Vision in Silver Page 71

“Simon, this is Pete Denby. I need to talk to you about the two-family house you want to purchase. And I wanted to ask . . . do you have a spare desk and computer in one of the offices that I could use?”

Humans. Couldn’t be satisfied with being considered not edible; they also wanted to talk to him. And talk. And talk.

He took two steps away from the answering machine when the phone rang again.

Pouncing on the phone, he picked up the receiver and snarled, “What?”

“Arroo!”

“Sam?”

“Uncle Simon! The Wolf pups are going on a field trip with Miss Ruth!”

Simon blinked. “You’re going on a trip to see a field?”

Sam laughed. “No. We’re going to visit Howling Good Reads and learn how to buy a book!” A pause. “Can I stay with Meg after the field trip? Nathan gets to stay with her.”

“Nathan’s the watch Wolf.” Since the Lizzy was still in the efficiency apartment with Montgomery, he’d have to check and make sure Nathan was going to be in the office with Meg. The enforcer was still upset with the Lizzy for misbehaving and causing so much trouble on Watersday.

“Uncle Simon?”

“Okay, sure. But don’t whine if Meg doesn’t have time to play with you.”

“See you later!” Sam hung up.

Simon put the phone down and ran up to his bedroom to get dressed. Then he let himself into Meg’s apartment through her kitchen door and found her with her hands braced on the table.

“Meg?” He hurried over to her.

She blinked at him. “I am so sore. Even my butt muscles are sore. I didn’t do anything with them. Why are they sore?”

“Don’t know.” He hadn’t done as much snoozing as he usually did on Earthday, but he felt just fine.

He ran his hand over her puppy fuzz hair. When she didn’t growl at him, he wasn’t sure if he should be pleased or concerned.

“Did you eat breakfast?” he asked.

“I tried to reach for the milk. It was too far.”

He gathered up her work things and then gave her a quick once-over to make sure she was sufficiently dressed for the office. That much accomplished, he herded her out her front door and was entertained by watching Meg whimper her way down the stairs.

She wasn’t sick; she wasn’t injured. Before he called Dr. Lorenzo to come look at her, he’d see if the other females were whining this morning.

Probably best not to point out that the human males and the Wolves had done the digging yesterday, which was harder work than planting. And none of them were whining.

Well, the Wolves weren’t.

He waited until they were driving to work before he mentioned the morning field trip.

“Why do a field trip?” Meg asked.

“Because someone untied its shoes?”

Meg frowned. “That makes no sense.”

“It makes as much sense as most human jokes.”

“That’s true.”

Simon carried Meg’s things into the Liaison’s Office, then wondered if he should offer to carry her. But she came inside on her own, so he put the BOW in the garage and walked over to Howling Good Reads to tell Vlad about the field trip—and find out if anything else wanted to bite his tail that morning.

*   *   *

Meg sagged against the front counter and stared at Nathan, who was stretched out on the Wolf bed under one of the big windows.

She felt relieved to find him in the office. After upsetting him so much when she’d made that cut—or, more honestly, forced him into making the cut because she’d been out of control—she wasn’t sure he’d be willing to work as the watch Wolf anymore.

She eyed him lying there, looking so lazy and comfy.

Of course, “work” could be a flexible word.

“If Earthday is supposed to be a rest day, why did we all work so hard yesterday?” she asked.

He raised his head just enough to look at her, grunted, then flopped back down on the Wolf bed.

She watched a delivery truck pull in. “It’s Harry.”

Letting out a gusty sigh, Nathan rolled onto his belly, then stood up and performed the stretch that, in her Quiet Mind class, was called playful wolf, although Merri Lee had told her that the move was usually referred to as down dog.

Meg watched him for a moment before bracing her hands on the counter and stepping back far enough to perform a modified version of the stretch.

Nathan changed positions, now stretching his back legs and hips. Then he gave himself a good shake.

“Show-off,” she muttered.

He just yawned, displaying all his teeth.

Harry walked in with a couple of packages, looked at the two of them, and grinned.

“Guess everyone was working outdoors yesterday,” Harry said. “The wife and I turned the soil and planted some vegetables. Then she wanted to have a couple of pots of flowers for some color, so we went to the garden center. You couldn’t turn around there without making new friends.”

She didn’t know what that meant and was too tired to ask.

“We planted some vegetables too.” Meg took out her clipboard and slowly wrote the information for the delivery.

“You should take aspirin or something to help those sore muscles,” Harry said. “And remember to drink plenty of water.”

“I’ll remember.” She waited until Harry drove off, then wandered into the sorting room to see if there was anything she could do that didn’t require standing, bending, lifting, sitting, or reaching for something.

Drink plenty of water? She didn’t think so. Drinking meant peeing, and peeing meant getting her thigh muscles to bend enough so that she could sit on the toilet. She’d already done that once this morning. She wasn’t eager to try it again.

“Meg?” Merri Lee walked in from the back room, carrying an insulated container from A Little Bite and a small bag. She opened the container and set the food on the sorting table. “Coffee, sandwich, and a couple of cookies.” Then she opened the small bag and removed two bottles. “I wasn’t sure if you usually took aspirin or acetaminophen, so I brought both.”

“I don’t think we were ever given anything like this in the compound,” Meg said, taking a moment to recall training images of medications.

Merri Lee looked thoughtful, then opened the bottle of acetaminophen and shook two pills into Meg’s hand. She went into the back room and returned with a glass of water. “They probably didn’t give you aspirin because that reduces blood clotting. Wouldn’t be the best idea for a cassandra sangue.”

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