For today’s blog post, I thought I’d share a snippet from the draft of LIONHEART. There are people who stand up just fine to Dragos’s overbearing personality, and Dr. Kathryn Shaw is one of them. And yes, she is the heroine in LIONHEART.
As always when I share something that I’m currently writing, this may contain typos and grammatical errors, and it may change during the editing process. Hope you enjoy.
When the Lord of the Wyr issued a summons to those he kept on retainer, one responded with as much immediacy as one could manage. While Dr. Kathryn Shaw was no exception to this rule, she also refused to walk out of surgery to accommodate his demands.
“Tell him I’m busy,” she said tersely to the nurse who had delivered the message to the operating room over the intercom.
As she spoke, Kathryn eyed the mangled leg in front of her with a frown. The leg belonged to a twelve-year-old boy who had taken a bad fall while trespassing on a construction site. It was a tricky operation that needed a combination of both magic and physical surgery—the only kind of case that Kathryn took on anymore—but she had her favorite surgery team with her, everyone worked really well with each other, and the boy stood a good chance of a near total recovery if Kathryn got it right.
So, she would get it right.
A few minutes later the dragon himself broke into her mind. Kathryn, I need you at Cuelebre Tower, Dragos said telepathically. Get here as soon as you can.
She paused, frustrated, and when the nurse beside her gave her an inquiring glance, she held up a gloved finger and shook her head.
Everyone else in the world had a telepathic range of ten or fifteen feet—everyone, but Dragos. His telepathic range was over a hundred miles, and Kathryn had cause to regret that more than once in her professional life.
She snapped, And I said I was busy. Is anybody on fire? Are any of the sentinels near imminent death?
No, Dragos growled.
Well, I’m in the middle of surgery, and as I’ve told you before, I don’t care for telepathic interruptions when I’m operating.
The Wyr lord was frustrated too. She could hear it in his voice. Can’t you hand the surgery to someone else on your team?
She could, but she wouldn’t. She told him, You wouldn’t want me to walk out on you if I was operating on you, would you?
As she had, in fact, recently operated on him, this hypothetical was more than a little potent. Recently, while in a battle to rescue his kidnapped wife, Dragos had been shot several times and taken a few hits to the chest. One of the bullets had come close to penetrating the truly spectacular protective casing around his powerful heart.
By his pause, she suspected that he was thinking of that injury too. No, of course not.
Then don’t expect me to do it to someone else, she said. If you don’t have a clear cut medical emergency for me to respond to, then you pick up your damn phone and call or text—and if I say you have to wait, you have to wait. Is that clear?
Well, get here directly after surgery.
Of course. But right now, I’ve got a twelve-year-old boy’s leg to save, so get out of my head—and stay out. She inhaled deeply to get rid of the stress, then turned her total attention back to the boy on her table.
Three hours and twenty-six minutes later, she finished and stepped back to let Angus close for her. Euphoria and relief flooded her tight body. Rotating her head to release the tension in her neck and shoulders, she stripped off her operating gown, gloves, and mask and headed out.
It had been a good afternoon’s work. Better than good. It had been great. She would have a better idea of the boy’s prognosis after his body had fully absorbed the spells, but when she felt this good about a surgery she was rarely wrong about it later. She was pretty sure he would regain full mobility.
But it was too soon to tell his anxious parents that. For now, it was enough to simply tell them that she was pleased the surgery had gone very well. She multitasked and drank a hot, bracing cup of coffee while she briefed them. After promising to check on his post op recovery that evening, she was finally able to head up to the hospital roof.
As she climbed the stairs, she texted Dragos. Out of surgery. On my way. Be there in 20.
His response was almost immediate. How is the boy?
That last caused her to shake her head and snort. Just when she got to thinking the Wyr lord was a total self-absorbed ass, he switched things up on her. She answered him rapidly. Doing well.
Excellent. Come to the meeting hall when you get here.
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