Vision in Silver Page 61

“Then you got that prickling warning that something was going on,” Merri Lee interrupted. “Which escalated into feeling so bad and desperate that you would have done who knows how much harm to yourself if you’d been alone with the razor.”

Tears stung Meg’s eyes. She’d expected support, not someone else telling her she was wrong, that she couldn’t cope with the world outside a sterile cell.

“I did it for Lizzy,” she insisted.

Merri Lee made a face. “All right, let’s take a look at that. You did it for Lizzy because you were absolutely sure the prickling you felt was a prophecy about Lizzy. But if you told me everything you remember, Lizzy wasn’t the only person with you. You focused on Lizzy, so the visions you saw were about Lizzy. But maybe the initial prickling had really been a warning about trouble for Nathan or Jester or the ponies or one of the Elementals, since Fire was standing there when Lizzy made the grand statement that Grandma would have let her ride a pony. Which may or may not be true, by the way. You can’t exactly call Grandma and ask, can you? That prickling might have been about you, warning you that you needed to get away from Lizzy and the Pony Barn because something might happen to you if you stayed. Did you even consider that?”

Meg stared at Merri Lee. “You think I should have walked away.”

“Yes, I do. Your skin prickles several times a day. We’ve all seen you rub your arms or legs. But you don’t cut yourself every time you get that feeling. Why are those times different from what happened today?”

“Sometimes the pins-and-needles feeling fades away.” Meg rubbed her arm, not because she had that feeling, just as a way to recall what she usually did. “When the sugar lumps were poisoned, I knew the danger was in the back room of the Liaison’s Office, but I had to cut in order to see the vision that would tell someone what was wrong.”

“How did you know the danger was in the back room?”

“The feeling went away when I left that room and came back when I went in.”

Merri Lee picked up the pen and began scribbling on the pad of paper. “So the prickling goes away when you put some distance between yourself and a person or an object, giving you an indication of what might be important. That means the prickling is a kind of dowsing rod. A tingle might mean misplaced car keys—a minor thing that’s not worth a cut—while a buzz that causes physical discomfort usually means something really important. Is that accurate?”

Meg nodded.

“So if you’d walked away and then had each person approach you, you might have realized what you were feeling wasn’t about Lizzy at all.” Merri Lee put the pen down and took Meg’s hands in her own. “Lizzy was on overload, which is understandable. But so were you. Going with her on your own wasn’t the best idea. And having Nathan with you doesn’t count because he didn’t know what to do with a human child throwing a hissy fit.”

“He would have nipped a puppy. He’s nipped Skippy plenty when the two of them are the office watch Wolves.”

“There you go.”

Meg sighed. “What should I do?”

“If I were you, I’d call that bakery in Ferryman’s Landing and buy Nathan his own box of Wolf cookies as an apology for upsetting him. And then . . .” With a tight smile, Merri Lee released Meg’s hands and stepped away.

“And then?”

“And then Meg, the Trailblazer, should think about what you would want other blood prophets to learn from what happened today. I made some notes. You add your thoughts; then Ruth can fix it up a bit and give it to Vlad to send out.”

After Merri Lee left, Meg looked at the clock. Too early to close the office. Deliveries had dwindled, but there was still a chance something might arrive.

Sighing, she went into the front room and saw Simon in the passenger seat of the minivan right before it pulled out of the delivery area and drove away from the Courtyard.

CHAPTER 28

Watersday, Maius 12

“The sign says ‘Do not park in driveway,’” Blair said.

“There’s nothing close on the street, so we’re parking here,” Simon replied. “I don’t want too many humans seeing a Wolf.” He looked back at Nathan, who had refused to shift out of Wolf form once someone else could take care of Meg. “You still want to come in with us?”

<Yes.>

Still sounds shaky, Simon thought. But he gave Nathan credit for resisting the temptation to lick Meg’s blood once the cut was made. He hadn’t been able to resist when he’d found her after she’d made an uncontrolled cut last month. Then again, he hadn’t had Fire standing there, ready to scorch him for his own good.

Blair pulled into the driveway next to Montgomery’s apartment building. Simon got out and opened the side door for Nathan. Then the three of them went into the building and up the stairs.

None of the Wolves were feeling friendly toward humans right now, so Simon didn’t bother to suppress the growl when he saw Montgomery and Burke waiting for them just inside the apartment doorway.

“Thanks for coming,” Montgomery said. “I appreciate it.”

“The lieutenant suspects that someone searched his apartment after Lizzy arrived in Lakeside yesterday,” Burke said. “I’m guessing it was sometime early this morning.”

Simon stiffened, insulted. “We’re not some damn sniffer dogs!”

“No, sir, you’re not,” Montgomery said, his usually courteous voice sounding strained. “But you can confirm if someone was here without me going through any official channels.”

Simon thought that through. Like wolves, terra indigene Wolves maintained territories where they hunted for food or grew foods their human forms enjoyed. But Wolves living in different territories would work together to protect themselves and the wild country from an invader. He’d thought of the police precincts in those terms: different packs who guarded a specific territory but would work together to guard the whole city of Lakeside. “You don’t trust the other packs of police.”

Neither human spoke. Finally Burke said, “That will depend on what you can tell us.”

<Since we’re here, I’ll give Montgomery’s den a sniff,> Nathan said as he pushed past the two humans.

Simon and Blair stepped inside. Montgomery closed the door.

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