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|Blood Rites(Grey Wolves #2) by Quinn Loftis|
“Yes, please.” His voice was strained as he held himself back. Lilly nodded, gave Jacquelyn a quick kiss to her bandaged hand and then stepped out of the room, sliding the door shut behind her. At last it was just him and Jacquelyn. He walked slowly to her bedside, afraid that the moment was just a mirage and would evaporate before his eyes if he so much as breathed too deeply. But when he got to her side she was still there, not a figment of his imagination, but real flesh and blood. Fane leaned forward and gently brushed some hair from her bandage wrapped face. He placed his nose as close to her neck as possible without touching her and breathed her scent in deep. Her scent was like a soothing balm, it caressed his wolf, calming him and helping him to clear his mind of the dread that had been his constant companion since he had felt Jacquelyn’s pain and fear through their bond. Then he kissed her lips so lightly that he barely felt their heat and whispered her name. “Jacquelyn.” First out loud and then through their bond. “Jacquelyn. Please hear me, my love, wake up for me.” Fane didn’t know if it would help but he had to try. After waiting several minutes, Fane realized that she wasn't going to wake up, at least not right then. He heard the door behind him open and turned to see Dr. Steele and Lilly waiting patiently.
"We are going to transfer her to the burn unit, her friend is there as well. They will both have to undergo multiple debridements to remove the dead skin so that the new skin underneath can heal," Dr. Steele explained to them.
"Can I stay with her?" Fane asked, never taking his eyes off of Jacquelyn.
"You may visit, but you cannot stay in the same room with her. There is too great a risk for infection."
Fane didn't like that answer but he wanted what was best for his mate. Whatever it took for her broken body to heal was what he wanted for her.
"When do you think we will know if the human blood is going to affect her, or how it will affect her?" Fane asked the doctor.
"There is no way to know, Fane. I know that is not what you want to hear. Over the next few days as her body begins to heal, her wolf blood should increase the speed of that process. If it doesn't then we will know that quite possibly the human blood is hindering it."
Jacquelyn’s wounds showed much improvement over the next week, but Fane still continued to pace the waiting room area as he had since the day of the accident. He was beginning to feel like a caged lion ready to pounce on easy prey. He could tell that everyone was picking up on his edginess because they all seemed to be avoiding him like the plague. He couldn't help it, it had been a week since the accident and still neither Jen nor Jacquelyn had woken. They were both going through daily debridements and although it did appear that Jacquelyn's body was healing a little more quickly than that of a human's, it wasn't quick enough for Fane. He felt helpless. His wolf was restless and desired to be near their mate. He hated not being able to be by her, protecting her while she was in such a vulnerable state, but there was nothing to be done about it. He continually tried to reach out to her through their bond, but all he got was darkness and silence.
Dark silence occupied the space his Luna’s voice once filled, but he spent the second week attempting to pull her from the enigmatic place she resided. His concentration was broken when Decebel said, "I wish there was something I could kill," as they sat in the family waiting area on the burn unit floor, the same chairs they both had taken up residence in for the past two weeks.
"I could go for a kill right about now," Fane agreed.
Fane was pleasantly surprised to discover that he and Decebel, despite a huge age difference of 107 years, got along quite well. Up until now Decebel had always just been his father's Beta to him, a powerful wolf, and when he was younger actually quite scary. But as they had spent the past two agonizing weeks waiting in the hospital, they had at times been each other's only company and so had begun to get to know one another. Fane was glad for Decebel's company, otherwise he might have already torn down the door to where Jacquelyn lay too still for his own liking. Fane wasn't sure how much more waiting he could take before he demanded to be allowed to be with Jacquelyn all the time. It was getting harder and harder to convince his wolf to be patient.
Two more weeks passed and Fane marked the four week anniversary of the accident on the calendar he placed at Jacquelyn’s bedside, praying the strength of tonight’s full moon would return his Luna to her rightful place at his side. He gratefully stood next to Jacquelyn's bed during one of the limited visits allowed and couldn't tear his eyes from her. It was amazing how much she had healed in the past month. Her skin was raw and pink where the burns had been but you could see the new skin was knitting together rapidly. Dr. Steele had told him that her leg was completely healed. She had gone back through Jacquelyn's medical records to alter some of the past findings because there was no way she could justify a person's broken leg healing completely in four weeks. She had also told him that they still weren't out of the woods regarding the human blood she had received. Jacquelyn had been running a fever constantly for the past 3 weeks and Dr. Steele also said that her white blood cell count was elevated, which meant her body was fighting an infection. Whether that infection was from the burns, or had something to do with the blood, she didn't know. So he continued to wait, and wait some more.
Before he left, he leaned down and kissed her forehead, and as he did everyday he whispered her name through their bond. "Jacquelyn, come back to me." He longed to see her emerald eyes staring into his.
And finally someone heard his pleas. “Fane?”
Fane leaned closer, as if proximity would help with their mental bond. “I am here, Luna. Can you open your eyes for me?” he asked her, desperate to bring her back to this world.
She didn’t answer him, and he thought maybe she had slipped away again, but then suddenly he was looking into a sea of green. His breath left his lungs as he saw the light in them slowly return. Fane didn’t realize he had shed any tears until she whispered in a dry, hoarse voice, “Don’t cry wolf man, you didn’t think you could get rid of me that easy, did you?”
He could barely contain the relief he felt at hearing her speak, seeing her awake. “I want to hold you, Luna, but I don’t know where to touch you without causing you pain,” he confessed, it was his deepest desire that moment.