Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Wednesday, May 1, 2024


As the countdown to summer ticks on, I am going to be sharing bonus scenes from ER DOC'S LAS VEGAS REUNION here on my blog. The first is a conversation between my hero, Clark Malone, and his best friend, Leo Graham. This is a heated one as Clark is angry with our heroine, Eva Gordon, who he thinks has reconnected with her ex-fiancé. Keep reading to check it out!

Clark stared at his reflection in Posh Fit Gym’s mirror, heaving as he lifted a fifty-pound dumbbell over his head. The anger pulsating through his veins had him seeing double. He squeezed his eyes shut, pushing past the burn of his sixth set of reps while hoping the pain would numb his feelings.

Leo, who was laid out on the floor next to Clark, had been stretching his calves for the past twenty minutes. Wiggling onto his side, he panted, “So let me get this straight. You cancelled your date with Veronica because you weren’t feeling well?”

“Yes. Why?”

“I don’t believe that. I think you cancelled because you can’t get Eva out of your head. She’s the only woman you want. The sooner you can admit that yourself, the better off you’ll be.”

“Like I said,” Clark huffed, increasing the speed on his bicep curls, “I cancelled because I was sick. By the time I got home from the hospital after treating that patient who’d almost drowned, I was exhausted. Then once the migraine kicked in, I was done.”

“Is that the story we’re going with?”

“Yes. Because it’s the truth. Look, while you’re so busy grilling me, why don’t you admit to whatever’s going on between you and Brandi?”

Leo rolled back over and pulled his knees into his chest. “Brandi and I are cool. We’re hanging out. Enjoying each other’s company. You know what I mean?”

“So you two are dating.”

“I didn’t say all that. We’re simply going with the flow. Now, have we shared a kiss or two? Yeah, we have.”

“Okay then!” Clark said, tossing him a high five. “I like you two together—”

“Hold up, see, now you’re going too far. Brandi and I are not together. And by the way, this conversation never happened. I promised her I’d keep things under wraps. Now, back to you. I’d like to know why you decided to stop by Eva’s place without calling first.”

Dude, I told you that she and her ex got back together, and that’s what you’re focusing on?”

“All I’m saying is that when you roll up on someone unannounced, you’ve got to expect the unexpected. And maybe what you think you saw wasn’t what you actually saw.”

“Wait, what?” Clark shouted, cringing at the abrupt outburst. His eyes roamed the immediate area. No one was standing close enough to hear him lose his cool. “What I saw was him proposing, and the two of them hugging it out.”

“That’s impossible. Because last I heard, Eva couldn’t stand the man. He’s the main reason why she left Black Willow. Why would she take him back so easily?”

Clark dropped the dumbbells onto the floor, oblivious to the sonic boom that erupted from the crash. An urge to overexert himself took over. He jumped high in the air then hit the mat, releasing a series of burpees. “Because he’s the new state senator of Iowa. And as we both know, Eva is a parent-pleaser. That’s what they want. And I guess being with a stiff robot who’s all about his image works for her, too.”

“Well, you weren’t presenting her with a better offer, so...” Leo flipped over on to his stomach and attempted to lift his head and chest up off the mat. “Check out my new yoga move. Upward facing dog. See, while you’re over there killing yourself, I’m partaking in a much more effective workout that won’t ruin my joints and—” he paused, dropped back down and pointed over at Clark. “Wait, how do you even know that Eva’s ex won the election?”

Clark responded with a grunt as he broke into a set of jumping jacks.

“Aww, come on, man! Please tell me you haven’t gone back to your old ways. Are you using the internet to stalk Eva’s life again?”

When Clark failed to reply once again, Leo rolled his eyes. “Listen. As your best friend, I’m not gonna lie here and tell you what you wanna hear. I’m gonna tell you what you need to hear. This is all your fault.”

My fault?”

