Wings of Promise

Wings of Promise by Bonnie Leon

Book: Wings of Promise by Bonnie Leon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bonnie Leon
need it.”
    Kate took the clamp. She tried to keep her hand from shaking, but couldn’t quite manage.
    Paul placed a hand over hers. “You’re a natural for this.”
    He smiled encouragement, but Kate could see trepidation in his eyes. Was he afraid too?
    Paul examined Peter, opening each eyelid and looking closely at his pupils. Using a stethoscope, he listened to the boy’s heart, and then folded back the sheet and watched the rise and fall of his chest. Next, he doused a cloth with liquid from a bottle and wiped it on the child’s stomach, leaving a reddish-brown smear. With a glance at Nena and then Kate, he asked, “All set?”
    Both women nodded. Kate didn’t feel ready. She was a pilot, not a nurse. The last place she wanted to be was in this room.
    With meticulous care, Paul picked up a small-handled knife. Every nerve in her body taut, Kate forced herself to watch. He palpated the boy’s stomach, and then pressed the blade to his skin. As he cut, flesh fell away and blood oozed.
    Kate felt woozy. I’m not going to faint. I’m not. She swabbed blood as Paul opened the incision farther and probed for Peter’s infected appendix.
    “Here it is,” he said. “And definitely toxic. Good thing we didn’t wait.”
    While Paul worked, Kate forgot that she didn’t know what to do. Paul was patient and precise in his instructions, and her insecurity and queasiness was replaced by interest. She’d never seen the inside of a person’s body.
    Paul glanced at Nena. “He still in a deep sleep?”
    “Yes. How much longer?”
    “Nearly finished.” He snipped off the inflamed appendix, lifted it out, and dropped it into a bowl. “Got it. Before you know it, he’ll be out pretending to be a mighty hunter and chasing after his brother.” He went to work suturing the inner incision and, when that was done, moved to closing the wound he’d made in Peter’s abdomen.
    Finally, he tied off the last stitch. “That’s it.” He smiled at Nena and Kate. “Good job, ladies.” He wiped blood from his hands, then checked Peter’s pulse and respiration. “Keep him warm and quiet. He’ll sleep for a while.” Paul turned to Kate. “How you holding up?”
    She lowered herself into a chair. “I’m fine.” She closed her eyes for a moment, and then looked at Paul. “I’m glad it’s over, though.”
    Paul smiled. “Like I said, you’re a natural. You ought to think about becoming a nurse.”
    “I’ll stick to flying, thanks.” Kate’s tone was dry, but she felt elated. She’d done something she’d never thought herself capable of, and Peter was going to be all right.
    Paul and Kate remained at the Turchiks’ another full day until Paul was certain Peter would recover well. He left thorough instructions for his care, and then he and Kate set off. They had additional stops to make, but thankfully encountered no further emergencies.
    When Kate set down in Anchorage, she was glad to be home.
    “The Winter Festival ought to be in full swing by now.” Paul squeezed Kate’s knee. “We could use a little fun.”
    Kate nodded, but she was worn out, and even the festival felt like too much. Working with Paul had turned out to be more than she’d counted on. It consumed a great deal of her energy and time. Plus she flew fewer hours and made less money. Exhausted, she longed for her bed, but she needed to get back into the air and hoped Sidney had work lined up. She glanced at Paul. He was counting on spending the time with her, and the idea of sharing the merriment of the festival with him made it hard to think about work. Maybe she ought to take a couple of days off.
    Wearing his usual relaxed smile, Mike Conlin met them at the plane. “’Bout time you two got back.”
    He gave Kate a one-armed hug and shook Paul’s hand. “How’d it go?”
    “Good,” Kate said, glad to see Mike was his usual friendly self.
    “You guys look beat. How about a cup of coffee?” Mike grinned. “Helen dropped off

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