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I should be the one dying.
I should be dead.
The doctor flashed her penlight into my eyes, and I blinked against the bright ray. My dog Blue sat on the floor next to me, his head resting on my knee. My fingers curled around the edge of the exam table, gripping onto the seat, hoping I could hold onto reality.
Robert Maxim stood by the door, his arms crossed and face shadowed. He watched us, reminding me of a simmering pot, one just on the cusp of a rolling boil.
The sound of thunder rumbled in the back of my brain. The stringent scent of the hospital tickled my nose. My heart echoed in my chest, pounding out Mulberry's name.
He'd changed my life, Mulberry—helped me when I needed it and when I didn't. Touched me when I asked and stayed away when I insisted. Now, if my mind was to be believed, his life teetered on the edge, his leg blown off, the veins opened, his blood spilled onto the battlefield, rushing away from him.
The doctor stepped back, a woman in her early 40s with straight black hair and big glasses that slipped down her elegant little nose. "You've suffered major trauma."
Thanks, Captain Obvious.
"I think…” She cocked her head, narrowing her eyes, inspecting me like a gardener might a plant that refused to grow toward the sun. “We need to get you back to the States." She turned to Robert.
Thunder rumbled louder, crackling in my ears and blotting out her voice. Lightning sizzled across my vision, and I blinked against the bright, white light.
A woman's voice whispered through the storm…You are a miracle.
I shook my head, trying to shake free of the hallucinations, but they clung to me like fog hovering over a harbor—thick and dangerous, but intangible, impossible to touch or avoid. There and yet not.
Had my worst nightmare really come true? Mulberry, the man I loved, in dire danger. Me, powerless to help.
I stayed away to keep him safe.
Everyone I love dies.
P.S. The dog does not die in this series.
**Beware: If you can’t handle a few f-bombs, you can’t handle this series.**