My vision blurred as I thought about all we’d been through the last couple of days. I didn’t think the Tammy situation was over, but Michael said he’d handle her. I had no doubt in his abilities, but her craziness couldn’t be planned for. She was the most dangerous form of opponent.

“What are you thinking?” he asked, as he turned over stretching out across the bed. He slid his hand under my body pulling me to him.

“I don’t know what to think.” I snuggled into him and let the tears flow.

“Hey, hey. Don’t cry. I know it was good, but I’ve never brought a girl to tears before.”

“You ass,” I said, smacking his chest. “I’m scared, Michael.”

“Of what?”

“You, Tammy, this,” I said, waving my hand over his body.

“Don’t worry about Tammy. She’s being dealt with. Don’t be scared of me or us. We got off track, thrown off by a person nuttier than a Snickers bar.”

I bit my lip to stifle a laugh. “You have such a way with words.” I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I laughed and buried my face in his side.

“Well, how would you describe her?”

I looked up at him and the tears of worry turned to those of uncontrollable laughter. “You hit the nail right on the head.”

“That’s enough about her. Let me just enjoy the feel of you in my arms. No more talking, Doc.”

I snuggled into his side and closed my eyes. I’ve never slept so contently as I had when I was in his arms. Closing my eyes, I let his warmth and steady breathing lull me to sleep.

Chapter 24

I stroked her arm until her breathing deepened and soft snores fell from her lips. I didn’t know if I should be proud or a little disturbed at how easily she slept in my arms. I’d do anything to keep Mia in my life and make her happy. I wasn’t anywhere near ready to get down on one knee and propose or whisper the words ‘I love you’ in her ear, but I cared for Mia and didn’t want to be without her.

I slept for a short time and watched her sleep after I woke. She had small faint freckles on her sun-kissed cheeks. Her eyes brows were thick and dark but neatly groomed. Her nose fit her face and had a delicate narrow shape. Her lips were luscious and thick and were made for kissing. The filthy things she said to me this morning almost made my heart stop. All blood in my body went to my dick as she smacked me around a little.

“Hey,” she said in a drowsy voice.

“Sleep well?”

“Like a rock.” She yawned and nuzzled her cheek against my pec.

“What do you want to do today, Mia? I want to spend the day with you.” I brushed the hair from her eyes.

“I’m going to the clinic for a couple hours this afternoon.”

“Can I come?”

She looked at me and smiled. “Yes, but it won’t be a happy day. Have you ever noticed the real poor people in this area?”

“I have seen the homeless people on the corners.”

“They’re the tip of the iceberg, Michael. It’s the ones that you don’t see that are the most heartbreaking. The little kids that come in dirty and in need of basic medical care.”

“If it’s that sad, why do you do it? Why not just stick to the ER?”

“It’s rewarding and I feel I’m making a difference. The ER has its own type of rewards but mostly it’s filled with sadness.” She sighed as she rolled out of my arms. She sat up, pulling her knees against her chest. “They’re both sad really, but the ER is filled with despair. It sucks the life out of me. Every time I have to tell a family that we were unable to save their loved one, a small piece of me dies, Michael.” Tears formed in her eyes and she laid her head on her knees. “I feel absolutely helpless when I try to save a life and fail. When I try to sleep I can still hear the patients screaming in pain or the anguish of the families as I break the news to them. It doesn’t leave you. Ever.” She wiped her cheeks and sniffled.

I sat up running my fingers across her damp cheeks. “Why don’t find a way to you work at the clinic then?”

“There’s no money; it’s all volunteers. I’d love to be there full-time and make it my mission to bring the best medical care to the people of the area, but we don’t have the funding. I get meds from the pharmaceutical reps that visit the hospital and we all chip in as much as possible to pay the salary for the receptionist and rent. We get some money from the state and county, but it’s minimal, laughable actually.”

“Maybe my family could help. What would you guys need to fund the clinic?” I pulled her in my lap and wrapped my arms around her.

