USA Today Bestselling Author
Quinton had been a patient at Hathaway House in its first year. When she finally healed enough to move on with her life, she went into law and plowed forward. However, plowing forward may not have been the best answer for her physical injuries. While visiting Stan at the center, she collapses on her way to her brother’s room, as he’s a patient here now. The collapse shows a long-term issue, now an acute problem. After talking to Dani and Shane, Quinton’s booked back into the center on a short-term basis.
Stan hurts for Quinton. She’s an old friend, and he’s watched her progress from his first year in business at Hathaway. He’d always had a crush on her but figured his window of opportunity had passed. Now with her once again as a patient, it feels like a second chance for a personal relationship, one he’s more than willing to take.
Between her brother—who’s not getting along at the center—and Quinton’s own struggles to get back on her feet, thankfully she also has Stan and other old friends around, as Quinton takes the steps necessary to put her life back on track … in all ways.
Quinton is a now corporate attorney and stops by Hathaway House to have Stan sign some documents. She knows Stan and the others from her own time at Hathaway House years ago. Stan always wanted to get to know her better, but the timing never seemed right.
Her brother Ryatt is now a patient here and he’s having issue adjusting, at least she hopes that’s all it is. She stops by to see Dani before heading to see him, but before she gets very far, she collapses in pain.
Dani calls for assistance and with Shane’s help gets Quinton settled in a room. She doesn’t want to stay but there’s really no choice.
Her brother comes to see her, and she reassures him she’ll be fine. She does question whether or not he wants to be there. His attitude is affecting everyone trying to help him. He tries to divert her attention back to herself, but she refuses his help with her prosthetic and his offer to find Shane to help.
It’s Stan who comes to check on her and runs off to find Shane.
This is a favorite scene.
Quinton took one look at Stan and Shane, then frowned. “You know that, if I just lay here quiet for a bit, I could probably get it.”
“You could probably get it,” Shane agreed. “However, if you never ask for help, especially when you need it, then I foresee more than just physical problems here.”
That made Quinton immediately gear up the attorney side of her to argue with that assessment.
Shane raised one finger to shush her, then gently pushed her pant leg over the top of her prosthetic and asked, “Did you hurt this recently?”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t think so.”
He looked at it closely and raised one eyebrow. “The prosthetic could be part of your main problem.”
“Why is that?”
“Because the whole alignment is off,” he said, “not in a big way, just enough that your structural alignment would go out the window with it.” He quickly pushed the button to release the prosthetic then slowly rolled the sock down off her stump.
She cried out softly with relief. “Ah, that feels better.”
He looked at her stump and noted, “You realize you’ve got a really big blister back here too, don’t you?” He lifted the leg up and showed Stan a good two-inch-wide blister.
“It was getting sore, but I don’t know about a blister.”
“You’ve got a good one,” Stan said, looking at her. “It looks pretty nasty.” He took a picture of it on his cell phone and then held it out for her to see.
She stared at it in shock. “Where’d that come from?”
“Are you sure you didn’t fall or have in any way damaged the prosthetic that you remember?” Shane asked.
She shook her head. “Not that I remember, no.” And then she frowned. “Except I did fall down a couple risers on the stairs.”
Both men stared at her in shock.
She shrugged. “I didn’t really think anything of it. I mean, obviously it wasn’t a great moment. But I was alone, I hopped up, straightened up, and carried on.”
“And how long ago was that?”
“It was about …” She stopped, thought about it. “I don’t know, maybe four, five months. It wouldn’t be from that, would it?”
“It could easily have been that,” Shane stated, “particularly when this fall caused a small adjustment to your prosthetic. Then, over time, your body goes out of alignment. That would make it pretty easy to become an even bigger problem.”
“Well, in that case then,” she replied, “I guess I did this to myself.”
Shane stood at the end of her bed, his arms crossed over his chest. “So tell me honestly. What would you say your regular workday is like?”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“I’m trying to get a picture of a woman, who has a two-inch sore on her leg, who fell down the stairs, who got up, who didn’t think anything of it, who slowly put her own alignment out of whack, and who didn’t notice the increase in pain nor the decrease in movement.”
She stared at him, slowly understanding what he was getting at. A flush rose up her neck. “So what do you want me to say? Obviously I’m a person who’s not very aware,” she muttered.
“But why?” Shane asked gently.
She looked over at Stan, who still stood here beside them. “Probably,” she added carefully, “because I’m very busy.”
“As in too busy to look after yourself?” Shane asked.
She glared at him. “I think the answer to that is evident,” she snapped, mostly mad at herself. “I obviously haven’t been doing a good job, if that’s what you found. I still don’t understand how I could have walked around and not noticed that thing.”
“Yeah, me too. I know you have nerve damage on the back, but that’s a pretty major blister. And it is fresh,” he noted. “So it could have been just even part of today. Still, I’ve got nurses coming to draw some blood and to give you some muscle relaxants. We’re going to run a bunch of tests, take X-rays tomorrow, and just see where you’re at. For tonight,” he added, “I suggest you eat, relax, and try to sleep if you can. A set of pajamas are in the bathroom for you. I think an extra set of comfy clothes are in the closet too. Call for a nurse to help you.”
She nodded slowly but was obviously pretty distressed by the whole thing.
Shane reached down, gently patted her good leg, and smiled. “We’ll look at it all tomorrow. It’ll be a whole new day. So get some rest, and we’ll see how we can fix you up, after we get more info. And, if you need something more, like heavy-duty painkillers, let me know immediately. Don’t put that off either.”
Stan leaned over, gave her a quick hug. “I’ll be back later to see if you are awake enough for dinner.” And he walked out behind Shane.
Dale Mayer. Quinton (Kindle Locations 350-389). Valley Publishing Ltd..
When Quinton realizes what’s gone wrong, she knows she’ll need to stay until things are right again. However, her bosses aren’t quite so understanding.
Stan uses this time to try to get closer to her and they both seem to have issues getting it right.
This is yet another heartwarming story, with struggles to find their way to both health and happiness.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.