Chapter 20: Wild Fangs

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The sky was darkening when they made it back to the Walkers' house. As the dark grey SUV rolled into the garage, it was eerily silent. No one was in the mood for talking, and it was clear all was not well with Courtney.

"Amber, we need to go to a hospital," Bryce said, not for the first time.

"She'll be fine, I said. She's just still in shock over what happened to Taylor," Amber said and hoisted her wife into her arms.

Courtney's eyes were cast downward, unaware of her surroundings as she rested her head on Amber's shoulder. Bryce looked on doubtfully, as he followed the others into the house. He seemed distracted anyway, as if his thoughts were elsewhere. When they reached the kitchen area, he shook his head and slammed his hand down on the counter.

"How could she?! What the hell is that... woman thinking?" he shouted. "Sarah," he clarified when Amber and Liam regarded him.

Amber's eyes narrowed at the mention of her name, but she forced herself to focus on something more pressing. She turned away with Courtney, while pulling Liam aside.

"Hey, there's some soup in the fridge. Can you please heat it up for her and bring it up to our room?"

"Sure, sis," Liam said and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Thanks," she replied with a weak smile.

Just then, their sister, Emmy, came into the room. "Hey, how did it go?" She stopped short when she saw Courtney. "Oh my! Is she alright?" She rushed up to get a closer look.

"She'll be okay, Em. Please, just keep the kids preoccupied while I take care of her. I don't want Kevin to see her like this."

"Okay, sis," she said and laid a gentle hand on Courtney's head, but the other woman didn't respond except to reach up and give Emmy's hand a weak squeeze. "Feel better, Court."

"Vodka," Courtney said when the others turned to walk away.

Amber ignored her request and led her up the stairs to their bedroom. The first thing she did was sit Courtney on the bed and strip the bloody clothes from her. Then she held her face in her hands and inspected her, breathing a sigh of relief. Courtney looked back at Amber with a blank expression but clear eyes. Amber offered her wife an empathetic smile.

"Say something to me, Court."

"Get me the vodka, Amber," she said, casting her eyes downward again.

"No, Courtney. You lost too much blood. It's not safe, and I won't have you falling into the bottle again. I'll get you through this, okay? You don't need it."

Courtney shrugged and slumped over onto the bed. Amber gave her a kiss on her head and went to the bathroom, diving into the first aid kit. When she came back, she cleaned and dressed Courtney's arm. To her credit, Courtney only hissed loudly when the alcohol touched her wound. The injury was indeed deeper than Amber first thought and must have reopened a few times, but after it was bandaged up, she was confident her wife would be alright with some nourishment and rest. Thank God it would not threaten her life.

Just then there was a knock at the door. When Amber opened it, Liam was standing there with a bowl and a cup in his hands.

"I made her some tea, too. It will help her rest," Liam said, and when Amber looked into the cup, she saw a faint glow of blue mana.

She smiled at him, though she knew it would do no good. "Thanks, Liam."

"How is she, really?" Liam asked.

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