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|Blood Rites(Grey Wolves #2) by Quinn Loftis|
Once again the thought crossed Fane’s mind that waiting didn’t just suck, it was a complete and total bitch.
Sally stood across the hall from Decebel. She knew he was a big guy but in this hall, with his stone like features revealing nothing of his thoughts or emotions, he seemed positively huge. His only acknowledgment of her when she walked up was a slight nod of the head. Sally couldn’t help but think that at any moment he was going to bust out with “me Decebel, you Sally” type language. That thought brought a slight smile to her face. She knew it was a comment that Jen would have appreciated. Since she could tell he wasn’t going to suddenly become the conversationalist of the century, she could at least try to get a little out of him. “How are you doing, Decebel?” Okay, Sally would admit that under the circumstances maybe that was a 'did you really just ask that' question, but hey, it was all she could come up with.
Decebel raised a single eye brow at the brown headed human in front of him and considered the question. How was he? Did he even know how he was? The answer to that was simple, there was a whole lot of 'I’m hanging on by a thread' raging inside him. So naturally, he lied. “I’m doing fine. How are you?” See, Decebel thought to himself, I can be approachable when I put my mind to it.
“Huh,” Sally acknowledged. “Are you always this reticent?”
Reticent? And here Decebel thought he was being so not reticent. Go figure.
“I am guarding this door, I am not being reticent. I am being sensitive to my surroundings which can make me seem aloof.”
“Well I’ll be, that’s the most I have ever heard you say,” Sally said in honest astonishment. “Wow, you were like, explaining yourself to me and stuff. Jen would be so proud of you.” Decebel visibly tensed at the mention of Jen. “You know, I think she thinks you’re like the chocolate bunnies they sell at Easter, you know all yummy on the outside but hollow on the inside.” Now Sally was pulling a Jen, her brain, mouth valve just would not seem to close.
“She compares me to a bunny?” Decebel asked incredulously.
“Not in so many words. You have to understand, Jen likes guys. Well, she likes hot guys.” Sally noticed there was that slight tensing in his features again, but this time it was the mention of Jen and guys that seemed to bring it on. I’m going to have to do some sleuthing, she told herself. “But she doesn’t date much because, despite her rough edges, she’s really smart and she gets bored easy. So if the outside package is interesting but the inside is crap, she’s just content to ogle the package from a distance.”
Before Decebel could consider her words or respond, the operating door swung open. Decebel turned abruptly, standing directly in front of a balding, middle aged man with beady eyes and a severe chin. His eyes suddenly widened when he looked up at Decebel, who realized his wolf must be looking out through his eyes because the doctor’s jaw dropped open. Sally stepped up in front of Decebel and put on her sweetest smile. She looked at the doctor’s name badge before speaking. “Doctor Thomas, how is Jen doing?” Sally couldn’t help the slight waver in her voice. Fear of the unknown was sometimes worse than reality.
Dr. Thomas looked at Decebel and then back at Sally. He seemed to be trying to make a decision. “Does Jen have any family here? Parents, aunts, uncles?”
“I’m her betrothed,” Decebel spoke up.
Sally nearly broke her neck when she whipped around to look at him, her jaw nearly hitting the floor. Decebel glared at her, daring her to contradict him. She didn’t. Sally simply turned back around to the physician, skepticism written across his face.
“Decebel is from Romania. They do things differently there and their marriage has been planned for a long time, if you get my drift.” Sally was scrambling for some sort of reason that would justify this 20 something looking mountain being engaged to a 17 year old. Honestly, what the hell was he thinking?
“An arranged marriage?” Dr. Thomas still didn’t sound convinced.
“Yes well, things are different in other countries. But you see, Jen will be turning 18 in just a few weeks and that is why Decebel is here now, because…”
Before Sally could continue to dig her deep, dark grave Decebel stepped in. “You will tell me how she is.” Sally glared at him and he reluctantly added, “Please.”
Sally decided Dr. Thomas just wanted to be done with them because he finally relinquished. “Your friend is not conscious yet and I have no way of knowing when she will become so. It is actually a blessing for her to not be awake to experience the healing process of burns. She has suffered burns over 70% of her body.” Sally couldn’t help the squeak that emitted from her throat, she felt her knees go weak and might have hit the floor had Decebel’s hand not steadied her. “Most of the burns are on her left side and her back. There was quite a bit of glass and small bits of metal imbedded in her back and arms that we had to remove one at a time, that is what took the longest. She will need to be transferred to our burn unit where she will have daily debridement. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, she is in for a long, painful road to recovery.”
“What about scarring?” Decebel asked. Sally realized she should have been the one asking the questions since Jen was like a sister to her, but she couldn’t seem to get her mouth to work.
“It will be extensive. What? Will she no longer meet your desire for a mail order bride?” Dr. Thomas said in obvious disdain for the idea of Decebel and Jen’s impending marriage, which was fake of course.
Sally felt like cold water had been splashed on her face at the doctor’s comment. She felt anger like waves rolling off of Decebel. Damn temperamental werewolves. She reached up and placed a hand on his arm, a gesture she hoped would convey her desire for him to bring it down a notch.
“Ok, well, thank you Dr. Thomas. Can we follow them as they transport Jen to the burn unit?” Sally asked, her arm still on Decebel in silent warning.
“That will be fine. The nurses will notify me as soon as her parents arrive and I will be going over her treatment with them.” Dr. Thomas gave Decebel one last sharp look, for good measure Sally assumed, but when Decebel narrowed those yellow eyes on the doctor he abruptly turned around and, with hurried steps, walked away.
They brought Jen out on a gurney shortly after the doctor’s nervous departure. After the little display Decebel had put on, Sally was surprised when he gave her only a passing glance. Decebel looked away quickly and turned to look Sally in the eye. “I am going to go let Vasile know what is going on with Jen. You will go with her, I will send Alina to come up with you.”