“Yes, your fault! You continue to let your past, not to mention fear, get in the way of your happiness. Your feelings for Eva haven’t changed since med school. You may have suppressed them over the years, but they exploded the day she showed up at Fremont General. And how do you handle it? By coming at her with that dumb ass no strings attached rule. I don’t think either of you really wanted that, but for whatever reason you both agreed to it. And look at you now. In denial and drowning your sorrows in sweat.”

Exhausted both mentally and physically, Clark plopped down onto a nearby weight bench. He grabbed a towel and wiped his face then bit into it in frustration. “Eva is an intelligent, outspoken woman. If she wanted more, she would’ve said that. I honestly think she sees this whole Las Vegas experience for exactly what it is—a temporary assignment. She’s here to learn all she can and have a good time. Once the three months are up, she’ll go back to her life in Black Willow and walk down the aisle with that clown.”

“If it’s that straightforward, then why was Eva so upset when she found out about your date with Veronica?”

Clark shot up from the bench. “How did she know about that? Did you tell Brandi, knowing she’d run right back and tell Eva?”

“No! Apparently, Brandi overheard you talking about it outside of my office. So don’t try and put that on me. I’ve been nothing but loyal and honest with you this entire time, even though you haven’t taken a word of my advice. I’m about to start keeping all those good words of wisdom it to myself, too…”

Damn,” Clark muttered while pacing the floor. “It’s all making sense now. Eva found out I was seeing other people, so she called up her ex to fix things with him and even the score.”

“Do you really think Eva’s that petty? Because I don’t. But here’s a thought. Why don’t you just ask her what’s really going on?”

“Nope,” Clark uttered defiantly, hitting the floor and cranking out a set of push-ups. “Absolutely not. When it comes down to it, Eva owes me nothing. We weren’t in an exclusive relationship. If she wants me to know what’s happening, she’ll tell me.”

That’s what his mouth said. But when thoughts of Eva marrying another man rushed through his mind, Clark became sick to his stomach. The clean slate they’d established was getting muddier by the minute.

Grabbing his bottle of Gatorade, Leo took a long drink and said, “Let me ask you this again. Why did you go over to Eva’s?”

Clark acted as if he hadn’t heard him, instead focusing on the floor as he pulled his right hand behind his back and pushed down with his left.

“Oh, feel free to stay silent while you show out with the one-handed pushups. I already know the answer. You went there to tell her how you feel. Confess that you don’t want to be with anyone but her. But then you saw Eva with her ex and backed off. So, what now? Are you just gonna let her walk out of your life once again without putting up a fight?”

“That’s exactly what I’m gonna do. You know why? Because some things never change. Eva showed me who she was back in the day. A runner. She ran during med school because she was afraid to give us a chance. Ran from Black Willow when she couldn’t face the heat after her relationship ended with a man she never really loved. And now, she’s gonna run back home when she’s done here and pick right back up where she left off. How would I look trying to stop her when she’s proven once again that I’m not the one?”

“But for the time being, Eva is still here. So stop ignoring your feelings. And drop that dumb ass no strings attached plan. The only reason you set it up in the first place was to avoid getting hurt. And in the end, you still got hurt.”

Clark flinched underneath the sting of Leo’s words. He racked his brain for a snappy response but came up empty. Because his friend was absolutely right.

“Whoa,” Leo groaned, stretching his lower back. “I am completely spent.”

Spent. How? You barely even worked out!”

“Whatever. I exerted enough energy to work up an appetite. Let’s stop and get breakfast on the way to the hospital.”

“Fine. I could go for an egg white omelet and blueberry smoothie. But can we please change the subject? I’d like to eat my meal in peace.”

Waving his towel in surrenderance, Leo replied, “All right. No more talk of Eva. I’ll be too busy stuffing my face with a triple decker BLT and sweet potato hash browns anyway.”

“You are a lost cause, man. Let this be the last time you come to the gym with me.”

For more on ER DOC'S LAS VEGAS REUNION, CLICK HERE. Be sure to stay tuned as more bonus scenes are on the way! 

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