Read What the Doctor Didn't Tell Her Online

Authors: Jacqueline Diamond

Tags: #second chance, #egg donor, #medical romance, #single father, #secret baby, #hospital romance, #obstetrician, #doctor hero, #surprise baby, #doctor heroine, #fertility treatment, #unexpected baby

What the Doctor Didn't Tell Her

BOOK: What the Doctor Didn't Tell Her
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What the Doctor Didn’t Tell Her

 

a novelette by

 

Jacqueline
Diamond

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smashwords Edition published
by

K. Loren Wilson

P.O. Box 1315

Brea, California

 

Copyright 2013 by Jackie
Hyman

First published in
The Mammoth Book
of ER Romance,
print edition 2013, Running Press

 

Licensing
statement

 

This ebook is licensed
for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or
given away to other people. If you would like to share this book
with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each
recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or
it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 


Finally, it’s Friday!”
declared receptionist Edda Jones, red hair framing her round,
freckled face as she clicked off her computer terminal and grabbed
her purse from behind the counter. “Anyone else going to the Orange
County Fair this weekend?”

Dr. Sarah Matthews listened to a
chorus of agreement from the office nurses. When they turned toward
her, she said, “I have on-call duty all three nights. I’m not going
anywhere except home to bed.”

Although her usual schedule involved
only one or two nights of delivering babies per week, one of the
obstetricians had recently left for a position in nearby Los
Angeles. Being single and still owing on medical school loans,
Sarah had volunteered to fill in. Despite her debts, she wasn’t
sure how much longer she could keep up the pace.


But the fair only comes
once a year,” Edda protested. “I love that booth where they’ll
deep-fry almost anything. Pastries, cereal, sandwiches. I can’t
wait to find out what they’re frying this summer.”


Maybe next
year.”

Missing out on zany activities didn’t
bother Sarah nearly as much as the fact that she had no one to
share them with. As her mother kept reminding her, how could she
meet men when she spent all her time in an obstetrical
practice?


I heard that Dr. McKay
and Dr. Van Dam interviewed someone by Skype,” Edda said. “Maybe
we’ll have a new OB on staff soon.”


That would be
wonderful.”

From her private office on the
corridor, Dr. Jane McKay popped out, phone to her ear. “Next week
would be more than acceptable,” she said into her mobile. “Did the
rental agent find you a place? Terrific! As for a babysitter, I may
know someone available for overnights.”


Sounds like we’re in
luck,” Edda observed, trailing the nurses toward the rear exit.
“Have a good weekend!”


You too,” Sarah replied
with a touch of envy.

As the rest of the staff departed,
Jane stuck the phone in the pocket of her white coat. “Sarah, do
you suppose your mother would be willing to baby-sit a little girl
a couple of nights a week?”

Sarah’s mother ran a licensed day-care
center in their home a few blocks from the office. Although Betsy
usually tended children from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., she was flexible,
and she’d been concerned about Sarah’s extra on-call
shifts.


For a new doctor,
probably.” Pricked by curiosity, Sarah added, “Is it anyone I might
have met?” While that seemed unlikely, doctors occasionally crossed
paths during their training and at medical conferences.


He said you did your
residencies together.”

Sarah caught her breath. There’d been
quite a few residents who’d trained with her. It couldn’t
be…


Does the name Daniel
Durand ring a bell?” Jane asked.

A vise clamped onto Sarah’s throat.
She saw him instantly: dark hair tumbling across his forehead, warm
brown eyes transfixing hers, and a spontaneous joy in the bedroom
that had swept her away. She’d imagined herself in love. Too bad he
hadn’t been honest about his own feelings.


If you want my opinion,
he’s an egotistical jerk,” she snapped.


Sarah…”


Don’t let the good looks
fool you.” She struggled to keep the bitterness from her voice.
“He’s full of himself.”

Jane coughed. What was wrong? Then she
lifted the phone from her pocket, and Sarah realized every word she
said had been transmitted to—where was it Daniel had moved?—a small
town in northern Arizona, she recalled.


So you think your mother
might be available a few nights a week?” Jane accompanied her words
with a shrug, as if to say, Let’s pretend this didn’t
happen.

Heat suffused Sarah’s cheeks. “Most
likely.”

As Jane retreated to her office,
talking into the phone, Sarah wondered why Daniel was moving back
to Southern California. But then, she’d never understood why a
physician skilled in advanced surgical techniques had joined a
small-town clinic far from a major hospital.

Apparently he had a daughter. Was he
married? But with a wife in the picture, why the need for an
overnight sitter?

Jane reappeared. Fortyish and angular,
she zeroed in on her point, as usual.. “Is Daniel likely to be a
problem?”


I’m sorry I spoke so
harshly.”

The older doctor waved off the
apology. “Luke and I should have consulted you.” Her husband, Dr.
Van Dam, was also her business partner.


It’s water under the
bridge. It’ll be fine,” Sarah assured her.


You didn’t sound like it
was fine.”

She might as well explain. “We had an
affair and he dumped me.”

Jane winced. “Oh, dear. Was it the
let’s-just-be-friends sort of dumping?”


