In the Woods – continued…

Darius didn’t remember falling asleep, but knew he had.  He woke when Patrice shook him gently.  As he yawned and stretched, Patrice stepped back.  “Wash up and I’ll get you over to the clinic,” he said, nodding.

“Thank you,” Darius said, around a yawn. He ruffled a hand through his hair.  Then, he padded off to the bathroom.  He did as Patrice had suggested.  After washing up and seeing to his needs, he met Patrice in the front room of the cottage house.

“You can’t use the teleporters,” Patrice said, as they headed out.  Giving him a wan smile, he added, “I can, though.  I’ll have to hold your hand so that you can come along with me.”

“All right,” Darius said, nodding.  He trailed along with Patrice as they headed off the estate.  He found that the light hurt his eyes, so he closed his eyes and trusted the wind to guide him as they went to the building where the teleporters were.

Inside, Darius found a series of booths that looked like the boxes where one might find an old-fashioned payphone.  He took Patrice’s hand as the man set his other hand on a panel.  “Patrice Harriot, age twenty-three, with companion for Freeport,” he said.

A moment later, Darius felt as though the floor had dropped out from under his feet.  He staggered, nearly falling into Patrice as they reappeared in what he was certain was another building.  It looked much like the other one, however, there was a large sign identifying it as the Freeport Teleporter Station.

“Cool,” Darius said, as he released Patrice’s hand.  He gave the man a weak smile and then fell into step behind him.  From there, they headed off to the Health Clinic.  It was much like a hospital, complete with an emergency room.

As they stepped inside, Patrice led him over to the nurse’s station.  Waving towards Darius, he said, “He’s been envenomed.  You need to get him started on the antivenin as soon as possible.”

“Of course, Mr. Harriot,” the nurse said, nodding.  She smiled at Darius and then moved to her feet.  “If you’ll come with me, sir.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Darius said.  He nodded at Patrice.  “Thank you for the help,” he said, his voice soft.  As Patrice waved his words away, Darius turned around and followed the nurse to a room.

The nurse stayed long enough to get his personal information and make sure he was settled comfortably.  Then, she headed off to get the doctor.  Her last words were to take off his shirt and lay back on the bed.

Darius waited until he was alone before he did as she’d said.  He didn’t have long to wait before the doctor arrive. “Mr. Balchunas,” he said, nodding a greeting.  “I’m Dr. Ingram.  You’ve been envenomed?”

“Yes,” Darius said, showing him the bite on his arm.  The shoulder itself was feeling better now, although he suspected that it was strained, at least.  It didn’t seem to be dislocated.

Dr. Ingram checked it over and then turned to the nurse.  Nodding, he said, “Give him the standard dose of the antivenin.”  Patting Darius on the shoulder, he said, “We’ll have you back to your normal self very soon, Mr. Balchunas.  Just sit back and relax.”

“Thank you,” Darius said.  He watched as the nurse inserted a small needle into his lower arm. It was connected to tubing and a bag of some sort of fluid.  After a moment, he began to feel chilled.  He shivered for a moment before the nurse settled a blanket over him.

She patted his arm gently and said, “I’ll bring you something to eat in a little while and we’ll see how you do with that.”

“Thank you,” he said, blinking.  He let his eyes close and was nearly asleep when the wind rattled the windows, bringing him fully awake.  He lifted his head and listened to what the wind had to say.  Then, he smiled at the news it brought.

“Timo,” he called through the opened door of his room. “Nora!”  He smiled when they peered into the room.  He smiled.  “I’m getting the antivenin now.  You found Sofia?”

“She found us and we were told to bring her here,” Timo said, nodding.  He stepped over to Darius’s bedside.  “It’s good to see you well.  Sofia had already fed, so it will be more difficult for her, but they said it won’t be impossible to cure her.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” Darius said.  He smiled faintly at Nora and then frowned.  “We still don’t know who kidnapped us.”

“I don’t care,” Nora admitted.  She shrugged and shook her head.  “I’m just glad that we made it back to civilization.  I want to go home and forget all about vampires.”

Darius nodded slowly.  He could understand her desire to put the experience behind her.  Still, it wasn’t his nature to just let a mystery go.  He wanted to know who had kidnapped them.  Otherwise, how could he know that it wouldn’t happen again?  “You’re going home, then?”

“We’re taking a boat to the mainland – Zeimia,” Timo said, nodding.  “From there, we can catch a flight home.  You’re going to stay here?”

“Just until I know who did this to us,” Darius said, grimacing.  He frowned and shook his head.  “I’ll need to call my brothers and cousins – my wife too – to let them all know that I’m all right.  Otherwise, Estera will come looking for me.”

Nora heaved a sigh and then hugged him.  “We’ll write you,” she said, as she straightened.  “Take care of yourself, Darius.”

“You too,” he said, nodding slightly.  After they were gone, he did sleep.  He woke when someone stepped into the room.  He smiled when he saw that it was the nurse.

“Feeling hungry?” she asked, holding up a covered tray.

Darius felt his stomach rumble and smiled.  “Yes,” he said, sitting up a bit when she set the tray on a little bed table.  While he ate, he considered the question of who had kidnapped him.  He knew why: they thought he was a coward for fleeing Havensburg during the massacre.  He knew what their purpose had been: to prove that he was a coward by forcing him to face the vampires.

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