"Judd." Hands cradled his face as he sat up. Trembling fingers wiped raindrops from his skin. "My God! Your arm is shredded!"
"Brenna, what are you doing here?" He was already sending power down his arm, starting to knit the bone - the capability to heal himself was an adjunct of his Tk-Cell abilities.
"I can't believe you're giving me shit when you're bleeding to death!" She grabbed his uninjured arm, slung it around her shoulders, and pulled him to his feet. She was slight, so even with her changeling strength, it took considerable effort.
He'd lost more blood that he'd realized - his thinking was going fuzzy, causing him to fumble as he tried to fix the damage done to him. He should've killed his attacker in that split-second window between sound and hit, instead of trying to deflect. But then Brenna would've looked at him with hate in her eyes. Unacceptable.
"Come on, the car's not far." She put an arm around his waist. "Why didn't you teleport away when he attacked?"
"Requires concentration." He'd had no time to settle his thoughts into the right patterns. "I'll drive," he said as they reached the car.
She deactivated the lock by placing his thumb against it, then slid back the passenger door. "I thought you Psy were logical. You're in no condition to drive."
But he wanted to. Vaguely aware that that wasn't a rational desire, he let her half drop him into the passenger seat and close the door. Only when she was inside, too, did he start using all available power to minimize the injuries. Despite his erratic concentration, his arm was nearly back to functional, though it looked mauled. However, the blood loss was having a cumulative impact. He could hardly think, much less focus on fixing the holes in his torso. As a result, the gaping cuts continued to bleed.
"Lara's too far." Brenna started the car. "Hospital! There's one - "
When it looked as if she was going to ignore him, he grabbed her with his injured arm, shooting pain up his body. "I can't be DNA traced. The kids."
"Oh, God, I forgot." She wrapped something around his arm. "You're losing too much blood to wait till we get back to the den." It was already soaking through what he now realized was the damp wool of her coat. "Your chest, baby, your chest!"
He knew he needed help - the wolf had damaged a major artery or vein, he couldn't tell which at this point. He was able to keep the wounds from bleeding out but that was all. "Tamsyn's close. Coordinates." He managed to tell her the location of the DarkRiver healer's home before blackness descended.
Brenna brought the car to a screeching halt in front of a large ranch-style home about twenty minutes later. A scowling DarkRiver male opened the door before she'd even gotten around the engine. She recognized him as Tamsyn's mate. "Help me!"
He ran to the passenger-side door. "Shit," he said when he saw Judd. "Move." Pushing her aside, he grabbed Judd's unconscious form and went to put him in a fireman's carry.
"No!" She slapped a hand on Nate's back, bare since he was dressed only in a pair of old jeans. "His chest - "
Nate looked down and seemed to notice what Judd's torn sweater and jacket had hidden. "Christ." Slinging Judd's arm around his neck, he half dragged, half carried the other man into the house. "Damn Psy's heavier than he looks."
She'd noticed that, too. Judd seemed to have a higher bone mass than most other Psy. But right at that moment, all she cared about was the fact that he was breathing. Following on Nate's heels, she barely remembered to close the door behind her.
"Put him on the table." A crisp feminine command. "Kit - go up and make sure the cubs don't come down."
"Sure." A tall auburn-haired teenager with sleepy eyes slipped past her.
"Chair." Judd's voice kicked her heart into hyperdrive. "Not table." A demand.
"He's as stubborn as the rest of you," Tamsyn muttered, belting her robe. "Put him in the chair before he collapses and makes a mess of my floor."
Brenna hovered as Nate obeyed Tamsyn's command. "Who did he piss off this time?" the leopard asked, as Judd dragged himself upright in the chair, eyes not fully focused.
"Honey, could you get me the stitch gun?" Tamsyn was already working with healer efficiency, cutting off the clothing on Judd's upper body.
Judd didn't make a sound or betray pain in any other way. But when his eyes met Brenna's, she was sure she saw worry in them. For her. Why? Not wanting to be in Tamsyn's way but needing to touch him, she waited until the healer had disposed of the clothing before going to stand at his uninjured side, one hand on his shoulder. His skin burned.
Startled, she bit back her gasp. Judd's skin had always felt slightly cooler than hers, as did Sascha's and Faith's. But tonight, he was an open flame. "Can I do anything to help?" she asked when he didn't push off her hand.
"Here." The healer handed her a damp cloth. "Gently wipe off the blood on his chest so I can see how deep the wounds are."
"Not that deep," Judd muttered, the words slurred but understandable.
"Be quiet." Tamsyn's tone was pure steel. "You could be a cat - bleeding to death but refusing to admit it."
Nate walked in at that moment with a small metal case. "Julian's still asleep. Roman woke, but Kit's got him occupied."
Nodding, Tamsyn began to clean the obvious blood off Judd's arm as Brenna did the same to his chest. At least he'd stopped dripping fresh blood; it was clotting faster than she would've believed possible even a few minutes ago.