His Diamond Like No Other (Mills & Boon Medical) (5 page)

BOOK: His Diamond Like No Other (Mills & Boon Medical)
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‘Jane?’

‘Yes.’

‘You mentioned that you wanted to change your future and that you wanted Spencer to be a part of that future.’

Jane swallowed over the sudden lump forming in her throat before answering, ‘Yes.’ Was this it? Was she going to find out that he didn’t want her to see Spencer whilst walking up a flight of stairs in the residential wing? He didn’t say anything else until she’d pushed open the door to the floor she was staying on. It was difficult for her to resist the urge to run the rest of the way, to disappear into the safety of her room before Sean asked the question she could feel was coming.

‘Why now?’ he asked, as they stopped outside her door.

Gathering her courage, Jane turned to face him, shrugging one shoulder.

‘You’re not sick, are you? Terminally ill? Or discovered you have some strange hereditary disease that Spencer might also inherit?’

That was not what she’d expected him to say and she couldn’t help the way her lips curved upwards slightly in surprise. ‘No. I’m not sick, or dying of some hereditary disease. Spencer is safe.’

Sean exhaled slowly and nodded. ‘Good.’

Jane continued to stand there, waiting for him to ask another question, but none came. The awkwardness of the moment started to increase and she was very self-conscious about them both standing there and saying nothing. With jerky, almost robotic movements she pressed the electronic keycard on her lanyard against the door to open it. Sean still didn’t ask her anything else.

‘OK, then. I guess I’ll see you later on this morning. Thanks for walking me over.’ She pushed open the door, eager to escape the awkwardness, but Sean put his hand on her arm, stopping her.

‘Jane. You didn’t answer my question.’

She turned to look at him, her skin still warm from his touch even after he’d removed his hand. She wasn’t used to being touched, especially not by handsome, brooding men such as the one who stood before her. She swallowed and slowly raised her gaze to meet his.

‘Why did I come back now?’ He nodded as she repeated his question. ‘Well...’ she faltered, before shrugging and deciding it was better just to be honest. ‘Because...I’ve reached the end of me.’

He stared at her in puzzlement and she realised she needed to expand on her answer. The last thing she wanted to do was to completely bare her soul, to reveal to him just how lonely she was, but if she wanted to see Spencer then perhaps it was inevitable that she at least give him some information. She looked down at the floor and drew in a deep breath before meeting his gaze once more, her words rushing out quickly.

‘I have nothing else, Sean. No one else.’ She spread her hands wide in a gesture of openness. ‘I’ve tried to fill my life with work and my patients and my colleagues and for a while there I thought I might actually be successful. I was even engaged for a short time, hopeful I’d be able to forget my past, to somehow pretend I was someone else.’ She shook her head. ‘I was wrong. Eamon...er...my fiancé, told me I never really opened up to him, always kept a part of myself hidden, secret, and he was absolutely right.

‘It’s been over twelve months since he broke our engagement, telling me I wasn’t the woman he wanted any more, and during that time I finally realised that if I’m ever going to have any hope of a normal life, I need not only to address my past but to make peace with it. I hoped by focusing on the good things, like getting to know Spencer—my only blood relative left in the world—that I might actually come out of this journey in one piece.’

Jane looked down at the floor, annoyed that her voice had broken on the final words. She’d been doing so well, especially as being this candid with someone she really didn’t know a lot about was extremely difficult.

Pursing her lips together in an effort to control the tears she could feel pricking at the backs of her eyes, she breathed out slowly and forced herself to meet his gaze. ‘I have no one, Sean. No parents, no grandparents, no aunts or uncles. No cousins and...no sister. I’ve tried everything I can to find some level of happiness in my life but I’ve reached the end...and coming here was the only other option left.’ She sniffed, her eyes now brimming with tears, and when one fell from her lashes, she impatiently brushed it away, not wanting to guilt him into feeling sorry for her. She didn’t want his pity, she wanted his understanding and, hopefully, his permission to allow her access to Spencer.

‘I have nothing else,’ she whispered, before being unable to control herself any longer and quickly disappearing into the safety of her room, closing the door behind her.

