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Courted

By Sarah Hadley Brook


Published by JMS Books LLC at Smashwords

Visit jms-books.com for more information.


Copyright 2018 Sarah Hadley Brook

ISBN 9781634866804

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Cover Design: Written Ink Designs | written-ink.com

Image(s) used under a Standard Royalty-Free License.

All rights reserved.


WARNING: This book is not transferable. It is for your own personal use. If it is sold, shared, or given away, it is an infringement of the copyright of this work and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No portion of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, with the exception of brief excerpts used for the purposes of review.

This book is for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It may contain sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which might be considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot be accessed by minors.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published in the United States of America.

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To all those out there looking for an old-fashioned romance.

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Courted

By Sarah Hadley Brook

Chapter 1

Dr. Kevin Matthews was not having a good day. Patients were late, his scheduler was on maternity leave, and the guy filling in for her had already screwed up three appointments. Not to mention his coffee tasted like mud.

God, he’d be glad to get Patricia back.

He rubbed his temple as he reviewed the notes in a file of an upcoming patient, and wondered if he had enough time to run down to the hospital cafeteria and grab some coffee. It wasn’t the best either, but it would beat what he had in his mug by a mile.

A gentle rap on the open office door had him glancing up from his desk and staring into the deepest blue eyes he’d ever seen. No, scratch that. They weren’t just blue. They were sapphire. Sapphire under long dark lashes. His breath caught in his throat and his heart pounded in his ears.

The man’s eyes crinkled as a smile spread across his face, and that’s when Kevin realized the man knew exactly what kind of effect he was having on him. He shook his head and tore away his gaze, glancing at the paperwork in front of him. “Yes?” he asked, hoping he sounded aloof.

“You’re Dr. Matthews? Radiology?”

His velvety baritone struck a chord in Kevin and shot directly to his cock. He was rock hard in an instant. Shit. It had been way too long.

“Yes,” he answered, pretending to review the file, although it could have been written in Russian for all he knew.

“I was sent down by Dr. Thornton to see if you could squeeze someone in today. I tried to call, but was put on hold and disconnected three times.” There was hint of laughter in his voice.

“My usual scheduler is out. And the temp is…less than competent.” He sighed and forced himself to look up. God, the man had to be at least five or six inches taller than his own six-one. He couldn’t help but stare. Again. The stranger looked like a warrior, with a mass of wavy dark brown hair falling down just far enough to curl around his ears and around his neck. The man brushed a wisp of hair behind his ear and Kevin fought the shudder at the sight of his strong hands. He had a straight nose, cheeks that could have been chiseled from marble, and full rosy lips. The dark beard he wore close to his skin made Kevin want to feel the stubble against his own skin. But the small dimple in his chin was the cherry on the sundae for Kevin, and he wanted to lick it.

Hell, he wanted to lick every inch of this man and he let his gaze roam over him. Broad shoulders, dark hair poking out the top of his scrubs. Oh, God, he loved a hairy man.

The sound of the man clearing his throat pulled Kevin back to reality, and his face burned as their eyes met. His heart raced and he tried to pull himself together. What the hell had they been talking about?

The guy stepped into the office, his massive shoulders brushing the doorjamb as he moved closer to the desk. A hint of musk filled the small room, and Kevin’s nostrils flared. The man’s sapphire eyes twinkled and another smile played at his lips. “See anything you like?” he asked, his voice low and husky.

Kevin swallowed hard and tried to look away. He was used to being the one in charge. He was the one who put men off their game. Yet here he sat, every inch of his body vibrating with need. Never in his life had he had this reaction to anyone. Unsettled, he grabbed the edge of his desk with both hands. But in answer to the question, Kevin nodded. How could he not?

Another flash of a smile, then the man was all business again. “So, any chance you can fit someone in?”

Kevin nodded again, pretended to look at his calendar. “Two P.M.,” he said, with no real idea if he had room or not. It didn’t matter—he would fit in the patient somehow. He just needed to get this man out of his office before he said or did something idiotic.

“Great. I’ll let Dr. Thornton know. He’s going to email you the information.” The guy paused and ran his hand through his hair. “My name’s Macaulay Winters. Mac, actually. I’m the new nurse in Dr. Thornton’s department.”

“Kevin. You can call me Kevin.”

Mac reached across the desk, offering his hand, so Kevin shook it, feeling sparks of electricity skittering across his skin. Mac looked a little surprised, leading Kevin to wonder if he felt the connection, too. They held a little longer than necessary, and Kevin shivered when Mac’s thumb caressed his hand for a moment before he let go.

“Well, I’ll see you later…Kevin.” It sounded like a promise.

With the words still lingering in the air, Kevin watched Mac leave the office. A shiver ran through him and he shook his head. What the fuck had just happened? He was still hard as a rock and his skin buzzed with desire, making him feel like a goddamn teenager. Yeah, it had been way too long since he’d been with a man.

He slumped back in his chair and closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. He’d acted like a hormonal teen the way he’d gawked at Mac, but shit, the man was hot.

Kevin was still reeling from meeting Mac when he received a call on his office phone. Reluctantly, he got back to work and tried to ignore the lust coursing through him.

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Unfortunately, the afternoon proved just as bumpy as his morning. Keeping busy was a great way to keep his mind off Mac, though. At least, until he saw the hot new nurse maneuvering a patient in a wheelchair into the small waiting room.

