I had a contest to promote my upcoming book, At Last, looking for my Facebook author page. If I got to 100 likes, I would release an excerpt. Well, wouldn’t you know, the little rascals pulled it off. 106 likes.
“Well, this afternoon promises to be a good time,” Liz commented as she rinsed her hair.
“Why’s that, Babe?” Ty asked over the hiss of the shower.
“OB-GYN visit and mammogram, so much fun. ‘Mrs. Hadley, good to see you. We’ve devised some new tortures to visit upon your body in the name of practicing medicine, beginning with a nicely chilled speculum and ending with the pressurized fun of a mammogram. Welcome to your mid 40s, Elizabeth,’” Liz answered. “‘By the way, did we remember to recommend that you have a colonoscopy, too? Just a thought.’”
She heard Ty chuckling.
“You make sure that prostate stays in good working order, Ty. I’m not done with it yet.”
“You got it,” he said laughing.
Liz raised her left arm over her head and began making firm circles on the skin of her left breast with her right hand, feeling for irregularities underneath. “Okay, so far, so good.”
“What’s that?” Ty asked.
“Breast self-exam,” Liz answered. “Every month, like clockwork, haven’t missed in 9 years.” She put her right arm over her head and repeated the procedure on the right breast.
“Want me to do it for you?” Ty asked. “Be no trouble at all.”
Liz laughed, “Thanks for the offer, but it’s not really all…that…ero…tic…” The circling stopped and she returned to the spot and felt again.No, she hadn’t imagined it. “No. Oh, God.”
The shower curtain snapped aside.
“What just happened?” Ty’s eyes were fixed on her hand. He reached out to touch, imitating Liz’s hand and circling, pressing her wet flesh. “You found something?” Liz heard the fear in his voice.
“I’m not sure,” she admitted, “Could be my imagination. Could be a cyst.”
“Could be cancer,” Ty finished hoarsely. He yanked a towel off the rack and wrapped Liz in it, sarong-style, then pulled her close. They stood there for a minute, Liz holding as tightly to Ty as he held her. He was only wearing a towel around his waist and Liz needed the intimate contact of skin to skin.
“God damn it,” she heard Ty growl, “God damn it.” She could feel the anger in him beginning to build.
Liz put her hand on his shoulder and squeezed. She slid her hand up to Ty’s face and looked into his eyes.
Quietly, she said, “Look. This may be nothing, okay? Let’s stay calm until we know for sure.” She brought Ty’s face down for a kiss that took on more urgency the longer it lasted.
Ty broke off first. “I love you, Liz. I don’t want to think about losing you.” He kissed her forehead and left his lips pressed to it. “Ever.”
He kissed her again. “That’s it. I’m coming to the doctor with you.”
Liz buried her face in his shoulder, smiling. “No, Counselor. I can handle this. Besides, if there is a lump, the doctor will refer me to someone else for a biopsy and that will take a few days to schedule, so you’d be terrorizing the doctor today for no good reason. Take it out on opposing counsel instead, okay?” She kissed Ty again, deeply. “I love you.”
“I love you, Liz,” Ty said. “Sure you’re okay with doing this by yourself?”
“Done it before, remember? I know the drill.” Liz felt him relax slightly.
Luckily, Liz thought, she’d done pretty good job of hiding her own terror.
COMING DECEMBER 1, 2013