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He's the Man (Audiobook)

He's the Man (Audiobook)

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NARRATOR

Eva Kaminsky

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THE NEXT AFTERNOON, Penny could barely concentrate. Her cell phone rang and she picked it up. Scott’s picture flashed across the display. She ran her thumb over the screen. She really should answer. Scott didn’t call during the day often. But it seemed disloyal to talk to him when she was thinking about another guy. 

She ran her fingers through her hair, dislodging her ponytail. The loose hairstyle had been irritating her all day. She couldn’t believe she’d dressed up for a guy. She had to get Matt Simmons out of her mind. She couldn’t help someone who didn’t want to be helped. 

It was time to let it go. 

“Um, Penny? You have some visitors.” Georgia’s voice crackled over the intercom system. 

She snatched up her handset. “Georgia, I need a minute. Can you ask one of the other therapists to get the patient started? I’ll check in on them in a few.”

“I would, but these aren’t patients. You have visitors. Scott is here.”

“What? He’s here? I guess that’s what he was calling about.”

“You have another visitor, too. Sergeant Simmons is here to speak with you as well.” By the clipped tone of her assistant’s voice, Penny could only assume one or both men were nearby.

“They’re both here? Okay. I’ll be there in a moment.”

Penny dropped the phone in the cradle and then pushed her chair back. “Crap. I do not need this right now.” She pulled open her desk drawer and took out her handbag. There wasn’t a lot of damage control she could do in just a few minutes, but at least she could smooth her hair and make sure she didn’t have anything in her teeth.

After her emergency primping session, she emerged from the patient corridor into the waiting room. Scott jumped up from his seat. He looked like he’d just come from court, his light brown hair lightly gelled back and his suit as crisp as the day he’d bought it. 

“Hey, there’s my girl.” Scott pulled her against him and kissed her passionately. 

“Whoa! Uh, hello to you, too.” Penny glanced around and several of the waiting patients averted their eyes. Her face burned as she turned around. She’d never been into public displays of affection and Scott wasn’t either. She put her hands on his chest to keep him at a proper distance. “What’s gotten into you? You’re awfully friendly.”

“Just missed you. I’ve been calling you all morning. For a minute there, I thought you weren’t going to come out. I was hoping we could do lunch.”

“Sorry. I’ve been a little preoccupied today.” Penny turned, startled to see Matt leaning against the reception desk watching her. 

The same feeling she’d experienced yesterday rolled through her, forcing the heat of another blush to her cheeks, picking up her pulse, and shortening her breath. 

Scott followed her line of vision. “Who is that?”

She patted Scott on the arm. “That’s one of my patients. Can you give me a few minutes?”

He nodded and wandered to one of the straight-backed chairs a few feet away. She turned back to Matt. He pushed away from the counter and walked over to her. 

“Is the suit your boyfriend?” Matt glanced over her shoulder at Scott. He seemed amused. For some reason, that annoyed her. Who was he to judge her relationships? Not every man could be a pumped-up, super-alpha testosterone factory like he was. 

“Why are you here, Matt?” 

His dark eyes never left her face as he answered. “To apologize and beg you for another chance.”

“Apology accepted. However, I don’t know if we can work together.”

When he opened his mouth to respond, she held up a finger. “Hang on. This isn’t exactly a waiting-room conversation. Um, I have some time between appointments, so we can talk. You can wait in my office.”

Matt crossed his arms, his dark eyes inscrutable. “That’s okay. I’ll wait right here, thanks.” His lips curled up into his usual smirk. 

Fantastic. Penny rolled her eyes and walked over to Scott. When he saw her coming, he jumped up. She held up a hand to keep him from grabbing her again.

“I wish I could do lunch but I have patients.” Technically Matt wasn’t a patient, but they still needed to talk. As excuses went, it would have to do.

His voice dropped another octave. “That’s okay. I just wanted to see you since I have to work tonight and tomorrow. I have to get some work done so I can give you my undivided attention for our anniversary dinner this weekend. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Penny stilled and then allowed him to pull her into another hug. “Of course. It’s our anniversary. How could I forget?” She bit her lip at his knowing chuckle.

