She eyed him. Apart from a couple of days when he’d gone south for his mother’s funeral, he’d spent time with her every day.

He’d taken the nursing staff by storm.

He’d brought her a DVD machine and lots of movies, including all the Harry Potter movies; he’d brought her books. He’d sent Bev a magnificent floral tribute and got friendly with her husband. On discovering the Jansons would dearly love to move into a bigger house than the one they were renting but couldn’t afford to, he’d organized one at the same rent for them on one of his estates.

But he’d said nothing about marriage, although, when he was with her in her painful times, Maggie could have been forgiven for thinking he cared deeply about her.

Now, it was a Sunday, he wore jeans, deck shoes and a white polo T-shirt. He looked casual, big and…

Maggie paused in her summary of him. And what…?

‘We have?’ she repeated suspiciously. ‘Who are we?’

‘Your parents and I. We came to the conclusion it would be a good idea if you moved in with me.’

‘Jack—’

‘I have so much space and it’s all on one level whereas your house is double-storeyed—’

‘I know that!’

He half smiled. ‘Then you’ll agree that since you’ll need a wheelchair for a while it makes sense not to have stairs to negotiate.’

She was silent as she stared at him fixedly.

‘Your mother has offered to stay with us for as long as you need her,’ he went on. ‘There’s also a gymnasium in the building and a swimming pool. Your doctors have recommended a programme of exercise under a physiotherapist’s care to get your back and your ankle strong again.’

‘I see,’ she said at last.

‘What do you see, Maggie?’ he asked with his lips quirking.

‘Something I never thought I would live to see,’ she said. ‘You and my parents ganging up on me.’

He opened his mouth to reply, but a nurse walked in with their baby in her arms. ‘Feed time! Now listen up, you two.’ She gave the baby to Maggie. ‘We, the nursing staff, have decided it’s about time this baby got a name. You can’t go on calling him Trent stroke McKinnon for the rest of his life!’

‘How about,’ Jack suggested, ‘Trent McKinnon?’

‘Trent McKinnon,’ Maggie said slowly. ‘Do you approve, sweetheart?’ she asked the baby.

Their child wrinkled his face and began to wave his fists, a prelude, Maggie was coming to know well, to a very vocal infant conniption. ‘Call me what you like; just feed me!’ Maggie said rapidly and started to unbutton her nightgown.

They all laughed.

‘Yes, I like that,’ she added, ‘but he needs a middle name—can be very helpful in certain circumstances, kiddo! So, let’s make it Trent Jack McKinnon.’

‘Agreed.’ Jack got up and kissed her briefly. ‘I’ve got to go, but I’ll be back this evening. Shall I set it all up?’

Maggie looked up from her baby with a tinge of confusion, then she nodded helplessly and turned her concentration back to Trent Jack McKinnon.

It all went according to plan.

Maggie grew stronger and used the motorized wheelchair less and less, but it was still invaluable by the time Trent was two months old because it allowed her to do everything for him without placing the burden of his weight on her back and ankle.

One of the bedrooms in the sub-penthouse had been converted to his nursery cum her bedroom and, with his flair for good design, Jack had had all the surfaces, change table and so on, made to a height Maggie could cope with sitting down.

He’d also taken advantage of her mother’s presence to catch up with business trips he’d put on hold while Maggie had been in hospital. So they hadn’t seen a great deal of him—for which Maggie had been curiously grateful.

She tried desperately to analyze not only her feelings, but the whole situation as her strength returned, but all she could come up with was the fact that she only seemed to be able to take each day as it came with a sense of what will be will be.

Then her mother decided to go back to the cattle stations. She left the day Jack was due to return after a week in New Zealand.




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