Umbilical Hernia

The next morning Katie made coffee while Rory went to his truck to make sure he had all the supplies for his surgery.

“Here’s your coffee Rory,” she said when he returned inside.

“Thanks, Katie. What time are you calling Dr. Schwabe?”

“Nine o’clock.”

“Ok, I'll call Jen to let her know we’ll be a half an hour late.”

“Jen? I just saw her yesterday. She didn’t say anything about doing surgery with you.

“It’s a horse at Thistledown Farms. Sarah, the stable owner, is Jen’s friend. She offered to help me. Why is that an issue?”

“I’m not sure. Just vibes I’m getting Rory. She seems awfully interested in you. Let's talk later. I have to make a phone call before we go.”

“Okay.” Rory went back to the truck to wait for her.

“Good morning. Is this Dr. Schwabe? This is Katie Reynolds, Dr. Prasad urged me to call… Well thank you.”

She listened nodding her head. “That’s what Dr. Shivaprasad said, you need help with the outbreak.“ Rory heard one side of the phone conversation through the window.

“Umm huh… sure. Yes.”

“Really? Sure… yes, it sounds intriguing. Let me see what I can do. When can I call you back doctor? Ok, I'll call you soon.”

The back door burst open.

“Rory! I have exciting news!”

“Cool. Do you still want to come with me? We can talk on the way.”

“Oh yeah, let me get my things.”

On the drive to Thistledown Rory was quiet and waited for her to tell him her “good news.” Finally, she spoke.

“Dr. Schwabe has a project for me.”

“A project? I thought he wanted you to do classes first.”

“Those won’t start until the fall, and I don’t need classroom instruction to work on an investigation. He wants me to help Dr. Shivaprasad to see if we can find the origin of the outbreak of the distemper virus in California.”

“I thought you were going to work for Paula, stay here, and help me build up a practice. Remember?”

“I agree that’s our goal for the future, but I’ve never fully committed to be here with you Rory.”

“That’s the thing. You can’t commit yourself to us.”

“Now wait a minute here. What have you asked me to be? Your girlfriend, your wife, your partner? I haven’t heard anything concrete from you. Besides, you seem to have found a cozy place here with or without me. What exactly are you asking me, Rory?”

“We can talk about this later. We’re here at Thistledown Ranch already…”

“No, why is this so hard? René and Pelipa are married; did you know that?”

“No, they’re your friends. Why would I know of their wedding?”

“Because they fell in love and got married. It isn’t that hard. Now come-on Rory.”

“Shit, stop it, Katie. Help me with this surgery.” Rory put the truck in park and left quickly, glad to have something else to focus on besides Katie.

“Hi, Jen how are you? You looked good on TV, you and Katie.” He reached back into the truck searching for his hat nabbed it and jammed it on his head.

Katie followed, slamming her door hard, walking around the vet truck with a scowl.

“Hi, Dr. Rory. I’m good. Hello, Doc Katie. I thought you were tied up in Fresno for that study with Dr. Prasad. Doc Katie, this is Sarah. She owns the stallion. Dr. Rory asked if I could help today.”

“Hi Sarah, nice to met you.” Katie shook hands with Sarah, turned, and finished with Jen. ”All my questions were answered, so I was able to come home last night. You did a good job on the horses yesterday.” Katie smiled back at her even though she didn't feel like smiling. “How was your trip home?”

“It was all right. I’m glad I could help yesterday.” She looked at Rory. “Well, Doctor Evans are we r