Take one doctor who’s made a career of temporary positions and avoiding commitment. Add a nurse who dreams of security and a settled life. Stir in infant twins bequeathed to him by his dead foster sister. Pour them into a small Texas town that wants the doctor to stay. To Dr. Neal McKay, it’s a prescription for a dilemma.
* * *
Streams of people eddied around Nora Harte, the pile of luggage and the double stroller. She scanned the faces of the crowd. A babble of voices filled the air. In an impatient rhythm, she tapped her foot against the floor.
Where is he?
Since Thursdays were almost a universal doctor’s day off, the trip had been scheduled for today. He knew the flight number and the time of arrival. The plane had been on schedule.
She groaned. The simple baby run had become anything but easy.
The loudspeaker crackled. “Would passenger Nora Harte pick up one of the courtesy phones?”
When the words blared a second time, with a start, Nora realized the message was for her. Yeah, right. She stared at the three suitcases, one diaper bag and the pair of car seats. She’d need the arms of an octopus to fulfill the request.
What had kept Dr. McKay from the meet?
One of the twins puckered his mouth and added his screams to the cacophony in the baggage claim area of the Dallas airport. Nora crouched and stroked the baby’s cheek. “It’s only a minor delay. We’ll be out of here soon.” At least, she hoped they would.
The strident voice issued the command again. “How?’ she asked. The logistics of the move defeated her. She couldn’t abandon the babies or the luggage to search for a phone. She’d been deputized to deliver Molly and Tod Jamison to their guardian and she took this duty seriously.
The sight of a man in a gray uniform pushing an empty luggage cart solved the problem. “Sky cap, over here.” She used the voice that had parted crowds on busy New York City sidewalks. The one she hadn’t used since she’d moved upstate.
“Take these bags and the infants.”
“Don’t load babies on the cart, ma’am.”
“Sorry. I know that. I meant the infant seats. I have to answer the phone.”
“Excuse me.” His expression projected the idea she had flipped.
Maybe she had -- last week when she’d agreed to deliver the babies to their guardian. “The page. Nora Harte. That’s me.”
He pointed to the far wall. “Courtesy phone’s over there.”
“Thanks.” Nora gripped the stroller handle. She pushed through the crowd like a subway rider aiming for the last seat. The noise level made her wonder if she’d be able to hear the message.
An easy trip, she thought. A way to add to her dream house account. Just fly to Dallas with the infants, meet their guardian and be on her way.
So far nothing about the trip had been a snap. Why had she thought her experience as a nurse would make the mission a breeze? Even a three month tour of duty in a busy city hospital nursery hadn’t prepared her for the reality of caring for twins.
About Janet Lane Walters
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Published June 5, 2011
Romance, Literature & Fiction.