Gordon has written the snippet, and I promised to post the first part for him. Part 2 of the snippet will be emailed to the winner of the LOL Curran contest on the forum.
When I broke through Kate’s front door, the first things I smelled were blood and poison. Then smoke and something else, salty, bitter. Like a fish tank. What the hell had happened here?
The little girl was hysterical, crying that Kate was dying. She was almost right. I expected it to be bad, but the sight of her stopped me cold. Kate lay on her stomach in her bathroom, her pale skin in stark contrast to the dark blood that seemed to be everywhere. Her back had been ripped open by something with savage strength. In that moment I realized I could lose her. I’d seen humans die from less.
The Keep was out of the question. Too far. That’s why I’d ordered Doolittle to the South East Office before I went to rescue the idiot.
I scooped her up off the floor and ran. Her skin was on fire, and I ran as fast as I could. Her heartbeat was fading and I had this dumb idea that if I let her go of her, she would die. I had to get her to Doolittle.
I burst into the office with Kate still in my arms, roaring for Doolitte. There was little need, he was standing by. I lowered her gently onto a waiting gurney and fixed him with a stare.
“Can you save her?”
He took in her condition with a glance. “My Lord, her wounds are extensive and her kind are..”
I cut him off, “Try.”
He rushed off with her and all I could do was stand there and watch her go.
I found my way to the study, pulled a battered copy of White’s Once and Future King off the shelf and ordered a beer to be brought to me. Ten pages in I knew it was useless. I closed my eyes, leaned back and waited for the call.
Sometime later phone rang and Doolittle informed me that she seemed to be stabilizing. He had purged her system of the poison, and her fever was coming down.
Somebody once said it’s better to be lucky than good. He or she must have had Kate in mind. With the flare so strong, the good doctor’s already considerable medmage powers had been augmennted enough to heal the slashes on her back and neutralize the poison coursing through her body. I don’t know why but when he told me that she would, in all likelihood, live, I let out a breath I hadn’t known I was holding. I should have known she was too stubborn or stupid to die.
The real question was why had I been so worried. Why did I care so much if this idiot girl lived or died? She wasn’t pack, not quite human but not one of us either. Whenever she blundered into my life waving that toothpick of hers around, I knew there would be trouble, the kind that usually ended with one or both of us badly wounded. She was arrogant, impulsive, and failed to recognize my authority or respect my position. She challenged me in front of my people. If anyone else ever….
But she was funny sometimes, and never boring. God, it would almost be worth it to see her face when she realized that I had saved her ass again.
Actually it was quite a nice ass, come to think of it. In fact, my memory of the ass and its owner seemed to be remarkably clear. I got up. That way lay dragons.
What I needed was a shower and some shut eye. I’d be damned if she saw me lookng tired or disheveled. When she finally did wake up, feeling like half a mile of bad road, I wanted to stroll in looking fresh and clean as if I hadn’t a care in the world.