CHAPTER THREE

J
ANE WASN’T SURE 
how she was going to face Sean after the way she’d all but blurted out her sad sob story, cried and then shut the door in his face. There was no way he was going to allow her access to Spencer now that he realised just how unglued she was. Worst of all, he might think she was like Daina, unstable deep down inside.

She wasn’t. She’d worked hard to be nothing like her older sister, who had been manipulative, arrogant and, at times, downright cruel. Jane tried to close her thoughts to the memories that infiltrated her mind, memories she’d worked so hard to shield. Daina whispering in her ear that no one would ever love her because she was a scarred freak. Daina looking at Jane’s high-school transcript and calling her weird because normal people didn’t get top marks in every subject. Daina ignoring her, for weeks on end, pretending she didn’t exist.

That had been the worst one of all. Daina had legally been Jane’s guardian. They’d only had each other so when her sister had ignored her, not speaking to her or acknowledging her for long periods of time, the young teenage Jane had become very distraught.

More often than not, Jane would end up in her bedroom, sitting in the corner convinced there was something wrong with
her
. Then, out of the blue, Daina would change. She’d hug and kiss her little sister, cuddle her, tell her that everything would be all right. She’d take Jane out and lavish her with attention, buying her clothes and make-up and trinkets; they’d go to the movies and play games at the arcade. Jane had lived for those days, wondering whenever she went to the kitchen each morning to prepare breakfast for them both whether
this
would be the good day, the day where nice Daina came to visit.

Back then, her sister’s erratic behaviour had definitely affected her but as soon as Daina had up and married Sean, leaving Jane all alone, she’d realised the only way to really deal with her sister and to avoid the negative effects had been to shut Daina out of her life as much as possible.

It had been clear, just from seeing Sean’s expression when she’d asked him about how well he’d known his wife, that Daina had hurt him, too. Both of them had been left emotionally scarred and she accepted the fact that Sean would do anything and everything to protect Spencer. If he thought she was like Daina, there was no way he’d allow her to form any sort of attachment to the boy...and she couldn’t blame him.

‘Sean.’ Jane spoke his name out loud and slowly shook her head from side to side. The fact that she found herself constantly thinking about her ex-brother-in-law was a little disconcerting but, she rationalised, there was a lot at stake. Spencer was important to her and at the moment she’d do almost anything to prove to Sean that she was a calm and controlled adult in the hope that he would give her permission to get to know her nephew.

She didn’t want to think about the way Sean’s powerful presence had turned her knees to jelly or the way his amazing smile had caused her insides to flutter or the way his blue eyes could be so incredibly expressive. She could simply sit and stare into them all day long and never get bored—and that realisation in itself was enough to startle her.

Any sort of romantic entanglement—with anyone—was the furthest thing from her mind and, besides, Sean was also her colleague for the next twelve months and if dating Eamon had taught her one major lesson, it was to never date colleagues.

She stared at her reflection in the small mirror above the bathroom sink as she slipped her glasses into place. ‘Professional persona in place. Time to get to work. Focus on your patients and give them the best care possible. Do
not
think about Sean Booke and the way he can make your knees go weak with just one smile!’ Her words and expression were stern and with a firm nod she turned and collected her hospital lanyard and phone from the bedside dresser.

Breathing in an air of professionalism, Jane left her room and headed back over to the hospital. She couldn’t help but look around her, doing a double-take on any man who was six feet four inches tall and had short dark brown hair and blue eyes. Sean was the last person she needed to bump into right now, especially after she’d given herself such strict instructions to the contrary. Thankfully, she didn’t bump into him and when she arrived on the ward she headed over to see Tessa.

The little girl was sitting up in bed, doing a jigsaw puzzle and not really wanting to talk or interact with anyone.

‘Good morning, Tessa.’ Jane smiled and wasn’t surprised she didn’t receive a response from the girl. ‘You’ve made a good start on that puzzle. Can I help?’

Tessa’s answer was to shrug her shoulders but she didn’t send Jane away neither did she lose interest in the puzzle.

‘Which piece should I put in?’ she asked, her fingers hovering over a few of the pieces. She waited a moment, pretending to be unable to choose, and when she finally picked up a piece, Tessa still didn’t speak. ‘Where does this one go?’

