Read Her Greek Doctor's Proposal Online

Authors: Robin Gianna

Tags: #Fiction, #Medical, #Romance, #Contemporary, #General, #Family Life

Her Greek Doctor's Proposal (9 page)

“A delicacy if you’re a whale or a Greek.”

Andros grinned, and Becka laughed before the sound morphed into a pained yelp. “Sorry. Not much longer.”

Laurel sent up a prayer of thanks that the washing out was finally over, except the stitching would probably be an ordeal for the poor girl, too. Andros leaned back to pat Becka’s shoulder this time. “The worst is over. Thankfully, right? The stitching is going to take a while because I need to do it in several layers. But believe it or not, it won’t hurt at all.”

“Find that hard to believe,” Becka grumbled.

“Can’t blame you. And I find it hard to believe you cut yourself this deeply with a trowel—that takes a special talent.” He smiled, and that adorable dimple poked into his cheek as he began to stitch.

“Yeah, I have special talents all right. Clumsy ones.”

His amused eyes met Laurel’s and she found her heart beating a little harder for no reason at all. “I need to repair this cut in the muscle first, to stop it from bleeding, with stitches that will dissolve. Then the subcutaneous layer of flesh,
which will reduce tension on the wound and help keep it closed and healing. Then, lastly, smaller nylon stitches that will help it look better when it heals.”

“Jason said having a dig scar is a badge of honor,” Becka said. “But if you can keep it from looking Frankenstein-ish, that would be great.”

“Even though Laurel has no faith in the local, backwater Greek doctor, I promise no Frankenstein.”

“I didn’t say…oh, never mind.” The amused teasing in the dark depths of his eyes told her an embarrassed protest was exactly what he’d been hoping for, and she wasn’t going to go there again.

Laurel tried to keep up a bit of light conversation with Becka to take the girl’s mind off her leg. Even while she was talking about the dig and asking things like what all the team had done in Delphi last night while she was out with Andros, she found her mind mostly on him.

Watching how smoothly, efficiently and impressively he stitched Becka’s wound, obviously having done it hundreds of times. Noticing, as she had when he’d worked on her own hand, how dark his lashes were, how his features really were reminiscent of a classical Greek statue, how beautifully shaped his lips were as he slightly pursed them in concentration. Remembering how
they’d felt against hers, which made her feel tingly and breathless and…and…

Stupid. Above and beyond any attraction she felt for the man, and there was no point in denying she had plenty, this dig came first. And with three team members in the hospital and Becka now likely out of commission for who knew how long, it was getting scarily harder to imagine she could make happen what she wanted to accomplish before they ran out of time.

She inhaled, willing her heart rate to pretend it wasn’t thrown all out of whack just from his nearness. Time to bring business back to the forefront, get Becka to the hotel and herself back on the mountain.

“Since I forgot I was supposed to lure you to the mountain so you’d feel obligated to give us free medical care, I’ll need a bill from you,” she said.

“I’ll have the office manager get it to you. I know US universities have insurance for teams like yours. And my yacht payment is due.”

She tried hard to be immune to the power of his smile, but failed miserably. “Then why…?” Her voice trailed off. She’d been about to ask why he hadn’t given her a bill for her hand, then wasn’t sure she wanted to hear the answer. If it was because of this attraction that simmered between them despite her wishing it didn’t,
she didn’t want to know. Having it verbalized instead of just zinging in the air around them might make it even harder to resist.

“You have a yacht?” Becka looked wide-eyed at him as he finished slathering on the same antibiotic he’d put on Laurel’s hand.

“Well, a yacht by my standards, but probably not by Aristotle Onassis’s.” His eyes were focused on wrapping Becka’s leg with layers of gauze, a different gauze wrap and elastic bandage on top of it all. “It’s a twenty-five-foot boat with a two-fifty-horsepower motor. Perfect to take you both octopus fishing on your day off.”

Becka laughed, and Laurel wondered how in the world she was supposed to resist lusting after a Greek god who cared for his patients, seemed to be a good dad, had a delicious sense of humor and even more delicious mouth?

“Ready, Becka? Your leg feel okay?”

“I’m sure it’ll hurt like crazy later, but right now it’s nicely numb.” She turned to Andros, who was scribbling on a pad. “Thanks a lot, Dr. Drakoulias.”

