“Stop squirming, you great beast!” Ercen scolded Kimar. “You are making this more difficult than it needs to be.”
In the dim glow cast by the rocks that Ercen had “lit,” Peter thought Kimar looked terrible. His right wing was partially severed. A very nasty burn, the size of a dinner plate, covered the creature’s shoulder where he’d absorbed the fireball from the attacking gargoyle. Peter also realized with amazement that this “beast” had protected his daughter from certain death by shielding her. He shuddered at the vision of what could have been, had Kimar not taken the blow.
“Is there anything I can do?” he asked quietly, watching Ercen tenderly work across Kimar’s damaged wing.
“Only if you can get him to stop squirming!”
“Ercen, we don’t have time for this. And I’m fine,” Kimar interjected. He shifted uneasily at her touch.
“Oh, you are not, not fine at all,” she retorted, trying to hold him in place with one hand while healing him with the other. “Nahgflint’s aim has improved, don’t you think?” She must have put more pressure on Kimar’s shoulder when she said this because he flinched, arched his back away from her and moaned. “Be still, will you?” Ercen said.
“Alright, then.” He relented and became instantly motionless. Peter would have taken him for a statue, except for the events of the past day.
Peter watched Ercen for a while longer, putting her hands on Kimar the way she had on his own glass-sliced hand a few hours earlier.
Just a few feet away, Danielle lay sleeping on a bed of straw, embraced tightly by Amy, who had been observing Peter with half-shut eyes. “Everything OK?” she asked sleepily.
“Yes, Hon,” he replied quietly. “It looks like Ercen can heal up Kimar’s wounds…even as serious as they appear to me. But then, what do I know?” He looked over at Ercen for a moment. “You see, look at the way…” When he glanced back at his wife, he saw her breathing slowly, sound asleep, with a gentle smile on her face. He knew she was both exhausted and greatly relieved to have their daughter safe again.
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