What if he hadn’t made it here? It didn’t mean that he was dead or even injured. If he wasn’t here, I’d have to leave. I’d have to keep searching for him until I found him. And if I never found him, I’d never stop searching.
– 17 –
Lazlo rushed inside, the screen door slamming shut behind him, and Blue followed a few seconds later. I’d been lying on the couch, but I sat up when they came in. Blue wore blue scrubs and carried a green tackle box with him, and my heart soared at the sight of him. Since I’d thought he was dead for a minute, it felt good knowing he was alive.
“I got him as fast as I could, but he had to get his stuff.” Lazlo sounded out of breath and pointed to the tackle box. It was Blue’s equivalent to a doctor’s bag.
“What’s going on?” Blue set the box down on the table next to me, and his gray eyes searched for signs of trauma.
Lazlo hovered behind him, watching us with intensity. He crossed an arm over his chest as he chewed on his thumbnail.
“Can we have some privacy?” I asked as nicely as I could, and Lazlo stopped biting his nail long enough to look hurt. “Doctor/patient privilege and all that.”
“Remy, it’s just me,” Lazlo brushed his dark hair from his eyes and stared at me.
“I know, but…” I shrugged helplessly.
“Lazlo, why don’t you give us a minute?” Blue asked.
Lazlo sighed loudly, rolled his eyes, and sulked down the hall. When he got back to the bedroom, he slammed the door as loud as a pocket door inside a trailer would allow. Once he was gone, Blue turned back to me.
“What’s going on, Remy?”
“You’re a doctor, so you can’t tell anybody, right?” I asked seriously. “I mean, you have to promise that you won’t tell anyone.”
“I promise. I won’t tell anybody,” Blue furrowed his brow. “What’s wrong?”
“This.” I pulled up my shirt, revealing my wounded hip, and his eyes widened. “I was bitten.”
“By a zombie?”
“Shh!” I glanced down the hall. I didn’t imagine that this place was very sound proof. “Yeah. Over three days ago. And… nothing happened.”
“You’ve had no symptoms?”
“No, not that I know of,” I shook my head.
“I think. But you can’t tell anybody. I can’t end up trapped somewhere, not until I find my brother.”
“No, I won’t tell anyone,” he promised. “But you should’ve told someone sooner. This is getting infected, not with the lyssavirus, but with things that could kill you just as dead.”
“I know, but I couldn’t tell anyone else. At least not any of the soldiers or doctors. You’re the only one I can trust.”
“You don’t have to be so paranoid.” Blue opened his tackle box and put on a pair of rubber gloves before digging out some kind antiseptic and gauze. It stung when he started cleaning my wound, so I looked away.
“I’m not paranoid,” I winced as he rubbed at it. “So, have you seen my brother?”
“No, but I haven’t seen much of anything yet.” He hit something, making a shooting pain go through my body, and I nearly screamed. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay. So… you don’t know if my brother’s there?”
“No, I don’t know. But I’ll look for him. His name is Max, right?”
“Yeah.” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Blue pull a syringe out of his box, and I grimaced. “That’s a pretty fancy box you got there.”
“Thanks. You might feel a small prick,” Blue warned before injecting me with something. “This is just an antibiotic. Zombie mouths are notoriously dirty.” I think that was his attempt at a joke, so I tried to smile. “I actually had to kind of steal this. I mean, I’d get to use one eventually, but it’s sorta my first day on the job.”
“So they’re like standard procedure for house calls?” I asked.
“Kinda.” He dabbed the area around the bite mark with gauze, drying it. “I don’t think they want anybody in there, not like regular civilians. If you guys need medical treatment, the doctors are supposed to go to you. There seem to be a lot of scientists and specialists and army officials in there. The first floor is soldier quarters, but the higher up you go in the building, the more specialized the research. I think. They haven’t let me past the second floor.”
“Are you living there?”
“Yeah. I have a little room with a bed and no windows. Not like these sweet digs you guys got here.” Blue looked around, and I smirked. “I’m gonna wrap this with a loose bandage so it can breathe, but you’re gonna have to change it at least once day. Make sure you wear loose clothing, too.”
“I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” I couldn’t imagine that they had any tight, revealing clothes here, and if they did, Harlow certainly wouldn’t bring them back for me.
“So, you, Lazlo, and Harlow are living together then?” Blue asked, carefully dressing my wound. He taped a square piece of gauze over it, then wrapped another long piece of gauze around my waist several times to help hold it in place.
“Yeah, I guess we are.”
“You know, you could’ve told Lazlo about this,” Blue lowered his voice.
“I know,” I sighed. “I just…” What? I didn’t even know, really. I just felt better keeping things to myself. It felt safer, both for me and for Lazlo.
“You should cut him some slack.” Blue had finished fixing me up, so he pulled down my shirt “He was crazy worried about you. He really likes you.”
“Yeah, well, who doesn’t?” I tried to play it off as a joke, so Blue shook his head. I exhaled and looked down at the floor. “I know. But…” I ran a hand through my hair. “It’s too hard caring about people. I already care about him too much. What more am I supposed to do?”
“That’s up to you.” Blue stood up and took off his rubber gloves. “It’s clean, for now. But you need to wash it and keep it as clean and dry as possible. I’ll check on it again in a few days. But if its gets redder, has excessive discharge, or starts to smell, you need to come see me right away.”
“Yes, sir.” I saluted him.
Lazlo poked his head out a minute later, then came out and talked to Blue. He purposefully kept his back to me, and I had a feeling I’d have to deal with that for a while.