Just another day at the office

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When Patrick returned to work that day, he was feeling more at ease. He'd enjoyed his time with Anna and Andrew and was genuinely happy for them. Christina was a beautiful baby and both Anna and Andrew seemed overjoyed about her presence.

Since he didn't have any appointments scheduled, he was asked to help out in the clinic.

"So what brings you here today?" he asked the blond beauty sitting on the examination bed next to him.

"I just have this headache", the girl said slowly, swaying her body slightly. She smiled at the good-looking doctor, hoping he got the hint.

"When did it start?"

"Um...just a couple of days ago", she said quickly, quite dismissively.

"Did you experience any trauma?" Patrick asked. There was just something odd about this patient.

"Nope. I was just sitting in my car", she replied, biting her lip slightly.

"Where's your headache?"

The girl touched her forehead. "Just here", she said.

"Does it move anywhere?" he asked.

The girl shook her head quickly. She seemed eager to say the next bit, "So...you are Patrick, right?"

"Dr. del Castillo when I'm around here", he replied curtly. "We were talking about your headache. Can you describe the kind of pain for me?"

"It's just...painful", she said, eager to move away from the headache topic. "So um... you went to Thomas McDermott, right? I was two grades behind you. My name is..."

"Cecilia Meldrum", Patrick cut in.

"You remember my name?" the girl almost shrieked.

Patrick indicated that he'd read her name on the file by actually looking at it.

"I always thought you were nice", the girl said with no doubt a flirting smile.

Patrick put the file on the bed. "There is no headache, is there?" he said firmly.

The girl touched the side of her head. "There is, it hurts".

"Where you are touching?"

"Yes".

Patrick grinned slightly and crossed his arms. He'd seen such behavior before but it still caught him by surprise that people would take their time coming to the hospital and lie about a condition just so they could get a chance to talk to someone.

He could be saving someone's life but here he was, diagnosing a headache that he didn't believe even existed.

"Cecilia", he said and paused. "A few minutes ago you had a frontal headache that did not radiate. You do realize your hand is now on your temple, right?"

The girl grinned sheepishly and lowered her hand. It was all Patrick needed to know he was right. The girl had fabricated the headache.

"I'm sorry. I heard you were in town. Everyone is talking about you, but you are a hard guy to spot anywhere. I just had to see you", she said.

Patrick smiled. "I am flattered, but you really did not have to fake a headache. At this moment you are taking time away from someone who really needs to see me".

"I'm sorry".

"It's okay. Next time...be consistent", he said with a wink and regretted it. The girl was obviously enamored with him and winking at her was sending wrong signals.

He handed her the file and ushered her out of the examination room before she said anything without making it obvious that he trying to get rid her. That worked, not in the way that he'd hoped. The girl didn't think he was trying to get rid of her. She thought he was enamored with her as well.

"So um...do you have plans for tonight?" she asked as he walked her down the corridor.

He'd been thinking about dropping behind with some excuse when she said her words.

"Yeah, family dinner and...stuff", he lied.

The girl said something, but his eyes and ears had tuned to a sight his heart fluttered at. Charlie was walking up the corridor. For a moment Patrick couldn't do or say anything other than stare. Contrary to what Charlie would say, Charlie had grown. The changes on his face were subtle, but they were there. His forever laughing face was older, more beautiful but looked tired like it had weathered storms. He didn't look like he got much sleep, but Patrick couldn't blame him.

In Patrick's eyes, no amount of sleepless nights could make that face ugly, because even though the lids looked heavy and ready to drop, they protected one of the most beautiful eyes Patrick had ever seen. Even though the lines on Charlie's face were becoming permanent, they couldn't hide the beauty that was a face God had taken his time to create.

Charlie walked past Patrick without so much as a glance. Patrick should have been happy. After all, it was their doctor-patient terms. They'd agreed not to have any interaction except when it was absolutely necessary.

Patrick knew it was for the best, but he wasn't happy. And then it hit him. He would never be happy with the arrangement. Overtime he'd get used to it, but he'd never be happy.

"Um...Dr. del Castillo?"

His attention was brought back to the girl standing next to him by her words.

"Yeah?" he said raising a brow. He knew she'd said something. He just had no idea what.

"How about tomorrow then?"

"I don't know", he said. "I might be busy".

"Can I give you my number? Then maybe you can tell me if you have time?"

"Sure. Just so you know, I can't date patients. It's against the law", he said, trying to sound as casual as possible.

"Oh um...but I'm not your patient", she said.

"That file you are holding says you are. Anyway, I have to go. Hand that back to admin, and have a great day", Patrick said and walked away.

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