The Game of Seduction (Arrington Family Series)

By: Candace Shaw
Chapter One

“Take one Clarinex every morning until you completely run out, even if everything clears up,” Dr. Bria Arrington instructed her patient who had broken out in hives after eating shellfish. Bria scribbled out the prescription and handed it to the young woman.

“Thank you. Next time, I’ll make sure to ask what’s in the gumbo before digging in.” She glanced at the prescription before placing it in her purse.

“Yes, that would be very wise,” Bria said. A few moments later she walked her patient out into the waiting area and bid her good-bye.

Bria ran her fingers through her bouncy, back length curls and headed to her sister’s office. Dr. Raven Arrington, an obstetrician and gynecologist, had just seen her last patient for the day and the two sisters were headed out to get ready for their sister’s bachelorette party. Shelbi, the youngest Arrington, was getting married the next day.

Bria stuck her head in Raven’s partially opened door. “Are you ready to go?”

“Yep. Let me finish editing this article on advances in infertility treatments,” Raven answered, her eyes not wavering from the computer screen and her fingers still moving fast along the keys.

Bria was impressed at how her older sister was always focused, serious-minded, and knowledgeable about the medical field and world topics. Bria was more interested in sports, music, good food, and fun. She figured once she was out of her twenties—which she had one more year—maybe she would be more focused and serious-minded like thirty-six-year-old Raven. For now, Bria just wanted to enjoy life.

“Did you include something about acupuncture and herbs?”

“Yep.” Raven glanced at Bria and then quickly back to the screen. “You know, for someone who is an allergist, you certainly have an interest in naturopathic medicine. Too bad you can’t practice it here like you want to, but you know Daddy.” Raven ended on a sigh and pushed her naturally curly red hair behind her ears. Her huge gold hoops dangled in the process.

“I can always move to another practice.” Oops. Bria bit her bottom lip and then pretended to look through her cell phone. She hadn’t meant to speak her thought of the past few months out loud, especially to anyone in her family.

“Um … did you forget you’re a part owner of our family’s practice? Arrington Family Specialists needs you.” Raven shut her laptop and placed it in a black leather carrier before she gave her sister a firm gaze.

“I know but … like you said, I have the interest, plus I’m a licensed herbalist, a certified iridologist, and a few other things I haven’t shared that I’ve been working on.” Bria shrugged, hoping this would be the end of the conversation. She had a possible lead on a job in Atlanta but wasn’t ready to discuss it with her family yet.

“I’m sure you are, much to Daddy’s dismay, and what other certifications are you working on that’s sure to make Daddy even more upset?”

Their father, Dr. Francis Arrington, a renowned cardiologist and surgeon, had started the practice when Bria was a teenager. Her father wanted his children to work at the family practice, but her heart wasn’t strictly in traditional medicine anymore. Instead, she wanted to combine traditional and naturopathic medicine to help her patients with their allergies and other issues.

“Raven, let’s not discuss this now.” Bria’s cell phone chimed.

“Let me guess. It’s your man.” Raven grabbed her coat and proceeded toward the door.

Bria shook her head and glanced at the text. It was her best friend.

“I don’t have a man.” She stood and followed behind Raven.

“Whatever. Your face lights up whenever your so-called best friend calls or texts you.”

“For the last time, we’re just friends. Besides, he’s arrogant, cocky, a jokester, a—”

“A player,” Raven interjected, “but you still want him.”

Bria sighed. She was tired of her family and close friends insinuating that she liked Rasheed Vincent for more than just a friend. The idea was completely absurd. Because of his player ways and women always after him, she didn’t want to fall into the category of being just another notch on his bedpost. No thank you. Instead, they’d become fast friends a few months ago, hanging out at blues clubs and sporting events or staying in, ordering a pizza, and watching the games on television. She listened to his complaints and trysts about whatever girl-of-the-week he was seeing. Nope. She liked him, but not enough to put herself in a hurtful situation again.

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