Again, there was no verbal interaction but Jane could see Tessa’s gaze darting to exactly where the piece should go. Jane placed it in the right position and smiled. ‘There.’

Tessa looked at Jane for a long moment, her brown eyes so deep and expressive, but only for a second. With a blink of her eyes the shutters came down but not before Jane had glimpsed that silent plea for help.

‘I
am
going to help you, Tessa,’ she told the girl quietly, her voice filled with promise. She also told Tessa that the doctors wouldn’t be stopping at her bed during the ward round. ‘They’d all want to help you with your jigsaw puzzle,’ she said with a small laugh. ‘All of us, the other doctors and the nurses and other people you might see while you’re here, we
all
like to help people and we all want to help you.’ Jane’s smile was one of comfort and reassurance. Tessa’s response was to look at her for another long moment, shutters still firmly in place, before returning her attention to the puzzle.

When Jane made her way back to the nurses’ station, it was to find Luc talking to Sean. ‘Good morning,’ she murmured, glancing momentarily in Sean’s direction, a little surprised at the way her heart rate started to increase. Why was she so aware of him?

‘Did you get some rest, Jane?’

‘Er...’ She couldn’t believe how flustered she felt at what would ordinarily be a normal question from any other member of staff but when Sean asked it, it was as though he really was interested, that he really cared. ‘Yes. Thank you.’

‘Good. And how’s Tessa doing?’

‘Silently begging for help,’ Jane replied softly.

Anthea had just walked into the nurses’ station as Jane spoke and the sister sighed with compassion at this news. ‘The poor lamb.’

Luc shook his head. ‘There’s clearly something else going on,’ he stated. ‘Sean’s been telling me about the plan to have some medical students observe Tessa for a few days.’

Jane nodded, her heart rate settling down now that they were talking about work. ‘If we can figure out what’s going on at home, we’ll be one giant step closer to getting Tessa the correct help. That’s one of the main focuses with eating disorders. Sometimes all the signs and symptoms point one way yet everything is the opposite. Monitoring Tessa’s reaction to everyone who comes into contact with her will go a long way to hopefully providing us with that information.’

Luc pointed to Tessa’s case notes on the desk in front of him. ‘I read she had a difficult night, although it says she managed a few hours’ deep sleep this morning, thanks to...’ Luc picked up the case notes and read what the night sister had written ‘...“to...Dr Diamond’s singing”?’

Sean immediately smiled at Jane, speaking before she had the opportunity. ‘She has an incredible voice. It soothed more people in the ward than just young Tessa.’

‘Oh, I know
all
about Jane’s beautiful singing, especially when she sings in French,’ Luc remarked, winking at her. Jane ignored Luc’s comment and instead tried to figure out her reaction to Sean and why his easygoing smile had caused her body to explode with tingles. She dropped her gaze down to where his tie was perfectly knotted, a bright coloured tie with popular cartoon characters on it, which was sure to delight the children.

Perhaps if she didn’t look at his perfect mouth she wouldn’t be as affected, but instead she became more aware of his Adam’s apple moving up and down his perfect throat and how her peripheral vision clearly registered the width of his broad shoulders. Her senses were all too aware of his smooth, deep voice washing yet another wave of tingles over her. He’d spoken, asked her a question, and yet, due to his nearness, she had absolutely no clue what he’d said.

‘Hmm?’ Jane swallowed, forcing herself to move away from his overwhelming presence, needing distance, needing to control her rising panic. ‘Er...’ She couldn’t believe how flustered she felt. ‘Um...what did you say, Sean?’ She picked up Tessa’s case notes, holding them in front, using them as some sort of shield. When she dared to glance at him once more, it was to find him frowning in slight puzzlement.

‘I...’ He looked from her to Luc then back again, before shaking his head. ‘It’s fine.’

‘OK. Well, I think I’ll go and pore over Tessa’s notes in the conference room before ward round starts,’ Jane said to no one in particular, before hightailing it out of the small secluded area, which had made her far too aware of Sean’s presence.

She entered the conference room, unable to believe the way Sean’s nearness, his presence, his voice, his...everything was turning her into a tongue-tied schoolgirl, much as she’d been when they’d first met all those years ago.

BOOK: His Diamond Like No Other (Mills & Boon Medical)
10.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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