Chapter 3

Kailyn's stomach growled as she listened to the irate patient she had on the phone. Closing her eyes, she let the woman complain about her hours-long wait when she had made an appointment to avoid just that. Kailyn knew better to interrupt. When the woman finally paused to breathe, Kailyn jumped in.

"I understand, Melinda. And again, I apologize profusely. It's unacceptable that you had to wait that long with an appointment. But you also have to understand I was in a session that couldn't be interrupted. What if it had been you I was seeing and someone else missed her appointment because you and I were in deep discussion about treatments? Would you have wanted me to tell you your time was up?"

"Well, no, of course not," the woman said, reluctantly. "But why wasn't I just told that? Your assistant/secretary/whatever she is was rude to me!"

"I'll talk with her," Kailyn said, glancing at her watch. "And I will see you first thing tomorrow morning, OK? You're my first patient on the books."

"I'd better be!" Melinda said and hung up. Kailyn sighed and hung up the receiver. Running her hands over her face and through her hair, Kailyn decided she needed a break.

She pushed the call button. "Meghan, I'm taking a two-hour lunch. Push my 2 o'clock to 2:30. Thanks." Kailyn grabbed her purse and keys and left the office.

Sprinting down the steps to her car, Kailyn couldn't believe how slow her day was moving. It was barely noon, and here she was, overwhelmed with work and exhausted from being out late the night before. "I need to prescribe myself some chill pills," she muttered as she started the car and turned onto Broadway Street. All she needed was a drive to clear her head, then she could tackle the rest of her workload.

Kailyn couldn't remember the last time she was distracted at work because of a man. But she could not get Ben off her mind today. And that wasn't good for her patients if she couldn't focus on them and their treatments. But if felt good to be have the attention of someone again. "And that's healthy," she thought aloud, signaling a lane change. She came to a stop at a red light and reached to turn the radio station.

It's only been two dates, Kay, she told herself as the light turned green. That doesn't mean he's in love you. Or that you're in love with him for that matter. Get a grip! "But, damn, he's hot!" she exclaimed, braking for a truck to merge into the lane.

Driving around aimlessly seemed to mellow out Kailyn, because by the time she arrived back to her office, she dived right into things and finished up before 6 p.m.

Kailyn was just locking up when someone grabbed her from behind in a bear hug. Kailyn gasped and tried to scream, but the person released her and laughed. "It's just me, Kailyn," Ryan said, stepping back and holding his hands in the air. "It's just me." Ryan laughed again but took another step back as Kailyn lunged at him.

"Don't do that!" she screamed at him and punched his arm. "Ryan, you scared me!"

"Sorry, I just couldn't resist!" Still chuckling, Ryan embraced her. "I didn't mean to scare you. Just surprise you."

"Well, I'm surprised," Kailyn said, hugging him back. "What are you doing here?" Kailyn brushed her hair out of eyes as she let go of Ryan.

"I was just in the neighborhood and thought I'd say hey. Wanna grab a drink?"

"I would," Kailyn replied. "But I have that event at the art gallery tonight and should really go. I've been neglecting people lately."

"Yeah, like me," Ryan said. "Come on. One drink. I'm buying."

Kailyn looked down the street where her car was parked and sighed. "I guess one drink won't hurt," she said "One," she emphasized. "I can always make time for you."

The End

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