Chapter twenty-three

[Derrek’s POV]

The ear piercing siren rang through the gymnasium and I let out a breath of relief. Combat had finally finished! I painfully climbed off Val and wiped her silky blonde hair out from her face. She looked horrible... in a beautiful way. I momentarily glanced around and noticed everyone had either been dragged off to the Healers outside or lying unconscious strewn across the ground and even on top of cars.

“Derrek!” Coach Shulk boomed as she strode over, “Great job! You’re the last standing student! That last explosive really did the trick! Bring Valerie over to the Healers and get healed yourself too... you look like crap!”

With that she strode over and began shouting at unconscious students to wake them up. I shivered and was glad I didn’t have to wake up to Coach Shulk shouting in my face. I quickly bent down and carefully scooped Val up into my arms before striding to the open doors to look for a free Healer. The sun was blindingly bright and I squinted while looking around the grounds. There were students lying or sitting everywhere and it vaguely reminded me of a warzone make shift infirmary, minus the bandages.

“It’s starting to feel like I’m becoming Val’s personal healer when Nurse Oakley isn’t around” I turned at the familiar voice and saw Kayla standing to the side with a wry smile.

“Seems like it. Heal her first, I’ll be fine” I slowly sat down with my back leaning against the wall of the gymnasium and eased Val’s body down so we both we were comfortable. I wasn’t about to just leave her on the ground...

“Alright, just hold her still” Kayla told me and she frowned while she focused on healing Val. She took longer than Nurse Oakley for her to finish healing the cuts and gashes that marred Val’s face and body. It wasn’t as cleanly done but eventually she was finished and there were only the faintest of scars left behind that would disappear in an hour or so. “Ok Derrek, your turn”

“I’m not moving her” I told her bluntly. I still hadn’t opened up much to anyone else besides our group and my blunt reply caused Kayla to blush and stutter a little.

“But... what about the wounds on your torso Derrek?”

I shrugged and fixed Val’s head that tilted uncomfortably on my arm, “Then don’t heal it. I won’ tell Coach Shulk if that’s what you’re worried about. It won’t affect your grading” I refused to budge and eventually she had no choice but to heal around Val.

“Hey... how long has she been out for?” I turned and saw Helena and the others gathered around. “It seems like the entire class got wiped out in that Combat class”

“Yeah seems like it” I replied letting my gaze wander over the numerous students who were still unconscious. “She’s been out for a while, but she was one of the last ones to get knocked out”

Just as I finished talking Val began to stir and her eyes flickered open, she groaned at the sight of everyone staring down at her before sliding off my lap. “How long was I out for?” she murmured.

I shrugged, “Maybe twenty minutes or so... but you woke up before some other students. Some of them are still out cold”

She nodded silently and soon we were all heading back to the apartments. As we walked I knew something was wrong with Val. She was very quiet and wouldn’t look at anyone. I could feel her brain working overtime. It was a buzzing hive of bees, so full of noise and flashing images that I couldn’t understand what she was trying to think.

Ever since the incident that nearly killed me in the caves last year my ‘Stinger side’ had been a little hard to understand. Before, I was able to easily pin point where Val was and what was wrong. Now, however, I could only seem to know when something was wrong and it was irritating to say the least. We continued to walk and I sighed when I figured it would be best to leave her to her thoughts, or talk with Helena. If she wanted to talk to me then she would.

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