St Matthew's Passion: A Medical Romance

St Matthew's Passion: A Medical Romance by Sam Archer Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: St Matthew's Passion: A Medical Romance by Sam Archer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sam Archer
anyone else in the room had noticed. And instead of briskly taking it in his stride, he knew he’d responded, meeting her gaze with an honesty of his own. Sometimes it was better not to fake and suppress. Sometimes, a simple expression of one’s feelings wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
    His attraction to her was intense, stronger than it had been towards any other woman in recent memory. Perhaps ever. It was as though they were alone in the room, everybody else turned to shadows. If he was truly honest with himself – and why not be, since he’d gone this far? – Fin had wanted then and there to take her in his arms, feel the firm heat of her against him, her hair pressed against his nose and mouth, to give over to the wave of animal feeling that was consuming him, and her as well.
    He’d fought the urge with every sinew, and once reasonably confident that he had himself under control, he took trouble to make sure that for the rest of the day and night he was never alone with her. Later she assisted him in theatre in trying to save a man with a stab wound to the liver – their efforts proved unsuccessful after four hours – and although they made eye contact frequently, and there was a residue of the connection they’d made earlier, the fire had died down and he was more able to concentrate on what he was doing.
    He wanted her, and yes, in that way, but Fin was self-aware enough that he could tell this was no mere physical yearning. It wasn’t even that he merely liked her as a person. Her drive, her intellectual curiosity about everything to do with their specialty, her compassion towards patients: all of these were immensely likeable qualities. But at one point during the evening, quite out of nowhere, the thought had struck him that one day she’d be gone, having completed her training with him and off on the next leg of her career, and he’d been almost floored by a pang of sadness and regret so powerful it had been like a physical force.
    Fin sat up abruptly, gritting his teeth. These thoughts were doing him no good at all. He was a man who understood implicitly the value of time, and the importance of not wasting it. Wallowing in fantasy and speculation when he needed to be sleeping was poor time management. Closing his eyes, he allowed to loom into his consciousness the other knowledge that he’d pushed to one side. It didn’t need a lot of coaxing to show itself. It was the reason he could never, not in a thousand years, consider any kind of personal relationship with Melissa, regardless of his feelings for her or of hers for him. It was the reason he was condemned to be alone in this well-appointed bachelor apartment for the rest of his days.
    It was a sentence of solitude, passed not by any external judge but by Fin himself. Punishment for the terrible thing he’d done.
    The unforgiveable thing.
    Numbed by the old thoughts, and memories, Fin sank into an unsettled sleep.

Chapter Four
     
    Melissa wasn’t normally a superstitious person, but she did wonder if she’d somehow managed to jinx herself.
    It was a Friday in early December and she was taking a rare long weekend off. Her older brother, whom she hadn’t seen since the Christmas before, was arriving from Australia and she was going to meet him down at their parent’s home in Devon. Melissa had been planning an early start on the Saturday morning and was hoping for a good night’s sleep in preparation for the six-hour drive. The reason she thought she might have jinxed herself was that she’d told half a dozen people that with any luck she’d get out of work by six at the latest.
    She came out of the scrub room and glanced at the clock in the corridor outside. Just after two in the morning.
    It was just one of those things. Melissa had learned early on in her career – as a medical student, in fact – that medicine wasn’t like a nine-to-five job, in which work not completed by home time could be left for the next day. So when

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