The purpose here is to spotlight a few lines or a few paragraphs from a new release or backlisted title. This way my readers get to sample some delicious snippets and I'll do my best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
Today I'm teasing with book 2 in the Bad Boys of Beta Squad series, THE NAVY'S GHOST. This is a menage a'SEALs and Ensign Christiana Brickman is getting the news about her injuries and just how extensive they are. The prognosis is bleak.
“Where am I?” she asked, turning her gaze to the woman. “Doctor?”
“You’re at Coronado Medical Center. Do you remember getting shot?”
Memory cleared and she recalled the bullet ripping through her leg. She saw Magic’s face over her again, wearing the horrible tight expression. She remembered growing so cold and exhaustion setting in.
“Yes, ma’am.” SEAL ops were too sensitive to go into detail with anyone other than her CO.
“Excellent, Ensign. Unfortunately, the bullet ripped through the femoral artery in your left leg and fractured the bone. On the flip side, your chief warrant officer managed to clamp the artery enough for you to make it to surgery.”
Chris’s heart rate increased again. Oh, my God. Her eyes dropped to the form of her body beneath the bedcovers. One leg rose higher than the other against the sheet. Cast? Bandages? She tried to move and pain roared through her, overwhelming her usual calm.
“Are you all right, Ensign?” Whittleton’s voice came from far away.
Why did anyone ask her that question? No, she’d never be all right again. If she’d sustained damage to her leg, it translated to destruction of her career as a SEAL. She wanted to scream at the stupid man standing, standing, there so calmly. Lock it down, Brickman. Whittleton doesn’t ask stupid questions. But what the hell do I tell him? She swallowed her grief and kept the irritation off her face.
“As well as could be expected, sir. Is there any prognosis on my condition, ma’am?” She returned her attention to the doctor, scanning her name badge. Meecham, Katherine A.
“If the swelling goes down and there’s no infection, you should be able to begin walking therapy in two weeks.” Meecham’s expression remained encouraging though she’d lost her smile. “You should be able to walk fairly well and even run, but the warrant officer did so much damage to get to your artery, you’ll always have a bit of a limp.”
Chris digested the news, ignoring the grief screaming for acknowledgement. Focus, keep it together. She wanted to howl, to blame Magic for breaking her leg, but in the end, she’d been dumb enough to follow the contact into a blind spot. The responsibility for this fell on her.
“Yes, ma’am. I understand. How soon will I be able to return to active duty?”
Meecham bit her lip and glanced up at Whittleton. Chris’s CO took a deep breath and looked her over carefully. She hoped she hid the grief ripping through her.
When he said nothing, Meecham cleared her throat. “There’s a lot that needs to happen before then.” She glanced down at her clipboard. “There’s two weeks of bed rest to heal from your surgery. If the muscles and bone have knitted enough, you’ll be cleared for physical therapy.” Meecham raised her gaze and hit Chris with a stern look. “How long it takes is up to you and your willingness to follow the therapist’s orders, but I’d say you’re looking at six months of recovery.”
Six months. After six months she’d be so out of phase with her squad, it’d be like being a rookie all over again. They waited for her to respond, but she couldn’t think of anything to say.
“What this means in the long run is you won’t be back in the Teams. You’ll be awarded the Purple Heart and be assigned restrictive duty until you have a clean bill of health.” Whittleton’s gaze filled with sympathy.
And there it is. Chris’s throat closed, but she forced air through it anyway. “Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
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