"My name is Demet," the woman said slowly. "Lord Megobari sent for me. To heal." She put her hand over her heart. "Healer."

"That's very fortunate," Doolittle said. "Because I can't move my legs."

Chapter 14

Eduardo paced up and down the common area, stomping as if he had hooves and glaring at the bathroom door. Demet asked for privacy, and the bathroom was the only place that still had a functional door. Derek went in there with them. His face alone was enough of a deterrent even if she had decided to try something.

Eduardo exhaled and turned back for another pass. Red streaks stained his white T-shirt-his wounds were deep and he wasn't doing them any favors.

Keira paced too, to the wall and back, turning just a hair before her body touched the stone. Barabas sat in the middle of the room, his face grim. At the door, Mahon loomed, a somber shadow.

It never occurred to me that something was wrong. When Doolittle sat up in his tub, I felt an overwhelming avalanche of relief. I never thought to ask if he was okay . . .

Curran walked through the door. Blood drenched his right side. On the left, deep cuts where monster claws had gouged his flesh crossed his muscles. Being hugged by a flying eight-foot long leopard left its mark.

He walked over to me and crouched.

"Are you okay?"

Define "okay." "Yes. Did you get him?"

"It was a woman. She threw herself from the cliff. Her brains are splattered on the bottom of the ravine."

Damn it.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"Doolittle woke up. He can't move his legs."

The door of the bathroom room swung open and Demet stepped out. Her teenage son followed her.

Curran rose. "How is he?"

Demet said something. Her son turned, presenting us with his back. "First injury." Demet pointed with her fingers at the top of his neck, drawing an invisible line. "Cervical. Healed. No problem. Second injury."

She swept her hand lower, indicating the small of the back and lower.

"Lumbar. L1 and L2."

Demet held up one, then two fingers and tapped the boy on the shoulder. He turned.

"Full feeling here." Demet drew her hand from his head down to his stomach. She struggled for a word. "Not full . . . ?"

"Some," Barabas offered.

"Some feeling here." Her hand moved from the stomach down through the pelvis. "Legs, no."

Doolittle was paralyzed from his hips down. My mind ran against that thought and splattered.

"Will he ever walk again?" Curran asked.

Demet spread her arms. "Possible. I did everything I could for him." She paused. "Time. Time, magic, and rest."

She turned to me. "You have wounds."

"I don't care."

She shook. "You not like them. No time. Must heal right away."

"It's my fault," Eduardo said. "I couldn't hold her."

"She flew," Keira told him. "And she was strong. All three of us couldn't hold her."

Eduardo's eyes bulged. He turned in place, looking like he would break into a charge any second. He was going into a tailspin, fast.

"It's my fault. I was supposed to watch him. I let him get hurt."

He turned, stomping toward the door. Curran stepped into his way. "Stop."

Eduardo skidded to a halt.

"Look at me."

The big man focused on Curran's face.

"Man up," Curran said, his voice saturated with force. "We're still in danger. I still need you. Don't fold on me."

Eduardo exhaled through his nose.

"That goes for all of you," Curran said. "Later we can sit around and wonder what if and cry about what we should've done different. Right now, we work. We've been attacked. They're still out there. We will hunt them down and take them apart."

Barabas sat a little straighter. Keira pushed herself from the wall.

Curran looked back at Eduardo. "Okay?"

"Okay," the big man said.

"Good." Curran turned to Demet. "Heal Kate."

* * *

I woke up with Curran sitting next to me. He didn't say anything. He just sat next to me and looked at me.

"Were you watching me sleep? Because I thought we agreed that's creepy."

He didn't answer.

We were alone in the room. Doolittle and his tub, Keira, and everyone else were gone. On second thought the covers under me looked familiar. I was on our bed. He must've carried me to our room. I usually woke up if someone moved outside my room behind a closed door. How did I sleep through him carrying me? Doolittle had a habit of slipping sedatives into my drink, because I ignored his instructions to lie down and rest, but the last I saw him he was in the bathtub. Demet and her children had chanted my wounds into regeneration. I recalled a rush of soothing coolness foaming over my wounds. And then George handed me a glass of water.

"George sedated me. Okay, the drugging thing has to stop. Also, if one of them ever attempts to hold me down and pour booze on my wound, I will kill somebody. That's not an idle threat either."

Curran didn't say anything.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

He nodded at the wall.

I concentrated. The magic was still up, and as I quested forward, I felt something stir behind the stone. Not a vampire, but something odd. Something I hadn't felt before. We were being listened to.

Curran's mouth was a hard slash across his face. He was angry. Monumentally, terribly angry.

I reached over and touched his face, looking for that intimate connection. Hey. Are we still okay?

He took my hand, his strong fingers hot and dry, and squeezed it. Okay. We were still okay. He didn't have to say anything else.

"Did Doolittle talk to you?" I asked.

He shook his head.

I reached over to the night table, took a small notepad, and a pen, and wrote on it, He tested Desandra's amniotic fluid. One of the babies could grow wings.

Curran's eyes widened. He took the pen. Did she sleep with one of those things?

Most likely Radomil or Gerardo is one of those things.

How is that possible?

You have two forms, human and animal. Doolittle thinks that these guys have a third one: human, animal, and monster with wings.

Curran shook his head. "Which one is it?"

No way to tell. The amniotic fluid indicates that one baby is a wolf and the other is something else. The Lyc-V with wolf genes could come from Desandra. They must've known or suspected Doolittle found something out. That's why they wrecked his lab.

Who knew that Doolittle had taken the amniotic fluid? Curran wrote.

Tags: Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels Vampires
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