In the Shadows of Dryden

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Chapter 22 - The aftermath

Vrejh kept on limping, making slow and painful progress forward. Every step he took ached throughout his entire body, his breathing had gotten better but he felt week. All of a sudden, he wondered if it wasn’t better to continue tracking the Ghost after he’d recuperated.

‘Vrejh, we should be out of grizzly territory now.’

The wolf stopped, sitting on his hind legs. His right arm and shoulder bones moved under his skin in a series of noisy cracks, going back to his human bone structure. Loud whimpers of pain came out of the wolf’s mouth.

This healing method wasn’t commonly used within the werewolf community, not only because of the requirements needed to change only a part of your body back but also because of the excruciating pain that it brought to the wolf attempting it. It was only used by strong alphas or royals.

When he had fully transformed his right arm into a human arm, he started the process of transforming his arm back into a wolf’s leg. The process successfully brought his broken bones back in the right place and the healing had already fused the bones enough for him to change it back to a wolf’s arm. Although his bones were no longer broken, they weren’t fully healed and the transformation held some degree of pain but compared to the previous pain he felt, this was nothing. A couple of minutes later, his arm and shoulder were fully back in place and healed but Vrejh was left just as exhausted as Richard was.

‘The… moon… light…’ They thought in unison, joining their remaining energy to walk a few extra steps towards a clearing before dropping over the thick grass in exhaustion. The wolf’s eyes closed with a heavy sigh.

Meanwhile...

Claire stood watching him sprint away from them with Fang following right behind. She couldn’t believe that he would go so far away from Kodoku’s forest. Part of her, that is her mind, was still angry at him while her other part, her heart, was eager to forgive him and embrace that mysterious vampire. She shook her head, forcing herself to block those feelings coming from her heart.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

The loud scream behind her made her jump in place, turning her face to its source. That’s when she saw him. Cedric had managed to change back to his human form but something seemed to be wrong with him. He was half crouched to the ground, holding the left side of his chest.

She stepped forward before stopping again. Her jaw fell open and her eyes widened in shock when she realized the small pool of blood gathering under Cedric. Another daunting realization she had was the fact that Cedric was completely naked.

“Ce… Cedric!” She forced herself to blink, gulping the fact that he was naked, and ran to him. “Cedric! Ho… how? You weren’t injured before…”

Her eyes scanned the area where he was standing when he transformed into a wolf and as soon as she found the remnants of his ripped clothing, she jogged to it and grabbed the most useful parts before returning to his side.

“I need to wrap this around and try to stop the bleeding.”

“NO!” He grimaced in pain. “No, you can’t.” Slowly, he removed his hand from over the injury, revealing at least three broken ribs on his left flank. “You can’t…” He grunted. “... wrap anything over this to stop the bleeding.” Claire gasped, holding the biggest piece of ripped clothing in her hands.

“I… I will bring the horses. We have to go back now!” She stood, walking a few steps before turning back to him. “You… you think you can ride the horse?”

Cedric had one eye closed as he gritted his teeth in pain, yet he still managed to nod lightly. That was enough for her to spring down the pathway to where they had left the horses.

‘Pommey, Peter, we’re coming back. Contact THE doctor and have him come over to the farm as fast as he can, please.’

‘Young Master, what happened? What do you mean the doctor?’ Asked Pommey.

‘I’m contacting him as we speak, Cedric!’ Said, Peter.

‘Thanks! Will see you two soon.’ Cedric immediately closed the mind-link with the two and opened another mind-link with the beta, Lee.

‘Lee, I can’t give much information at the moment but, I was just in a fight with the Forest Ghost in Witche’s forest. I’m gonna be back to my farm soon and I have already requested for the doctor to come.’

‘Moon Goddess! What happened?’ Asked Lee.

‘I was on a date with Claire when he barged in. Before I knew it, we were fighting. I can hear the horses, Claire is coming back.’ His pain made him grimace, gulping hard.

‘Cedric? How bad are you injured?’

‘Bad…’

‘FUCK! Vann is on his way to the farm. Get there as fast as you can and get yourself treated. I will report it to the alpha!’

Lee cut the mind-link just as Claire was back with both horses. She made sure to tie them to the nearest tree while she went to help Cedric.

When she crouched next to him, she noticed that he had wrapped his ripped shirt around him as best as he could in this actual situation so he would be a little bit more propper in front of her. He was still visibly in pain.

