Description : Flora's Defiance
ANGELO VAN ZAAL studied the nine-month-old child that the nurse had brought to him. The little girl was golden-haired with the wide, pansy-blue eyes of a china doll, and the minute she saw him she smiled in happy recognition. The innocence of that trusting smile cut Angelo as sharply as a knife, for few children could have been subjected to a tougher start in life than little Mariska. Only a dark bruise and a scratch on one cheek bore witness to the fact that she had been miraculously thrown clear in her special car seat from the accident in which both of her parents had died.
‘I understand that you are not related by blood to Mariska,’ the female doctor by his side remarked.
‘Her father, Willem, was my stepbrother, but I thought of him as my brother and I treated him as such,’ Angelo stated with the clarity for which he was famed in the business world. ‘I consider Mariska to be part of my family and I’m keen to adopt her.’
‘The social worker in charge of her case did mention that you have been involved in Mariska’s life since she was born—’
‘I did what I could to support Willem and his wife, Julie. I only wish it had been enough,’ he imparted with a wry twist of his mouth, as he knew that the medical staff would be well aware of the state in which Mariska’s parents had been at the time of the crash. He was merely grateful that the sordid truth had not appeared in the newspapers.
Angelo van Zaal was an extraordinarily handsome man, the doctor reflected with an appreciative glance. He...