This week’s excerpt is from the first book in my newly released duo ‘Rescued by Dr Rafe’.
When newly-qualified paramedic Mimi Sawyer is separated from her colleague in a flash flood, the last person she wants to come to her rescue is Dr Rafe Chapman—the man who broke her heart when he walked out five years ago…
Talking about his feelings has never been easy for Rafe. But their forced reunion means confronting the truth of the past. It’s suddenly clear that Mimi has always been the one for him, yet to win her back he’ll need to convince Mimi that he’s the one for her!
The second book in the duo ‘Saved by the Single Dad’ is also available, and tells Jack and Cass’s story.
Before I get on to the excerpt, I’d just like to remind you that we’ll be having excerpts from Amy Andrews, Jennifer Taylor and Annie O’Neil next month. And if you want to see all of the excerpts we’ve posted so far, please click the ‘Excerpts’ link on the Menu.
Rescued by Dr Rafe
The rain beat down hard on the windscreen, the wipers only clearing it for a moment before water blocked visibility again. Jack was sitting next to her, watching the road ahead carefully.
‘Think we’ll make it?’
Mimi was gripping the steering wheel tight, gauging the way the heavy vehicle was responding in the wet conditions. ‘Yep. As long as the road doesn’t disappear out from under us, we’ll make it.’
The comment wasn’t as unlikely as it would have sounded when they’d last come this way, two weeks ago. It had been raining then, a fine mist that barely covered the road ahead of them. But since then, the rain hadn’t stopped. It had been a dismal summer and August had brought storms. Roads had been washed away in some areas of rural Somerset, and ambulance crews had been battling to get through to their patients.
‘Just think. In two weeks’ time you’ll be away from all of this.’ Jack leaned back in his seat. ‘Miss Miriam Sawyer. Paramedic.’
Despite herself, Mimi grinned. She’d worked hard, and the sound of her own name, spoken with the coveted qualification attached still made her smile every time Jack repeated it. ‘I’m not sure I would have made it without you.’
‘`Course you would. Although I like to think that my expertise and advice were helpful…’
‘And the incessant nagging, of course. But we don’t mention that.’
‘No, we don’t. Or my back seat driving.’
‘Especially not that.’ Two weeks seemed like a long time right now and Mimi’s promotion from ambulance driver to paramedic a long way away. Just getting to this call was about as far ahead as she was able to think, right now.
‘And I’ll be trying to get used to a new partner. Missing your unerring instinct for finding every bump in the road…’
‘Oh, put a sock in it.’ Mimi felt her shoulders relax. Jack always knew when the tension was getting too much, and always seemed to be able to wind things down a bit. ‘Anyway, you’re assuming that they’ll be able to find someone who’ll put up with you.’
‘Harsh, Mimi. Very harsh.’ Jack chuckled, leaning forward to see ahead of them, down the hill towards the river. ‘Looks as if the bridge is still there.’
‘Yeah, but I don’t think we should risk it. That bridge will only just take an ambulance at the best of times. I don’t want to get stuck in the mud on the other side.’ In the brief moments that the windscreen was clear enough to see any distance, it was apparent that the surface water, rolling down the hill on the far side of the river, had reduced the road to a slippery quagmire.
Jack nodded. ‘Looks as if we walk the rest of the way, then.’
‘We could try the A389.’ They’d been directed around this way because of reports that the main road into the village was closed. But maybe that was just a precaution and the ambulance would still be able to traverse it.
‘Nah, I checked and it’s under three feet of water. We’d never get through.’ Jack had been using his phone for updates while Mimi concentrated on the driving. ‘Right now, I think we need to just get ourselves there.’
‘And then?’ If the chances of getting the ambulance across the bridge and up to the village at the top of the hill on the other side were slim, the thought of arriving on foot didn’t appeal very much either. Bringing a pregnant woman back down that treacherous path was something that didn’t bear thinking about.
