The truck fired into a healthy sounding purr when Rowan turned the ignition. He had finished packing the trunk in the box with anything he thought they might need, plus Morgan’s stash of potential weapons under the passenger seat while the battery was recharging. With twilight approaching, he wanted to make a start if he could cut her loose from that computer. Knowing who was after her wasn’t going to change her problem, so why keep digging into the grubby details? She was only going to upset herself even more as he guessed the weapons she gathered were to self-eliminate if those men caught up. Morgan wasn’t a hunter…not yet. He left the engine running to heat up the cab while he went to fetch Morgan.
As he guessed, she was hunched over the computer in the master bedroom nook. She had a medical website online and was looking into tingling sensations of the extremities. Waves of guilt rushed over him for what he had done to her and yet there was no choice.
She’d be grateful one day.
“Time to go,” he said.
“In a moment. I think I am coming down with something and I just want to see if this site has any suggestions.”
“You do know that if we are tracked to this cabin the laptop will be checked for your browsing history?” And then the searchers would know someone had a problem. Not a good thought. He would rather the man in charge of the hunt not know what he had done to Morgan.
Morgan turned to him, “Just how does a werewolf know so much about tech?”
She had a point. “I have another personae, who happens to be a rich property owner and who has all the toys to go along with the lifestyle. ‘Brandon’ became a tad too interesting to various government people a few years back, so now he is on an extended vacation overseas.”
She closed down the site, deleted her browsing history from a proxy server, deleted the proxy server, emptied the trash box and turned off the laptop before turning to him again. “What did you do to interest them?”
“I got sloppy and didn’t pay attention to my appearance as much as I should have done. I had gotten very comfortable with ‘Brandon’, who someone noticed wasn’t aging. ‘Brandon’s’ son will be able to take on his role in another couple of decades, but for now, I need to have him elsewhere and out of sight.”
Shock stiffened through Morgan. “You don’t age? How old are you?”
“I don’t keep an exact tally. I’m old enough to remember the Pilgrim Fathers settling in America.” He shrugged.” Now if you are quite ready, I would like to move out before someone gets worried about our smoke signals. It would be nice to drive a vehicle that isn’t reported as stolen.”
She got up, only to lurch sideways. Rowan caught her before she fell. “Hey, you need to take a nap. I have a nice, warm cab with a blanket on the back seat.”
“I’m fine. Put me down.”
“No, I don’t think so. I can feel you trembling. How about if I get you settled in the truck and then take a look around for something to help you when we stop?” He marched down the stairs with her cradled in his arms.
“I didn’t find any match for my symptoms on the site,” she objected.
Now at the door of the truck, he settled her in place. “Old Rowan knows the ways of nature and herbs. You just get some rest while I drive.” Yes, he did know herbs to help her. He had found them around the lake shore and cabin before she her symptoms started. Once they came to a place where they could rest for a while, he’d brew his concoction, and then she would sleep through the worst of it. Guilt wracked him for taking the choice away from Morgan. Her star burnt too bright to fizzle into oblivion, which it would if nature to took its cruel course. Her hunters would never stop until she was dead, even if one culprit was incarcerated. This man’s boss had very long arms, as Rowan knew from personal experience in his other personae. Morgan wore a huge target engraved on her back for as long as she remained among the accountable.
The night beckoned. He put the truck into drive.
Morgan awakened on a hard bed in what looked like a poor motel room. The requisite TV was anchored high to a wall. Underneath, a coffee maker festered. A smell of rancid fat permeated the air. A small kitchenette emitted fumes from the concoction Rowan brewed over the stove. She tried to sit up, but the room whirled and she was on fire. She groaned. Had her leg become infected? The wound seemed to have closed up nicely with the fine stitches Rowan had sewn. It hadn’t felt uncomfortable for a while now.
“Welcome back to the land of the living.” Rowan tipped his concoction into a mug, using a tea filter. He walked over to hand her the drink.
Morgan viewed the contents with distrust. It smelled nasty. “Why should I drink this?
“Because you are sick and it will make you feel better. Of course, you can decline and suffer.” His eyes dared her to refuse his help.
“It is herbs, right? I drink this and my fever goes down?”
“Something like that. How about trying the brew? He hunkered down by the side of her bed.
Her head spun, her guts churned and she couldn’t focus. Whatever it was he offered might help her. His painkiller concoction at the cabin certainly worked like a charm. She sipped the drink. Not unpleasant, with the faint aftertaste of herbs. At least it quenched her thirst.
“How long before I get the benefits?”
“As we are three days from a full moon, it is difficult to say. Just try to sleep.”
Not a problem. Already, her eyes couldn’t focus. Strange his medicines always seemed to have this effect. She drifted off into a cloud of fluff.
Rowan cleaned up his mess with a heavy heart. Yes, Morgan was going to recover. Of that, he had no doubt. If she ever forgave him was another issue.
He slipped the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the outside handle of their door, drew the curtains and positioned a padded chair with its back against the door. Next, he took out a pack of beef jerky from his backpack and hooked the comforter from his bed. Morgan might rest quiet tonight, although he wanted to make sure she didn’t wander. She would have to wake him to get outside, should the urge strike her. Satisfied, he gnawed on both the jerky and the problem of the next stage in their journey. He had to get them to the forests of British Columbia before the next full moon.
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