Saturday, October 12, 2013

Family Matters

By Vera Berry Burrows
Historical, 373 pages
Cover art by Trisha FitzGerald
Blurb: For three children left without a mother in the middle of World War Two, survival was all they could hope for.  Their father struggled as a single parent, but instilled into his children, determination, ambition and self-respect so that they might succeed in post-war years and achieve everything which he was denied during his life.

"You are a very beautiful young woman, you know," PG stated and moved to kneel at her feet. "I would like to get to know you better, really get to know you, in the biblical sense if you understand," and he gently took her hand in his, stroking it as he gazed up at her bewildered face.

"I'm sorry, Sir Percival," she said calmly, "This isn't what I want and if you'll pardon my boldness, it's not what you need neither. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do." Without another word, she unceremoniously removed her hand from his and left the office, her dignity still intact.

PG sat in silence. What a spirited woman, he thought, spurred on in his quest. He smiled to himself and thought of all the glorious days he would have in the company of Doctor Abigail Hawthorne. Job satisfaction? Oh yes, he would have that.

The next few days were hectic. Theatre lists were full and it seemed that every child in Bolton needed to have his tonsils removed. The extra work suited Abigail, since it adhered to her philosophy in life that problems were solved by throwing oneself into one's work. The fact that PG was constantly breathing down her neck didn't help at all, but he had not done, or said anything more which offended her sensibilities, so she felt that perhaps he had realised his mistake and decided to forget the office incident. She began to relax again and her job became more and more demanding, more and more interesting, more and more satisfying. Hospital life suited her and she blossomed in her contentment with life in general.

She was scrubbing up for an appendectomy when PG walked in. She had seen him through the mirror, but kept her head down so that she wouldn't have to make polite conversation before pre-op consultation. Her relationship with him was strictly business and he seemed to have accepted that, at least that's what she had thought.

"Hello, my favourite Junior Paediatrician," he crooned and slid his hand down her back, pausing briefly to squeeze her bottom. Abigail froze momentarily, but chose to ignore it until he said, "Come to dinner with me." He leaned towards her and she could feel his breath on the back of her neck.

"Thank you, but no thank you," she replied, realising that she had to keep a cool head and not allow this nasty, obnoxious, middle-aged, smarmy individual to take advantage of his position.

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