No, it was the
eat-my-dust kind of dumping.” Sarah had had trust issues with men
ever since. “We made wild sock-flinging love. The next thing I
knew, he stopped replying to my emails and texts, except to say how
busy he was. And he became very good at ducking around corners
whenever he saw me.” She couldn’t resist adding, “I guess he must
be married now.”


You mean the child?” Jane
said. “She’s his five-year-old niece. Her parents died about a year
ago, and he’s adopted her.”

Not too many single males would take
responsibility for a child, Sarah conceded with reluctant respect.
“Here’s my mother’s phone number.” She jotted it down.


Thanks.” Jane took the
slip of paper. “Are you okay for tonight? Not too
tired?”


No, but I think I’ll go
home and take a nap.” Sarah’s on-call shift began in a couple of
hours at the North Orange County Medical Center, a block from the
office.


Good idea.”

A catnap should cure her sleepiness.
In the meantime, Sarah resolved to put Daniel out of her thoughts.
She had no doubt he’d long ago banished her from his.

*

With experience born of long practice,
Sarah fell asleep the moment she lay down. An hour later, the alarm
dragged her into wakefulness.

That, and the fact that her mother was
sitting on the bed.


Good, you’re awake.”
Betsy Matthews reached to shut off the alarm. “I promised Jane I’d
baby-sit the little Durand girl a few nights a week. Is that okay
with you?”


Absolutely.” Scooting
around her mother, Sarah moved to the dressing table to brush her
hair. It was fine-textured and light brown, about the same shade as
her mom’s but without the traces of gray, she noted in the
mirror.


It’ll be good to see
Daniel again,” said Betsy from behind her. “I always liked him,
right up until he showed such poor judgment about my
daughter.”


He’s charming,” Sarah
said dryly. “I’m sure half his patients will fall in love with
him.”


Look on the bright side,”
Betsy said. “Now that he’s coming to Orange County, maybe you’ll
finally receive an explanation.”


Always a rainbow after
the storm, right?” That was one of her mother’s favorite sayings.
While appreciative of the upbeat attitude, Sarah considered the
image corny.

Her mother stood up. “Come eat some
soup. The children helped make it, so it may have a few odd bits in
it.”

Realizing she had barely forty-five
minutes to dress and eat before her shift, Sara shot to her feet.
“What kind of odd bits?”


You’ll find
out.”

While she ate, her mother thumbed
through a flyer advertising kitchen appliances. “I have to replace
the stove. It’s nearly thirty years old and it’s getting
temperamental. What do you think, black, white or
beige?”


Anything but that
metallic industrial finish. Maybe it works for professional chefs,
but to me, it’s ugly.” Sarah peered at two lumps in her spoon.
“Mom, there are walnuts in my soup.”


That was the kids’
contribution. There used to be a saying that a complete meal went
from soup to nuts,” Betsy said. “We’ve combined them in one
bowl.”

Sarah knew better than to object
further. If she did, no doubt her mother would remind her that
until presented with a grandchild, she was entitled to bestow her
indulgence on other people’s children.

Betsy had only grudgingly accepted
Sarah’s decision during her residency to donate eggs to an
infertile couple. Later, she’d mentioned that she felt cheated of
the baby or babies that might have been born. Betsy also worried
that, with Sarah approaching her mid-thirties, time was running out
to have an infant of her own.


A grandchild would mean
the world to me,” she’d once said.

A scary thought hit Sarah. She hoped
her mother wasn’t fantasizing about a renewed romance with Daniel.
Never again would Sarah expose herself to such a cruel
betrayal.


The soup’s delicious,
Mom.” It had been, even the nuts.


And healthy,
too.”

Right on cue, the phone rang. It was
the hospital, reporting several women in labor. “I’m on my way,”
Sarah said.

She wished her mom a good evening and
went out into the lingering July heat.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Two weeks later, Sarah arrived at the
hospital at 7:30 in the morning. Scheduled for surgery, she’d made
sure to get plenty of rest. Fortunately, with a new doctor on
staff, she’d been able to reduce her on-call shifts.

For the past week, since Daniel joined
the office, she’d escaped all but the briefest contact. He’d
acknowledged their first meeting with a searching gaze, holding her
hand longer than necessary when they shook. However, braced by the
presence of Jane and Luke, Sarah had slipped her hand free and
excused herself to get ready for the next patient.

As she had anticipated, Daniel’s
masculine presence had created a stir. Edda Jonas’s adoring looks
followed him everywhere, while patients who’d initially been
hesitant to see a new physician now readily accepted, even raved
about Dr. Durand. Such a good listener! Such a reassuring
manner!

And such a louse,
underneath it all.

He’d arranged for his niece to join
Betsy’s day-care center. For Sarah, that meant having to duck him
before and after work, too.

She didn’t regret her mother’s
decision to baby-sit the little girl, though. Nina was a cutie with
light-brown hair and green eyes. Although shy around Betsy and the
other children, she’d given Sarah a hug right away.

The child’s timidity wasn’t entirely
due to the change of location. Apparently the five-year-old had
narrowly escaped the fire that engulfed her home and killed her
parents. She’d had a nightmare during her first sleepover,
awakening both Sarah and her mother.

Sarah had rushed in to hold and
reassure the little girl. Something about Nina’s distress tore at
Sarah’s heart, although she’d never experienced any strong maternal
instincts before.

BOOK: What the Doctor Didn't Tell Her
6.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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