Home > Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1)(7)

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1)(7)
J. Lynn

A door opened, drawing my attention. I squinted as a form appeared, crossing through the bright streams of light toward my bed. An image of Green Eyes, the stranger who seriously looked like an angel, formed in my thoughts, and a strange tumbling sensation hit me in the stomach.

I didn't like the feeling.

But it wasn't Green Eyes who took shape the closer he got to my bed. It was our fearless leader, David Faustin, and he looked annoyed as usual.

David was sort of ageless, in a way where he could be in his forties, his fifties, or even his sixties, but no one knew. His skin, a shade or two darker than Val's, was mostly free of wrinkles, and he kept his body in rigorous shape. He wasn't smiling as he grabbed a folding chair and plopped it down next to my bed.

He dropped into the seat, arms across his chest. "You're alive."

"You're full of warm and fuzzies," I croaked.

One dark brow arched. "I'm assuming this is why you called me last night. Would've answered, but Laurie would be downright pissed if I left her hanging, if you get my drift."

My nose wrinkled. I totally didn't need that image that was just painted in my head. David and Laurie had been married for about a decade, having met when Laurie was transferred by the Order to New Orleans. Two Order members hooking up was pretty much the norm since the knowledge of the fae and our duty was passed down from one generation to the next, and our life expectancies weren't the greatest. Many Order members never married. Others that did and had kids, like my real parents, ended up being killed, and another family involved in the Order cared for them.

Having already lost my real and adoptive parents, and my . . . boyfriend to the fae, I couldn't wrap my head around falling in love again. Getting close to Val and a few others in the Order was risky enough, because I knew that at any moment they could die on the job. So it was hard for me to see so many of the Order members coupling up and opening themselves up to a world of hurt that never truly faded no matter how much time passed.

But Laurie and David were deeply in love despite all that, even though David had the personality of a rabid chupacabra and Laurie was as sweet as a praline.

"Talked to Harris when he called me. He said it was just a flesh wound that bled a lot, probably made worse by you running."

Pink crept into my cheeks as I stared at David. "I didn't run because I'm a coward. He had—"

"I didn't say you were a coward, Ivy. The man had a gun. You cannot fight a bullet."

Still, the tone of his voice stung like a sting from a hornet.  I wet my lips. "It wasn't a man."

David eyed me for a second then reached toward the table next to my bed. "Thirsty?"

"Yeah. My mouth feels like sandpaper."

He poured water into a plastic cup, and just the tinkling sound was enough to drive me crazy. "Need help sitting up?"

Members of the Order weren't weak, so I took a deep breath as I shook my head and forced myself to sit up. There was a dull twinge of pain along the left side of my stomach, but not as bad as I expected.

"Harris gave you a shot while you were out, so you shouldn't be feeling too much pain." David noted what must've been reading my mind as he handed over the water. "You want to drink that slowly."

The moment the cool wet stuff hit my lips, it was hard not to gulp it down, but I managed to not look like a horse at a trough.

David leaned back, grabbing a bottle out of his pocket. "Here are some pain meds to use if your stomach starts hurting, which Harris said probably would for a day or so since he had to stitch you closed." He tossed the bottle toward my lap, where it landed with a little rattle. "I'm gonna pull you off rotation until next Wednesday."

I lowered my empty cup. "What? Why? I can—"

"Your wound could reopen when you're fighting. We don't need you bleeding all over our steps again like a stuck pig. You're off until next Wednesday."

I was knocking off points for lack of empathy. "But I'm working for Val this Saturday."

"Not anymore. She needs to find someone else or do it herself. Not your problem." He refilled my cup from the pitcher. "Do you have class today?"

It took me a moment to catch up with what he was asking and figure out what day it was. "It's Thursday, right? I don't have class again until tomorrow." Normally, I worked Monday through Friday and had the weekends off. "About what happened last night. David, the fae—"

"I know what you said to Harris and Ren, but—"

"Ren? Who's Ren?" Then it hit me, and my tongue silently worked around the name. "Is he the guy with green eyes?"

David tilted his head to the side as he scowled. "Well, I haven't really been checking out the boy's eye color, but he was with Harris last night when you bled on my steps."

"I didn't bleed on your steps on purpose," I snapped.

His brows flew up. "Are you taking a tone with me? Because I'll take that cup of water right away from you."

"I'll never let go." I cradled the cup of water to my chest as I eyed him. "Never."

David's lips twitched as if he wished to smile, but he was too cool to do that. The man was a brick of ice. "Anyway, Ren Owens is from Colorado, transferring to our sect."

Oh. Colorado. Never been, but always wanted to visit. And what kind of name was Ren Owens?

"But back to what you said you saw, there's no way that's how it went down," he said. "The fae must've had the gun for some reason, and yes, that is concerning but expected. We knew eventually they would start using human weapons."

Frustration pricked at my skin like a heat rash. "The fae wasn't using glamour. Or maybe he was, but it didn't matter. His skin wasn't silver. It was . . . I don't know. Like a deep tan—an olive color."

He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "Are you sure it was a fae, Ivy?"

"Yes! I'm sure, David. He made a gun appear out of thin air, and I threw my stake at him. It hit him in the chest, and it didn't do a thing to him. He pulled it out and tossed it aside."

He opened his mouth and seemed at a loss for words as he stared at me.

"Yeah. Exactly. The man wasn't human, David. He was a fae that didn't have silver skin, could conjure a gun out of nowhere, and the iron stake did nothing to him. Didn't burn him. Didn't send him back to the Otherworld. It did nothing."

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