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.You might have a concussion.""I don't have a concussion, and I don't want the Trib to miss the story.We have a lot of competition these days with blogs and online news outlets.""We can handle the competition." Josh sat down in the chair next to the bed."Besides, you have a lot of people working for you.Let them do their jobs." Josh leaned back and toyed with a piece of tubing hanging from some sort of a machine."What do you think this is?""I have no idea.Where is the damn doctor anyway? I could have bled to death by now.""'Death by Stapler,'" Josh said with a laugh."There's a headline for you.Or how about 'Psycho Supermodel Snaps'?"Cole groaned."Not funny.""It is kind of funny."Josh was right.His personal life was now officially a joke.Gisela's parting shot had definitely gotten his attention.Maybe he did need to focus on something or someone besides the news.But not Gisela.That was over.He'd known it for a while.He'd just been too busy to end it.Now that she'd done it, he felt more relieved than anything else.Cole looked up as a woman entered the room."Good evening, Mr.--” She stopped abruptly, looking up from the chart with wide, shockingly familiar eyes."Cole?"Natalie?His heart thudded against his chest.It couldn't be Natalie.Not now, not after all these years.Not here, not in his city.She moved farther into the room, slow, small steps, as if she wasn't quite sure she wanted to come closer.Her hair, a beautiful dark red, was pulled back in a clip, showing off the perfect oval of her face.Her eyes were a brilliant blue, her lips as soft and full as he remembered, but it was the tiny freckle at the corner of her mouth that made him suck in his breath.He'd kissed that freckle.He'd kissed that mouth.God! Natalie Bishop.The only woman he'd ever.No, he couldn't think it, much less say it.It should have been easy to see her.It had been ten years, but it seemed like ten minutes.She was older now, a woman -- not a girl.There were tiny lines by her eyes and around her mouth.She'd filled out, grown up, and she'd come back.He wasn't ready to see her again.She didn't look ready to see him, either.Cole suddenly became aware of the white coat she was wearing, the stethoscope around her neck, the chart in her hands.She was a doctor.She was his doctor!"Well, isn't this quite the reunion?" Josh murmured, breaking the silence between them."Remember me?"Natalie looked at Josh blankly for a second; then recognition kicked in."Of course.You're Josh, Dylan's twin brother and Cole's next-door neighbor.""Good memory."Natalie turned her attention back to Cole."Did you come to see me about the book? Is it really about Emily?" Her gaze moved to his head."Oh, you're hurt.You have a laceration.That's why you're here.Of course that's why you're here," she added with a shake of her head."What am I thinking?""What book? What are you talking about?"Her mouth opened, then closed."Nothing.Are you in pain?""I've had better days.Are you really a doctor?""Yes, I am.What happened?" She held his chart in front of her like a protective shield."I got hit by a flying object," he said, preferring not to go into the details."His girlfriend threw a stapler at his head," Josh interjected helpfully."She was trying to get his attention.""Did it work?" Natalie asked briskly, her demeanor changing at the mention of a girlfriend.Or maybe she was just coming to grips with the fact that they were in the same room.Whatever the reason, she now had on her game face."I'm definitely switching to paper clips," Cole replied.She stared at him for a long moment.He wondered what she was seeing, what she was thinking.Not that he cared.Why would he care what she thought of him? He knew what he thought of her.And it wasn't good."You may need stitches," she said.He wondered how she knew that when she hadn't looked at the wound.In fact, she'd stopped a good three feet away and couldn't seem to make herself come any closer."How long have you worked here?""A few years.""A few years?" he echoed.She'd been in San Francisco a few years, working at a hospital a couple of blocks from the newspaper?"St.Timothy's is an excellent hospital.They offered me a terrific opportunity, better than I could find anywhere else.That's why I came to San Francisco," she said in a defensive rush."It had nothing to do with you.I'm going to get some sutures.I'll be back."Josh let out a low whistle as Natalie left the room [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]