Well, George hadn’t wooed her exactly, but he did make her feel special. Melody realised the biggest difference between George and Emir was that George appreciated her intelligence, that he treated her as though she had a brain to talk things out, to be open and honest. Right from the start George had been upfront about the attraction between them, and although she wasn’t used to a man treating her in such a caring and thoughtful way, it was very refreshing. Refreshing and scary because it only endeared him to her more. She wanted to spend time with him, talk to him, laugh with him, press her mouth to his and hold him close.

Somehow, in such a short time, George had managed to break down the barriers she’d so carefully erected. Back when she’d split with Emir, she’d told herself she preferred loneliness rather than being used, but loneliness wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, not when she went home to an empty apartment after long and exhausting shifts at the hospital.

Whether this thing between them was something temporary or permanent, didn’t she owe it to herself to find out? What if George was the one for her, the one she would spend the rest of her life with, and she’d let him go? What if—?

A knock at her office door startled her out of her deep reverie and she jumped in her chair, clutching her hand to her chest as Rick sauntered into the room.

‘Finished with that file yet?’

‘Huh? Oh, sorry.’ She looked down at the open file and realised that she hadn’t started. So much for getting through her paperwork. ‘Not yet.’

‘Everything all right?’ he asked.

‘Yes.’

‘Sure? You seem to be…preoccupied.’

She shrugged and looked down, not wanting him to see the tell-tale blush she could feel creeping into her cheeks. ‘It’s been a busy few days,’ she rationalised.

‘It certainly has. Today, thankfully, isn’t going to be as hectic.’ Rick went over her schedule, which included her operating list that morning and time to work on her research project in the afternoon. ‘Then there’s a dinner this evening.’

Melody groaned. ‘Do I have to go?’ It wasn’t that she didn’t want to see George, she did, but she didn’t want to see him surrounded by a room full of other people. She wanted to spend time with him one on one, to really talk, to really start to get to know the man better than she did.

‘Yes. You do,’ Rick told her. ‘And now you need to go to Theatre. Starting your list late will not make anyone happy.’

Melody stood. ‘What would I do without you, Rick?’

‘Fall flat on your face and fail,’ he answered with a cheeky grin.

Chuckling, Melody left her office and headed to Elective Theatres. Everything progressed smoothly and she de-gowned just after midday, pleased with what she could accomplish when she pushed thoughts of George aside.

With determination in her step, she headed to the medical research building and walked into her lab. She chatted with the technician who was a collaborator on her research project and spent a good two hours working. Once that was done she headed back to her office determined to tackle her paperwork. So far she’d managed to have a very productive day and she was positive it was because she’d hardly thought about George at all.

Back at her office, she managed a steady half-hour of work before being called to the ED to consult on a case with Dr Okanadu. She was in the doctors’ tea room, eating an exceptionally late lunch, studying the X-rays on the computer screen, when the door opened and closed. She didn’t break focus to see who had walked in.

‘Interesting case?’

A flood of excitement washed over her at the sound of George’s voice. She looked up in surprise, right into his deep brown eyes, eyes that were gazing at her with repressed desire. She breathed in and swallowed at the same time, choking on the last mouthful of her sandwich. She coughed violently and George patted her on the back.

‘Take it easy,’ he said, quickly fetching a glass of water.

‘I’m fine,’ she whispered, but then coughed again, proving herself wrong.

‘You seem to be forever choking,’ he jested.

‘Only when you’re around,’ she mumbled as she took a sip. She cleared her throat. ‘What brings you to the hospital?’ His spicy scent entwined itself around her and she fought hard to resist it.

‘Aren’t I allowed to call in without an invitation?’ He smiled as he leant against the edge of the table. His firm thigh was so close to her arm that she could feel the heat radiating from him. Her breath caught in her throat and her mouth went dry.

Melody took another sip of water. ‘No, it’s just that… I thought you were lecturing.’

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