Beth stifled a gasp at the sight of Storm’s bare chest; it was covered it bizarre marks that looked like ancient Nordic runes and some sort of pictograph language. That wasn’t the strangest, or the scariest thing: they looked like they’d been branded onto his skin. He was covered in hundreds of scars – other than the brands – from old injuries that had faded away to almost nothing but the most obvious one was one that looked like it had been opened and then healed over and over again. It ran right across his midriff, just below his belly button.
He looked up and met her eyes silently. All she could do was look back at him. She noticed a necklace that hung right above his heart. There was a little figurine on the end of it, a man and a woman embracing. There were a few tawny feathers attached to it. It glittered as if it were made of silver. There was a charm bracelet on his wrist. Hanging from it was a small bird, a B, a dragonfly, a flower, a pair of angel wings and a horse.
The marks around his left shoulder were highlighted with blood that shone under the bright lights.
Zeke hadn’t replied to Storm’s enquiry about Caelan yet, he was too busy inspecting the wound.
“This went all the way through and I’m guessing it was made of iron, the way it burnt you. Turn around and cross your legs.”
Storm silently did as he was told and Beth saw that the brands continued round onto his back. They showed up as bright red marks against his pale skin.
“Wait a second,” Storm said.
Zeke paused and Storm’s shoulders tensed, his wings slowly retracting into his back. The skin closed around them, leaving only two lines by his shoulder blades like an arrow or an upside down V.
“Sew away,” Storm said to Zeke. “How’s Caelan?” he asked again.
“He’s not well at the moment. I think he’s got flu or something similar,” Zeke answered as he gently touched the skin around Storm’s shoulder.
He picked up a cloth and dunked it in the fresh bowl of water, dabbing at the blood with it. Once most of the blood was gone from his back, Zeke pressed on the wound with the cloth while he got his needle and thread ready with the other hand. Storm’s hand came up to apply pressure to the front of the wound.