Falling for the Pregnant GP - Page 57

‘Really? Because there’s something I need to talk to you about.’

‘Oh. OK. Do you want me to go first?’ He’d been going over things in his head for most of the afternoon.

‘Sure.’

‘Well…uh…’ He sighed. ‘I don’t think I should live here any more. I think I’ll get a place somewhere else for the duration of my contract.’

‘Oh.’ CJ frowned and looked down at Elizabeth, who had fallen asleep, her tummy clearly full. She rearranged her clothing and shifted Elizabeth onto her shoulder so she could rub the little girl’s back to help release any wind.

‘I mean, it was great I was here when you went into labour so I could help, and also for these first few weeks. I’ve enjoyed being able to look after Elizabeth when you needed me to, like when you have a shower, but…’ He stopped and bowed his head, trying to gather his thoughts into a logical order. ‘Basically, I’m too attracted to you to stay here.’

‘Wow. That’s…very honest.’

‘You’ve taught me it’s the best way.’

‘I have? Well, then…uh… I was going to ask you if you actually wanted to change your contract so that you finish sooner rather than later. That way, you don’t have to worry about looking around for accommodation, you’re not trapped here and you can return to Sydney and do whatever it is that you want to do there.’ She shrugged one shoulder. ‘I’m sure there are several research projects that require your expertise, or even new projects you’d like to get off the ground. You did mention when we went out to dinner that you had several prospects you were thinking about.’

‘If I finish my contract early, who will cover your patients?’

‘I will.’

‘What about Elizabeth?’

‘I’m going to hire a nanny. I’ve already spoken to Molly. As she’s only going back to work part time, now that her stomach ulcer is clearing up nicely, she’s more than happy to come and look after Elizabeth here for a few days a week. I’ll just be across the road so I can come home for feeds. We’ll cut my clinic down from five days to two and a half. Donna will pick up any urgent patients and I’ll do the house calls where, for the most part, I can take Elizabeth with me.’

He listened intently to what she was saying, feeling obsolete and unwanted. ‘You have been busy.’

CJ realised Elizabeth was sound asleep and stood to put the baby in her nearby crib. One of her patients had made it for her and had even put wheels on the base so she could easily wheel it from room to room.

‘Do you want me leave?’ Ethan asked. ‘Really want me to go?’

‘Do you want to go?’ She shook her head. ‘I don’t want you to feel as though you’re stuck here. You’ve pointed out before that Pridham isn’t your home, that being here is just a temporary interlude for you.’ And she couldn’t be the romantic lead in that interlude. It didn’t work that way. ‘You’ve told me you miss surgery.’

‘Even if I return to Sydney, I won’t be allowed to practise at the hospital. I’m on an enforced sabbatical, remember.’

‘Oh, yeah.’ She frowned. ‘The last thing we need is for your stress level to go through the roof again.’

‘Then me moving out of your home is the most obvious solution to our present dilemma.’ He stood and looked down at the sleeping babe, knowing he would miss her a lot. It was quite incredible the way that holding the baby in his arms had not only helped to keep his stress level under control but had also helped him become reconciled with the loss of his own child. Seeing Elizabeth laugh and cry and pull all sorts of other funny faces had helped him to imagine what Ellie might have been like if she’d had the chance. But where Elizabeth de-stressed him, being so near to, so close to her mother had a completely different effect.

‘Is being near Elizabeth too difficult for you?’ CJ asked.

‘No. Not Elizabeth.’

‘Ah. Being near me is difficult.’

‘Well, of course it is, CJ.’ He raked a hand through his hair in total frustration. ‘I can’t be in the same room as you without wanting to drag you into my arms. I want to talk to you, spend time with you, see more of the countryside with you. Then reality sets in and I realise this isn’t where I belong. I have work, CJ, important work back in Sydney.’

‘That’s your existence, Ethan. Where’s your real life? The happiness?’

He turned and looked out the window into the dark night. He was silent for so long she didn’t think he was going to answer. She was just about to leave when he said softly, ‘I don’t know.’

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