The newest addition to GD was handsome, Nathan had to admit at least that much. Deep auburn hair, dazzling blue eyes and a nice body made him easy on the eyes. Everyone, male and female, had definitely taken notice of Dr. Samuel Madsen. Nathan wasn’t really concerned how other Eureka residents fawned over the new geneticist. What had begun to bother him was the way Dr. Madsen had attached himself to Carter.
It had been subtle at first. They discovered a mutual interest in baseball and the friendship developed from there. Now Dr. Madsen had been there two months and he and Jack were nearly inseparable. Nathan had even heard through the GD gossip network about Madsen’s visits to Carter’s home to watch ballgames. Nathan couldn’t understand why this irritated him so much but the more he heard about Carter and Madsen, the angrier he became. The final straw occurred Thursday evening in Café Diem.
Nathan walked in to see Carter and Madsen having dinner. Both were eating cheeseburgers and drinking beers. Fuming, Nathan took a seat across the room where he could keep an eye on them. A moment later, Henry and Allison joined Nathan. After giving their orders to Vincent, talk centered around the newest project at GD. Allison and Henry could have been talking to air for all the attention Nathan was giving them. He was totally engrossed in watching the two men on the other side of the diner.
Nathan was surprised to see how flirty Carter could actually be. He would lean close to Madsen, whispering and sharing a laugh with him. At times, Jack would blush at something the other man said, causing his eyes to twinkle brighter. Allison noticed Nathan’s lack of attention and, seeing where his attention lay, nudged Henry. He smiled and decided to give Nathan a nudge of his own.
“You know, Vincent is taking bets on how long it’ll be before Sam makes a move.”
Nathan’s eyes snapped to Henry. “What do you mean?” He asked just as their dinner arrived at the table.
Waiting until their dinner was in front of them before he answered, Henry watched as Nathan’s frustration grew.
“You don’t think that Sam is spending all this time and effort on Jack for no reason, do you?”
Allison sipped her wine and nodded. “He has made it perfectly clear that he was interested in Jack from the beginning and it seems they actually have a lot in common. For all his brilliance, Sam is really a ordinary guy.”
Nathan scowled but said nothing. His thoughts, however, were a totally different thing.
‘Why should I care if the Sheriff and Madsen have something? It’s not as if I want him or anything. I just don’t need one of my scientists distracted from his work.’ Satisfied with his internal explanation, he returned his attention to the discussion between Henry and Allison.
“I think they would be an interesting pair but I really think they are too much alike.” Allison was saying.
Intrigued, Nathan asked before he could stop himself. “Why would you say that?”
Allison gave him the ‘I can’t believe you asked me that’ look and launched her explanation.
“In a relationship, it helps when two people have some differences. It provides challenge and a spark to help keep everything fresh. When you have the same interest and the same life, it can get boring.”
Nathan raised his eyebrow but said nothing. Looking back across the room, he felt a brief twinge of envy for the comfortable relationship that Jack and Sam seemed to have developed with each other. He watched as Jack touched the other man’s hand. It was a harmless gesture but it was still touching! The easy smile Jack seemed to have for everyone but him only served to annoy Nathan more. Unaware he was grumbling, Nathan returned his focus to his meal. Henry and Allison gave each other covert smiles. Maybe this would finally be the push Nathan needed to recognize what was right in front of his face.
After working several late nights, Nathan finally gave in to Allison’s prodding and left his lab early. He would be the last to admit he was hiding but Allison could see what that was exactly what he was doing. Poor Fargo was catching the brunt of Nathan’s temper and for once, he hadn’t destroyed a lab to earn the wrath. Allison could see that Nathan was combusting on the inside and without some help, he was going to explode and it wasn’t going to be pretty.
Walking down the sidewalk on the cool summer evening, Nathan was surprised by the fact he was glad to be out the lab. It had been a while since he had enjoyed an evening stroll. Reaching the park, Allison took a bench and motioned for Nathan to sit beside her.
Sitting in silence for a while, they allow the evening breeze to relax them. Allison decided to broach the reason she bought him out here.
“You know, Nathan, everyone is really wondering what has gotten into you.”
Nathan sighed and continued to look over the park. “I don’t have a clue what you are referring talking about.”
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, she continued. “Your moods. You are snapping over trivial things. Even Carter is avoiding you because he says you’ve been giving him the evil eye.”
A muffed laugh came out of Nathan’s mouth. “Evil eye? Is that the best he could come up with?”
Playfully hitting his shoulder, Allison decided to push. “Do you have a problem with the possibility of Carter and Dr. Madsen?”
Turning to Allison with a frown creasing his face, Nathan felt his heart began to thud.
Speaking with as much derision as he could muster, Nathan said snappishly, “Now why, Allison, would I have a problem with whom the sheriff is playing with?”
Allison smirked. “Nathan, don’t play snob with me. I know you better than anyone in Eureka except Henry. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were jealous.”
Nathan did laugh that time. “Jealous? Jealous of what? Carter and I aren’t anything to each other. If anything, he makes me nauseous.”
Joining in the laughter, Allison replied. “Well, Nathan, all I can say is, Carter and Madsen aren’t the only ones who have a wager placed on them.” Standing up, Allison began to walk down the sidewalk to Café Diem, leaving Nathan sitting stunned on the bench. Regaining his composure, Nathan quickly caught up with Allison.
“What exactly do you mean? What other wager is there?”
Allison stopped in the door of the diner. “Unless you are ready to admit you are jealous, what does the wager matter any way?” She turned and walked inside, leaving him on the sidewalk.
Suddenly, the air felt oppressive and Nathan wanted to do nothing more than to go home. Looking inside for a brief moment, he saw Carter and Madsen with Carter facing the door. Before he could leave, Carter caught his eye. To Nathan’s surprise, Jack gave him a genuine smile. Feeling his heart lurch, Nathan backed out the doorway and into the night.