Written in Red Page 93

<Not so fine.> A dark note in Blair’s voice. <But nothing that can’t be fixed.>

What did that mean? He was tired and frustrated and as worried as the rest of the terra indigene leaders over the unexplained aggression that had ended with so many dead in that western village. They had no answers, didn’t even know where to begin looking for the enemy hiding somewhere in the human villages and cities scattered throughout Thaisia.

He knew the solution most of the Others would take if humans became too much of a threat. He’d make the same choice. But he wanted extermination to be the last choice, not the first.

He hadn’t wanted to come home to trouble. He had hoped Meg and Sam . . .

But Blair said Sam was fine. So why wasn’t Meg fine?

When the van pulled up at the entrance to the Green Complex, Blair reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a set of keys tied to a leather loop that would slip over a human head—or a Wolf’s.

“Take the BOW as far as you can,” he said, handing the keys to Nathan after pointing to the vehicle parked in the visitor’s space. “You might make it all the way. Call Henry when you get to the apartment.”

“Should I be on the lookout for anything in particular?” Nathan asked as he opened the van’s side door.

“Same thing we always look for,” Blair replied. “Intruders.”

“I’ll do a sweep from the Liaison’s Office to the Corvine gate in the morning,” Marie said, hefting her carryall. She followed Nathan out of the van.

Simon watched them trudge through several inches of snow. He wanted to shift, wanted to lash out at his enforcer, wanted to purge the uneasiness growing inside him. “We’re alone. Now tell me.”

“Sam is fine.” Blair looked straight ahead. The only other sound was the rhythmic swish of the wipers. “I’m not easy about how she did it, but I’m sure she meant no harm, and I do like the results.” He turned his head to look at Simon. “She got him out of the cage, and not just a few steps outside the apartment door to pee and poop. They’ve walked around the complex. He’s gone to the office with her. He was with her this afternoon when she made some deliveries before the weather started to turn. Maybe he was ready to wake up, and she did things that were just strange enough to slip past his fear.”

Simon looked away, confused by what he was feeling. Jealousy? Hurt? He’d spent two years trying to find a way to help Sam come back to them, and Meg had found the answer in a few days? He felt like a pair of jaws had closed over his throat, making it hard to breathe.

“How?” he finally asked.

“Something none of us would have considered,” Blair said. “A harness and leash.”

Shock. Fear. Fury. How dare any human try to restrain a Wolf?

“You let her do this?”

“First I knew of it, they were walking around the complex, and I wasn’t going to take on Henry and Vlad in order to discipline her. And after seeing how the pup was playing, I thought it best not to interfere.” Blair paused. “He’s playing again, Simon. He’s eating meat again. He’s acting like a young Wolf again. For the most part. He still hasn’t talked to any of us, but I think that will come if he’s not scared back into that cage.”

“Why would he be?” The pup was playing again? He wouldn’t allow anything to interfere with that.

Blair went back to staring out the window. “Like I said, I’m not easy with how Meg got Sam out of the cage, but Henry and Vlad have been keeping an eye on them and have voiced no objections. Elliot, however, is a problem.”

“Did he hurt Meg?” Simon asked, his voice stripped of emotion. Elliot didn’t know about Meg. If he bit her, cut her . . .

“She’s puking scared. I had the feeling there was something else, but Vlad wasn’t interested in telling me. He did want me to remind you that while the Sanguinati don’t usually hunt other terra indigene, we are not exempt from being prey.”

Simon couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “The Sanguinati are going after Elliot?”

A long pause. Then Blair said quietly, “I guess that depends on whether you can talk Meg into staying.”

“Well, she’s not going anywhere tonight.” Of course, someone who was puking scared might not consider the danger of trying to run when the roads were bad and the air too cold. Especially when that person had already run away once in exactly that kind of weather.

He unbuckled the seat belt. “Anything else that can’t wait until morning?”

Another pause. “Nothing that can’t wait. But if any monkeys dressed all in black try to enter the complex tonight, just kill them.” A longer pause. “It’s something Meg saw. Henry can tell you about it.”

Simon shivered, and it wasn’t because of the cold. Meg had cut herself while he was gone? How many times? What other scraps of information were going to be tossed at him?

“We’re all going to meet tomorrow morning,” he growled. “You, me, Tess, Henry, Vlad, Jester, and anyone else you think needs to be there.”

“I’ll call you in the morning to find out if we’re meeting at the Business Association or the social room here at the complex,” Blair said.

He nodded. Except for Blair, the rest of them lived in the Green Complex. They could meet early and then see about getting the stores and roads open.

Grabbing his carryall, Simon got out of the van and broke a trail to his apartment’s front door. He reached for the door, then stepped back and looked around. Lights shining from the windows of every apartment except Meg’s.

Prev Next