Seth could not believe the run of bad luck he was having.
First, Jonathan, his boyfriend of seven months, broke up with him over the phone. From Hawaii. Where he was spending Christmas with his new boyfriend, Carlos, who was their personal trainer at the gym. Well, he’d been Seth’s personal trainer. Seth was now looking for a new trainer. And possibly a new gym. He’d always thought that there was something off about the way Carlos and Jonathan had interacted.
He was also starting to wonder how long Jonathan had been sneaking around. Seth admitted to himself that they had been heading for a break-up, but he’d thought that they would at least have lasted through the holidays. Apparently not.
Second, he was going to be spending Christmas alone. Even though they’d been having problems, Seth had been looking forward to spending Christmas with Jonathan. It would have been the first Christmas he’d spent with a partner in four years. Having planned an amazing Christmas dinner for them that he was going to cook himself, Seth had turned down his parents’ invitation to spend the holidays with them, and now it was too late to change his mind. He was going to be eating turkey leftovers for a flipping month.
And last but not least, it was Christmas Eve, and he was in the emergency room with a doctor pulling slivers of wood out of his back. The holiday he normally loved was turning into a nightmare. Seth hissed in pain as strong fingers pressed against his back.
Seth craned his neck to look at the man behind him. With dark hair, blue eyes, and wearing scrubs and reindeer antlers, the doctor was easily the most adorable man Seth had seen in a while. Seth had to admit that the good doctor was much more attractive than Jonathan. His ex was a good-looking man, but his looks were artificial. That was one of the reasons Jonathan had spent so much time at the gym with Carlos. Seth was beginning the think sex was the other reason. He was also starting to become rather jealous of the attention that Jonathan had most likely been giving Carlos. Attention that Seth had never received.
“So, Mr. McAllister, do you think you could tell me how you managed to get so many pieces of wood stuck in your back?”
Seth sighed. “It’s kind of embarrassing.”
“I’m all ears.” There was an amused lilt to the doctor’s voice. “Or maybe I should say I’m all antlers.”
Damn, hot and funny? Please let him be gay. “You know those antique wooden lobster traps that people put in their yards as decoration?”
“Well, I fell on a stack of about five of them.” He felt horrible about it too. All he’d wanted to do was help Mrs. Walker, and instead he’d crushed her lobster traps. The nice older woman had loved those things.
“Okay. Can you explain how you managed to land on them with enough force to send pieces of them through your sweater and into your skin?”
“I may have been on the roof when I fell.”
The hands on his back stilled. “You fell off your roof?”
“No, I fell off my neighbor’s roof.”
“You need chest X-rays.” The hands started moving over his back again, and Seth could feel them pressing against his ribs looking for further injuries.
“I don’t need X-rays. I just need you to pull the wood out of my back.”
“You could have cracked ribs.”
“How can you be sure?” The hands moved off of his ribs and returned to his back.
“I know what cracked ribs feel like.” Seth hissed as another shard of wood was pulled from his back. “Ouch.”
“No, you’re not. You’re punishing me because I don’t want X-rays,” Seth replied. He smiled when he heard the doctor laugh. “So, are you going to tell me what your name is?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“I need to call you something other than Hot Dr. Reindeer Antlers.” Seth shifted slightly as he waited for an answer. How the doctor answered his question would determine whether he was interested. Recent dumping aside, Seth really wanted him to be interested.
Warm breath ghosted across Seth’s cheek. “Dr. Noah Hunter.”
Seth shivered as he felt one of Noah’s hands move around his body to brush softly against his stomach in small circles. “Although I have to admit that I like Hot Dr. Reindeer Antlers.”
When fingers brushed the waistband of his jeans, Seth shuddered. It seemed like his luck might be changing for the better. He may have been dumped at Christmas, but he was now free to explore the mutual interest he seemed to share with Noah. Seth had never been felt up in the emergency room before, and he was starting to wonder if they could get away with pulling the curtains closed and having sex in the middle of the ER.
“Even full of splinters and covered in blood, you have a gorgeous back.” Gentle fingers brushed over the patch of skin between his shoulder blades. “I like this.”
Seth shivered at the naked lust in Noah’s voice. Jonathan hadn’t liked his tattoo. When Seth had returned home from a trip to Scotland with his clan emblem tattooed between his shoulder blades, Jonathan had accused him of mutilating his body. He’d then avoided touching it. It has been ages since Seth had felt fingers on that part of his body. Of course, Jonathan hadn’t really been big on touching at all. Seth was starting to think that he was getting a tad touch starved.
“God, I love the way your hands feel on my skin,” Seth moaned.
“Even though I’m pulling slivers out of your back?”
“Uh huh.” Seth moaned again as fingers soothed the injured area after another sliver was pulled free.
“You know, maybe after we could –”
Seth jumped at the shrill sound of a woman’s voice and hissed in pain as the sudden yell caused Noah to jab him in the back with tweezers. At least he hoped it was a pair of tweezers and not a scalpel. Turning his head, Seth spotted a striking blonde woman standing just inside the ER. The young boy at her side looked ready to burst into tears.
Bright red lips curved into a sneer. “So, molesting patients now?”
Seth gaped at the cruel words and tone, especially since they made the boy flinch. Strong fingers curved around his hip and gave a light squeeze.
“Excuse me, Seth. I’ll be right back.”
“Okay.” Seth watched as Noah walked over to the pair. While he was taking the opportunity to ogle the rather fine rear end walking away from him, he also noticed that the other doctors and nurses were slowly moving away from the area. It looked as if they were expecting a fight. Seth nervously bit his lip as Noah approached the angry blonde. He had a feeling that whatever was about to happen was not going to be pleasant.