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“Ha! Mary, I’ve been here for two years and have worked a lot of weekends and never recall another team working. We did cases back-to-back many times with no relief. Why wasn’t the otherteamused?”

“I don’t know, Bridget. I’ll have to look into that.” Mary rifled thought a pile of papers. “You’re going to return to theMiddle Eastafter the baby is born?”

“Correct,” she replied, trying to calm down. “I’ll only be here to shake things up for four months.”

“I’m happy to have you back, no matter how short the time is,” Mary said, understanding some of Bridget’s frustration. “I know you’re disappointed, but it’s just the Navy.”

Things were never the same when you redeployed, especially if you tried to return to your old life. It never worked out. The best thing to do was to come back with no expectations, prepared for anewlife.

“Why not go home and rest up and you can come back at eleven. The shift officially starts at seven for twelve hours but you can recover from your flight.”

A slight wave of disbelief flowed over her, but Bridget was a team player and although she might not like the role she was assigned, she’d do it to the death.

“Thank you, Mary. This is just an interim performance. I can do anything for twelve hours, right?”

“Ha! Right, dear. And truly, welcome back. Will you have the baby here?”

“No. I’m returning to Louisiana. Her father will take over from there.”

“Oh! Why did I think you got pregnant in Afghanistan?” Mary asked.

“I don’t know. It’s no secret I went there pregnant. I just didn’t realize it until I couldn’t ignore it.”

“I guess I thought that was why you were going back after the birth.”

“You thought I’d take the baby to a war zone? Not likely, Mary. Anyway, I’m going back because it’s my obligation to complete my tour.” She reached for the door handle. “I’ll clock in at eleven.”

“Thank you, Bridget. Again, I’m so sorry.”

“No problem, Captain,” she said, saluting.


“No, Captain Hail, you made yourself clear. It’s just the Navy.”

Quickly leaving the department before the tears came, when she was outside, she got out her phone. There was only one person who would understand her, who wouldn’t be annoyed or disappointed by the tears.

“How’d it go?” Luke asked. “I’ve been worried all afternoon; I felt like something was going on.”

“Something went on,” she cried, telling him about the futon and the night shift and the veiled insults Mary squeezed in.

“Grrrrr,” he growled. “I wish I was there.”

“Me, too.”

“You’ll get through this. You only have four months. Look how quickly the last four went. Are you going to work tonight?”

“Yes, that’s another thing. She couldn’t give me a day off? Mary Hail pretended to be my friend for the past two years but when push came to shove, she’s just my boss, putting the job first.”

“What do you want for tonight? Lots of emergency cases? Or quiet?”

“It depends who I’m working with. If I’m with some gung-ho jackass, it’s better if we have cases all night.”

“Go home, get on your futon and take a nap, and call me when you get up.”

“Okay, I will. Thank you, Luke.”

“My pleasure. Talk to you later.”

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