Tessa glanced over her shoulder as she fished her purse out from the cabinet at the nurse’s station. Kyle Nolan had wheeled his x-ray machine into a patient’s room a few minutes earlier, and she was eager to get away before he finished. “Have a good night, guys,” she called as she headed for the elevator. “Watch Mrs. Gates in room 807. She likes to wander. And she doesn’t tie her gown closed.”
The other nurses laughed, and Tessa walked a little faster. She couldn’t wait to get home. Her feet were killing her, and she felt as if she’d been dragged backward through a knot hole.
Before she could push the call button for the elevator, a large male hand covered it. Damn it! She hadn’t been fast enough.
She stared at the hand for a moment, counted to ten, then turned to look into the pale blue eyes of Kyle Nolan. The x-ray technician held her gaze, his polite smile a thin veneer for the lust in his eyes.
“Kyle. What are you doing?”
He removed his hand from the buttons. “I have one last patient, then I’m done, too. Have a drink with me.”
Tessa sighed. He’d asked her the same thing repeatedly, and she’d turned him down every time. Did he think she’d suddenly change her mind? “No thanks, Kyle. I don’t date co-workers. I’ve told you that before.”
“You go out for drinks with other people. Why not me?”
Tessa resisted rolling her eyes. “That’s not dating. It’s a group of people. Friends. Not dates.” She took a deep breath and stabbed the elevator call button. She and Kyle had to work together, and she’d prefer to keep things friendly. But it was time to be blunt. “I’m not interested, Kyle. In drinks or anything else. I’m sorry.”
She pushed the call button again, then leaned against the wall. Kyle shot her an angry glare, then banged the cumbersome portable x-ray machine into the doorjamb as he wheeled it toward a patient’s room.
That was one of the reasons she wasn’t interested in Kyle. Some of the nurses thought he was hot, but she didn’t like drama. Or emotion. Since Brian’s death, she kept things casual. She didn’t do relationships. She only dated guys who didn’t do relationships, either.
Tessa leaned against the wall and sighed. If Kyle didn’t back off, she’d have to say something to her supervisor. She didn’t want to get Kyle into trouble, but someone needed to straighten him out.
As she waited for the elevator, the silence on the floor relaxed her. Faint beeping from the machines in patient rooms drifted into the hall, but most of the patients were asleep. The pace of the floor slowed after nine or so. It was almost a shame to leave at eleven, just when things calmed down.
A man stepped out of a room at the end of the hall, and she swallowed and looked away. What was Dr. Hunter doing here at this time of night? He must have had a patient admitted.
She could barely bring herself to look at the man anymore.
Before she’d gotten to know him, she’d fantasized about Dr. Hunter and his wide shoulders and muscular arms. His expressive dark brown eyes. His hands.
Then she’d gotten to know the arrogant new attending, and her fantasies had shriveled up and died. Helped along, if she was being honest with herself, by the glimpse she’d caught of her neighbor in the building next door. All of her fantasies now focused solely on the hot guy in the next building. And she’d only seen him from the waist down.
She closed her eyes. Clearly, it had been way too long since she had sex.
The elevator dinged, and as she waited for the door to open, she glimpsed Hunter’s shadow behind him. First year intern James Dietrich was literally the orthopedic surgeon’s shadow. It was a new program at Chicago’s St. Christopher hospital. One intern, one doctor. It was supposed to make the intern learn the routine more naturally. Make them absorb information more organically. The hospital was very big on organic.
James was a little overweight. Not obese, just…soft. As if he didn’t exercise or watch what he ate. And he spent way too much time staring at all the nurses. The nurses thought he was creepy, but Tessa chalked it up to the intern’s poor social skills. She felt sorry for him, actually. It couldn’t be pleasant to have Hunter as his mentor.
James gave her a little wave, as if he thought she was watching him. Tessa nodded and looked away.
The elevator door opened, and she stepped inside. Hunter glanced down the hall, but his gaze skipped over her as if she didn’t even exist. This was the guy she’d been dreaming about? Seriously? She needed to get a life outside of work. Spend some time with her friends. Go on the occasional date.
Have some actual sex, instead of just fantasizing about it. Although she certainly enjoyed remembering how her new neighbor had looked, buck naked, playing with his cock.
She’d probably remember him again when she got home tonight. And she’d fall asleep happy and satisfied.
The heat was stifling when she walked out of the hospital. Humidity pressed down on her like a damp wool blanket, and the air was heavy and still. As she turned the corner, though, a breeze blew off the lake, making the heat slightly less oppressive.
