Prognosis Christmas Baby - Amy Andrews

CHAPTER ONE

Maggie Green wished the universe had given her some inkling that October morning as she descended the stairs two at a time to the squealing of the emergency pager that it was going to tilt on its axis. Instead, as the shrill tone echoed around the cement labyrinth of the hospital fire escape, it appeared to be just another day, just another code blue, involving a seizing child, at the Brisbane Children’s Hospital.

She had no way of suspecting, as she rushed headlong into the emergency department Resus bay, the total and utter cataclysmic effect of one Dr Nash Reece. Oh, sure, she’d heard about him.

Who hadn’t?

The grapevine had been running hot over the country-boy charmer and every female from the cleaning staff through to the director of nursing were swooning over his sexy strut.

But she wasn’t a swooner. And things like love or lust at first sight were for teenagers. And she was a good two decades past that.

Or so she’d thought...

He glanced up from the mottled, unconscious infant as Maggie arrived on the scene taking in her navy scrubs denoting she was from the PICU. ‘Good. You’re just in time. I’m pretty sure she’s going to need intubation.’

Maggie stared at the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. Combined with a killer jaw line dusted in stubble and wavy dark blond hair pushed back off his tanned forehead and lapping over his collar in true cowboy fashion, she actually did swoon.

A little.

Oblivious to the rush around her, the controlled chaos, the trilling of alarms and the sobbing of a distraught woman, Maggie’s stomach did a three-sixty-degree flop. Which was ridiculous given the situation and she forced herself to also focus on the patient.

The drugs they’d given to stop the tiny body seizing were obviously playing havoc with her respiratory drive and she wasn’t breathing well despite the ambu-bag he held in situ over the little girl’s face to support her weak respiratory effort.

He was right, she would need intubating if things didn’t improve.

Nash looked up amused to see the nurse hadn’t moved. He felt his lips tugging upwards despite the gravity of the situation. He knew that look. Women had looked at him like that for as long as he could remember. But it was the surprise on her face that was most intriguing. ‘You are the ICU nurse?’

Maggie nodded absently, feeling totally disconnected from her brain as that slow, lazy, cocky smile hit its mark. She couldn’t ever remember being rendered mute by the sheer presence of a man.

‘Well I think you might need to come closer, Sister. I’m gonna need a hand and I don’t think you’re going to be able to reach from there.’

Maggie blinked, the use of her nursing title cutting through the daze. Right. She was the ICU nurse. That’s why she was here. She was responsible for the airway. It was her job. Still, his rich voice oozed over her like warm mud from hot springs and for one crazy moment she wanted to dive in head first and wallow.

Finally, her brain kicked in and her legs moved. She took two strides and was at the head of the open cot, staring straight into Nash Reece’s blue, blue gaze.

Nash smiled. She’d looked good from a distance. She looked better up close. ‘Where’s your reg?’ he asked.

‘He’s seeing a ward patient over the other side of the hospital.’

Her voice was breathy and she hated it. For God’s sake, she had to be a good decade older than him. She wasn’t remotely interested. And even if she was, why would he be interested in her? A forty-year-old divorcee who hadn’t been in a relationship for so long she’d forgotten what was required?

If his rep was anything to go by, she was way out of his league. She was way past nightclubs and partying. She came to work, she volunteered at Radio Giggle, she tended her garden, read voraciously and she slept.

Oh, God — she was turning into a hermit. A cradle-snatching hermit. All she needed was a couple of cats and she’d be the full catastrophe. She cleared her throat. ‘He’ll be here soon.’

‘You okay to do this?’

Maggie wanted to bristle. She wanted to say, listen sonny, I was helping with intubations while you were still wearing baggy pants. But she didn’t. She just nodded and asked, ‘What size?’

He sent her another slow, lazy smile. ‘Four.’

Maggie lowered her gaze, feeling uncharacteristically flustered. She’d been in hundreds of medical emergencies and had never been anything other than ruthlessly

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