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Silent Love

By:Casey Clipper

(The Love Series - Book 1)

I usually dedicate my books to my husband but this time around there are  some awesome individuals that I'd like to dedicate this book to.

My two girls who deviously plot, plan, and conspire with me. Erica and  Cristina. Neither one has an issue with telling me like it is, if they  don't like a plot, if they love something, or if something doesn't work.  Getting together with these two women and putting our heads together is  something I value and enjoy beyond words. Of course, add a drink or two  and Erica wants to kill off everyone. I've created a monster.

My Cali girl. An aspiring author with a brilliant mind, a kind word, and  a terrific sense of humor. She doesn't know this, but I speak highly of  her to everyone I know and am thankful that her room at the RWA  conference in Atlanta hadn't been ready for her or else we might not  have ever met. She's helped guide me, given me terrific advice, listened  when I struggled and excelled, and has been there for a journey that  we're both consistently learning something new everyday.

Two Ordinary Girls and Their Books are two women who I accidentally came  across, but from the moment I did, they went out of their way to  promote, support, and boost my books. They were the first to take  notice, and with open arms offered me anything I needed to help promote  my work. I can't thank them enough for all they do, but I'll try-thank  you, thank you, thank you Kaprii and Lilly for all you do. Frankly, they  should be thanked more often by all. Follow their Facebook page! One  day I'll get my butt to England, then we can get together and see how  much trouble we can create. Within reason, of course. Sounds like a  plan.


Pulling off the bloody surgical gloves, Sean breathed out a heavy sigh  of relief. By some miracle, he'd managed to save the life of the  fifty-five year old man unconscious on the table. Stents, now in place,  gave the man an opportunity to live years longer than when he arrived at  the hospital in cardiac arrest.

"Close him up," Sean ordered.

"Yes, doc."

Sean stepped out of the surgical room, into the hallway, tossed his  gloves and scrubs into the bin, then went straight for the locker room  to shower. Originally, he wasn't on ER surgery rotation that evening,  but the hospital became unexpectedly busy. When the case came through  the ER doors, he was the only doc available.

Once he was undressed and in the shower, he allowed the scalding water  to beat off his worn body. Hands placed against the wall, his head  hanging, the hot stream rolled off his back, relaxing his tight muscles.  That shift had been too long for a human to work. He needed to go home,  collapse in bed, and not move for the next three days he had off work.  Ryan wasn't fairing any better. The NICU at Magee-Women's Hospital had  seen a rush of premature babies and his brother was working overtime  weekly. Both of them weren't good for anything other than sleeping,  barely eating, and working their asses into the ground.

"Doc?" someone yelled into the showers.

"Yeah?" he croaked.

"Phone call for you on line one," the man said.

"Who is it?" he asked. Who the hell was calling him?

"Ah...Courtney?" he answered.

Shit. He was supposed to meet his cousin at an hour ago.

"Got it," he yelled back.

Sean shut off the water, yanked a couple towels off the rack, wrapped  one around his solid waist and ran one over his overlong hair. He went  to the private office in the locker room and picked up line one.  "Hello?"

"Hello yourself," his cousin drawled. "I'm guessing something came up."

"Yes," he said. "You could say that."

"You sound exhausted," she said.

"I am." He sat down behind the desk. "Ryan is too."

"I don't know why you won't open up your own practice," she said. "You  could make your own hours, have weekends off, holidays." She paused.  "You know I can lend you the money to start up."

Hell, no. He would never borrow money off his cousin. Borrowing money  off her would be borrowing money from her husband. And to owe her  husband money was to owe money to the mob. Literally.

"I know what you're thinking," she said softly. "Derrick would never consider you one of his clients," she assured him.

Sean snorted. "I appreciate the offer, Court, but no thanks. I enjoy  working at the hospital." It kept him and his lonely mind occupied.

His cousin remained silent for a moment. "All right, if that's what you want, but if you ever change your mind, you come to me."

