Dr. Tara Ross parked her car beneath the shade of an oak tree. By noon, the predicted heat wave in New York’s Hudson Valley would be an unbeatable foe, and she hoped that by the end of her first day back, the protective boughs might save her from scorching her butt on the leather seat. Sliding out of her car, she donned her white starched lab coat and walked toward Brewster Women’s Center, the heels of her pumps clapping against the asphalt. She paused on the steps of her practice and thought about how Jeffrey, the man she had almost lost, who was now her fiancé, had kissed her that morning and whispered in her ear, “You’ll be fine.” And if her day was crappy, she knew she’d have him waiting at home for her. Five months had passed since she shot her captor in his house. But compared to last spring’s gruesome events, three days a week in the office seemed tame.
Straightening her lab coat, Tara trotted up the porch steps of the Victorian house that she and Nora Grayson, her partner, had purchased with the hospital’s backing. A former funeral parlor a hundred years ago, the historic house of sorrow and death was now their quaint obstetric and gynecologic practice.
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