The Shadows(Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 13)(18) by J.R.Ward
“Doc Jane,” he barked. “She’s awake!”
Trez? she said. Trez, wait, I need to tell you something—
No, don’t worry about that. I need to—
“She can’t breathe!”
Things happened so fast. All at once, a mask was pushed onto her face, and something forced her lungs to inflate. Voices exploded around her. A shrill beeping sound suggested an alarm was going off—
Someone tried to straighten her out, and her joints roared in protest. Oh, wait, it was her trying move—she was trying to sit up to see what was going on.
“She’s moving!” That was Trez—she was sure of it. “Her arm moved!”
“She’s in cardiac arrest. Can you flatten her chest?”
The pain that came next was so great, she screamed.
“I’m sorry,” Trez said into her ear, his voice cracking. “I’m sorry, baby. I’m so sorry, but I’ve got to get you flat—”
Selena screamed again, but she didn’t think it registered as sound. And then her vision blurred, starting with the peripheral and heading to the center, as if a fog were rolling in from all sides.
Suddenly, she was staring at the medical chandelier—which meant they’d somehow managed to get her on her back. Then came pressure on her shoulders, spine, arms. Her vision went in and out, that blurriness receding and returning as great waves of pain racked her.
“I don’t want to break anything,” Trez gritted out.
So it was his hands on her wrists, forcing her flat.
“I need to get in there. Now.”
Doc Jane appeared on the opposite side of the table, and in her hands were palm-size blocks with curly cords hanging from the ends.
“Get her robing off.” Doc Jane looked in another direction. “You males gotta leave or he’s not going to let us get to her torso.”
That alarm was so loud now, a solid continuous sound, no longer broken by intervals.
“Clear!” Doc Jane ordered.
A lightning strike hit Selena’s chest, popping her torso up off the table, cracking each and every one of her vertebrae, busting her spine out of its hold.
As she slapped back down on the exam table’s thin mattress, there was a brief, striking pause during which the three people around her, Doc Jane, the nurse, Ehlena, and Trez, all stared at her. She focused on Trez—and that was when she saw a fourth who was standing directly next to him, a big body turned away, a dark head tilted down and to the side.
Oh, good, she was glad he was there for Trez.
Selena opened her mouth underneath the mask, looking directly into her Shadow’s black eyes. If only she could tell him—
Chaos lit off around her once more, her lungs punching against her ribs, voices igniting, people shifting positions.
“Stop bagging her,” Doc Jane shouted. “Clear!”
A second powerful current plowed through her, contorting her torso. This time there was no pause. That hard, powerful push into her lungs returned immediately and happened over and over.
“What do we do now?” Trez asked in a choked voice.
Oh, dearest Virgin Scribe, he was crying.
Trez, she thought at him. I love you …
Trez was living and dying by the vital-sign machine that was about a foot behind the head of the exam table. A rope’s worth of wiring connected Selena to its onboard computer, and the screen showed all kinds of info that didn’t mean much to him. The one thing he did get, however, and get very goddamn clearly, was that the yellow line across the bottom was supposed to peak and valley at regular intervals as her heart beat.
It wasn’t going up and down in a nice, steady pattern—even after the thing went haywire when Doc Jane put the paddles on the center and side of Selena’s torso and sent all that electrical charge into the Chosen’s chest.
Flat. It was flat again.
Ehlena kept bagging, her hands biting into a pale blue balloon that forced air into Selena’s rib cage. And meanwhile, Trez stared at that yellow line, willing it to jump, willing it to respond to a beat of Selena’s heart.
“Damn it, beat…”
Something brushed his face and he jumped back—only to find that Selena had actually reached up to him, her pale, slender hand extending in a series of jerks like the joint was rusty.
“Selena,” he said, dropping down so she didn’t have to strain. “Selena…”
He kissed her palm, her fingers, and then he let her brush his cheeks. Her eyes were incredibly blue, luminous, glowing. And for a moment, everything faded away so that it was just the two of them, the walls of the exam room, its equipment and personnel, even his beloved brother, disappearing from them.
