Written in Red Page 159

Monty leaned against the wall, feeling sick. He didn’t speak again until Lorenzo finished and the supplies were properly stowed away.

“Let him in,” Lorenzo said.

Simon leaped into the room the moment Monty opened the door. He stared at Meg. “She’s cold. She’s shivering!”

“That’s a good thing,” Lorenzo replied. “We’ll use the heating pad to warm up the blankets. We’ll keep her warm, keep watch on her heart rate and breathing.”

“Not so different from a Wolf,” Simon said quietly.

“I’m calling in my men,” Monty said, knowing he wouldn’t have anyone but Louis for backup until the storm ended. “One of them will be on guard at all times.”

“Is that necessary?” Lorenzo asked.

“Yes, sir, it is.”

Simon blinked. “Winter is outside.” He walked out of the room.

“I have to take care of other patients,” Lorenzo said. He looked toward the two nurses.

“I’ll keep an eye on Ms. Corbyn,” Monty said. “Your people are needed elsewhere.”

When Lorenzo and the nurses left, Monty noticed the Other who crouched against the wall outside the room. “I’m Lieutenant Montgomery. Can you tell me what happened in the Courtyard?”

“I know who you are,” the male replied wearily, pushing to his feet. “I’m Jester.” He walked into the exam room and closed the door. “I can tell you some of it.”

When Jester finished, Monty stepped out of the room and called his men. He couldn’t reach Kowalski, who had been trying to ski to the Courtyard, and hoped the man had found shelter somewhere. Debany and MacDonald were a few blocks from the hospital and were bringing in some injured citizens. When he reached Burke and gave a summary of what had happened, the captain agreed with the necessity for guards while the Liaison was in the hospital and an abduction attempt was still a possibility.

Sending Jester to fetch one of the plastic chairs from the waiting room, Monty stood by the bed. Was Meg’s breathing labored? Was she too pale?

He leaned down and said quietly, “Ms. Corbyn? You’re safe now. We’re going to keep you safe. But you have to help us. We all need you to get well.”

Her eyes fluttered open.

“Meg?”

“Cold.” Her voice was barely audible. “Cold.”

“We’ll get you warm.”

Her eyes closed.

A minute later, he heard Jester set down a chair by the door—and Simon Wolfgard returned, snow melting off the fur covering the mostly human body.

“She woke up for a moment,” Monty said.

Simon rushed to the side of the bed. “Meg? Meg!”

“I’ll let Dr. Lorenzo know she came around that much.” Leaving Simon and Jester to stand watch, Monty found the doctor and reported. Then he found Louis, who was trying to reach his own team. Finally, he found a vending machine, got a cup of coffee, and returned to the exam room to begin his shift of guard duty.

* * *

Still in human form, his clothes spattered with Hurricane’s blood, Jester curled up in a corner of the exam room, his head pressed to his knees. He whined softly for a few minutes, then drifted off to sleep.

Simon stood by the bed, watching Meg. He felt so confused, so . . . angry. He had a reason to be angry. The enemy had invaded the Courtyard, had destroyed buildings, had killed some of the terra indigene. And they had threatened Sam and tried to take Meg. Even so, this angry didn’t feel right, and the closer he was to human, the more he felt not right.

“Did you take anything before you started feeling angry?” Monty had asked. The possible answer to the question made him uneasy, so he wasn’t going to think about it. Not now.

He glanced at the closed door. Meg was cold, shivering. The blankets weren’t helping. He knew what he would do for a member of his pack. He carefully got onto the narrow hospital bed, grumbling because it was barely wide enough for a single human. After fixing the covers over him and Meg, he shifted to Wolf and curled his tail over her feet.

Much better.

<Meg?> She couldn’t hear him, couldn’t answer, but he called anyway. <Meg?>

He stretched his neck, sniffing at the bandages that covered the gash in her chin. He didn’t like them. They shouldn’t be there. He wanted to pull them off and lick the wound. Lick and lick until it healed.

He drew back his head. He had promised to leave the bandages alone. He’d brought her here for human healing, so he mustn’t undo what the doctor had done.

Not so angry now. Not feeling so alone now with his body touching hers.

Winter outside in the sleigh, those cold, rage-filled eyes fixed on him when he came out to talk to her.

<They are taking care of Meg,> he’d said. <They will make her well.>

Winter nodded. Then she and Air drove off. And as he turned to go back inside, the wind died down and the snow stopped falling.

The door opened. Simon turned his head and bared his teeth, ready to spring up and attack. But it was Dr. Lorenzo, so he stayed where he was.

“I came in to check on Ms. Corbyn,” the doctor said. “I’ll check her pulse, then use a stethoscope to listen to her heart and lungs.” He touched her wrist and looked at his watch. Then he put the metal disk on her chest and appeared to be listening.

Could Lorenzo hear the little rattle in her lungs that Simon could hear without the disk?

“Pneumonia’s a concern,” Lorenzo said quietly. “But she might avoid any problems.” He glanced at the Wolf body under the covers. “The main thing now is to keep her warm.”

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