The Michaela Bancroft Mysteries 1-3

The Michaela Bancroft Mysteries 1-3 by Michele Scott Read Free Book Online

Book: The Michaela Bancroft Mysteries 1-3 by Michele Scott Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michele Scott
rolling, twisting his intestine, and that would mean a costly surgery that was not always very successful.
    "The Banamine should be kicking in," he said. Michaela knew from growing up with Ethan— who'd always wanted to be a vet— and helping him study for his finals during vet school, that Banamine was used to help alleviate the pain. "I was thinking I could give him a little ACE to ease him further while we tube him, but he's got a good nature about him and I don't think he'll give us too much grief."
    Michaela nodded and took the lead line. She faced Leo, holding the rope tightly under his chin, lifting his nose in the air. Ethan began to slide the plastic tube up into one of his nostrils and down his throat. Leo stomped the ground and tried to shake his head, but Michaela kept a tight grip on him. Once the tube was down into his intestinal track, Ethan was able to pump the oil through. Leo didn't put up much of a stink. After finishing with the tube, they took him out of the stall and walked him around for some time to keep him from lying down to roll.
    "I think we caught it in time. Good thing. He's a beautiful animal, Mick, and I know what he means to you." She nodded; her face grew taut and she felt the tears starting again. "Hey, hey, it's going to be okay. He'll be fine. We just have to keep a watch on him, but like I said, it looks like we caught it just in time. So relax now, okay? Let's get him in the stall and see if he'll eat some bran."
    Michaela couldn't respond. Ethan put Leo back as she got a small bucket of bran for him. She poured it into his feeder; he started to eat it.
    "See, look at that."
    Michaela choked back the grief tightening her chest. Ethan put a hand on her shoulder. For the first time since she'd arrived back at her place, she really looked at him. Green eyes, sun-kissed, sculpted cheekbones, a crooked nose— due to a kick from an angry horse— faced her.
    "What is it, Mick? What's wrong?"
    She covered her eyes. Her body started that uncontrollable shaking again.
    "Mick, you're scaring me. What the hell is it? Is it your dad?" She shook her head. "Brad? Is he giving you grief again? I can talk to him and make him leave you alone. Believe me , I'd get some pleasure out of doing that."
    "Lou was... murdered this morning!" She blurted it out and as she did, the impact of the reality hit her hard. Her knees buckled.
    Ethan held onto her. "Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Mick, no, no... Jesus, how, who... what in the hell?"
    Sobs wracked her body as she shook in his arms, unable to speak. When she finally did she could only tell him what little facts she knew.
    " You found him?" he asked, stunned.
    She nodded.
    "Ah, Mick. God, I wish I could do something. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I don't know what to say. Is there anything I can do?"
    "No." She pulled away from him. "There's not."
    "I can't believe it. Oh, man." He shook his head. "I was by there yesterday to talk to him."
    "You were? Why?"
    "I needed to talk to him about something."
    Tears running down her face, she crossed her arms. "Ethan, why did you go on the rafting trip without saying anything to me? Why did you leave Lou's ranch? Did he kick you off?"
    Ethan sighed. "Let's not go into this now. You need me, I'm here, and learning this is like getting sucker-punched."
    She saw his eyes water. He turned away. "I'm sorry. The last thing I want to know is that you two had a fight, but you have to tell me. What was going on between you and my uncle? I asked him after you left and he wouldn't tell me either. When I spoke with him last night, something seemed to be troubling him, and now, knowing you went there, I have to wonder if it was you on his mind, and if so, why."
    "Wait a minute, you think I could have something to do with this? With Lou being killed?"
    "Of... course not."
    "Why the interrogation, then? I didn't hurt Lou. He treated me like a son and I loved him." Emotion caught in his throat. "I would've never hurt that man, and just

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