Okay, on to today's flash. This week my flash was inspired by 3 words, fingertips, skin, and relationship. You can see how those come into play in this week's update. I hope you enjoy!
Lost Inside Ch. 21
He jerked out of the light doze—all he could manage in the busy hospital. “Hey.” Benny cleared his throat. “You’re awake.”
“What happened?” Yuri asked.
Benny’s heart sank. “We were attacked.” Was Yuri’s memory screwed up again? At least he was talking.
“Can I come over there?”
The beds were narrow, but Benny wasn’t going to turn down a chance to hold his mate. “I don’t think you should get up on your own, and the doctors want to check you out. Why don’t we call a nurse, first?”
“I’m okay.” Yuri swayed as he sat up. “Maybe not.” He slumped sideways against the pillow, grabbing for the railing. An alarm blared.
Benny ignored the pain and shot out of bed. “Can you lay down?” He helped Yuri onto his back. His mate clutched at his head. “What hurts?”
A nurse came bustling into the room. “Here, now… what’s with waking the whole unit in the middle of the night?” She pushed some buttons on Yuri’s bed. “Good, you’re awake. Still, you could’ve used the call button.”
“Sorry.” Benny used one hand to push the hair out of Yuri’s face. His mate clung to his other hand.
“And you shouldn’t be out of bed either.” She clucked when she walked behind him. “You’ve popped your stitches! Would you get back in bed, please?”
Benny nudged Yuri. He began to scoot over.
“I meant in your own bed!” the nurse snapped when Benny climbed in next to his mate.
“No.” Benny sighed when he got comfortable on his stomach. His back stung, but he could smell Yuri, and feel him all along his side. His mate curled next to him.
“It’s fine,” Benny grunted.
“It most certainly is not fine. You’re bleeding again.” The nurse bustled away, muttering under her breath. They ignored her.
“Everything’s fuzzy,” Yuri said.
“I’m not surprised.” Benny studied Yuri. His ears were slanted and his pupils were blown wide. “You either have a serious head injury, or they have you on the really good stuff. Maybe both. I let you get hurt again. I’m so sorry.”
Yuri shook his head, and then groaned. “You didn’t. You didn’t let anything happen to me. I remember some stuff, like not running away when you told me to. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t leave you.” His voice started to slur, and he blinked.
“Hey, stay awake. The doctors will be here soon.”
The doctor came in after a few minutes. Benny refused to move, so his bandages and stitches on the mostly healing cuts on his back were removed while he held Yuri’s hand as his mate struggled to answer the doctor’s questions.
“We’d like to get some tests tomorrow, but as far as we can tell, there doesn’t appear to be more damage—other than to the shunt, which we had to take out.”
“So what’s the verdict?”
Yuri’s doctor set down his chart. He shook his head. “Your back will be fine soon. It’s healer faster than I’ve ever seen. Yuri’s recent procedure makes it hard to judge his mental status. What is due to the venom, versus complications from the blow to his head, is hard to tell. I’d like for you to stay so his primary doctor can test him in the morning.”
Benny sighed. He wanted to take Yuri out of the hospital. It stank, it was loud, and it didn’t help his mate.
But he had to be patient.
“Fine,” Yuri said. “We’ll wait. Can you go now?”
The doctor frowned, but Benny was smiling. Yuri sounded grumpier than he was. He really liked seeing him reacting—even if it was a pissy reaction. Plus it wasn’t aimed at him.
Finally, they were alone again. Benny watched Yuri, who stared back at him. “Was I really that bad?” he asked softly.
“What do you mean?”
“I remember being scared and screaming. There was a face. It’s a Tiger, but I can’t quite remember who he is. I think it’s a memory, but I couldn’t figure out what’s a memory and what’s real.”
“Why didn’t you tell the doctor that?”
Yuri shrugged. “They’ll think I’m nuts. I’m not nuts.”
“No, you’re not. You went through a lot, and Dr. Vancould said your brain activity was off the charts after you got the venom and Bashta chanted over you.” Benny kept his tone firm, so Yuri would know he was serious.
Benny smiled. Yuri hadn’t changed that much. He was still so ready to trust, now that he’d come out of whatever they’d done to him with the venom. “I’m so glad you’re back,” Benny whispered.
“Me too.” Yuri ran his fingers up Benny’s arm. “You have so many muscles. And your skin is so soft back here.” It tickled when he stroked the back of Benny’s arm.
“I’ve been working out a lot.”
“I can tell.”
Yuri licked his lips. “I can touch you like this, right?”
“Yes. We’re mates. That means we’re in a relationship.” Benny watched in confusion as Yuri’s eyes got watery. “What? What is it?”
“Are you sure?”
Benny wiped away a tear trickling down Yuri’s cheek. “Yes. No matter what anyone else says, we’re mates. I’m yours, and your mine. You claimed me in front of our families, and we both changed.” Benny placed a hand on Yuri’s heart. “I can feel you, here. I know you’re my mate.”
“B-but I hurt you.”
“No.” Benny shook his head. “No. It wasn’t your fault. You never hurt me, not on purpose. Has that been bothering you?”
Yuri shrugged. “Mates can’t hurt each other. If we’re really mates, I couldn’t have done that.”
“That’s not really how it works. It’s not that you can’t physically hurt me. It’s that you don’t want to. Mates care about each other, and all your worry? That just proves how much you love me.”
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