Silver-Tongued Devil - Lorelei James Page 0,2

clean through his shirt.

Christ. Had West stabbed him? Then Jonas’s eyes narrowed on the hilt of the knife—a familiar-looking knife.

Doc sighed. “Well, this is unexpected.”

“Yeah, especially since that knife belongs to my brother.”

“You’re certain?”

“Yes, sir, I have one exactly like it. I’m guessin’ he pulled it out, intending to defend himself, and ended up stabbin’ himself instead.” Jonas had begun to think maybe he was the luckier twin.

Doc leaned down to examine the area closer. “It’s mostly a superficial wound. Not too deep. I suspect the jiggling when you carried him caused the blood to leak out around the edges of the blade. He’s not suffering from excessive blood loss. I recommend cauterizing the puncture rather than stitching it. Less likelihood of infection. What say you?” Doc glanced up at Jonas for confirmation.

“Do whatever you think is best, Doc.”

Jonas watched as Doc directed his assistant. At the bench laden with supplies, she lifted the globe off the lantern and increased the size of the flame as Doc chose a flat, wide knife.

Turning the knife over the flame, Doc said, “I’ll need you to hold his legs, Deputy, while Miss Thompson immobilizes his upper body.”

Jonas frowned. “She’s a little bit of a thing, Doc. Shouldn’t she—”

“I’m stronger than I look,” the schoolteacher interjected, “and no stranger to this procedure. How about you worry about your half, Deputy, and let me worry about mine?”

Without waiting for his response, she wedged Silas’s limp left arm against his body and pinned it in place with her hips as she leaned across his chest to clutch the other side of the table, pressing her elbows into his right arm, holding him down.

Well, that worked pretty slick. Guess she did know what she was doing.

Jonas took the same position with his brother’s legs.

Doc quickly removed the knife lodged in Silas’s side with one hand and pressed the red-hot cauterizing knife over the wound with the other hand.

As expected, that woke Silas up.

“Son-of-a-bitching, cocksucking, mother of a whore—”

“Pipe down, Mr. McKay,” Miss Thompson said through gritted teeth as Silas tried to arch his back. “And for all that’s holy, please hold still!”

Silas went so motionless that Jonas assumed he’d passed out again.

But as soon as Doc said, “Done. Let him go,” and Jonas released Silas’s legs, he glanced up to see Silas had one hand holding Miss Thompson’s throat and his other hand circling her wrist.

Silas demanded, “I’m dead, ain’t I?”

“Please—”

“I’m dead and in heaven because I’ve got a beautiful angel like you fussin’ over me.”

Oh for the love of god, Silas…really? Flirting the second you open your damn eyes?

“I assure you that you’re very much alive,” she said softly, “but if you don’t release me right now, I might kill you myself.”

Silas’s smile turned into a wince. “I take it back. I’m dead and I’m in hell, bein’ tempted by a fallen angel with flashing eyes and a feisty tongue.”

“You are the very devil, Mr. McKay. Or you’re very drunk.”

“I’m neither. But I am feelin’ light-headed when I look at you.”

“Cut it out,” Jonas said sharply. “And let her go.”

“But she smells like spring and sugar and all good things.”

“Silas!” Jonas snapped.

Silas released his grip on her and squeezed his eyes shut. “I ain’t gonna apologize for puttin’ my hands on you, darlin’. I was afraid you were tryin’ to get away from me.”

Doc chuckled. “If he didn’t already have a head injury, Dinah dear, I’d allow you to cuff his ears. He’d be easier to deal with.”

“I remember exactly how to deal with him, Doc.”

“Good. Then I’ll let you coax him into drinking this tincture.”

Jonas watched as Miss Thompson murmured to Silas, urging him to finish the entire glass, which he did in one long gulp as she held on to the back of his neck.

His brother didn’t put up a fuss—which wasn’t like his stubborn twin at all.

What in the devil was going on?

Doc continued his exam, asking Silas questions about where he had the most pain. Testing Silas’s ribs for breaks, half-rolling him onto his left side to check his back. After he finished, he gently patted Silas on the shoulder. “Got bruises up and down your spine, no protrusions that I can see, but you’ll be sore for several days. Same with your ribs, maybe a fracture or two. We’ll wrap you up tomorrow before you leave. It’d be best if you remained overnight. Just in case I missed something.” He pointed to Silas’s head. “Once Dinah gets you cleaned up, I’ll