Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Very Special Favor by Ann Jacobs Excerpt

A Very Special Favor by Ann Jacobs

A single father who needs a wife to keep custody of his son and a woman he’s never thought of as anything but his best friend. Maybe she’s the solution he’s looking for. Or maybe that very special favor will change everything. Forever.


Hearing from his lawyer about his ex-wife’s latest legal salvo topped off what had already been one hell of a day, between having one patient suffer an apparent heart attack while undergoing surgery and discovering that another required complicated reconstructive surgery when she’d been booked for a simple knee arthroscopy.
Kurt Silverman went in his office and shed the lab coat he’d thrown on over wrinkled OR scrubs after his last case. This was the first time since six o’clock this morning that he’d had time to catch his breath. Closing his eyes, he laid his head against the back of his desk chair and tried to clear his mind.
Hey, Silverman, I thought the office closed at five. Couldn’t you sleep better if you went on home?”
Kurt opened one eye at the familiar lilt of Shelly Ware’s voice. “Shel. You’re here awfully late yourself. What’s up?”
Not much. I just finished Brad Gale’s therapy. He has trouble getting here during regular hours.”
Kurt recalled a fiftyish former NFL player, now financial analyst whose knee he’d repaired two months ago. “It’s nice of you to stay late so he doesn’t miss his rehab.”
I try to accommodate him whenever I can. His boss isn’t very flexible about his working hours. I saw your light on and decided to come say hello on my way out.” She paused and gave him a thorough once-over. “What’s wrong with you? You look as though you just lost your best friend.”
I’m okay. Long day, lots of problems.”
Want to unload some of them?”
Kurt shrugged, then grimaced at the pain that followed that abrupt movement. “If you’ve got time, I think a rubdown would do me more good than dumping my troubles on my favorite physical therapist.”
Swivel that chair around this way and I’ll see what I can do.”
When he did, she laid her hands on his shoulders and began to knead, softly at first, then harder. Kurt closed his eyes again and shut down his mind to everything except her touch, and the pungent but not unpleasant smell of deep-heating rub that he associated with his pal Shelly.
The furnace blower kicked in, its sound a throaty, relaxing purr. Shelly paused, as though the noise had distracted her. “Don’t stop. Did anybody ever tell you you’ve got a magic touch?”
She laughed. “Nobody but you. You’re the surgeon with the magic hands. I’m just an overworked, underpaid physical therapist. By the way, Mrs. Anderson was moving her leg better today.”
Thanks. Any good news is welcome on a day like this. Adrianna’s pet shark has trumped up new excuses to drag me back into court. I swear the woman won’t quit punishing me until I’m dead and she’s picked my bones clean.”
Is there anything I can do to make things better?”
Kurt shrugged. “Not unless you know a hit man who specializes in doing ex-wives.” He picked up the correspondence from his lawyer that he’d looked over before going to the OR, then slapped it back onto the desk. “She wants to restrict my visits with Jason.”
Kurt, no. That wouldn’t help her and it would only hurt your son. She wouldn’t do that to Jason.” Shelly resumed massaging his shoulders, her touch fiercer than before.
I’m afraid she would.”
What reason could she possibly have to keep him from seeing you?”
I live in a pigsty, work all the time and ignore my son when he’s here. According to Adrianna, that is.”
Just thinking about her lawyer’s assertions about his unfitness made Kurt’s muscles tighten again, but Shelly kept massaging him until she had the knots worked out. When she stepped away, her warmth stayed with him.
Unshed tears made her eyes sparkle in the fluorescent glow from the ceiling lights. “I’m so sorry.”
Me, too. I’m damn sorry I ever married Adrianna. Hell, I wish I’d joined a monastery before I met her.”
A grin lurked at the corners of her mouth. “Kurt, you’re not even Catholic.”
I should have converted.”
And disappointed all the Jewish mothers who had their hearts set on marrying their daughters off to Dr. Silverman?” Now a smile lit up her whole face.
Kurt returned her grin. He couldn’t stay depressed too long around Shelly. Unlike most women, she didn’t set his defenses on high alert. Besides, she had a way of making life’s problems seem less pressing. “Don’t mind me. I’ll survive somehow. Are we still on for Friday night to celebrate you growing another year older?”
Just try to weasel out.” She shot a playful look his way. “I’m assuming you won’t get too decrepit by then to hoist your margarita.”

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