Parker was not Claire's real name. How could she keep forgetting it? Her mother's maiden name had provided her with a good alias to protect her true identity, but had made her emotional life a mess. That very evening everything had come to her again, to the fullest. Why did Andrew have to say such things to her? ...But don't worry, I would never think of replacing your late husband in your estimation. He had to use those words precisely, didn't he? They were torturing her the most. Of course she regretted what she had answered him, but then again, what else could she have said? And most importantly, what would she do next? Should she go away again? She could go to a place where no one knew her and had no claim on her. Now, at least, she felt more confident in her own strength than ever before. And yet...
She didn't realise that she was still running until sheer exhaustion brought her to a halt. Not paying any attention to her wet clothes, or to her surroundings, she took a seat on a rock nearby, trying to regain her breath; it was so dark she could barely see the lake beside her.
So many things had happened since she had first landed in Canada that she could hardly believe it was just six months. It was obvious she could never leave behind her life in London; her past would always come back to haunt her in the most daunting, unexpected manners. And as usual, there was nothing that a woman like her could do except crying herself to sleep.
What was about this woman that drove him so crazy? How was it he could not get her out of his mind even when she had rejected him so coldly? Andrew never expected the evening to end that way. I could never love you... After all they had shared together, that was the only explanation he was to get? She could never love him? What did that mean, anyway? He angrily took his coat and ventured outdoors. For once, he did not mind the rain, since it would appease his anger and deception.
He was as clueless about where his steps would lead him as he was about his wandering thoughts. He could think of nothing but her, and at one point he found himself remembering how they had met.
When his sister had first suggested it, Andrew thought she was out of her mind. How could he employ a woman under his service? Everyone knew that women were not fit for the job. What would he do if she fainted at the sight of blood? Or if she could not keep her head cold when hearing a patient's diagnosis? No, that scheme would never work out. He knew it could never do. But then...
Then he had met her.