Waves of Passion. Linda Hudson-Smith
hastily slipped on an attractive one-piece navy blue bathing suit she’d pulled from a drawer and went out onto the balcony. She positioned her body comfortably on the chaise and tilted her face toward the sun for a few moments. Once she had gotten into a comfortable resting position place, she set the alarm on her watch.
The moment she closed her eyes, a vision of Cameron appeared. Dressed only in dark swim trunks, he looked as good as any professional athlete she’d ever seen. To have those hard, muscled arms wrapped around her would be a fantasy fulfilled. Unknowingly, Cameron was pulling Gabrielle into his white-hot web of desire, making her want him despite all the consequences.
* * *
Seated in the leather chair behind his desk, Cameron was alone in the clinic. He hadn’t eaten a full breakfast, yet it had completely satisfied him. He actually fasted one day a week, drinking only liquids. The ritual had nothing to do with religion but had just started in college, when he’d pledged a fraternity, and he carried it on during his U.S. Navy duty.
Hearing a noise out front, Cameron stood. He quietly listened for more movement. It was a little early for the staff to report for duty, but it wasn’t overly unusual.
With a bright smile on her face, Gabrielle popped into Cameron’s office and presented him with a colorful Thank you balloon.
“Hi, Cameron. How’s it going?”
“Great. Everything has been quiet. I wasn’t called a single time last night. I came in early to work on a special report. How was your evening?”
“It was good. I ate first then stretched out on the balcony chaise and caught a few rays.” Her hand went up to her face. “Did I get any darker?”
Cameron laughed heartily. “No visual changes, sorry. Come on in and have a seat.”
Gabrielle grinned. “I think I will. Thank you.” She sat in a chair facing him.
“I think you did great on your first day, Gabrielle. How do you think it went?”
“Fantastic. I learned quite a lot. I know the sign-in process and where we get the paperwork for the patients to fill out. Learning the entire system may take me a while, but it’ll come with time.”
“The hardest thing for me to get the hang of is the billing system, though it’s not a part of my job description,” said Cameron. “But as the man in charge, I like to know everything there is to know about running the clinic. I do feel bad, though, when passengers have to incur extra expenses for medical reasons, so I’m glad we don’t charge to treat nausea and seasickness.”
“One hundred and fifty dollars to see a physician can really put a damper on vacation money,” Gabrielle said.
Cameron nodded. “I hear you. Running the infirmary is expensive. It just can’t be done for free. There are items we don’t charge for, though.” He began to feel that his remarks may be inappropriate. “I probably shouldn’t be talking about this, but it does get under my skin.”
Cameron thought about the number of patients he’d seen break down and cry when they were handed a large bill to sign, after being told the medical fees would be charged to their credit card.
The conversation was halted between Gabrielle and Cameron when they heard the rest of the staff reporting for duty. The two doctors walked out into the reception area to let the others know they were there. As the crew stood around making small talk and working on their assigned tasks at the same time, patients began to walk through the doors.
The clinic once again became a flurry of activity. Within minutes every staff member available was attending a patient.
After taking the blood pressure of one passenger, Gabrielle frowned. “Have you been diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension? If so, how long ago was it?”
“High blood pressure,” the older man responded. “I was diagnosed several years ago.”
Gabrielle perused the name of his medicines from the medical history. “Have you been taking your blood pressure medication?”
“I went off and left it at home,” he confessed with regret.
Gabrielle held up one finger. “Give me a minute. I’ll be right back.”
* * *
She found Cameron in one of the treatment rooms and politely asked him to step out. Once he had followed her into the hall, she handed him the medical record and explained the medication issue.
Cameron glanced over the chart. “It’s a regular stock item. Give him enough doses to last him the duration of the cruise. One of the nurses will issue him an invoice and receipt.” Cameron paused. “If you don’t have plans for dinner, I’d love to have you join me in my cabin.”
Gabrielle managed not to blush. Should she or shouldn’t she?
“I’d really like that.” She smiled softly. “Thanks, Cameron.” She popped her head into the treatment room and made eye contact with his patient. “Sorry for the interruption, ma’am.”
After reaching the front desk, Gabrielle informed Morris and Candi of Cameron’s order. “He’ll need enough meds to last him through disembarkation. I’ll write up the medical chart, sign it and return it for billing.” Without further comment, she went back to her patient.
* * *
Back in her suite, seated on the sofa, Gabrielle couldn’t get her shoes off quickly enough. As comfortable as her sneakers were, her feet still ached. She was used to standing for hours on end, but all the rapid moving about she’d done inside the clinic had aggravated the soles of her feet. It was nothing that a good soak wouldn’t take care of.
She felt extremely good about her first and second workday. Everything had run rather smoothly for her. She hadn’t encountered a single problem that she hadn’t handled easily.
Cameron had paid her a high compliment after closing hours. He had sincerely praised her on a job well done and it had made her smile. The other new crewmembers had also received votes of confidence—he was clearly pleased with their admirable job performances.
Dr. Quinn was a boss who made sure his staff’s morale was up. However, Gabrielle was kind of surprised that he hadn’t already tackled the issue of Joseph’s lateness. Wondering why he’d put it off for so long, she planned to ask him about it.
Gabrielle was delighted that Cameron had invited her to have dinner with him in his cabin. Perhaps he wanted them to become better acquainted as coworkers. To think he had any romantic notions about her was probably a bit premature and even arrogant. She now knew that he was indeed her next-door neighbor. With their balconies side by side, Gabrielle had an idea it could get pretty interesting under certain circumstances. Romantic notions or not, she couldn’t have been more excited about dining with Cameron in his cabin. The evening would be very stimulating any way she looked at it.
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