She poked at her cereal but couldn’t bring herself to eat over fear her stomach would protest. “How bad was last night’s? Was there anything involved other than major drooling?”
Please don’t let me have had any truly embarrassing loss of body functions in front of Mr. Tall, Dreamy and Intelligent.
“Nah, it wasn’t bad. I’m a vet. I’ve had dogs pee on me and cows shit on my boots. But the worst was when a horse kicked me in vet school. I got knocked flat on my ass and landed in a pile of horse dung in front of the entire class.”
She couldn’t help but chuckle and appreciate his effort to put her at ease. “Now that’s embarrassing.”
“You got that right, and it got worse when everyone in class started calling me shit kicker. Try living that nickname down.”
“No, thanks. You win the embarrassment sweepstakes.”
But only because it appeared her seizure last night had been mild.
“I don’t know how I got lucky enough to keep my corps buddies from finding out about it. I guess the separate worlds thing.”
“Ty doesn’t know about this alias?” When Cooper shook his head, she continued. “I can feel the power pulsing through my veins thinking of the possibilities. A barrel racing horse needs a lot of vet care. You know, I’m thinking we could cut a deal for my silence.”
His blue eyes darkened to a shade near cobalt. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as a blackmailer.”
“Not unless I’m in a real spot.”
“Should I be worried?”
“Not now, but I’m filing the information away just in case.”
His comment shattered her playful mood. What would Cooper think if he discovered the truth, that she’d never graduated from high school, but earned a GED a couple years later?
“I should apologize for showing up last night. Aubrey and I were talking, and she suggested we come see you. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but…” Her voice trailed off. “There’s nothing else to say, except I’m the adventurous type, and it sometimes gets me into trouble.”
“I say we forget about last night. I wasn’t at my best either, and truth be told, I owe you an apology, too.”
“No, you don’t. I put you in an awkward position, asking for help to short cut the process. I’m not exactly proud of that, but in my defense, I’d had a long day with my mom, and I was pretty desperate.”
The sound of scratching against glass pulled their attention to the patio door a few feet away. The tri-colored dog and shepherd from last night stood peering inside. “I’d wondered where they were.”
When Cooper let the dogs in, Rowdy stayed with Cooper, but Penny made a beeline for Cheyenne and parked herself at her feet. “Did she push me onto the couch right before I blacked out?”
Cheyenne glanced in the living room and the reality of what could’ve happened washed over her, making her tremble. “With the coffee table and end tables there, if not for Penny, I probably would’ve hit something when I fell.” Cheyenne leaned over and cupped the animal’s face between her hands. “I owe you a big thank you. You saved me another huge bump to the head or worse.” She turned to Cooper. “I wonder what made her do that.”
“She sensed you were going to have a seizure.”
“I knew service dogs could help keep someone safe once a seizure started, but I didn’t know they could sense before one started.”
“Opinions differ, but I’m a firm believer some can. Could be they sense something in a person’s behavior, or it’s possible their sense of smell is so keen, they detect a chemical change before the seizure hits. Unfortunately, we don’t always pick up on their natural alerting behaviors. A dog could nip at a person, bark like crazy in a way that’s different from its normal bark, or—”
“She whines and paws at a person.”
Cooper nodded. “A thought occurred to me last night.” He explained about a product he was working on.
Something about an app and a thing a person wore like a watch that went along with a device a dog was trained to press when an alarm sounded. That alerted a seizure patient’s emergency contact or EMS. The whole thing sounded odd and Cheyenne couldn’t understand how it would help. In fact, she was only half listening when Aubrey burst out of the bedroom. “Cheyenne, where are you? We’ve got a problem.”
Rowdy barked. Penny slid closer to Cheyenne and shoved her nose under her palm. “It’s okay, girl.” She patted the dog’s head while she called out to tell Aubrey she was in the kitchen.
Her friend rushed toward her, blonde hair tangled around her face, her clothes rumbled and cockeyed from sleep. Panic flared in her eyes. “I just talked to my mom. When yours couldn’t reach you this morning, she showed up at my apartment, and when you weren’t there, your hysterical mother called mine trying to find you. I told her where we were, but you should call her.”
Foreboding twisted Cheyenne’s stomach into a huge knot. “How bad is it?”
Before Aubrey answered, her phone rang again. “What now, Mom?” She paused to listen. “Tell her Cheyenne’s fine, and get her to call them back.”
Call who back? Cheyenne wrapped her arms around her stomach to keep from shaking. What had her mother done now? Her mind refused to consider the possibilities. She glanced at Aubrey, whose skin had paled to a shade above zombie gray. This was bad.
When Aubrey ended the call, Cheyenne said, “What’s my mom done? Called out the national guard?”
“Close. She called the College Station police.”
To be entered to win today’s giveaway, leave a comment about an embarrassing moment like Cheyenne experienced above with her mother. One random person will win a copy of To Catch A Texas Cowboy, book 2 in my Wishing Texas series and the soup mug.
Book 3 in the series, To Tame A Texas Cowboy is available now. Click here to order.