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Dr. Daddy's Perfect Christmas Jules Bennett 2022/8/5 16:55:40

Nothing could come between this baby and a healthy pregnancy and birth. Nora would do everything in her power to keep her child safe.

She pulled the cream comforter back and slid in between the cool sheets. All she wanted right now was some relaxation and rest. She had some serious life decisions to make and she needed to get them done fast because this baby would make an appearance in just over three months.

Eli looked over the incision on his father’s leg from which they’d taken a vein and then he inspected the healing incision on his chest.

“Everything is looking good, Dad.”

Mac pulled his sweatshirt back on and nodded. “I could’ve told you that.”

Laughing, Eli put his hands on his hips and stared down at his father. “Yes, but you also told all of us that your chest pain had been indigestion and look where we are.”

Mac grumbled, but Eli just ignored him. He’d had a light day at the office and he was anxious to get over to Nora’s to check on her and relieve Drake.

His brother had already texted him and given a heads-up that a few of Nora’s clients had stopped by for pet advice and that she was tired. He’d also said she’d been in the spare room for most of the evening, which troubled Eli a bit. Was she feeling worse and not saying anything or was she purposely avoiding the babysitter?

“Got a minute?” his father asked, easing back into his recliner.

Eli took a seat on the couch and rested his elbows on his knees. “What’s up?”

“I’ll cut straight to the point,” his father said. “I’m going to retire soon. Very soon actually. I want to give you first dibs on my clinic.”

Eli knew this day was fast approaching; he knew his father would offer and more than likely expect Eli to take over, but…

“I figured that would be your answer had I offered a month ago, but since you’ve been back, you’ve been really close with Nora. I assumed you might have changed your mind.”

Eli sighed, ran a hand over his hair. He didn’t have a clue what he was doing. Yes, he loved Nora, now more than ever. He wanted to be with her, but he honestly didn’t feel like she was in a place to make a big decision on her life, not when her husband was just killed a few months ago.

But the more he thought about staying here, staying with her, the more the idea appealed to him in ways he never thought possible.

“I’m not asking you to make a decision right now,” his father went on. “But think about it.”

Eli nodded. As if he could avoid it. He loved his family, loved Nora, but he had worked his butt off to become a trauma doctor and he had a good shot at this promotion. Did he really want to throw all of that away? Did he deserve another shot with her after he’d left once and still kept a secret about her marriage? What right did he have to take anything from her and pretend he was worthy of her love, of being in her baby’s life?

For Nora he was about ready to do just that.

“I need to go check on Nora.” Eli came to his feet. “She was put on bed rest and Drake was babysitting today.”

Eli nodded. “Yeah, just a precaution.”

“Maybe you should bring her over here and we could be babysat together.” Mac laughed.

He should’ve, but he assumed Nora wanted her privacy. After pulling his wool coat on, he went to the kitchen to kiss his mom on the cheek and headed out the back door. Once at Nora’s he let himself in with his key and shook out of his coat. That wind was getting worse and another chance of snow was on the horizon. He was getting damn tired of freezing. This was Tennessee, for pity’s sake, and this crazy weather was quite unusual.

Once he relieved Drake, Eli set out to the guest bedroom where she was resting. He didn’t want to disturb her, but he needed to see that she was okay.

He looked in the doorway, saw her resting on her side, the covers pulled up to her chin, and decided to pull the door just slightly.

Eli went into the kitchen to fix dinner while he waited for Nora to wake. He wanted to talk to her about her upcoming doctor’s appointment and breaking news about his promotion.

On his way home, he’d been notified that the committee had narrowed down their choices to two candidates…and he was one of them.