Vision in Silver Page 72

Meg swallowed the pills and drank all the water. “Don’t you hurt?”

“I don’t hurt, but I’m plenty sore, which is one or two levels below hurt. And being sore is why I made an appointment with Elizabeth Bennefeld today to get a massage. I made an appointment for you at four fifteen, when you finish the afternoon shift here. Ruth and Theral also made appointments. And Eve Denby did a butt wiggle when I told her there was a massage therapist who worked a couple days a week in the Market Square.”

“What do I do in the meantime?”

“Stretches. Just don’t overstretch. I have to go. Ruth is bringing the Wolf pups to HGR as a field trip to learn about bookstores and the proper way to behave when you’re in one, and I’m working the checkout counter today.”

As soon as Merri Lee left, Meg bent forward. In Quiet Mind class, she could touch her fingertips to the floor. Today her fingers dangled just below her knees.

The Crows who were perched on the shoulder-high wall that separated the delivery area from Henry’s yard started cawing moments before Nathan quietly arrooed a warning that another delivery truck had pulled in.

She grunted when she straightened up and walked into the front room. Then she frowned as she pulled out the clipboard and wrote the name painted on the side of the small delivery van. “Blooming Blossoms. That’s a new one.”

It was nothing more than a comment, but Nathan moved closer to the counter.

The man opened the door but didn’t quite enter the office. He gave Meg a nervous smile. “I’ve got a delivery for Theral MacDonald. Am I in the right place?”

The pins-and-needles feeling swept over Meg’s ribs, then felt like it wanted to burrow into the bones.

Nathan looked at her, then growled at the deliveryman.

“I can sign for that,” she said, struggling to stay calm.

“So she does work here? I was told to confirm that before handing over the delivery.” He held up the flower arrangement.

The prickling filled Meg’s hands now as well as her ribs. “She’ll be able to pick up the flowers here.”

“I guess that’s all right as long as I get a signature.” He strode to the counter, keeping an eye on Nathan. “That’s some pet.”

“Uh-huh.” She glanced at the man’s shirt as she signed for the flowers. The dark green shirt had the Blooming Blossoms logo on the left side. No name tag, though.

“You should keep your dog on a leash.”

She gave the deliveryman a vague smile and wondered what kind of employer would send someone to the Courtyard and not tell the person anything about who lived there.

Put a Wolf on a leash!

Of course, Sam used to wear a harness and leash when he came to the office with her. Could the man have heard about that from another deliveryman? Or did he really not know the difference between a dog and a Wolf?

The deliveryman studied her, and she studied him. He had blond hair and blue eyes. Nothing unusual about that combination. She couldn’t recall a training image that would fit his overall look. Not handsome. Pleasantly attractive?

But something about him made her skin prickle. Go away, go away, go away! she thought fiercely.

The mail truck pulled up.

“Busy place.” He sounded annoyed about that.

“Yes, it is.”

“Well, you have a nice day.” He walked out and held the door for the mailman.

“Anything going out?” the mailman asked as he set a mailbag on one of the handcarts that was used for larger packages.

“Not today, thanks.”

She waited until he’d walked over to retrieve the mail from the blue mailbox positioned outside the consulate. Then she bolted into the sorting room. She wasn’t surprised when Nathan leaped on the counter and came in right behind her. But she was surprised when he shifted to his human form.

His naked human form.

“What’s wrong?” he demanded.

She scurried to the other side of the big sorting table so that she couldn’t see him from the waist down. Naked naked wasn’t as disturbing as when Nathan shifted into that weird blend of human and Wolf that made him look like both and neither.

When he started to come around the table, she squeaked and scampered to the doorway of the back room. “You should put on some clothes when you’re in human form.”

He snarled at her.

Okay, not interested in clothes, she thought, trying to ignore her curiosity and not peek at his parts, since that could be construed as sending a signal. At least, according to The Dimwit’s Guide to Dating that she’d been reading ever since that . . . confusion . . . with Simon the night he’d shifted from Wolf to human form and she kicked him off the bed. But the kicking was because of the dream she’d been having and not because of Simon being naked . . . and human.

Since Nathan didn’t seem to care one way or the other if she saw him naked, maybe Wolves and humans didn’t read the same signals?

The office’s back door opened. Nathan, looking satisfied, shifted to Wolf form and returned to the front room.

Okay, that signal was clear enough.

“Tattletale,” Meg muttered as Simon and Vlad rushed in.

“Meg!” Simon said. He bared his teeth. “Nathan says you’re itchy. Why are you itchy?”

“I’m not.” She didn’t feel even the slightest tingle anymore.

“Arroo!” Nathan said, his forelegs on the front counter so he could watch what was going on in the sorting room.

Meg turned and glared at him. He stared back.

“I was itchy, but now I’m not,” she amended when Simon growled, clearly more inclined to take Nathan’s word over hers right now.

She held out her hands. “No more prickles. When that deliveryman showed up, the pins-and-needles feeling started and kept getting worse. I got away from the front counter as soon as I could.”

Vlad hissed. Simon and Nathan growled.

Meg decided she didn’t like being growled at in stereo.

“We’re not upset with you,” Vlad said.

Funny, it sure sounded that way.

“What was delivered that caused the prickles?”

“A flower arrangement,” she replied.

As soon as she moved toward the door with the PRIVATE sign, the prickling began again around her rib cage. When she reached the door, the pins-and-needles feeling became a painful buzz along her ribs and a fierce prickling in her hands. She’d been focused on what she was feeling and hadn’t realized Simon and Vlad were standing so close. When she tried to back up, she stepped on Simon’s foot, making him yelp.

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