Authors: Rebecca Winters
LOVERS IN ENEMY TERRITORY
By Rebecca Winters
AMAZON KINDLE EDITION
Lovers in Enemy Territory © 2012 Rebecca Winters
Previously published as By Love Divided
All rights reserved
Amazon Kindle Edition License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon.com and purchase your own copy. The ebook contained herein constitutes a copyrighted work and may not be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, or stored in or introduced into an information storage and retrieval system in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the copyright owner,
except in the case of brief quotation embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This ebook is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art and Design © 2012 Kelli Ann Morgan
LOVERS IN ENEMY TERRITORY
Coastal Commander Jeffrey Norwood and his squadrons are fighting the war against the Nazis in the skies over the Pyrenees mountains. Sister Catherine is doing her part for England helping take care of shell-shocked children. Little Michael Norwood has lost his mother during the London bombings. When he becomes seriously ill, these two people are at his bedside, and thus begins one of the great love stories of the war. Will she leave the sisterhood to marry him? All seems lost when she’s sent to Spain where the Nazi’s are hunting for her. Worse, the Commander’s plane goes down during a violent thunder storm, presumably to his death. Miguel, the Basque doctor, has pledged to help the RAF, but he doesn’t count on falling in love with Sister Catherine too.
Spring had come to England at last. It was a quiet April night. For some time Elinore Norwood had been standing at the window watching the headlights of a car making its way along the road which eventually led to the estate. It was Jeffrey. She could tell by the low, purring sound of the motor.
He got out and walked swiftly toward the house. The front door opened and closed. Voices drifted up the stairs into the suite of rooms which were hers and Philip’s when they were away from London.
She turned from the window and headed for the door, leaving the moss green plush drape streaked with moisture from her palms. Philip hadn’t come back from London yet. He’d never been this late before. This would give her some time alone with Jeffrey.
Instead of finding him stretched out in his favorite lounging chair, absorbed with the mail and the newspaper, he was standing in front of the fire, his head buried in his hands.
“Jeffrey?” she called to him from the threshold. “What’s happened?”
The lean figure turned around, his face a mask of anguish. “Elinore-- I didn’t hear you come in. I thought you’d be asleep by now.”
“Nevet mind me. What’s wrong?”
He sighed and put his hands in the pockets of his gray trousers, turning to the fire once more. “There’s a possibility that Michael isn’t going to make it.” The last part of his sentence was practically inaudible.
“What did you say?” she whispered, moving closer.
Jeffrey suddenly banged his fist against the mantel. “Michael’s much worse tonight! Hugh says a few more days like this could mean...” He fell silent, but she saw his shoulders heaving and heard the sobs that came from deep within the man.
“Jeffrey,” she mouthed his name, moved with an irresistible desire to comfort and love him as she’d longed to do when Connie had been killed. But this time she acted on that impulse. Without hesitation she crossed the floor and put an arm around his waist.
His arm went around her shoulder and applied gentle pressure. He looked down at her with a tear-stained face, but his tortured eyes stared through her as they’d always done, never really seeing her at all. The fire crackled and spit in the enormous hearth. Still, it’s warmth couldn’t permeate the icy chill in her heart to realize she was as far away from his thoughts as Philip was from hers.
“Thanks for being here, Elinore. I don’t know how I would have managed this last week without you. You’re wonderful.” He kissed her forehead lightly before releasing her. She had to be content with their relationship the way it was. For a while longer anyway.
“Hasn’t the fever dropped at all?”
“No,” came the low, flat reply.
“I’ll go over to the hospital now. Jens can drive me in. You haven’t had any relief for the last two days.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he responded without emotion, running his hands through his hair while he paced the floor in a kind of quiet rage.
“What more can be done for Michael than we’re doing?” she cried.
“I don’t know. If he doesn’t get well...” Jeffrey had stopped in the middle of the room. Trauma exaggerated the lines of his face. There was a pallor beneath the bronzed skin. He’d come back from his last mission to the Mediterranean tanned and fit, but now... Elinore had to remember this was the time to be strong for him.
“Of course he’s going to get well.” She masked her concern with a quick smile. “Stop talking like that. Your problem is that you need some dinner and rest. If you’re not careful, there’ll be two patients to care for instead of one.”
