Falling for the Pregnant GP - Page 16

‘Make new friendships,’ both Leo and Melody had told him. ‘Take your time with things. Live in the moment. Try new experiences.’ Wasn’t that what he was doing? What he’d done today? What he was planning to do tomorrow? He could feel the world of CJ Nicholls starting to envelop him and he wasn’t sure whether it was good or bad.

‘Hmm… Ethan.’ The word was whispered from CJ’s lips as she sighed and shifted slightly on the pillows.

His eyes widened at the sound. Why was she moaning his name in such a way? And why did he like it so much? He riffled his fingers through his hair again and forced himself to leave her room…immediately.

This woman was dangerous. She was making him feel things he didn’t want to, and it was starting to get to him.

CHAPTER FOUR

ETHAN HEARD CJ wake during the night but he stayed in his room. There was no way he was going through a repeat of the previous early morning rendezvous when CJ had made him smile, had made him relax his guard. He was still trying to understand his reaction to his new colleague, still trying to figure out whether he should move out of her home or…

‘Or what?’ He whispered the words into the quiet room, lacing his fingers behind his head as he stared at the ceiling. ‘Stay around and help her when she has the baby?’ It wasn’t as though she didn’t have a lot of help being proffered from her friends and colleagues. Everyone he’d met since arriving in the district seemed to accept CJ’s unborn child as part of their family. In the beginning it had confused him a little but he had to admit it was definite testament to CJ’s easy-going personality. She was both respected and loved by the people of this little town. In fact, he’d never seen such loyalty before.

‘That’s because you locked yourself away. Your heart and your emotions.’ He sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed as he said the words. They weren’t his words, they were his sister’s, his brother’s and his parents’. His family had been worried about him after Abigail’s death, after the baby’s death. They’d done what he’d asked—they’d given him time, but when they’d thought that time was up, that he should be talking about his feelings, he’d pushed them all away. The only problem with his family was that they hadn’t allowed it.

‘If you don’t want to talk about it, fine,’ Melody had countered one night after she’d tried everything she could to get him to go and see a psychologist. ‘But don’t think you can push me away. I’m your sister. I love you. I care about you. Deal with it.’ And she’d been right. He was fortunate his family loved him and now he was starting to realise how horribly he’d treated them, especially during those first few years after the tragedy.

Being out of Sydney, away from the frantic pace of life he’d forced himself to live, was really giving him time to think. He didn’t like to admit it, but he was also coming to realise that he’d ignored his pain for so long that it had actually affected his health.

‘I don’t want to die,’ he’d told Melody the night he’d returned home from hospital. After his ‘hiccup’, he’d been hospitalised for a few nights as a precaution and when he’d been released, Melody had insisted on staying that first night at his apartment with him. ‘I miss her. I miss the baby, even though I was only a father for less than a day.’ Ethan had shaken his head. ‘I don’t want to talk about it and I don’t want to think about it, but neither do I want to die.’

And it was then his sister had voiced the plan of coming here, of getting away, of doing something productive but relaxing with his imposed six-month break. The fact that he’d managed to breathe more easily in the past forty-eight hours than he had in the last six years was clear proof that being here was the right thing.

But was being near CJ the right thing? Why was he so concerned with her? With her unborn child? Why had he felt that overwhelming urge to protect her and her child? Was it just because she was pregnant and looked the picture of radiant health? Her blonde hair, her smiling eyes, her mouth that would easily quirk at the corners, a smile always at the ready.

Ethan breathed in deeply, then out again as he thought about her.

Being with her, hearing the sound of her voice, enjoying the small memories of her father that were scattered around the house, the openness of this woman was encompassing him and helping him to slowly unwind.

He opened the curtains and gazed out at the night sky, the half-moon providing slivers of light. Ethan lay back down in the bed, propping his head up on some pillows, staring out at the stars. He reflected on how CJ had worn the scarf around her hair in the car, about how she’d fallen asleep on the way back and how she’d sleepily murmured his name. Even though he wasn’t sure why she had, he couldn’t hide his delight that she’d been thinking of him as she’d drifted off to sleep. Why he’d been delighted, he wasn’t one hundred percent sure, only that…it had been a long, long time since any woman had sighed his name in such a way and it gave a much-needed boost to his ego.

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