Tick Tock - 7 | ii

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In the event that it did, and Penny came, there was another matter to consider. The change was temporary. Ichiro was going to die anyway, and he would not be able to take human form. Shea knew it was her grief that made the trade off sound better than it was. At least she would have a few more days with him, a chance to say goodbye. But time was of the essence.

She walked back to Ichiro's bed. He looked peaceful now, less pained. Martha, though she could not find a cure, was trying everything she could to make him comfortable. Ava used her magic as much as she could with Ichiro's human body. Both women were out of their depths with him. Shea knew this but still found herself snapping at them. At anyone who came around as the possibility of his death crept closer. Immediately she would feel bad and break down in tears. Shea was doing her best not to fall apart. Just as she was getting her mess together, this happened.

Shea kissed Ichiro's forehead. He was still running a slight fever.

"You need to eat," she said to Martha.

The other woman kept pacing, her mouth moving as she read. Shea went to her, taking the book from her hand. It took Martha a second to realize her hand was empty.

"Eat," Shea repeated.

"I can't. Nico went to fetch more herbs."

"You are no good to Ichiro if you get sick too. Please, take a break. Eat something."

Martha nodded and left. Shea went to sit on the bed beside Ichiro.

"You need to eat too," Ava said. She was standing by the door.

"How is Marx?" Shea asked. Her well-being was the last thing on her mind. Two persons she cared about were hanging in limbo. A sandwich could wait.

"The same." Ava came into the room going the opposite side of the bed. She passed a hand over Ichiro's face. Shea knew Ava did it to take some of his pain away. The two women might not see eye to eye on many things and Shea might still think Ava was nothing but trouble but she was grateful.

"Any luck finding Garrick?" Shea asked.

"Helick is trying every contact he has but no word yet. He wants to go out and search but with Marx down and Sven being back, he can't leave."

"He must be pissed," Shea said.

"He was the one who decided it was not a good idea to leave."

Shea nodded. "A level head in spite of a personal crisis." A trait she lacked.

A howl had them both looking towards the window. Shea stood running from the room.

In the clearing in front of the house was Penny. The relief Shea felt had tears coming to her eyes. Others from the pack gathered around. Penny was a wonder to all of them.

"Penny, you came." At that moment, Shea remembered not being there in time for Penny. Guilt replaced relief. Maybe if she had come in time, Penny would be a typical werewolf and Sven would not have come to the Mountain. The shadow pack would not have taken Penny and Lochlan would not have been a target. Maybe he would be alive today. Now that those thoughts were uppermost in Shea's mind, she did not know how to approach Penny for help.

"Penny," Shea started.

"She cannot communicate with you. And she cannot take human form." Ava walked over to Penny. "I would like to try a spell if you don't mind."

Penny snarled at Ava. She looked around at the others uneasy. After a few seconds, Penny nodded her consent.

***

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