Zelda Carter wanted to pinch herself, but she knew Michael’s arrival wasn’t a dream. She’d heard rumors, but hospital’s grapevine bred stories as fast as mold multiplied in a dungeon. She sat at the desk and stared at nothing. Co-workers bustled past. The loudspeaker crackled. The phone rang. She sighed. He had returned home to practice surgery. She would see him every day.
Maybe this time he would open his eyes to the possibilities. Perhaps the strange and awful occurrences wouldn’t happen. Could she find a crack in his stone heart and prove she was the right woman for him?
This time she would find a lure he couldn’t resist. She sucked in a breath and swore the citrus scent of him overpowered the sharper hospital odors.
“Ms. Carter, lab on line one,” the unit clerk said.
Zelda grabbed the receiver and jotted some values she’d wanted checked. She turned to the clerk. “Karen, if anyone wants me I’ll be in my office.”
“I’ll let them know, boss lady. You need to call
“Will do.” Zelda strode down the hall. She needed to let the staff recruiter know there would soon be an opening for a nurse on the unit.”
She shut the door, reached for the phone and punched her friend’s extension. After
Nan answered, Zelda mentioned
the opening. “Need someone with dynamite qualifications. I’ll email you the
specifics.” A gasp burst free when she saw the paper airplane perched on the
edge of her desk.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes.” Her heart hammered. What did he want? Visions of Michael filled her thoughts. She drifted into a dream. His green eyes glittered with interest. He asked for a date.
“Zelda, are you there.”
shredded the daydream.
“Just spaced out for a moment.”
“What’s he like?”
“The new surgeon. The house is buzzing with rumors and more. Thought I’d come to the one who has surely met him.”
Zelda laughed. “I have first dibs. Don’t you remember him?”
“If I knew his name I might.”
“Think four years ahead of us in school. Think red gold hair, though now it’s a dark auburn. Think broad shoulders, football, basketball, and baseball. Think handsome as sin.”
“Thanks.” Zelda hung up. She smoothed the paper airplane. She remembered the hundreds of notes she’d sailed over the back fence.
Must mean something.
Sure it does. Maybe.
The voice of doubt sounded again. She stared at the words he’d written and started the process of deciphering the scrawl. How could he? She’d loved him for years. Granted he’d ignored her years ago.
Professional. An order. As if she was anything but a professional here. A glance at the signature and she burst into uncontrollable laughter. Your former neighbor.
Tears rolled down her face and she gasped to catch a breath. She couldn’t wait to see his face when he learned she lived in the same building. Heavens, their bedrooms were separated by a very thin wall.
She folded her arms. Michael West, you’re in for a surprise. She brought the note to her nose and inhaled the citrus scent permeating the paper, or maybe her imagination. She tucked the note in her pocket. This belonged in her box of Michael mementos. Had he saved the notes and other items she’d given him over the years? Hope grew like bacteria in a Petrie dish. The missive proved his interest. So did the way he’d watched her this morning. His stares had ignited her body.
Michael, watch out. She would find a way to capture more than his sideways glances. She knew something he was too blind to see. She was his perfect mate.