“He’s also not breathing,” Ephraim snapped.
“Oh, shit,” Joshua muttered as Ephraim’s words hit her and when they did her knees nearly buckled beneath her grief.
This couldn’t be happening. He’d been talking with her not even five minutes ago. He was fine. It was a mistake, he was fine, she kept telling herself as she listened to them carry Chris out of the water.
“Shit, I dropped my flashlight and backpack when he jumped me. I can’t help him if I can’t see.”
Before her brain registered what he said, she was on her hands and knees, searching frantically for the flashlight. Seconds later she found what felt like a large plastic object. She picked it up, cradling it against her chest as she frantically searched for the power button.
When she found it, she wasted no time in turning it on and immediately felt her stomach drop as she caught her first glimpse of Chris. He was soaking wet with blood dribbling from his blue lips.
“Keep the light right there, Izzy,” Joshua said, sounding a hell of a lot calmer than she felt, but then again this was his job, wasn’t it?
“I’m going to need a hand here, Dad,” Joshua said as he pulled a small knife out of his pocket and sliced Chris’
shirt off, revealing large ugly bruises covering the left side of his chest. Ephraim leaned over Chris and inhaled deeply.
Had she done that when she shoved him earlier?
“Fuck,” Joshua muttered as he looked over Chris’ chest.
“His lung is punctured and filled with blood,” Ephraim said, moving out of the way when Joshua gestured to her. “Is she pregnant?”
“Why the hell does that matter?” she demanded, coming closer so that she could kneel by Chris and take his cold hand into hers. “Just fix him, please!”
“I’m doing my best,” Joshua said through clenched teeth as he ripped open his bag, his eyes never leaving Chris’ face. He looked in control, but his eyes………they told a different story. He was struggling to keep it together for his brother.
“If you can’t save him, I need to know, Joshua,”
Ephraim said, the glow of his red eyes intensifying.
“I can fix him, Dad. If she’s pregnant,” he explained, tearing his eyes away from Chris’ face to focus his attention on Chris’ chest. When he started cutting into Chris’ side, she forced herself to keep her eyes on Chris’
face when everything in her screamed to stop Joshua from hurting him. It was insane and ridiculous, but she couldn’t help herself. She knew he was helping Chris, but she couldn’t stand to watch him get hurt even if it meant he’d get better.
“Give me your hand, Isabella,” Ephraim said, already reaching out to take her hand.
She didn’t spare him a glance as she watched Chris, praying he’d wake up and be his cranky self. What she wouldn’t give to hear him bitch at the moment. She felt Ephraim warm breath fan her cool skin before he gently released her hand.
“Okay, he’s breathing, but just barely,” Joshua announced and she felt her entire body slump in relief.
“I need to get this rib the f**k out of the way.”
“She’s pregnant. A baby girl,” he said with a touch of sadness that she couldn’t even begin to understand at the moment. All that mattered was Chris taking a deep breath so that she could yell at him for scaring the hell out of her.
“Good,” Joshua said, sounding truly relieved. “Can you set up a line between them? The sooner I get some of her blood into him the faster that rib will pull back and his lung will be back to working order.”
With a stiff nod, Ephraim reached into Joshua’s backpack and pulled out a small clear plastic bag. He ripped the bag open, revealing a clear IV line and two small catheters.
“I need your arm again, Isabella,” Ephraim said, already reaching for her hand.
“How is my blood supposed to help him?” she demanded, wondering for the first time if they even knew what the hell they were doing.
“Normally his blood would be enough to heal his wounds, but this is pretty serious,” Joshua explained while he worked, on what, she wasn’t sure because she refused to take her eyes off of Chris. His lips were pretty blue still and she wasn’t sure in this dim light, but his skin looked pale as well. “He needs a transfusion from another Sentinel to speed up his healing and give him a chance to recover, but right now that wouldn’t be enough.”
“I thought I was a Sentinel. If my blood’s not enough for him then we need to get him to a hospital,” she said, fighting back the hysteria that threatened to take her over.
“They can’t help him right now, Izzy. We wouldn’t be able to get him there fast enough and his lung has been torn to shreds from the look of it. I need your blood because you’re pregnant. As long as you’re pregnant your body will heal ten to twenty times faster, depending on the injury.”
“Why?” she asked, wincing when she felt the needle slide into her arm at the elbow, but never took her eyes away from Chris.
“The pregnancy triggers a survival instinct in your body. It will heal whatever it has to in order to make sure that the baby is not deprived of anything. Since your pregnancy will be short your body is going to acclimate itself by increasing your metabolism and your healing abilities so that it can keep up with the baby’s increasing demands.”
“So, the baby will save his life.” The same baby he didn’t want, she thought sadly as she squeezed Chris’
“All set, blood’s flowing,” Ephraim announced, releasing her hand to take his jacket off and lay it over her shoulders.
“Thank you,” she murmured absently.
“No, thank you,” Ephraim said quietly, before turning his attention back to Chris.
“How long until we know if it’s working?” she asked, shoving all her doubts away. She was going to trust these two men that they knew what they were talking about. They loved Chris too and would never let anything happen to him, at least she hoped they wouldn’t. Maybe she should just”Shit, it’s closing up faster than I expected,” Joshua said, sounding so excited that she looked over before she could stop herself. She saw him sliding a very long, bloody tube out of Chris’ body and saw what she imagined was his lung and parts of a rib through a large gash over his rib cage.