“What the hell are you doing here?” The words were out of her mouth before she’d even finished opening the door.
Like a chastised schoolboy, he shifted from one foot to the other. His cheeks pinkened and he nervously moistened his lips. “Did I… Did I come at a bad time?”
Kerry’s thoughts flashed back to the nursing station dream, and to Dr. Webster pressed provocatively against her. She flushed unexpectedly and silently cursed herself for allowing her subconscious to get away from her. “Yes, dammit!” she snapped. “I was in the tub.”
He dragged his eyes away from the lapels of her robe, where the beginning swell of her breasts teased. “I ahh… I really needed to explain about today.”
“You’re an idiot. That doesn’t take much explanation.”
He pursed his lips and nodded. “I deserve that. From your perspective anyway.”
“From my perspective?” Her voice rose incredulously. “From any perspective. What the hell kind of doctor are you if you faint at the first sight of blood?”
“Well, to tell you the truth,” he bit his lip. “It isn’t the blood that makes me react that way.”
Kerry raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. Cold sarcasm dripped from her voice. “Really?”
“Really.’ He rubbed his lower lip with a forefinger. “It’s not the blood at all. Blood I can handle. It’s the ah… The ah… I can’t handle needles. The mere thought of them breaking the skin and…”
“What? Oh my God, you’ve got to be joking?”
He shook his head and shoved his hands in his pockets. “No, not joking. Look, can I come in? Talking about this in the hallway is sort of embarrassing.”
“I don’t know you and I’m naked under this robe. No, you can’t come in.”
A wicked glint entered his blue eyes. “Don’t be shy, I’m a doctor.”
She almost let her lips curl up into a smile. That was cute, but predictable. Something a first year medical student would say.
“Mmhm. And a helluva doctor you are.” A flash of humor crossed her face and was quickly quashed. She leaned a hip against the door jamb. She counted with her fingers. “You get tossed on your ass by a violent patient and you pass out not once, but twice. Got quite the record going and it was only your first day.”
“You make it sound like it was a bad day.”
Kerry raised one perfectly plucked eyebrow. “If you think that was a good impression, I’d hate to see a bad one, Dr. Webster.”
He offered her a patient smile. “If I make it through tomorrow without one fainting spell, will it set me a notch above the idiot category I’m in now?”
She couldn’t help it. A barely contained giggled bubbled up and escaped her lips. He was a smartass, that was for sure. A good looking, lust arousing smartass. She looked down at her toes peeking out from beneath her robe and then glanced up.
“I suppose that might help. But I’m not expecting miracles.”
He sighed. “You certainly are the cool one, aren’t you?”
“You know what they call me.” She shrugged.
“Yep. McCool. The ice queen.”
“Ice queen?” she queried with a chuckle. “That’s a new one.”
He leaned his shoulder against the same doorjamb. “No, that one has been around just about as long as McCool. You’ve just never heard it.”
They stood nearly nose to nose. Okay, nose to chin. She noted the twinkle in his eyes and took the bait. “Alright. Since you’re so smart, what is it supposed to mean?”
His mouth twitched. “It’s more like an extension of your other nickname. You know, McCool. As in cool under pressure.”
“Uh huh. Go on.”
“You don’t date,” he said simply. “There’s been talk.”
She laughed. “That I’m unreachable?” At his silence, she continued. “Or a lesbian?”
His only answer was a shrug.
Maybe it was still the dream sending endorphins soaring through her blood, or maybe it was the challenge to her sexuality that put her brain into park and her lips into gear. The reason didn’t matter and she gave it less than a second’s thought before she reached out and grabbed his face between her palms.
His eyes widened as her mouth came down over his and his lips parted in surprise. Her tongue explored his mouth tentatively, and then grew bolder, dipping deeper inside the moist cavern. She sucked gently and felt the sharp intake of his breath, smiling to herself with satisfaction. Ice queen indeed.
Ice queen be damned, Benjamin thought. Whoever attached that label had never kissed Kerry-Lee McKenzie before. He wrapped one arm around her shoulder and the other around her waist, pulling her in tightly against his awakening body. The heady scent of jasmine clung to her skin, enticing his nostrils. She was soft and curvy in all the right places. Kerry-Lee was all woman, that was a certainty.
Kerry felt weak and confused. She wasn’t supposed to have this kind of reaction when she was only teaching the young doctor a lesson on believing gossip. She glanced up with eyes darkened by passion to a deep emerald green, contrasting greatly to the bright blush in her cheeks. She swallowed hard and stepped back into her apartment, her eyes not leaving the blue ones gazing down at her in wonder.
“Call me McCool if you want,” she said shakily. “But at least do it for the right reasons.”
She closed the door and threw the dead bolt, leaving Ben tongue-tied and staring at the closed portal.