Valentino's Cowboy [Brac Village 10]

By: Lynn Hagen

“On the left,” Gavin said through gritted teeth. “Grab the cylinder on the left.”

Using the word cylinder did not help Abe. The only thing he saw was a bunch of metal parts. He grabbed the one on the left and pulled, but it didn’t budge. He yanked again, trying to hurry because the strain on the men was growing in their features.

“I’m losing my grip,” Winter warned as the veins in his neck strained. “Get your hand out, Abe.”

“We need that part, Winter,” Gavin argued and then directed his next words at Abe. “Rock the cylinder to see if you can loosen it.”

Abe shoved his hand back and forth a few times, feeling the part start to loosen. He was trying his best to get a tight grip, but oil was all over everything. His fingers kept slipping.

“Get your arm out now!” Winter shouted right before he lost his grip.

Abe yanked his arm back as the heavy piece of metal came slamming down. But he wasn’t quick enough. The piece of equipment caught his hand, making Abe scream as if his very insides were being torn apart.

“Get it up! Get it up!” Gavin was shouting. Abe had never experienced this level of pain before. It felt as if his whole left arm was being ripped from the socket. Men raced toward them and helped to lift the metal off of Abe’s hand.

As soon as he was free, Abe fell to the ground, writhing and screaming.

“Get a fucking doctor!” Gavin shouted. Abe wasn’t sure who the man was talking to. He began to swim in and out of consciousness as his arm began to go numb. He knew that was a bad sign but was grateful when the pain began ebb.

“Hang in there, Abe,” Gavin said as he pulled Abe from the ground and raced toward the house. He could hear a flurry of action all around him, but Abe was past focusing. All he wanted to do was pass out until the pain was completely gone.

“Put him on the couch,” Pa said as he rushed toward them. “Get me something to rest his hand on.”

Abe arched his back, a silent scream falling from his lips when someone touched his injury. His head began to swim and the pain came back full force, making Abe try to rake his arm off with his other hand. “It hurts!”

Luke must have shimmered, because Dr. Sheehan was soon standing in his line of sight. He could see the horror in the doctor’s eyes as he grabbed a syringe from his bag and began to inject a series of shots into Abe’s arm and hand. But Abe couldn’t feel the needle entering his skin.

“I–I have a d–date,” Abe said as his teeth began to chatter. The last thing he wanted was for Valentino to think that Abe had stood him up. “Please make the pain stop. Take it away!”

“Someone get a hold of his mate,” Pa shouted as he began to pile blankets onto Abe. “He’s the vet.”

Abe shoved his feet into the end of the couch, trying his best to cope with the agonizing pain that was radiating throughout his body now. He could feel the tears sliding from his eyes as he clamped his jaw closed, breathing out through his nose. Spittle was flying from his mouth as he exhaled, wishing the horrific pain would blow away with his breath.

“Your arm should start to become numb,” Dr. Sheehan said as he dug through his bag. “I need to get you back to the Den, to my operating room. I will do everything possible to save your hand.”

“I’ll send Dr. Prayze over there,” Gavin said as he leaned over the back of the couch. “I’m so fucking sorry, Abe. I never meant for you to get hurt.”

Abe couldn’t open his mouth to utter one single word. If he unclenched his jaw, he was going to scream until he lost his voice. He just kept kicking the end of the couch, trying to cope. Luke touched Dr. Sheehan’s shoulder, and then Abe’s leg. Within seconds he was lying on a metal table, the doctor quickly moving around the room. Luke had stayed, keeping Abe from rolling off of the table.

Soon Abe felt nothing but a low throb in his arm. He also felt the pressure as the doctor worked at trying to save his hand. He wasn’t sure if he had passed out or not but when he looked toward the door, Valentino was hurrying inside.

His hair was sticking up in all directions, just like earlier. He gave Abe an uneasy smile. “If you didn’t want to go out to dinner, all you had to do was say so.”

Abe started to laugh, but it soon turned to tears. He was so scared that the doctor was going to have to remove his hand or some fingers. He was too terrified to look at his injury. That was a sight he didn’t want to remember, and he would. If it was as half as bad as it had felt, Abe was in serious trouble. “And miss out on dessert?” Abe tried to banter with his mate, but the fear had a tight grip on him.

Luke had shimmered Abe here with the blankets that Pa had piled on him, but he couldn’t seem to get warm. His entire body was shaking. Valentino moved closer and then began to rub his hands over Abe’s legs, chest, good arm, and then repeated those steps over and over again.

“How’s it look?” his mate asked Dr. Sheehan.

Abe bit back a cry when Dr. Sheehan grimly looked at Valentino, but didn’t say a word. His mate grabbed Abe’s other hand, leaned forward, and ran his hand over Abe’s hair. “You, my little cowboy, are doing one hell of a job. I, myself, would have passed out by now.”