Welcome! This week the word prompt is "stone". Rick Winslow is back in "Break My Heart". I hope you enjoy this unedited piece. Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales. Thank you for coming.
“I’m not going to call a nurse. You’ll have to help,” she said, gathering materials from cabinets and drawers.
Rick wiped his face on his sleeve. “I’m here. Tell me what you want me to do.”
As the doctor examined the little fella, Rick stroked his head and spoke softly to him. The deep-voiced sweet words seemed to calm Oliver. Under the doctor’s instructions, Rick held the little beast still while she cleaned Ollie up, and closely examined his wound.
“How long before you brought him here? When did you find him?”
“I saw it happen, shot the bear, called you, then drove over.”
She glanced up at him. “Shot the bear?”
“Later,” she said, returning her attention to Oliver.
Rick held the dog as she shaved his fur and stitched him up.
“He’ll have to stay here overnight.”
“Then I’m staying, too.”
She administered painkiller and antibiotics. “Now he’ll sleep. He’ll be fine here. Really. Go home. Get some rest.”
She shook her head and rested her hands on her hips. “What do you think you can do?”
“Just be here for him, with him. Whatever. I’m not going home.”
“Stubborn ass,” she muttered under her breath.
“I heard that.”
“I don’t care. You’re being a stubborn ass.”
She eased the sleeping dog gently into a cage and closed the door.
“It’s a new place. If he wakes up, he’ll be scared. I’m staying. Do you have a blanket I can borrow?”
“Sure. Go ahead. Be a pain in the ass. First you get me out of bed, then this.” She glared at him.
“Ollie got you out of bed.”
“Okay, yes. He did. But you could go quietly. But, no! The great Breaker Winslow has to make a big effing fuss in the middle of the night. Did you see the time? It’s almost three.”
“So what? I have to be up in four hours. I have a lot of animals to care for tomorrow.”
“Shall I relay your message to the bear? Ask him next time to please rip my dog to pieces during office hours?” He shifted his weight. “Rumors to the contrary, I don’t have a heart of stone.”
She put her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry. I’m just tired.”
He patted her hand. “I get it.”
When she left the room, Rick slid down, sitting cross-legged in front of the cage. He opened the door and pulled the towel resting on the dog up to cover more of him. It was cool in the room. Dani opened the door and tossed a fleece blanket at him.
“Is he going to be okay?”
“We’ll know more in the morning.”
“It is morning.”
“Shut up. You know what I mean.”
“Goodnight,” she said, disappearing back to her place. He spread out the blanket and stretched out, content to close his eyes and listen to the pug snore. Soon they were both asleep.