And even worse, not only had I failed to save myself, but I’d gotten Rhys and Matt dragged into this mess along with me.
“Wendy, are you okay?” Matt asked.
“Yeah,” I lied.
“You don’t look okay,” Rhys said.
“All your color is gone, and you’re barely even breathing,” Matt said, and I heard him getting to his feet next to me. “You need a doctor or something.”
“What are you doing?” Rhys asked.
I opened my eyes to see what Matt was up to. His plan was simple and obvious—he went to the locked door and pounded on it.
“Help! Somebody! Wendy needs a doctor!”
“What makes you think they’d even want to help her?” Rhys asked, echoing my exact thoughts. Kyra had gone out of her way to hurt me when she captured me.
“They haven’t killed her yet, so they probably don’t want her dead.” Matt had stopped pounding long enough to answer Rhys, then went back to hitting the door and yelling for help.
The sound of it echoed through the room, and I couldn’t take it anymore. My head throbbed too much already. I was about to tell Matt to knock it off when the door opened.
This was the perfect time for Matt and Rhys to launch a counterattack, but it didn’t occur to either of them. They both just moved away.
The Vittra from the house walked into the room, the one who had rendered me unconscious, and I dimly remembered Kyra calling him Loki. His shaggy hair was surprisingly light for a Vittra, almost blond.
Walking next to him was a troll, like an actual troll. All short and gobliny. His features were humanoid, but his skin was slimy and brown. He wore a hat, and tufts of grayish hair stuck out around the edge. He barely came up to Loki’s hip, but the fact that he was an actual troll made him more intimidating somehow.
Rhys and Matt both gaped at the hobgoblin, and I probably would’ve too, if I’d been capable of gaping. I could barely keep my head up.
“You say the girl is in need of a doctor?” Loki asked, his eyes resting on me. He regarded me with the same mild curiosity he had before.
“Kyra did that?” the hobgoblin asked, his voice unexpectedly deep for such a small creature. He looked to Loki for confirmation, shaking his head at the damage she’d inflicted on me. “She needs to be put on a leash.”
“I don’t think Wendy can breathe,” Matt said, his features hardening with self-restraint.
I was sure my condition was the only thing keeping him from attacking Loki. If he hurt them, they wouldn’t be able to help me.
“Well, let me have a look.” Loki walked over to me, his strides long and purposeful.
The hobgoblin stayed by the door, guarding it from Matt and Rhys, but they were too focused on me to consider escape.
Loki crouched down in front of me, looking me over with something that resembled concern. I was in too much pain to feel real fear, but I’m not sure I would have been afraid of him. Physically he was much stronger than me, and he had some kind of ability that could knock me out, maybe even more than that. But somehow, I knew he’d help me.
“What hurts?” Loki asked.
“She can barely breathe, let alone talk!” Matt snapped. “She needs immediate medical attention.”
Loki held up his hand to silence him, and Matt sighed heavily.
“Can you talk?” Loki kept staring at me.
When I opened my mouth, instead of speaking, an excruciating cough rose up in me. Closing my eyes, I tried to fight it. I coughed so hard, tears streamed down my cheeks, and I felt something wet. I opened my eyes to see bright red splattered all over my legs and Loki’s feet. I was coughing up blood, and I couldn’t stop.
“Ludlow!” Loki shouted at the hobgoblin. “Get Sara! Now!”
Loki crouched in front of me, keeping Matt back. He probably knew Matt’s inclination would be to hold me, and Loki didn’t want me moved, afraid that it might rupture something. Matt shouted frantically, but Loki kept insisting that everything would be all right.
Within moments a woman appeared in the room. Her long dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and she knelt down in front of me, pushing Loki to the side. Her eyes were almost as dark as Finn’s, and I found something comforting in that.
“My name is Sara, and I’m going to help you.” She pressed her hand hard against my abdomen, and I winced.
It hurt so bad I wanted to scream, but then the pain began to fade. A weird numbing tingle ran through me. It took me a second to figure out where I had felt the sensation before.
“You’re a healer,” I mumbled, slightly dismayed that she was helping me. The pain in my chest and stomach had disappeared, and she put her hand on my face, fixing my black eye.
“Does it hurt anywhere else?” Sara asked, ignoring my statement. She looked worn out, a temporary side effect from healing, but otherwise she was incredibly beautiful.
“I don’t think so.” I sat up, still a little unsteady, but that was lessening by the moment.
“Kyra went way overboard,” Sara said, more to herself than me. “Are you okay now?”
“Yeah.” I nodded.
“Excellent.” Sara stood up and turned to Loki. “You need to control your trackers better.”
“They’re not mine.” Loki crossed his arms over his chest. “If you have a problem with how they do their job, take it up with your husband.”
“I’m certain my husband wouldn’t like how this situation was handled.” Sara looked at him severely, but he didn’t back down.
“I was doing you a favor,” Loki replied evenly. “If I hadn’t been there, it would’ve been worse.”
“I’m not having this discussion now.” She glanced in my direction, then walked out of the room.
“Is that everything, then?” Loki asked us once she’d gone.
“Not even close.” Matt had been sitting next to me but he got to his feet. “What do you want with us? You can’t just keep us here!”
“I’ll take that as a yes.” Loki smiled emptily at me and turned to leave the room.
Matt tried to rush him, but Loki was already out the door before he got to him. He slammed the door and Matt flew into it. There was a loud clicking as bolts locked, and Matt sagged against the door.
“What is going on here?” Matt shouted and turned to look at me. “How come you’re not dying anymore?”
“Would you rather I be dying?” I pulled the sleeve of my sweater down and wiped the blood away from my face. “I could get Kyra in here to finish the job.”