‘Why is this so hard? The line between housemate, friend, professional colleague, keeping out of each other’s way or helping each other out, and…’ She trailed off, sighing once more. ‘Well, at any rate, I have time to get a few things done before the scan so up we get.’ She rubbed the little foot that was sticking out, urging it back into place. ‘Let’s wash your new clothes so they’re all ready when you arrive. That way, they’ll feel all fresh and lovely rather than musty and starchy.’ As she hadn’t wanted to know the sex of the baby, CJ had stuck with buying pastels and cute outfits that would suit either gender. By the time she was due at the hospital, the outside washing line was filled with the tiny outfits being blown gently by the autumn breeze, and CJ’s nesting instinct had been satisfied.

As she walked across the road, she couldn’t help the slight spring in her step and knew it was because she would be seeing Ethan soon. She felt good, she felt happy and it was simply because he’d cared enough to suggest making this scan appointment so her mind would continue to be at ease, especially through the night when her fears usually raised their ugly heads.

Stopping at the clinic first, she was interested to see how Ethan had been coping. As she walked into the waiting room, she found Donna quietly discussing something with Tania, two patients still waiting.

‘What are you doing here? I was about to go over and meet you at the hospital,’ Donna stated as soon as she saw CJ. ‘I hope you’ve been resting.’

‘I can’t be resting every minute of the day, Donna,’ she countered with a good-natured smile. ‘I slept in until ten o’clock, had a leisurely breakfast and managed to get all the baby’s clothes washed and on the line.’ She paused for a moment. ‘Wait—what do you mean, you were going to meet me at the hospital?’

‘For the ultrasound,’ Donna stated. ‘Ethan asked me to make the appointment. He seemed quite concerned about you.’ Donna fixed CJ with a worried look. ‘You should have told me you had concerns. You know I’m there to support you for whatever you need.’

CJ shrugged. ‘I guess with Quinten always saying I made mountains out of molehills, I sometimes feel as though I’m still overreacting—to anything and everything. Besides, the neurotic thoughts I have in the middle of the night often ease during the light of day. And I did try to call you but you were at Whitecorn.’

Donna frowned. ‘I didn’t know you’d called.’

‘Night sister answered your phone.’

‘Ah, yes. I’d left it at the nurses’ station before treating Mr Bartlett.’

‘Oh, no. Mr Bartlett? Is he—?’

Donna held up her hand to stop CJ’s questions. ‘He’s stable.’

She sighed with relief. ‘He was another good friend of my dad’s. I hope he’s able to pull through.’

‘You and me both.’

* * *

The phone on Tania’s desk buzzed and she quickly answered it. ‘Yes. I’ll tell her,’ she replied, then nodded to her colleagues. ‘The sonographer is ready for you.’

‘Head on over, CJ. I won’t be far behind you,’ Donna said.

‘OK. Thanks.’ CJ started to head out the door that led to the hospital but as she did so, Ethan came out of his consulting room with a patient. The patient stopped, grinning brightly at the sight of CJ. Pleasantries were exchanged, the patient placed their hands on the baby bump and gave their prediction as to the gender before heading towards the waiting room. All the while, CJ was highly conscious of Ethan’s presence.

He’d looked mildly startled to see her when he’d exited the consulting room and after nodding and smiling politely at her, he’d stepped back and not said a word. After the patient had left, CJ found she couldn’t move, found that she wanted to stay where she was and just be near him, despite knowing what she now did about his wife. It was odd.

‘How’s everything going?’ she asked.

‘Very well. Everything is set up—the consulting room, the computer system—to work like a well-oiled machine and that’s exactly what’s been happening.’

‘Good. Good.’ A moment of uncomfortable silence passed.

‘Er…’ Ethan gestured towards the direction of the hospital. ‘Heading over for the scan?’

‘Yes. Yes…thanks for letting Donna know. Sometimes I think I’m being too over-dramatic and other times—’

He held up his hand to stop her. ‘You’re welcome.’ Another moment of strained silence passed. ‘Uh… I’d better go call my next patient in.’

Tags: Lucy Clark Billionaire Romance
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