Vision in Silver Page 57

Howls from the Wolfgard Complex. Help was coming . . . but not in time.

Nathan looked at Fire. “The only way to protect her is to cut her. But I’ll have trouble once she starts bleeding.”

Fire stared at him. Then she nodded. “I will protect Meg. Even from you, Wolf.”

Nodding, Nathan pulled Meg into the barn. Grabbing a blanket, he tossed it over the straw in the first stall and pushed her down.

Crying. Begging. Was it always like this? He didn’t think so.

He pulled the razor out of her hand and opened it. Her hands, now freed, clawed at the skin just above the waistband of her jeans, trying to cut the skin with her fingernails.

Nathan pinned one of Meg’s hands under his knee. Fire grabbed her other hand.

How long? How deep? No time to wait for answers.

Sharp steel kissed the skin she’d been scratching. She shuddered, and her face was filled with such terrible pain, Nathan was sure he had killed her. Then her face changed, and he caught the strong scent of lust as Meg began to speak.

The delicious scent of fresh blood filled the air. Sweet blood. Hot. Rich. More potent than any other scent around him.

Nathan’s mouth watered and he craved a taste of that blood. Just one little taste.

He shook his head, trying to clear it. Had to listen. That was his job now, to listen.

“Happy mask,” Meg said. “Angry face. Ice chest. Heart. Rotting meat.”

She said the same words twice. Then she sighed . . . and relaxed.

Nathan leaned closer. He should lick the blood, clean the wound.

“Wolf.” A hot warning.

He looked up, startled. He’d been so drawn to the scent of Meg’s blood, he’d forgotten about Fire.

“Go outside,” a voice said.

Snarling, he sprang to his feet and spun to face the intruder, who held out a hand dotted with feathers.

Owl. Male. Bodywalker. Not a threat.

“Go outside,” the Owl said again.

Nathan bolted out of the Pony Barn.

*   *   *

The euphoria passed quickly, and with its passing, Meg became aware of her surroundings again. Her face was wet, someone was pressing on her side too hard for comfort, her jeans and T-shirt were soaked, and Nathan was howling—a sound so full of misery she wanted to cry in response.

Swiping a hand over her face, she opened her eyes and looked at the gray pony nose. A fine mist continued falling over her face.

“I’m awake now, Mist,” she said, blinking water out of her eyes.

“Which just proves you’ve got less sense than a chick still inside the egg.”

She turned her head and looked at a male she didn’t recognize.

“I’m Welby, the Owlgard bodywalker,” he said. “Jane Wolfgard is on her way, but I don’t know if she knows how to fix this either.”

“Fix . . . ?”

Meg lifted her head to look at the hand pressing a cloth against her side. As she brushed against Mist’s muzzle, he lipped her short hair before taking a step back.

Welby pushed her down, none too gently. “You and the little human caused enough trouble today without you hurting yourself even more.”

“I . . .” Lizzy. Where was Lizzy? “We caused trouble?”

“You hurt the Wolves and upset the Elementals and Sanguinati.” Welby’s hair changed to feathers, a sign that he, too, was distressed to the point where he couldn’t hold the human form.

She struggled to think of a safe question. “Why am I so wet?”

“Fire got upset and the hay started to smolder. Water came and soaked everything.”

Jane Wolfgard rushed into the barn. “Simon says the human bodywalker is at the Market Square office. Blair is outside with a BOW. He says he can stay human long enough to get Meg to the office.”

“Where is my razor?” Meg asked once they wrapped her waist to hold a folded cloth over the cut.

“Simon and Henry said all of this straw and the blanket need to be burned,” Jane said as she and Welby lifted Meg and took her to the BOW. “Anything with fresh blood on it needs to be burned.”

They wouldn’t speak to her directly as they settled her in the passenger seat. And Blair just snarled at her, making it clear he wouldn’t talk to her either.

Just as well, she thought as she pressed a hand over the cut. She was certain Simon would have plenty to say when she saw him.

Would he be able to tell her what happened?

*   *   *

Henry held out a hand. “Give it to me.”

Hateful thing, Simon thought, turning the silver razor over and over in hands that were furry and clawed.

“Simon,” the Grizzly rumbled.

He gave Henry the razor. “I thought Meg liked Nathan. Why would she do that to him? What am I supposed to say to her?”

He couldn’t bite the Lizzy, who had started the trouble, because it was Montgomery’s duty to discipline the pup. And he couldn’t bite Meg because she was Meg. But he was so scared and furious right now, he really wanted to bite someone.

“You will say nothing,” Henry said. “I am spirit guide for this Courtyard, so I will deal with Meg.”

Jester had pulled into the area behind HGR howling for Simon and Vlad and anyone and everyone. Since Burke and Montgomery were still there, they’d come running too.

Something about the Lizzy not being allowed to ride the ponies. Of course she couldn’t ride any of the Elementals’ steeds, no matter what form they were in! But the Lizzy’s whining had caused Meg to try to make a cut when she was out of control. If Nathan hadn’t been there . . .

If it was anyone but Meg, she’d get such a bite for upsetting a pack member like that!

“Yes,” he said, feeling his canines lengthen. “You deal with Meg. I’ll see what I can do for Nathan.”

Nathan had run to HGR as soon as Jane Wolfgard ran into the Pony Barn. The moment he handed the folding razor to Simon, he stripped off his clothes and shifted to Wolf. At Tess’s insistence, he’d eaten part of a chamomile cookie, but even with that much of a calming effect he was still so upset he couldn’t stop shaking or whining.

After Dr. Lorenzo gave the Lizzy a quick check and assured Montgomery that the girl was fine, the lieutenant took the Lizzy back to the efficiency apartment. Now the doctor waited for Meg.

<I’m taking Meg into the medical office now,> Blair said.

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