The tension between them was almost palpable, and it scared her. She didn’t want this. She didn’t want to become involved with a man who would be gone at the end of the week. Regardless of how he made her feel, he would leave and she would be left in limbo.
‘I’d better go,’ he said abruptly, breaking eye contact. Melody looked away as well, dragging in a deep breath.
He walked over to the door and then stopped, turning to look at her. ‘Are you coming up to the lecture theatre now?’
‘Ah…’ She stalled, knowing she should as his lecture was due to start within the next few minutes. ‘I’ll be along directly,’ she told him.
Without another word, he left her office and Melody slumped forward over her desk. ‘Why?’ How was she supposed to find the strength to get through this week? No. She could do this. ‘Pull yourself together,’ she demanded. She tried to focus her thoughts on the work in front of her but her mind refused to budge from thoughts of George.
With one hypnotic glance, she was lost. He had a lovely smile, he had a great personality and he made her feel as though she was not only a woman of worth but also a woman of beauty. No man had ever made her feel that way before and that made George Wilmont different. The sensations he evoked were intensified, powerful and dynamic and that was very different from anything she’d felt before—very different.
‘MELODY!’ RICK’S VOICE made her spring up from her chair and glare at him standing by the door. ‘You’re supposed to be upstairs at the lecture.’
‘How late am I?’ How long had she been sitting there, thinking about George?
‘It started ten minutes ago and the last thing I need is an angry text coming in from Carmel.’
‘Carmel texted you asking where I was?’
‘No.’ Rick frowned. ‘But I’m expecting one. That woman is crazy OCD when it comes to her scheduled events.’
‘You can say that again,’ Melody remarked as she shrugged into her suit jacket. ‘I don’t know why it should matter whether I’m a few minutes late. I’m not introducing him today. I’ll just sneak in up the back and no one will notice.’
‘George will,’ Rick pointed out. ‘He seems very…attentive towards you.’ Her PA’s tone was suggestive.
‘He’s just being a polite professional,’ Melody countered.
‘Ha! You should have seen him last night, pacing around with concern because you were late.’ Rick waggled a finger at her. ‘That was not a polite or professional man.’
Melody sighed and shook her head. ‘I don’t have time to debate this with you.’ As she headed out her office door, she pointed towards his desk. ‘Do some…work stuff, will you?’
Rick chuckled and spread his arms wide. ‘All done. This department is a well-oiled machine, thanks to me.’
Laughing at her PA’s antics, Melody rushed to the lecture theatre, pushing Rick’s comments from her thoughts and focusing on how best to sneak in. She didn’t want George to think she wasn’t interested in what he had to say because she was. When she arrived, he was just walking to the podium and she quickly sat down in one of the back seats. He looked up, his gaze melding with hers, as though he’d instinctively known where she was sitting, and her heart slammed wildly against her ribs.
Taking a breath, he began his talk, his gaze now roving over the audience before him. Melody found herself completely drawn in as he explained and illustrated, with the assistance of a detailed visual presentation, a new technique that could be adapted for both hip and knee arthroplasty. Afterwards, he was again inundated with questions and answered them patiently. He was brilliant. Handsome, successful, brilliant, and lived in a different city.
She should continue to recite that to herself over and over until Friday evening when her time with him would come to an end. George would leave here, just like all the other places, and she would do well not to let her thoughts have flights of fancy.
Melody returned to her office and collected her bag then headed to the restaurant across the street where they’d again be having lunch. This time there were only about thirty people, rather than the hullabaloo of yesterday, which meant they were in a smaller, more intimate function room.
‘I didn’t think you’d make it in time for the lecture but you did,’ George commented as he sat down next to her, the warmth from his body, combined with his spicy aftershave, creating havoc with her senses.
‘Sorry about missing the preamble.’
‘No need to apologise. I thought an emergency might have come up after I’d left.’