The Hungry
boobed and entirely tasteless semi-nude paintings on the wall. Miller wanted to laugh at Terrill Lee's middle-aged attempt to reinvent himself, but instead spat a wad of bloody phlegm on Terrill Lee's white coat. His face showed concern. Still pissed, Miller passed out.
    A few moments later, she woke to find herself lying on something incredibly soft. Miller carefully rolled her head from side to side. She was in their old bedroom. There was a blank spot on the wall where their wedding portrait used to hang, a large square one shade lighter than the rest of the flocked wallpaper. Saddened, Miller continued to stare at that spot as if it were a window into a better time. Meanwhile Terrill Lee examined her battered body. He removed the bloody makeshift bandage. Penny Miller felt warm wetness drool down her side and onto the bedspread.
    "We have to stop this bleeding," Terrill Lee muttered. He pulled the case off of a pillow, wadded it up and pressed it against the wound. "Hold this here, Penny. I'm going to get my gear. I'll be right back to stitch this up, you hear?"
    Miller did as she was told. She coughed again and pain seared through her chest. This can't be good, she thought. Feels like I'm all messed up inside .
    A few moments later, Terrill Lee reappeared, clutching the large, old-fashioned black medical bag he carried with him to nearby ranches and farms. He squatted next to her. With a pair of surgical scissors, he cut her uniform shirt away, exposing a wound and a large portion of her left breast.
    "No peeking," she said, smiling weakly.
    Terrill Lee actually laughed. That was a sound she hadn't heard in a long time. "I'll be honest with you, girl. Having your boobs ogled by your ex-husband is the least of our problems right now." He cut the rest of her filthy shirt away, poured disinfectant onto a ball of cotton, and cleaned the skin around her wound. Terrill Lee grabbed the scissors again. He skillfully cut away her torn uniform trousers. Miller wondered why she'd left. Had he always been this handsome?
    "Don't move."
    He cut away the rest of her uniform. She didn't have the strength to argue. If it made it easier for Terrill Lee to keep her alive when she was naked as a baby, then that would have to do. Miller winced as he pulled the clothing away. Terrill Lee removed the compress. He used a small squirt bottle to irrigate the wound. "A bite I can relate to, but you want to tell me how you managed to get shot ?"
    "Later." She sighed. "Let's just say I've had a really bad night."
    "You and everyone else from here to Elko and beyond, from all I can gather." He continued to work, quickly and efficiently. He was a medical man, used to fixing what was broke. Male or female, human or animal, that didn't much matter. He'd always been good at his job, just not much of a husband.
    "So do you know what's going on?" she asked.
    Terrill Lee laughed again, but this time in a minor key. "You could say that." He rolled her over onto her right side, and began working on her back. "It seems we're lucky. This is a through and through wound. Exit is just above your scapula. Probably grazed a rib, but apart from tearing you up pretty bad, we have good reason to believe you're going to be all right."
    It hurt. "Fuck me," she said, almost inaudibly.
    "You wish." Terrill Lee stood up. He towered over her nakedness. "Too bad you couldn't have said that more often before we got divorced."
    That was more than Miller was willing to take. She summoned all her strength. "Terrill Lee, you circus geek, dense-as-a-pinecone motherfucker, I do not wish to have that conversation with you again, and especially at this particular instant. Hells bells, doesn't your Hypocrite's oath prevent you from antagonizing your patients?"
    "You ain't a calf that's been hit by a car, Penny. My type of Hippocratic oath doesn't apply to humans." He glared at her. "But if you think it will make you feel any better, you can have a dog biscuit and a brushing once we've

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