purely nonprofessional manner.

The sling on his arm did nothing to detract from the finely tapered torso, the shaggy mane of sun-streaked brown hair and the ass that…well, in her line of work there were few backsides she wanted to see nude. But his…two bulbous cheeks lovingly gift-wrapped in faded Levi’s…da Vinci couldn’t have sketched it any better.

Discreetly, she raised a hand and fanned her own flushed cheeks.

Three years ago, she’d almost invented a tetanus scare in order to ask him to drop his trousers. In the end, she chickened out—pesky medical ethics and potential for malpractice. But even knowing those risks, the temptation had been strong.

Seeing there was no hope for gratuitous nudity this year, either, she stuffed her hands into the pockets of her lab coat and watched Bertie and Cam argue with ever-increasing wrath.

Before she could intervene, her cell phone beeped. It was her sister.

“What?” she answered, her eyes still focused on Cam, thinking that no man should look that sexy when he was irate and medicated.

“Are you okay?” asked Janie.


“Your voice sounds goofy. A little wobbly. Why is it wobbly?”

Jenna cleared her throat, erasing some of the lust, which was always a problem when Cam was around. “Better?”

“Ah, yes. Now there’s the crisp, no-nonsense sister I know and love. I need a favor.”

“No, I will not go out with Tony’s business partner,” she insisted, hoping to get off the phone soon. The patients were starting to notice the argument at the desk, and Larry the Security Guard had already peeped over there twice.

“No fix-ups. That wasn’t the favor. Can you talk to Mom?”

“Why can’t you do it?”

“You’re the doctor.”

“You’re the mother, the wife, the managing director of a billion-dollar foundation. That’s not peanuts. That should count.”

“I’m afraid of her.”

“I’m afraid of her, too. It’s why we’re hardened and driven and overcompensate in all other areas of achievement. In many ways, that very terror is responsible for our success. Embrace your fears. Call her yourself.”

“She wants me to come to San Diego with her. To a spa.” Janie dragged out the words like a death sentence.

“Go. Sounds like fun.”

“You’re not listening to me, are you? Because if you were really listening, you would have expressed the appropriate levels of shock and horror at the idea of spending a weekend with Mother. A weekend that involves mud and creepy levels of nakedness. It could scar me for life.”

“You are scarred for life, get over it.” Tough love was the motto in the Ferrar family, except when it came to men. Then they were mush. Jenna cast a mush-filled look at Cam and sighed.

“You won’t go? You could go. I’ll tell her that you should go.”

“I’m needed here. I have to save lives.”

“That’s a likely story.”

She noticed that Bertie seemed ready to kill. Not so unlikely. “Can’t go.”

“I hate you.”

“No you don’t.”

“I could hate you.”

“No you won’t. Who would go shopping with you and tell you that fleece sweatpants are actually flattering and you don’t need to feel guilt for dressing like a frump? No one, because the people that love you are the ones that will lie.”

“You’re going to make me go?”

“Grow a pair. Tell her no,” encouraged Jenna, who had lusted after Cam Franklin for four years, and had done exactly nothing. Yes, there was irony. Janie would never know.

“I can’t tell her no, she’s my mother,” pleaded Janie, but Jenna heard the resignation in her voice.

“Hanging up now, sis.”


Jenna ended the call and started toward the reception desk, thinking that maybe it was time for her to grow a pair, as well.

“You don’t need to call the police. There is no crime,” Cam was saying, almost a bellow, but not quite. Safely behind the bulletproof glass partition, Bertie jumped up and glared, eyes promising death. “If you don’t back away from my window, there will be crime, mister.”