Written in Red Page 158

“Mr. Wolfgard, let me talk to the doctor. Let me help,” he said firmly when Simon snarled at him. The Wolf didn’t lunge at any of them, so Monty took the doctor by the arm and led him a few steps away.

“I’m Lieutenant C. J. Montgomery, Lakeside Police Department.”

“Dr. Dominick Lorenzo. Look, Lieutenant, we’ve got ambulances fighting to get here with people who need our help. We can’t be indulging them just because—”

“Sir, I understand your feelings. But she’s human, and she’s their Liaison. They came here for help. Unless she gets the very best care you can provide, this city will never see another spring. I’m sorry to place this burden on you, but the lives of everyone in Lakeside are now in your hands.”

Lorenzo glanced toward the entrance. “You can’t know the storm won’t end.”

“Yes, sir, I can, because the fury driving this storm was standing outside this hospital a minute ago and told me flat-out that our lives depend on their Liaison getting well.”

“Gods above and below,” Lorenzo muttered. Squaring his shoulders, he strode back to where Simon Wolfgard stood trembling with rage.

“Do you know what happened to your friend?” he asked.

“She fell through the ice when she was running from the enemy,” Simon snarled.

“Most likely hypothermia, but we’ll make sure nothing else is going on,” Lorenzo said. “Let’s get her into the exam room at the end.”

Snatching Meg from the other terra indigene male, Simon followed Dr. Lorenzo. Monty followed them, and the other male trailed after him.

Monty half listened to Lorenzo’s rapid instructions to the nurses who were getting Meg out of her wet clothes. Before the doctor could close the exam-room door, Simon muscled in, leaving Monty with little choice except to go in with him and hold him away from the doctor and nurses.

Turning his face to give Meg that much privacy, he whispered to Simon, “What’s wrong with you? Are you sick?”

The question brought back some of the thinking intelligence in Wolfgard’s eyes. “I feel . . . angry.”

“Did you take anything before you started feeling angry?” Any drugs? Not likely, but it was possible Simon had ingested something without realizing it.

Simon shook his head, his eyes fixed on the people touching Meg.

Then a nurse sucked in a breath. Turning his head, Monty looked at Meg Corbyn’s bare arms and saw the evenly spaced scars—and the crosshatch of scars on her left arm. Answering the unspoken question in Lorenzo’s eyes, he said, “Yes, she’s a cassandra sangue.”

“Get more blankets and a heating pad,” Lorenzo said. When one of the nurses bolted, he tipped his head to indicate he wanted to talk to them out of the room.

“How long was she in the water?” he asked Simon.

“Not long. We heard Winter scream when Meg fell through the ice. We pulled her out.”

“And before that? Did you remove her coat before you brought her to the hospital?”

Simon shook his head. “No coat. No boots. She was running from the enemy.”

“How did you get here?”

“We came in the sleigh.”

Lorenzo didn’t look happy. “All right. We’ll start with external treatment; see if we get enough indication that we can bring her around that way. Now. That gash in her chin. I can close it without stitches, but only if you can leave the bandages alone. If you can’t, I’ll have to use stitches to make sure the gash stays closed and heals properly. But stitches puncture the skin, and that might cause her some mental distress, even in her present condition. Also, if I use stitches, the whole chin would no longer be viable for cutting.”

Simon’s eyes blazed red. He snarled, “Do you think we care about her because of her skin? She’s not property to us. She’s Meg.”

Monty held on to the Wolf, pushing him back from Lorenzo. “He has to tell you that, Simon. You’re standing in for Meg’s family, and it’s his duty to tell you so that you can decide what is best for her.”

Simon panted with the effort to control himself. “Fix her.”

“It would be best if you stayed out of the room while I tend to her.”

Feeling the objection in the way the Wolf’s muscles bunched, Monty said quickly, “If you give me your word that you’ll wait right here, I’ll go in and stand guard for you.”

He thought Lorenzo might object, but the doctor just waited with him for Simon’s answer.

A sharp nod. Wolfgard was panting and growling, so a nod was the best he could do to give permission.

The nurse arrived with blankets and a heating pad. Lorenzo and Monty followed her into the room. When Lorenzo closed the door, they all jumped at the howl that rose from the other side of the door.

“Can you keep him from doing that?” Lorenzo asked as he cleaned and closed the gash in Meg’s chin. “Scaring everyone in the emergency room isn’t going to help.”

“Let him stay in here with her. I think he’ll be calmer that way.” Monty glanced at the bed, then looked away. “You’ve dealt with blood prophets before?”

“I saw a few of them during my residency. Anytime the skin is punctured, it opens the girl to prophecy.”

“So if Ms. Corbyn needs stitches . . . ?”

“Only the gods know what she’s seeing right now because of the gash,” Lorenzo replied grimly. “Every stitch would only add to it.”

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