Authors: Heather Rainier
Divine Creek Ranch 9
Their Divine Doctor,
A Holiday Ménage
Emma Guthrie has been playing it safe all her life, watching friends marry and have families. She’s dedicated her life to healing others and now it’s time to heal herself.
Duke Rivers and Gage Randall are intrigued by the blushing doctor, whom they’ve observed in the past making a naughty sex toy purchase. Fate brings them together when Emma treats Gage for an arrow wound to the buttocks. When she moves in upstairs, they decide it’s time to take a chance.
The socially awkward threesome discovers a mutual need to stop allowing life to pass them by, and they embark on a quest to accomplish each item on their “bucket list” together. From the treetops of the North Georgia Mountains to the frozen Canadian Northwest Territories and points in between, they chase their dreams as danger closes in at home. Will Emma pay the ultimate price for loving them both?
Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
THEIR DIVINE DOCTOR,
A HOLIDAY MÉNAGE
Divine Creek Ranch 9
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting
THEIR DIVINE DOCTOR, A HOLIDAY MÉNAGE
Copyright © 2011 by Heather Rainier
E-book ISBN: 1-61926-250-9
First E-book Publication: December 2011
Cover design by Les Byerley
All art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
The Band Perry. Lyrics. “All Your Life.”
The Band Perry
. Republic Nashville © 2010.
Gaynor, Gloria. Lyrics. “I Will Survive.”
. Polydor © 1978.
Sugarland. Lyrics. “Stuck Like Glue.”
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. Mercury Nashville © 2010.
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Their Divine Doctor, A Holiday Ménage
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To my husband, who continues to inspire me with his acceptance, perseverance, and love.
Thank you to every reader who has taken the time to e-mail me or interact with me on Facebook and share what my books have meant to them.
For her invaluable help with this manuscript and my crazy life as a writer, for her organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail, and for her tireless encouragement, I thank Dawn Gore Meador. Thank you also to my sweet Siren sisters, Corinne Davies, for her friendship and critique of this manuscript, and Sophie Oak, for her irreverent humor and unfailing friendship.
Thank you to the Righteous Perverts, that band of naughty, kinky, and funny cheerleaders. This loyal band of readers, ranters, and authors has made this adventure in writing a fun ride.
Thank you to my friends and family members who have encouraged and supported me.
I am very grateful to Diana DeBalko and Siren Publishing for their hard work and encouragement. Words just can’t adequately express how grateful I am for the opportunity.
Their Divine Doctor
A HOLIDAY MÉNAGE
Divine Creek Ranch 9
Copyright © 2011
Saturday in mid-August, a week before Maya Daire’s wedding…
With her phone at her ear, Emma Guthrie strolled along the rocky shoreline of Campbell Lake. She pulled her doctor’s coat closed with her other hand because the wind blowing off the water had a hint of a chill to it as the sun began to set. Unseasonably cool temperatures had reached this part of the state, and when she’d seen the forecast she’d decided it was a perfect weekend to go camping. So did half of Divine, Texas, if the campground full of tents and occupied cabins was a good indicator. Feeling a slight chill, she shifted her cell phone to her other ear and tucked her forearm beneath her breasts to keep the coat closed.
“Emma, we could really use your help with this quilt fundraiser,” her friend Jane Herbert said. Emma couldn’t sew to save her life. She’d gotten together with Jane on several occasions with this group but didn’t think it was a good fit. All they did was gossip. It didn’t escape her notice that all the women in the group hovered around the same age as her and were all single.
Searching for an excuse to get out of another dose of their negativity, Emma replied, “Jane, your friends seem nice but…”
With the know-it-all tone that Emma was usually able to ignore, Jane said, “Is this about that comment Tabitha made? She’s right, you know. When one woman steals three eligible bachelors in town it makes it harder for the rest of us—”
Emma cut her off, not wanting to hear the same rant again. “Not going there with you, Jane. The conversation deteriorated from Tabitha’s catty little remark into pure gossip.” Tabitha wouldn’t have stood a snowball’s chance in Hell of catching one of the Warner brothers for herself. “And in case you haven’t forgotten, Maya Daire may be coming on as my RN in September, and I don’t appreciate my employees being gossiped about in front of me.”
Jane let loose with a big, gusty sigh and replied, “I know. I’ll talk to her. You know it’s really her boss, Clay Cook, who she’s interested in anyway.”
Emma thought Clay was a big sweetheart and couldn’t imagine how his life would be if he were married to someone like Tabitha. Unfortunately, Emma had no choice but to decline when Grace had offered to set the two of them up. Emma treated Clay for allergies regularly, and she never dated her patients.
Jane broke into her thoughts, unable to let the invitation go unanswered. “Will you please come Tuesday night?
Hoping that some emergency would keep her at work, she said, “All right. But only because you’re my friend.”
