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Ray McKenna returns from the war in Iraq to find she has attained unwanted celebrity status as the result of surviving a well-publicized hostage crisis. She relies on psychiatric therapy dog Jagger to help her through her PTSD. When she meets vet Carly Warner, they begin a friendship which takes them both by surprise.
against his incredible weight. It was lucky she was relatively able-bodied. He would be a terrible therapy dog for someone who had worse physical problems than her own slight limp. “Okay,” Ray murmured under her breath. “Everything will be okay.” I am the master of my fate. Without giving herself time to change her mind, she rang the bell. Ray’s anxiety reached a sickening crescendo as she listened to soft footfalls approach the door. This was it. It was really happening. Social
woke up and began to chew on her finger. “Ouch!” Ray laughed and pulled away. “She’s got a mouth full of needles.” “Ah, puppy teeth. I know them well.” “I’ll bet.” Ray placed the puppy back in its pen with its littermates. She rolled a ball toward the corner of the wire enclosure, sending three puppies stumbling after it. “Courageous woman.” “Worth it, though,” Carly remarked, watching the puppies give chase.“Totally worth it.” Ray brought her injured finger to her mouth, blowing
eyes, finding no answers but drawing comfort from the love that shone from within. “Is she really upset that I have a date?” Ray had been uncomfortable with her sexuality, but Carly thought they were over that. “I guess she’s never seen it in real life, though,” she said quietly. Maybe the thought of her going on a date with a woman was too much for Ray to handle. Carly pulled away from Jack and stared out at the bright afternoon sunshine. She was exhausted. Blinking back tears, she
woman so quickly was quite a leap. “I know. That was a knee-jerk reaction and I felt like a complete asshole. I didn’t understand your intentions.” “Still, this must really surprise you.” Carly looked away shyly. “Being attracted to a woman.” “Yes.” Ray wanted to be as honest as possible. “And I wouldn’t • 114 • Battle ScarS admit that I was until you told me about your date. Then I couldn’t think about anything else.” Carly ran a hand through her hair, and Ray’s throat went dry
visibly at the sound. Her dark hair was cut short, falling just below her ears, and her features were delicate. Pale skinned and slender, and achingly feminine, she wasn’t at all what Carly had imagined. With effort, Carly was able to limit her reaction to Ray’s appearance to only a slight hesitation as she walked in, and for that she was grateful. Anxiety was pouring off Ray in waves, and the palpable tension in the room compelled Carly into a familiar air of professional