“Help me with him!” he ordered, stepping over the man on the floor and reached out for Miloard. “We have to find another place to hide for a while.”
“Should I call the administrator?”
“No, no, she’ll find out herself soon.”
“Great!” I exhaled, tugging under the other side of Miloard to support his weight while Thorwald took the other side. That must be some work, I thought, climbing over the attacker. “Will he be ok?”
His aghast stare over Miloard’s lowered head was full of questions. “He attacked us! What of it if he dies?”
Several things, I counted in my head. “Mya is on duty – I’ve caused enough trouble for her to add this to her list.”
“Like the crashed window?”
I frowned. “You knew?” His smile didn’t reach his eyes and his attention seemed to falter. “Oh! And speaking of lists – I don’t need murder on my list of crimes! I’ll call in ambulance later, get him some help.”
Quick glance in his direction before the mass swayed too much to my left and I thought bitterly that if he weren’t supporting wings on his back, I wouldn’t care about the bastard, but would go nuts getting him help instead.
He reached out his hand and the fall came to a stop.
“Closer to the wall.” His voice was strained and he gulped hard. He was still supporting Miloard’s body, but he was strained enough to fall over himself, using wall as his own support.
“In my room?” I offered. It was closer than the rest of the options I could think of. Which was none.
“Probably not safe.”
“Any other suggestions?” I snapped. I didn’t care if it was safe – he wouldn’t get far one way or the other! And I was for sure not strong enough to carry them both.
He shook his head, resorting to my will. “Ok.” I heaved, convincing myself in the rightness of this plan.
“Helping with the murder, taking part of torture, hiding a felon – even if law man himself – from justice…” I kept counting the crimes while I tried to unlock the door with Miloard still heavily lying on my shoulder. I hadn’t noticed I’d said it out loud before feeling Thorwald’s fingers searching my shoulder behind Miloard and press it gently and I shut up. “I’m not used to this.” I admitted fast. I think he smiled, but I couldn’t quite read the expression. He was concentrating steadying his body on the wall.
I got the door open and pulled them in, letting Miloard fall on the bed before landing on the armchair.
“Don’t let me fall asleep!” he whispered, looking at me intently. He meant it, I could see it from his eyes.
“Why?” quick look to Miloard’s crooked body gave me the answer.
“Taking block of stone for a walk is a chore!” He choked, but cringed with the same breath, grabbing his chest. It must of hurt.
“I thought no one could get against a gargoyle?” I teased, although it sounded and felt empty like a bag.
“I killed him, remember? We’re not invincible, we just put up a thundering battle.”
“Oh, crap!” I grabbed the handbag few meters away and started searching it through. I got it from the bottom and pushed the buttons.
“Where are you calling?”
The heavy female swearing from the other side of the door made me jump away from the door.
“She already knows.” I stared at the closed door, gently backing away. When I glanced his way, he was holding his finger on his lips, smiling and I found it disturbing. “If you call her now, she’ll know you were involved.”
Slowly he coached the phone out of my fingers and set it down on the table. The streetlamp offered enough light and I watched him closer. His chin had hardly swollen, but the way his posture had shattered, I guessed his head must have hurt like hell right now. Together with his ribs, and I couldn’t even be sure they weren’t really broken.
I realized he hadn’t let go of my hand and I cherished his hold, massaging gently around his thumb, keeping my eyes on the grey edge of the skin. I pulled my hand free, with his frown as my companion, and started going through the lowest drawer. I should put those things higher, I made a mental note. It seemed such a nuisance to have to go so low to get some bandages out. It can be quite painful, I thought, when my eyes fell on his wing resting on his knee and mentally slapped myself.
“I’ll clean your wounds, then we’ll see what we’ll do next, ok? Ok.”
I came to surface with the load and started lining them up on the table. He looked so tired, sitting there like lump of meat, like begging to be slapped. Well, at least that would get his attention.
“I hate this harness!” he scoffed, pulling on its belts. He was pulling so hard, when the first one snapped it left red welt under it.
I intervened and began unbuckling what seemed another dozen holds on his chest. “You might need it later.” I tried to reason with him and slapped his fingers away. “You already broke one – you need this one!” Even if most of it was falling free, it was still locked tight around his chest to be sure it wouldn’t budge when closed.
That worked. I could feel him come alive under my fingers and suddenly he pushed my hand away.
“Don’t play mummy with me!”
“Ok. Then I talk to you like woman to a man! You are hurt! You are not thinking straight!”
“What makes you think I don’t?” He dared with his voice suddenly crystal clear. “I am Thorwald Warwick Bishop and one fight does not render me mindless!”
What a name, I scoffed, going straight to the buckles. “I’m your Little Rat and big titles mean nothing to me.”
“I don’t have a title.”
“Good. Then you keep your fingers to yourself.”
I got the last buckle free and I slid the left hand under him and pulled him against my chest while I tugged the rest of the harness off. He winched from the pain and I realized I was holding on to the wing the boxer had pulled on.
“Sorry.” I let him lean back and slid the harness on the floor. I reached for the antiseptic spray. “This will hurt.” I warned him.
“We are stronger than humans.” He began talking, pulling his shirt out of his pants, dragging it up slowly. Only one side of the shirt had colored slightly and I thanked god for that. I gave him incredulous stare. I found it hard to believe. As if understanding I didn’t believe him, his shirt fell back on the bruise, he grabbed the hand holding the patch and took it up to his shoulder.
I recognized the spot. The sun had burnt him there. It was stone hard. My shoulders slumped and he took the cleaner from me. It disappeared under his shirt and I heard him let out a loud moan, when the cold patch touched the bruise.
“Still!” I felt alive suddenly and rolled the shirt up to reveal his abs. I pushed it away gently to get clearer picture of the destruction. He didn’t protest it. Despite the darker skin I could see the large purple patch growing around the fist print and thin lines of bruises running away from it like sun rays. I pressed on the edge of the bruise. He took it like a man, steeling his face so when I looked up to see his reaction there was none. Emotionless and cool.
My fingers traveled the sun ray running all the way to his side and pressed on the starting point of that. The rib under it moved in more than it should have and now I got the response – large set of teethed grimace and he roughly pushed my hand away.
“You do more damage than you fix!”
“I know!” He said gruffly and blocked my attempts on the bruise. “Don’t touch me!” he warned.
“We can’t leave it like that!”
“I’ll be just fine after I get back home!”
“Fine? Your opponent wasn’t quite a kitten, didn’t you notice? We have to do something about that BEFORE you return, you understand? It can be days before you two get back in your world, out of my hair and I can start packing for the prison! ”
He frowned. “You keep bringing up your prison as if…” I launched out of his side, but he grabbed hold on my wrist before I could get anywhere and forced me back on my knees next to his chair. “I’m sorry. I know it’s important to you. I’m just angry right now, but not on you -you understand? We’ll figure out your problem, too! Soon! Just stop bringing it up right now!”
I nodded. Alright, if that promise made him feel better, I would stop bringing it up. Only, this wasn’t easing my heavy heart about the problem, because I knew one more thing about my little problem – he would go away soon and then he can do as much thinking as he would like for he was in his world and thus out of reach for good.
“I should sell you two for sideshow,” I mused with trickle of a smile, “it would solve all my problems…” It mattered little if he found it funny, I didn’t look up to check, but he squeezed my right shoulder rhythmically. His fingers climbed to my neck slowly and started quiet travel up and down the backbone all the way to hairline and between shoulder plates.
We spent few minutes sitting there in silence and listening the commotion starting in the corridor. There were now at least three men dragging a stretcher.
My nerves eased. The speed they worked with I knew he was alive. At least for now. The commotion died out and after a long minute of thinking I came to conclusion that we still had to do something about his ribs or I had one very sick gargoyle in my hands and that was one thing I was not prepared for.
I pushed up from my sitting place, stretching the muscles and looking over the supplies on the table. Thorwald’s eyes followed my every move, but he was strangely quiet. He was like fading in his own mind and it bothered me.
I was reconsidering hitting him. Perhaps that would get him back in business of being angry at me. Anger always got blood boiling, right?
“What are you doing?” he asked suddenly, adjusting his position on the chair. It was meant for slouching in front of a TV, not for proper sitting. Where I could sit packing both my legs under me with enough space for a cup on the armrest he filled the entire space and his hands-wings seemed to flow over the edges. It wasn’t good place for him to be, but I only had one bed and I doubted he’d go lay down next to the tree spirit.
“Deciding if to hit you in your face or in the chest…” I murmured and caught his deep frown. How adorable, I thought, feeling very small under his scrutinizing stare, I’d said it out loud. “Well,” I shrugged, “you’re feeling fresh again.” I gave him a week smile, but it didn’t wipe away his frown. “Do you drink coffee?”
“You mean the black tacky thing you all worship?”
I felt my impression follow his accord. “We don’t worship it! It’s means of keeping ourselves awake when the mood hits!” Then again… “What do you eat, when you’re here?”
“What administrators provide us with.”
“They bring it from our world.”
“So the fries were your first taste on the food here?” I found it hard to believe.
“I don’t visit this world often.”
Now that this was out of the way, I added sarcastically in my mind. “Ok, then I have two tasks I guess?” I clasped my hands together. “Coffee for you and Miloard, and something to fix your ribs with?” I nodded, searching his consent, but he either didn’t bother or was having hard time following the idea, but when I reached to telling Mya, his eyes widened for a second and he flatly refused.
“No one can know, where we are now! I don’t need food right now.”
“Right.” Though I considered it a bad idea not to let at least Mya know for I was sure she’d be worried sick. “But I’m getting…” I was suddenly lost on how much bandages his chest would even need! “Medicine and coffee.”