His Diamond Like No Other (Mills & Boon Medical) (13 page)

BOOK: His Diamond Like No Other (Mills & Boon Medical)
9.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

‘It’s good to see you smiling, Jane.’

‘Why wouldn’t I smile?’ She spread her arms wide. ‘This is close to being the best day of my life.’

‘Really?’

‘Well, I don’t want to say it’s the very best day because who knows, there may be better ones yet to come, but for now this day is definitely first.’

‘I’m glad.’ And he was. What she must have been through over the years and yet she’d managed to conquer so many negative emotions, and all on her own?

Jane watched him closely, noticing a slight frown mar his brow. ‘You don’t...you know...mind, do you?’

‘Mind?’

‘Sharing your family with me,’ she answered.

Sean’s smile was honest and forthright. ‘It’s a pleasure, Jane.’ It also meant that because his family had welcomed her, effectively adopting her as one of their own, he would need to work better at controlling his wayward senses whenever she was around. Even now, the desire to hug her, especially when she was just standing there, looking up at him as though he’d given her the moon, was still difficult for him to resist. From what he’d seen and from what she’d shared, Jane clearly needed stability in her life and any sort of romantic attachment he may feel towards her was null and void.

Colleagues. Friends. Family. That would be his relationship with her from now on.

‘Did you want to say goodnight to Spencer?’ Sean offered as he took a step back from her, and Jane immediately nodded. The little boy begged her to read him a story while she waited for her taxi to come and this she did, unable to believe the joy she felt at being able to do such a simple, ordinary task.

When she’d finished, he put up his hands to her, indicating he wanted her to pick him up. She put her arms around him and he gave her the biggest, squeeziest hug she’d ever had in her life.

‘I’m so excited to go shopping for my birthday present,’ he said, and Jane almost toppled backwards from the way he was leaning in to her.

‘So am I,’ she returned, the warmth inside her increasing when Spencer kissed her cheek. When the taxi pulled up, Sean stepped forward and lifted his son up and into his arms, Spencer more than comfortable resting his head against his father’s broad shoulder. Jane wanted to pull out her cellphone, to take a photo of man and boy, especially given their similar colouring. Instead, she smiled at them both, before turning and walking out into the waning late February sunshine to where the taxi was waiting.

‘See you tomorrow morning for ward round,’ Sean called, and she turned to wave.

‘See you next weekend at the beach,’ Spencer called, giggling as he tried to imitate his father’s deep tones.

‘The beach?’ Jane was confused.

‘I’ll talk to you about it tomorrow at ward round,’ Sean told her, and she nodded, excitement filling her at the prospect of seeing more of the Booke family.

Jane couldn’t help but giggle a little herself as she waved one last time and climbed into the back seat of the taxi. She gave the driver the address then buckled her seat belt and closed her eyes, allowing the wonderful warmth of memories to wash over her. For so long she’d imagined what it might be like to be included in such a close-knit family unit, fanciful dreams she’d had throughout childhood, and tonight, thanks to Sean’s graciousness, she had felt the full power of familial love.

Not only that but somehow she’d found herself drawing closer and closer to the man himself, still unable to believe he’d almost kissed her. Was it possible she’d finally found a man who really could see beneath the shields she’d taken great pains to erect? The fact that he knew some things about her past had helped. It had provided them with a bond, right from the start, and even though they’d both been a little sceptical of the other, they’d somehow managed to find common ground.

The butterflies in her stomach took flight as she recalled the way Sean had stared longingly into her eyes, of the way his gaze had dipped to her lips as though he’d wanted nothing more than to cover them with his own. And perhaps he would have, if they hadn’t been interrupted.

Would she have pushed him away? Would she have welcomed his embrace? Even just thinking about it now was causing her to tremble with anticipation. What if he had kissed her and it hadn’t been any good? What if the sensual tension she felt when she stared into his beautiful blue eyes only affected her and not him?

She stopped that thought before it could take root. Negative thoughts only bred negative emotions. That was something she’d learned a long time ago and she wouldn’t allow them to infiltrate the happiness she’d found tonight. Sean was a handsome and wonderful man and perhaps, at some point in the future, there might be the possibility that he would give in to the repressed desire she’d witnessed in his eyes and capture her lips with his own. When he did, she wanted to be ready, wanted to let him know that he was exciting sensations and feelings within her she’d never really felt before. To let him know that how he made her feel was unique.