Emma looked out over the water, glanced back at the activity in the campground, and felt completely alone. Lately, Emma felt more and more as though she were missing out on life. She kept busy with activities Jane presented them with in her off time, but she was growing increasingly lonely. Maybe it was because several of her friends had recently gotten married and started having kids. She felt like an old maid sometimes, like she was approaching her expiration date.
“I’ll always be your friend, Emma. Even when we’re old spinsters together,” Jane said affectionately. She’d said “when,” not “if,” and it caught Emma off guard. Was she that far into spinsterhood? She didn’t own any cats yet, but she’d been thinking about it, at Jane’s suggestion. “Well, I’ve got to run. Mr. Snookums wants his din-din.”
Emma rolled her eyes. “Okay, talk to you later.”
Other people were walking along the shoreline, skipping flat stones across the water. For a second, she facetiously considered flinging her phone out over the water just to see how many times it would skip before it sank to the bottom but then slid it back into the pocket of her scrubs. She’d been hearing from Jane an awful lot lately.
“Spinsters,” she said with a snort. “Who said I wanted to be a spinster?” Jane made it sound like a good thing.
Emma knew if she kept on the way she was, that’s exactly how she’d wind up. Her life revolved around the clinic, and even though she had time in the evenings, she rarely went out unless it was with Jane.
When Emma thought about going out someplace on her own, like a nightclub, it made her feel squirmy and uncomfortable. What would she do with herself? What if no one talked to her? Worse yet, what if a man talked to her and she stuck her foot in her mouth? As a doctor, she could hold her own in a professional conversation, but when it came to social settings she was about as awkward as she could get.
Dressing up was another issue because there was only so much that could be done with her plain, pale exterior, and she never felt like she did a very good job applying makeup. Her pitiful efforts usually just left her feeling more self-conscious. Her scrubs and white coat had become her daily uniform regardless of where she had to go.
She wrapped her doctor’s coat around her to block the chill of the wind that gusted off the lake and wondered why she hadn’t thought to change before she left the office. The coat was a part of who she was.
She sat on a tree stump by the water and pulled her knees up to her chest. The sun was nearing the horizon, and she still hadn’t started her supper preparations. Had she been on the phone that long? Time had a way of speeding up when Jane called.
“Doctor Guthrie! Doctor Guthrie!”
Emma turned at the sound of her name being hollered. A doctor’s instincts took over, and her hunger was forgotten. She rose and ran toward the woman sprinting to her. She recognized her as Anita Webber, the wife and mother of a family she cared for.
“Thank goodness you’re here! I’m glad I recognized your vehicle. A man has been injured in one of the campsites.”
Emma caught up with her, reaching unconsciously for the stethoscope that was not around her neck but in her car with her medical kit. “What happened, Anita?”
“He’s been shot.”
“Shot? With what?” She hadn’t heard a firearm being discharged.
Anita replied, “An arrow.”
Once at her vehicle, she grabbed the large utility box from the front seat where she’d placed it when converting the rear of the vehicle into sleeping quarters. “Can you tell me where he was shot?”
“His…derriere,” Anita said as a profuse blush spread over her cheeks. “It doesn’t look deep, but he seems like he’s in an awful lot of pain.”
Anita led the way to the picnic table where a crowd had gathered. Emma could just as easily have followed the noise and hubbub to his exact location.
A man and woman stood over a sniveling, crying preteen boy, who must have been the perpetrator, judging by the bow in his hand. Both parents yelled and fussed at the same time. Other campers had gathered around to take in the drama.
“Pardon me! Pardon me. I’m a doctor.”
Another older man stood with a group near the picnic table and seemed to be trying to establish order. “Let the doctor through! Y’all go back to your campsites. There’s nothing more to see.”
“What happened?” Emma asked as she placed the medical kit on the picnic bench next to the injured party. Whoever he was, he took up nearly the length of the long table.
“What does it look like happened?” a deep voice growled back. “Duke, let me up. It’s not that bad.” Turbulent green eyes looked up at her from a ruggedly handsome face. Before his collar-length, dark-blond hair flopped in his eyes, she saw his brows knit together in what seemed like shock or surprise before he looked away and swore under his breath. It must hurt more than he let on.
His friend Duke replied, “No. Not until the doctor looks at you. I’ve seen wounds like this get badly infected because they weren’t treated properly. If I have to sit on you, you’re staying put.”
Duke looked up at her, and a smile flashed across his face. His hair was longish and appeared either dark brown or black in the fading light. He was every bit as handsome as his friend but in a different way. His dark eyebrows arched over expressive eyes, and his lips were neither too full nor too thin. A short, scruffy beard darkened his jaw. His smile was almost sensual as he gazed at her. He seemed vaguely familiar, but she met so many people every day there was no telling how she knew him.
