Sharon’s note: So, I’d always kind of planned to write a few more stories with my hard hunting protagonist, and since I’ve been a bit of a writing dry spell, I figured it was a good time. Warning: Physical Therapists are wonderful people who have helped the author so much. They are also tough as nails and scary in their determination to get you better.
Irma crossed her arms and glared at me. I’d gone face to face with werewolves, zombies, and vampires, and she scared me more than any of them. I drop my eyes from hers.
“Do it again, Joy. Come on.” Irma’s tone let me know there was no room for negotiation.
“I swear, next time we have to do negotiations with vampires, I’m sending you in. You’ll have them crying on the floor in minutes.” I grunted, and grabbed a hold of the parallel bars. With a heave I pulled myself out of the wheelchair to my feet. The movement strained muscles from my wrists to the bottom of my feet. Pain reached through the backs of my legs as they stretched to a standing position. “I feel like I’m gonna fall.”
“Sit down if you need to. Take a little rest, then we’ll do it again.” There was no sympathy in her eyes. None. She was a cold bitch. Lucky for me she used her powers for good.
“Slave driver,” I grumbled, then sighed. “No, I can do it.”
“Great!” She took her place holding the chair to make sure it was stable. The whole time she kept that merciless smile on her face.
“I hate you,” I said, flatly.
“That’s fine.” She sounded so chipper about it. “So, how does that feel?”
“It hurts.” I gritted my teeth as the pain started to crawl up and over my hips like I was submerging in it.
“On a scale of one to ten?”
“I don’t know. A six, maybe?”
“You hunters.” Irma shook her head. “You never answer that question honestly. Okay, sit.”
“I can do a little bit more.” I breathed deeply, fighting past the pain.
“Good, then you can do another one after you rest. Sit.”
I dropped into the chair and closed my eyes. The pain eased slowly, and as it left the muscles twitched involuntarily. “Next time, I’m just going to let the werewolf eat everyone.”
“No you won’t.” She patted my shoulder. “You’ll do something stupidly heroic, save a bunch of lives, then end up right back here with me.”
“After this, I’m going back to Hearth.” I laughed. “Seth let me know in no uncertain terms that if I throw myself into danger like that again he’ll chain me to my desk.”
“Oh, he’s one to talk.” Irma snorted.
“Got any dirt on him I can use?” I quirked an eyebrow and fought not to twitch.
Irma opened her mouth, but a klaxon burst overhead in three short, ear shattering whail. She frowned. “So, we’re going to be in this room for a little bit. No more reps.”
“What was that?” My fingers curled around the arms of my chair, really wishing I had a gun.
“It’s to let everyone know that a dangerous patient is being moved through the hallways.” She pulled up one of the plastic chairs that were against the wall. “It’s nothing to worry about. It’s just precautionary. Some of our patients can be unstable when injured, and we clear the way for them as a precaution.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Who all do you treat here?”
Irma laughed. “Everyone.”