“I don’t even know. I haven’t looked at the books.” She sagged against me, resting her head on my shoulder.

I kissed her shoulder. “You give me a figure and I’ll see what I can do to make it happen.”

“What is it exactly that your family does to have all this money, Michael? I’m all for charity, but if it came by criminal means then I’d have to decline.”

“You mean like the mob?” I laughed. Stereotyping at its finest.

She turned her head, looking me in the eyes without smiling. “Ah, yeah. I couldn’t take dirty money.” She shook her head.

“You just made my day.” I laughed, squeezing her tightly. “Totally stereotyping, but funny as hell, Mia.” I held her chin in my grasp and kissed her on the lips. “We own a vineyard in Italy. It’s been in our family for generations.”

“Why do you work at the tattoo shop and fight then? You could just sit at home all day.”

“My parents didn’t raise us to be lazy. We were taught to work and be appreciative of what we have. I fight for the fun


and challenge. The shop feels more like a hobby than a real job.”

“I get it. I couldn’t sit on my ass all day either.”

“I think I could get my parents to chip in to help the clinic too. My mom is a sucker for a child in need. I’ll talk with her.”

She turned in my lap and the friction against my dick made it start to harden. She held my cheeks in her small hands and stared in my eyes. All the craziness of the past week had vanished.

All that mattered in this moment was us.

“You have a big heart under that Superman exterior, Michael. You’re a big softy.” Her fingertips rubbed against the five o’clock shadow on my face and I could feel every hair move under her touch.

“Don’t tell anyone. You’ll ruin my image.” I laughed. “What’s pressing against your ass isn’t soft.”

She giggled as she rested her forehead against mine. “It’ll have to wait until we get done at the clinic. There are needy people waiting for me.”

“I’m needy,” I said, as my dick twitched against her ass. ”Real needy.”

“You’re horny, there’s a difference.” She smacked my shoulder.

Her smile made my heart ache. I’d do whatever I could to help her make her dream of working at the clinic full-time a reality. She deserved to have that smile every day.

“Tell that to my cock.” I took the opportunity to kiss her neck as she tipped it back, laughing. Her heartbeat thundered against my lips as I inhaled the sweet vanilla scent.

God, I wanted to eat her.

“Remember, I have a needle for that problem.”

“You and the fuckin’ needle, woman.” I pushed her off me. “Get up, let’s go or I’m not letting you out of this bed all day.”

She snickered as she climbed off the bed and walked into the bathroom.

It felt like we hadn’t missed a day together. The air between us had been cleared and Tammy was an inconsequential part of the past. I climbed off the bed and threw on my t-shirt and shorts and went into the kitchen to wait for her.

I helped myself to a cup of coffee since I knew she’d take more than a few minutes to get ready. Her cheeks had been tear-stained and her hair had that ‘I just got fucked look’. I called the one person I knew would be interested in helping me make Mia’s dream a reality.

“Hey, Ma,” I said, and sipped the black velvety liquid.

“Hey, baby. How are you?”

“I’m great, actually. I’m over at Mia’s and I think we patched things up.”

“Hmm,” she said with a small laugh. “You’re a big boy.”

“That’s what she said, Ma.” I chuckled at my wittiness.

Her laughter grew loud until there was silence and static. She must have covered the phone so I wouldn’t hear her giggling. “Son, there are things a mother doesn’t need to hear and I changed your diapers so, I know. That poor girl.”

“Alright, enough about that. I know we’re pals, Ma, but I called you for a reason.” I sat down, placing my cup on the table and stared at her neatly manicured yard.

“What is it, baby?”

I explained to my mother the work that Mia did at the clinic. I shared all the information I knew and told her about Mia’s dream to work there full-time and help the people in the area.

“What do they need?” she asked without hesitation.

“Money.”

“I know that.” She laughed. “How much?”

“I don’t know. They get some funding from the government, but not enough. The doctors that volunteer help pay the rent and they get some medicines for free.”

“Find out all the details and come see your father and me. I’m sure we can work something out. I’d love to help any way I can.”


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