Falling for the Pregnant GP - Page 56

‘Things still aren’t going well between you and Ethan?’

CJ looked at her friend. ‘No, but, then, it’s no more than I expected.’

‘Expected? What do you mean? I thought the night he took you out to dinner was a positive step forward. Now it seems as though you’re avoiding each other again.’

‘Not so much avoiding but…’ She shrugged. ‘Well, yes, I guess you could say avoiding.’

‘What about Elizabeth?’

CJ smiled and looked at her daughter. ‘He’d never ignore her. She wouldn’t let him. He’s happy to hold her, look after her, especially if I need to have a shower or if I’m on the phone with a patient. The other night I was sitting in the lounge, feeding her, and he came in and sat with us.’

‘That’s promising.’

CJ shook her head. ‘He asked polite, medical questions about how she was doing, feeding and that sort of thing. When she was finished he offered to burp her and when she dozed off he checked her over—even got his stethoscope and listened to her heart—and then, when he was satisfied, he left.’

Donna’s lips formed another circle. ‘Oh.’ The kettle boiled and switched itself off but neither of them moved. ‘So what’s next?’

She shrugged. ‘I’m just taking things one day at a time.’

‘He’s here for another five months, CJ.’

‘I know and I’ve been thinking about that. I mean, we could talk to him and see if he wants to alter his contract. He doesn’t have to stay the full six months we initially agreed on.’

‘You’re not ready to come back to work. I won’t allow it.’

‘Not full time but definitely part time or even three-quarter time.’

‘Three-quarter time? Will you listen to yourself? Your daughter is only two weeks old.’

‘Yes, and she’s a good baby. She sleeps well, she feeds well and she’s no trouble at all.’

‘What about breastfeeding, if you come back to work too early?’

‘I’ve thought of that. Why couldn’t I bring Elizabeth in to work with me? She can sleep in the reception area with Tania and when she needs feeding, I can sit down and feed her. Trust me,’ she went on quickly, noticing the look of scepticism on Donna’s face, ‘the patients won’t mind waiting if Elizabeth needs feeding. They all adore her and that way everyone can see her when they come to the clinic.’

‘What if she needs changing? Or she’s sick? Tania can’t look after her. Besides, it’s a medical clinic, CJ, not a child-care centre.’

‘All right. How about I find someone to look after her here at home? A nanny. I’m only working across the road so I can pop home whenever I’m needed, for feeding and stuff like that.’

Donna shook her head and said softly, ‘Is it really that bad with Ethan around? This time you have now with Elizabeth won’t come again. She’ll never be this little again, CJ, and I don’t want you to miss it because it does go quickly. My kids are at university, living their own lives and occasionally calling their mother, yet it seems like only yesterday I was changing their nappies!’

CJ slumped forward onto the table in defeat. ‘I have to find my life—my life without Ethan—and the only way I can see that happening is if he leaves. I know he’s as uncomfortable with things as I am and, to be honest, I can’t take any more of his extreme politeness.’ She lifted her head. ‘If he stays for the next five months, I’ll definitely be in love with the man and then…when he goes I’ll be in even worse shape than now.’

Donna watched her for a moment before getting up and switching the kettle on again. ‘OK. We’ll have a cuppa, talk through all possibilities and come up with a workable plan—one Ethan needs to agree to as well.’

CJ sighed with relief. ‘Good. Let’s do this. Let’s move forward.’

* * *

The next night, when Ethan came home from the clinic, he found CJ nursing Elizabeth in the lounge room.


She looked up from the child and smiled sleepily at him. ‘Hi, yourself. How was clinic?’

Ethan clenched his hands into fists to stop himself from walking to her side and pressing a firm kiss to her lips. Didn’t she have any idea just how wonderful she looked, all sleepy and tousled and dressed in her old robe with fluffy slippers? It was definitely not chic but it was comfortable and homey and…very CJ.

‘Clinic was long,’ he answered, then came further into the room and sat in the chair opposite her. There was quite a bit of distance between them, for which he was grateful. ‘Uh…there’s something I need to talk to you about.’

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