“You’re welcome. You’ll need to get crutches to keep weight off it for a few days, and I have a couple prescriptions for you that you can fill either at the pharmacy next door, or in Delphi. Just—” The sound of his phone ringing interrupted
him. He fished it from his pocket, and, glancing at it, frowned. “Excuse me a minute.”

His serious expression sent a little jab of concern poking at Laurel’s chest. She prayed it wasn’t some bad news about the Wagners or John. That kick of concern heightened her awareness of him as she watched him stride from the room, his butt perfectly encased in his dress pants, his broad shoulders tugging the fabric of his shirt, his black hair catching the bright overhead light, making it gleam.

“Wow, Laurel,” Becka said, turning to her with awe in her voice. “I didn’t really see him very well at the caves when John was sick. He’s, like, wow.”

“Yeah. He is.” Hadn’t that pretty much been her first thought too? Even more so now that she knew how it felt to kiss him. Though she was going to stop thinking about that if it killed her.

“Anybody could tell he’s attracted to you. If you don’t go for that, you’re crazy.”

Oh, yeah, she wanted to go for “that.” It might be crazy not to, but it would be just as crazy to get into a quickie relationship right now. Except every time she was around the man, her resolve to keep her distance seemed to disintegrate, and kissing him became the forefront thought in her head. Maybe Ate, the spirit of mischief, was lurking
on this mountain, luring her into infatuation and recklessness.

The thought made her smile, thinking of how her sisters always rolled their eyes when she said things like that, as though mythical beings just might be real after all. “This dig is important to me, Becka.” No one but the Wagners knew exactly how important. “I admit I’m tempted. Really tempted. But I just don’t have time, and we’ll be out of here in a few weeks.”

“Yeah, I know. But still, you could—”

They both turned to the door as Andros walked back in, his expression seeming lighter, yet at the same time hard to read.

“That was Dr. Dimitri Galanos. He has interesting news.”

Laurel stood and moved next to him, practically holding her breath. “What news?”

“First, John is unfortunately still on the ventilator, though they’re taking good care of him. But the Wagners continue to improve, and their test results are back.”

“And?”

“It’s apparently some type of virus, though they’re still not sure what.” His eyes met Laurel’s. “However, it’s definitely not a fungal infection. So it appears they didn’t get it from the caves.”

CHAPTER SEVEN

“S
O IF IT

S
not a fungal infection, why do you still have that look on your face? I thought—” Taryn interrupted herself to tug her son’s shirt as he stood on his chair. “Petros, sit down, please, and play your game. Lunch will be here soon.”

“What look?” Andros rebooted the tablet his wriggling daughter held, pulled up a new game to occupy Petros, then gave his attention back to Taryn. “This is why we should’ve just cleaned your fridge out and eaten leftovers. Our children are monsters when we go out.”

“Not monsters, Daddy! Fairies!”

“Uh-uh! I’m a monster, Uncle Andros!”

Both their protests and dark frowns were so indignant, he had to laugh. “Okay, an impatient ants-in-her-pants fairy, and a messy monster. Have another olive.”

He handed both the kids olives. He watched his daughter pop it into her mouth, then fish the pit out with her small fingers, filled all over again
with amazement that she belonged to him. His own flesh and blood in the adorable little package that was Cassandra Anne Drakoulias.

It hadn’t been the way he’d expected to start a family someday. Making a baby with a woman he hardly remembered, and who hadn’t felt a need to tell him about his own daughter. If Alison hadn’t died, he might
never
have known. That tore at his heart and sent the guilt of how carelessly he’d lived his life even deeper into his bones.

But from the very first instant he’d met his child, he’d realized what an incredible blessing she was. God’s way of helping him rethink how he lived his life when he hadn’t even realized he needed to.

“Mom would be horrified if we ate leftovers after church. She’d hop the next plane from Scotland and be fixing her usual massive feast for us like she does every Sunday. And scold me for not spending the day cooking.”

He chuckled, because it was true. “She’d be almost as horrified to see us in a restaurant. Good news is she will never know, and she’ll be back to cook and fuss over us in no time. In fact, I’m dying for her
avgolemono
soup, which you refuse to fix for me.”

“Fix it for yourself.” His sister smirked, because she knew his cooking skills were practically
nil. Something he should probably work on. “Anyway, tell me why you’re still frowning and deep in thought about the pneumonia,” she said, bringing back the original subject, as usual. Once his sister had something she wanted to talk about, she was going to finish no matter what. “It’s not a fungal infection, so it’s not from the archaeological dig, and not something the workers are going to spread around town. Right?”

