No Good Doctor
Whatever’s in that box is going to hurt itself if we don’t move. It’s flapping around frantically. So much the box is about to bounce right off the chair.
I glance at Doc worriedly. He’s standing there rigid, breathing hard, but finally he nods and joins me, striding toward the chair. I clasp the box and hold it still, and he gingerly lifts the lid off, both of us leaning back slightly just in case something comes blasting out.
The poor hummingbird inside flops on it’s one good wing, desperately trying to fly. It takes all of three seconds to see the reason why. Its the other wing, hanging at an odd angle, immobile. The bone looks clearly broken close to the main joint.
Poor thing! I nearly whimper with hurt sympathy, reaching in instantly to clasp its body in my hand, spreading my fingers around the broken wing while gently pinning the other wing to its jewel-toned, glittering side so it can’t thrash around and hurt itself more. It stops fighting immediately but opens its long, narrow beak in the saddest little squeaky sound ever as I cradle it in my hands.
“Gray!” I murmur pleadingly, not even thinking about the intimate use of his name.
He lets out a rough sigh, raking a hand back through his dark hair, then nods tightly, rising to his feet.
I want to know what’s happening, want to know why that woman is making veiled threats toward both of us, and how she knows Peters or what Peters might’ve told Doc about her. But this poor little feathered jewel’s life comes first.
He tosses his head toward the back and, cradling the crying hummingbird gingerly, I follow him as quick as I can. This bird’s life is in his capable hands now.
And honestly? So is my heart.
Because every time I look at him over the table as we gently bind and splint the bird’s wing, when our eyes meet, it happens. My pulse races. My breath catches.
My whole freaking world pops a screw loose and comes undone.
I remember him saying that he’ll protect me. Just as much as he’ll protect every small, precious thing that winds up in his care.
I’m not sure what’s racing faster – my mind or my heart.