‘Is that why you keep coming around? To show him you’re not completely useless?’

‘No. I come here because I need to tell you about the patients. Keep up, Donna.’ CJ snapped her fingers at her friend, then smiled. ‘And also because I miss our chats. When you go from being crazy busy and talking to people all day long to just lying around with your feet up, doing nothing but dozing, it’s surprising how quickly you become bored.’

‘So you decided to still drop in on patients?’ Donna checked.

CJ shrugged one shoulder. ‘Old habits…but I do it mainly to satisfy myself that my patients are OK. I saw Margaret today.’

Donna nodded. ‘She’s one we’re all worried about. How was she?’

CJ made the so-so gesture with her hand. ‘She’s not drinking, at least, not that she’s admitting, but she’s very depressed. Those two nights she spent in hospital made her realise that her situation is extremely serious.’ CJ shook her head.

‘Should Margaret and Doug get counselling? Should we hospitalise Margaret for the duration of her pregnancy?’

‘I’ve tried the counselling route at the moment as Margaret does seem to like being at home but given she still has about another six weeks to go, perhaps we should consider hospitalisation.’

‘What does Ethan think of the situation?’

Margaret was the one patient they’d discussed yesterday when CJ had been in the lounge room with her feet up when he’d arrived home from clinic. ‘He said it doesn’t look good. Margaret may still miscarry at any stage.’

Donna sighed. ‘Has Ethan seen this type of thing before? Foetal Alcohol Syndrome?’

CJ thought back to what he’d confessed about his wife. ‘He has, as a matter of fact, and because of that, he’s done a lot of research into it.’


‘The main problem Margaret faces is that if she doesn’t stop drinking now, the likelihood that the baby will be born with some sort of deformity will increase. I’ve been reading up on it, too, but even now it might be too late and the baby might not even survive.’

‘Does Margaret know this?’

‘I’ve told her the facts. Ethan’s told her the facts. I know the social worker came and saw her when she was in hospital and talked to her about the possibility of birth defects. We’re doing all we can and we’re not trying to scare her but rather inform her.’ CJ sighed with exasperation. ‘In the end, though—’

‘It’s up to Margaret.’


‘I’ll get Ethan to discuss the idea of prolonged hospitalisation with Margaret’s obstetrician.’


‘Or…you could tell him.’

‘Me? Ask Ethan to talk to Margaret’s obstetrician?’

‘Yes. You live in the same house as him. It’s not like you don’t talk at all.’

CJ shook her head quickly. ‘No. No. It’s much better coming from you.’

Donna eyed her carefully. ‘Does Ethan know you’ve seen Margaret?’

‘Ethan isn’t the boss of me,’ CJ stated, lifting her chin a little.

‘He told me he’s been insisting you rest.’

‘Insisting is a mild word. He won’t let me do anything! Just because—’ CJ stopped. Although she wanted to tell Donna what Ethan had shared with her, had told her about his wife and his unborn child, she didn’t want to break his confidence. ‘Because I’m pregnant, he thinks I’m useless.’

‘You sound very indignant about it.’ Donna was looking at her as though she was sure CJ was hiding something. ‘Yet when I tell you to rest, you don’t sound nearly so put out.’ A smile started to form on Donna’s lips. ‘I think you’re a little bit attracted to our new locum. At least, that’s the sense I got last week when you were standing in the waiting room about to kiss him!’

CJ gasped. ‘You saw us!’

‘It was purely by accident. I came out of my consulting room to check something with Tania but saw the two of you and quickly retreated.’ Donna shifted forward in her seat. ‘So? What was it like?’

CJ thought back to that day and slowly shook her head. ‘It wasn’t really a kiss per se.’ Not compared to the ones they’d shared later on. ‘More like a moment when we brushed lips.’

‘A moment?’

‘Half a moment. It was very brief, very light, very…’ CJ trailed off, sighing softly before adding, ‘Very nice.’

‘So you are avoiding him. That’s why you’re out most nights. Visiting me, visiting Tania, visiting a plethora of other people.’

Tags: Lucy Clark Billionaire Romance
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