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Norrie caught on to Lexie’s ploy of getting her mind off the surgery in front of them as she removed the bullet from Demi’s chest. The sucking noise almost got to her, but again, Lexie covered it up with another question. “Who did you text?”

“The sheriff and Whit. They’ll be here soon. Are you sure we shouldn’t have taken Demi into the hospital for this procedure?”

“Nope. Don’t want there to be any chance of infection. Besides, she’s lost a lot of blood. Look, just go and boil the kettle again. I’ve got it from here.”

Handing over the last requested instrument, Norrie stepped back. Gleeful that her knees didn’t give out, she stumbled like an old lady toward the kitchen area and then dropped to the floor.

Don’t fall apart now you idiot.Her brain gave her hell, but her legs didn’t care.

She was done for. A wuss. No good for nothing. Her head dropped into her shaking hands, and it shocked her to feel the tears dripping through.

Growing up in Alaska, she’d killed a lot of animals in her life, but never a two-legged one. She sniffed, trying desperately to regain her cool, not let Lexie down when the woman needed her. After all, hadn’t the doctor just faced the disgusting stalker who’d made her life hell for a long time? Seen him get shot after he put a bullet in Demi meant for her.

If she could manage to stay focused and operate, then Norrie could bloody-well get her shit together and do what she could to help. Struggling, she wiped her face, left the snot on her sleeve without caring whatsoever, and pulled herself to her feet. Like an old woman, she began to gather the kettle and fill it.

While leaning near the sink, she saw Whit’s speeding truck swerving in the snow as it came into view. Within seconds, it braked to a stop, almost hitting Demi’s truck still parked in front of the cabin. She banged on the window to stop both men from hurling inside while Lexie still worked.

“Is that Whit and the sheriff?” Lexie must have heard the truck pull up.”

“Yes. I’m trying to get their attention, so they don’t come in and disturb you.”

“It’s okay. Demi’s bandaged and covered now. I could use their help to move her to the bedroom.”

Whit’s scared expression questioned Norrie in the window. When she waved him in, he burst into the room alone, his face filled with anxiety, and his blue shockers wide with fear. “What happened? We saw the body. That’s Philip Crane who’s been shot, right?” Then he saw Demi’s unconscious body on the table. He stopped dead, his face whitening. Totally shocked, words died on his lips as he faced Norrie and then swerved to look at the doctor. “Wha… wha… Oh, my God. Please tell me she’s alive,” he beseeched.

Lexie smiled comfortingly. “She’s alive, Whit. And she’ll be fine. But I need you to help us get her into her bed before the drugs wear off. I’ve given her morphine and a sedative, but both will fade soon, and she’ll wake up.”

Ripping his outer clothes off, Whit nodded. Then as if dealing with a precious treasure, he tenderly lifted Demi into his shaking arms, hugged her close for an infinitesimal second so he could place a kiss on her forehead, and then turned toward the bedroom.

Getting there before him, Lexie helped Norrie lay a clean pad on the bed, readying it for Demi. “Wait, can you hold her for a few seconds.” She looked at the dresser then at the man. “Does she have a nightie that’s warm and easy to get into?”

Whit looked bewildered as if his mind couldn’t cope with anything so simple. Understanding his shock, Norrie went to the drawers and soon came back with a recently purchased fuzzy Christmas nightie that would work. Between them, they dressed Demi and then laid her under the covers.

The doctor took her pulse and nodded, satisfaction sliding over her pale face. “She’s doing fine. We just need to watch for shock and any kind of rise in temperature. I’ll have to stay with her all night.”

Before Whit could answer, the sheriff stood at the open door, beckoning for her and Norrie to come to him. Lexie nodded and patted Whit’s shoulder. “You watch her and call me if she wakes up. We’ll deal with Tom.”


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