Her lips started to move under the clear plastic mask.
“Okay, okay, okay.” He had no idea what she was saying. “Can you stay with me? Please stay here—don’t go.”
She was moving, and that was good, right?
“Selena!” Shit, her eyes were rolling back. “Selena…!”
“We’re losing her!”
There was no conscious thought involved for him. The instant Doc Jane barked those three horrible words again, he blew his form apart, and blanketed Selena’s body with his molecules, his energy, his soul, surrounding her above, around, below. He threw himself into her, pushing through her skin, getting in deep, sharing everything he had in hopes that he could somehow do what the crash cart couldn’t.
That he could somehow bring her back …
And then it happened.
Sure as if Selena reached out with her hands and grabbed what he had to give, a vital pull latched onto his essence, drawing him in, taking from him.
That’s right, he thought. Use me—
“I have a heartbeat!” someone said.
He heard the commentary not as sound, but as the thoughts of others—he didn’t stop, though. Too early. Not enough had been given.
And yet all too soon, his strength started to fade, his energy draining in a flush, not anything that was gradual. As much as he wanted to keep helping her, he knew he had to get back into physical form or he was going to get stuck in vapor, and that was a death sentence.
Not until she was gone, he told himself.
And he could help her again, after he—
Trez landed on the tile floor like he’d been pushed down, all hard knocks and bad smacks. From his vantage point, he got a close look at Doc Jane’s red Crocs, Ehlena’s blue ones, and his brother’s knees as the male immediately crouched down next to him.
iAm was all action, no delay, hooking a hold under Trez’s pits, and dragging him back to Selena’s head, lifting him up when he couldn’t stand, kneel, or even hold his torso to the vertical.
No clue what Doc Jane and Ehlena were doing, the pair of them making their rounds of Selena’s prostrated form with all kinds of medical equipment—
The door from the corridor burst open. Manny Manello, the human doctor who was Jane’s medical partner, was in civilian clothes and a full hassle, like he’d been in a rush to get back to the training center.
Wrong gender. Considering Selena was naked.
Trez’s lip curled up off his suddenly descended fangs, a growl percolating out of him.
“Traffic was a bitch!” Manny said. “I’m so sorry—”
“You need to leave,” Doc Jane hollered as she looked up from checking Selena’s eyes with a light. “Unless you want to get bitten.”
As Manny shot him a look that was full of eyebrow, Trez could feel the strength coming back to him. And he wasn’t the only one who noticed. iAm wrapped heavy arms around his chest.
“I’ll be out in a second for a consult?” Doc Jane said to her partner.
“Roger that.” Manny lifted a hand to Trez. “Sorry, man.”
You had to respect his turnaround time, Trez thought as the guy disappeared.
“She has limited mobility in her arms, fingertips to shoulders,” Ehlena announced as she went to the base of the table and took hold of Selena’s leg. “Hip socket. Knee. Ankle. Same.”
“Vitals are stable,” Doc Jane reported. “I want another set of X-rays as soon as I’m sure she’ll stay with us.”
Jane glanced over at Trez. “You brought her back. You saved her life.”
As if she heard the words and understood them, Selena looked over at him. Trez opened his mouth to respond, and didn’t make it. Like someone had unplugged him from the world, everything faded to black and he went floating into unconsciousness.
The only thing he was aware of? Even after he passed the fuck out?
The steady beep-beep-beep of the machine marking Selena’s heartbeat.
BROWNSWICK SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, CALDWELL, NEW YORK
Denzel got it right in American Gangster.
The best drug dealers were good businessmen. And it didn’t take nothing from Harvard to get there.
Mr. C, Forelesser of the Lessening Society, weren’t no fucking suit with a bullshit piece of paper framed on his wall. But he was born and bred on the streets and damn good at moving product.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online