...My stomach fluttered with nerves. As if I didn’t have enough to think about, it occurred to me that I hadn’t asked Seth about this guy. They’d been good friends for a long time, which said a lot since Seth didn’t trust anyone any farther than he could throw them.
But I was curious. What kind of guy went into acupuncture, anyway? I could only imagine the banter between these two. Seth the hardcore prove-it-or-it-didn’t-happen atheist versus “Dr.” Whitman the acupuncturist. Of course, the guy had persuaded Seth to get this kind of treatment. That more than anything made me raise my guard. What was I dealing with here? A guy who could sell used cars and snake oil? Or a New Age, hippie type who bought into this as much as his clients did?
Give him a chance, Jason.
I closed my eyes and released a breath. I would give him a chance. After the other night’s excruciating episode, I’d believe in unicorns if someone told me it would help. Well, not really. I was desperate, but I knew that was when I was most vulnerable to a convincing sales pitch. The proof had damn well better be in the pudding, or I wasn’t buying.
Down the hall, a door opened. As footsteps and a male voice approached, I turned my head. An elderly woman appeared first, and when the source of the male voice came into view, I almost choked on my breath.
Apparently that was the kind of guy who went into acupuncture. Holy. Fuck.
I couldn’t say if I was expecting dreadlocks and hemp or glasses and a lab coat, but what I wasn’t expecting was six-foot-plus of oh my God with a heaping dose of please tell me you’re single. He looked like he’d just stepped out of a laidback business meeting: pressed slacks, a plain white shirt with the first button casually left open and the sleeves rolled to his elbows. His hair was almost black, and short but not severely so. Short enough to be neat and professional, long enough it just started to curl. Long enough for a man to get a grip on if—
Jesus, Jason. You get a grip.
A thin string of twisted brown leather hung around his neck and disappeared down the V of his shirt, and he had a beaded hemp bracelet on his left wrist, so he wasn’t entirely without the signs of his “hippie lifestyle” as my brother—and Seth, whether he admitted it or not in this case—would call it.
While the acupuncturist and his patient exchanged a few words, I just stared. Goddamn, he was hot. He’d taken that old cliché “tall, dark, and handsome” and made it his little bitch. Dark-haired, dark-eyed, tall enough I’d have to look up at him, and he had a perma-smirk that hinted at something dark and devious hiding inside that mind of his. And handsome? Good God, yes. The perfect amount of ruggedness roughened his edges, tempering his borderline pretty boy look like an invisible black leather jacket and sunglasses. If the receptionist was Seth’s type, Michael was undeniably mine.
And then he looked right at me. “Mr. Davis?”
I cleared my throat and stood. “Jason.”
He extended his hand. “I’m Dr. Whitman, but most people just call me Michael.”
“All right,” I said. “I guess I’ll call you Michael.”
He smiled, which crinkled the corners of his eyes just right to draw my eyes right to his, and suddenly nothing was on my brain except and I thought I was a sucker for blue eyes. Apparently brown eyes did it for me too.
Don’t mind if I do...