The Australian's Proposal (Mills & Boon By Request): The Doctor's Marriage Wish / The Playboy Doctor's Proposal / The Nurse He's Been Waiting For

The Australian's Proposal (Mills & Boon By Request): The Doctor's Marriage Wish / The Playboy Doctor's Proposal / The Nurse He's Been Waiting For by Alison Roberts, Meredith Webber Read Free Book Online

Book: The Australian's Proposal (Mills & Boon By Request): The Doctor's Marriage Wish / The Playboy Doctor's Proposal / The Nurse He's Been Waiting For by Alison Roberts, Meredith Webber Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alison Roberts, Meredith Webber
just yet,’ she said, helping Hamish position the stretcher where they needed it. ‘It’s far easier to carry you if you’re lying down, and much safer winching you up in a stretcher harness. I imagine Hamish will go first so he can get you safely inside, then you, then I’ll follow.’
    She glanced up to see Hamish frowning at her.
    ‘It’s the only practical way to do it,’ she pointed out, though she knew he’d know it. It was the knight errantry thing again—he didn’t want her down here on her own. ‘I’ll be fine—I’m Batman, remember.’
    Her reward was a brief smile, flashing across his tired, unshaven face, but the smile was almost immediately replaced by a new frown.
    ‘Just remember Batman wasn’t indestructible,’ he warned,then he turned his attention to Jack, explaining how they would move him onto the stretcher.
    ‘When it’s time to move, we’ll take you off the oxygen and stop the IV fluid until you’re on board. The fewer tubes you have around you, the less likely it is we’ll foul the winch ropes.’
    ‘Boy, that’s a comforting thing to be telling a patient,’ Kate remarked, fitting a strap across Jack’s chest. ‘Less likely to foul the winch ropes! And just how often does this service have trouble with winch ropes?’
    ‘Never in my time,’ Hamish reassured Jack, then he smiled again at Kate. ‘But I believe when it does happen, it’s usually on the third lift.’
    ‘Great! Might have known!’ she said, poking Jack’s arm with her finger. ‘Told you my life was worse than yours.’
    Hamish studied her for a moment, and saw the small even teeth once again nibbling at the corner of her lower lip as she fastened the straps on the stretcher. She must be scared stiff, but she was dealing with it her way—with teasing humour. He wasn’t exactly unconcerned himself. Dangling on the end of a winch rope, all three of them in turn would make perfect targets for a man with a rifle.
    Hamish could tell himself any shooting at this stage would bring the full might of the Queensland police into the gorge, so the man called Todd would be stupid to take aim at any of them.
    But believing it was harder.
    How badly did Todd want to protect his secret?
    How far would he go?

CHAPTER THREE
    I N THE END , the airlift was completed safely, though delayed for several hours, Rex insisting the three on the ground remain in their cave until the rescue helicopter from Townsville arrived with armed police. Two of this contingent, carrying serious ‘don’t mess with us’ rifles, were lowered to the ground to escort Jack, Hamish and Kate to the retrieval area. The second helicopter then flew surveillance while Hamish, the patient and finally Kate were winched aboard the Crocodile Creek chopper.
    ‘Now everyone in the whole world knows I’m in trouble,’ Jack muttered to Kate an hour later, as he was lifted from the helicopter at Crocodile Creek, TV news cameras capturing the scene.
    ‘I doubt the
whole
world will know,’ Kate retorted. ‘North Queensland maybe, if it’s a slow news day, but this kind of footage never makes the national news. They’re taking it for a local station.’
    ‘Big deal,’ Jack grumbled. ‘Both my mother’s brothers are locals.’
    He closed his eyes as he had done back in the cave, and Kate, tired as she was, felt a wave of sympathy for him. She took his hand. ‘It will be OK,’ she promised. ‘We’ll work it out. You’re not on your own, you know. Even if your family is upset with you, Hamish and I will stick by you.’
    Having made this promise on Hamish’s behalf, she glancedaround. The man in question had spoken briefly to the two orderlies who’d met the chopper, then walked away. Ah, there he was—over on the edge of the gathered crowd, squatting down so he could speak in confidence to a man in a wheelchair.
    Still holding Jack’s hand, she was moving further and further away from the pair, and as they approached the hospital she felt a

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