A young woman in a white coat came in with a smile, a clipboard in her hand. “I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Mrs. Masters,” she said cheerfully, and pulled up a chair. “Everything indicates that you’ve simply picked up a nasty head cold. It’s nothing serious — there’s no lung congestion or other complication. So I recommend that you go home and go to bed, drink chicken soup—” She smiled wryly. “It really does work. I’ll give you a decongestant to help, but sleep is the fastest cure for the common cold.”

“All that’s fine, Dr. Whittaker,” Brittany said crisply. “But the Governor is coming to dinner tonight, and I have to be on my feet.”

“I see.” Dr Whittaker looked thoughtful. “I don’t suppose you could cancel?”

Brittany shook her head. “No. It’s a long-standing engagement. And I have a Foundation board meeting tomorrow, and—”

“Goodness, do you ever rest?”

“Not often.” It gives me too much time to think, Brittany almost added, but she reconsidered. “I simply haven’t time to lie in bed and wait out a cold.”

The doctor smiled wryly. “In that case, we’ll just have to see if we can get you through it, won’t we?” She reached for a prescription pad.

“I appreciate it, Dr. Whittaker.” Then, curiously, watching the woman’s slim hand as she wrote the orders, Brittany asked, “Aren’t you bored with practicing this kind of medicine? I mean, you’re obviously a very good doctor. I saw your qualifications before we hired you.”

“And you, too, are surprised that I settled for cream-puff medicine?” Dr Whittaker mused. “That’s what some of my colleagues call it, you know. They think all I do is remove splinters and hand out decongestants.” She smiled and handed the prescription across the desk. “The pharmacy will fill that for you.”

Brittany glanced at it. “I really am interested in the clinic.”

The doctor raised an eyebrow. “And I’ll bet that’s why you never have time to rest. You’re interested in everything.”

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