Northern Rebel Daring in the Dark - By Jennifer Labrecque
DELPHI REYNOLDS SLUNG her purse over her shoulder and headed down the hall of the now-silent medical office. She was ready to get home, pull off her nursing “scrubs” and put her feet up. It had been one hectic day.
Dr. DeWitt Zellers stepped into the open door of his office, a ready smile on his face. Delphi had been thrilled when she’d secured a position with the senior Dr. Zellers straight out of nursing school. He had a well-deserved reputation as one of the South’s finest surgeons. A year ago, his son DeWitt had taken over the practice when his father retired. DeWitt Zellers was charming, paid his employees well and was highly regarded, both personally and professionally, much as his father had been. In the past year Delphi and DeWitt had chatted often. The young doctor was more than personable.
While she was always aware that she worked for him, they’d become friends. He’d consulted with her on his anniversary present for his wife and invited Delphi to his daughter’s third birthday party. Likewise he’d given her advice on dating and men. Delphi liked and trusted him. DeWitt was sort of like the big brother she’d never had.
“You got a minute before you head out?” he said.
“Come on in.” He waved her into his office, closing the door behind her. Everyone else had left for the day but they’d gotten into the habit of chatting after hours, usually just a quick few minutes. However, today he looked fairly intense. “I wanted to talk to you about something.”
He rounded his desk and sank into his Moroccan-leather chair.
DeWitt had gone with her suggestion on Macy’s anniversary gift a couple of months ago. His wife was short with dark hair. She carried some extra weight and had thick, heavy features but you couldn’t beat her devotion to her husband. The romantic side of Delphi loved the fact that the handsome doctor was so enamored with his rather plain wife. Delphi liked Macy well enough, but they didn’t have a common lifestyle. Macy was a socialite. Delphi was a worker bee. But Macy had loved the piece of jewelry Delphi had suggested so maybe there were a few similarities after all.
DeWitt’s office was well-appointed functionality. His diplomas, accreditations and accolades, all tastefully framed and matted, nearly filled the wall above his credenza. Along with his medical journals, an assortment of beautifully framed photos shared the credenza: him receiving his diploma, flanked by his mother and a beaming Macy; and DeWitt, Macy and their daughter, Chesney, on the beach, a smiling trio surrounded by sea grass and sand.
His office portrayed professional success and familial devotion. One glance at that wall said it all—Dr. DeWitt Zellers was a great guy.
Delphi stood behind one of the “guest” chairs opposite his desk. It had been an incredibly busy day and she was ready to go home and relax. DeWitt, however, didn’t seem to be in any hurry. He sat, his fingers templed in front of his mouth. It was the look he always had when he’d figured out something important or made a decision. She couldn’t exactly put her finger on it, but something had been sort of “off” about DeWitt lately. Maybe he was just stressed out. She hadn’t pressed him because sooner or later he’d tell her if he wanted to. However, she was sensing a weird vibe from him now.
He rose, rounded his desk and stood behind her, close behind her, as in she could feel his breath against her neck. It was a little creepy. Laughing uncomfortably, Delphi stepped to the right, since the chair blocked her way forward and he blocked her from behind. She turned, laughing again with a mixture of surprise and a little nervousness. “What’s up?”
He closed the distance she’d put between them. “Delphi, this is driving me crazy. We just can’t fight it any longer.”
She was totally lost. Were they still talking about a present for Macy? What was driving him crazy? “Huh?”
He leaned in closer. His breath smelled like the hot dogs Barb had ran out to the corner deli to grab at lunch, and breath mints. It wasn’t a good combination. “There’s no need to play coy. I know how you feel about me and I feel the same about you.” He reached for her and she sidestepped him.
Holy hell. He was...acting nuts. “DeWitt...Dr. Zellers....” Pulling in his professional title seemed a really good idea right now. “We’re friends—”
“We both know it’s so much more than that—”