“Your father could’ve been a great surgeon, but he left for Alaska and took up with your mother and I never saw him again. He could’ve been great, Evelyn, but he threw it all away for a woman who was not part of the world he was brought up in.”
Evelyn shook her grandmother’s voice from her head.
Her father might not have become the kind of surgical god her grandmother always envisioned, but he’d been a respected general practitioner in Wolf’s Harbor. People had looked up to him. He’d saved lives and her grandmother had never got to see it.
Now she, Evelyn, would finish what he’d started and lay the memories of her father to rest. Maybe then she could move on.
“I flew in from Sitka,” she said as she pocketed the keys. “So if I want to order in a pizza I just say the back of the clinic?”
“Yeah—they’ll know,” Derek said. “The clinic opens at nine.”
“And how do I access patients’ records? Is there a computer password?”
“No password—and you can access the patients’ records by opening the filing cabinet. Your schedule is on the receptionist’s calendar.”
There was that smug sense of humor again. As if he was trying to shock her with the fact that they still had hard copies of their records.
“Okay. Well, I’ll be there earlier than nine to get myself acquainted with everything.”
Derek reached out, grabbing the arm with the fancy watch, and stared at its face. “Not if you don’t set your alarm to Alaska Daylight Savings, you won’t.”
Just that simple touch caused a shiver of anticipation to run down her spine. He was annoying, but there was something about him which drew her in.
He was dangerous.
She had no interest in any relationship. Every relationship she’d been in had ended with her being dumped because she could never commit—because she was never there and was too focused on her career. Or so those men had believed. She’d actually pushed them away because she knew she didn’t deserve what she secretly wanted.
A family of her own.
She shook him off. “I’m well aware of the time-change.”
He smirked and raised an eyebrow, then moved past her through the open door. “Okay, then. I’ll see you tomorrow—bright and early. Good night, Dr. Saunders.”
Evelyn shut the door after him and was glad to be rid of him. For now.
She’d see him tomorrow, but after a good night’s rest she knew that she would be better suited to dealing with him.
She could handle guys like Derek. Guys who were arrogant and used to being the lone wolf. They saw every new arrival as a threat.
Nathan had been nothing like Derek. When she’d first met him he’d been nice and almost too accommodating. Still, look where that had got her. It had got her nowhere. She’d spent two years of her life with Nathan and he’d left her.
You really gave him nothing, though. Remember?
She locked the door and scrubbed a hand over her face, staring at the apartment and feeling completely exhausted and hungry.
There was a clock that was showing Alaska time, so she quickly set her watch even as her stomach growled, reminding her that she hadn’t had much to eat since leaving Sitka. While she’d been dragging her bag up the stairs she’d noticed a pub across the road, and it had looked like the kind of bar that might serve a quick meal. She was starving. She didn’t feel like waiting for pizza. She felt antsy, trapped in this messy apartment. It would be better for her to get out of there and grab a breath of fresh air.
She grabbed her purse and her keys. First she’d eat and then she’d tackle this mess—even though she was still running on East Coast time and needed to sleep.
The drizzle had dissipated and a damp mist hung in the air. Outside it was quiet, with only a couple of trucks slowly puttering through down town. She knew that it was at least three hours to the nearest ferry terminal, and then four hours to Juneau. Wolf’s Harbor was remote, and surrounded by the dense, mountainous forests of the Inside Passage.
She remembered when her father had used to drive her to the far side of the island, to the ferry terminal, so she could watch the large ferry bringing people to the island and sometimes a cruise ship on its way to Skagway. And sometimes she’d see the orcas.
For the most part Wolf’s Harbor relied on logging and fishing, and it was only fishing vessels or large logging trucks that would go by.
A shiver ran down her spine as she thought of her father’s death. How he’d been hit by that runaway logging truck that had been going too fast through town. And how a ring had been in his pocket.
“Evelyn, your mother has been gone a long time now. Jocelyn isn’t going to replace her. She makes me happy. Be good. I won’t be long at Jocelyn’s.”