When she arrived at the residential wing, she paid the taxi driver and entered the building with a definite spring in her step and a wide smile on her lips. Happiness was an emotion she’d searched hard to find and yet tonight she felt as though she’d been given a huge dose and it was a sensation she was determined to hang onto.

* * *

For the next week Jane felt as though she was walking on air. Sean had spoken to her about his family’s plans to head to the beach the following Saturday.

‘As part of the family, you’re expected to attend.’

‘Oh. Uh...OK.’

He’d laughed at the uncertainty reflected on her face. ‘Relax, Jane. You’ll be fine. Trust me.’ Then he’d winked at her and headed to his next meeting. In fact, throughout the week Sean had definitely appeared to be treating her in a more brotherly way. He made no effort to touch her again and she started to wonder whether he still found her attractive?

He kept to his word about Spencer and so far she’d seen her nephew three times during the week, dining again with them on Wednesday night. This time, Spencer had insisted she read him three stories and when Sean told his son that Jane had a lovely singing voice, Spencer had insisted she sing to him.

‘You have to be lying down, teeth brushed and ready for bed,’ his father had ordered, and Spencer had quickly gone through his night-time routine, eager to have Jane sing to him. Spencer had asked her to lie down on the bed next to him and with an encouraging nod from Sean, who’d been watching from the doorway, she’d kicked off her shoes and rested her head on the pillow beside Spencer. Then the boy had surprised her even further by wrapping his little arms about her neck and snuggling in close.

‘OK, Aunty Jane. I’m ready for you to sing now,’ he’d told her, but it had taken Jane a moment or two to clear the sudden lump of emotion from her throat before filling the room with her beautiful song. Spencer’s easy acceptance, his easy love was going a long way to opening up a heart she’d kept closed for a very long time. And it wasn’t only Spencer who was working his magic. Thoughts of Sean seemed to be her constant companions and she’d started to realise it was pointless to deny them. She
wanted
to think about him, she
liked
thinking about him, but most of all she desperately hoped that he was thinking about her in return.

She sang three songs to Spencer and at the end of the third one realised the boy was asleep, his breathing nice and steady.

‘Uh...Sean?’ she whispered.

‘Yeah?’

‘I’m stuck.’ Although he was sleeping soundly, Spencer’s arms were still firmly around her neck. ‘How do I get up without waking him?’

Sean’s soft chuckle washed over her before he came to her rescue, shifting his son out of the way before helping Jane to her feet. The two of them were standing very close, her hands on his upper arms, her fingers tingling from the feel of his firm biceps beneath his shirt. He placed his hands at her waist to steady her and as she stood there, her toes curling into the soft rug, her knees threatening to fail her, Jane stared into his face with a feeling of homecoming.

The two of them, standing here, close together, beside Spencer’s bed, the little boy sleeping—it all felt as though this was where she was meant to be. It felt right. Although his face was half-lit by the shadows created by Spencer’s nightlight, Jane had the sense that Sean felt it, too. They stayed there, neither of them moving, for half a minute, the character clock on the wall ticking in time with her heartbeat.

There was no panic, no questions, no need to search for ulterior motives. The moment was...perfect. Even when Sean took her hand in his, letting her slip on her shoes before he led her from the room, Jane felt no sense of apprehension or fear. Yet when the bright artificial light from the kitchen made them both squint, Sean dropped her hand before heading around to fill the kettle, offering her a cup of tea.

‘No, thanks,’ she said, realising he was once more trying to inject some distance between them. ‘I’d better call for a taxi.’

‘OK.’ He didn’t try to talk her out of it, didn’t offer to drive her home, and when he walked her to the taxi and shut the door, she saw him shove both of his hands through his hair before sighing heavily and heading back inside. What the action had meant she wasn’t sure but his happy, brotherly attention towards her had continued, leaving Jane feeling quite confused.

On Friday, just after she finished morning clinic and was on her way to the ward conference room for a progress meeting about Tessa, her cellphone buzzed in her pocket. Jane was astonished to find it was Louise.

