The Greek Children's Doctor(2)

By: Sarah Morgan

‘Not until I found him in bed with his wife,’ Libby agreed. ‘That sort of gave the game away really.’

Bev closed her eyes. ‘I know you’re hurt, but it wasn’t your fault—’

‘Of course it was. I was too trusting. He didn’t mention a wife so I assumed he didn’t have one. Silly me.’ Libby struggled with a lump in her throat, cross with herself for becoming upset again. She’d promised herself that she wasn’t going to waste another tear on Philip and here she was with a wobbly lip again. Pathetic! ‘I am obviously totally incapable of spotting a rat so it’s safer if I just stay single. So you can forget your auction. There’s no way I’m ever voluntarily going on a date again.’

Bev cleared her throat delicately. ‘You’ve got to have a social life, Libby. What about the summer ball next month? You need a partner.’

‘I’m not going to the summer ball.’ Libby concentrated on the baby. ‘I’ve decided to dedicate my life to work and forget about romance.’

Bev’s eyes widened. ‘You’re not going to the ball? It’s the event of the hospital calendar. If you don’t go, Philip will assume that you’re pining.’

‘And if I do go, and he’s there, then there’ll be bloodshed,’ Libby predicted darkly, adjusting the angle of the bottle slightly. ‘He’s a total rat. I’ve discovered that the better-looking the man, the higher the rat factor.’

Bev blinked. ‘Rat factor?’

‘Yes. It’s my official measurement of male behaviour.’

Bev giggled. ‘We shouldn’t be having this conversation in front of the baby,’ she murmured. ‘She’s only four months old. We’ll shock her.’

‘It’s never too soon to learn about the rat factor,’ Libby murmured. ‘She’ll have a head start on me. I was grown up before I discovered the truth.’

Actually, that wasn’t strictly true, she reflected, watching as the baby guzzled the rest of the bottle. She’d had endless clues during her childhood.

‘Men should come with a government health warning.’

‘Not all men,’ Bev said quietly, looking across the darkened ward at one of the fathers who sat slumped in a chair by a sleeping child. ‘He’s going to be with her for the rest of the night and he’s going to have to do a full day’s work tomorrow.’

‘Yeah…’ Libby followed her gaze. ‘Dave is a saint. And Poppy is lucky to have such a devoted dad. But he’s the exception. The rest of them are creeps.’

Poppy had cystic fibrosis and she’d developed yet another lung infection that required her to be back in hospital for treatment. She was well known on the ward and so was her father who never left her side.

Bev wasn’t listening. ‘If you wore something short and left your hair loose, you’d make us a fortune. If we hit our target it’s going to mean a fantastic playroom for our children. Toys, desks, books by the million, a whiteboard for the teacher. It’s just a bit of fun. Please, Libby…’

Libby opened her mouth to refuse again and then closed it with a resigned sigh.

It had been her idea so people would expect her to be there. But if she attended then she’d have to take part and she really, really didn’t want to expose herself to an evening with a man.

Or give philandering Philip the opportunity to buy her and force the conversation she’d been avoiding.

Perhaps she could put such a high price on herself that no one would be able to afford her, she mused.

She continued to search for solutions as she eased the teat out of the baby’s mouth and lifted her against her shoulder. The baby snuffled contentedly and Libby smiled, breathing in her warm baby smell and cuddling her closer. And suddenly the answer came to her. Her brother could buy her. Why hadn’t she thought of it sooner?

‘All right, I’ll do it.’ Libby smiled, pleased with her idea. ‘Alex can buy me. At least that should ensure that no one else does.’

Especially Philip.

Ever since she’d arrived at Philip’s flat unannounced and surprised him in a very compromising position with a stunning blonde who had turned out to be his wife—a wife he’d never thought to mention—Philip had been desperately trying to get to see her. He’d called her mobile so often that she’d finally switched it off and told her friends to call her on the ward. At least Bella, the receptionist, could field her calls.

She absolutely did not want a conversation with him about what had happened.

As far as she was concerned, there was nothing to talk about.

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