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"Dr. Callaghan, I'm worried about my dog, Scruffy." Leslie Marcum stood before her dressed in her usual attire of fancy clothes and the best designer jeans money could buy. Autumn couldn't understand why five-hundred-dollar denim jeans made a person feel better about him- or herself, but for Leslie, it did. Same with her dog, she supposed. "He just doesn't initiate--you know--with the neighbor's dog anymore."
Autumn's head pounded. The need to wrap her hands around Leslie's neck and choke the woman grew stronger as the seconds went by. This was the fifth time the woman came in her office in four days to talk about her dog's nonexistent sex life. If she recalled correctly, only three months ago, the woman wanted the dog neutered because he humped everything.
"Maybe he's just not in the mood," Autumn mumbled trying to fill out the day's worth of paperwork piled on her desk.
"But he always initiates. It's not like him. Do you think his--you know--is broken?"
Autumn was five seconds away from telling her she didn't know so she'd blush and shut up. She's your client. Her business puts food on the table and a roof over your head. "Has anything else changed? Diet, sleep, exercise?"
"No." She shook her head. "Nothing I can recall."
"Well, Leslie, I can't help you. Dogs are much like humans in that department. If they want to have sex, they do. If they don't, they don't."
Leslie pursed her chic colored lips. "If you'd stop writing and actually pay attention and care about my baby, maybe you'll find the answer to my problem. After all, it is what I pay you for."
Autumn threw her pen down. "I don't have time for this. I delivered fourpacks of puppies, a litter of cats, and two calves today--and that was by sticking my hand up a cow's ass, not once, but twice. I'm tired, cranky, hungry, and just a little bit sexually frustrated myself. I don't have time to deal with a stupid matter such as this, especially when you didn't even bring the dog to see me. I'm sorry, Leslie. I can't help you."
Immediately, Autumn wanted to retract her statement. She couldn't believe her control had snapped and from the stunned look on the other woman's face, neither could she.
"Well, sorry to have bothered you."
Autumn watched Leslie walk away and didn't even try to stop her. Five years of this and still it didn't get any better. Living in the city had sucked. Her small apartment felt like a jail cell on a good day. She had no money for anything since she still owed plenty for her student loans. So she moved here--a small suburb where she ruled her own clinic with her own standards. She left behind the big city business with her ex and couldn't afford to lose another customer to him, Dr. Gallagher.
Moaning at the aches and pains within her body, Autumn rubbed her temples. It'd been a long time since she had a decent night's sleep, and even longer than that since she had a warm body by her side. She needed to get laid. Pure and simple to relieve some tension and a whole lot of stress. She needed to have some fun for once in her life instead of working twenty-four, seven. All work and no play, made Autumn a dull girl.
"Dr. Callaghan, there's a package for you on the front desk," Summer, the vet technician, announced, peeping in Autumn's office.
"Thanks. I'll check in out in just a minute."
"Something wrong?" Summer inquired.
"Nope. Everything's peachy keen." She pushed away from her small desk and strolled out into the waiting area.
With Leslie gone, the last client of the day was taken care of, and she only had a few overnight patients to care for before she went home for the evening.
The package was wrapped in plain white paper with her name on the top. Curious, she carefully cut the tape and opened it. Inside there was a note and a small ticking clock.
'Time is running out. Soon, what's yours will be mine.'
Confused, she looked around the room and then back at the note, reading it a second time. "Summer, who delivered this?"
"I dunno." She leaned on the counter next to Autumn. "Why? What does it say?"
She handed her assistant the note before examining the clock. The smiley face mocked her as she stared at it. She noticed the time was wrong. Her fingers grew warm against the backside. Autumn flipped it over to find a small pack of explosives attached to the clock mechanism.
"Shit. Summer, it's a bomb!" Autumn screamed at her assistant just at the second hand ticked to number twelve and exploded.
There are some things in life Jackson didn't do. He didn't steal his buddies' girl no matter how much she begged. He didn't use flowery terms when referring to what he thought or felt. And he sure didn't answer the fucking phone when he was balls deep in a woman screaming his name repeatedly in ecstasy.
It rang once and the girl squealed and contracted around him. During the second ring, he bit back his own urge to scream. By the fourth, he cursed loudly, came, and then answered his damn cell. It was business. He couldn't ignore business, no matter what the situation was.
His cock slipped from within the girl beneath him as he reached across the bed and answered with a harsh, "Cooper."
"Cooper, this is Major Callaghan. I have an important job for you with excellent wages if you are interested."
Callaghan. Jackson shuddered hearing the name. The meanest bastard ever to walk the face of the earth called him with a job offer. How the hell could he resist? Everyone wanted Callaghan's attention. What power the man held over them all, he didn't know, but everyone wanted to be in his good graces. The ones who weren't, well, he never heard of anyone that dared to get on his bad side and Jackson didn't dare want to be the first. Everyone he knew wanted to prove they were worthy soldiers. Callaghan, for whatever reason, finally noticed Jackson and actually seemed to like him.
"Yes, sir, Major. Tell me when and where." Jackson grabbed a pen and paper and wrote the information he gave.
"Ah, Cooper, this case is very close to me. I trust you to take care of the one prize I have left in this world. Promise me you will do that."
"I promise. I'll guard it with my life." What it was, however he didn't know, but if it meant something to the Major, it'd mean something to him.
After hanging up, the blonde straddled his thighs again and impaled herself on his condom-covered shaft. "You never finished me, big-boy. How about I do all the work this time?" With a sly grin, she started rocking her hips and Jackson lay back, enjoying the ride. Too bad he couldn't remember her name.