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When ghosts from Will's past threaten their future together and all looks lost, Alex devises a plan to save Will’s reputation.
But will love be enough to save the day and win Alex the man of his dreams? Or will he be doomed to eating his favorite apple crumble all alone-–with lashings of crème anglaise, of course.
Now enjoy an excerpt:
Alex sat outside Mr J’s office waiting to be called in. It had been raining heavily and his clothes were damp from the walk to the hospital. Thankfully, his pain receptors were no longer firing off whenever he moved and the bruises had turned a less alarming yellowy-brown. There was certainly nothing outward about him that would make Mr J know about the assault. And he planned to keep it that way, as it was basically his fault that he’d been beaten up.
The door opened. “Come on in, Alex. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
Alex followed Mr J and sat down next to him. He rummaged in his bag for his statement and placed it on the table in front of them for Mr J to read. It was a few pages long and Alex used the time to absorb details about the man next to him. He had a comforting, recently showered smell to him and his hair was still damp. His right ear had been pierced sometime in the past although the hole was closed up. His nose was straight and his nostrils flared sexily. He’d missed a few hairs above the Adam’s apple when shaving. Alex was mesmerized by the movements of his soft lips as he spoke. So much for moving on from his infatuation.
“Alex?” Mr J asked. He’d turned to look at him.
Alex blushed and hoped that Mr J hadn’t noticed anything. “Oh, I’m sorry, Mr Jackson. Where had we got to?”
“Alex, I was asking you what you found out at the pub.”
“Oh yes. Okay, I met up with someone who knew me from when I worked behind the bar. She asked me what I’d been doing recently and I mentioned your name. She immediately recognised it and started talking about a regular in the pub who was alleging the wrong operation had been performed. She also mentioned he was suing the hospital for a six-figure sum. Did you know that?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“Anyway, she then talked about him coming into the pub on a crutch, but with the injured leg shifting from one to the other almost daily. To cap it all, she’d overheard a couple of his family planning the whole thing. So, she thinks he was putting it on.”
Alex was aware that Mr J was looking at him while he was speaking and he seemed to be examining his profile. He reddened again and felt strangely self-conscious.
Mr J cleared his throat. “So, Alex, putting the statements from you and my registrar together, what this adds up to is that Mr Peters could be pulling a fast one. But the fact that my registrar didn’t check your clerking makes things more difficult. On the other hand, what you turned up from your inquiries at the pub certainly suggests duplicity. But we can’t use that information directly as it is just hearsay. Quite frankly, I’m not sure why my registrar recommended the knee replacement anyway, as the osteoarthritic changes on X-ray are fairly minor. Still, he’s being discharged with outpatient physiotherapy and we’ll just have to see what the hospital makes of the whole picture.”
Mr J stood up. “I’m really grateful for all the work you’ve put into this, and particularly your bit of private investigation. I’ll definitely be recommending you for a commendation.”
“Gosh, thanks, Mr Jackson,” said Alex, thinking that’d be the first commendation he’d ever got in a surgical firm.
“Oh, Alex, there is one other thing,” Mr J said, just as Alex was about to open the door to leave.
“Yes?” asked Alex, his anxiety level climbing sky high.
Mr J was looking directly at him and he seemed to be smiling nervously. “I’m not sure how to say this, and the medical school would probably have kittens if they knew, but I’m going to say it anyway…” It was a pause of elephantine proportions. “…Alex, I’m wondering whether you’d like to go out for a drink.”
Alex was stunned. “You mean a coffee?”
“Whatever you like,” replied Mr J, his smile appearing more confident. “After all, I’m buying. We could have something to eat as well.”
There was a brief silence when they just looked at each other - and properly looking this time. “You don’t mean for a date, do you?” Alex asked, hardly daring to believe the turnaround from the despair and pain of the last couple of weeks.
“I hope so. If you don’t mind, of course. And the name’s Will, by the way.”
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