Falling for the Pregnant GP - Page 12

As he sat down to drink his coffee, he thought more about the conversation they’d had earlier that morning. It had unnerved him a little to discover that CJ knew Melody. Had Mel told CJ about Ethan’s mild heart attack? Had she told CJ the reason why he’d almost worked himself into an early grave? He sipped his coffee, glancing at her over the rim of his cup. Even if Melody hadn’t said anything to CJ, had any of the other people she’d spoken to revealed gossip about Abigail? About the baby?

If she knew all about him, perhaps he should learn more about her? He’d called her trusting to take a stranger into her home but, likewise, he’d accepted a job and accommodation and had, for all intents and purposes, spent last night in a stranger’s home.

What did he really know about the pregnant woman opposite him? She was a local in Pridham, ran a busy practice, held a diploma in obstetrics and was a pregnant widow. It made him wonder about her, made him want to ask more questions, to get to know her better, and that, in itself, was uncommon for him. He usually wanted to know as little about his colleagues as possible, other than they were competent and skilled enough to do their work.

Clearing his throat, he put his cup down on the table. ‘Uh… CJ, if you don’t mind me asking, how did your husband die?’

‘Quinten died in a car crash almost nine months ago. It was six weeks after he’d passed away that I found out I was pregnant.’ CJ sighed, shaking her head sadly. ‘Quinten had never wanted children, anyway, so, regardless of the situation, I would have been raising this child on my own.’

‘He would have left you in the lurch?’ Clearly, from what she’d told him last night, her marriage hadn’t been a happy one—at least near the end of it. He could relate to that far more than she probably realised. He and Abigail had been very happy in the beginning, but near the end…

She shrugged one shoulder. ‘Who’s to say? Perhaps he would have done the right thing and at least financially provided for the baby.’ CJ put her knife and fork together on her plate, then leaned back and rubbed a hand over her stomach, smiling at her baby bump. ‘Did you enjoy that, my sweetheart? Because Mummy certainly did.’

‘How long were you married?’

‘Five years, but we’d grown apart, as I mentioned last night.’ She shrugged the words off with feigned nonchalance. ‘That was my old life. I now have a new one I need to concentrate on.’ She smiled brightly—a little too brightly, he thought as she levered herself up. ‘Thanks so much for breakfast. Donna’s doing morning clinic so we don’t need to bother with that, although you will be rostered on once a fortnight to work a Saturday morning.’

Ethan nodded. ‘I re-read all the paperwork last night.’

‘Right, well, how about I slip on some shoes and then we can head off to Whitecorn District Hospital.’

‘That’s the other district hospital where I’ll be doing a clinic once a month?’

‘Correct.’ She cleaned up the mess she’d made, wiping down the benches before heading into her part of the house. When she returned, she’d tied her hair back into low pigtails and added a scarf. ‘Mind if we take your car?’ She batted her eyelashes at him pleadingly and smiled sweetly. He couldn’t help but grin at her efforts.

‘Subtle.’ They headed outside into the April sunshine.

‘Well, I did warn you that I’d beg a ride.’

‘Yes, yes, you did.’ Ethan held the passenger door open for her.

‘There’ll be more traffic on the road today, being a weekend.’

‘Tourists?’

‘In droves, but it’s great for the area.’

‘Bad for the doctors?’

‘No. We’re only called in when necessary and poor Donna’s been covering any emergencies for the past few weekends anyway. I told her it was no trouble for me to be rostered on but she likes to mother me.’ CJ sank down into the comfortable, upholstered leather. ‘Nice.’ She drawled the word out on a sigh. ‘Oh, this is very nice. How much of the internal restoration did you do yourself?’

‘I didn’t do the seats or the dash but I certainly banged out a lot of dints and hunted through old junk yards until I found just the thing I needed.’

CJ nodded. ‘You’ve got to take your time. Restoring a car isn’t something to be rushed.’

‘I completely agree.’ Ethan was astonished to hear the words coming out of her mouth as they were the same words he’d said to Abigail. However, his wife really hadn’t understood his passion, much as he would have liked her to. ‘You’re the first woman I’ve ever known to enthuse to the point of obsession over a car.’

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