All He Desires - Nate & Eliza (Crossroads #12)(3)

By: Melanie Shawn

She placed the receiver to her ear and used the name that she’d always called her friend growing up, that now happened to be her actual title. “Hello, Dr. Sloan.”

Becca Sloan was her oldest friend. Eliza had grown up next door to the Sloan sisters. Haley was the oldest, next was Krista, then Jessie and Becca was the youngest. She and Becca had not only been friends because they were the closest in age, but they’d also bonded over what they’d wanted to be when they “grew up.” Becca had wanted to be a doctor since she was in elementary school, after being hospitalized for a rare form of strep throat. And Eliza had wanted to be a dentist since she’d gone on a field trip to the dentist the same year. Dr. Lewis had shown them X-rays on a lightbox and dental tools, explaining and demonstrating how they worked. He spoke so passionately about his profession. Then he sent them all home with a bag filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. For some reason that trip had stuck with her and Dr. Lewis had seemed more like a rock star to her than the local dentist.

Becca shared her passion for medicine, her overachieving ways and had graduated from Stanford School of Medicine in six years instead of eight and had just completed her residency. She was doing better in the love department though. She was marrying their childhood friend Brian in less than a month. The three of them had played together as kids and honestly, Eliza had never thought there was anything between the two of them, and apparently there wasn’t until a few years ago.

“Hello Dr. Young. How is your first day going?”

Eliza looked at the clock on the corner of her computer screen. Eight fifty-eight a.m. “Well, technically the practice doesn’t open for two minutes, but so far so good. Why didn’t you call me on my cell?”

“I tried, it went straight to voicemail. I figured you forgot to charge it.”

Shoot. She grabbed her phone off of the desk and saw that it was indeed dead.

Growing up, it’d been a running joke in her family that she was the absent-minded professor. Her dad used to say that she’d forget her head if it wasn’t screwed on. She’d always gotten good grades, excellent in fact, she’d graduated from high school, college and dental school at the top of her class. But she was constantly misplacing and forgetting things. Which was why she’d started making lists. Unfortunately, “charge phone” was not an item on her spreadsheet.

Becca continued, “I’m calling early because I wanted to snag you for dinner tonight. Haley will be there as well as a resident I work with. I’d love to see you if you don’t already have plans.”

It was sweet of her friend to think she’d already have plans, but that was so not the case. Growing up Eliza hadn’t really run with the popular crowd. At least she hadn’t until Neil Holmes had asked her out the summer before their sophomore year. He was the big man on campus and she’d been accepted into the “in” crowd by default. She seriously doubted any of the people that even remembered her would actually care that she was back. “I got into town yesterday. I don’t have plans.”

“Perfect!” Becca exclaimed. “How does The Plate at seven sound?”

Eliza pulled up her schedule and saw that her last patient was at five. “Sounds good.”

“Great, see you then.”

“See you then.” As Eliza set the phone back in the cradle it hit her that she was really back.

She was in Harper’s Crossing. A place that she’d avoided as much as possible since she left for college because she was scared that she would run into Neil or worse, his identical twin brother Nate. From what she’d been able to discover after a little light Facebook stalking, they were both back in town.

Neil had never left. He’d stayed in Harper’s Crossing after high school, opting not to go to college. He’d gone to work for his dad’s real estate business. From his posts it looked like his life hadn’t changed much since high school. He partied. Hard. And did the bare minimum work that was required of him.

Nate was the opposite. He’d graduated two years early from high school and left to attend MIT. She hadn’t seen him since he left for Massachusetts. But she’d known that in three years he’d earned his Master’s degree and then joined the Army. He’d completed Ranger training and had quickly risen in the ranks. After six years of service, he’d moved back home to Harper’s Crossing. He worked as a cyber security specialist at Elite Security and he was rumored to work as a consultant for the CIA in cyber terrorism, but as far as she knew he’d never told anyone that, it was just small town gossip.