Next Kiet/Megyn/Kedori part:
The drab granite walls of the hospital rose out of the drifts of dirty snow ahead. Megyn shivered as another gust of wind drove its fingers through her clothing. She pressed her lips together as she glanced back at Kedori.
The wind stirred in his hair as his eyes met hers. He bit his lip, as though to keep it from quivering. Slowly he lifted his hands. Is Kiet doing alright?
She glanced at the limp form in Anthyr’s arms, then slipped her hand under the coat that covered him. Taking his wrist in her fingertips, she felt his pulse as she laid a hand on his forehead. Cold and fever stained his cheeks a deep red, making his pale lips look even whiter. Sweat had started to freeze in streaks across his forehead. And his pulse raced through his veins, frantic with his heart’s battle to keep up with the infection.
Slowly, she lifted her hand from his forehead. A broken sigh blew a wisp of frost into the wind as she turned her face to Kedori’s anxious eyes. He’s not doing well, she signed back.
Tears dropped from his eyelashes onto his rosy cheeks. His lips trembled as he sidled up next to her.
Without a word, she wrapped her arm around him. “We’re almost there,” she whispered into his hair as she rested his head on her shoulder.
“This is the place,” she said as they approached.
Anthyr looked down at her, a question written on his face while something else burned in his eyes. “The hospital? Looks like an abandoned warehouse to me.”
“It was, until Dr. Benson bought it.” Giving Kedori one last squeeze, she stepped ahead as she reached for the door handle. “It was the cheapest building of size he could get.” She yanked it open against the tug of the wind and waved her hand inside. “This way, quickly.”
Anthyr hurried through the door, Kedori at his heels. Megyn pushed the door shut, then scooted past Anthyr. “This way,” she called over her shoulder as she darted ahead down the hall.
She cast quick glances at the other patients as she hurried past them. Most of them were sleeping; a few watched her pass with questioning faces. They seem okay, for the moment, she thought as she stopped by one of the few empty beds. I’ll check on them after I settle Kiet in.
Shedding her tan suede to just the black tee underneath, she swished up her ponytail as Anthyr’s boots pounded on the floor behind her. “Where do I lay him, Miss?”
“Just a moment,” she replied as she stepped to the bed. Quickly, she pulled back the yellowed sheet, smoothed out the mattress underneath, and shook up the limp pillow. Slipping her hand underneath it, she turned to Anthyr. “Lay him down. Carefully.”
As he lowered Kiet down, the boy groaned. His face twisted with pain as he tried to roll on his side.
“Shh, it’s okay.” Megyn soothed, laying a hand on his forehead a moment as she slipped her hand out from beneath his head. With swift fingers, she loosened his clothing and removed his shoes.
Something banged against the bed frame as she bent over to lay his shoes on the floor. She glanced down at her waist, a puzzled frown furrowing her mouth. The handcuffs swung from her belt, bumping her leg with every pass.
It felt like someone stepped on her soul as she unhooked them. It feels–so wrong somehow, to bind him, when he’s fighting for his life. And I’m called to be a person who heals, not one who chains, her heart protested as she took Kiet’s wrist in her hand. Kedori was watching, staring at her, she could feel it. He won’t understand. She thought, biting her lip. I have to do this, but–
Anthyr’s shadow darkened the bed as he stepped to her side. “I’ll take care of that, Miss Megyn.”
She looked at him. The smallest smile lifted her lips in relief she handed him the handcuffs. “Thank you.”
Steel clinked as he took Kiet’s wrist in his hands and stepped around her. She turned to Kedori. The look on his face shot a dart of pain through her heart as she signed, The Warden told me we have to secure him, so that he doesn’t run. I’m sorry.
Anthyr cuffed Kiet’s wrist to the bedpost as she sat down by the boy’s leg. As she slid up the pant leg, he stepped to her side. “Here’s the key, Miss Megyn,” he said, holding it out. “In case you need to remove them temporarily for medical purposes.”
She nodded, glancing up briefly. “Thank you, Anthyr. You can lay it on the stand over there.”
He set it down and returned to her side. “Is–that all, Miss Megyn?”
Megyn lifted her head as she unwound the first length of bandage from Kiet’s leg. Anthyr stood beside her, looking down into her eyes. Though inquiry was written on his face, something like regret dimmed his gaze.
“Yes,” she nodded. “Thank you so much for your help.”
“You’re welcome, Miss Megyn.” He ducked his head in a quick nod and slowly turned to leave. She pressed her lips together as, for a moment, she watched him go. Perhaps the guards aren’t all as calloused as they seem, she thought as she turned her attention back to Kiet’s leg.
Kedori crowded against her shoulder as Anthyr’s heavy footsteps dimmed into the background. After unwrapping the last length of the bandage, she bent over the wound. A red swelling surrounded the wound site. It had started to spread through his flesh, staining the skin up his leg with a scarlet flush. This isn’t good.
She snatched up her backpack from the floor. Laying it on the little table by the bed, she pulled out the canteen with one hand as the other dove into another pocket. As she tugged out a piece of cloth, she twisted the cap off the canteen. Quickly dousing the cloth, she washed the leg, then dropped the used cloth into a bin.
Her mind raced as she dug another cloth from her bag. I should have Matt examine him. He’ll know the best course of action to take. She bit her lip as she bathed Kiet’s face. Father, please – guide our hands, our words. He’s so sick and miserable, inside and out. And–I just–hurt for him and Kedori. Her eyes turned to the deaf boy as she laid the cloth on Kiet’s forehead. Comfort him. Give me the words to say.
She lifted a hand to sign. Stay here with him. I need to go get the doctor. I will be right back.
As he nodded, she stepped back out into the hall, drawing the curtain closed behind her with a hollow swish. She sped down the aisle at a swift jog.
Where is he? she wondered as she scanned the area. He could be anywhere. He works so hard–
Relief washed over as she turned. The doctor stepped out from behind a canvas curtain, wiping blood from his hands with a cloth. As he caught sight of her face, his eyes darkened with concern. “What’s wrong?”
“There’s a patient you need to examine right away.” She looked him in the eye. “The Sparrow suspect I asked you about yesterday.”
He cast the bloody cloth into a bin. “Let’s go.”
Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.