Sophy's relationship with the attractive Dutch surgeon Maximillan Oosterwelde was of the blow-hot-blow-cold variety. He might be unsure of his feelings for her, but one thing she knew for sure--in her heart, Sophy did not want any "blow cold" at all!
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Harlequin Enterprises, Limited
March 01, 2010
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Excerpt from Visiting Consultant by Betty Neels
Sister Sophia Greenslade wrinkled her straight little nose under her muslin mask and thought longingly of her tea. The theatre list should have been finished an hour ago, but an emergency splenectomy had had to be fitted in during the afternoon. Now the last case, a simple appendicectomy, was on the table. The RSO, Tom Carruthers, put out a gloved hand to take the purse string she had ready. She fitted a curved, threaded needle into its holder, and glanced at the clock. Five minutes, she calculated, and she'd be free. Staff had been back on duty for more than half an hour; she could hand over to her. She passed the stitch scissors at exactly the right moment; nodded to the junior nurse to check swabs, and started to put the soiled instruments into the bowl of saline nearby, pausing only to put a threaded skin needle into the mute demanding hand of the RSO. Raising a pair of nicely-shaped eyebrows at a watching nurse, who had been long enough in theatre to know what the gesture signified--to whisk the bowl away--Sister Greenslade got down from the small square stool behind her white-draped trolleys and stationed herself by the houseman opposite Tom Carruthers, ready to clap on the small piece of strapping over the neatly stitched wound. This done to her satisfaction, she said 'Porters, please' in her nice, unhurried voice, and followed the RSO over to the sink, stooping to pick up his gown and cap which he had shed as he went. Inured to the ways of surgeons, she said nothing, but put them wordlessly into the bin and stood quietly while a nurse untied the tapes of her own gown, then took off her theatre cap and mask, revealing a pleasant face, redeemed from plainness by a pair of magnificent eyes with very dark lashes. Her nose was nondescript, and her mouth too large; her complexion was good, and her hair, drawn severely back into a coil on top of her head, was a delicate shade of mouse. She was barely middle height, but her figure, which was charming, more than compensated for her lack of inches.
She joined the two men at the sinks in the scrubbing room, and they stood in a row, relaxed and friendly, all of them anxious to be gone.
'What's the time?' asked Tom.
Sophia went on scrubbing. 'Almost six,' she said. 'If you hurry and your wife's waiting and ready, you'll just about get there as the curtain goes up.'
She smiled up at him, and he thought for the hundredth time that her smile transformed her whole face. He was a happily married man himself, he couldn't understand why Sister Greenslade hadn't been snapped up before now. He started to dry his hands.
'What about you? Got a date tonight?'
She turned off the taps and said with a twinkle, 'They're falling over themselves to get at me--it's my fatal beauty.' She chuckled at her own remark, and went away to hand over.