Desiring Dylan - Suzanne Jenkins


The last day they’d be together was the perfect summer day, bright blue skies, the sun shining, a cool breeze coming off the river, the sounds of halyards clanging from the hundreds of sailboats moored at the marina. Fourth of July on Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia meant three things for certain: amazing food, marvelous music, and after sundown, the best fireworks in the mid-Atlantic.

Four attractive people strolled along the Delaware River. At the front, handsome Dylan Cross, his hair blowing across his forehead, and beautiful Landon Fontenot, trying not to scowl, holding hands, quietly arguing while another couple lagged behind, giving them the privacy they needed to fight it out. The tension had been building up for a while.

“Honey, I’m so sorry, but this is the best I can do. I’m swamped for the rest of the month.”

“Dylan, I’m tired of it. I thought it would get easier once your residency was over.”

“I’m sure parts of it will ease up, but the fellowship is a lot of work, too. More responsibility means more time on the job.”

Dylan was at the end of a trauma surgery residency at Philadelphia’s renowned Center City Medical Center, but soon he’d start a two-year critical care/surgery fellowship. In the last weeks of the residency, he was literally swamped with work.

But Landon wanted more. More of his attention, a sign that he was as committed to her as she was to him. She needed him to say I love you.

“Let’s not ruin today, okay? We’re here, we’re out. I’m not on call for a change. Try to enjoy yourself.”

“One afternoon out is not going to make up for the past month of neglect, Dylan.”

“No, I don’t expect it to. But you can still have fun, right? We might as well leave if you’re going to be miserable.”

Their friends Doctors Tina Halevy and Arvin Amir caught up with them. “Guys, let’s stop and have a drink, okay?” Arvin asked. They had reached a beverage kiosk right on the river. “We should take time to enjoy the beautiful weather and a nice alcoholic beverage.”

They agreed. “You guys get a table; we’ll get the booze.”

“Arvin always knows just the right thing to do,” Dylan said, leading the way.

It was all sweetness and light when Tina and Arvin were around, but Landon was at the end of her patience. She thought there was more to Dylan’s claim of busyness, that maybe he’d make time for her if he really cared. A year had passed, and he was no closer to saying I love you than he had been at the beginning. The concern? That she was the path of least resistance.

On the other hand, Landon had loved him almost from the get-go. The first months of newness kept her dissatisfaction hidden. He was hot—tall, dark and built. The passion was so intense, she cried out in ecstasy when he made love to her. The moment it was over, he went back to being busy Dylan.

Not only passionate in bed, he was interesting, driven and a risk taker. Their worlds were so completely different; she was a design consultant for a big theater production company in town, the antithesis of his trauma surgery residency. As it ground down to the sixth and final year, her hope soared. Then he blew it up with the surprising news that he was doing a fellowship.

The bomb had dropped on the previous Christmas Eve. Fully expecting an engagement ring, her hopes were dashed when his big announcement was the damn fellowship. His parents were over the moon; his father even cried.

“How long did you know about this?” Landon asked, seething.

Trying to keep it together was not easy, but she didn’t want to make a scene in front of his family.

“I found out on Friday. Isn’t it great? This will give me a greater chance of staying here in Philadelphia when I’m done. They almost demand candidates do a fellowship, and since they offered it to me, that increases the odds.”

With every ounce of decorum she could muster, she said with a smile plastered on her face, “Congratulations, Dylan. I’m sure you’re excited.”

He bent down and looked into her eyes. “But you’re not.”

“I’ll live.”

“Landon, I—”

“Dylan, save it,” she hissed, tears welling up. “Let’s get through Christmas Eve without a fight.”

“I wasn’t going to fight, I swear.”

“Well, whatever. How long do we have to stay here?”

“Did you want to go to midnight mass? We can leave right after that.”

“I guess so.”

The truth was she didn’t know if she