‘You’re right. It’s all water under the bridge, isn’t it?’ He treated her to a deliberately bright smile. ‘I think I’ll have another coffee before I head off home. I’ll see you tonight, I expect.’
‘I expect so.’
She matched his smile, wattage for wattage, then headed for the door. Sean went to the counter and ordered himself a double espresso, hoping that a serious shot of caffeine would help to get him back on track. He was allowing his emotions to get the better of him, something he never did, and he had to stop.
He sighed as he took his coffee back to the table and sat down. It was being around Molly that was causing him to behave so out of character. It had been exactly the same two years ago—he had known that he and Molly could never have a long-term relationship, yet he had put off breaking up with her until it had been almost too late. She had the strangest effect on him, made him long for things he knew he could never have, but he was going to stand firm, no matter what.
He took a sip of coffee, shuddering as the caffeine hit his central nervous system. It might be tempting but being back in Molly’s arms was something he intended to avoid at all costs.
MOLLY FELT EXHAUSTED when she arrived at work that night. The lack of sleep combined with everything else that had happened recently had taken their toll and her energy levels were at an all-time low. It was all she could do to dredge up a smile when she found Suzy in the staffroom.
‘You look absolutely shattered!’ Suzy exclaimed. She put her hands on her hips and glared at Molly. ‘I hope it hasn’t anything to do with Sean Fitzgerald. You had a bit of thing for him the last time he worked here, didn’t you?’
‘All water under the bridge,’ Molly declared, groaning when she unwittingly repeated the phrase Sean had used only that morning. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. After all, she had spent most of the day thinking about him. Had he been going to share some sort of a confidence with her? she wondered for the umpteenth time, and sighed. Even if he had, he had soon thought better of it. No, Sean wasn’t about to share any confidences with her. She wasn’t that important to him.
She brushed aside that depressing thought. ‘You know what they say, Suzy. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a real live prince.’
‘And that’s honestly how you view him, is it?’ Suzy retorted. ‘As just another frog?’
‘Well, he certainly hasn’t turned into a prince,’ Molly stated.
She swept out of the door before Suzy could reply, knowing that she wasn’t up to having a discussion about this particular frog prince. Although Suzy knew that she had dated Sean when he had last worked there, her friend had no idea how Molly had really felt about him. After all, everyone in the hospital knew that Sean didn’t do commitment so there was no reason why Suzy should have guessed that she had fallen so heavily for him and that was how she wanted it to remain. It was bad enough knowing what a fool she had been without everyone else knowing it too.
Molly did the handover then took her first patient to Cubicles. Abbey Jones was suffering from severe stomach cramps which she thought were the result of a curry she had eaten that lunchtime. Her boyfriend had brought her into hospital but Molly asked him to remain in the waiting room while she got Abbey settled. She needed to ask Abbey some questions and she preferred to do so in private as it didn’t sound to her as though Abbey was suffering from food poisoning.
‘Have you been sick?’ Molly asked once she had made Abbey comfortable on the bed.
‘No. It’s just these pains in my stomach.’ Abbey drew up her legs and moaned. ‘It really hurts!’
‘The doctor will be here to see you in a minute,’ Molly said soothingly. ‘Let’s get these leggings off you for starters.’ She helped the girl remove her boots and leggings, trying to hide her dismay when she discovered that Abbey was bleeding from the vagina. ‘Did you know that you were bleeding?’
‘No! I knew I felt a bit damp down there but I slipped over in the car park on my way in and landed in a puddle so I thought it must be that. What’s happening to me, Sister?’
‘Is it possible that you might be pregnant?’ Molly said carefully.
‘Pregnant,’ Abbey repeated, looking stunned.
‘Yes. Can you remember when you last had a period?’ Molly persisted.