Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Buildup--Excerpt Time!

Yeah, it's been a little while since we did a teaser for Harvest Moon Rising. Without further ado...

“Mr. and Mrs. Gravier.” The genteel looking older man, white doctor’s coat fluttering around his thin frame, extended a hand. “I’m Dr. Edwards. Thank you for coming in today.”
“Ms. Gravier. Mr. Sullivan.” Mike shook Edwards hand. “We’re divorced.”

Edwards blinked, the handshake slowing. “Well. This is different.”

“You can’t begin to imagine how.” I sank into the chair, dropped my bag on the floor. “Cari Gravier.”

“Ms. Gravier.” Apparently still stunned by Mike’s bombshell, Edwards straightened his tie, eased down into his own chair behind a massive desk. Light bounced off the shiny dome of his head, blinding me until he shifted in his seat. “I’ve had a chance to look over your file.”

“I’m sure it made for entertaining bedtime reading.” I’d given up after two pages. Not because I couldn’t understand, although there were words and phrases I’d had to feed into Google. It just made my stomach turn to read about one of the worst nights of my life, reduced to dry, medical jargon. “I looked you up. The testimonials on your site are quite impressive.”

“New Life Fertility works hard to help both couples and individuals in their reproductive needs.” Even though I’m sure the line was propaganda, Edwards delivered it with enough emotion to be convincing. “We understand how difficult the road to conception can be, and do our best to ease it.”

“Let’s cut to the chase, Doc.” Mike settled back in his chair, propped one booted ankle on his knee. “Can you help?”

“Don’t mind him, Dr. Edwards.” The look I slanted Mike’s direction was sharp enough to etch glass. “His bark is worse than his bite.”

“Uh, well.” Edwards shuffled some papers on his desk, opened a file. “I’ll be blunt, Ms. Gravier. Your uterus has severe scarring, very severe. I will tell you I’ve seen worse, but not by much.”

I nodded, swallowed once. Even Doc Morris and his outdated sonogram machine had been able to tell me that much. “But?”

“But, the scar tissue is limited to one area of the uterus.” Edwards pulled out a grainy photo, flipped it around, pointed at a spot. “This makes things difficult, but not impossible.”

“Makes what not impossible?” Mike straightened, his foot dropping to the floor. I reached out blindly, bore down when his fingers laced with mine.

Edwards blinked, looked from me to Mike and back again. “Why, conceiving, of course.”

“The doctors told me I’d never conceive. Period, point blank, end of the road.” My vision blurred and I closed my eyes, fought back tears before opening them. “What are you seeing that they didn’t?”

“Well, your miscarriage and the resulting scarring occurred five years ago, Ms. Gravier. Five years ago, we didn’t know a number of things we do now.” Edwards shuffled his papers around, tapped them together. “And like I said, conception isn’t impossible. Merely difficult. Although even that is something of an overstatement.”

“Overstatement? Doc, we’re from a small town in Georgia. Understatement we get, overstatement?” Mike laughed, the sound shaky, hoarse. His fingers trembled against mine. “Break this down, okay?”

“We can surgically remove enough of the scar tissue to ensure a better than average chance of a fetus reaching full term.” Edwards opened a drawer, withdrew a small brochure. “Nothing is one hundred percent certain, as I’m sure you can imagine, but there’s a very high success rate with surgeries like this.”

“Surgery.” I sagged back into the chair, sighed. “That may be a problem.”

“She’s allergic to anathesia. And pain killers. And pretty much anything you could give her to knock her out.” Mike dropped my hand, rubbed the nape of his neck.

“How allergic?” Edwards picked up a pen, scrawled something on the top sheet of paper.

“She could die.”

“If it’s too strong, or stays in my bloodstream for too long.” I wet my lips, dug my nails into my palm. “We’ve never tried a local.”

“Because it’s too dangerous.” Mike’s voice started to slide into a growl. He caught himself, cleared his throat. “Sorry, Doc. It’s good news, but not really.”

“How do we know it’s too dangerous if we’ve never tried?” I shot the question at Mike, turned my attention back to Edwards. “Can you do the surgery with a local?”

“I would have to check, to be honest with you. I’m sure there have been other patients with similar allergies, it’s just a matter of finding the case materials.” Edwards blinked at Mike’s snort. “Is there a problem, Mr. Sullivan?”

Before Mike could answer, his phone signaled an incoming text. Whatever he read on the screen made his face turn to stone. “Excuse me, Doc. We’ll have to discuss the rest of this at some other time. Cari, we have to go.”

“Mike - .”

Now, Cari.” Without waiting for a response, he stood, pulled me to my feet. “We’ll be in touch.”

I held my tongue down the hall, past the receptionist, until we were in the parking lot. “What’s the rush, Mike?”

He opened my door, booted me up into the passenger seat. “Selene, Georgia just became a big blip on the government’s radar.”

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