Font Size:  

“More of a boating guy. But I’m open.”

He chuckled. “Not many places to park your boat around here, though we do have some nice lakes. I’d definitely recommend hiking for your nature fix. Nothing quite like traveling up into the sky for three hours then turning around to take in that view. Closest to heaven you’ll get on earth if you ask me.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

He flashed me one more smile before heading into the washroom himself, and I found myself grateful that he didn’t pry about what I’d really been looking at—being called out for ogling didn’t exactly lend itself to a business meeting.

I made my way back to our table. We were seated in a private room, a large area away from the rest of the dining floor. The space was incredible—with high ceilings and huge windows that allowed in plenty of natural light. Only a few other tables were there, the patron at one of them being, Duncan told me, Denver’s Attorney General. Light, pleasant jazz filled the air, just loud enough to give the diners a bit of privacy.

I slid into my seat across from Duncan, taking a small sip of my wine. Duncan was an impressive man and seeing him in person left no doubt that he was a mover and shaker in Denver. He carried himself with an air of gravity and power, almost reminding me of Nico in a sense, without the whole mob thing, of course.

“Alright,” he said. “James told me to go ahead and get started. We’ve got a hell of a lot to talk about.”

“No doubt. I’m eager to get into it.”

“First, let me ask you how you’re getting settled in Denver? The apartment is to your liking?”

“It’s perfect,” I said. “Thanks again for providing it.”

“Glad to do it. With Pitt Medical, we look out for patients, but we do the same for our doctors. I figure that the better they’re taken care of, the happier they’ll be. And the happiertheyare, the better treatment they’ll give to their patients. Not to mention that the better they’re compensated, the easier it is for us to hang on to top talent.”

He pursed his lips after he spoke.

“Sorry, just gave you the sales pitch.”

“It’s a good one,” I said. “I’ve known about Pitt Medical by reputation.”

Duncan smiled. “So, our reputation precedes us, even all the way in New York.”

“It does. And just a word to the wise, you’re making a hell of a lot of people nervous in the Big Apple.”

He arched an eyebrow slightly. “Is that right?”

“Sure is. The medical industry in New York has a stranglehold on the city. They’re powerful, but I’ve heard more than a few whispers here and there that they’re keeping a close eye on what’s been happening here in middle America.”

He laughed. “And they’ve got good reason to. Ignore flyover country at your own peril. We’re a few years, if not a decade, out from making it all the way to New York, but it’s on the docket—make no mistake. Hey, you never know, maybe you’ll end up back in the big city waving the Pitt Medical banner.”

The idea of returning to New York made my stomach tense a bit. I did my best to keep those feelings buried deep down, however.

Duncan opened his mouth to speak. But before he could, the waitress approached with the bottle of white wine. She smiled as her eyes flicked from me to Duncan, her pale cheeks blushing a bit as she refilled our glasses.

“Let me know if there’s anything else I can get for you,” she said, her eyes lingering on mine for a long moment before she departed.

“Looks like there was something else she was interested in getting you,” Duncan said with a small smile.

I chuckled. “Same to you. Seemed like her attention was pretty evenly split.”

Duncan gently tapped the gold band on his ring finger. “Happily married for four years now, with just as many kids. Don’t want to get all mushy on you, but when you’ve got a wife like mine, it’s as if other women don’t even exist.”

His words made me think of Georgia, how I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

“Not to go all life coach on you,” he said. “But marriage does a lot of great things for a man. And believe it or not, it’s the biggest boon you can imagine to your career.”

“That right?”

“Sure is. I’ve never had problems with ambition or motivation, but all the same nothing gets your ass out of bed in the morning like the idea of providing the best life possible for your wife and your kids.” He swallowed, and I could sense that the mere mention of his family was enough to get him a little tight in the throat. He wore it well, however, and it only lasted a breath of an instant. “Anyway, the point is that if you’re looking to settle down, Denver’s the place to do it. There’s wide, open spaces, big homes, and everything else you could want.”

“You mean I wouldn’t have to cram a family into a thousand-square-foot apartment like in New York?” I asked with a smile.

Articles you may like