[This post is from Thomas Merlin Ambrose’s point of view.]
“Oh hell no.” Kailey crossed the room in two seconds flat and grabbed my arm before I could stop her—or warn her.
Hell, someone should have warned me. The pain that lanced through me had molten claws that dug into the marrow of my bones. Even trying to suppress the cry that tore from my lips resulted in a sound I’d never heard before, one that indicated pain even more extreme than I’d realized I was feeling. I jerked it from her grasp, gasping like a fish out of water as the pain stole my breath.
All the blood drained from her face, her eyes saucer-wide. “Oh gods, Lin, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Breath hissed through my teeth as I hugged my arms to my body, trying to push the pain aside. It wasn’t working.
Is this what Mom and Dad dealt with every time something like this came at them? If that’s the case it’s sure as hell not going to be fun. Not ever.
Stubborn as I was, though, it wasn’t going to stop me.
“It’s fine,” I rasped. “Just please don’t do that again.” I gritted my teeth, trying to ignore the way my eyes were tearing and the way that my nerves seemed to be misfiring.
“We have to go below,” she whispered. “Please, don’t fight with me.”
“What’s going on?” I asked her again, my voice still raspy, but steady.
Her lips thinned. “Lin—”
“Dammit,” I snarled, starting to stand up. She was quick to slide her arm around my waist to support me. I tried to shove her away. “No, Kay. No. Not if you’re not going to tell me what I need to know. If you don’t tell me, I’ve got to go find out myself.”
I just don’t know why.
Now my eyes were watering for an entirely different reason. I reached up to swipe at the tears that stung. Frustration had always been the most upsetting thing for me—more than pain, more than loss, more than anger, anything.
Her jaw trembled as I glanced at her sidelong.
I couldn’t tell if that meant she was going to tell me or if she was going to haul off and slug me, bandages and all.
It wouldn’t have been the first time.