Mercy Thompson

 
 

Mercy Thompson Book 3 - Page 65


No one cared what I wanted.

At first Samuel just knelt so he could look at it lying across my thighs. He whistled between his teeth. "You need to pick out new friends, Mercy. The crowd you hang out with is awfully hard on you. If things keep going this way, you're going to be dead before the year is out."

He was so relentlessly cheerful, I knew it was bad. His hands were light on my arm, but the searing pain made odd flashes of light dance in front of my eyes. If Adam hadn't been holding me, I'd have jerked away, but he held me steady, murmuring soft, comforting things I couldn't hear over the buzzing in my ears.

"Samuel?" It was Ben who asked, his voice sharp and clear.

Samuel quit touching my arm and stood up. "Her arm feels like a tube of toothpaste filled with marbles. I don't think it's something that can be tacked back together with a hundred pins or bolts."

I am not a fainting kind of person, but the imagery Samuel used was too horrible and black things swam in front of my vision. It felt like I blinked twice and someone jumped events forward a minute or two. If I'd remembered about the river sooner, Samuel's prognosis wouldn't have made me faint.

I knew I'd been out because gathering the amount of power that Adam was amassing didn't just suddenly happen. I didn't realize why he was doing it until it was too late.

"You don't have to worry anymore, Mercy," Adam murmured, his head bent so that he whispered it into my ears.

I stiffened. I tried. But tired, hurt, and terrified, I didn't have the slightest chance to fight his voice. I didn't really want to. Adam wasn't angry. He wouldn't hurt me.

I let him pull the power of his pack over me like a warm blanket and relaxed against him. My arm still hurt, but the feeling of peace that wove over me separated me from the pain just as it did from the terror. I was so tired of being afraid.

"That's it," he said. "Take a deep breath, Mercy. I won't let you do anything that will harm you, all right? You can trust me that far."

It wasn't a question, but I said "yes" anyway.

In a very quiet voice I don't think even the other werewolves could hear, he said, "Please don't hate me too much when this is over." There was no push to his voice when he said it.

"I don't like this," I told him.

He ran his chin and cheek over the side of my face in a quick caress. "I know. We're going to give you something that will heal you."

That information broke through the peace he'd given me. He was going to make me drink from the cup again. "No," I said. "I won't. I won't."

"Shh." His power rolled over me and smothered my resistance.

"I know the fae," said Samuel harshly. "Why are you so eager to help?"

"Whatever you might think, wolf"  -  Nemane's voice was chill - "the fae don't forget our friends or our debts. This happened because she was trying to help one of us. I can heal only her body, but it looks to me as if it is the least of the hurts she took tonight. The debt is still owed."

A cup was pressed against my lips, and as soon as I recognized the smell of it, my stomach rebelled and I retched helplessly as Adam shifted me in his arms until I wasn't throwing up on either of us. When I was finished, he tipped me back where I'd been.

"Plug her nose," suggested Darryl and Samuel pinched my nostrils together.

"Swallow fast," Adam told me. "Get it over with quickly."

I did.

"Enough," said Nemane. "It will take an hour or so, but I swear that it will heal her."

"I just hope we didn't break her doing it." Adam's voice rumbled under my ear and I sighed in contentment. I wasn't all alone yet. His arms shook and I worried that holding me was tiring him.

"No," he told me, so I must have said something. "You aren't heavy."

Samuel, used to emergencies, took control. "Honey, give me the blanket and the clothes. Go grab a chair from the office - something with a back. Darryl, take Mercy, so that - " Adam's arm tightened around my legs and he growled, making Samuel change his mind. "All right, all right, we'll wait for Honey to get back with the chair. Here she is. We'll wrap Mercy in the blanket, you send her to sleep, and then go wash up and change before the police get here."

Adam didn't move.

"Adam..." Samuel's tone was wary, his posture carefully neutral. A truck drove up and the tension in the garage dropped appreciatively. No one said anything, though, until Warren came in to the garage. He looked pale and strained, and he slowed down as he got a good look around him.

He walked into the center of the garage and nudged a piece of meat with the toe of his boot. Then he looked at Adam. "Good job, boss."

His eyes went to Samuel and the blanket he was holding. Then he looked at the chair resting on the floor in front of Honey.

Samuel's body language told Warren what had been going on and what he wanted without saying a word.

Warren strolled over to us and snagged the blanket from Samuel, snapping it out. "Let's get her warm and covered up."

Adam let Warren take me without argument. Instead of setting me in the chair, though, Warren sat in it and pulled me snugly against him. Adam watched us for a moment - I couldn't read his face at all. Then he leaned forward and kissed me on the forehead.

"If you called the police, they will be here shortly," said Nemane as soon as Adam had gone to the bathroom to wash up. "I need to be gone with these before the police come."

"There's a ring," I told her, still basking in the peace that Adam had gifted me with.

"What?"

"A silver ring on his finger." I yawned. "I think there are a few more things in Tim's house. He keeps them in a cabinet in his bedroom."

"The Mac Owen ring," Nemane said. "Would you all help me to look for it?"

"Maybe Adam swallowed it," I suggested and Warren laughed.

"No more horror movies for you," he murmured. "But Adam didn't eat any of him."

"Here it is," Honey said, bending down to pick something up. Instead of giving it to Nemane, she closed her hand over it. "If you go and take that cup, they're going to prosecute Mercy for murder."

"Give it to me." The temperature in the room dropped appreciatively with the ice in Nemane's voice.

"We have the video," Darryl said. "It should be enough."

Honey laughed and turned on him. "Why? All it shows is that Mercy was drunk. She drank more every time he asked her to. She might have said no, but he never appeared to force her to drink. From the video, a prosecutor could argue that her judgement was impaired by alcohol - but that's not enough to get her freed from a murder charge. She had him incapacitated and she deliberately got up and took a crowbar and hit him with it."