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Gemini Liz seems to be following her sign. She's the mother of twin boys, she'd returned to Eastlake for the second time and she's taking her second position as a nurse manager. She feels moving from the city will be good for her sons who sometimes choose the wrong friends. What Liz doesn't want is a second husband. The death of her fireman husband made him a hero but devastated her life. She had to return to work and become a single mother. Fortunately her father-in-law has stepped in to care for the boys but he wants to retire to Florida. Though she's attracted to Jeff she wants to deny the attraction.
Jeff is a Sagittarian who often suffers from the foot in mouth disease. His wife died years ago but she was the perfect wife and he has no desire to fall in love or marry again. As a neurosurgeon he sees Liz a lot since she is the nurse manager of the ortho/neuro unit at the hospital. He also wants to deny the attraction and finds it harder and harder.
Can a pair of mischievous boys find a way to help their mother and the doctor find love again?
Since her husband's death, Liz and her boys had been apartment dwellers. Sometimes, she resented the loss of the house she and Derek had bought, but the sale had allowed her to attend Grantley for a BS in Nursing. Once again her old resentment flared. Volunteer firemen who were determined to be heroes seldom left their families large legacies.
As soon as the car stopped, the boys jumped out. When the rental truck pulled behind her car, Justin nearly plowed into the fender. She stifled a scream. He turned and grinned. She closed her eyes. He was all right. Thank heavens they weren't marking their arrival with a trip to the Emergency Room. She left the car and grabbed him
Her father-in-law leaned against the side of the truck. He wiped his ruddy face with a bandanna. "I thought . . . . Don't ever scare me like that again."
Justin toed the grass. "Sorry, Pop."
The elderly man ruffled the boy's dark hair. "So like your father."
"What about me?"
The hot humid air made Liz feel sticky. She wiped her hands on her navy shorts, then walked toward the house. The red bricks had faded to a rose color. She climbed the steps to the wide front porch. Bamboo shades on the side openings shielded the white wicker furniture from the afternoon sun. She unlocked the door and stepped inside. The highly polished oak of the foyer floor gleamed. Cool air kissed her skin.
Justin pushed past her. "Where's my room?"
"Look at the big TV,"
it ours?" Brandon
Liz nodded. "If I decide to buy the furniture from
"Let's keep the TV."
put the box he'd
lugged from the car on the stairs to the second floor. "Where does this
Liz laughed. "As if you didn't know." The box contained the boys' baseball card collection and other treasures. "Come with me, and I'll show you the room you and Justin will share."
"Do we have to?"
"There are three bedrooms, mine, your grandfather's, and yours, plural. Be thankful. I have my own bathroom. No more make-up and sissy smelly stuff."
When they reached the second floor, she opened the door of the room where the twins would sleep.
dropped the box on the lower bunk. He
ran his hand over the smooth wood of one of the two chests of drawers.
"Neat. This why we didn't bring our old stuff?" Brandon
She nodded. Their beds had been the ones they'd slept in since they'd outgrown their cribs, and they'd shared a second-hand dresser she'd refinished. "Thought you might like these."
He looked up. "They gonna cost a lot?"
She hugged him. "Don't worry about the money. You know I sold most of our old furniture."
Justin charged into the room. "I get the top."
"Just don't wet the bed again,"
Justin scowled. "Didn't."
Liz put a hand on his shoulder. "He had an accident months ago. Stop picking on each other."
Justin grabbed his brother's hand. "Come outside and meet our neighbor. He's cool. Doesn't believe I have a twin."
"Can we go?"
Liz nodded. "You're free until my friends arrive. Then it's to work."
"You can come and meet his mom," Justin said. "She's a nurse, too."
As Liz followed the boys downstairs, she wondered if the woman worked at the hospital or in one of the local doctors' offices. If the neighbor worked at
she might know things Liz's friends would neglect to tell her, especially about
hospital politics. Liz glanced into the living room. Pop had stretched out in
the charcoal gray recliner. "You okay?" she asked. Eastlake
"Just tired. Heat's a bit much, but here with the air conditioning it's fine. Need me to do anything?"
"Later. The boys are taking me to meet a neighbor.
Then I'll bring in the groceries and the suitcases."
"I can do that."
"I know, but take it easy. The work crew should be here by four thirty. Your job will be to direct traffic." She walked to the door. Was her father-in-law ill? These days, he seemed to tire easily. As she stepped onto the porch, the twins waved. They were across the street where a blonde woman and a boy stood beside a sporty sedan.
"Mom, hurry up," Justin yelled. "They're going away."
Liz crossed the street. "This is our mom,"
The woman smiled. "I understand you're a nurse."
Liz nodded. "Liz Jordan. Pleased to meet you." She saw something she couldn't define in the blonde's light brown eyes.
"I'm Delores. I heard Mrs. Carter rented the house. You know, she bought it just a couple of weeks ago. Why she wanted a house and even moved in when she was shacked up in Alex Carter's house doesn't compute." She laughed. "Guess she knew what she was doing since she snagged him."
Liz drew in a deep breath. Sour grapes flavored her neighbor's voice. "I'm glad she decided to rent. Saved me from a frantic search for a house and a commute from the city until I found one."
"There is that." Delores bent to pick up a small suitcase. Her tight red shorts slid up to reveal a bit of her buttocks.
Liz looked away. "Especially since I needed three bedrooms."
"Guess your boys have their own rooms."
"They have to share. "My father-in-law lives with us."
"Thought he was your husband." The eyes that had been friendly hardened. "Guess your husband works in the city and decided to commute."
"No husband. He's . . . ."
"Another deadbeat like my ex. Guess we'll have a heart to heart one of these days and discuss straying men." She opened the car door. "Chet, let's go. Was nice meeting you."
Liz returned to the house. Her neighbor's assumptions bothered her. She wasn't sure she liked Delores, and she hadn't learned if the other woman worked at the hospital. Too late now.