‘We can assess the situation. I’ve put a call in for a doctor to attend…’
‘Yeah. Right.’ She and Jack had delivered babies before together and, if needs must, they’d do it again. ‘I hope they’re not going to send some junior doctor who thinks he’s the one who’s going to save the world and that we should just stand back and make the tea.’
‘As a paramedic you’ll be making these kinds of decisions soon. What will you do?’ Jack smiled.
‘Oh, I think I’ll put in a call for a doctor to attend.’ Mimi grinned back at him, bringing the ambulance to a halt. She decided to stay put and not pull off the road on to the muddy verge. That was one sure way to get stuck, and a car could make it past in the other lane. Anything bigger wouldn’t be getting any further anyway.
‘Time to get your hair wet again.’
Mimi grimaced, tucking her blonde plait into the back of her shirt. Her hair had been wet so many times in the last week that she was beginning to wish that short hair suited her as well as it did Jack.
They pulled their wet weather gear on in the cabin and Mimi reached for the radio. The only response to her call signal was a burst of static. ‘Looks as if there’s a problem again…’
‘Yeah?’ Jack looked at the rain slamming into the windscreen. ‘Have you got a signal on your mobile?’
‘Probably not…’ Even in good conditions, mobile reception was patchy around here. ‘I might have to walk back up the road a bit. You go on; I’ll be right behind you.’
The ambulance rocked slightly as Jack pulled his heavy bag out of the back, slamming the rear doors closed. Mimi saw him trudge past, rain bouncing from his waterproofs, as she pulled out her phone and dialled.
Nearly… A staccato ringtone sounded on the line, but it was breaking up and then it cut out completely. Climbing out of the ambulance, she toiled back along the road, rain stinging her face. Some way ahead of her she could see an SUV travelling down the hill towards her, going as fast as the pouring rain would allow.
‘Careful, mate…’ She muttered the words to the unknown driver. ‘Any faster and you’ll be in the ditch.’
Forty feet gave her another bar on her phone, and another twenty feet one more. That should be enough. The SUV was closer now, and the driver was flashing his headlights.
‘Okay, I see you.’ Mimi stepped off the road, stumbling over the uneven, sticky ground.
Then she heard it. A distant rumbling sound that might have been thunder, but there had been no accompanying flash of lightning. Mimi turned in the direction of the noise, looking upstream, and then she saw its source.
She shouted into the storm, at the figure on the other side of the bridge, screaming Jack’s name again when he didn’t react. It was impossible to tell whether he’d heard her this time, or the thunderous sound of water rushing downstream towards him, but he turned around.
Jack took one look at the water and dropped the heavy bag he was carrying. He seemed about to try and run, but the steep slope ahead of him was slippery with mud and water.
Mimi stared in horror, unable to do anything, and knowing that Jack had only seconds to make a decision. Run for it, or find something to hang on to. There was a large spreading tree at the side of the road and she willed him towards it. As the water crashed down, she saw him run for the shelter of the tree, clinging on to one of the four split trunks which rose up from the earth.
‘Jack… Hang on…’ She sobbed the words even though she knew he couldn’t hear them. Maybe he knew she’d be saying it, just as surely as she’d known which decision he’d make.
The noise of the water was almost deafening and, in an apocalyptic touch to the scene, the storm chose this moment to shoot a bolt of lightning through the sky, followed by a deep growl of thunder. The rush of water crashed past, taking a few chunks of the bridge with it, and Mimi kept her gaze fixed on the spot where she’d last seen Jack.
‘Hang on, hang on, hang on…’ It was as if she could repeat it enough times to somehow make his grip firmer. The water was subsiding now as it followed the course of the river, and she could see him, tangled in the framework of twisted tree trunks.
Maybe he was holding on or maybe unconscious; she couldn’t see from here. Mimi started to run for the bridge, hoping that it hadn’t been weakened too much by the impact of the water.
A voice sounded behind her but the words were whipped away in the storm. And then someone grabbed her from behind, lifting her off her feet.