Zoe’s learned to hide her feelings. An unhappy upbringing taught her all about trust and relying on others. Her aloneness is ended when she miraculously finds a loving grandmother anxious to share Zoe with extended family. Unnerved, Zoe begs they temporarily keep their relationship secret.
Dr. Connor Matthews returns home disheartened by the carnage he witnessed during years of charity work overseas. Discovering a scheming housemate hoodwinking the old lady (Bess) he’s come to love helps him set aside his disillusionment. He concentrates on ridding Bess of this unsavory character.
Zoe digs in her toes. She provokes the insufferable Connor, taunting that she’ll leave only when Bess asks. Connor vows to oust her as more reasons to suspect Zoe’s honesty surface. The issue becomes clouded as Connor and Zoe grow closer. Too soon Connor realizes it was not Bess who needed protecting, but himself.
Page Count: 242
Word Count: 58645
What is it about her that makes me want to tell her my life story? For God’s sake, I can’t even trust the dame.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bore you.” He spoke stiffly; embarrassed he’d forgotten his intention to confront her about her use of his grandmother’s car. But any idea of berating her flew from his mind as her mouth curved into what appeared to be an unconscious smile.
An instant wistful expression flashed across her face. “It must be so rewarding to be a doctor.” She gazed into space. “To be able to heal, and mend people’s broken bodies.”
Surprised, he glanced at her. The faraway look in her eyes gave him the opportunity to look freely, his gaze roaming the body curled up in the seat next to him. The length of her tanned thighs teased at him until he dragged his focus up, only to have his eyes halt at the rounded curves of her breasts. He sucked in a deep breath to suppress an awakening response in his body.
“I guess it’d be hell though, too.”
Thankfully his gaze shot up to meet hers before she could grasp where his attention had been. He hoped.
“Do you sometimes feel like you’ve let people down? When they expect you’re going to be able to perform miracles?”
He found himself nodding as their eyes clung. “God’s the only one who can perform miracles. I definitely can’t.”
“What made you study pediatrics?”
He didn’t know she even knew he was a pediatrician. Oh yeah, I told her I was at Starship. He shrugged. He was still trying to figure out why he’d chosen that particular specialization himself. His thoughts flashed to Warren, wishing he’d chosen neurology instead.
“Are you going somewhere?” Connor’s voice echoed his disapproval as, after glancing at her watch, Zoe stood. She stretched so artlessly beside him he couldn’t control the rise in his temperature. “It’s almost ten o’clock.”
“Mmm. I’d better hurry or I’ll be late.” She turned at the door and smiled back at him. “I enjoyed talking with you, Connor.”
Warmth spread through him even as his emotions warred. He spoke brusquely from the lounge doorway as she emerged from her room in her leathers. “I don’t like you going out alone at this time of night.”
Warmth crept into his face as she smiled at him.
Her eyebrows rose. “Don’t worry, Connor.”
He flinched as she tapped his cheek lightly with her finger.
“I won’t be alone for long.”
Rage flared inside him. “Can’t your boyfriend come and pick you up? That’s what any decent guy would do.”
“Ahh.” She grinned at him, her eyes dancing. “But John isn’t my boyfriend.”
“Just some random bloke you spend the night with?”
“That’s right, he’s just some bloke I spend the night with.”
His teeth grated as she tapped his cheek again.
“A girl’s got to make a living the best way she can.” She evaded the hand that shot out to grasp her arm. With a cheery “see you tomorrow,” she disappeared out the back door, leaving a fuming Connor to pace futilely around the empty house.
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