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Miracle Babies at Paddington's Children's Hospital

Written by Annie O'Neil

Chapter Ten

‘Can you take a step back, please?’ Robyn’s tone was sharper now, protective.

‘I’m her—’ Zach’s mind raced for the right word. They’d never dated. Courted even. Just a man and a woman who’d taken the fastest, most adrenaline-laced, honesty-fuelled zip line ride to falling in love that had ever happened. They’d learnt more about each other in seventy-two hours than he knew anyone. Peas in a pod. Made for each other.

He’d had to stop himself from proposing the moment he’d laid eyes on her. He’d just… He’d known. The way he still knew now.

From the moment he’d left for his final tour he was already thinking of her as his wife. The house-hunting. The fights over which side of the sofa they’d sit on. All the things men were meant to hate, but those were the thoughts that got him through the days. Until the mortars began pounding down all around the hospital tent.

Zach knelt down, absorbing the full impact of Isla’s swollen belly, his fingers flexing with the instinctive urge to spread his fingers wide and possessively across what he was praying he had helped create. Half Irish. Half Scots. That baby would be a Celtic firebrand all right. He hoped his or her hair was as flame-and-gold-bright as their mother’s.

Zach’s doctor’s brain overrode his emotions. The timing wasn’t exactly right for her to be so pronounced. They’d met eight months ago. He hadn’t taken her for a girl who kept several men on the go....but from the size of her belly Isla had to be at term. So she was pregnant by another man…or… The air left his chest and he sucked in a sharp breath before locking eyes with Robyn and asking, ‘Is she carrying twins?’

‘Family only, I’m afraid. Now I’m really going to have to ask you to step back.’ Robyn’s lips tightened to a thin line and she tipped her chin up, indicating Zach needed to get up and move back so they could get Isla through the swinging doors and into the hospital. Just as quickly her amber eyes narrowed as if a memory had hit her.

‘I’m the father.’

‘You’re Zachary Keating.’

They’d spoken simultaneously and each leaned back on their heels, taking a moment to register what the other had said.

Robyn’s eyes widened and the other doctor—Zach’s eyes flicked to the stitching on his white lab coat—Alistair North stood up in tandem with Zach, looking as though he were about to throw a punch. The guy was tall and lean but Zach was taller and with the amount of weight he’d dropped since they’d had to take off his leg from the knee down… Well. Suffice it to say he was lean, too.

‘That’s impossible.’ Dr. North said in the even, clear tones of a man who’d gone to university where the buildings were covered in ivy. Even so, he threw a questioning glance at Robyn whose inscrutable gaze remained fixed on Zach.

Zach shrugged. He didn’t know what Isla had told her co-workers, but his gut was telling him he was the father and it was just about the only thing he trusted right now. If it wasn’t the case he’d have one helluva session with his counsellor this afternoon.

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About the author

Annie O’Neil spent the bulk of her childhood in the library, nos...

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Annie O'Neil

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