Tales Of A Shifter (P1) - The Meeting

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Chapter 18 - Hanging By A Thread

Perhaps his touch had distracted the mortal.

Perhaps his words had broken through the fever dreams? Or maybe chloroform was just too hard to continue to battle in his exhausted state, but the mortal shuttered as his chest expanded suddenly.

He took a breath and then he succumbed seconds after Ezekiel withdrew his hand from the mortals face.

And like a switch going out the mortals head dropped, his eyes drifted shut, and all of the tension in that fevered, shivering, and bloody frame swiftly faded.

Ezekiel sighed and gently, removed himself from the bed, so he could stand beside his mother. Glen continued to hold the chloroformed rag to the mortals face for another thirty seconds before withdrawing it. If she had anything to say about Ezekiels actions she kept it to herself. She simply turned and walked to the bathroom. She tossed the chloroformed rage into a trash bucket, and set about washing her hands.

Ezekiel watched her emerge a minute later, hands, and forearms still soaking wet, as she approached the surgical supplies once more, and began slipping large extra white surgical gloves own onto her hands and forearms stopping half way up. Finally turning to Ezekiel as she fitted each of her small fingers to the finger holes then she looked at Ezekiel then at the mortal.

“Ok.” She sighed. “He’s out for now, but I’m still gonna need to inject that morphine before I starting cutting and sewing. His mother smiled at him as she walked towards the door. Refraining from touching him she waved Ezekiel over.

Glancing at the mortal he turned and joined her.

“Thank you for holding the mortal down, but I need a sterile environment now.” His mother said, letting him open the door for her.

“I can’t help you sew him up?” Ezekiel asked her. Unlike his brothers he actually had passable skills as a healer. Skills he had emulated from watching his mother and working at the animal ranches as a child. He’d sewn up more gashes and delivered more calves then the rest of his family combined. Excluding his mother, who had more experience healing the men and women in their village and delivering the Leopards children?

“No. “His mother said quickly. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Why not?” Ezekiel asked her suspiciously steeping out of the room and letting her crack it.

“Well for one I’m gonna have to strip the man naked.” She said her head sticking through the crack as she leaned against the door. “And you don’t exactly play it straight sweet heart.”

“Righttttt!” Ezekiel smirked at her leaning against the door. “And I’m not mature enough to see a naked mortal? Come on! I’ve worked on male Shifters in the village and it wasn’t a problem! Mortal or Shifter were both guys mom. What’s he got that I haven’t already seen?”

“You would be surprised....” His mother mumbled under her breath looking away.

“What was that?” Ezekiel said tilting his head towards her, but his mother just pushed him back. He was getting curious to know just what it was she was hiding, but she wasn’t talking.

“No help needed. Besides.... “She told him somberly, smoothly moving away from her suspicious comment. “He could also bleed to death once I start cutting Ezekiel, do you want to see that? Do you want to witness him slip away? ”

Ezekiel frowned.
No he definitely didn’t want to see that, but instead of answering he turned her question back around.

“What? you don’t think I can handle it.” He insisted instead.

“Your so much like you father...” Glen sighed at him. “It doesn’t matter, because I said no and you’re not coming back in here. Now go on. Return to your patrol. I’Il be fine until Lander shows up.”

“All right. But try to be positive.” Ezekiel stood up and nodded. He wanted to help, but maybe this was all he could do. He had to let his mom do her best. “I know I asked you to do this and you’ll do your best. But I don’t want you to take it hard if he’s too sick for you to heal Mom.” Ezekiel put a hand on her small cheek and smiled at her encouragingly. “You’re a great healer so I’m sure he’ll pull through, but if he doesn’t no one is to blame.”

“Well, that’s entirely his choice.” His mother sighed putting on a tough face, but he knew how sad she got when anything, especially her patients died on her. In that regard they were very much the same. His mom leaned into his hand nuzzling it softly then pulled back. “Either way....you will know if he’s survived or not in a few short hours. For now all you can do it leave me too my work and stay out of trouble with your father. So please get going before he finds you in here.”

Ezekiel bowed his head, as she turned and the door slid shut behind her.

Ezekiel departed from the hall just as he heard the cloth of the mortal’s clothes rustling, and then the sharp zing as he caught the smell of fresh blood being released into the air.

Ezekiel scrubbed at his noses as the fresh scent of the mortal burned him all over again. With a blue eyed glare Ezekiel looked down at his pants, smudged and smeared with the mortals tantalizing blood as well and growled. With an agonized hiss Ezekiel closed his eyes and just focused on the cool silence rather than the sick fact that he still kind of wanted to know what it tasted like.

He listened to the clink of his mother’s tools on the other side of the door and hissed to himself. “She seems pretty sure that he’s not gonna make it....”

But Ezekiel didn’t feel that way. He wasn’t simply determined that this entire past night wasn’t some huge waste. He felt like he couldn’t let the stranger die. He felt compelled to at least think that he would live, because thinking that he was going to die just aggravated him. There was that blood on his pants, electric with life, burning his lungs like soft flame. So alive, so strange.

“I still don’t know his name.” Ezekiel said to the empty hall, then smiling sadly because he knew it was really no use to dwell on it, he turned and made his way to his room. A change of clothes and then back to the sheep’s. He was still a Guardian and he still had two villages to patrol.

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