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“He’s definitely out, but that’s all I can tell you. His pulse and breathing are fast, but steady. What was wrong with him?”
“It was like he went feral. He didn’t seem to recognize any of us, not even me. Could it be something they did to him?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. Was he cognizant before this? Knew where he was? Who he was? Who you are?”
I nodded. “Yes. Weak, malnourished, exhausted and sleeping a lot, but he was still ‘Kraig’. We’ve been together since I found and blooded him, but I was doing rounds and he went to his parent’s house. He ate there, then went to take a nap. When I showed up he was sleeping, but then he just went... crazy.”
“Could he have been experiencing a nightmare? Sleep walking?” the medic asked.
“Maybe. I woke up him during a nightmare yesterday, though, and he was scared and hid under the bed, but he came out of it really quickly once he realized where he was. He didn’t seem to recognize anything around him today, but he was in the house he grew up in.”
The medic ran a hand over his hair, pulling on the rough reddish strands until they puffed out. He shook his head. “I just don’t know what to tell you. I don’t understand how any of this”—he waved a hand over Kraig—“is even possible, much less what might be wrong with him or how to treat it. The physical damage from striking him is superficial. It’ll heal just fine. Other than that? I don’t know.
“I could take a blood sample. Maybe that could shed some light on his physiology. It’d be good to get a baseline on him anyway, just in case something else happens. Call me when he wakes up, and I will come back.”
“Do it,” I ordered. It was hard to watch him insert a needle into Kraig’s arm without snarling, but I managed. “I’ll give my uncle your name. He’s a professor, and I was going to consult with him anyway.”
“You have a problem with that?” I narrowed my eyes and glared.
“No, no. Of course not. Feel free to give him my number. I’ll get in touch with you if I find anything in your mate’s bloodwork that might help.” The medic scrambled to pack up his bag and leave.
“We need your expertise in this.”
“Deke, I am a biology professor, not a medical doctor. I cannot treat Kraig, even if I wanted to,” Uncle Radford said impatiently.
I paced the sitting room, trying to keep my voice low even though Kraig was unconscious and not just sleeping. “I don’t need you to treat him. I had the lion’s medic come and assess him physically. He couldn’t find anything wrong with him while he was unconscious, but he took a blood sample.”
“Be that as it may, I have responsibilities, classes. I cannot just up and return to the streak.”
Clamping my jaw shut, I just barely held on to the order to make him do precisely that. I wasn’t a tyrant, but this was Kraig, my mate! I took several harsh breaths in and out through my nose before I said carefully, “You will help me in this. I understand you have to keep up appearances with your job, and you cannot just leave when you have classes to teach. I will email the doctor’s files to you. I expect that you will review them, and let me know if you find out anything that is relevant as soon as possible. Then we will see you on Friday after your last class ends.” My tone was reasonable, even polite, but I gave him no room to argue. “Yes.”
“Yes, Deke.” Uncle Radford hung up without saying anything else. He hated that I was the alpha, that he had to listen to someone he thought of as just a kid, but there were things he didn’t understand about becoming the alpha that changed me far more than he knew.
I booted my laptop and sent him the files through a dummy email account. Unless someone got ahold of my laptop or was able to hack the whole streak, the information should be safe. It made me nervous, though, since that was how I’d gotten the information in the first place. But I couldn’t wait for Friday.
I needed answers now. Inside, I was like a powder keg, poised to blow. The tension was unbearable. I paced my sitting area, pausing to peer into my bedroom where Kraig was lying on his back. Who would wake up in there?
Or the feral bonded werekin?
There was only one thing to do when a bonded werekin’s soul overpowered his human spirit, making them a danger to themselves and everyone around them... but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even contemplate it without wanting to roar my pain and anger for all to hear and know to give me wide berth.
My claws flicked in and out, digging into my palms. I felt so helpless. It was agonizing. Kraig rolled onto his side, and the movement caught my attention instantly. I watched him intently, but he didn’t open his eyes.
The livid bruise on his jaw was even darker. I looked away, but not for long. I approached the bed silently, dropping to my knees beside him. He was still so thin, looked so worn. There was nothing I wanted more than to fix everything for him, but I couldn’t.
“What happened to you?” I whispered.
Kraig slowly opened his eyes.
I froze, holding my breath. The other times I’d startled him awake hadn’t gone well. I didn’t want to scare him or provoke another attack. His eyes widened.
“Deke! What happened to your face?”
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