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Dr. Daddy's Perfect Christmas Jules Bennett 2022/8/5 16:55:31

“I guess that would be all right,” she conceded. “Thanks.”

Eli shouldn’t feel so thrilled about making dinner, but he was. Once he’d gotten into her house he didn’t want to leave, and now that he knew she was pregnant, he sure as hell would be keeping a closer watch on her.

Maybe Todd wasn’t the husband he should’ve been, but he had been Eli’s best friend and Eli felt it his duty to watch over Nora and her unborn child. There was no way he could just walk away from Nora now…especially considering those newfound lustful feelings weighing heavy in his gut.

“I’ll go change real quick before I put this stuff away,” she told him. “Be right back.”

As she turned to walk from the kitchen, Eli clenched his fists, trying to gain control over his emotions. Anything beyond friendship with Nora was off the table. She’d nearly cried in his arms for her late husband, the father of her baby, but he got the sense she wouldn’t fully allow herself that luxury.

Eli had no place in her personal life; he’d lost that right when he’d given her up to join the service and get his doctorate with a naive innocence that he could somehow make the world a better place. He’d wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the army, no matter what he had to sacrifice at home to follow his dream.

When being a soldier hadn’t satisfied him enough, he’d decided to continue his father’s career path and get his medical degree in the military. If he couldn’t save the world, he’d save patients, one trauma at a time.

Which was why he needed to focus on his main goal of getting back to Atlanta, back to the possibility of being the head doctor in the trauma unit. Nothing else could distract him. But that wouldn’t stop Eli from keeping watch over Nora while he was here.

Eli pulled open the fridge to see what all he had to work with. By the time he’d gotten his hormones in check and his head on straight, Nora came waltzing back into the kitchen wearing snug black leggings and an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt. That creamy, slender shoulder shouldn’t be so provocative, but it was and all thoughts of anything else went out the window as he prepared dinner with the only woman he’d ever wanted.

“I have to admit, that was amazing.”

Nora started up her dishwasher and turned to Eli, who was putting the lid on the leftovers. All of this seemed a little too domestic, but she had to remain in control of her feelings, especially since she’d nearly broken down in his arms earlier.

She wasn’t lying about it being hard to see him because she thought of Todd, but that wasn’t the real reason. How could she not acknowledge the underlying emotions? Not old, young-love emotions, but new, budding ones that stemmed from something fresh. The man before her was not the same boy who left with stars in his eyes and a cocky attitude. This man was harsher, more intriguing, yet proud and determined.

Even if she’d just met him and they had no history, Nora would be attracted to Dr. Eli St. John.

“Hey, you okay?” Eli asked, coming to stand in front of her.

“I’m fine.” She offered him a smile and leaned back against the kitchen counter. “Thanks so much for dinner. It’s not often someone cooks for me, unless it’s your mother.”

“Then I’ll have to be sure to do it again while I’m here,” he told her, offering a grin of his own.

That heart-clenching smile shot straight to her core. He’d always had a smug yet handsome smile as a teen, but now as a full-grown man with creases around his mouth and soft wrinkles at the edge of his eyes, he was even more devastatingly handsome and flat-out sexy.