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Dr. James announced as he shook my mate s hand. Yeah, he was
really, really happy about it if his groin was any indication, and I
didn t like that so much. In a flash, I was by my mate s side and had
my arm possessively around him.
 Thank you for fitting us in, Dr. James, I said sweetly.
 Yes, always a pleasure, Mr. Smith. When the director called me,
I made sure to make room for my favorite patient. I did not realize
you would be accompanying him to the appointment. I thought Alexi
knew you through a friend.
 No, Alexi is my friend, I replied and glanced at my mate.  My
very special, close, personal friend who I d do anything for.
Alexi looked like he was about to swallow his tongue at how thick
I was laying it on.  Oh my god! He s jealous that Dr. James has a
crush on me. The man s seen me naked more times  I let out a soft
growl to let him know I wasn t thrilled about what he was thinking.
 Right, you can hear me. Sorry. He saw me naked in the professional
capacity only, I swear.
 Yes, well it s nice to have friends, the doc bit out, not looking
very friendly himself.  I tried to be Alexi s friend when he needed
one most and keep seeing him off the books, but he didn t want me to
get involved with his drama.
 Well, it speaks to your character that you wouldn t have let that
stop you from being there for Alexi, I conceded. I flipped through
the man s mind. He was a good guy, really wanted Alexi, but truly
had my mate s best interest at heart.  I m here for him now, and Alexi
34 Joyee Flynn
is allowing me to help him, so tell me what we need to fix him, and
I ll see it done.
 Right, about the test results, Dr. James said gently. Fuck! A tear
ran down Alexi s cheek that he quickly swiped away.  It s not good,
I m afraid. There s no way to have the valve replacement surgery
anymore that we once discussed.
 Too many years off the drugs with this condition, right? Alexi
asked, his voice much braver than I could tell he felt. Damn.
 Yes, I m so sorry, Alexi. I knew the doc was speaking the truth.
The man looked heartbroken.  The damage to your heart makes it
impossible.
I cleared my throat and spoke through my whirlwind emotions.  I
don t mean to be rude. I swear I m not. My research told me that you
were one of the best in the country. But like any other profession,
there are always those with more experience. Is there someone else
who could maybe do the surgery still? There, I thought that was very
civil and not insulting. I hadn t wanted to offend the doc, just get all
the answers.
 I understand what you re saying, he replied graciously.  I
conferred with an associate of mine on the East Coast, and he agreed.
At this point, the only thing that can be done is a heart transplant. The
organ is just too far damaged to be repaired by modern science. I can
get you what you need to get Alexi on the transplant list, but Alexi
and I have already talked about this. Organs are hard to come by,
hearts especially since they re normally damaged when the donor
dies.
 I understand. Can I get copies of his new scans and his old ones?
There s someone I do want to show them to.
 If it s okay with Alexi, Dr. James said hesitantly.
 Yes, of course. Sam s my partner, Alexi replied and took my
hand in his.  I m done trying to find a miracle, but if he wants to keep
looking, I ve given him my permission.
Shove Your Tree 35
 I m going to put you on several medicines to keep you as you are
for as long as we can while we find you a heart. It should make life
about normal, but you need to restrict your activities.
 No sex then before I die. Alexi laughed bitterly, and it
practically broke my heart.
 No, I m sorry, the doc said wistfully.  I know you ve been used
to fainting here and there, but with the detritions to your heart, you
might not wake up from it soon. Your heart could give out in the next
few weeks if you re not careful.
 Good to know, he replied as he slid off the table.  Let s go,
Sam.
 Wait, you need to get these filled and take them religiously. The
doc handed me a bunch of sheets of paper, I assumed the
prescriptions.  Let me get you what you need to get on the
transplant 
 No, no more, Alexi yelled and left the room before we could
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