Chapter Twenty-Three ~Maddie~

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Sick to my stomach. That's how I feel as I watch the woman run her hands all over Travis. And worse? How he lets her, accepting her advances with such ease.

"This time you make dinner, and I'll be in charge of dessert," she purrs into his ear just as we stop outside the door.

"I'll be in touch then," he replies in a rough voice as her hand falls from his.

Of course you will, I almost scoff. I shouldn't be surprised. What did I expect really? He went out with girls when I was around, did it right in front of my face. Of course he would do it when I was gone. I just thought that maybe...

He turns to leave, but pauses when he sees us at the door. His eyes widen in surprise as his gaze locks me in place, and every damn emotion I'm feeling threatens to burst through the surface. I tear my eyes away from him before that happens, as the long forgotten yet familiar feeling of jealousy stirs within me.

"Madison Ryan, I'm Dr. Kelly Reesen. Have a seat," the woman says as she points to a chair. They always get my damn name wrong. Don't they pay attention at all?

With my head hanging down, I watch as Travis begins to leave the room, his feet walking through my line of sight. It takes every ounce of willpower I have not to look up at him again. I should. I should look up, if only to figure out what his game is or what the hell he's really doing here, but at this point, I don't think it really matters.

I swallow and pull my gaze back up, focusing on the woman with long, red hair trailing down her back. "It's Maddie, Doctor," I begin, but my voice cracks and tears threaten to fall.


I'm not doing this now, not in front of him. So what if I started to think he was actually here for me. I was wrong... oh well. I'm so sick of this, so sick of feeling unsure about him, about everything.

Meeting the doctor's stare, I finish, "Not short for Madison. It's just Maddie."

"Got it," she says, smiling brightly and looks over my shoulder. "A little privacy boys," she tells them with sweetness in her tone, and I turn to find Travis and Sam still lingering in the doorway.

Sam jumps. "Got it Doc, page me when you're ready," he says as quickly as he leaves.

Travis' gaze darts between the doctor and I before he clears his throat and gives the door a pat as he nods and walks out of the room.

"Men," the doctor quips from behind me, feigning annoyance.

Yeah right, she obviously enjoys the attention. Turning back to face her, I give her a quick half smile. She smiles in return, only it's accompanied by an amused, knowing look in her eyes.

"Lieutenant Brennan!" she calls over my shoulder, stretching her neck to look down the hall.

His footsteps grow heavier as he nears, but I don't turn back to look at him.

"Yes?" he questions and my eyes close in response, tingling chills spreading across my body. I fold my arms onto the table in front of me and rest my head on them. Being here is hard enough without having to continuously run into him. He's the one person in the world that I should have been able to trust, to run to, but there's this wall between us and I still don't understand why. He's so close, but he feels so far away, so out of reach. It would just be so much easier if I could do this alone, without wondering when and where I'll be seeing him again.

"Since you're around, I'll be needing a Hunter escort from Breeder quarters to O.R. at 1200 hours. If you could stick around for that I'd very much appreciate it," she says, somehow making it sound like a come on. This woman is ridiculous. I shake my head slightly within my arms.

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