Page 26 of Doctor Next Door

Edgar remained by my side the entire evening, looking exceptionally dapper in a matching set of black pants and blazer, along with a soft white button-down shirt. He’d swept his dark hair to the side and was freshly shaved, offering the perfect opportunity to study his hard jawline that I desperately wanted to drag my lips along. I was unfortunately too busy mingling with all of the guests to find the time to drag Edgar off somewhere to make out with him in a corner. We weaved our way through the crowd and eventually stopped before one of my most recent completed paintings on display. A group of six people, all dressed to the nines, stood before it in silent contemplation of the piece.

It was a combination of water color and gold leafing in a palate of mostly whites, yellows, and soft blues. Centered on the canvas was the image of an angel, glorious wings spread out behind him as he stood on a fluffy pillow of clouds. He was surrounded by a border of glorious thick golden rays, which were engraved with a delicate floral pattern only visible up close. The painting was the result of three days of non-stop work. By the end of it, I was left with nothing but the feeling of satisfaction and wholeness. To me, there was nothing better than completing a job well-done.

“Are you Daliah Flowers?” inquired a woman in a tight red dress and four-inch heels.

“Yes,” I said with a smile, sticking my hand out to shake. The woman amicably took it and grinned.

“I absolutely adore this painting,” she cooed. Her eyes flitted from the painting to Edgar. “I see where you drew your inspiration from. Is this the muse himself?”

I giggled when Edgar’s cheeks flushed a pale pink. “It is indeed,” I said happily.

“Is this one for sale?” asked one of the other men in the group. “I think my wife would love it in her study.”

The woman daintily placed a hand on my shoulder, smiling wide. “I’m interested, too. I’d be willing to offer double what he’s hoping to pay.”

The man frowned at her. “I’ll triple the asking price. I know things of value when I see it.”

I was about to protest and inform them that this particular piece wasn’t for sale, but they were too caught up in a staring match to notice. I had to stifle a laugh. My paintings had never been the subject of a bidding war before. This was all so new and intimidating. Beside me, Edgar chuckled as he placed a hand on the small of my back, offering me a bit of comfort. He leaned down to whisper in my ear.

“Well, look at that,” he hummed. “Only the first day of the exhibit and people are already fighting over your art.”

“It’s kind of exciting,” I admitted. I reached into the black clutch I’d been carrying around pulled out two business cards, handing them to the interested parties around me. “Let’s enjoy the party for now, shall we? You can feel free to email me later about the work.”

With a quick nod, Edgar then guided me over to the open bar. He gingerly picked up two champagne flutes and handed one to me.

“You really went all out for this, didn’t you?” I laughed.

He shrugged a shoulder sheepishly. “I wanted to make sure your first show was perfect.”

I reached out and stroked his face, over the moon by the way he leaned into my touch. “It is perfect. Especially because I get to share it with someone special.”

“When do you think the party is going to wrap up?” he asked.

“Why? Do you need to be at work early tomorrow?”

Edgar shook his head. “No,” he replied, lowering his voice. “I’ve just been looking forward to getting you out of that dress all evening.”

I bit my lower lip and stifled a soft moan. “Behave yourself, Dr. Linton,” I teased.

He laughed, quickly pressing a kiss to my forehead. “Fine,” he sighed, “but only because I don’t want to embarrass you.”

“You could never embarrass me.”

Just then, Edgar’s phone buzzed in his pocket. His hand instinctively flew to his pocket to silence the call. I raised an eyebrow at him, the corner of my lips twisting upwards.

“Aren’t you going to answer it?” I asked.

“This is your big night,” he stated firmly. “You’re the only thing I want to focus on.”

But that was when his phone buzzed again, twice to indicate that he had a message waiting for him. I patted Edgar on the chest and nodded.

“Answer it,” I urged. “The evening’s still young and I’m not going anywhere. What’s one phone call?”

Edgar smiled. “Okay. I’ll take this outside. I promise I won’t be long.”

“You better not. I have to return you to the old folk’s home by midnight.”

“Or what? I’ll turn into a pumpkin?”


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