‘Hello, Jane.’ Louise’s bright tones came down the line. ‘Just wanted to let you know about the plans for tomorrow at the beach. Barney has a great gazebo he likes to put up on the sand so we’ll have some shade and the girls have some lovely recliner chairs, which means you don’t get sand all over you when you lie down. Now, with regard to food,’ Louise continued, before Jane could get a word in edge ways, ‘we figured cold cuts of meat and salad should be the order of the day. Sean’s bringing the drinks and I was hoping you’d be able to provide some sort of dessert, perhaps a fruit bun or some fresh fruit, nothing that’s going to melt or go stale too quickly in such extreme heat. What do you think?’

Jane gaped a few times as Louise talked and then quickly agreed. ‘I’d be delighted to provide something for dessert. Thank you for the suggestions.’

‘All right, dear, no doubt you’re as busy as anything so I’ll let you go. See you tomorrow—patients willing.’

Jane couldn’t help but giggle with happiness as she said goodbye, ending the call and slipping her phone back into her pocket.

‘That sounded like a nice phone call,’ Sean’s deep voice said from just behind her. Jane turned and looked over her shoulder, waiting for him to catch up.

‘That was your mother.’

‘Oh?’

‘Yes. Organising tomorrow’s
family
event.’ Jane grinned as she enunciated the words clearly, the smile on her face growing brighter. ‘She wants me to provide something for dessert.’ The pride in her words was clearly evident.

‘Excellent. Make it something chocolate.’

‘Chocolate?’ Jane frowned. ‘But won’t that melt?’

‘Not if you put it in the drinks cooler I’m bringing. I’ll have lots of ice in there.’

‘Oh. Well, Louise suggested a fruit bun or some fresh fruit and I don’t want to take the wrong thing.’ Her frown increased. ‘This is the very first time I’ve ever been asked to contribute something to a
family
event and I don’t want to mess it up. It means I’m included, not just a guest joining in for the day.’ She paused. ‘Perhaps I should bring fruit bun and fresh fruit and chocolate.’

Sean chuckled. ‘You’re over-thinking this, Jane.’

‘Well, wouldn’t you?’ she asked as they entered the ward.

‘It won’t matter what you bring, everyone will be appreciative. Trust me. Both of my sisters are health freaks and their children and husbands will thank you for bringing along a bit of chocolate.’

Jane shook her head slowly. ‘You think you’re helping me, Sean, but you’re just making me even more confused. The last thing I want to do, the very first time I meet your sisters, is to get them off side.’

‘Impossible. They’ll love you.’ He winked at her and the resident butterflies in her stomach took flight. Stupid butterflies.

‘Good. Then
you
bring the chocolate,’ she remarked, and again his warm chuckle filled her with pleasure. She really had to figure out how to get better control over her senses, especially when it appeared Sean really did think of her more as a sister than anything else. She pushed the thought away and focused on the meeting, eager to receive progress reports about Tessa’s situation.

After the meeting Jane went to have a chat with Tessa, pleased when the little girl smiled warmly at the sight of her. Sean watched as Tessa leaned in close to Jane, talking softly but earnestly, opening up more, confiding, confessing.

There was certainly something engaging about Jane, about the way she gave you one hundred per cent of her attention when she was talking to you or listening to you. Even his mother had remarked about it.

‘She’s so...interested in everything,’ Louise had said yesterday morning at breakfast. ‘You did the right thing, Sean, inviting her to be a part of Spencer’s life. You didn’t have to.’

‘It was the right thing to do.’ Even though it meant he’d been unable to get her out of his mind ever since. Last night, for instance, he’d found himself waking up at three o’clock in the morning from a dream where he’d been holding her close, in one of the outpatient clinic rooms, kissing her perfect mouth, unable to resist her any longer.

He told himself he was happy she’d been accepted by his family; both his sisters were very eager to meet her. Getting his own urges under control was paramount, especially when Jane kept smiling brightly at him simply because she’d been asked to bring some food to a family picnic.

Yet when he knocked on her door on Saturday morning to pick her up and take her to the beach, it was a very different, less composed Jane who opened the door.

BOOK: His Diamond Like No Other (Mills & Boon Medical)
9.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Vigilante by Laura E. Reeve
Clubbed to Death by Elaine Viets
Boy vs. Girl by Na'ima B. Robert