Something More by Scarlett Jonstone
historical (1950s) lightly erotic romance
Cover Art by Winterheart Design
Winner of the Rekindled Contest held in conjunction with Avoid Writer's Hell
Betty Lewis thought she would never see her high school boyfriend, Will Walker, again after she had dumped him and refused to tutor him anymore in biology. Imagine her surprise when he shows up as the new doctor in the same practice where she is the chief nurse more than a decade later.
Will had always pressed Betty to the edge of her sexuality in their youth and immediately sets about doing it again. But this time around, Betty wants something more. Something more than just lust. Betty wants love… or nothing. Can the stirrings of old lust turn into the fires of lasting love?
I stepped in front of the mirror and patted my perfectly secured bun. Not a single hair was out of place. Perfect. A soft shade of auburn. It had been more orange in high school, but some time and age had graced me with a semblance of beauty. No more pimples but soft, clear skin, and now I wore bright red lipstick that gave my entire face a lift. It was the late 50's, and although I hadn't found myself a man yet, I still felt whole, happy. After all, I had a job, one that I loved.
I changed into my all-white nurse's outfit. "Come on, Helen, we're going to be late for work," I called to my roommate and best friend.
"Coming, coming," she muttered. She rushed past me into the bathroom, struggling with bobby pins to secure her wild curls. "I don't know why I bother," she complained. "It's just going to fall out in the car."
"Remind me on the way home to pick up a can of hairspray. But we really have to go." I grabbed her shoulders, turned her around, and marched her out of the bathroom, using my elbow to turn off the bathroom light. Then I grabbed both our purses and searched in mine for the car keys. "Come on, Helen."
We hurried, and fortunately, traffic was light so we arrived a few minutes early. "Good morning, Dr. Young," I said as I entered the office.
"Good morning, Betty. Helen." The dashing older doctor nodded at my roommate, who promptly turned rouge, her face matching her hair.
I stared at her but waited until Dr. Young disappeared into the back. "Since when did you start having feelings for the good doctor?" I teased, lowering my voice so that the nosy receptionist, Joan, couldn't overhear.
Helen's face turned an even brighter shade of scarlet. "I-I don't know what you're talking about."
I giggled. "Fine. Be that way." I peeked behind me and stared at Dr. Young. Strange, I had never before realized it, but he was a good-looking man. He had broad shoulders and a nice build. His hair was just beginning to turn gray and gave him a distinguished air. Kind, gentle with his patients, Dr. Young was a decent man. If Helen could claim him, he would make her a very happy woman. Although there was the age difference to consider. Helen and I are thirty. Dr. Young wasn't so young anymore. He had to be at least ten years older than us, probably more.
I shook my head to clear my thoughts and straightened a few of the small chairs for the children in the waiting room before walking to the back.
Dr. Young's soft voice carried down the hall. He must be on the phone. As was my usual routine, I popped my head into the patient's rooms, doing a quick sweep to ascertain that everything was in place before the practice opened to the public. The first room revealed missing cotton balls. I returned to the hallway and grabbed a full jar from the stockroom when two men emerged from Dr. Young's office. I couldn't catch a glimpse of the other man, hidden behind the doctor. Then Dr. Young stepped aside, and I dropped the container I had been holding.
It couldn't be. Will? Will Walker? That stupid boy that hardly understood biology? I fleetingly thought of that day years ago in the backseat of his car and flushed hotly, instinctively knowing that my face was as red as Helen's had been earlier.
I bent down to pick up the container. Luckily the lid had stayed attached so none of the cotton balls went to waste, and I rushed into the room, eager to seek out a refuge. With shaking hands, I placed the cotton balls next to the tongue depressors. "Just relax, Betty," I muttered to myself, willing myself to calm down. My heart thundered in my throat. After a moment, my breathing returned to normal. I patted my hair and left the room.
"Ah, there you are, Betty. I was just looking for you." Dr. Young took my arm by the elbow and walked me over to Will. "I have someone I want to introduce you to. Will, this is Betty Lewis, my chief nurse. Betty, this is Dr. William Walker. I finally found a suitable business partner." Dr. Young seemed awfully pleased with himself. And he should. He talked about wanting a partner for years now. I was happy for him. The business was growing, and we needed the help. Only… why did he have to pick Will?
Belatedly, I realized that Will was still holding his hand outstretched. With a sigh, I stared him in the eye and shook his hand.
His face instantly showed signs of recognition - from the widening of his eyes to the 'o' shape of his lips that relaxed into an easy smile. "Well, well, well, Betty. Wow. It's great to see you again."
Dr. Young glanced from Will to me. "You two know each other already?"
"We went to high school together," Will said easily, still smiling.
"A long time ago," I said coolly. Damn. He hardly seemed to have aged although the skin around his eyes did appear a little tighter. The blush had slowly faded from my face but returned full force when I realized that I was staring at him, gawking like a silly schoolgirl.
He laughed, and I cringed. His laughter had always made me stop and stare. When I had tutored him, I practically had to gag him, so we could concentrate on his studies. For some reason, the sound of his happiness had always made me happy. Now I no longer knew him despite his recognizable face, and I was pleased to learn that his laugh no longer claimed me. I had no desire to join in.
"Come on now, it wasn't all that long ago," Will said in that tone that suggested, demanded, that I cave.
I refrained from rolling my eyes through sheer professionalism.