“It’s okay if you forgot. I know you’ve been busy.”

She let out a relieved breath. “I’ve been working too hard. It’ll be nice for us to have a relaxing evening. So, where are we going?”

“Uh uh. No questions. It’s a surprise. I have an entire romantic evening planned.”

Penny wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Scott generally had a very different idea of what was “romantic” than she did. The door to the waiting room swung open and another patient entered, which reminded Penny where they were. 

“I bet. Okay, I have to run because my next patient is waiting. Where should I meet you?”

“I’ll pick you up on Saturday. All you have to do is show up and look beautiful. It’s going to be a night to remember.”

She glanced behind her. Matt leaned casually against the counter, staring at his feet. He wasn’t looking at her, but she had a feeling he was listening intently to their conversation. Just then he looked up, his black eyes fixed on hers. Her breath seized in her throat and heat rushed to her cheeks. 

She wanted him, she realized with a faint sense of horror. Wanted his intense eyes on her, his muscled body over hers. He was going to be her patient and she was hot for him. Worse, judging by the faint smile on his face, he knew it. 

She whirled around to face Scott. “Yes, okay. I’ll see you then.”

Scott kissed her again and then walked out, flicking one last uncertain glance in Matt’s direction.

As soon as the door closed behind him, Matt pushed off the wall and walked toward her. “So, you never answered my question. Is he your boyfriend?”

Penny shrugged. “I don’t see how that’s relevant. Why are you here? I think we can both agree we aren’t a good fit.”

“All we agree on was that I acted like an asshole. I’m sorry.”

It wasn’t the most eloquent apology, but she had no doubt it was sincere. 

“I understand. That still doesn’t mean that we should work together. I’ve only had a few military patients. Most of the people who come to me are athletes or here after an accident. You have some emotional issues, understandably, that I’m not sure how to deal with. I have no problem admitting that I’m not quite sure what to do with you.”

“Do whatever you have to do. I promise I’ll behave.” Matt spread his hands. “I’m putting myself at your mercy.” 

It was tempting to turn around and walk away. He was just too much. Too volatile, too arrogant and definitely too handsome for her peace of mind. The easy decision would be to turn him down. Then she could write this whole thing off and get back to her safe, ordered existence. 

But in the end, it came down to the same factors she always used to make her decisions. She believed he wanted to get better. And she believed she had the tools to help him.

“Okay. I’ll help you. But be warned, I’m a pretty tough taskmaster. Come on back, Sergeant. We might as well figure out your treatment schedule.”

“We’re back to being formal already? Do I need to remind you of the time I caught that snake and hid it in your backpack?” He stood close enough that she could feel the heat coming off his big body. “I thought we’d already established that you would call me Matt.”

“Right. Sorry.”

“Well? Let me hear it.” He leaned over until Penny could see the flecks of gold in his brown eyes. “Go ahead, Penny. Say my name.”

“Matt,” she whispered.

His eyes lit with triumph. 

Penny gulped as the circus troupe in her stomach started performing again. The only thing they’d established was that Sergeant Simmons made her feel everything her boyfriend didn’t.

Sparks fly when Miss Straight Arrow meets Sergeant Sexy but neither can avoid the flame. Start reading the USA Today bestselling Alexanders series today! Over 1/2 Million+ copies sold!

Matt Simmons is not used to asking for help and after being injured overseas, he is over Army doctors poking him. But when his sister pushes him to try a new physical therapist, he gives in just to get some peace. He won’t qualify for the Special Forces unless he does something drastic. Like calling in a favor from the girl he used to play hide-and-go-seek with.

Penny Lewis is finally putting down roots after a lifetime of moving around. She bought a house and has a great career as a physical therapist to elite athletes. She finally has the settled suburban life she has always longed for. All she needs is the perfect guy, which means NO military men.

When Matt realizes that his old babysitter is h-o-t, he’s suddenly seeing the benefits of therapy. But Penny still sees him as the bratty kid she used to babysit.

Suddenly he has a new mission in life…

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