Home > Doctor Love (Masters of Love #3)

Doctor Love (Masters of Love #3)
Author: Leisa Rayven

 


AUTHOR’S NOTE & DEDICATION

 

 

For those readers new to my Masters of Love series, please note that although you can read this book as a standalone, it contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the other two books: MISTER ROMANCE and PROFESSOR FEELGOOD. If that’s important to you, feel free to read those two first then come back to this one.

For those continuing the series, please note that this book’s timeline overlaps with events from PROFESSOR FEELGOOD, so keep an eye out for indicators. For example, this book starts BEFORE the beginning of PROFESSOR FEELGOOD, so you’ll see talk of Asha and her possible promotion. Just an FYI so you can keep everything straight.

As always, this book is dedicated to my amazing family who puts up with so much to enable me to do this crazy writing venture, and to my beautiful parents who have gone through so much recently, I adore you with my whole heart.

And now, darling readers, onward! See you at the end.

 

 

1

 

 

TOBIAS

 

 

We all want to be remembered for something great. To leave our mark on the world and have people raise a glass in our honor and say things like, “Here’s to Bob. He was one helluva guy.” Or “Remember Bob? I sure do, because he was grrrrrreat.”

I always thought I had greatness on a lock. After all, I was valedictorian at high school, got a full ride to MIT for computer science, lost my virginity before any of my geek friends, and graduated with a perfect GPA. And yet, here I am ... not great. I’m sure there are a few generous souls who’d disagree, but there’s no arguing with solid facts.

My List of Reasons Greatness Eludes Me is a work in progress, but these are the current frontrunners:

1. I’ve failed to live up to my true potential. You may say, “Haven’t we all?” but let’s get real. When I graduated college, I was on top of the world. Blue chip job offers from Fortune 500 companies, and yeah, even one from NASA. But I said no to all of it. Would I have upped my cred working for the FBI or writing code for probes that would, and this isn’t hyperbole, map our galaxy? Hell yeah. I’m a geek, and I’m breathing. But just before I graduated college, my father had a severe accident that left him partially paralyzed, and "normal” went out the window. I waved goodbye to my dreams as my mom, my little sister, and I got on with the business of surviving. A year later, when I was offered a job writing about video games and cutting-edge tech for an online magazine, I took it. No, it wasn’t going to change the world, but it was easy, and after working my ass off for so many years and taking over from Dad as the head of the family, easy sounded pretty damn good for a change.

2. I have a knack for trusting the wrong people. Out of the handful of girlfriends I’ve had over the years, all but one have betrayed me in some way. I don’t know why I seem to be blind to a person’s ability to lie straight to my face, but it always ends up kicking me in the balls. I’m working on changing that.

3. I’m nice. Not a character flaw, but to be super-successful, a certain level of assholishness is required, and I’m more of an if-I-can-help-you-I-will-or-die-trying kind of guy. That’s probably one of the reasons I’m so fucking exhausted all the time, but we’ll come back to that.

Of course, I do have some good traits to help balance out the bad: I have a decent sense of humor; I’m kind to animals; I can solve a Rubik's cube in each hand in under a minute; I can pretty much hack into any computer network on the planet; and if anyone hurts the people I love, I will hunt them to the ends of the earth and deliver a karmic bitch-slap of epic proportions.

Oh, and I also have a kickass collection of cardigans, so there’s that.

Despite all of this, I really thought that by the time I turned twenty-five, I’d be living my best life, but clearly, that hasn’t happened. Instead, I’m in a bar in Brooklyn on a Saturday night, stuck between a rock and a hard place. And when I say rock, I mean the staggering amount of work I still have to complete before I can relax for the evening, and when I say hard place, I mean a very soft, attractive female body.

“Toby, come onnnn. Let’s get out of here. My roommate is away, and we have the whole apartment to ourselves.”

There are arms around my waist and breasts pressed against me, and while I usually wouldn’t complain about either of those things, the person doing the holding and pressing is someone I’m trying to stay away from.

“Jackie …” I gently pull her arms down. “We’ve talked about this.”

“Yeah, we talked about not dating, and that’s totally cool.” She steps forward and judging by the smell of her breath and the way she hangs off me, she’s had about three too many whiskey sours tonight.

“I’m just saying you should come back to my place and …” She trails her fingers across my chest, until she feels my nipple beneath my shirt. “… see what happens.”

I shudder involuntarily. This is seriously the last thing I need tonight.

It’s doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Jackie wants. We got together in the first place because she gets horny as hell when she drinks, but our initial arrangement was for no-strings-attached sex. Turns out, there were strings. Lots of them. Without any warning, she went from zero to let’s-spend-every-waking-moment-together-and-possibly-buy-a-cat in less than a month. And now, I don’t know how many more ways I can tell her I don’t want to be her boyfriend without learning a second language.

“Jackie …” I take her hands in mine to prevent them from roaming anywhere else on my body without permission. “I’m pretty sure more meaningless sex is not what you’re after, and I’ve been honest in letting you know I can’t offer anything else.”

“Then let’s just have sex.” She makes a whining sound. “You’re so good at it, Toby, and the last couple of guys I’ve slept with haven’t been.” She lowers her voice. “I need a Tobygasm. Please. I’m so uptight right now, I feel like you could use my muscles to re-cable the Golden Gate bridge. Just give me one more night, and then I’ll leave you alone.”

“That’s what you said a week ago, and also the week before that; and yet, here we are again.”

“Yes, but I mean it this time. I promise.” She tries to press against me again, but I step back and slide a stool between us. How is it that this woman seems to grow several extra sets of arms when she drinks?

I gesture for Joe the Bartender to get her some water.

Dammit, when will I learn? I knew sleeping with someone from work was a bad idea, and what’s more, I knew damn well that Jackie was high maintenance before it happened. She writes the gossip column for Pulse, the online magazine for which we both work, and that alone should have been a red flag. The reason she’s so good at turning the merest eyebrow raise between two celebrities into a three-act opera is that she thrives on drama. I found that out the hard way after the first time I told her we shouldn’t hang out anymore. I thought I was nice about it. She gave me the impression she understood and felt the same way. However, a few hours later when I returned from lunch to find the entire contents of my desk shoved into a urinal, along with a note that read, “Screw you, asshole!”, I realized she may have been a tad more upset than she’d let on.

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