BETA READ by Dana Katherine
"Thank you," Dr. Mike whispered, as Sully silently placed her comb in her lap. She thought about Olive's words, and smiled to herself. It couldn't be true. Michaela felt like it was still too soon for him after Abigail and the child had died. It must have been nearly two years now, but she, too, couldn't put David out of her thoughts yet. Not yet. She understood how it felt. Your plans being shattered in pieces by losing the one you had planned them with.
"Sure," Sully said, getting up. He sat himself down a couple of feet further and lay down to sleep. "I would like to leave early," he stated, before turning his back to her and winking at Wolf, who got up and came to lie by his head, laying his head between his paws. Sully patted his head and lay down on his fur, knowing that his wolf wouldn't mind his friend using him as a pillow. He didn't really see the white gray wolf as a pet, but more like his best friend.
"Sleep tight," Sully said, closing his eyes and listening to the sounds coming from behind him. He didn't hear anything and glanced over his shoulder to see Dr. Mike simply sitting there for a moment, staring at nothing in particular, before she carefully tried to lie down as well without hurting her wrist more. She softly winced when she accidentally brushed her broken wrist against the underground. She closed her eyes, unaware of Sully's gaze on her.
When he thought Dr. Mike had fallen asleep, Sully turned back to his wolf, patted his side and tried to sleep as well. He couldn't fall asleep, though, because as soon as he'd nuzzled his head into the fur of his faithful friend and closed his eyes, he heard another wince coming from behind him, a little louder than the previous. He turned his upper body towards Dr. Mike instead of just glancing over his shoulder and looked at her.
She looked up when she heard the movements and smiled nervously. "I'm fine, I'm just used to sleeping on both my hands..." she said. "Or pillows." She sighed. "I'll be fine; I guess I'll just need to find another position, and a more comfortable one preferably."
Sully looked at her with his cobalt blue eyes, worry lines creased between his brows. He turned back around after staring at her for a minute and hoped he could fall asleep. He closed his eyes for the third time and managed to sleep for half an hour, until the sound of clattering teeth woke him. He re-opened his eyes and sighed, turning his upper body back around to find Dr. Mike curled up as much as possible to shield herself from the sweeping cold night wind. Her teeth were clattering loudly.
He swallowed before making his decision and got up, walking over to her and crouching down next to her. She looked up at him, teeth clattering a little less loudly. "I'm sorry if I woke you..." she whispered.
Sully lay down next to her without answering, saying, "Come here." Dr. Mike looked at him for an instant. She didn't think she'd heard him correctly, until he made a small head movement indicating that she had; indicating that he wanted her to sleep against him. She opened her mouth to say something, but no sound came out. She swallowed and decided to oblige. She was icy cold. His body heat against her would be better for both of them. Warmer. Dr. Mike didn't know how to turn, but decided on turning her back against his chest, resting her head on her left hand. Sully pulled her a little closer against him and laid his hand on her hip bone. She pulled back from the unfamiliar touch at first, lifting her head a little higher again, but lowering it again when she understood he just wanted to pull his arm around her waist. She allowed him to.
'To keep me warm,' Michaela told herself. 'Perhaps he's cold himself, too...' He felt steaming hot. She felt warmer already as well.
"You're shaking," Sully stated calmly, feeling her body trembling against his. He could feel the goose bumps on her lower arm. At least it wasn't so bad her teeth were clattering again, but still a strange kind of concern washed over him. Not just the friendly kind of concern, but more the concern he would have felt for Abigail. Dr. Mike reminded him of his wife. Independent. Stubborn, mostly. Yet at the same time there were so many differences between them. Abigail had been beautiful. And as was Michaela, but she was another kind of beautiful.
He pushed his nose in her long light brown hair and got lost in the smell, still waiting for some kind of answer. "Yes," Michaela admitted, sighing gently and squeezing his hand a little harder.
"Are you cold?" Sully questioned, his concern growing, as he gave her hand a squeeze back, trying to reassure her that he was right there with her, and he wasn't going anywhere. She was shaking terribly.
"No, I'm not cold," she whispered.
"Then why are you shaking?" Sully wanted to know.
Dr. Mike didn't reply him, but just kept on holding his hand hardly. She hoped that he wouldn't push, because she didn't know how to explain this. How do you explain someone you consider to be your best friend that what you feel for them isn't even comparable with what you felt for your fiancé so many years back? She decided to try and be honest with him. "It's just... I..."
Sully could feel his concern reaching a peak as he let go of her hand and gently turned her to him, so he could look into her eyes. Her right eye was just a little browner than her left, he'd noticed earlier, but it didn't make her any less beautiful. Not to him, at least. He thought it personalized her more. She was already different from other women (and men, too) in her way of thinking and acting, he thought it just emphasized that and made her more different. Unique. Special.
He carefully took her hand again and noticed her gaze going to their entwined hands for a second, before redirecting it to his face, eyes darting back and forth, as if trying to read him by doing that. "It's just..." she started."I feel really good with you. Safe. And... It's been a while since I felt like that... If I ever felt like this before, at least. I... I..."
"Shh..." Sully said, laying two fingers on her lips. He smiled silently. "You don't have to explain. I feel the same."
Michaela's heart skipped a beat hearing that. It hadn't gone half as bad as she'd expected. "How long?" she questioned, and even though she didn't expect him to answer this, he did.
"Me, too," she said, snuggling closer into his chest. More words didn't need to be said. They'd take it nice and slow. It had stopped raining, but neither of them made a move. They'd follow their journey in the morning. It could wait.