Chapter 30: Care
“We are her friends and we’re helping to care for her,” said Professor Rook quickly, walking toward the doctor. “Do not worry—no one has touched her wound. May we speak privately?”
The doctor looked baffled, and his knuckles were white as he clutched the clipboard, but he didn’t argue as Professor Rook led him away. “Rico, I think we had better go and return as quickly as possible,” Professor Lal said. “The sooner we can get Professor Agnew here, the easier this will be.”
“Of course,” said Rico. He bent to give Dawn a quick kiss on the cheek, and then they walked out, leaving Dawn and Roe alone in the room.
“Can I do anything for you?” Roe asked, her face pinched with anxiety. “I could find the nurse’s station for some painkillers…”
Dawn shook her head. “Believe it or not, it doesn’t hurt at all. But I’m really glad you’re here. I mean, I appreciate you getting Rico and the professors, but I’m also glad to have somebody in here with me.”
“She’s with Corrie. I guess they had to take Corrie to the ICU or something.” Dawn sighed. “I don’t know if they’re going to be able to do anything for her, since she was obviously knocked out magically, but Professor Lal must not think she’s in much danger.”
“She’s probably just sleeping,” Roe said hopefully. “I bet she’ll be fine when she wakes up.”
Dawn nodded, but didn’t answer. Her stomach was churning. Now that the excitement was over—or at least on pause—she was starting to feel faint, and she didn’t think it was from her injury. Paul had attacked her. She’d thought at first that he was just angry because he thought she had turned Corrie away from him. That didn’t make sense, of course, but he was obviously disturbed and she wouldn’t always expect him to make sense.
But now she knew that he’d attacked her specifically. Maybe he’d even agreed to meet Corrie with the hope that she would be there. He couldn’t know that she would be there for sure, but anyone who knew them would know that Dawn and Edie would insist on going with Corrie to a potentially dangerous nighttime meeting. Did he know them that well? He might have guessed, from all the times he’d spied on Corrie. And maybe it didn’t matter. Maybe he would have attacked whoever was there, and she was just the best choice. Wondering if he would have attacked Corrie if she had been alone made the sick feeling in her stomach increase.
She felt something cool touch her hand, and looked down in surprise to find Roe handing her a plastic cup full of water. Roe gave her a quick smile. “I thought you might want a drink.”
Dawn sighed and nodded. “Thanks. That’s a good idea.” She drained the whole cup, and Roe went back to the sink in the corner to bring her more, which she sipped more slowly.
“So,” she said, trying to make conversation, “any interesting visions lately?”
“No, not for a while.” Roe grimaced. “You’d think I could have gotten a warning about this.”
“That would have been nice,” Dawn agreed.
“But I always have more visions in the summer, or during warm weather, and fewer in the winter,” Roe said. “I don’t know why that is.”
“Maybe you’re part dryad. You know, like Leila is more awake in the summer.”
“Wouldn’t the magic professors know if I was part faerie?”
“I would think so. But I don’t know for sure.” Dawn set the cup down, shifting uncomfortably in her seat on the table. She wished she could use her left arm. “I don’t even know if that’s possible, really. I mean, my aunt and Tom said they broke up because human relationships with faeries don’t work out, but Edie and Leila seem to be doing all right.”
“They’re probably not going to have any kids, though,” Roe said with a laugh.
“Hey, I don’t know how faerie genetics work.” Dawn couldn’t help grinning. “It’s probably all magic. I mean, Mardalan and Leila are half-sisters, right? But only one of them is a dryad.”
“That’s true. Well, if Edie and Leila have a kid, I’ll bond with it. I want to be a crazy aunt. When you and Rico have kids, I can be their crazy aunt, right?”
Dawn laughed, and could feel herself blushing, but was thankfully freed from having to answer by the appearance of Professor Lal and a red-haired woman Dawn didn’t recognize. “Rook hasn’t returned with the doctor?” Professor Lal asked briskly. Dawn and Roe both shook their heads. “Good,” Professor Lal continued. “Rico will be here shortly, but I asked him to drop us off at the door before parking.” She beckoned to the red-haired woman. “This is Professor Agnew.”
“Please call me Ginny,” said Professor Agnew, stepping close to Dawn. “May I take a look at your shoulder?”