As she walked, she began to sweat. Her polyester-blend uniform stuck uncomfortably to her skin, making her glance around for a taxi. She lived three blocks from the hospital, and she liked walking home. But tonight, an air-conditioned taxi sounded really good.
Her small apartment didn’t have an air-conditioner. And even though she’d left the windows open, it would be stifling in her bedroom. She’d already lived through one summer in that apartment. She knew how bad it could get.
Ten minutes later, as she unlocked the door and stepped inside, the air was heavy and hot. Unmoving. She turned on the fan in the living room window and welcomed the stream of air that swept over her sweaty body.
She locked the door and headed for her bedroom, flicking on the light as she walked into the room. The window was raised, and the breeze from the living room fan stirred the white curtain, teasing it open. Her neighbor’s window was open, too, but his apartment was dark. She wondered what he did – she’d only seen him that once.
She dropped her purse on her dresser and stripped off her uniform. Then she pulled the band out of her hair and let the curls fall to her shoulders. It would be cooler if she left it up, but she hated having her hair tied back. She had to do it for work, but she released it as soon as she got home.
As she stood in the door to her bedroom in her bra and panties, the air flowed over her in a soft caress. It swirled over her back, between her legs, across her neck. She closed her eyes and imagined that it was her unknown neighbor’s hands that were caressing her instead of a breeze. He would stand behind her, lift her hair and brush his mouth over her neck. He’d whisper that she was sexy and beautiful and she was driving him mad with desire.
He’d unhook her bra and let it drop to the floor. Then his hands would slide down her back, over her hips and around to her belly. He’d know she wanted him to touch her breasts, but he’d tease her. Make her wait. His fingers would creep higher on her belly, until they reached her ribs. He’d trace each of them, bending to kiss her neck at the same time.
Finally, he’d reach her breasts. He was moving way too slowly. He’d cup them lightly, touching only the bottom curve. Then he’d draw a finger between them. She’d turn, try to get him to touch her nipples, but he’d laugh against her neck and take his hands away. Then he’d start all over again.
Tessa looked down at herself. Her hands were cupping her breasts. Squeezing them lightly. Slowly, she touched a finger to each nipple. They tightened into hard buds, and she touched them again. Her clit throbbed, and she pinched her nipples. Her knees went weak, and she dropped onto her bed.
She was so hot. On her bed, she couldn’t feel the breeze from the fan. The curtain rippled, blowing open a little, then closing again. She didn’t worry that her neighbor could see her – he wasn’t even home. So she lay back on her pillow and touched her breasts again.
Her clit throbbed, and she slid her hands inside the tiny bikini panties. She was already wet. Hungry. She pulled the panties off, tossed them on the floor and brushed her fingers over the thatch of hair between her thighs. Then she squeezed her nipples again. A little harder this time, and she couldn’t stop the moan that rumbled in her throat.
She loved having her breasts touched. Kissed. Licked. Nibbled. She especially liked having a man do the touching. But she worked a lot of overtime and hadn’t had a date in ages. And lately, she hadn’t been interested in having anyone touch her but her neighbor.
Who didn’t know she existed.
Quinn Donovan unlocked his apartment and walked inside, automatically locking the deadbolt behind him. He’d left his fan going in the living room window, but it hadn’t helped much. The apartment was still hot as hell. He hoped the ceiling fan in the bedroom had kept the temperature below 100.
As he walked toward the kitchen, he began to unbuckle his holster. His shirt beneath the leather-holstered Glock was wet with perspiration, and semi-circles of dark moisture stained his shirt beneath both arms. He dropped the holstered gun on the counter and yanked open his refrigerator, rooted around until he found a bottle of 312.
Perfect summer beer. He rolled the cold bottle over his forehead before popping the cap and taking a long drink. God, there was nothing like a cold beer after a long day at work chasing shitheads and douche bags.
Slamming off the kitchen light, he grabbed the gun off the counter and headed for his bedroom. It was marginally cooler in here, with the ceiling fan moving air sluggishly around the room.
He reached to turn on the light, but froze when he heard a low moan. His hand tightened on the gun as he strained to listen. It sounded as if it came from the apartment on the other side of the narrow space between his building and the one next door.
He stepped to the window and pushed his curtain to one side. Directly across from him, the light was on in his neighbor’s apartment. He’d just moved in a couple of weeks earlier and hadn’t yet seen the person who lived there. He or she kept the curtains closed. Up until now, he hadn’t heard a peep out of the place.
But the window was open and the curtain was fluttering. Whoever was in there moaned again, and he realized suddenly it wasn’t a sound of distress. It was the sound of someone having sex…