Couldn’t feel a thing but the weight of her eyelids.

Her first conscious thought was that she’d been drugged, and if that was the case, this made only the third time she’d lowered her guard enough to let that happen. Normally, she didn’t party with guys she picked up. Sure, she’d sip a beer, pretend to take a toke off a joint—never inhaled—but for her, inebriation itself was worthless. She’d never understood what people saw in getting stoned and drunk. It only dulled the senses, and for her, intensity was everything.

If they’d drugged her, then they’d probably raped her and beat the shit out of her, too.

And she wouldn’t begrudge them if they had.

Good for them.

This wasn’t her first rodeo, and if someone had found a way to slip something into a drink or otherwise incapacitate her before she did the same to them…

Then kudos.

Hats off.

But the hole in her memory was just so gaping she couldn’t quite bring herself to believe she’d let herself get drugged.

No, something else had happened.

Something much, much worse.

Slowly, images were beginning to sharpen all around her.

A black cube up in the corner near the ceiling that she realized was a television set.

Empty chairs.

The railing of a…bed…she was lying in a bed, and those things wrapped in red and brown stained bandages were her legs. In four places, black foam dressing had been taped to her appendages and drainage tubes arched out of them.

An IV stand loomed above her, and several bags filled with clear liquid dangled from its hooks, running their contents down various intravenous lines into her left arm.

A heart monitor behind the stand displayed her rate and rhythm.

Her nose itched, and when she tried to raise her left arm to scratch it, something arrested the movement—her wrist was handcuffed to the railing.

The door to her hospital room stood open, and sitting just outside was a pudgy lawman in a khaki uniform, reading

. His gun—looked like a .40 mil subcompact Glock from her vantage point—bulged off his right hip next to a can of pepper spray and a sheathed baton.

Or perhaps more appropriate…

Then again, she’d always had a soft spot for catheters.

She wiggled her bottom, and a burning flush crept up her tailbone.

Lucy glanced down at her right hand.

She squeezed the button.

The push was immediate.

Numbness shooting down into her veins, filling her head to toe.


Both weightless and sinking at the same time…the mattress and pillows slowly swallowing her.

She felt relaxed and faintly itchy, and three words crossed her mind before she lost consciousness again.

“Want me to take a look?”

“Would you mind?”

Dr. Lanz lifted her hospital gown, and though that prevented Lucy from seeing what he was doing, she felt a slight tug around her urethra. He seemed to fiddle with it longer than needed.

The perv.

“Might be a bacterial infection from the catheter,” he said. “I’ll have a nurse replace it.”

“Thank you. Where am I?”

He dropped her gown. “Blessed Crucifixion Hospital in Durango, Colorado. You were airlifted here two nights ago.”

“What happened to me?”

He raised an eyebrow. “You don’t remember?”

She shook her head.

Dr. Lanz glanced over his shoulder at the deputy outside the door.

“I think the Feds want to be the first to actually talk with you about the accident, but I can go over your injuries.”

“How severe?”

“When you were dragged, the pavement essentially peeled away your skin over approximately eighteen percent of your body. You’ve already been through two surgeries that saved your legs, but you’re going to need extensive debridement and skins grafts. Right now, we have you on a regiment of negative pressure wound therapy. We can talk more about this tomorrow. I don’t want to overwhelm you.”

Lucy swallowed.

“Any broken bones, Doc?”

“Your coccyx took a savage beating.”

“My coccyx?”

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