Home > Stirred (Twisted Fox Book 1)

Stirred (Twisted Fox Book 1)
Author: Charity Ferrell

Prologue

 

 

Cohen

 

 

“Just for a minute,” I plea, rocking my newborn son in my arms. “Hold him for one damn minute.”

It’ll change your mind.

It has to change your mind.

Heather sneers, refusing to look at us, and crosses her arms, as if she’s scared I’ll push him into them.

I count to ten, my jaw clenching harder with each number. Ten hits and I blow out a series of calming breaths.

Not that it works.

I’m fighting to keep my cool.

For him.

Not her.

Fuck her.

“Enough is enough, Heather,” I say.

Her green eyes, void of emotion, narrow when they meet mine. “I told you, Cohen, I wanted out. I can’t do this—”

“You decided out of the fucking blue that you wanted out two months ago. A little too late to change your mind about having our baby.”

“I don’t want him. You agreed to accept all responsibility, and I expect you to keep your word.” She uncrosses her arms and rubs her hands together. “My job is done. I’m leaving.”

I trace the tiny features of Noah’s face with the pad of my thumb. “Give it a week. Please.”

“My flight leaves in three days.”

“Heather—”

“If you hoped me seeing him would change my mind, you were wrong.” She tips her head toward the little man in my arms. “Neither will holding him.”

Revulsion seeps through me when she turns around and walks away without giving us another glance.

How did I ever love this woman?

That love splinters into disgust.

Trailing a finger over Noah’s peach fuzz, I whisper, “Looks like it’s just you and me against the world, buddy.”

 

 

1

 

 

Jamie

 

 

Five Years Later

 

 

Nine hours down.

Three to go.

Three hours until I can go home, finish that box of Thin Mints I shouldn’t have bought, and binge-watch a show on Netflix.

Netflix and cookies.

Netflix and single.

Netflix and story of my life.

“Tell me he finally agreed?” Lauren, our charge nurse, asks—referring to the appendicitis patient who’s been refusing an appendectomy all night.

I nod. “After his wife promised to buy him a new TV.”

She scoffs. “I’d love to say someone being bribed to have life-saving surgery is a shocker, but after working in the ER for so long, I’m not easily shooketh.”

“Tell me about it.” I glance around the emergency room. “What’s next for me?”

It’s been a slow night at Anchor Ridge Memorial Hospital, and as much as that’s a good thing, it can get boring.

She points down the hall. “Exam room three. Five-year-old with a fever.” Her tone turns bubbly as she wiggles her shoulders. “Dad is super hot, by the way.”

I shake my head and tap my knuckles against the triage desk. “I’ll let you know if I need anything.”

“Ask him for his number,” she half-whispers with a thumbs-up.

I roll my eyes and dismissively wave my hand. “Absolutely not.”

“All work and no play makes Jamie a grumpy doctor.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I spin on my heel and walk to the room.

The door is cracked, and I knock, snatching a pair of latex gloves on my way in.

“Hello, I’m Dr.—” I stop, stumble back two steps, and cover my mouth with my hand.

Holy crap.

My body tenses, and as soon as my gaze meets his, his jaw flexes.

I struggle for words as anger and disgust line his face.

Words I’d planned if this moment ever happened.

Unfortunately, those words become a scared bitch and run away.

“Cohen,” is all I manage in a whisper.

He stands tall from his chair, his narrowed eyes pinned to me, and moves to the side of the bed, blocking my view of the patient.

Lauren’s words hit me.

“Five-year-old …”

My attention slides from Sir Pissed Off, and I shift to the left.

“Oh my God,” I whisper, gaping at the little boy in the bed.

A little boy whose eyes are sleepy and nose is red and irritated.

Those sleepy eyes, a walnut-brown with a slight slant, match his father’s.

The same with his thick ash-brown hair.

But the dimple in his chin and heart-shaped face match hers.

“Is this …?” My hand shakes when I point at him.

It’s a dumb question.

Even if he says no, he’ll be a liar.

“What are you doing here?” he repeats, his tone harsh.

If I wasn’t at a loss for words, my smart-ass self would throw out something along the lines of, What do you think, dumbass? I’m sporting a doctor’s jacket with my name embroidered on it.

But I don’t.

Because I can’t.

It’s a challenge, wrapping my head around them being here, let alone dragging out my sarcasm.

“I’m your doctor,” I finally say before signaling to the boy. “I’m his doctor.”

Sound cool. Confident.

You’re the fucking professional here, Jamie.

“We want a different doctor,” he hisses, his voice low enough so only I can hear.

“I’m the only doctor on shift tonight.” I’m speaking to Cohen, but the boy holds my interest.

He’s watching this exchange, his eyes pinging back and forth between his father and me with curiosity on his tired face.

“We’ll go to another hospital then.”

“Why, Dad?” the boy whines, sniffling. “I don’t feel good, and what if I puke in the car?”

“I want another doctor.” His broad shoulders draw back.

He raises a brow when I hold up a finger, turn, and scurry out of the room.

I rush over to Lauren. “Can you watch the boy in three for a minute? I need to talk to his father privately.”

She peeks up at me from her computer and tilts her head to the side. “Yeah … sure.”

Cohen is pacing the room when we walk in.

“A word,” I say, jerking my head toward the doorway.

Cohen’s attention darts to the boy, and he delivers a gentle smile. “I’ll be right back, buddy.” He gives him a quick peck on the head and swings his arm toward the door, his eyes cold. “After you, Your Highness.”

Lauren throws me a curious glance when he walks past her, and I shrug as if this isn’t about to be awkward city up in here.

As we leave, I hear Lauren asking the boy what his favorite cartoon is.

Cohen keeps his distance while I lead us into a private room, the one reserved for breaking bad news to families.

I speak as soon as I shut the door, “Cohen—”

Too bad he doesn’t let me get more than his name out.

Rude.

His deep-set eyes level on me. “This is a conflict of interest, Jamie. The nurse can help us. We don’t need you.”

“We don’t need you.”

The memories of the last time he said those words to me smack into me like a headache.

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