by Piper J. Drake
Breathe.She gasped and cool air rushed in, clearing away some of the fog.“That’s it, sweetheart. Take another breath nice and slow. Slow.” Strong hands patted her down, touched her with gentle purpose. “Does anything hurt? Your neck, your head?”“The way you took her down, it’s amazing her skull isn’t splattered all over the sidewalk.” Another man’s voice floated over from some distance away. Or was it a shock thing?Maybe she was in shock.Did people’s feet get cold at times like this? Only her left one.“Your left foot is colder because you lost a shoe when I shoved you out of the way.” A thread of amusement ran through the original speaker’s voice. She liked the sound of it. Kind humor, like what she heard in his words, was the sign of a good man. “I’m going to help you to a sitting position, but if anything hurts at all, you let me know right away and we’re laying you back down. Understood?”“Yes.” She said it out loud on purpose, because she was pretty sure she’d been talking out loud anyway so it’d be good to know if she could do it when she actually meant to.The same big hands she’d taken note of before took hold of her, one sliding under her neck to give her support as she came up to a sitting position.“Slow,” her caretaker admonished.His choice of speeds was frustrating.