Sharon’s Note: There’s a corruption of an old Irish proverb that I love. “A lady accepts the things she cannot change, and changes the things she cannot accept.” I try to live by this. No, you can’t fix everything and sometimes you will fail, but if you can’t accept the way things are, you at least need to be able to say you tried. Warning: Author is on her soap box . . . again.
On my way to the armory I grabbed a cart. Leaning on the cart took some weight off my legs and stress off my back. I didn’t want to admit how much easier it made things. I swore under my breath as I came to keypad protected room where we kept most of our supples. Seth had positioned his chair in front of the door, waiting for me with a raised eyebrow and a stern look.
I swallowed hard. “Move, Seth.”
“You know how I knew you were going to be here?”
I slammed my hand on the edge of the cart. “Damn it, time is life here.”
He plowed right ahead, not listening to a word I said. “I knew you’d be here because you’re a Hunter, which means you are a stubborn idiot who doesn’t know when to let something go. I will get out of your way if, and only if, you promise me you have a plan and are not going out there just to die.”
I ran a hand through my hair. “I have something like a plan. Look, I promise I’m not planning on dying tonight, but what’s left of my team is out there. They’re dying and no one else is coming. I can’t just leave them there. So . . . either get out of my way or or I clock you outside of the head and leave your unconscious ass inside the vault for someone to find later.”
Seth shook his head, laughed bitterly, and moved his chair to the side. “Go on. You’re being stupid, but that’s part of being a Hunter. Hell, if I wasn’t needed here I’d be loading up with you, so I’m stuipid too. If I don’t see you again, I’m proud of you.”
“I . . . Seth . . . Thank you. That . . . that means a lot to me.” I turned away from my mentor and punched the code in the door. He started back down the hall towards the insanity that was the bullpen. I should have said something more, but I couldn’t. If it was true that girls were better about talking about their feelings, you couldn’t prove it by me. Besides, seconds counted, and Seth knew that.
I started loading supplies onto my cart. While I snagged a few special goodies, I kept my pickings light. Anything I brough, I would have to move, and I wouldn’t have the cart. I brought my favorite rifle, some silver ammo for it, and some of our more expensive magical medical supplies for my team. I also grabbed one of the portable radio headsets.
As I was just about to take the cart out the door and into the parking lot, I stopped. Frank was walking out of the bathroom and stopped.
“When I heard what was going on with your team, I figured you’d do this.” His voice was low and his smile was sympathetic.
I clenched my fists and teeth before I forced myself to relax. “Frank, I need your help . . .”
“I knew you were going to ask.” He slammed his remaining hand against the wall. “Damn it! I can’t Joy, I just can’t. I know you think I’m weak, and maybe I am, but if I go with you I’m going to get you and your team killed. I’m a nervous wreck and the only place I’m any good to anyone right now is here. It’s pathetic and I’m sorry but that’s the way it is.”
Frank wouldn’t look up from the floor and his shoulders were trembling. There was such shame on his face that it took away a lot of my loathing for the man. Whatever disgust I felt towards him, his was a hundred times worse.
I shook my head and chuckled humorlessly. “I was just going to ask you to open the door so I can get this outside.”
“Oh.” Surprise made him look up, but his sheepish smile didn’t completely cover his sadness. “Yeah, that I can do.”
He held the door open for me, and even helped me load up my car. Before he took the cart back in for me he mumbled, “Good luck.”
“Thanks.” I said, and closed my door.