Hale's Point

Hale's Point by Patricia Ryan

Book: Hale's Point by Patricia Ryan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Ryan
Tags: Romance, Contemporary
more… nude, more
sexual, especially in contrast with the fully clothed Phil. She still inspired
Tucker’s protective instinct, but now another, more fundamental instinct, as
well. Tucker wished it were his arms embracing that warm, wet skin; his
shoulder on which her head reclined. He felt a painful stab of jealousy toward
his friend, but swallowed it down, composing his features into a neutral mask.
    “You want to dry her off a little?” Phil said.
    Tucker scrubbed the bath sheet over her back and legs in a
cursory way. He would have loved to linger over the task, particularly as
regards that small, firm bottom, but without the good Dr. Zelin in attendance, and with Harley’s full knowledge and approval. He wrapped the
bath sheet around her, and Phil carried her into the bedroom, laid her on her
side on the bed, unwrapped her, and pulled the sheet up.
    As he was doing this, Tucker happened to notice Harley’s
clothes in a jumble on the floor where Phil had tossed them, and he did a
double take. On top of the pile, the last item removed, was a pair of
black-and-white zebra-print string-bikini panties. He smiled. Zebra-print
panties. Who woulda thunk it?
    Phil said, “Are you listening to me?”
    “Yes, Doctor.”
    “I said, keep sponging her off until she’s down to about a
hundred degrees. I’ll leave you this thermometer. Take her temperature every
half hour and call me if it goes up even a little.” He went back to the
bathroom for his bag and snapped it closed.
    “You’re leaving?”
    “You don’t need me here anymore. She’s out of the woods. As
soon as she can sit up and drink, start forcing fluids on her. She cooled off
fast, so I think it’s unlikely there’s any kind of irreparable damage to the
body tissues.” Tucker sighed with relief. “Unlikely, but not impossible. Brain
tissue is particularly susceptible to those high temperatures. When she can get
out of bed, watch for signs of ataxia.”
    “Vertigo, disorientation. Call me if she can’t stand by
herself or walk. After she’s been awake for a while, that is. At first, of
course, she’ll be disoriented. I’ll stop by tomorrow to check on her.” He
slapped Tucker on the arm and headed out of the room. “I’ll find my way out. You
stay with her.”
    “You’re a good friend, Phil. I don’t know how to thank you.”
    From the doorway, Phil said, “You can thank me by getting a
    Grinning, Tucker extended his right arm, the middle finger
    Turning away, Phil said, “He should have sent you to military school. Would have served you
right, you punk.”

    Chapter 5

    Harley opened her eyes . It was night. A dim lamp shone in the corner where
Tucker sat reading a book. She was in his bed. She couldn’t remember why, but she
knew there was a good reason. It was very quiet, the only sound the soft white
noise of the fan.
    Even with the breeze from the fan, it was warm in the room.
Tucker wore a pair of baggy olive-drab shorts and nothing else. His legs were
crossed, the bad one over the good. There was a small movement, a rustle, as he
turned the page. She could see the concentration in his face, the little frown
lines between his eyebrows.
    She wanted to ask him what he was reading. “Tucker,” she
said, but her mouth was dry, and it came out as a parched whisper.
    He looked toward her, his eyes lighting when he saw that she
was awake. He put down the book and uncrossed his legs by lifting one off the
other with both hands. She could see his chest clearly now, the muscles hard
and smooth on one side, torn by savage wounds on the other. The magnitude of
his injuries suddenly struck her; the burden of living with them day after day.
    She closed her eyes and began to drift, but his touch woke
her up again. He sat on the bed next to her, pulled the sheet up, and tucked it
around her shoulders.
    “Not yet,” he said softly. “You can sleep in a minute, I
promise.” His voice sounded

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