Mountain of Dreams
by Betty Neels
Were Dutch Doctors Always So Lovably Arrogant?
Staff Nurse Jane Fortherington knew she was plain as a pikestaff, though she didn’t know what a pikestaff was – but she was still devastated when she heard the surgeon Marius die Dromenberg complaining of her lack of looks to Matron. It was especially painful since Jane harbored secret dreams about the skilled, handsome and sought-after orthopedist. However, when St. Perpetua’s Hospital offered to send a team of volunteers to the German Alps to help rescue a party of stranded climbers, Jane found herself working closely with the man she both idolized and hated. Could the talented nurse move past her infatuation and resentment to see Marius as a warm, caring and very real man? Would the world-famous surgeon look beyond Jane’s plump figure and mousy hair to recognize her unflappable competence, steadfast heart and domestic perfections?
Jane clutched the shivering pup to her generous bosom. “I suppose it would be hopeless to expect you to feel anything for the poor beast,” she muttered, adding a tardy and insincere “Sir.” “You only see that he’s not a perfect specimen of St. Bernard, not the courage and love he’s shown in trying to help that poor little girl.”
“On the contrary, Nuse Fortherington,” Mr. die Dromenberg replied in a voice like silk, his heavy lids dropping to shadow the gleam in his sky-blue eyes. “Perhaps it would surprise you to learn that I run a shelter for elderly, mixed-breed service dogs near my home in Gijzelmortel.”
Jane looked up, her lips forming a perfect ‘o’ of shock at this unexpected glimpse into the very reserved surgeon’s private life. The shock turned to horror as she realized what she’d said to the most eminent consultant at St. Perpetua’s. “Oh, dear,” she blurted out. “You could have me sacked for insubordination.”
“Perhaps,” was her answer, “but I’d prefer to leave it at this,” and he swooped down to kiss her, hard, on her generous mouth.
Cheers and cherries jubilee (with lashings of cream),
B. van den B.