Mr. Monk and His Brother's Date

Chapter 1

Natalie searched through her closet, looking for the perfect outfit. It had to be stylish, but not formal. Normally she didn't agonize over choosing something to wear, but then again, this was no ordinary date.

"I don't know why you're going to all this trouble." Adrian said as he organized a row of Natalie's sweaters by color and fabric.

"Mr. Monk, this isn't just a normal date." Natalie said. "It's... special."

"But that's what I mean! Why did you have to say yes?"

"He asked me. And... I like him."

Adrian ran out of the closet, holding his hands over his ears as he paced the room.

"No! No! No! Natalie! You can't like him!"

Natalie laughed. "Why not, Mr. Monk?"

"Because! He's my brother! Wouldn't that make us... related?"

"Only if I married him, which I don't plan on doing."

"You like him don't you?" Natalie said.

"Yeah, but I wouldn't go out on a date with him!" Adrian said, holding his hand over his eyes.

"Mr. Monk... what am I going to do with you?"

Adrian froze. "What do you mean? You're not leaving me are you? I'll never find another assistant at this late hour, and-"

Natalie put her hands on Adrian's shoulders. "Mr. Monk! Relax! I'm not going anywhere. It's just a figure of speech."

His face lit up. "You mean you're not going on the date?"

When she rolled her eyes, he sighed. "Another figure of speech, right?"

Natalie pushed through a rack of clothes until she came to a pale blue satin shirt. "This will be perfect! It will go great with a pair of khaki pants and... Oh damn! It's all wrinkled. I can't wear this!"

"Sure you can!" Adrian said.

Natalie turned and put her head on Adrian's forehead. "Are you feeling well? I just said it was wrinkled."

Adrian shrugged. "Ambrose isn't going to care what you look like. I don't."
Natalie's blood boiled. She loved Mr. Monk but sometimes he was downright infuriating. Like right now! Angrily she yanked the blue shirt off the hanger and threw it on the bed. Within seconds, she had set up the ironing board and was heating up the iron.

"You're ironing?" Adrian asked incredulously.

"Well, just because YOU don't care what I look like doesn't mean that someone else won't either!" Without waiting for the iron to reach full heat, she began ironing the shirt.

"Um... you missed a spot." Adrian pointed out.

"Shut up, Mr. Monk!" Natalie yelled louder than she meant to.

Suddenly she saw him flinch and realized that she had hurt him. She watched as he wearily walked into the living room.

She sat the iron upright and went after him. "Mr. Monk?" He turned away from her and started at the wall. Gently she reached out and touched his back.

"Mr. Monk, I'm sorry. I guess I'm kind of nervous about this whole thing."

"I know just the thing that will help."
"Really? What's that?"
"Don't go."
"Mr. Monk, I already told him I would! It'll break his heart if I don't go now. What would you have done if Trudy had broken a date with you?"
Adrian ignored the question. "So what am I supposed to do while you're out with my brother?"

"Well you can stay with Julie."

"Natalie! I don't need a babysitter! Dr. Kroger told you that!"

"No, but Julie does! I know she's in high school, but I'd just feel better if someone was there with her."
"So how much do I get paid?" Adrian asked.

"You expect me to pay you?" On my salary?"

"Yes! I do!" Adrian said.

"But you've stayed with Julie before and didn't ask for money!"
"Yeah, but the last time you weren't going out with my brother." Adrian said.

Natalie sighed. "Okay Mr. Monk. You win. Just take it out of my paycheck."

"Really?" Adrian's face lit up at the thought.

"Just leave a little in there for Julie and I, okay?"

Natalie finished ironing the shirt and laid it on the bed.

If Ambrose was anything like his brother, she was in for one heck of a night.