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Her Lucky Cowboy(8)

By´╝ÜJennifer Ryan

Gabe and Blake stepped in front of her. Though words weren’t necessary, she read the worry and fear in their eyes as Gabe spoke for both of them. “Please, whatever you can do for him.”

She touched her hand to Gabe’s forearm. “I will do everything I can to save his leg. You need to be prepared if I can’t.”

“I know you can do it,” Gabe said.

“Do what?” Katherine asked, stepping up beside the group. She and Tony must have followed the Bowdens to the hospital to pick her up.

“I’m headed into surgery. It’ll be a few hours. Go back to the hotel. I’ll take a cab back when I’m done.”

“Surgery, Bell? Look at you. Your head.”

“I’m fine. I have to go. It’s already been nearly half an hour.”

Bell ran after the nurse waiting for her by the elevator. She got in and caught a last glimpse of Blake, with Gillian at his side, and Gabe with Ella. Bell wondered whether anyone would show up at the hospital and demand the best care for her if something happened to her.

She stared at her sister with her husband, Tony. She barely knew the woman. Jealousy still shimmered in her heart every time she looked at Katherine. The daughter her father wanted, cared for, loved. The one he kept—not the mistake and shame he hid away.

The elevator doors closed, but she held the image of Dane’s close family in her mind. She vowed she’d do everything in her power to keep her promise to them—to Dane.

Chapter 2

Dane woke up by degrees, assessing the many aches and pains, from his toes up to his throbbing head, as he took in the dim room. Gabe slept in a chair beside him, Ella on his lap, her face snuggled into his neck. Dane squeezed his eyes shut on the too-sweet picture they made and rolled his head on the pillow. Everything ached. He found Blake on his other side, passed out, arms folded across his chest.

He raised his hands, noted the IV lines going into both arms. The slight movement made his ribs ache. He pressed his hand to the bandage around his chest, took a shallow breath, and let it out on a soft groan.

“Six are bruised. One has a hairline crack. It’ll heal in a few weeks,” someone whispered from the end of the bed in a soft, soothing voice. Odd, but that voice eased his mind and warmed his heart.

He glanced down the length of him to find the owner of that sweet voice, but his gaze locked on his leg, suspended in a sling from the ceiling. Everything came back to him. The bull tossed him in the air like a rag doll, hit him in the side, and he fell hard. The crushing, agonizing pain that shot through him when the animal landed on his leg, snapping it like boys did pencils in class to impress girls. The blood. The dark-haired, blue-eyed angel that came out of nowhere. He brought his fingertips to the feather tattoo on his arm.

A hand settled on his other foot. He felt that touch in every fiber of his being and focused on it rather than the nightmare in his head.

“You’re fine, Mr. Bowden.”

“My leg?”

“Two plates, nine screws, an innovative wire mesh to hold the smaller pieces together. Dr. Ford repaired the extensive tissue damage and your torn artery. It’ll take a couple months, but you’ll heal. You won’t be able to walk on it for several weeks, but you’ll get by on crutches. You’re very lucky to be alive.”

Dane finally focused on the woman. Stunningly beautiful, she slowly removed her hand from his foot. He missed that simple touch like he missed the rain in the heat of summer. With her head slightly turned away, she never quite looked right at him. Her beautiful denim blue eyes softened before her gaze fell away again.

“I remember you. Do I know you? Have we met before?”

Ella cupped his face in her hands. She leaned down and kissed him on the forehead, blocking his view of the woman. “You’re awake. How are you?” Ella asked.


“I’ll get you some pain medication and leave you with your family.”

“Thank you, Dr. Bell,” Ella said as the doctor walked out the door.

Dane stared at Ella and Gabe standing over her. “Dr. Bell? From Montana?”

“Yes. Do you know her?” Gabe asked.

“No. Just that you guys said she helped Ella and Gillian. What is she doing here?”

“Saving you. You nearly bled out in the middle of the arena,” Blake said, scrubbing his hands over his face and digging his fingers into his eyes.

“Someone want to tell me what the hell happened after I got dumped on my ass.”

“Dr. Bell was in the stands, watching with her sister, when you got hurt. Tony Cortez is her husband.”

“Dr. Bell is married to Tony?” Why that pissed him off, he didn’t know, but it did. A lot.