Her three-year-old secret…
…is about to be revealed!
Between her job with Queen Victoria’s Air Ambulance and raising her three-year-old daughter, midwife Chloe Larson’s too busy to find love. Only maybe love has found her… Xander Jameson—the gorgeous Australian doctor she had a fling with and who disappeared without a trace—has joined her team! The attraction is definitely still there. But first, Chloe must tell Xander he’s a father.
The barman served Chloe’s gin, placing it on the bar. She couldn’t believe Xander had remembered her favourite drink and the idea that he had pleased her.
Xander picked up her glass and put it in front of her. His leg brushed against hers and the contact made her jump. It was nothing really, his knee just brushed the outside of her thigh but she could feel his body heat and her body responded to his touch.
She took a sip of her drink and tried to ignore the fact that his leg was still resting against hers. Sitting at the bar with Xander felt the same but different. Familiar but strange. Things had changed. At least for Chloe. She was no longer young and carefree. She was a single mother with responsibilities. But the chemistry was still there. She was still drawn to him. She longed to touch him properly, to see if her memories were real.
He was still gorgeous. Still a Norse god. His grey eyes still held a trace of melancholy. She’d always attributed that to his divorce but surely that couldn’t still be the case. He’d been divorced almost five years now. He must have put that behind him?
She forced herself to focus on the present. She couldn’t dwell in the past.
‘How long have you been living in Wales?’ she asked when she recovered her power of speech. She was desperate to know where he’d been and what he’d been doing for the past four years but she couldn’t ask such a direct question.
He frowned, his grey eyes cloudy. ‘I don’t live in Wales.’
‘Oh, I thought Rick said you had come down from Wales to cover Eloise’s sick leave.’
‘I’ve been working in Wales with their air ambulance unit but it wasn’t permanent. It was a six-month rotation. I was glad to get out of there to be honest. I didn’t mind Wales but it wasn’t the smartest move, spending winter there. I should have timed it better.’
‘And what are your plans when you finish with us?’ she asked. She needed to find out where he was going next. Did she need to tell him about Lily if he had no plans to stay in England? Was there any point in disrupting everyone’s lives? She and Lily were fine, they’d been fine for years on their own. They didn’t need Xander and he might not need them.
He might not want them.
He might not want her.
The drink he had bought her could be for old time’s sake. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring but that didn’t mean he didn’t have a wife or significant other waiting for him somewhere.
‘I haven’t worked it out yet.’
‘Are you travelling with family?’ she asked as the barman cleared the remnants of Xander’s dinner away.
‘No. It would seem we’re both still single. What are the chances?’
‘Coincidence?’ She said with a smile.
‘I don’t believe in coincidences.’
He was holding her gaze and she was lost. She couldn’t think. She could only feel.
He reached for her and the clocks stopped.
He tucked a stray curl behind her ear and Chloe’s knees trembled. ‘It’s been a long time,’ he said as she held her breath. ‘It’s good to see you. Did I mention I’m staying just around the corner?’
The invitation was unspoken but there was no mistaking it. But she couldn’t accept. She had to get home. To her daughter. Their daughter.
‘Would you like to come back for a coffee?’
Chloe smiled. ‘You know I don’t drink coffee at night.’ She wondered if he remembered that too.
Her smile got wider. ‘Will you take a raincheck? I’m on an early tomorrow.’
He nodded as she slid off the barstool and picked up her coat. She needed to get out of there while she still could. Before she made a hasty, hormonal decision that she would more than likely regret when her head overtook her heart again.
‘I’ll walk you out to a cab.’
‘It’s ok, I’m taking the Tube.’
Xander shook his head. ‘No, it’s late. That doesn’t sound safe.’
‘I do it all the time after work.’
She nodded as he held the door for her.
She stopped on the footpath, reluctant to walk away but knowing she had to go. A cab pulled up on the street beside them.
‘Please, let me pay for a cab,’ Xander offered. ‘I’ll feel better.’ He reached out and opened the door, ensuring the cabbie couldn’t drive away, but then he took her hand, holding her back before she could step inside.
She turned to him. Instinctively. Her breath caught in her throat as he stroked the palm of her hand with his thumb. She was pinned by the force of his grey eyes. Held immobile by the intensity of his gaze. She couldn’t breathe. The air was thick with tension. Her mouth was dry, her skin warm, her cheeks flushed. Her heart was beating quickly and her stomach was fluttering.
‘Are you sure you have to go?’
He bent his head until his mouth was next to her ear. His breath was warm on her cheek as he repeated her earlier words back to her. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to find out what happens next?’
She knew what was coming and she was powerless to resist. She didn’t want to resist. She turned her face towards him and whispered. ‘I know what happens next.’ And then his lips were on hers. Warm, soft. Then harder.
She parted her lips and tasted him. He tasted familiar. He tasted sweet.
Her body remembered his touch. Her skin remembered the softness of his mouth. Her tongue remembered his taste.
The years fell away as the memory of him returned.
Xander’s fingers were on her face, on her bare arms, her skin was on fire and she melted against him as her body responded to his touch. She was aware of nothing else except the sensation of being fully alive. She wanted for nothing except Xander.
One hand was pressed to her spine, holding her close and she could feel the heat of his palm through the thin fabric of her shirt. She felt her nipples harden as she pressed herself against his chest instead as she kissed him back. All her senses came to life and a line of fire spread from her stomach to her groin. She deepened the kiss, wanting to lose herself in Xander.
‘Do you want the cab or not?’
She jumped as the cab driver’s voice interrupted their moment. Her eyes flew open as Xander straightened up. He was studying her face as if committing each of her features to memory.
He smiled as his fingers trailed down the side of her cheek sending a shiver of desire through her. Her heart was racing in her chest and her breaths were shallow.
‘Are you sure you don’t want to come back to my apartment?’
She hesitated. The kiss was wonderful. Magical. She felt as if time had stood still and brought her back to Xander, back into his arms but she couldn’t stay with him. She had responsibilities.
‘I can’t,’ she said as she stepped back, breaking their connection. ‘You promised me a rain check, remember?’
She waited for him to agree before she made herself get into the taxi. Made herself leave him.
He closed the door and blew her a kiss.
Chloe gave the driver her address but scarcely recalled getting home. Her world suddenly felt full of possibility but she needed to be sensible. She needed to be careful not to get carried away.
Last time she got carried away she’d wound up pregnant.
London Hospital Midwives quartet
Book 1 — Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Book 2 — Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Book 3 — Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes
Book 4 — A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay