After leaving his coven lair Sebastian had decided to visit the good doctor at her clinic and see how she was faring since he hadn’t heard from her since their little double date the night before. He had needed to leave, because they were staying at her apartment at the time. He’d slept the day through after such enjoyment before and after dinner. Upon waking up, there had been messages from his Tasker as well as Sam. Following their own rules, he entered the front doors and checked in at the desk. Sebastian had taken a seat and flipped through the magazines while waiting for her.

He caught several nurses peeking out from the clerks desk at him and was starting to think he had something wrong. Everytime he caught one she’d quickly vanish from sight. Sebastian knew he was dressed properly, jeans and a nice blue shirt with his hair pulled back at the base of his neck. He even wore dark sunglasses to hide his eyes.

“He’s really hot Doc, are you sure he’s going to keep waiting on you?” Leslie looked towards the nurses station from the door of Doctor Keene’s office. “I mean there are several of us single nurses that will run out the door with him if you just give the signal.” She loved teasing the doctor because she made it really easy.

“I don’t think so,” Sam snarled her little nose up at her lead nurse, before shoving the current chart into the woman’s arms and walking on by. “She needs some antibiotics and the normal guidelines. And I need my lunch, so I’m taking it.”  

Since they were making the fuss, she felt like she needed to go out and talk to Sebastian.  Sam stopped at her office to hang up her lab coat and grab her hoodie. That done, she took a quick peek in the mirror on the back of her door and tried to resort her hair before shrugging and walking out the door to the waiting room.  

She stopped in front of him and motioned with her head for him to follow. She was definitely not going to say or do anything with him around these gossiping geese.   

Standing up Sebastian set the magazine down and as he stood all the way up he caught at least five women in different printed scrubs watching them from the clerks counter. When he turned to follow Samantha, he could hear them making comments about his ass.

“They’s commenting on a scale for my ass.”

“Professional maturity at its finest,” Samantha giggled as they made their way out the doors and to the side benches.  

When they finally stopped Sebastian had an odd smile on his face as he glanced back at the clinic doors and then back at the pretty blonde he’d come to see. “I think you’re nursing staff just gave my ass a number 9 is that good?” He chuckled as he moved hair back behind her ear.

“Oh, of course it is. That means you’re right up there behind Derek Weylyn. He’s the only one they’ve ever given a 10 to. But they got to see his ass up close and personal considering he got shot in the left cheek.”  

Sam looked up. “Did you get my message?”

“You went in early, didn’t you? Didn’t come to the lair last night… Is something the matter? I even went through the proper procedures and used no short cuts this time, just to please you.” The fact that he was in the afternoon sunlight would tell her that Sebastian had fed in at least the last day or so. Otherwise he would be pale and in the dark.

“Very true,” she moved closer to him, starting to let go of her more professional demeanor around him. “I appreciate the gesture.”

“You look like you’re overworking yourself beautiful. What has stolen so much of your time?” Sebastian reached for her hand and laced their fingers together as she moved towards him on the bench.”Perhaps it’s something I can help with?”

“I’m trying to get Crimson to approve another doctor. I need someone who can treat both humans and supernaturals in this clinic. It’s the only emergency center for supernaturals within 300 miles. And Avery would be a prize to have. Although, knowing his story, I’m now in a bit more of a bind on that than I thought. Kind of – a conflict of interest if he does get approved. Other than our date, I haven’t been to my apartment for more than grabbing a shower and fresh clothes all week.”  

“You should have called me.” His brows drew together as he chastised her. “Get me this Avery person’s information and I’ll get them approved. Knowing a Councilor does have its perks at times, my dear. Is there something else I can help with? I am somewhat of a scientist if you recall.” Sebastian had been dabbling in labs for decades, the only time he hadn’t was when he was imprisoned. “All supernatural and human, I have studied both quite extensively. You should see my library.” He grinned for her.

“It’s Jane Doe, remember? She’s awake, but we have to keep her restrained or in the padded room in darkness for right now. I don’t have the help or ability to get to her myself. I know you have a lot happening and I hate not being able to handle these things myself. But…” She supposed her stubbornness was just at an end for now. If she kept it up, her patient would pay for it. “Last you looked at her chart, you said you weren’t sure where to place her. And the blood tests came back with 72% vampiric markers and 25%…lycan.”

While listening Sebastian was already thinking the matter over in his head. At the mention of the patients mixed blood results, he was curious, “Has she been ill from bagged blood?”

“Yes. But our facility isn’t exactly stocked with a volunteer roster otherwise.”

“Would you take a suggestion?” The elder vampire asked as he watched her.

“Considering the parentage of my up and coming new doctor and the fact that he’s missing a sister…”

Clearing his throat Sebastian took a deep breath, “Let me take her to someone that can feed her. If she is bloodlusting it won’t be safe for you or your staff to treat her. I will bring her back once she is healthy or at least on the mend.”

“Are you sure we should let her out of the clinic environment?” Sam asked, her eyes concerned. If the girl was sick, getting into a non-sterile environment might make things worse. But then again, if she wasn’t thriving – that might have been what was keeping her from getting over the illness.

“Hard to say without seeing her in person.” It was an honest, straightforward answer. He’d need to see the girl in order to be sure. If it were something other than hunger he’d have to work her blood up in the labs.

“Come check her stats and vitals. I want you to be sure before we do this. I’m trusting you, Sebastian. I’m trusting you to make the right decision for the patient, here. I’ve tried everything I know how.” Sam swallowed and nodded to herself while gripping the bench. “Come back in. Considering our other patients this time of day, you need to seem human for right now. We don’t even talk about supernatural in the main floor. She’s upstairs.” Sam stood up and waited for him to do the same.

“I can appear very human if it is needed.” He wore an illusion every day and could alter as desired anytime he wanted. Sebastian stood at her side and turned to face her so that his shadow cast a shade over her.

“Good. If I get help with her and a few other supernatural cases, I can handle the flu epidemic that’s spilled over to us from the other human clinics. Maybe if you get the other doctor approved and we get him here, between him and the PAs we already have and my new NP – I can go home with you and actually sleep in your arms.”

Rolling his sleeves up Sebastian gave a partial smile, “Then why are we still standing out here Dr. Keene, we have a patient to see.”

Sam tugged him back toward her and kissed him on the lips. She hadn’t enjoyed sleeping next to him for more than an hour at a time all week. That had sucked. No pun intended.  

“Thanks for this. And it better be from the kindness of your heart. Because I don’t do IOU’s, sir.” she teased.

There was no way he was letting her off that easily. Sebastian slid an arm around her waist and drew Samantha up against him, he kissed her again only this time it was slow and enjoyable and not a rushed thank you for something he hadn’t done yet. As it ended he eased the embrace so that she could step away.

“No IOU needed, I’ll enjoy your appreciation later for my.. Kindness.” Sebastian chuckled as he altered his appearance alittle to blend in better. His eyes when he removed the shades were a pretty bright sky blue and there was actually a little color and warmth to his skin. The final touch was that his fangs weren’t present.

With a gentlemanly wave of his hand Sebastian ushered Samantha to enter the clinic first as he held the door for her. “After you, my dear doctor.”

“To be honest, she’s going to be a handful. She attacked Mark.” Sam whispered to him as she shoved her hand into the wall unit for antiseptic and then rubbed her hands together. Mark was the new NP, a lycan by birth who came from a pack outside of the Weylyns.

Once inside Sebastian followed her through the clinic to the elevator and up to his first patient. He didn’t have to enter the room to know which one was Jane Doe’s. Standing just outside of it he pulled her chart from the door and read over the recent notes. “Rejecting IV blood… Combative and dangerous to staff…” Sebastian looked at the beauty at his side as he tucked the chart back into the slot on the door. ~It’s because he’s lycan.~

~ I thought it might be. I asked where Crimson got her from, but Director Skinner has said nothing of my queries. He’s got bigger fish to fry. But Avery is becoming a friend and I really like the Weylyns, so if this is their long lost girl, you know? I’ve had to adjust her medications and force them into her. I thought that maybe she wouldn’t feed because of the nausea she felt from those meds but she won’t calm down enough to be fed without those medications. It’s a vicious cycle. ~  Once Sebastian had opened to her mind, she could easily let her thought flow go to him, sometimes she accidentally shared too much. But this time, her mind was very much on the subject at hand. She hadn’t told anyone about the genetic testing. She realized that had slipped.

~ They just might be of the same, I’ll have to find Avery and look into that.~ Sebastian pushed the door open just a crack so that he could see his patient. “Ahhh…Sam, she’s starving, she won’t feed from bagged blood because she was never taught to do so.” His gaze settled on the thin frame in the hospital gown crouched in the darkest corner of the room from them. “Do you want me to honestly help her? What she needs isn’t going to be found in this clinic Samantha. You need to decide if you want me to take her some place I know she’ll get better, or do you want me to continue what you have already been trying to do here?” This was her patient, Sebastian would treat her as Samantha wanted him to.

“What are the odds?” Sam asked straightforward as ever. She’d always been very pragmatic.

“My way will be successful, the clinics way I can’t guarantee. She’s only got days left Samantha, I can smell death on her.” The vampire was straight forward with the doctor because he knew she would like that better than skirting the truth.

“Well, keeping her here would be legal and what Crimson thinks it proper. But legal won’t help her. I can keep her room on isolation and pretend to treat her. That’ll give you time to help her. So long as I can see her and know she’s okay – If I’m asked about her, I can speak the truth. I never know when Crimson will audit. I care about her, Sebastian. I want her to have life. This isn’t life. But I also need to keep this clinic available to all those who need it. Understand the line?”  

“Understood, I’ll arrange so that she is in this room at least once a week so that you can let others see that she is here and being treated. Will that be suitable? If Crimson should drop in, let me know. You are always in touch with me.” He tapped his temple once before entering the room. He kept Samantha behind him and took authority as a Coven Master would.

“Come it’s time to feed.” He spoke common first and then repeated in vampyric in case she didn’t understand. The way he spoke was as a command instead of request. She was starving and needed control. It wasn’t the first starving vampire he’d ever dealt with. His gaze gave a soft red glow to let her know that he was not going to let her refuse. “Trust me child.”

The girl’s eyes had a very weak glow of red and then yellow. Instead of hissing when she moved away from him, she growled and whined. She moved quickly to the other side of the room and hit the wall with a THUMP! Before whining again in pain.

There was a sharp rumbling sound from Sebastian and he moved faster than either female could keep up with. He had the smaller frail frame in his arms with her back to his chest and his arms enfolded around her upper body to trap her own against her stomach. “Shhh, calm yourself little one.” The look he gave Samantha said she needed to stay outside the door for now.

She kicked and growled and tried to get away with all the energy she could muster.

Sam hated this. Her heart was breaking for the girl. But she nodded and stepped back out, latching the door. The girl wasn’t strong enough to get out, but Sebastian could simply shadow himself.

The rumble in his chest softened to more of a purr and he actually hummed low in a soothing way that would mesmerize the waif. He didn’t want to hurt her, but he couldn’t let her go on hurting herself and put others at risk either.

She stopped struggling when he began purring for her. She couldn’t stand on her own after putting up such a fight. She simply sank into Sebastian’s grip.

“You are hungry and they do not understood how to help you, but I do, little one. You must calm yourself and I will take you and see you fed proper from the vein of a feral.” He spoke low into her matted dark hair, “It is what you hunger for is it not?”

Her mouth moved, but no sound came out.  And then, a bit of a surprise… ~ Blood. Please, master. Do not kill them. I will be good. Blood. ~

~ Killing isn’t necessary, you simply need someone to teach you this. ~ Sebastian did not mind the mental speak with her, he spoke with his own Coven this way. ~ First we clean you up, make you presentable, little one, and then we go.~

The girl nodded. Sebastian turned toward the bed, but his mind was reaching to Sam’s.

~She needs clean clothes so that we can travel. I’ll see her proper and then we will leave my way. See that no one comes to the room once we are gone.~ Sebastian carefully set the girl down on the bed.  

Sam had run off down the hall immediately to get into the closet of clean clothing that they kept on hand here at all times.  It was donated or bought at the thrift shops so that they had clothes for homeless or those like Jane Doe who were disadvantaged. She grabbed the smallest things she could find in a medium height, tried for softer things, not jeans or anything. Then, she made her way back to the room.

Feeling her return, Sebastian went to the door to accept the clothing when Samantha brought it. He had to think about what time it would be in Texas right now. He didn’t want to surprise the one who would be helping too badly.

As Sebastian dressed her, the young patient began having flashes in her mind of traumatic memories. Gunfire. Blood. Children screaming. And a symbol that he would recognize. The symbol of a vampire coven in the northeastern United States called the Eriksson Coven.  The coven lair had been known to be somewhere in the area of Philadelphia. That meant, this girl had travelled a very long way to be here. But he also knew that was the same coven he had tried to eliminate by Crimson law several times. They were rumored to have been using lycan and humans for gain and that meant mix breeding them and molding them into whatever tools they needed. But he’d never been able to prove it. Perhaps now, and if this was the same coven Avery and even Mrs. Weylyn had been part of, there would be witnesses to their horrible practices. This young lady might be the key.

~ Do you have someone at the coven lair who can help? Someone that feeds you all? ~ Sam asked, unsure of this and curious at the same time.

Taking in the details that he was being given mentally, Sebastian gave her clothing one final adjustment before he gathered her back up. ~ No, I have to go much farther than the lair sweetheart. I’ll tell you about it when I get back.~ With that Sebastian used a huge amount of energy and pushed through the wards to shadow himself and the girl out of the clinic. He’d placed some of the wards so it wasn’t as impossible as it should have been for him.

Sam took a deep breath. She licked her lips and looked down at the bag. Instead of just leaving it or taking it back she began her act. She washed a quarter of the blood down the sink drain and then created two punctures in the bag. She recorded a feeding and clothing application and listed no improvement otherwise. Then, she walked back out the door and sealed it. She adjusted the signage outside to let people know that only she and her colleagues that she would allow could enter.  Then, she went about her rounds. So much for a break. But at least Jane might actually be taken care of.

 

***

 

As the rays of the Texas sun warmed his back, Sebastian was glad that he had bundled the girl from head to toe. The UV rays would be deadly to her in the state she was in. He wasn’t looking forward to this long overdue meeting, but at least he had favors owed to him by this one. Taking a deep breath Sebastian adjusted the light weight in his arms and proceeded across the dusty yard to climb up the creaking front steps of the old ranch house. There was barely enough breeze to set the porch swing to sway. Sebastian knew that they’d be greeted soon enough as he heard the heavy footsteps moving around inside.

There were no other houses visible for miles in any direction. It was obvious whoever lived here enjoyed their solitude. Walking up to the rustic front door with it’s red paint, Sebastian knocked and waited for an answer which came several minutes later in the form of a tall blond that was wiping his hands on a cup towel. The guy seemed twice the size of the vampire; built like a well-made linebacker.

“Hello Cody. May we come in?” Sebastian was very polite in the asking and the big cowboy looked them both over and even gave the female one more look before he pushed the screen open to step aside to allow them entrance into his home.

“What happened?”  As he closed the door behind the pair the lycan was instantly on guard and alert. “Been awhile since I’ve seen you around these parts.” Cody asked in the southern drawl as he walked back into the kitchen to turn the burner down under the stew he was cooking.

The Councilor looked at the lycan male that was taller than he was. “You said if I ever needed anything from you to stop by. Well here I am.”

The way the man’s eyebrow lifted said that he wasn’t understanding.

“She needs to feed and is used to a lycan feeder. I thought of others first but you… well you are out here in the middle of nowhere playing cowboy. Not much chance of anyone stumbling across her out here now is there?”

The girl moaned and placed a weak hand on the vampire lord’s shoulder. She wasn’t sure what was happening. Even her own thoughts were a jumbled mess.

With a heavy sigh Cody’s gaze went from the fang to the one in his arms. Slinging the dish towel over one shoulder he rumbled in a deep voice, “What the hell are you gettin’ me into?”

“Sit a moment and I’ll explain..” Sebastian held Cody’s gaze a long moment promising the male all the answers he could give. “Do you have someplace I can…” The girl didn’t weigh much, but it was bulky and uncomfortable holding her while explaining himself.

With that same gruff rumble Cody moved to clean the few magazines and one of his plaid shirts. “Lay her down here.”

He watched as the vampire lord laid the bundled form down and wasn’t impressed the the frail look of the creature. She looked near death which meant she’d drain him dry if given the chance. The Goddess knew that several fledglings had tried to do just that before his release. “Now how about ya take a seat over here and tell me what this is about.”

Once assured that his ward was tucked in safe, Sebastian followed the big ursa back to the table. As they sat down the vamp gave what he knew about the situation or at least what he was willing to share. “She was brought to a clinic that I help with occasionally and they tried to tend her and heal her with bag blood. That seems to have only made her worse. She has been trained on lycan to feed.”

“And so ya brought her to me half starved? Ya mean there ain’t no lycan up there where ya at?” Cody wasn’t buying it and it showed as he stared right into the elders eyes.

“I couldn’t take her to them like this. It’s complicated.” If she was the missing Weylyn child, and the pack saw her like this, chaos would ensue. The vampire councilor needed to play this cool. He needed to investigate. He needed some time bought. Sebastian huffed and took a deep breath, “This isn’t permanent, it’s only until she’s at least on the mend.”

To say the big man wasn’t comfortable was putting it mildly. He hated the idea of having another fang feed from it and it brought back bad memories. It made his skin crawl.. “What makes you think I’d..”

“You owe me.” Damn but he didn’t want to play that card. He thought maybe the girl’s story would be enough but no the damned bear had to be thick skulled about it. So now they were down to this.

“I don’t.” Cody growled.

“Yes you do.” Sebastian’s eyes gave that hard ruby glow as he stared at the bear eye to eye. “Do I need to remind you?” He would be an asshole and rehash it all if that’s what it took to make things happen.

“Just let me go,” the voice was weak, but it was there. The covers shook and then the two men could tell whoever was in it was trying to wrap themself tighter, but then there was an exasperated exhale and a cough.  

Quickly Sebastian was up out of his chair and moving to the waif on the couch. “Easy, I told you that I’d get you fed and see you taken care of.” His hands moved to work the blanket lose and free her from it’s constraints.

“Please…don’t…” She wasn’t sure what he was doing and for the love of the Goddess, she couldn’t fight him. She wanted to. She growled with what little fight she could muster that was left.

Cody watched from his seat at the table and took note of several things. He noticed the girl was nothing but literal skin and bones as the blanket was pulled away. The scent of death that flitted through the air and the weak sound to her voice. But the thing that worked on him most was the brief flash of something Cody knew all too well. It was only a glimpse of the ink at one of her wrists, and it made him rub his own.

“Alright. How long ya need me to feed her?” Cody asked soft and low.

Sebastian finished draping the blanket more loosely over the girl’s frame and helped her back to the couch. This time, she sat up, but sunk into the cushioning. Her eyes watched Sebastian.

“Thought we’d try this first time and see how it goes before making any long term arrangements. If it works out then a few days a week at first and then we’ll make it perhaps twice a month, unless she requires more and then we’ll go with once a week. I’ll pay you generously of course.” Sebastian was keeping it professional knowing the male would appreciate that.

Wiping his mouth Cody thought it over for several long minutes and then looked at the Councilor, “Deal. Now leave us.”

“Leave?” Sebastian was caught off-guard. “Cody, she isn’t familiar with you. Perhaps I should stay until she is comfortable at least.” Sebastian didn’t want the girl frightened but he also knew Cody was a very private man.

His green eyes looked right at the tiny bit of female as he spoke, “I don’t feed in front of others. I don’t care much for audiences. So if you want him to stay, you’ll have to wait to feed. It makes no difference to me, but decide one way or the other. I’ll explain my rules to you when he’s gone cause they aren’t anyone else’s business but ours.” Giving her a moment to talk with Sebastian and decide, Cody moved to get himself a bowl of stew and sitting back down ate without saying another word.

~ I have nothing. Why should I? ~ the girl looked at Sebastian. ~ I don’t even feel the hunger pains anymore. ~

~ The feeling will return.~ Sebastian spoke to her through the connection and worked at easing her fears.

~ I just…I’ve not… in so long. I don’t even know how much. I don’t know if I can. Is he safe? What if I can’t… you know? Is this place safe? ~

~ He will guide you. Cody is a bit rough on the edges but he’s a good man. He’s just been through alot and that has made him a very solitary person. He’s safe, you can’t be any safer than you are here with him. Look, I’m not leaving you here with him alone. I’m just stepping outside so that you have privacy. He won’t feed you unless I do and he is the perfect lycan for this. ~ Sebastian worked on easing Becca’s worry knowing that Cody would be all business the moment he left the two alone.

~ If I do this? Why am I doing this? ~ the girl looked as though she had the weight of the world on her shoulders and she just wanted to leave it all behind. It was as if she had forgotten who she was. Or maybe the problem was – she never knew. ~ I have nothing. No one. The doctor took an oath. Doctors take oaths. They can’t stop helping. Even if people want them to stop. So why are you doing this? You’re not a doctor. You took no vows. ~

Sebastian’s knuckles brushed beneath her chin and he gave her a small smile. ~No I’m not a doctor, but I am a Coven Master and you are wrong. There are others out there for you I’m sure of it and you want to be healthy and well when I find them for you.~

For the first time, Sebastian could see hope in her eyes. He was giving her a promise as a Coven Master. That meant quite a lot among their kind. Even to those she had been mistreated by.  She bowed her head once, letting him know that she would do this and not fight. She closed those eyes to rest until her new Coven Master could seal the deal or…whatever they did. Maybe they would just wait on the feeder. He seemed none too thrilled about this either.  

Ten minutes later after finishing his meal Cody rose from the table and rinsed his dishes before turning to the two fangs. They were here for business not a social call. The big ursa wanted to get things going.

“Well?”

The girl nodded. She would be willing to try this, so long as Sebastian felt this was right and safe. So long as what he said was true – she might have a reason to live.

“I’ll be outside and not far away. If you need me, just call to me and I will be here in seconds.” Sebastian looked at Cody and the looks they exchanged told the big lycan he’d better treat this one right… or else.

Once he stepped outside to sit on the covered front porch, Sebastian took out his phone and saw the voicemail message indicator. Looked like it was time to call his Tasker.

 

~  Rachel Diane Adams and Dawn McClellan © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019