Chapter 15: Gila
The Gila pack clinic was small and comfortable, much more so than the typical hospital room. Gunny was transferred into a bed in a room that had an attached bathroom and shower, a flat screen TV, a kitchenette and a comfortable recliner. The room had a large window overlooking the back of the Pack House, the pool and the koi pond. Best of all, they had beds designed for mates.
Wendy had explained to me that since werewolves healed faster with their mates in contact with them, they had designed special beds. They were not just larger, maybe a foot or two longer and wider than the ones I was used to, recognizing the bigger sizes of some of the patients. They also split in half, so if needed the nurse could access both sides. “The size allows mates, children, even the Alphas to join the patient, lending their wolf their strength,” she said as she split it apart. Gunny was put on the bed on his side, his bandaged shoulder up in the air and his back towards the outside. They had placed it in a harness, like a complicated sling, which kept his upper arm tight to his chest and his lower arm crossed across his body. Since patients might need to shift during healing and nudity wasn’t an issue for werewolves, that stupid hospital gown was not used here, they left him naked. The gurney was removed from the room, Doc finished hooking him up to the instruments, then he left.
Wendy looked over at me like she was waiting for something. “What?”
“Strip, honey. Remember, skin contact calms his animal side and lets him heal.” I looked at her funny, then took off my jacket. She pulled a hanger out of the closet and took my other clothes as I removed them. I placed my gun belt and accessories on a table by the window, then closed the blinds before I removed my bra and panties. Wendy put them in a laundry bag along with my shirt. “I’ll have them laundered, Rose. Now go cuddle, and be careful of his shoulder.” She held the blanket back and I slid into the bed.
His knees were bent towards the center, so I rolled and backed up into his chest and groin. I moved the pillows over, resting my head on his arm as I relaxed back into his chest. I couldn’t go back too far without touching his bandages, so I pulled pillows into my chest to hold me in place. I listened to the sound of the machines, I felt the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed, and before I knew it I was asleep.
I woke when his legs started to twitch, his knee pushing into the back of my legs. I felt him straighten his leg, then the sharp intake of breath as he tried to move his injured arm. I rolled in place onto my back, moving my hand up to cup his face. He moved into my hand, like he was seeking out the heat; I could feel the tingles on my fingertips as I brushed his cheek. His eyes were starting to move, he was coming to but not quite there yet.
I turned to face him, scooting forward so my breasts pressed against his broad chest as I snuggled in to his shoulder. I hooked a leg over his, moving until I had my core pressed against his thigh. I lost myself in his smell, somewhere in the back of my mind I needed it. I felt his left arm move, it wrapped around my back, pulling me tighter to him, my hair right under his chin. We stayed like this for another five minutes before his eyes opened. “Rose,” he whispered through the mask as I stared into his eyes.
“Gunny,” I moaned as I snuggled even closer. “Don’t ever get shot again.”
He started to laugh, but that caused him pain and I backed off a little until his eyes opened again. “Sorry, don’t try to talk. You need to rest, you big lug.” I cupped his face again. “Thank you for saving me, love.”
He didn’t say anything, he just pulled me close to him and gently rubbed my back. We were interrupted moments later. “Oh good, he’s awake,” Wendy said. “Move off him, I need to check him.” She adjusted the IV drip. “Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the worst, how bad is your pain?”
He held up four fingers. “I’m giving you a painkiller, you should feel better in a few minutes. I’m just warning you, you better rest and let me and your mate take care of you. We’ll have you restrained if you can’t behave.” I had the feeling Gunny wasn’t the first male she had to give that speech to. She pulled a bottle and a syringe out, measuring the add she pushed it through his IV. I could feel him relaxing as the drugs made their way into his system.
Doctor Terry came in a moment later, he motioned for me to move out of the way so I got out and went to my bag. I pulled out a T-shirt, Charlotte had packed one of his and it fit like a dress. By the time I got out the bathroom, they had Gunny’s bed adjusted so he was sitting up, pillows behind his back and neck. Doc was explaining to him what had happened, and that he would be on bedrest for three days. “You can only get out of bed to go to the bathroom and shower,” he told him, “And when you get out of bed, someone has to be with you for the first day.”
Gunny mumbled something about being fine, but Doc was having none of it. “Look, you lost a lot of blood and your lung is still healing. I can’t have you passing out while you move,” he said. He then looked to me. “You need to make sure he rests; his cat will help him heal, we don’t need setbacks.”
“I’ll keep him in bed,” I said.
