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An Unorthodox Doctor

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Lily thought about arguing, but by the time they reached the truck, she thought better of it. Every step Dan took jostled her painfully—reminding her over and over again of her painful new appendage. She didn't really want to suffer through the 45 minutes it would take to get to the hospital before getting it out of her.

"How far is Jeremy's office?"

"He's just down the road."

"Is he there?"

"He will be by the time we get there."

"Okay."

"Okay?"

"Yes," she said, wincing as Dan laid her across his truck's back seat. "But can you please shut the water off in the house first?"

Dan stopped dead, his disbelieving face inches from her own.

"Seriously?"

"Yes, seriously. If you don't the whole damn thing will float away by morning."

"You have a board sticking out of your leg and you're worried about the house?"

"Damn straight." And she was. It was all she had left of her grandparents. And her only sanctuary. She needed to save it.

He looked at her for a long moment, and then seeming to decide she must be serious, sighed.

"Fine. I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere."

She snorted. "As if I could."

She must have fallen asleep while he was gone, because the next thing she knew, he was carrying her into a brightly lit building. A man who must have been Jeremy opened the door when he saw them approach.

"Jesus, Dan, when you said you had an emergency, I thought you meant Clara needed help."

"Who's Clara?" she couldn't help but ask.

Dan sighed. "My basset hound. And she's fine. But Lily isn't. And it would have taken too long to get her to the hospital."

Oh. She had always loved basset hounds. So of course, Dan would have one. He was the perfect man—of course he would have the perfect pet. What, what? Surely she hadn't just thought that. And even if she had, it was just the pain talking. She didn't really think that. Although he did have a perfect body...

"Just so you know, I haven't worked on an actual person since my army days."

He hadn't? She wasn't so sure she was okay with that. Unfortunately, the pain was making her woozy again, making it difficult to get the words out.

"Come on, Jeremy, that was only five years ago. You can do this."

Five years. That didn't seem so bad. Although, a lot could happen in five years. At that point, she'd been a size negative four being force fed fluids in the hospital... Suddenly something sharp poked her, derailing her train of thought.

"Ouch, damn it!"

"Sorry," said the man who was not Dan. Heh. That rhymed. Not Dan the Man. Jeremy the Veterinaremy?

"Jeremy the Veterinaremy, huh? I admit I haven't heard that one before. I'll take that as a sign that the painkillers are working just fine."

Oh. She didn't realize she'd said that out loud. Oh well. Lily giggled and climbed on board the fluffy pink cloud that waited to carry her away.

*****

"Well, you'll be glad to know she's just fine."

Dan bolted awake, startled to realize he was at the vet's office—and even more surprisingly, had fallen asleep in one of the cruel blue plastic chairs that graced his waiting room. Sure, they were pretty pee-proof, but comfortable they were not.

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