‘I’m sorry, I have an important meeting and I’m running late. Will you be at the dinner tonight?’
The nurse nodded.
‘How about we catch up then?’
‘Sounds great,’ the nurse replied, her eyes saying that she’d like to do more than just talk with him. George, however, seemed oblivious of the nurse’s intentions. It made Melody wonder whether George was a bit of a player, like Emir. She had no real reason to believe anything he said. She’d only met the man yesterday and already he’d told her that he was attracted to her. Wasn’t that odd? Sure, he’d be gone by the end of the week but perhaps his entire plan was to enjoy a night or two of hot, meaningless sex with her before he left. She had no idea.
As she left the room where they’d had lunch, she saw Carmel noticing George was trying to leave early. Chances were that Carmel would stop him from leaving and if Melody waited, it would make her even later for clinic. She was out of the restaurant and heading towards the pedestrian crossing when George caught up with her.
‘I thought I said I’d walk back with you.’
‘From the look of things, you were otherwise engaged.’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘Forget it,’ she said, angry with him for not knowing when women were throwing themselves at him. Surely an attractive man of his age knew how to reel in the females? She shook her head. He was no different from Emir. Emir, who’d had affairs with far too many female staff members at the hospital. Emir, who’d had such an easy, charming manner with women and used it to his best advantage. Well, she wasn’t going to be taken in by another womaniser.
‘So what did you want to talk about?’ she asked as the pedestrian light turned green. She headed off across the road with George at her side, both equally as huffy as the other.
‘I wanted to talk about what’s going on between us.’
‘What? Now?’ She spread her arms wide as she crossed to the other side of the main road. ‘George, we’re both a little busy.’ She pointed to the restaurant. ‘Go back and do your job and leave me to do mine.’
‘Wait. Why are you angry with me again?’
Melody opened the side door leading to a staircase that came out near her office. George followed her, their footsteps echoing off the walls. When they came out in the department, she headed up the corridor and went directly into her office. She held the door for him and closed it the instant he was inside.
‘What is it that you couldn’t wait to tell me?’ she asked.
George didn’t stop walking and paced restlessly around her office. ‘Well, now I feel stupid with what’s just happened and how—’ He stopped and raked a hand through his hair, then looked at her for a long moment. ‘You get in my head, Melody.’
‘Last night at the dinner, today at the lecture, just now at lunch—you get in my head and turn my thoughts to mush, and that’s not good.’
‘What are you talking about?’
He covered the distance between them with a few easy strides, then slipped his arms around her waist, bringing her closer. ‘Do you feel that?’
The heat of his body? The spicy scent surrounding him? The way such a touch could cause her body to come instantly to life, so much so that she forgot all rational thought? ‘Y-yeah.’
‘That’s what I’m talking about. You’re in my head and I can’t think straight when I’m near you, so I think to myself, Look, George, just keep your distance. Be professional. But then when I’m not around you, I’m thinking—about—you.’ As he spoke the last two words, his gaze dipped to once more encompass her mouth. ‘I think about kissing you. I think about holding you like this—and so much more.’
Melody closed her eyes against the heady combination he was presenting. ‘I know.’ She needed to think clearly, to say what she needed to say. ‘But how am I supposed to know you don’t give this spiel to every woman you meet in a new town? You’ll be gone at the end of the week and I’ll probably never see you again.’ She opened her eyes after speaking the words, wondering if he was listening to what she was saying or whether he was just intent on following the physical attraction between them.
‘And I keep thinking that you might be the sort of woman to bewitch every man you meet. How am I supposed to know that you don’t flirt with every new surgeon you meet? Or whether you really do like me for who I am—underneath the pomp and ceremony of the title—because, believe me, I’ve seen it all.’