He tapped on the door softly, easing it open as quietly as he could. One of the nurses had informed him of Jill's decision to stay in the hospital overnight. He therefore was careful not to make too much noise in case she was asleep.
As it was, she was seated at her desk, pen in hand, hovering above a notepad as she poured over a journal article before her. The paper was already half-filled with her curvy handwriting.
"Jill?" He uttered gently, smiling as she whipped round to face him, despite his attempts not to make her jump.
"What are you doing here so late?"
He shifted uncomfortably. "I erm… I've been with Caroline."
"Oh." She replied, forcing her tone not to reveal her emotions. She regretted asking, hating the awkward atmosphere that had fallen between them as he had uttered his wife's name. "How is she?"
"The same." It was the answer he always gave her; his wife's health was not something he wished to discuss with his lover. The main reason for this was not to hurt Jill. With this in mind, he quickly changed the subject. "Are you reading the new Lancet?"
She nodded, eventually meeting his gaze, instead of avoiding it as she had been when he spoke of his wife. "There are some very interesting articles. You can have it after I've finished.
"Thanks. You won't read it all tonight though. You will make sure you get some sleep won't you."
Such concern and interference, had it come from anyone but Gordon, would have been met by cutting sarcasm, and a glare to match. But as it was, she felt warmed, just knowing he cared. "I'll be fine Gordon."
The response was pretty much as he expected, but he pressed forward anyway. "Well look, if you want me to come in early, take over for a couple of hours, I will do."
"Thank you." She shook her head. "But you've got your children to think of. I'll be fine."
"Alright." He relented, closing the distance between them, taking her in his arms as she stood up to meet him. The kiss was soft and lingering, the embrace was tight and lengthy. That was, until Gordon reluctantly hitched back his sleeve to reveal his watch. With even more reluctance, he broke away, hearing her murmur a noise of regret as their arms relinquished contact with the other. "I'd better be getting home. I'll see you tomorrow Sweetheart."
Her crestfallen expression lit up with a small smile as he directed the sentiment to her. She'd never cease to feel a little thrill to hear him utter that word.