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Twenty-two

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Twenty-two

"Wha-You can't be serious," Arryn gasped. Her eyes scanned Mateo's face in search of a lie. Instead, she saw droplets of a red liquid reflecting in the light on his neck. She trailed the droplets down his flannel shirt. The droplets turned to larger, darker patches of the substance. His hands came into view stained red.

The walls of her throat began closing in on themselves, making it hard to breathe. Each breath came out in quick gasps. "No, no... no."

A breeze rustled Arryn's hair as Dr. Martin flew by her in a flash. Hurried bodies came into view, rushing past the doorway towards the dining room. Dr. Martin cleared the table, leading items to clatter to the floor, some shattering upon impact. Daniel and Dante carried her father's bleeding body into the room and placed him on the table.

She felt Claire's hand grip her shoulder, but she shrugged it off. Her body carried her forward as both fear and curiosity plagued her mind. Her father's pale skin came into view as she reached the doorway to the dining room. His unconscious body had purple bruises covering the swollen skin around his eyes and cheekbones. A small stream of blood trailed from his cracked, swollen lips. Dark blood soaked his shirt around his chest. Droplets rolled down the cotton fabric, pooling in a small puddle on the table.

Austin brushed past her shoulder in a hurry, sending a mixture of the evening air, combined with the copper scent of blood, drifting in her direction. Her hand grasped for the wall as the world around her spun.

"What happened?" Dr. Martin growled as she dumped a bottle of isopropyl alcohol over a few instruments she had taken from her clinic. A sound as if a sheet of paper had been torn in half came from the room. Dr. Martin had ripped her father's shirt down the middle, exposing his wounded chest.

Dante answered first. "There were other survivors. They mistook Jonathan and me for rabids. The girl was quick with the trigger and shot Jon before we could even react. She and her male companion took off as soon as they realized what they had done. Daniel was searching for supplies a few rooms over when he heard the screams. He came running in as fast as he could."

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