Tags: #Contemporary Romance
“You too.” He really did look good. Too damn good. “Are you staying here?”
“I rented the place from the Murray’s but we only decided on things yesterday, so I guess they didn’t have time to let you know.’
“I don’t usually expect to see anyone here.”
“So, you clean even when nobody’s here?”
“That’s the best time, actually. People don’t like to see the hired help any more than I like to have people watch me while I work.
“Fair enough. Let me grab some clean clothes and I’ll get out of your way.”
“Have you been out running? You never used to run.” Why the hell was she having a conversation with him, and why wasn’t she the one running? Again.
“Yes, I began after you left. It clears my head and I especially need a bit of that at the moment. In case Graham doesn’t get back to you soon I’m going to be here for a while.”
“That’s probably a bit vague, but I really don’t have a time frame right now.”
“Hey, it none of my business.”
She couldn’t help the impatience in her voice.
“I thought everything going on in this town was everyone’s business. At least that’s how it always seemed. Maybe things changed in the last decade.” he said sceptically.
Jamie walked passed her to get to a suitcase propped up on the desk. Rummaging through the clothes he took out clean sweats and walked to the en suite.
Stephanie waited until he had shut the door before she carried on with the housework, her thoughts making her shake. Dusting in earnest, she hoped to finish before he came out.
The door opened suddenly, and there he stood in a towel, and nothing else. Looking sheepish he went back to his suitcase.
“Forgot my underwear.”
Stephanie couldn’t have spoken, even if she knew what to say. Clothed he was a hunk, naked he was sexy as hell, and every moment over the years they had been together came crashing into her.
Jamie went back into the bathroom and Stephanie immediately grabbed all her cleaning products and left. There was every chance she’d forgotten something but to hell with it. She had no intention of exposing herself and her heart to James Morris aka Jamie without a bit of time to get used to the idea of having him back in town, and a sure fire way of dealing with it.
Jamie hurried through his shower and dressed with his mind in turmoil. Banal pleasantries had been the only way to deal with the shock of seeing her. He hadn’t been prepared to find her in his bedroom, albeit a borrowed one. Sure he knew Stephanie had moved back to Prossers Bay just as he knew she cleaned houses, but the thought never crossed his mind that she cleaned this house. Why hadn’t his father said anything? As the town doctor he knew every damn thing that happened around here.
He had a light bulb moment. The crafty old bugger. He’d deliberately not said anything because he loved Stephanie like a daughter, and in that crusty old heart of his he was probably doing a bit of matchmaking. Surely he understood that their ship had sailed. Stephanie had left him when he needed her most. There could be no going back and he’d gotten used to that fact. It didn’t hurt so much after all this time.
Yep, tell yourself that as much as you like buddy.
Seeing her had opened the wound that had taken him years to close, just like it was yesterday. Well, if he was going to be in town for a few days he may as well get it all out in the open; rip the band aid off and pray that the blood would refuse to flow.
A quick comb through his short hair and a deep breath he was ready to face the most beautiful woman in the world, and the woman who had nearly brought him to his knees. Who was he kidding? He’d never be ready.
He yanked open the door. The questions he should have asked earlier, already on his lips would have to wait. She wasn’t there, and a search of the house confirmed that she had gone. Once again she’d crept away, and what had made him thing today would be any different? He was a fool all over again.
He locked up the house and drove over to his father’s surgery. The old cottage, which also served as Doctor Clifford Morris’s home, sat on the edge of the green and, as soon as Jamie pulled up he could see his dad sitting on the wooden bench out the front. He was feeding the birds and it could have been any day from his childhood.
Or maybe not. Even from here he could see the grey in his hair and the way his shoulders stooped a little more. A wave of pity for his father washed over him. He was alone now, since mum passed away, and James, an only child, had not been a very good son. Still, he was here now, and he’d do whatever he could to make sure his dad was okay before he left again to take up his new post in an amazing hospital in Seattle.
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