Monday, 11 July 2011
Because He Needs Me
A new book from a new young company
Leap of Faith publishes
Because He needs me/ Lynn Granville
A story of love and selfless devotion
Oh, God, she hoped he wouldn’t come over! Janni had recognized the one man she hadn’t wanted to see at this wedding. It was ages since she’d been in the same room with Nick Hamilton, and she really hadn’t given the idea that he might be here a thought, though she should have done. It couldn’t matter, of course. Whatever there had been between her and Nick had been over years ago – when he married. Not that it had ever been very much even then!
Janni had been through several love affairs since then, the latest of which had recently ended in tears and recriminations. What was wrong with her for goodness sake? Why couldn’t she find someone who really cared, someone who would give her a home and family, and love – most importantly love?
Nick was glancing her way again, obviously deciding whether or not he ought to come over and say hello. Where was his wife? Janni hadn’t noticed her – and you couldn’t miss a woman like that! Sarah was gorgeous, so it was no wonder that Nick had fallen for her hook line and sinker.
Janni glanced across the hotel’s crowded reception room at the bride and groom; she felt a pang of envy despite her satisfaction at Alice’s obvious happiness. Sheer delight seemed to shine out of her friend’s eyes, testifying to her state of mind. Janni didn’t grudge that happiness one little bit, but couldn’t help wishing that her own life was a little more settled.
Alice and Peter were the perfect pair, and Janni had introduced them nine months ago. Her own lovelife had been blossoming then, but for the past few weeks she had been nursing a bruised ego. Fortunately, it seemed that her heart was pretty resilient, which it would need to be after the way Mark had treated her recently.
Perhaps it was a combination of seeing Nick unexpectedly, and her friend’s shining happiness that made Janni feel so dejected all of a sudden. Damn Mark! He really wasn’t worth getting upset over. One day he’d been eagerly talking about buying a house together, almost the next he was announcing that he was off to America on a three-year research project.
“So what happens to us?” Janni had asked, feeling bewildered by Mark’s sudden about turn.
“It was never going to be more than a temporary arrangement,” he’d said, taking her breath away. “Nothing is forever, Janni. Besides, this is a chance I can’t miss.”
He hadn’t asked her to keep in touch, or whether she would consider giving up her job at the local hospital to go with him. She had sensed his excitement and known he wanted to be free – and that had hurt!
The sharp pain had gone now, but she was still feeling bruised. So much so that when she saw the undeniably attractive man walking towards her, she immediately hoisted her shield into place. Why had he of all people had to be here? And why must he bother to come over and say hello?
She’d had a thing for Doctor Nick Hamilton once, when they were both working at a London teaching hospital, but he’d hardly noticed her. He had fallen in love with and married a very beautiful woman, and they’d lost touch when he moved. Until now, Janni hadn’t seen him for years, but he was a friend of Peter’s, and had been invited for the wedding. It was natural, of course, and she would have realized it if she had thought about it earlier.
“They look happy don’t they?” Nick said glancing at the bride and groom. “Peter and Alice. “
Janni took a deep breath. There was no escaping it! She smiled and nodded. “Yes, I was just thinking the same thing.”
“Peter had been through a rough time before he met Alice – but you know that, of course. You introduced them, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I can claim the credit for that, but they did all the rest themselves.”
He seemed amused at her quip, and hesitated for a second or two. “I know this isn’t the right time to talk shop, but Alice tells me you are thinking of changing your job – going for something new. I wondered if you might consider working for us at the surgery as a practice nurse?”
Janni was startled. He had taken her completely by surprise and she gave no thought to her answer before replying negatively. “I am flattered that you asked,” she said. “But I am happy where I am – and I’ve never considered anything but hospital work.”
“The nurses I need never have,” Nick replied and grinned. “If they had, they probably wouldn’t be what I was looking for. Don’t make that a final no, Janni. Think about it please. If you are truly happy where you are then that’s all there is to it – but if there’s even a chance you might consider coming to us, if only for a few months, I should like to hear from you.” He took a card from his pocket and handed it to her. “I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you paid us a visit. We have all the latest equipment at the surgery. Peter has made sure of that, believe me.”
Janni's heart did a quick tango but she suppressed her foolishness.
Peter and Nick were partners in the country practice as well as friends, and Alice had burned Janni’s ears with stories of how beautiful the village was – and the surrounding countryside.
Alice had been a Theatre Sister before her marriage, but she planned on having a family almost at once. “Before my biological clock runs out,” she’d told Janni laughingly. “I’ve done my stint for the NHS – and I can always go back part time when the children are at school.”
“Yes, I imagine he would,” Janni replied with a wry look. “Alice told me Peter has to have everything just so.”
“We’re in agreement as far as that goes – which is why we both want you, Janni. Why don’t you think about it? Alice is your best friend, isn’t she? It would mean you were able to see her more often, and I understand you are having difficulties at the moment.”
“I see Alice has been telling tales out of school.” Janni frowned.
“She just told me things hadn’t gone well for you, and that you were thinking of making a change. Nothing personal,” Nick assured her. He glanced at his watch and frowned. “Anyway, it was nice speaking to you again, Janni. I must have a word with Alice and Peter before they leave. Give me a call if you are interested, won’t you?” He handed her his card.
“Yes, if I’m interested,” Janni replied, tucking his card into her pocket as he walked away. Her foolish heart was still misbehaving itself. Nick was as attractive as ever, she thought, dressed in a stylish, collarless dark blue suit that showed only a flash of white at the neck and looked as if it might be Armani. It was the kind of suit that was good on young, athletic men and she recalled that he had been keen on sport when she’d known him before. His hair was dark blond and a little longer than she normally liked on a man – but why was she letting herself think about him at all? He was married and she had no intention of getting involved again for a long, long time. Especially with a married man!
Posted by Linda Sole at 19:59