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At thirty-two, feisty Annabel Simpson is the youngest doctor to take charge of a ward in the history of Oakwood Hospital. A possible closure threatens her position and spurs her into action. Organizing a charity bike ride from Brighton to Lands End seems like a good idea until she comes face to face with her past in the form of playboy Marcus Chapman.
Marcus Chapman is still grieving the loss of his daughter. The Oakwood staff did everything in their power to save her. Now, it’s time to give back by donning his biker-leathers for the first time in years. Unfortunately, his teammate is the girl who broke his heart. Annabel has changed from the carefree girl she once was, and Marcus is determined to break down the barriers she has erected.
Can one charity event and her first love help her save the beloved Children’s Ward? Does she have the courage to mend their broken hearts?
Page Count: 180
Word Count: 45610
“What the hell do you mean you’re shutting the children’s ward down? No, this is some sort of joke, it has to be!” Annabel leaned forward, almost tipping over on her swivel chair. “You can’t send sick children on a ninety-mile trip for treatment!”
“I assure you, it is no joke. The hospital simply doesn’t have the money to keep it open. We have to cut costs.”
Mr. Wild’s slimy voice grated on Annabel’s nerves. “Is that what it is, Mr. Wild, a bloody cost-cutting exercise?” she spat, banging her hand down on her desk. “No, it is a cost-cutting exercise that is tantamount to a death sentence for some of the children.” Where did they get their ideas? “Look, Mr. Wild, you’ve told me. Now get the hell out of my office. Be warned, this ward will not be closing.”
“I think, perhaps, you need to look for another position, don’t you?” His parting comment was clearly an undisguised threat. As he walked out of the door, Mr. Wild glared at her with his beady little eyes, reminding her of a sneaky, twitchy rat. The door slammed shut.
Leaning back on her chair, Annabel tried to think of something. There had to be another way. She pulled her long black hair into a tight ponytail. There just had to be something she could do to raise the cash to keep the ward open. It had already been an extremely difficult shift on the children’s ward. Losing a patient was never easy, especially when it was a child.
A tear fell onto Annabel’s desk as she thought about the child they just lost. Jasmine had lived on the ward for nearly two years as she bravely fought cancer, going home only at Christmas time and her tenth birthday. Each time, she returned a few days later. Even through all her suffering, Jasmine always had a bright smile for everyone, nurses and children alike. She would sit on another child’s bed and read the little ones stories or just talk to the older ones. Annabel had lost count of how many times Jasmine’s leukemia had gone into remission only to return a few months later. Today, her precious little patient would sleep forever, but just like the flower, her spirit would live on in them all.
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