Written in Red Page 134

“Fetch a pillow and a couple of blankets,” she said. “And not ones that stink of those other humans.” She wasn’t sure if Asia’s scent would matter to Meg, but it mattered to her. “There’s a wheelchair in the bodywalker’s office. Fetch that too. And someone call Jester. He needs to be part of this discussion.”

<Why?> Simon asked.

He couldn’t vocalize as a human despite his head having shifted back to looking human? Not good.

“You can call Jester, or you can call the girl at the lake. One of them needs to hear this.”

All the males flinched.

“I have to take care of Meg. I’ve left her long enough. We’ll meet in the sorting room in ten minutes.”

None of them liked it, but they all filed out of the room. Simon, of course, was the last one out. He looked at her hair.

“I’ll take care of her, Simon Wolfgard,” Tess said softly. “You don’t know yet how much we owe her, but I do.”

He left, closing the door behind him.

Blowing out a breath, Tess hurried back to the bathroom. Meg was still on the floor, but she turned her head and looked at Tess.

“Did you get an answer?” Meg asked.

“I got one.” She filled the sink with warm water and found a couple more hand towels. “We’re going to have to think about what you need in this bathroom if this is typical of what happens when you cut. No, stay down. I’m not sure how much blood you lost, and you’ve already upset the Wolves, the Grizzly, and the vampire. You can’t afford to get dizzy and fall down.”

After soaking one towel in warm water, she carefully washed the blood off Meg’s leg, then bent closer to examine the cut. “Looks like it’s starting to clot now. Do you usually cut this deep?”

“It has to be deep enough to scar,” Meg replied. “Although cassandra sangue skin does tend to scar easily.”

Did Simon realize that? Or hadn’t it occurred to him that Meg could be injured while romping with Wolves, even if the Wolves didn’t mean to hurt her?

After patting the leg dry, Tess applied the antiseptic ointment, used the butterfly bandages to close the wound, then covered everything with gauze and medical tape. She rolled the bloodiest towel in the other two and put them all in the wastebasket.

“I’ll help you up so you can sit on the toilet,” Tess said, doing exactly that. “What usually happens after a cut?”

“We’re given a little food, then taken back to our cell to rest to make sure the cut closes properly.” Meg hesitated. “Tess? Am I going to have to talk to Simon?”

“Yes, but not until you rest.”

“Could you hand me my jeans? I should get dressed now.”

Tess looked at the bandage she’d wrapped around Meg’s leg and considered the jeans. She shook her head. “You need something looser, so we can keep checking the cut. Stay there.” Not much time left before the rest of them returned.

Taking the last hand towel, she went to the cupboards and rummaged until she found a small, clean jar. Using the towel to avoid touching the box of sugar lumps, she dumped some of them into the jar. She left the box on the floor with the towel, sealed the jar, and put it in her coat pocket. Then she helped Meg into the loose fleece pants she found in the storage bins. They were too big for the girl, but they had the advantage of being easy to push up past the knee.

She tore off the pages that held the prophecy, folded them, and stuffed them into her back pocket. Leaving the tablet and pen on the little table, she walked into the sorting room. As she opened the outside doors, she realized they had one other problem: where to put Meg while they had this meeting. She didn’t want to leave the girl in the back room with the box of sugar, and she didn’t think Meg would want to be around Simon and the others who took an interest in her until they knew why she had made the cut. The front room was too exposed, but they could lock the door and refuse deliveries.

The abovestairs room that Darrell hadn’t used was a possibility, but what else might be up there that the Others hadn’t sensed?

A BOW pulled up to the sorting room’s outside door. Blair and Simon got out. Neither looked friendly—or forgiving.

“Meg needs to rest,” Tess began, “but we shouldn’t use the back room yet.”

For answer, Simon pulled a Wolf bed out of the BOW while Blair pulled out the wheelchair. Henry had pillows and blankets. Vlad had one of the food carriers she used for deliveries. Jester was there, looking concerned as he noted what the others were carrying. And Nathan, still in Wolf form, just looked at her and growled.

They all marched past her. Simon raised an arm to sweep all the stacks of mail off the table. Yipping, Jester hurriedly put the stacks on the counter so that Simon could put the Wolf bed on the table. Henry laid one blanket over it and set the other one aside with the pillows. Blair opened the wheelchair. Vlad set the food on the counter, avoiding the mail only because Jester reminded the vampire that Meg had sorted that mail, and ruining her work was an insult.

“Now,” Simon growled. “Meg.”

“She’s in the bathroom,” Tess said. “I’ll bring her in.”

“I’ll get her,” Vlad said.

“She’s one of Namid’s creations, both wondrous and terrible,” Tess said. She nodded when they all froze. “No one should go sniffing around the towels I used for her. And no one should go sniffing around the box of sugar.”

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