He grinned. How their lives had changed since they were children.  Courtney was a confident, beautiful woman who knew what she wanted and  when she wanted it. Her husband had to be given full credit for that  trait. Not that many years ago his cousin tended to be meek and not that  self-assured.         



"I will," he said.

"I'm assuming you're not going to be home soon," she said.

The delighted squeals of children in the background of her call echoed  loudly through the phone. He laughed. Man, he loved those two toddler  cousins of his. Being around those two balls of energy only made him  long for his own family with children all the more.

"I will be," he answered.

"But you're exhausted," she again assumed correctly. He was too  exhausted for a visit from her and her kids. He hated to think it, but  it couldn't be helped. "Tell you what," he could hear the sympathy in  her voice, "I'll leave the food I had Mary make for you and Ryan in the  fridge, and we'll come back another day."

"You had Mary cook for us?" he asked. Mary was her in-home cook, maid,  caretaker, or whatever other title you would want to give the woman. She  did it all for the Murphy home and was well appreciated and compensated  for her work.

Courtney chuckled. "Yes. I know how much the two of you have been  working, and you've probably been eating terribly. I wanted you both to  have at least one decent meal. Well, Mary made you a few. There's dinner  in there for a week."

"Your Mary is a saint." He relaxed in the chair and rubbed the towel over his bare chest, sopping up the droplets.

"She is. I'll let you go, don't work too hard, Sean," she said. "And tell Ryan I said hi. Love you."

"Love you too, sweetheart. I'll make sure we stop by soon," he assured her.

"You better. I'd hate to have to send my husband after you. He tends to get cranky lately," she said.

"Is something wrong?" he asked concerned.

"Only in the fact that he can't seem to impregnate me again and is  growing frustrated. But not for lack of trying," she laughed evilly.  Probably knowing how that would make him cringe.

"All right, all right. TMI. I'm hanging up now," he said. "Love you,  bye." He set the phone receiver down before Courtney could go on further  about her sex life.

Hanging his head back, Sean finally felt exhaustion creep in. His limbs  and eyelids grew heavy. Would he even be able to drive himself home? A  knock on the door interrupted him about to lose consciousness.

"Hey, brother, need a ride?" Ryan asked. Once again, his brother used  his stealthy, ingrained SEAL skills to gain access to the part of the  hospital he wasn't cleared to enter. Sean admired his brother's lack of  ability to follow set rules. He casually leaned against the doorframe  and crossed his beefy arms over his chest. Ryan's normally sharp blue  eyes looked just as tired as his.

"Yeah, I don't think I can drive," he answered.

"You gonna get dressed?" Ryan asked and raised a brow.

Sean snorted. "Don't know if I can."

Ryan laughed and jerked his head. "Come on, let's get you out of here."

Slowly Sean stood, his bones creaking and cracking. His body was no  longer able to pull these long shifts without paying a hard price.  Edging closer to age forty, maybe he needed to consider Courtney's  offer.

"Talked to Court," Sean said while he followed his brother.

"Yeah? How is she?" Ryan asked.

"Good, I guess. I didn't ask. She was supposed to come over, but she  understood I'm too tired. She had Mary cook for us, though, and left the  food in the fridge," he said.

"Thank god. I love Mary's cooking. I don't think I could handle take-out again tonight," Ryan moaned.

"I know," he said. They went into the locker room, and Sean slowly slid  into his sweats and tee shirt. "Court offered me up money again to open  my own clinic."

"You should take it," Ryan said, seated on the bench, packing his brother's gym bag.

"I don't want to owe Derrick Murphy money," he groaned.

"Derrick wouldn't do that to you or his wife," Ryan countered.

"You think?"

"I know," Ryan answered confidently. "Court would have him by the balls  if she ever found out he treated either one of us like a client. Not  only that, he feels he's indebted to us," Ryan pointed out.

"True, but I don't want to seem as if I'm collecting on that," he said.