He expelled a sigh and slumped into a nearby chair. “You’re right,” came the distant reply, “but I couldn’t tolerate food right now.”
“Let me fix you a drink.”
“No, thank you. Elinore? How does a thing like this happen? All Michael had was a simple case of influenza, and now pneumonia.”
“Stop brooding about it, Jeffrey. It won’t do any good, you know. I’m going to ring for Jens. He can serve dinner in here.”
“At this hour? Heaven forbid.” He shook his head vigorously. Then, as an afterthought, “Were there any messages for me today?”
“Yes. Lord Wyngate called this morning and left word for you to get back to him, but he made it clear it wasn’t urgent. Lord Harley phoned this afternoon. But when I told him Michael wasn’t any better, he said it could wait until your return to London. He sent his regards and said he’d cover for you at the meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow.”
“He’s a good friend. I should have gone back to London yesterday. Things are really piling up, but that’s out of the question now.”
“Is it an important meeting?” He nodded. “Is there anything I can do for you? I used to be a pretty good legal secretary. I could type up any notes or go through your correspondence if you’d like. I want to be of help.”
Jeffrey shook his head. “I know that, but the nature of my business is highly confidential. I’m the only one who can take care of it.”
“Except that right now you’re preoccupied with other worries. For once, why don’t you let someone else share the burden? It would be no trouble, I assure you.”
He shook his head. “Thanks, Elinore, but I can’t discuss my work with anyone, not even you.”
She stiffened. “Then I wish you’d take my advice and go up to bed. I can spend the rest of the night with Michael.”
“No. I’m going right back to the hospital. I only came home long enough to change clothes.”
Elinore could see it would be no use to try changing his mind. “I had Millie do up your shirts. I folded them in your drawer myself, the way you like them.”
Jeffrey looked over at his efficient sister-in-law, amazed she would be so devoted to him and his work.
“Elinore, I appreciate all you do. Thank you, again. I know I’m not much good at expressing myself. It appears I’m always using your shoulder to cry on. Maybe some day I can return the favor. This can’t be easy for you being separated from Philip so much.”
A tiny smile crept into her face. He would never know how glad she was to be away from Philip for a while. “Jeffrey-- that’s what family is for. Don’t ever forget it.”
“Philip’s a lucky chap to have you. How come the solid, reliable women are always the married ones? It’s a pity mother and father never had the opportunity to meet you. Father, particularly, would have approved.”
“Thank you for the compliment,” she whispered. The distance between them was too great for him to have noticed the blood drain from her face. Suddenly a distinguished looking man appeared in the doorway.
“Did I hear my name mentioned? Good evening, my love.” Philip walked briskly into the room, bending over his wife to give her a peck on the cheek. She remained motionless and he drew back, aware of the cold aloofness to which he’d grown accustomed during the past year. He stood up and caught sight of his younger brother seated near the fire.
Philip was immediately stirred with compassion as he beheld the gaunt face and deep furrows of anxiety there. He’d always had a soft spot for his slightly headstrong brother. He felt responsible for him in a way now that Jeffrey had lost Connie. He walked over and put a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, old chap. I take it something is really wrong.”
Jeffrey was out of his seat, pacing the floor once more. “He’s much worse, Phil. Hugh says his chances for recovery are very slim.”
Philip was aghast. “Is he still asking for Sister Catherine?”
He nodded. “Yes. He’s obsessed with the notion that she’ll come. It means everything to him. In fact he’s spoken of nothing else since he left the convent. This evening he was delirious. Phil-- he thought I was Sister Catherine and he talked a blue streak.
“I don’t know what to make of it any more. That old insecurity is back, just as it was right after Connie died. You remember what that was like. Except that this time, according to Hugh, we’re fighting an affliction of the spirit as well as the body. He’s homesick for Sister Catherine now.”
“That’s only natural,” Elinore broke in, upset the child was dependent on a woman other than herself. Jeffrey worshipped his son. If Elinore could win the boy over—if she could be the replacement for his dead mother—then it was just a matter of time till Jeffrey would start regarding her in a new light.
“After all,” she continued, “he was at the convent almost nine months while you were overseas. The sisters were bound to make an impression on him, but he’ll get over it. He just hasn’t had enough time. Illness always brings out insecurities in children.”