Vision in Silver Page 113

“The terra indigene already knew the secrets, Meg. We found out a few days ago. Now some humans will know too.”

“Will they believe you?”

A long pause. “It doesn’t matter if they believe the words or not.”

“No, I guess it doesn’t matter. People will stop coming after Lizzy, and that will be enough.” She opened her door. “Come on. I need to get to work. Let’s get our doctor visits over and done.”

They walked the short distance to the medical office. Theral was at the reception desk. She looked pale, and her eyes were puffy, but she gave them a small smile. “Thanks for sending the flowers. My aunt and uncle . . . It meant a lot to them that you sent flowers picked in the Courtyard. And it means a lot that you’re going to let them have Lawrence’s share of the produce from the garden this year.”

The examination room door opened. Nathan stepped out, looked at them, and said, “You’re next.”

But Meg stopped at the examination room door, despite seeing Dr. Lorenzo waiting for them. She studied Simon. “Sharing food is important. You did that for Lawrence’s family?”

“We wanted them to know Officer MacDonald was . . . valued.”

Friends were valued. Family—pack—was valued. And the loss of a member wasn’t forgotten.

Meg walked into the examination room and let Dr. Lorenzo check her knee and make his notes. Happy that she no longer needed a bandage of any kind, she waited while Lorenzo poked and prodded Simon, wincing in sympathy when the Wolf tried to stifle a whine.

Simon was hurting plenty, but Dr. Lorenzo didn’t think there was any permanent damage. Simon just needed time to heal. They all needed time to heal.

Feeling the prickling along one side of her back, she hoped they would have that time.

*   *   *

“Arooeeooeeoo! Arooeeooeeoo!”

Tess hurried out of the back door of A Little Bite with the coffee and bag of food she’d put together for Meg and Sam. And Skippy, who was the designated watch Wolf today.

“Meg isn’t there yet, Skippy,” Tess said as she walked toward the juvenile Wolf sitting by the back door of the Liaison’s Office.

He turned his head, stared at Tess for a full count of five, then continued his yodeling arroo.

Sometimes his antics amused her. But there was nothing amusing about today, not with what Simon had to tell Lieutenant Montgomery. And now Vlad was holding the phone because someone wanted to talk to Simon—and she’d been asked to deliver the message and distract Meg and the youngsters.

Come on, Simon. How long does it take for a human doctor to figure out you’re sore and bruised and you won’t be chasing down a deer anytime soon?

Her hair started coiling and turned green. They had known a decision would be made in response to the trouble humans had caused with their lies, but receiving a decision through a phone call? That could not be good.

“Arooee—”

“I get to stay with Meg for the whole day.”

Sam’s excited voice, coming from the direction of the Market Square, interrupted the yodel. Skippy turned his head, focused, and rushed toward Sam, Meg, and Simon as they came abreast of the garages.

Simon said, “Not the whole . . . Skippy, no!” He stepped in front of Meg to prevent the youngster from knocking her down in his haste to greet her and get a cookie and get brushed and get whatever else Skippy got when he was supposed to be guarding Meg.

True to his skippy brain, the youngster tried to go between Simon’s legs and ended up trapped when Simon tightened his knees.

“Skippy!” Sam grabbed the Wolf by the scruff. “Don’t pester Meg!”

What’s that human saying about a pot calling the kettle black? Tess thought.

Sam might be younger than Skippy, but he was more dominant. Maybe because, mentally, they were more on a par than the other Wolves, Skippy responded better to Sam than he did to the adults.

“Figured you wouldn’t get much breakfast this morning, so I brought some,” Tess said to Meg. Then she looked at Simon. <Someone wants to talk to you. Vlad is holding the phone.>

<Tell him to take a message, and I’ll call—>

<Now, Simon. It’s urgent.>

He watched her hair as it coiled and changed colors. Then he touched Meg’s arm, a simple gesture that was somehow intimate.

“I have to take a phone call.”

“All right.” Meg watched him run to the back door of HGR. Then she looked at Sam. “You and Skippy wait for me by the office door.” Finally she looked at Tess. “There’s trouble.”

No point denying it. “Yes.”

“How bad?”

“We won’t know until Simon is done with that phone call.”

Meg hesitated. “Did I see this? When I fell and you listened, did I . . .”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Believe me, Meg. If you had said anything, even a hint that this phone call would come, I’d have told someone.” Everyone. She had seen the look on Vlad’s face when he realized what was on the other end of the phone line. Harvesters were an old form of terra indigene that had adapted their masking shape many times to be the most effective hunters. Wolves were also an old form of terra indigene. So were the Sanguinati.

But some forms of earth native were much, much older. And there were good reasons why they should be left undisturbed.

“Here.” Tess held out the sack of food. “Mostly human food, but a couple of cookies for Skippy.”

“The sandwiches and pastries are better than the ones you had before,” Meg said, taking the sack.

“So far, Nadine’s Bakery and Café has delivered what it promised.”

“That’s good.”

“Come on, Meg!” Sam called.

“Arooeeooeeoo!”

Meg looked toward HGR’s second-floor window, then hurried to open the office and get the noisy youngsters inside.

When they were gone, Tess saw the gate to Henry’s yard open. The Grizzly tipped his head toward HGR’s back door, but he didn’t wait for her. She ran to the door. As she turned to close it, she noticed the black smoke rushing toward her. Three of the Sanguinati, followed by Blair and Elliot, also in a hurry.

She held the door for them, then followed them up to the bookstore’s office to find how just how bad it was going to be.

Prev Next