Again, Kevin’s heart raced at the sight of Mac and he struggled to remain professional, hoping to hell he wasn’t drooling. Mac watched him, those sapphire eyes staring into his, and Kevin furrowed his brow. Usually an orderly wheeled the hospital patients into the waiting room, not the nurses, so Kevin wondered why Mac was there. The hospital employees were a tight-knit group, though, and everyone typically pitched in to help, so maybe the man was just being thoughtful. Kevin wouldn’t allow himself to hope that Mac had simply wanted to see him.

Something hitting the floor behind him made Kevin tear away his gaze. Seeing that a woman had dropped a clipboard, Kevin picked it up, handed it to her with a smile, and returned his attention to the new nurse. Nobody should look that good in ugly green scrubs.

Their gazes met again and Kevin’s heart skipped a beat. Mac licked his bottom lip, and the image of that tongue on Kevin’s skin popped into his head.

Fuck. He was losing the battle to appear professional. He thought he heard his name through the loud thump-thump-thump of his heart, but his damn feet were frozen in place. Mac finally looked away and Kevin’s brain clicked in, allowing him to move again. He was making a fool of himself and he knew it, which pissed him off. Judging by the cocky smile on Mac’s face, the hot nurse had an idea what was running through Kevin’s mind, too. Still, Kevin couldn’t resist smiling back.

One of his nurses repeated his name and he turned to see her indicating the next patient. As he started to take the patient into his office, he nodded a goodbye to Mac.

He didn’t see the man for the rest of the day, but later at home, he couldn’t get Mac out of his mind. He’d never believed in that “insta-love,” “insta-lust,” “fate” kind of meetings, but he couldn’t deny the immediate and intense chemistry he’d felt the second he’d looked into Mac’s eyes.

God, he was the one who liked to be in control—a little bit of an alpha male, to be honest. But something in the way Mac had looked at him made him want to give himself over, heart, body, and soul. No questions asked. To see where Mac would lead. Where he would take him. He had a feeling it would be spectacular.

That night as he lay in bed, he resisted the urge to take matters into his own hands. His mind, however, had other ideas, and images of a beautiful man with sapphire eyes filled his dreams.

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Chapter 2

Over the next three weeks, Kevin saw Mac at the hospital almost daily. They’d pass in the halls, maybe share a nod or a quick, “Did you see the game last night?” But it never went farther than that.

Kevin was desperate to get to know the man, though, watching him from afar, and gleaning snippets of information from those working with him. There was definitely something special about the new nurse. It seemed everyone at the hospital had a “Mac story” showcasing his compassion—always a smile for them, a gentle touch to the shoulder, a kind word—that instinctive knowledge of knowing exactly what to say at just the right time. It seemed Mac had been born to be a nurse.

Female and male coworkers were dazzled by him, but as far as anyone knew, Mac wasn’t dating anyone. The man was gorgeous, smart, and kind, which only heightened Kevin’s attraction to him. Mac was like a tenderhearted gentle giant. Kevin was on a slow simmer, but wasn’t sure what the next step should be. It seemed like there had been a spark when they’d met, but Mac hadn’t made a move. Was he waiting for Kevin to ask him out? If it had been any other guy, that’s exactly what Kevin would have done, but whenever Mac was near, Kevin found himself so tongue-tied he couldn’t find the right words.

To be honest, he felt like a walking hormone, half-hard most days from just thinking about Mac. When he actually saw the man, Kevin needed a cold shower. He hadn’t felt like this since he was a teenager.

Not that he’d ever dated as a teenager. Not in the community in which he’d grown up. While he’d known he was gay most of his life, he also knew coming out in his rural town would not only bring on the bullying, it could very well cost him his life. He’d learned to hide who he was, fighting the desperate need to be true to himself because the risk of getting his ass kicked every day by a bunch of homophobic imbeciles kept him on high alert at all times. Once he’d started high school, he stuck to his plan of keeping his head down, graduate, and getting the hell out of there.

In some ways, the ignorance of those in his hometown had kept him from being outed. Because he’d played football, had broad shoulders, had worked out, and stood over six feet tall, he hadn’t fit the stereotypical image his narrow-minded neighbors had of gay men.

Kevin had started lifting weights in high school just in case he was ever found out and needed to protect himself. Thankfully, he’d never needed to test his fighting skills, but over the years, working out had become part of his daily routine, still spending at least an hour a day at the gym or running the trail near his building. The exercise cleared his mind and helped him ready for his days.

His grades had been good enough to get him a full academic scholarship to a college several states away, and he left home, never looking back. There was no point. His parents had died in a car accident when he was five and he’d lived with his grandmother. Even as a child, he’d understood the sacrifice she’d made to raise him and he’d loved her with all his heart. Kevin had thought she’d probably known he was gay, but she’d never said a word. When she’d died of a heart attack just three days after his high school graduation, he knew there would never be a reason to visit his hometown again.

College had been like arriving on Mars. The reality of life away from high school was so much better than he’d ever dared to hope. For the first time in his life, Kevin was able to make friends that accepted him for who he was, not blinking an eye when he came out to them.

He’d gone a little crazy with the constant hookups, and the first time he’d topped a man had been the most incredible experience in his life. After that, he’d always preferred topping, which only made his fantasies now that much crazier. When Kevin thought about Mac—when he saw him, talked to him, heard his voice—all he wanted was to feel the man deep inside him. He’d never ached for a man like that. Not once in his life. But he certainly did now—and it had become an all-consuming desire. He’d never cared about having a relationship before. It was all about having fun, getting off, and never seeing each other again. Kevin hadn’t been looking for anything more.

Until he met Mac, he’d never ached to feel that connection, that need for intimacy. And he’d been perfectly happy with the status quo. Not anymore.


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