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Pen Your Pride

Chapter Twenty-Two: A Death in the Family

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Damian dropped Kessie down on a cot where Doctor Apilfa could immediately assess the damage.

Kessie did not wake until three days later.

In that time, Doctor Apilfa was able to treat Kessie back to a stable form. But, unfortunately, Kessie would never be to command her army; Kessie was as weak as ever.

Cal kept silent. After Damian took Kessie away, he slowly followed afterward. Damian and him exchanged hateful glances, but neither said anything. Cal knew how to treat Kessie.

You know what would save her, don't you?

Silver.

Cold, sharp silver.

Doctor Apilfa, or really most vampires in general, hadn't caught onto this amazing fact.

Cal kept silent.

Later, Kessie slowly opened her eyes.

"Oh, thank God," Doctor Apilfa sighed with relief.

Kessie quickly became aware of her surroundings. She remembered everything that had happened earlier. The room was dark, the lights were off, but not dark enough that you couldn't see. Kessie recognized Doctor Apilfa and Damian right off the bat.

"Kes--" Damian began.

Before he could finish, Kessie immediately jumped off the cot and wrapped her arms around him tightly. If she could've, she probably would've cried.

Happiness.

"Kestrel." Cal broke his silence.

All heads turned to face him. Damian's expression was particularly aggressive, Kessie's was startled, Doctor Apilfa's was calm.

"Yes?"

"C-can we, er, talk?"

"You think anyone will let her stay alone with you, think again!" snarled Damian.

"Please, Kestrel?" he asked desperately.

"... Okay."

"Kessie!"

"I'll be okay. Maybe I'm not as strong, but I can handle it... I think..."

"We'll have to do exercises to assess that," Doctor Apilfa said as-a-matter-of-factly.

"Anyway, I'll be all right."

Damian glared at Cal until Doctor Apilfa pushed him away.

"Five minutes," Doctor Apilfa said strictly.

"Make it--" Damian was cut off by the sudden sound of the door sealing shut.

Cal said nothing for a few moments, thought.

"Thank you," he sighed, "you don't know how long..."

"Ever since he died, right?"

"So you did figure it out... I was afraid you'd never figure it out." Cal said gratefully.

"Am I right?"

"Yes. Except... it was as strong as it was because he wasn't really dead yet. See... it was some sort of possessing trick my father pulled that I wasn't quite able to knack... Anyway, I don't... I don't want to talk about it..."

"I understand," Kessie nodded.

"There is something, though, that we really must discuss."

"Yes?"

"You know as well as I do the only real cure for you."

"... Yeah, I know."

"Since you're being retired, you won't really miss anything. You have to go now."

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