Her Loyal Seal(9)

By: Caitlyn O Leary


“Clint?” It was a mere whisper. She turned her head and coughed.

“It’s me.” Darius held up the canteen. “You need to drink some water.”

“Not thirsty.”

“Doesn’t matter. You have to drink.” He brought the canteen to her lips, and she took a couple of sips. “More, you have to drink more.” She did.

Darius prepped a syringe.

“Dare is going to give you a shot.”

“Okay.” That she acquiesced so easily told them both how bad her pain was. Darius administered it. She hissed out a sigh.

“Good girl.”

“I’m cold, but I’m hot too.”

“It’s the fever,” Darius said. “I’m going to go snag another survival blanket from one of the guys.”

“Don’t go out into the rain. It’s too much of a bother.” They both looked at one another over her head. Darius left the makeshift tent. Clint gathered her closer, careful not to touch her back. It was amazing how much heat was coming off her body. Her beautiful brown eyes were so glassy, it scared him to death.

He could feel the heat radiating from her body.

She started to cough.

“Oh good.” Darius ducked his head under the tarp. “Coughing is good. It’s when you’re not coughing that I worry. Lydia, you’re going to need to sleep sitting up tonight.” He put the extra blanket on top of her, and they both helped her into a sitting position against Clint’s backpack.

The coughing seemed to have worn her out. She opened her mouth to say something and then she was asleep.

“Is that normal?” Clint asked.

“She’s really sick. I’m surprised how well she’s doing.”

“This is doing well?” Clint asked incredulously.

“Yes. We’ll see how she is in the morning. Hopefully the antibiotics help. I’m encouraged she spoke coherently tonight. She might…”

Clint didn’t ask any more questions. It was clear where Darius was going with that, and he just didn’t want to face it. He laid his head next to Lydia, and went into the light combat sleep that allowed him to listen to her breathing as he rested. He was damned if she would drift away on his watch.



****



“Clint, you need to rest. You’re stumbling.” He barely heard her, and it wasn’t because of the rain which was finally letting up. It was because her voice was little more than a whisper.

“I’m fine. I’m a SEAL. This is what we do.”

“Even in Mexico, we’ve heard of Navy SEALs. You eat nails for breakfast, and have a beautiful girl in every city.” Her weak laughter tickled his ear.

She was awake because he just made her drink some water. No matter how much he coaxed she refused part of a protein bar, finally she told him she would just throw it up. Since she gagged drinking the water he had to agree with her assessment.

“Marines are the ones with beautiful girls in every city. SEALs are more discerning, we want the right girl.”

Again, she laughed. “I might not have brothers, but I went to school with enough boys to know that’s not true.”

He felt her head fall against the crook of his neck, a sign she would soon be asleep.

“Lydia, maybe not every SEAL is looking for the right girl, but I know I am. I’m looking for a brave girl, a girl who believes in family, and a girl who has honor.”

“She sounds nice. I hope you find her.” Lydia’s voice trailed off into sleep.



****



It looked like the whip marks were festering even worse than they had that morning, and Lydia wouldn’t wake up.

“Dare, do something,” it was a hoarse plea.

“We’re almost to help.” Dare didn’t meet his eyes.

They’d taken a break. Clint took one last look at Lydia then he staggered over to where Mason was standing. He motioned him away from Beth.

“Mason, can’t we get going?”

“I radioed the chopper. They’ll be at the extraction point at the designated time. We’re going to be early if we leave now, so we have time for this break. Mr. and Mrs. Hidalgo need it. Let Lydia rest.”

“Mason, we have to get her to a hospital.”

“Don’t you think I know that,” Mason growled. Then he took a deep breath and put his hand on Clint’s shoulder. “I’m sorry man. I’m worried too. We’ll get her there. She’s in the best hands possible with Dare. Go back to her, I’ll make sure we get to the chopper on time.”

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