Full Scoop(2)

By: Janet Evanovich


"I hope Dee Dee took my advice and talked to her ob-gyn about her hormone imbalance," Maggie whispered.

"Jamie Swift-Holt is with her," Queenie said. "They're early so don't knock yourself out rushing."

"I'll see Henry first; then Susie." Maggie stepped inside the exam room and found eleven-year-old Henry playing a handheld game. He didn't look up. Nor did his mother, whose nose was buried in a People magazine. "What happened to your foot, Henry?" Maggie asked as she checked the wound.

"I stepped on a rusty nail," he mumbled, pushing buttons on his game as fast as he could.

"Now, why would you go and do something like that?" Maggie teased.

He looked up and regarded her through the lens of clunky tortoiseshell glasses. His blond bangs formed a precise line across his forehead. "What? You think I did it on purpose?"

Mrs. Filbert looked up. "It was an accident, Dr. Davenport," she said, giving Maggie a funny look.

The boy frowned. "I'm not stupid, you know." He went back to his game.

Maggie didn't bother to clear up the misunderstanding as she cleaned and treated the wound and wrote out a prescription. Henry might not be stupid, but he was spoiled and downright rude, thanks to wealthy parents who pandered to him. She looked through his file. "I see Henry had his last DPT at age four. I usually give my patients an adult tetanus booster after age twelve, so we can go ahead and give Henry his now just to be on the safe side."

"Uh-huh." Mrs. Filbert's gaze was once again fixed on the magazine.

"Okay, we'll get him all set up," Maggie said. When neither acknowledged her, she shrugged and left the room.

Queenie was in the hall attaching a sticky note to a file. "I have never seen the likes," she said. "Two weeks into the school year and half the kids in town have a cold."

"Henry needs a tetanus shot," Maggie said.

Queenie sighed and muttered, "And I was counting on this being a good day."

Maggie checked her wristwatch. Ten-thirty, and she still had a waiting room full of patients. And on Friday, to boot, when she closed early for the weekend.

Susie O'Neal was a second-grader with dimples and pigtails and pinafores that her mother often sewed for her. Maggie found the two staring at the wall mural Maggie's daughter had painted; puppies tumbling playfully on a floor, one stub-tailed and spotted fellow grasping a bedroom slipper between his teeth. Mel was an amazing young artist who'd taught herself to draw almost from the moment she'd learned to hold a pencil.

Maggie examined Susie, wrote out a prescription for her cough, and offered the usual instructions on treating the common cold. Unlike Henry's mother, Mrs. O'Neal listened carefully and asked pertinent questions. The woman was not demanding; it was obvious she was respectful of Maggie's time. Maggie never failed to give Susie's pigtails a gentle tug before she left the room, if for no other reason than to see her cheeks pucker with a smile.

Jamie was playing peekaboo with her six-month-old nephew, Frankie Jr., when Maggie entered the room. The baby was all smiles and drool, and it was obvious Jamie adored him. Maggie was glad they'd rekindled their high school friendship; she and Jamie often lunched and shopped together. After swearing Maggie to secrecy, Jamie told her she was trying to get pregnant, but two months of negative pregnancy tests had prompted her to buy an ovulation kit. Unfortunately, she and Max were finding it difficult to do the deed since the antebellum mansion they'd purchased after their honeymoon was in renovation and crawling with contractors.

"That can't be Frankie Jr.," Maggie said. "It has only been two months since I last saw him, and he has doubled in size!"

Dee Dee and Jamie smiled so proudly it would have been difficult to figure out which of them was the baby's mother had Maggie not already known. They were both gorgeous, as usual, former beauty queen Dee Dee in a kelly-green dress that brought out her red hair and milky complexion; Jamie in navy, her blond hair cut in a sassy new style.

"He's going to be big like his daddy," Dee Dee said.

"You might just have another world-famous wrestler on your hands," Maggie told her. She took the baby and noted right away how alert he was.

Dee Dee shook her head emphatically. "No way am I letting him close to a wrestling ring. He's going to be a great scientist who will find cures for all sorts of terrible diseases. Or maybe president of our country one day," she added.

"Wow!" Maggie smiled at the goofy grin on the baby's face and tried to imagine an older version of him sitting in the oval office.

"Or maybe a famous male model or Chippendale dancer," Dee Dee said. "He could do butter commercials on the side."

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