Today's Brief update is inspired by the prompt "Don't just stand there, run!" *winks* Wonder what that brings?!! Read on!
Lost Inside Chapter 19
Yuri tucked his hands under the sheet, clenching them together. He wanted to rub his wrists, but he had to keep them safe. He didn’t want the nurse to take off the restraints, but when the doctor said to, she did anyway.
How could he do it?
Yuri couldn’t be a real mate to Benny—hurting him proved that. No matter what they said to him about brain chemistry, venom, and seizures.
“No. No, I don’t wanna to talk about it.” Yuri rolled over to face the wall. He stared at the small sink, avoiding the mirror above it. Who was he?
His head hurt. An edge of the white bandage showed in the mirror. Yuri jerked his gaze away. Maybe the face in the flames was his. His stomach roiled when he thought about what he’d seen, and Yuri squeezed his eyes shut. He watched the lights and colors flash behind his eyelids, desperate for a distraction from the inside of his head.
Why had he done this? His claws dug into his hands. He wished he could dig them into his head and drag the thoughts out. They wouldn’t stop.
Yuri rocked back and forth.
Benny watched helplessly as his mate mumbled and rocked. What the hell happened? He leaned forward, but Yuri didn’t want to be touched. Benny’s knuckles were white where he gripped the rail along the side of the bed.
This wasn’t what he expected.
What he wanted.
His mate didn’t remember him, or anything else from their life before, it seemed. He was in pain, screaming about an orange man or whimpering and swaying with his arms tucked in close.
Why had Benny told Ellis to bring the doctors there? The first mate Benny fell in love with was long gone at the hands of his father. The cheerful, bouncy mate Benny had only days to get to know was gone now too—at his hands.
“It’ll get better,” the nurse said. She adjusted the liquid dripping into the tube going into Yuri’s arms, and his rocking gradually slowed. The nurse was human, like Ellis used to be, which seemed to reassure the other patients Benny watched her with.
Yuri didn’t even notice she was in the room.
Dr. Poinyard entered the room. Yuri was asleep, finally.
“Resting, I see.”
Great, the guy was going to state the obvious. “Yes,” Benny growled. He clenched his hands and heard an ominous crack. Damn it, he busted his phone. He dropped it on the table beside him. “What’s wrong with him?”
Wires still went from Yuri’s scalp to some machines behind his bed. He hadn’t even noticed them. Dr. Poinyard tapped the screen on the computer. A virtual image of a brain appeared. “We’re seeing increased activity in every region of the brain that deals with memory. But this is way more than we expected.”
“He’s getting all his memory back?”
“We’re not sure. Right now, it’s like Yuri is on sensory overload. The synapses in his brain are refiring and creating connections that either were missing or never existed. Right now, even if we were to start testing him, he’d be unlikely to remember real memories.
“Think about it like watching fifty movies, all at the same time. Things would blend and blur, and you’d never know where to look as the images changed constantly. I hope some of this will ease as his brain absorbs the venom.”
“But you don’t know for sure.”
Dr. Poinyard sighed. “No. This is all experimental. All we can do is our best. I promise we will do everything in our power to help Yuri heal.”
But the next day wasn’t any better. The more stimulus there was around Yuri, the worse he rocked. He refused to acknowledge any of them, not even Benny. Every flinch from his touch tore another wound in Benny’s soul.
Finally, Benny had enough. “I’m taking him home,” he announced. “It’s quiet at my apartment.”
All three doctors stood in the room around Yuri’s bed. Bashta had left with Cavel, after sending another prayer to his Jaguar god. It didn’t seem to do any good, but Yuri didn’t start screaming either.
“I’ll bring him back, whenever you need to see him, or you can come to my apartment. But I am taking him home now.”
Before anyone could stop him, Benny had Yuri bundled up and blinking owlishly in the passenger seat of his truck. His ears drooped, and his hands rested limp in his lap. A nurse came trotting out of the clinic, but Benny didn’t stop for her when she waved to him.
“We’ll be home soon.” Benny stopped at a drive-thru and picked up some burgers with lots of bacon. “Smell that? You love bacon.”
Yuri didn’t answer him.
His mate folded his ears flat, and Benny could smell a tinge of fear. Damn it! He barely managed to stop his growling. He wasn’t mad at Yuri, he was made at himself—he did this to his mate.
The sun was beginning to set when they pulled up near Dav’s bar. He was thankful it wasn’t busy—sometimes even weekdays there’d be a line outside the door. Benny grabbed the bag of burgers. He went around to Yuri’s side of the truck and opened the door.
“C’mon,” Benny urged him. “Let’s go eat.”
Yuri’s eyes widened. He stared over Benny’s shoulder. Benny glanced behind him.
“Holy fuck.” Benny dropped the burgers and yanked Yuri of the truck. He shoved him toward the bar. “Go! Don’t just stand there, run!”
Rage coursed through him, and now he had a target. Benny flicked out his claws and bared his fangs. He didn’t recognize the Tiger barreling toward them, but he didn’t really care. It was about damn time the intruder showed his face.
Benny was going to rip it apart.
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