I swiftly glanced at the clock against the wall as my fourth patient for the day casually strolled out of my office with a scribbled doctor’s note and a written prescription in his hands. It was not even noon yet, on a Monday, which usually meant that I was swamped with weekend casualties.
As the freckled man stepped out, two, way too familiar faces greeted me as they entered and took their seats in the two light grey chairs, opposite my desk. Lochan, the craziest pup I knew and his mom, Julie, awaited my attention with flustered faces.
“Well, isn’t this a surprise?” I teased and watched in amusement as a slight pink blush crept over Julie’s cheeks.
“Doctor,” she greeted courteously but kept her eyes shamefully averted from mine.
I felt sorry for the poor woman. She was in here with Lochan every second week. One time he jumped from a tree, believing he could shift into a hawk and fly away, needless to say, he ended up with quite a few broken bones and a pretty hefty concussion.
Another time, he ate almost five gallons of ice cream, thinking that if he could get his body temperature to drop enough, he might be able to go into hibernation and not have to go to school.
“So, what happened?” I asked sounding a bit too curious.
Julie instantly turned to face Lochan and gave him a serious look.
“Mam, I accidentally got a glass bead stuck in my ear,” he said reluctantly under the burning scrutiny of his mother.
“Accidentally, you say?” I asked playfully with a cocked brow.
For a second, he let out an unrestrained giggle but immediately turned serious again when his mother cleared her throat loudly.
I smiled at the two, and shook my head, “ok, trooper, hop onto the bed,” I said, gesturing towards my examination area.
Lochan jumped up and ran over to the bed, a routine he was obviously way too familiar with.
“Doctor Thomas,” the welcoming voice of Doctor Keller drifted through my office.
“We’re in here,” I called out to him as I helped Lochan to sit up straight and turn his head to the side. Doctor Keller’s heavy footsteps approached, stopping right at the threshold of the door.
“Aye, Mister Joseph, so nice to see you again,” Doctor Keller greeted Lochan with a wink and I found myself smiling at the old man’s playfulness.
“Hello, Doctor,” the young pup replied cheerfully.
“Did you try to operate on someone’s foot again?” Doctor Keller asked dramatically, placing emphasis on the word ‘again’.
“NO SIR!” He yelled out in a new fit of giggles. That boy really did not seem to take anything serious.
“That’s good, my boy,” Doctor Keller replied while patting him in the shoulder.
“Did you need something from me, Doctor?” I asked with a genuine smile while putting on my rubber gloves.
“Yes, Melena, I came to inform you that Marcus has regained consciousness and is asking for you.”
“Wow! That’s great!”
Both Lochan and Julie’s faces lit up at the wonderful news and they waited with anticipation for Doctor Keller to continue.
Only a week has passed since we had brought Marcus in; bloody, bruised and gashes so deep I could literally peer into his gut through some of the horrid openings.
I could not believe he had already gained consciousness. Obviously, being an Alpha played a significant role, along with our general fast healing as wolves. Had it not been for the latter, he probably wouldn’t even have made it back here at all, let alone survive.
“That’s really fast,” Julie voiced what I had been thinking.
“Never underestimate the Alpha bloodline,” I replied in a squeaky voice while leaning in towards Lochan and pinching his cheek lightheartedly.
Doctor Keller nodded in agreement, “also, I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind picking up some more medical supplies from Doctor James?” He asked.
The moment realization hit me that I was expected to go back to Lion Heart and possibly face my mate again, my stomach filled with butterflies and my brain turned into mush, being consumed by thoughts of him and how to possibly avoid the man altogether.
Even though I had only met him briefly about a week ago, I could not stop thinking about him. It was like he had already claimed my mind, yet he knew nothing about claiming or mates for that matter.
“Melena?” Doctor Keller asked again, looking slightly confused.
Shoot, I never answered him, “uh-yes, of course, Doctor,” I replied sheepishly.
“Great, I will phone in advance to get everything ready,” he said while heading back towards the door.
“Sure,” I mumbled under my breath as he walked out.
For a moment after he left, I sat there in utter silence, caught up in my own thoughts, staring at the ground.
“U hum,” Julie cleared her throat loudly to jerk me back to reality.
“O, uh, sorry, where were we?” I asked, plastering a fake smile onto my face, “oh yeah, please lean your head back so that I can dig that seed out of your nose.”
I tried to help Lochan lean back, but quickly realized that his back had gone stiff, and his mother was staring at me in absolute horror, “uh, Doctor, it is a bead, and it is in his ear,” she corrected reluctantly.
“Right, what did I say?” I joked, trying to clear the awkward atmosphere. Obviously, my joke did not work as they were both staring at me wide-eyed, looking extremely uncomfortable. The tension in the room was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.
A slightly nervous laugh escaped my lips and Lochan instantly jumped up at the sound and bolted out of my office at the speed of light.
Julie gave me a small, apologetic smile and scurried out of the door, chasing after her son.
Well, I guess it could have gone worse.