Rudy nodded. ‘Sounds fair. What do you think, Astrid?’

‘As long as it means we can move you now, I don’t care.’

‘Which hotel will you be staying at?’ Melody asked, and wasn’t surprised when he named the hotel where George was staying. After all, it was Sydney’s finest.

‘Hey,’ Andy remarked, ‘we’ve just come from there. We had a dinner there this evening. Food was fantastic.’

‘Good to hear.’ Rudy sighed and closed his eyes. Melody realised he was exhausted—and rightly so.

‘Do you have transport organised?’

‘It’s all ready to go,’ Astrid replied, her impatience returning. ‘So can we move him now?’

‘Let me arrange the nurse first,’ Melody replied, and headed to the nurses’ station to use the phone. She motioned for Andy to follow her. ‘I’d like you to monitor him tonight. Is that all right with you?’

‘Sure. Wow! I get to be orthopaedic doctor to Rudy Carlew.’

Melody smiled. ‘Quite a feather in your cap, eh?’

‘I’ll just head over to the residence where I keep a change of clothes and meet you back here,’ he said, already starting out the door.

Melody sat down and called Switchboard. After obtaining Evelyn’s home number, she gave her a call.

‘Hi, Evelyn. Sorry to wake you,’ Melody said.

‘I’m not on call,’ Evelyn told her with a yawn. ‘I don’t even work there now. Remember?’

‘I know, which is why I called. As you were in Theatre for Rudy Carlew’s surgery, and are already familiar with the case, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind being his private nurse for the next few weeks.’

‘Did I hear you right? No. I must still be asleep and this is a dream.’

Melody laughed. ‘You heard me right, Evelyn. His manager wants him out of the hospital tonight.’ Melody gave Evelyn the details of where he was staying. ‘We’ll be moving him there within the hour.’

‘Is Rudy showing any sign of complications?’

‘Not yet.’

‘Well, you only operated on him a few hours ago so it’s too soon to tell,’ Evelyn mumbled.

‘So will you do it?’

‘You’d better believe it,’ the nurse replied with a laugh.

‘Good. Now, with your nursing agency, you’ll need to—’

‘I’ll take care of it.’

‘OK. I’ll see you at the hotel.’

* * *

Rudy was collected from one of the back entrances to the hospital, after a security sweep by his bodyguards had revealed no fans to be found. Andy rode in the luxurious limousine with Rudy and Astrid, while Melody followed them in her car. At the hotel, Melody met Evelyn by the lifts. ‘Oh, good,’ Melody said. ‘Thanks for doing this at such short notice.’

‘Are you kidding?’ The nurse giggled. ‘This is just the best thing that’s ever happened to me. So where is he?’

‘Being brought in through the back entrance.’ They took the lift up to the fourth floor, which was where a number of fancy suites were located. Astrid had told her the room number but as there were bodyguards standing in the corridor, Melody surmised that they’d beaten Rudy there.

A door marked ‘Staff Only’ opened and Rudy was brought through in a wheelchair. He was just being taken into the room when a door along the corridor opened. Melody looked around and saw George, dressed in faded denim jeans, a white T-shirt and with damp hair, come through the door.

He stopped when he saw her. ‘Melody!’

‘George!’ Her surprise equalled his. She drank in the sight of him. Dressed in casual clothes and fresh from a shower, the man was even more devastatingly handsome than she’d thought possible. Her heart rate increased and her mouth went dry. The butterflies in her stomach took flight and her knees turned to jelly. Melody leaned against the wall for a moment, feeling slightly dizzy. The man had actually made her swoon!

‘Are you all right?’ he asked, taking a few steps together her, but one of Rudy’s bodyguards intercepted him.

‘No. It’s all right,’ she said quickly, and held up her hand to stop him.

‘Ma’am, security has to be kept tight,’ the bodyguard replied.

‘No. You don’t understand. This doctor assisted with Mr Carlew’s surgery earlier this evening.’

Astrid came out of the suite. ‘What’s going on?’ she asked, and then spotted George. ‘Oh, hi again,’ she said. ‘It’s all right.’ Her last comment was directed to the bodyguard. ‘Has that other equipment come up yet?’