‘I want to spend time with you, Melody, and tonight this is all the time I have. I don’t think either of us are emotionally ready for the result our attraction could provide, so…’ He took the remote from her and pressed ‘play’. ‘If this is the way I get to spend time with you, then so be it.’

‘OK, but it goes for over four hours.’

‘If I get bored, which I seriously doubt, I’ll fast-forward and you can provide me with a commentary about what I’ve missed.’

‘Oh, joy.’ Melody couldn’t help but laugh at his seriousness on the issue.

‘Also, can we order some food? I’m starved.’ He kicked off his shoes and pulled out his phone. ‘What do you feel like eating? Noodles? Curry? Pizza?’

‘Er…curry?’ She marvelled at how relaxed and at home he seemed. He was probably so sick and tired of living out of a hotel that being at a real home was probably something of a novelty. He ordered some food, told her it would be delivered in half an hour, then snuggled closer to watch Melody performing surgery.

They both watched as the operating theatre came into focus and there she was, standing at the operating table, explaining the finer points of what she was about to do. She felt self-conscious watching herself, never having sat through a viewing of the recording before, but with George asking questions she found herself reaching for the remote to pause it while they discussed things in more detail.

It was liberating to be able to sit down with a man and discuss a subject she was passionate about. He seemed to be really interested and the knowledge thrilled her. It was wonderful and exhilarating, as well as desperate and sad. Here she was, bonding with a man who would leave her in forty-eight hours.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

HER NECK HURT. As the pain sent signals to her brain Melody shifted slightly but the pain continued. It felt as though someone was pinching her neck and she wished they’d stop. It was a mosquito, she realised, and swatted it away. No. The pain was still there.

Slowly, she was drawn out of the dream state to reality. The pain in her neck still there and annoying. She must be sleeping at an odd angle. She shifted slightly, only to come up against a hard obstacle.

Had she left her books on the bed again? She kicked at them with her leg but they didn’t fall. She kicked them harder, only to hear them groan. Groan! Books didn’t groan! Melody frowned. She felt with her foot and realised with a start that it wasn’t a book but a leg!

Her eyes snapped open and she tried desperately to focus. She was in her lounge room, the television still on. She was lying against the back of the lounge suite, her legs entwined with George’s, his arm holding her possessively to his body. George! Oh, no. They’d been watching her reconstruction recordings and had fallen asleep.

She scrambled into an upright position, shaking him fiercely. ‘Wake up.’ She shook him. ‘George. Wake up.’ With the tiny beams of light peeking from behind her thick curtains, she guessed it to be quite early in the morning.

‘Huh?’ He slowly moved, stretching languorously. Melody was pierced with longing as she watched him. His body was lean and hard, muscles tensing firmly before relaxing. His leg brushed hers, igniting a spark she’d been trying to repress ever since he’d arrived last night. He shifted to a sitting position beside her and peered blearily into her eyes.

‘Mmm.’ With his eyes half-closed, he leant over and kissed her soundly on the mouth. ‘Hi, there.’ His voice was deep and low. ‘Guess we must have dozed off.’ He reached for her, gathering her into his arms. She resisted him but only slightly. He nuzzled her neck. ‘You’re a cuddly girl at heart, aren’t you?’

Melody smiled. The embarrassment from their impromptu night on the lounge faded a little. How could she resist when he said such nice things?

He pointed to the TV. ‘How long did you say that last recording went on for?’

‘They’re all about four hours and we did watch two—or was it three? We started the second one after we’d finished eating, I remember that.’

George laughed, a deep rumbling sound that warmed her. ‘I guess it doesn’t really matter. Besides, I think we were both exhausted.’

‘It has been an incredibly hectic week,’ she replied as she went to move from his arms.

‘Where are you going?’

‘To grab the remote.’ She pointed to where the remote had fallen off the table onto the floor.

‘Wait.’ He shifted to the right and, sticking his leg out to the side, he managed to bring it closer. ‘Almost got it.’ He reached over further before crowing triumphantly as he snatched it up into his hand. ‘Done.’ He pointed it at the set and turned it off.

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