“We may know what it isn’t, but we don’t know what it is. Maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and sat next to somebody who passed it on. But maybe it’s something else.”

“Like what?”

Exactly what was bothering him. “I don’t know. Di doesn’t know. But I have a strange gut feeling that this isn’t over.”

“I remember a lot of your gut feelings just being hunger pangs,” his sister said.

“Which is why you should have let me eat your
pastitsio
instead of coming all the way to Delphi for lunch.” He grinned, willing his brain to stop thinking about the mystery. Time would tell whether he was right or wrong, and he hoped like hell he was wrong.

“Daddy, it’s your pretty friend who knows lots about fairies!” Cassie said excitedly, pointing to the doorway.

He looked up and his heart gave a kick when
he saw Laurel standing there with a few others from the dig, startlingly elegant in a long blue dress that skimmed her ankles and loosely hugged her curves. Elegant, and at the same time natural, with her beautiful hair in that thick ponytail she always wore it in, and little makeup on her exotic features.

Almost as though she felt his eyes on her, her gaze lifted to his and held, her lush lips parted in surprise until someone jabbed her arm and she turned to follow the host to their table. He had the urge to catch up with her, talk her into having lunch with them, but stopped himself. He knew a number of people in this place, and it wouldn’t take much for elbows to nudge and knowing smiles and winks to be sent his way, starting gossip that no longer applied now that he had Cassie to think about.

“Can we ask her to eat with us, Daddy?”

Was his daughter a mind reader now? “Looks like she’s eating with the dig crew, so let’s not bother her.”

“I won’t bother her. I just want to ask a couple things.”

Before he even realized what she was doing, Cassie slid from the chair and ran across the room to Laurel’s table, with Petros following on her heels. “Cassie, you—ah, hell.”

“Why ‘ah, hell’?” His sister tipped her head
at him with a quizzical look. “Seemed like she likes kids when I met her. She have the hots for you? Or is it mutual?”

“Why either one of those? Maybe we dislike each other.”

“Yeah, right.” His sister gave an indelicate snort. “I’ve never known a single girl to meet you and not be interested. And for the record, I’ve seen the way you look at her.”

“I’m looking at her as someone connected to my patients. I’m building my reputation as an upstanding doctor and all-around good dad. Not looking for a woman.”

“Uh-huh. Tell that to someone who doesn’t know you that well. I’m well aware you have the occasional fling when you go out of town.”

“I’m not a monk, but I only see a woman when I’m sure she just wants a fling too.” He’d obviously have to try harder to keep his attraction to Laurel hidden. At least his sister couldn’t see inside his brain as well, because she’d also learn that Laurel featured front and center in any number of fantasies at the moment. Then Taryn would laugh and shake her head and point out that there’d always been someone featured in his fantasies, and he’d have to point out—again—that was the old Andros, not the new, improved one.

“And of course I like to look at her,” he continued.
“She’s a beautiful woman. But she’s only here for a few weeks, and having some short thing with her wouldn’t be worth the whole town gossiping about me and Cassie hearing it.”

“So when are you going to give a relationship a chance to grow into something bigger than a fling?”

“You know as well as I do that I’m not capable of that kind of relationship.”

“I don’t believe that. Just because you used to go through women like Thea Stella goes through tissues, doesn’t mean you can’t have a long-term relationship. The lines to become Mrs. Andros Drakoulias started forming when you were about fifteen.”

“I think you have to want one to have one.”

“Maybe you just never met the right woman.”

“Glad you have faith in me, but everyone in this town thinks different.”

“People will always talk. I know I’m still on the subject list, having Petros without a wedding ring or a man who wanted to be involved in his life.” His sister sighed. “So what if you were a bit of a playboy back in the day and gave the town some entertainment? That was a long time ago.”

“Showing up in town with a two-year-old, shocking the hell out of everyone, wasn’t all that long ago.” After the phone call from Alison’s brother, telling him about Cassie, the direction
of his life had changed. Thankfully no one in Alison’s family could take his little girl, or he might still not have her in his life. That second, he’d known becoming a more responsible man and moving to Kastorini with his daughter was his destiny, despite having to deal with the perennial tongue waggers. “One of these days, though, the past will be forgotten, if I behave myself.”

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