Hugh was picking at the lunch the hospital had sent him when his sister came back into his room with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Seeing Hugh reluctantly pushing the food on his plate, she said, “I know it’s not the most exciting stuff, Hugh. But it’s healthy. Until they rule out if anything’s wrong with you, you need to eat.”
“It’s bland. And boring,” Hugh muttered, “Can’t you have Remi brought here? Or, at least make him send a couple of meals with more than a hint of flavor?”
Remi was his personal chef. Kelly knew only too well if she brought in Remi, Hugh would bully him into cooking unhealthy food for him. She replied, “No. You know very well, little bother, that you’ll bulldoze Remi into making exactly the kind of food the good doctor forbade.”
Hugh gave a dramatic sigh. “Please don’t call her the ‘good’ doctor. Nothing remotely good about her. What did Tiffany say when you told her to have this one removed?”
Kelly sighed. “I haven’t told Tiffany any such thing.”
Hugh started to shout in response but began coughing instead, “Well, some sister you are! I’m going to speak with Tiffany myself.” Hugh made to get out of bed. Kelly jumped to his side, shouting out for the nurse.
An elegant woman walked in majestically, “I take it Mr. Regan isn’t very happy with the way we’re looking after him, then?”
Hugh collapsed back in bed as he regarded the imperious woman in front of him. Tiffany Gupta. The doctor who’d been friends with his parents for years. Hugh could feel some of his irritation slipping away. It was impossible to stay upset with Tiffany, he mused, taking in her greying, silver hair framing her face in a soft bob, the youthful visage belying the years spent in climbing to the top of the medical field in the country.
She wasn’t wearing scrubs, Hugh noted. Instead, the older woman in front of him was dressed in a designer, navy, sheath dress. She wouldn’t have looked out of place in a high-powered, corporate meeting, Hugh mused. It suited her, Hugh thought, this new post Tiffany had accepted as the head of administration at the hospital his parents helped support.
His parents and Tiffany went way back, when she’d saved his mother’s life as a young woman. She’d been a friend of their family ever since. She’d spent years on the West Coast as an in-demand cardiac surgeon, only recently transitioning to a less hectic pace and a cushier job. Hugh made a mental note to have a chat with Tiffany once he was given the all-clear. If a workaholic like Tiffany could make a major life change and look well-rested and happier for it, he’d be foolish to not pay heed.
But he had other things to discuss with her first, he reminded himself. He felt like a cad for bringing his parents into it, but the pretty young doctor had to go, he told himself, no matter what it took to make that happen. He simply couldn’t let himself get attached to a woman right now, especially not when he was feeling so vulnerable.
And so, he made a face as he said, “You’re looking after me well enough, Tiffany. But that little doctor has to go. Surely, you must know Mom and Dad would feel terribly hurt when they come to know you kept your best from me, instead pawning me off to the most inexperienced newbie on staff.”
Tiffany grinned, “Your Mom and Dad are fine with it, actually, Hugh. I just spoke with them. Elizabeth Davis is one of the best we have here. I’ve worked with her for a long time in California, and I can’t think of a more dedicated and sincere doctor. Besides, we’re short-staffed currently, Hugh. Dr. Lemon took a bunch of our doctors with him when he was offered a chance to open a new hospital closer to the town he’s from.”
Tiffany’s face grew serious as she continued, “But I hear you, Hugh. If it’s that important for you, I’ll have her reassigned. Your parents filled me in on what happened. I’m so terribly sorry. You need to be in the best frame of mind currently, and if that means changing your doctor, I can do that. I just want you to know that Liz Davis is our best. We have other, very good doctors too, but nobody comes close, if you ask me, to the expertise Liz can offer.”
Hugh took a deep breath and replied, “Thank you, Tiffany. I understand what you’re saying. But I’d like a different doctor all the same. Besides, I’m sure there’s nothing really wrong with me, so it wouldn’t really matter who you assign, would it? Please, just make sure it’s not a woman, no offence to you. Savannah’s done a number on my head and it’ll take me a while to not look at a woman and be reminded of her.”
Tiffany looked a little disappointed but she replied, “That won’t be a problem, Hugh. Dr. Adam Whitman is an amazing, young doctor. I’ll have him assigned to your care.”
Hugh ignored the tiny stab of disappointment he felt at her words. Surely, he mused, it was for the best to never have to see the pretty doctor again, he told himself firmly. He had to protect himself, first and foremost. He said, “Thank you, Tiffany. I really appreciate it.”
Tiffany nodded at him and looked at Kelly and smiled, “Well, I’d best be going then.”
‘The CEO’s Favorite Doctor: A Wholesome Romantic Comedy’ by Bhakti Mathew