“Come on! Hold on to my arm. I will help you get up and on the horse.”

She didn’t have to say it twice as he immediately held on to her, grunting a few curse words. They moved slowly to the horses, and Claire helped him up. Once they were both on top of their respective horse, Claire took Cedric’s reigns and tied them firmly to her saddle horn.

“Let me know if you need to stop and hold tight!”

“Just go! I will manage it somehow!” He kept on holding his bleeding side but held tightly to his saddle horn with his other hand while they took off galloping.

It wasn’t long before they were back on the farm and the elderly man named Pommey and Peter were running in panic toward them.

“I can’t believe it! Young Master, what happened?” Said Pommey in panic, already helping Cedric off the horse. Peter too tried his best to shoulder Cedric’s weight as much as he could so the old man wouldn’t strain himself.

They both shouldered Cedric inside the farmhouse as fast as they could without causing him too much pain. Claire ran a bit ahead in a hurry to open the doors for them to pass by with him. With Peter’s help, she knew exactly just which door to open.

Cedric was placed on a bed with his injured side up while elder Pommey immediately ran to fetch him some water, leaving the three alone.

Claire was lost for words, worse, she had no idea what she should do to help in this situation so she just held on to Cedric’s hand. Peter had went to sit down on a nearby chair after placing one by Claire, his face held a worried expression.

“Everything will be alright. Everything will be alright! Don’t you worry Cedric, the doctor...”

At that moment, a tall fit man wearing a long white overcoat over his shirt and jeans pants bursted into the room holding a black gladstone bag. His long light blond hair was neatly tied back and his piercing light blue eyes scanned the room like an eagle. As soon as he saw Cedric laying on the bed, he strided over to him and began preparing his tools. After everything was neatly in order, he put on some latex gloves.

“What’s your name?” Asked the doctor as he filled a syringe with a seethrough liquid, slightly hitting it so the few bubbles inside the syringe would come up to the surface for easy removal. Claire turned her attention from Cedric to him, a bit surprised.

“I’m… Claire.”

The doctor glanced at her a few seconds, an eyebrow lifting up slightly.

“I see. I’m Dr. Erik Söring. Can you tell me exactly what happened for Cedric to get so banged up like this?”

Her gaze fell to the floor and her hands began fidgeting.

“I… We were out on a date…”

Dr. Erik seemed to concentrate on Cedric’s back for a moment, rubbing some brownish-red liquid on Cedric’s skin before he gingerly pierced in between his back discs with the syringe.

“Yes, and?”

“Cai… the Forest Ghost showed up when we were kissing and before we knew, they were fighting.”

That got the doctor to look up at her as he removed the syringe. His gaze was hard and serious, making her feel guilty for what happened. A few moments passed with the doctor staring at her, then, out of the blue, he placed the syringe on a nearby table and turned back to Cedric’s injury.

“Cedric, I gave you an epidural but I’m afraid that it might not be enough. You’re gonna have to bear with me.”

Cedric answered with a nod, to busy gritting his teeth in pain to say anything.

Dr. Erik rubbed the same brownish-red liquid over his injury, then he took a deep breath, closing his eyes while he lifted his hands over Cedric. When he opened his eyes again, they were no longer light blue but bright purple. Purple clouds formed around his hands as he moved them to form a square over Cedric’s injury.

Initially, Claire stared dumbfounded at the doctor but after seeing him look through the square his hands were forming, she become to curious and stood up so she too could look into the square. Looking into the square was just like looking through an x-ray but with color or a camera inside of Cedric, and yet, there was no machine just pure… magic!

‘Magic!’ He eyes shot up to the doctor’s face but he looked immersed in concentration and she didn’t want to distract him. Cedric needed his help!

Dr. Erik moved his square formed hands around the injury, checking the bones.

“There! You were very unlucky, Cedric! One of your ribs made a cut in one of your arteries. That explains why you’re bleeding so much!”

Once again, the door opened in a hurry, a man dressed in firefighter uniform rushed into the room toward them. The man wasn’t as tall as the doctor but he had a much thicker build. Before he could get any closer to the bed, a purple wave pushed him back, making the short dark haired man stop on his tracks.

“Not now, Vann!” Said the doctor without raising his voice or taking his concentration from his work.

