[This post is from Kailey Astoris’s point of view.]
The urge to demand that she make it uncomplicated was building, so hard and so quickly that Kailey had trouble tamping it down. She took a quick, steadying breath followed by another, staring intently at her aunt. The healer worked quickly and efficiently as she always did, but Kailey detected the barest tremor to Jacqueline’s hands as she cleaned Lin’s wounds.
Shit, is she scared?
She couldn’t have blamed her for being, if even half the stories were true or unexaggerated. She always suspected Phelan of exaggerating—it was just instinct. Kailey hugged her arms around herself, brow furrowing.
“Is that why the wounds look weird?”
Jacqueline startled slightly. “Is what why?”
“Because it was a camazotzi,” she said slowly. “Is that why they don’t look right?”
“I’m surprised you noticed,” Jacqueline said.
“I was paying attention most of the time,” Kailey said, glancing down at her feet.
“It’s not that,” Jacqueline said. “You’ve never seen anything like this before.”
“Well, no,” Kailey said. “But I could still tell they didn’t seem like normal cuts and scrapes and it’s not just because they’re deeper, is it?”
“No,” Jacqueline admitted quietly. “It’s not.”
She edged a little closer. Lin seemed to finish as she leaned in for a better look. “Do they always look like this?”
“No,” Jacqueline said. “There’s reasons for it.”
“Reasons?” Kailey frowned. “Like what?”
“It’s my blood,” Lin rasped quietly. “My bloodline, right?”
What? Kailey frowned, glancing at Jacqueline. “It can’t possibly be that, can it?”
The healer sighed. “So far as we know, yes. Yes, it is.”
“That’s insane,” Kailey blurted, looking between the two. “It makes no sense. Why would that make a difference?”
“Because some things hurt people with higher concentrations of Otherworlder blood in them,” Jacqueline said quietly, gently. “And sometimes it has to do with the potency of that blood. We’ve seen nasty infections come from camazotzi wounds before and that’s always seemed to be the cause.”
“When?” she asked. “When did it happen?”
“Before you were born,” Jacqueline said. “Before you both were born.”
“With who?” Kailey pressed.
“My dad,” Lin whispered. “It happened with my dad.”