Paying for the Past

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Dr. Anthony DeAngelo hurried across the elegant hotel room to answer the telephone’s annoying ring. He picked up the receiver and glanced out at the Dallas skyline. Being home brought back memories he’d rather forget. Memories that even after ten years left a hole in the pit of his stomach and his mind wondering what if. Memories of a tall, blond woman with voluptuous curves and a sweet laugh.

“Yes,” he said curtly.

“Your car is here,” the bell captain informed him.

“Thank you,” he said, and disconnected the call. For the hundredth time he redid his tuxedo tie. His hands were worth millions and could tie off a vicryl suture in his sleep, but he couldn’t secure a satin bow tie. If he had a woman to help him, that would be great, but being the most sought after cardiac surgeon in the United States had drawbacks.

No personal life.

When you spent twelve to fifteen hours a day in the hospital, six and seven days a week, any relationship you might try to create ended up on life support. He’d pulled the plug more times than he cared to remember.

Tonight, for one of the biggest events of his life, he’d had to resort to having his assistant find him a paid escort. At thirty-five, at the top of his profession, he’d had to compensate a woman to appear on his arm so he wouldn’t look like a pathetic loser. One without a significant other who spent most of his time in a sterile environment wearing gloves, not touching skin against skin, and not feeling a woman’s arms wrapped around him each night.

This was worse than being rejected by every girl he’d asked to senior prom. Sure he’d been a nerd, but you would have thought some teenage girl would have wanted to go to the prom with the valedictorian.

And now history repeated itself. He’d flown in from New York to his hometown of Dallas and there had been no one to accompany him, no one to greet him upon his arrival. Refusing to appear in front of his colleagues without a date, he’d paid this woman to share the night celebrating his biggest accomplishment.

For the money she charged, you’d think beauty and sex were guaranteed. But no, the contract he’d signed specifically said he understood there would be no doing the nasty tonight. She was his paid date for the evening and the limo would take her home. Just like Cinderella, her magical coach disappeared at the stroke of midnight with or without him.

He grabbed his wallet and stuffed it in his tuxedo pants along with his key card and hurried out the door. Walking the short distance to the elevator, he wondered what he would tell everyone when this beautiful woman appeared by his side tonight.

Raylene, his assistant, had sent him an email and explained to him in rather candid detail that the agency said to not hire her if he expected sex and he’d laughed at her wording. He’d left the details up to Raylene, but told her he expected elegance, refinement and class.

Not a Harry Hines Hines hooker.

As he stepped off the elevator, he walked through the prestigious hotel and was glad that he’d waited too long to get a room where the event was being held. This way he was away from the watchful eyes of his colleagues. This way no one would know that he traveled alone.

The bellman opened the door. “Dr. DeAngelo, your limo is in the drive.”

“Thank you,” he said, and walked into the cool air.

Another bellman opened the limo door, giving him a glimpse of a long, shapely leg peeking from a side split. Her sparkling do-me high heels with straps around dainty feet sent his blood flowing into overdrive.

That rush of adrenaline at the sight of a woman’s body felt good, damn good, considering that normally the only time he experienced that natural drug was when he was trying to save someone’s life.  When his hands were inside a patient’s chest as he massaged their new heart and the elation of feeling it beat once again.

God, this was going to be a fun night with this delicious eye candy on his arm as he celebrated his success. Too bad it wasn’t…oh no, just because he was back in town did not mean that he’d think of her. Erase that thought before it went any further.

“Have a good night, sir,” the bellman said.

Anthony slid into the limo and turned to say hello. His mouth twisted and his heart slammed in his chest at a rate that he knew wasn’t good.

“Is this some kind of joke?” he spat. There sat none other than Olivia Spencer, his old girlfriend, his ex-fiancé. The name he’d erased from his thoughts just seconds ago.