The Doctor Everyone's Talking About
by Fiona McArthur
Zoe's Diary: I finally got up the nerve to start a conversation with the gorgeous Angus Raynor—talented surgeon, the hot topic at the hospital and infamous heartbreaker. I'm not worried about his reputation; after years of being treated like a china doll by my overprotective brothers, I'm about to strike out on my own on a round-the-world trip, so I don't want anything serious. But does Angus?
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Angus felt like smacking himself in the forehead. Zoe Silver was like a ray of light. An innocent Joan of Arc. The last type of woman he needed. New grad! Probably even younger than he thought.
Angus scooped up the towel he hadn't used and slipped on his sandals to stride up Hill Street toward the hospital. He resisted the urge to look back. A brisk walk up the incline should knock some sense into him.
Curiously, though, in the past few minutes he did feel less weighted down by his failure last night. But that would have had nothing to do with her. It was the beach, of course it was the beach, the place he'd moved to so he could ease his burden.
"Saturday night. Party at our house."
It was three in the afternoon, shift change on the maternity ward, and her volleyball partner and fellow graduate midwife, Tilly, picked up her bag to head home. "Think of something to bring. Or even those gorgeous brothers of yours?"
Zoe grinned. "Wouldn't miss it. I so envy your freedom from family." Tilly, Ruby, Ellie from orthopedics and Jess from operating theatres shared a big old house just up from the beach and their Hill Street parties were always a hoot. And nobody cramped their style.
Then she remembered. "Won't be early, though. I promised Col I'd do his last hour of beach patrol on Saturday." An active member since her eighth birthday, Zoe loved the patrol, although the shift work of the last year had played havoc with her ability to be consistently available.
"You on duty that day, Til?"
"Yep. So I won't be early, either. See you then."
The Hill Street parties didn't start properly 'til after dark anyway. But she wasn't bringing her brothers to supervise. If she so much as looked at a guy they'd be watching.
She'd take the margarita recipe and the makings. And wear that slinky little number she'd picked up at the thrift shop.
Zoe waved and picked up the notes of the young woman in labor just admitted. "See you then," she said to her friend but already Zoe was focused on the door of the birthing suite.
Tessa, her patient for the shift, looked waxen from holding back tears. Zoe wanted to hug her. "I'm Zoe and I'm looking after you." She glanced around at the otherwise empty room. "Is there anyone coming in to be with you?"
Tessa sniffed. "My boyfriend's not out 'till Monday." She shook her head in frustration. "If I'd only hung on for two more days he could have been here. I'll just have to manage."
Out? As in, jail? "Somehow I don't think that's your fault." Zoe decided women blamed themselves for some strange things but she admired Tessa's determination to cope anyway. "What about family?"
Tessa shook her head. "Don't have any."
Remorse tugged. And she complained about her family loving her too much. "That must be tough. But we'll be the team," Zoe said it with such absolute confidence Tessa even risked an unwilling laugh.
"You're my number one priority. To help you let your body do what it needs to in your labor. To go with it, not fight it. Okay?"
"Not much else I can do. I just wish Chase was here."
Zoe couldn't do anything about that. But maybe she could distract Tessa for a while. "Why don't you tell me about him? It might make him seem nearer…."
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