July 25th, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
A/N: Sorry this is late. I’m on holiday.
Tanya’s cousin Daniel turned out to be a pleasantly spoken young man with the same mid-brown hair as his cousin. To Leisa his eyes looked blue but she knew enough about werewolves to know that was some sort of mental illusion which even affected vampires. When he arrived Meredith was already there and was listening to Tanya’s explanation of the situation when he arrived. She looked up at him and gave a smile.
“Ah ha! So you’re Daniel?” Meredith stood and held out her hand. “So nice to finally meet you.”
“And you’re Meredith,” Daniel said equally mildly. “Sarah talks about you a lot.” He did not even hesitate before shaking her hand. “I wish more werewolf hunters were like you.”
“That makes two of us. Yes, and I think we need to talk about how to keep your crazy cousin safe,” she said. “Things have definitely got more risky recently.”
“So I hear,” he said. “But I think we have more pressing matters to deal with.” He turned his attention to David who was sitting in one of the armchairs looking rather grey and breathing heavily. “Hey, Dave. How are you feeling?”
“Hi Daniel,” he said quietly and then coughed violently. “My chest aches and I can’t seem to catch my breath.”
“That doesn’t sound too good.” He walked around the back of the armchair and laid his hands on David’s shoulders. “I am going to take a look,” he said. “See how bad it is and then fix it, or start to.”
“How bad what is?” David asked.
“The smoke inhalation from the fire. It sounds like your lungs are damaged,” Daniel replied.
“But I was okay immediately afterwards,” David said. “I mean my chest hurt a little but not like this.”
“It can take a while to kick in and adrenaline is wonderful stuff for overwhelming immediate collapse from injury. Don’t worry, you’ll be okay – though this may not be entirely pleasant.” He looked over at Tanya. “Have you got a bucket, Tan? There’s a load of crap in his lungs which I need to shift before I can heal the tissue damage.”
“Crap?” David asked.
“Soot, toxins, fluid – that sort of thing. If I don’t get it out you’ll drown slowly on dry land, but getting it out…” Daniel winced eloquently. “Well it won’t be fun.” He placed the bucked Tanya had fetched from the kitchen between David’s feet. “Put your head over this and don’t forget to breathe,” he said.
“Why would I forget to-” David’s question as he complied was broken off by a racking coughing fit. It felt like he was tearing the lining from his lungs and his mouth filled with fluid. He spat it into the bucket and saw it was thick, black gloop. Never mind remembering to breath, he couldn’t breathe! Spots started to dance before his eyes and just when he thought he would pass out the coughing ended. He retched up some more tarry gloop and then gasped for breath between sobs.
“Easy,” Daniel said, rubbing his back gently. “It’s nearly done, just a little more. Catch your breath if you can.”
“More?” David groaned. “I don’t know if I can stand that again.”
“I am sorry. I know it’s horrible but you’ll be ok, I promise,” Daniel said. He waited until David’s breathing levelled slightly. “Here we go again.”
More coughing, more gloop – greyer this time and getting paler by the mouthful until it was clear. It still hurt like hell though and he still couldn’t breathe properly for the racking coughs, but eventually he stopped bring up rubbish and the coughing stopped.
“Well, that’s done. The next part will be easier – for you anyway. This is going to be hard work for me.” He placed his hands on the back of David’s chest and a soothing warmth seemed to spread into his aching lungs and breathing slowly became easier. He wasn’t sure how long it was before he Daniel removed his hand but once he did his chest felt normal again.
“Thanks,” he said quietly. “That was horrible but it seems to have worked.” He looked around and saw Daniel kneeling beside his chair looking exhausted. “Are you okay?”
“That,” he said. “Was the worst thing I’ve ever had to deal with. The sort of cuts, scrapes and even occasional broken bones that the pack get are a lot easier to fix than smoke inhalation. I’ll be okay in a minute.” He looked at Tanya. “Could I have a cup of tea, Tan. I need to recover for a minute before I take a look at Jason, though a cursory scan suggests that he is fine.”
“Of course.” Tanya headed into the kitchen.
“That was impressive,” Meredith said. “Sarah told me that you were a skilled healer but that was extraordinary. Is it a werewolf thing or a talent you happen to have as well.”
“A little of both. All werewolves can heal to a degree but my level of talent is generally conceded to be something else,” he said without a trace of self-consciousness. “About 1 in 100 werewolves can heal like I can. We think it’s a symptom of fairy or daemon blood in the line. They have a lot of healers and we do tend to intermarry with them.”
“That’s interesting,” Meredith said. “Entirely likely though. Liam reckons that half the people in Haventon have some fairy blood.”
“Liam also reckons that the town creates supernaturals out of normal people as well as attracting them, Merry,” Tanya pointed out sceptically from the kitchen. “I think his numbers may be a little enthusiastic.”
“That could be true actually,” Leisa said in a considering tone. “I’ve lived in Haventon off and on for centuries and people are more likely to become ghosts around here and I’ve seen fairy children born to parents from out of town with not a drop of fay blood in them. So who’s this Liam?”
“He is the head of the spectral hunter’s banch of The Order, such as it is,” Tanya said. “He is a cool guy, and real expert of some of the miscellaneous weird shit you find in our lovely town, but he also has some very strange ideas. He thinks some sort of supernatural entity is bound under the town and that’s what makes it such a weirdness magnet. Next he’ll be talking about hell mouths or green meteorites.”
“Well there’s something going on,” Leisa said mildly. “And that would tie in with what the Millers say wouldn’t it.”
“She is right, Tan,” Meredith pointed out. “It would explain their claims to have something more important to do than join the Order.”
Tanya returned with a large pot of tea, several mugs, milk and a sugar bowl on a tray. “I suppose he could be right, but it just seems like such a strange idea even for me.”
“Well there’s something about this town,” Daniel said. “We all know that, and there’s got to be some reason for it.”
“You’re right,” she agreed as she poured tea and handed it out. “Help yourself to milk and sugar, everyone.” She looked back at Daniel. “But let’s get back on topic. How are we going to find and rescue Anna before her captor discovers what she is and kills her?”