She couldn’t quell her excitement at seeing George again. She was eager to see his reaction to her outfit. To glimpse that smouldering desire in the brown depths of his eyes. To feel her heartbeat increase when he looked at her. To hope for another forbidden kiss.

She drove with care to the function centre and walked through the door at eight o’clock, only half an hour late. She casually walked over to the corner of the room and, holding her breath, searched for George.

‘From the back, you look ravishing,’ a deep voice said from directly behind her. His breath fanned down her bare neck and Melody couldn’t help the shiver of delight that raced through her. ‘I don’t know if I’m game enough for you to turn around,’ he whispered. ‘You have the sexiest legs I’ve ever seen.’

Melody was thankful the room was now swarming with people as waiters brought out trays of food. She had no idea what to say to George. Her mind had gone blank the instant he’d spoken and all she’d been aware of had been the richness of his voice and the emotions he’d stirred up in her.

‘Are you purposely trying to drive me insane?’ he asked as she slowly turned to face him.

‘And if I am?’ she challenged, a twinkle of delight in her eyes.

George’s smile increased. ‘Are you flirting with me, Dr Janeway?’

Melody laughed, amazed at how a few seconds in his company increased her excitement. ‘Feels a lot like it, from what I can recall.’

‘You are…’ he paused, his gaze filled with desire as he looked down into her eyes ‘…irresistible.’

‘I think I’m moving up in the world,’ Melody replied, and at George’s frown she continued, ‘Well, last night you said I was beautiful. The night before you said I was stunning. Tonight it’s irresistible.’

He nodded, a slight smile playing on his lips. ‘That’s because I remember how good you felt in my arms. I’d give anything right now to take you out of here so we can be—’ He stopped. ‘Ah—yes—hello again, Mr Okanadu.’ George quickly changed his tone as he reached over and shook hands with Melody’s colleague.

‘How did you get on with the surgery, Melody?’ Mr Okanadu asked.

George instantly felt like a heel. He’d been so busy admiring Melody that he’d completely forgotten she’d spent the better part of the afternoon performing a difficult piece of surgery. He listened to her reply, glad to hear the patient was doing well.

Moments later, Carmel came over and instructed George it was time for his speech and that they should all return to their tables. George gave his speech, once again adjusting the material to make it fresh and informative. Melody admired him and his professionalism. She also noted that when he sat back down again he moved his chair slightly closer to hers.

In fact, by the time they’d finished their main meal she could feel the warmth emanating from George’s leg so close to her own. She tried hard to focus on what Mr Okanadu was saying, nodding and smiling politely, all the while unbearably conscious of George. She could hear her heart thumping wildly against her ribs, could feel the pinpricks of excitement coursing down her spine, could feel her body crying out for his touch. Her reaction was becoming too intrusive and she sternly told herself to stop it.

‘Don’t you agree?’ Mr Okanadu was saying, and Melody hadn’t the faintest idea of what he’d been talking about. Once more, she’d been too caught up in thoughts of George that her mind seemed unable to function.

She frowned thoughtfully and said, ‘Hmm,’ as well as nodding slightly.

‘Excuse me,’ George said, and Melody quickly turned to give him her attention. He saw an unmistakable hint of passion reflected in her green eyes and for a moment he lost his train of thought. His gut twisted with delight and despair. Things were starting to get way out of hand. ‘Ahh…’ He frowned and nearly groaned in frustration as her lips parted, her breathing marginally audible. He swallowed, watching as her gaze flicked down to his mouth before returning to his eyes.

It was then his sluggish brain registered that she was waiting for him to speak. Although the looks they’d exchanged seemed to have happened in slow motion, George knew it had only been a few seconds. At least, he hoped it had. Melody had the ability to make him forget all rational thought and in some ways he resented it. No other woman had affected him that way before—not even Veronique.

He cleared his throat. ‘Er…you said there were several recordings in the hospital library of other surgeries you’ve performed, correct?’