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“Larry? It’s Fletch. I listened to your message. Has there been any change? Uh-huh. Still bleeding or has it closed up? Uh-huh. No. If you think she’s savable, then I’m on my way. To be blunt, if there’s a chance she’ll be dead by the time I get there in two hours? You might wanna discuss it with Sharon. We’re on Sunday rates. With travel time.” A few more “uh-huhs” and he said, “Let me know. Sure. I doubt I’ll get another emergency call in the next fifteen minutes.”

He dropped the phone from his ear and sighed.

Tanna scooted behind him, wrapping her legs around him, and laying her cheek between his shoulder blades. “Duty calls for Dr. Fletcher?”

“Not yet. My client needs to discuss treatment options with his wife, since they’d be facing a big vet bill, so I’m in limbo until I hear back.” He ran his hands over her bare thighs. “I’d hoped to get to spend more of the day with you. I’d like to say this never happens, but it happens a lot.”

No apologies. This was who he was. Tanna knew he was turning this into a make or break moment.

“I could pout because my playtime with you has been shortchanged. Or we could have a quickie to start your day out with a bang. You know. To kill some time while you’re waiting.” She kissed his spine.

“A quickie, huh?”

“I’ll even let you tie me up again.”

“Can I spank that fine ass of yours?”

“Umm. No.”

“Damn.”

She laughed. “Grab a condom.”

After he rolled one on—he was already hard, big surprise—he stalked her across the mattress. “This isn’t a pity f**k?”

“Fucking you is no chore, trust me.” Tanna wreathed her arms around his neck. “But if you want, I can try a pitiful wail and moan real loud.”

Fletch said, “You’ll do that anyway,” and drove into her to the hilt.

After he’d scrambled her brain and put a big smile on both their faces, she watched him, pacing by the side of the bed.

While they’d been in the moment, skin to skin, mouth to mouth, Tanna knew Fletch hadn’t been thinking of anything else but pleasing her. Making her forget everything except how well he could make her sing.

But now . . . his focus had shifted.

It was weirdly hot and absolutely endearing.

You can’t fall for this man, Tanna. Remember that.

His phone rang. “Hey, Larry. No, that’s fine. I’m on my way.” He hung up and dialed another number. “Dr. Fletcher, 2295.” He paused. “Requesting addendum to standard message.” Another pause. “Due to remote site call, wait time for emergency response will be longer than four hours.”

Fletch gathered his clothes. Jamming his feet into his socks first, then stepping into his underwear.

“Too bad you can’t run your vet practice naked,” she murmured. “Such a pity to cover up your bangin’ body, Doc.”

“Hilarious. That’s just what I need. A horse taking a bite outta my cock, thinking it’s a carrot.”

“It is a big, juicy carrot,” she cooed. “And I know firsthand how good it tastes.”

He laughed. As he dragged on his jeans, he asked, “What are you doin’ today?”

Needing a physical connection with him after the intensity of the past few hours, she rolled out of bed and took over buttoning his shirt. “I have to work in the lounge at four. Split Rock shareholders meeting. What about you? If you finish your call early?”

“I doubt that’ll happen. If we are gonna save the mare, it’ll require surgical repair. I’m wiped out after that. And if I have free time on Sundays, I stop by and hang out with my dad.”

“Saving wounded ponies. Doting on your father. And you’re a beast in the sack? You’re too good to be true, August.”

He retorted, “Hardly,” and blushed anyway. That reaction appeared to annoy him, so he trapped her face in his hands and kissed her. Her lips buzzed a little when he finally pulled away. “Not too good to be true, sugar twang. I’m just a man doin’ his job. And right now? I’m wishing I was a janitor so I could spend all day with you.”

“Be safe.”

“I will. I’ll be in touch. Soon, okay?”

“Okay.”

Tanna waited for the door to close before she snuggled under the covers and went back to sleep.

Chapter Fifteen

“I need to speak with you, Dr. Fletcher.”

Fletch’s gaze moved from his computer screen to Cora. “Sure. What’s on your mind?”

“I’d prefer to have this discussion in the reception area.” She spun on her orthopedic shoe and left his office.

A summons on top of being holed up, browbeaten into dealing with paperwork he’d been putting off forever. This day wasn’t off to an auspicious start since it wasn’t yet noon. Fletch pushed his chair back and followed her.

But Cora wasn’t in her usual spot, sitting primly behind her desk. She stared out the front door, a sheaf of papers in her hand.

“All right, Cora, what’s up?”

She turned around. “I’ve worked for you for nine years.”

Crap. Was she giving notice?

“In that time I’ve asked for a week off here and there. I appreciate the extra paid time off at Christmas. But the truth is, I’ve wanted to take an extended vacation for quite a while.”

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