The firefighter nodded, not giving any mention of coming forward, but his worried light brown eyes watched everything that was being done on Cedric.

Claire couldn’t help but to look back and forth between the doctor and the firefighter. She wondered why exactly the firefighter named Vann, was so worried about Cedric but she didn’t plan on asking anything right now.

Dr. Erik broke the x-ray square he was forming with his hands and with a flick movement of his hands, thick leather belts sprang up and around Cedric, buckling him up tightly in place. Then, he pulled his hands away to grab a scalpel. His eyes were still shining purple as he made a precise cut right over where the artery had been damaged.

Cedric let out a scream of pain but that was all he could do, thanks to the belts holding him in place.

Erik’s grabbed a needled, quickly fitting a cirurgical tread in it. His hands worked attentively over the bleeding artery, stopping it from bleeding after a few stitches. After he stopped the blood, he turned and opened a small cold container, were he removed a bag of blood from it. He looked around the bed for an instant and flicked two fingers in the air. Immediately, a branch sprouted from the closest wall by the bed, growing enough so he could hang the bag of blood from it. He then, proceeded to attach the needle into Cedric’s arm and turned the little switch for him to get the very much needed blood in his sistem. Erik glanced sideways to his tools and took something looking like a seethrough tape. His fingers carefully lifted every broken bone, one by one, taping them in place. When he was done, he rubbed his fingers over the tape and it instantly became harder, much like plaster but a thinner, translucent and much stronger than plaster.

Everybody in the room observed him attently, not daring to disturb his work. Cedric seemed to had fallen asleep, finally giving on the pain or maybe taken by the epidural.

Once again, the doctor grabbed a surgical tread, threading it in the needle before he began stitching his patient. When he closed the last stitch, he cut the remaining tread and rubbed some more iodopovidone over the stitches.

“It’s all done!” He said, removing his gloves and putting his cirurgical tools away in his bag.

“How long until he can go back to training?” Asked Vann, finally being allowed to step forward.

Erik looked up at him, doing one last movement with his hand to untie the belts holding Cedric. Then, his irises finally returned back to his former cold light blue eyes.

“At the very least, give him a couple of days. His werewolf blood and the tape I placed in him will do it’s job fast enough. The tape will gradually be absorbed into the bone structure and help with the healing so no need to worry about it. Now…” His cold gaze turned to Claire.

“You said he fought with the Forest Ghost. Were he injured as well?”

“I… I’m not sure. No! I don’t think so.” She stammered, taken by surprise but Erik’s gaze softened. She noticed that his body seemed to relax after her answer.

‘Hmm… why did his behavior just change?’ She though to herself.

“Why did they fight in the first place? I’ve never seem the Ghost attacking one of the young wol… teenagers.” Asked Vann, closing in on Claire with a suspicious look. Claire glared right back at him.

“First, I know that Cedric is a werewolf and second, by the looks of it, I take it that you too is one. Maybe his father?”

Erik chuckled, not being able to contain himself. Both Claire and Vann stared at him questionaly.

“Peter, go find elder Pommey and tell him to prepare something light for Cedric to eat when he wakes up, please.”

“Absolutely, doctor!” Replied Peter, eager to step outside so he didn’t have to listen to those people arguing and promptly rushed out of the room.

“Vann, are you defending the Ghost now or have I just heard it wrong?”

“Absolutely not! I hate that vam…” Vann glanced over to Claire, who let out a deep sigh in response.

“I know very well that he’s a vampire. Actually, by now, I expect everybody in this town to be some sort of supernatural creature. Do we have mermaids living in central lake too? Maybe a water dragon or fairies?” Claire crossed her arms in a defensive stance, staring at him.

That made Erik chuckle again. Vann sighed, replying to Claire.

“I’m not his father but I’m his trainer. Now, tell me. Why did they fight in the first place?”

“I… I’m not sure.” Claire looked away, embarrassed. She didn’t know these people and she sure didn’t feel like telling them about her private life.

Vann knitted his eyes, stepping forward toward her but Dr. Erik stepped in between the two, raising his arms up to stop Vann.

“Vann, later please. I’m sure that everything happened to fast for those two and even if she haven’t been in a fight herself, she must be tired.

Vann eyed the doctor for a moment before he turned to Claire.

“Fine! But we will be talking later!” Vann turned and walked out of the room.

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