The Greek Children’s DoctorBy: Sarah Morgan
It was just a shame that having a baby required contact with a man.
Less than twenty-four hours later, Andreas Christakos strolled onto the ward, six feet three of broad-shouldered, drop-dead-handsome Greek male.
The night sister, confronted by this unexpected vision of raw, masculine virility, dropped the pile of sheets she was carrying and lost her powers of speech.
Acknowledging that it probably hadn’t been quite fair of him to arrive unannounced, Andreas extended a lean, bronzed hand and introduced himself.
The night sister paled slightly. ‘You’re the new consultant? We weren’t exactly expecting you…’ She stooped to pick up the sheets, visibly flustered by his unscheduled appearance. ‘Did you want to see—? I mean, it seems a little late—’
‘I merely came to familiarise myself with the whereabouts of the ward,’ he assured her smoothly, his eyes flickering over the walls which were covered in brightly coloured children’s paintings. ‘I don’t officially start until Monday.’
She clutched the sheets to her chest and looked relieved. ‘That’s what I thought. Good. Well, please, help yourself to the notes trolley—they’re all there and any X-rays are underneath. We’re pretty quiet for once, so everyone’s slipped off to the auction,’ the night sister told him. ‘They’ll be back when it finishes—or sooner if I call them.’
’Auction?’ Andreas frowned as he repeated the word. He’d always thought his English was fluent but he found himself very unsure about what she was describing. Surely an auction involved paintings or other valuable artefacts?
‘We’re selling a date with each member of staff to raise money to buy equipment for our new playroom.’
Andreas, traditional and Greek to the very backbone, struggled with this concept. They were selling dates?
Aware that she was waiting for some sort of response, he dealt her a sizzling smile. ‘It sounds like a novel way to raise money.’
‘It is.’ She looked at him for a moment and then smiled cheekily, her nervousness vanishing. ‘You’re very good-looking. Perhaps you should consider auctioning yourself.’
The smile froze on his face. ‘I don’t think so.’
He had enough trouble keeping women at a distance as it was, and the one thing he absolutely didn’t need was to offer himself to the highest bidder. The thought made him shudder. What sort of woman would that attract? Not the one he was searching for, that was for sure. Recent events had confirmed his growing suspicion that the woman he wanted didn’t exist in real life.
‘Are you sure I can’t persuade you?’ The night sister giggled. ‘You’d make us a fortune! Well, just in case you change your mind, it’s all happening in the doctors’ bar in the basement. You could go and meet everyone. Half the hospital will be there. Introduce yourself. Buy yourself a date for the evening!’
Knowing that he had no intention of doing anything of the sort, Andreas merely smiled politely and reached for the first set of notes.
As he flicked to the first page, he reflected on the strange ways of the English. Like most of his countrymen, he was aware of the outlandish behaviour shown by some of the English girls who holidayed in Greece, but in all his time in various English hospitals he’d never come across a scenario where staff sold themselves to raise money.
Was the NHS really in that much trouble?
With a slight lift of his wide shoulders he dismissed the thought and proceeded to read the notes on each child, his sharp brain absorbing the information and filing it away for later.
An hour later he was thoroughly briefed on all the current admissions and he left the ward quietly, walking along the corridors that led to the main entrance, hesitating briefly as he reached the stairs that led down to the doctors’ bar in the basement. Loud music drifted up the stairs, along with catcalls and much whooping and laughter.
Intrigued by the concept of anything so alien as an auction involving people, Andreas took the stairs and pushed open the door of the bar just as a leggy blonde sashayed down the improvised catwalk.
He stopped dead, his attention caught.
She was stunning.
Andreas sucked in a breath, his eyes raking over every inch of her slender, perfectly formed body. As he watched, she tossed her long, wavy blonde hair over her slim shoulders, her slanting blue eyes glinting as if she was daring someone to buy her.
She was wearing an almost indecently short pink dress and heels that were so high he feared for her safety, but she walked with a grace and elegance that was achingly feminine.
‘Lot number 16.’ The auctioneer laughed, raising his voice over the howls and wolf whistles. ‘What am I bid for our Libby?’
There was a chorus of enthusiastic yells and the blonde rolled her eyes and grinned, striking an exaggerated pose that took his breath away.
Andreas surveyed her with unashamed lust, oblivious to the admiring glances he himself was drawing from the other females in the room.
Temporarily forgetting how jaded he was with women, he studied her closely and came to the conclusion that she was gorgeous. Physically. He didn’t fool himself that her beauty went any deeper than that, but for a short-term relationship did that really matter? He wasn’t inviting her to be the mother of his children so the intricacies of her personality were irrelevant.