The onlookers began to wander off, some still looking back curiously. The irate father pulled his son over to the picnic table. “My son has something he’d like to say, sir.”
The handsome blond looked over at the crying boy who appeared ready to wet his pants. “What is it?” he asked softly. He seemed bent on not scaring the boy further, which Emma appreciated, considering the reaming the boy had just gotten from his parents.
She went to work examining the wound, which didn’t appear to be bleeding profusely at the moment. The arrow had punctured the denim of his jeans and penetrated the gluteal muscle, but she wasn’t sure how deep. Emma asked the mother to bring her one of the arrows while she continued to inspect the wound. He flinched when she accidentally jostled the arrow but said nothing. She tried to ignore how firm and lean his buttock was under her fingertips.
The boy stuttered and snorted as tears and snot ran down his face. “I–I–I’m re–ee–eally sor–sorry about shooting you, mister. Um—I’ll work to pay for all your medical bills and…damages.” He pointed at the arrow jutting from the blond man’s ass and added, “I–I–I swear I wasn’t aiming for you.” He punctuated his statement with a loud hiccup.
The mother silently handed Emma an arrow, which she held up in comparison, guessing the arrow was embedded about two inches. The blunt tip on the arrow was barely pointed enough to puncture and was probably meant only for target practice. It probably hadn’t done any major damage, but it must have hurt like hell. She verified with the mother that all the arrows had been tipped the same.
The blond man grunted and said, “It’s okay, kid. Accidents happen.”
The father insisted on getting his name and address so they could take financial responsibility for their son’s actions. Duke gave his phone number to the anxious father as Emma sorted through her kit, looking for what she’d need to treat him.
“What are you doing?” the blond man asked her.
“What’s your name?” Emma asked as she took a seat at the picnic table by his head to talk to him and set him at ease. His tone was cautious, and she could see the anxiety in his green eyes.
“Gage. Gage Randall. What are you doing?”
Emma placed her hand on his firm back. “Gage, I’m Emma Guthrie. I’m a doctor and I’m setting up my supplies so I can treat you. I’m going to remove the arrow and clean out the wound. Your friend is right. If it’s not treated properly, the resulting infection will not be fun for you.”
Or for your lovely tush.
It surprised Emma to think such inappropriate thoughts over a nervous patient so obviously in pain. For the first time in a long time she felt her cheeks heat up over dealing with someone’s private areas. She thought that response had been trained right out of her in medical school. As a family practitioner, she’d seen just about everything.
Quietly, in a deep, earnest voice the man said, “Not here.” He sounded very serious.
Emma looked around. “Where then? I’m not kneeling in your tent if I don’t have to. Wait.” The light was better inside the customized tent attached to the back of her Pontiac Aztek. She could sit on her folding chair, and he could lie on the bedding on the tailgate. He was tall, so it wouldn’t be comfortable for him, but it would be better than being out in the open. She looked up at Gage’s dark-haired and equally handsome friend. “Duke, right?”
He nodded and replied, “Duke Rivers.”
“Can you bring him to my vehicle? We’ll set up there.”
Gage grimaced as Duke helped him rise stiffly from the picnic table, and they made their way to her campsite. She unzipped the tent and directed him to the opened cargo hatch. Emma was surprised that he made little noise as he settled. He must have a high pain tolerance level. She’d seen grown men cry over much less.
Duke made himself handy with the lantern while she reached around Gage to unbutton his jeans. He grasped her hand and stilled it. “What are you doing?” His hand was strong, impeding her progress, but not forceful.
“Gage, I just need to loosen the zipper so I can pull them down once the arrow is out. I need to give myself some room to work and I’ll have to clean the wound properly after the arrow is removed.”
Gage seemed to debate with himself for a few seconds then gently removed her hand from his fly and unbuttoned and unzipped his pants himself then settled back down.
“So, did you just get here?” she asked, making small talk as she sanitized her hands and prepared to remove the arrow.
“Yeah. We’d just set up the tent,” Duke said. “We were enjoying the view when it happened.” She glanced over at Duke and saw his crooked smile curl up on one side, and mischief twinkled in his eyes. There seemed to be more he wanted to say but didn’t. “This is a pretty cool setup you have.”
“I got a great deal on it. The customized tent was ideal for me because I love to camp.” The tent that came with the vehicle had been altered and another larger tent attached to it so that she not only had the enclosure for the back of the vehicle, but in addition, she also had a small private space at the end of the vehicle.
“We do a lot of camping, too,” Duke replied as he came close and watched her work. The combined scents of the two men in the small enclosure caused her to inhale slowly and appreciatively. A ripple of awareness quivered through her at his proximity. Her nipples hardened to tingling points, and warmth spread through her core. Glancing up, she caught Duke watching her curiously, and her cheeks tingled with heat.