“While I’m here, we may as well get him to the bathroom. With all the IV’s he’s been given I bet he has to piss like a racehorse on a flat rock.”
Gunny moved the mask off. “Damn right, Doc. Let’s go.” They helped him get his legs over and sit up while I went in and made sure the bathroom was ready. Doc put his good arm over his shoulder and helped him stand, and with careful steps they were in the bathroom. “Can you do the honors, love?”
I smirked. “I always wondered what it would be like to pee my name,” I responded. I took hold of his length, feeling his bladder let go like a fire hose. He went for a good while before the stream finally stopped and I gave it a shake.
“I think I like this,” he said as I wiped the tip with some toilet paper and flushed it.
“Rest, doctor’s orders,” I told him as I went to wash my hands.
“Bed rest. We’ll be in bed,” he begged. I shook my head, thinking MEN. “Everything below my chest is just fine!
Doc started moving him back. “I’ve given you anti-inflammatory drugs, you might have trouble between that and low blood pressure. Like I said, you need to rest, and Rose is going to make sure you do it.” We got him back into bed; I grabbed my phone and laptop out of my bag and put them on the table on my side. I took off my shirt, folded it and put it over my duty weapon and badge before moving the table over by the bed. I was going to make him nap, and this way I could continue to work while staying in skin contact with him.
As soon as they left, Charlotte and Ella came in with trays of food. “Mom, I got you a club sandwich and chips since I didn’t know when you would be ready to eat. Gunny, sorry, you get beef broth and jello.” His face fell, but she wasn’t taking any crap from him. “Quit your whining, Dad, if you wouldn’t get shot you’d have a real meal.” She set the tray down by him as the import of what she had just said hit both of us.
“Charlotte…” He held his good arm out to her and she leaned over, careful to avoid his wounded shoulder, and hugged him as she cried. “I was going to ask you about adoption after I mate your mother, but it didn’t seem like the right time.”
“I love you, Dad. Don’t get yourself killed.”
“I love you too, Charlotte.”
I joined the hug, causing the sheet and blanket to fall down. When Charlotte got free, she squealed and covered her eyes as she saw our state. “MOM! You’re NAKED!”
I rolled my eyes, she’d get used to nudity, just like I was having to. “Doctor’s orders, skin contact with the mate helps with healing,” I said.
“Sounds like an excuse to mess around to me,” she said with a pout.
Ella came over and put a towel over his chest, then moved an adjustable table over and moved Gunny’s meal onto it. She handed him a spoon. “Eat up, Gunny. You too, Rose, you’ll need your strength as well.”
I grabbed the bag of potato chips and set then on my stomach. I then took my plate and set it in on my chest, using my ample bosom to hold it in place. I looked at Charlotte, looked down, and in a British accent said, “Where’s my chips?” I made a show of not being able to see anything until Charlotte moved my plate out of the way. “Oh, there they are!” We both cracked up, that viral video was a favorite for us as we were both had been blessed with impressive racks.
We had a pleasant dinner for the circumstances; Charlotte told me about school, and how she had been pulled out of school as soon as Josh had learned of the shooting. “I was scared, Mom, the radio said Dad had been shot but no one knew how bad. I kept thinking I was so close to having a father in my life and someone took him away,” she said as she started to cry again.
“No one will take me away from you, or you from me,” Gunny said. “As soon as we are mated, I’ll ask the Alphas to perform the adoption ceremony. You will be my daughter, of my blood, by choice if you want.”
“I do,” she said. “All I’ve ever wanted was for Mom to be happy and to have a Dad.”
“You’ll have both,” he said.
A few minutes later, his eyes were starting to droop and Ella told Charlotte it was time to go. She begged to stay another day, but I cut her off. “You’ve got school tomorrow, and nothing exciting will be happening here anyway,” I said. We said our goodbyes and they turned the lights down. Wendy came back in, checking his vitals and lowering the head of the bed so he could sleep easier. I turned on the television as he rested, keeping the volume low and turning it to a news channel. I spent the next few hours watching the coverage while going through my emails and messages.
The news wasn’t good; the shooter had gotten away, it was thought, and we didn’t even get a photo of her. They had found the car she used in a parking lot eight blocks away, one that they suspect was chosen because of its lack of security cameras. The car itself had been reported stolen a few hours after the shooting, and was being combed over for evidence.
One piece of evidence had been left for us. A letter, printed by a computer, no fingerprints.
It said, “No one is safe, not werewolves or their race-traitor whores. You will all suffer as I have.”