“Are you sure it’s nothing serious?” Beth asked, not liking to sound of it.
“Yeah, he’s fine. He’ll be back to himself within a week, I think. Of course, he’s not taking his medication regularly so that doesn’t help really.”
“No, it doesn’t,” she agreed.
“Right, I think it’s broken so I’ll put some ointment on it and then cast it. I’ll give you something to help with the pain, too.”
“But it doesn’t hurt anymore,” she said.
“That’s because I turned the pain receptors off in your brain.”
“Knock, knock,” said a familiar voice.
Zeke turned his head, and Beth looked over his shoulder. Storm was standing by the door to the lab. His once white shirt was now a mixture of grey, brown and red; his hair was now the colour of dirt; and his face and arms were covered in scratches. By his left collarbone there was a wound that was slowly making a larger and larger red blotch on his shirt. He looked like he’d been through hell.
“Hey, you alright?” Zeke said.
“I’m fine,” Storm said. Zeke raised an eyebrow. “What? Oh, my shoulder, right. I’ll deal with it later.”
“And how are you going to do that?” he challenged.
“I’ll find a way,” Storm said, narrowing his eyes.
“You’re left-handed, Storm, don’t be petulant. Come and sit down. Wait while I sort Beth out and then I’ll sew you back together.”
“Fine,” he huffed after a few moments, striding over and sitting on the bed opposite Beth.
“I thought you were going on leave,” Zeke commented.
“Not yet. We finished our tour in the north so I told Lash to take everyone home, make... preparations for Adam.”
“We were ambushed seventy miles to the west of Pitamóra by sprites.”
“Oh. What were they doing all the way out there?”
“Ran’isa has been using them as scouts.”
The two men exchanged words about some sort of war, but Beth didn’t know any of the names, or half of the terms they used so she sat still while Zeke rubbed some foul-smelling ointment on her arm. Once he was satisfied that the layer was thick enough, he asked Storm to get him a bowl of water while he wrapped gauze bandages around her arm. Once Storm had returned, Zeke dipped two fingers in the water and spread it over the bandages. Beth immediately felt the material on her arm hardening.
After a few minutes, Beth had a cast on her arm and Zeke was fetching a small box, turning the chair around to face Storm.
“How’s Caelan?” he asked while he shrugged his shirt off, his wings pulling through two slits in the back of the fabric.