Dragonheart - Page 10

I'd done it. I'd healed her, and for one glorious moment I dared to hope that I had healed myself in the process.

Then the monster within me snarled at my presumption.

I wasn't healed. She was . . . but I wasn't.

I decided I could live with that.

The child's mother kept making motions like she was going to approach me, but, much to my annoyance, her courage kept failing her. “Is . . . is she . . .?” she stammered, unable to even finish her question.

“Fine, yes.” I brusquely assured her. “You're welcome.”

“Then . . . why does she cry?” she asked in a trembling voice.

Since looking outward had proven such a disappointment, I tried looking inward to find the strength for dealing with fools. “Why else?” I sighed, letting my impatience be heard in my voice. “She's hungry,” I snapped as I thrust the wailing child toward her mother's arms. “I suggest you do something about that.”

To her credit, the mother did her best to take her, but the burns on her hands made the process ludicrously awkward and slow, and I was simply too drained to have any patience for it. Sighing, I cradled the child against my shoulder while I snatched the mother's hands with my free one.

She flinched, but at least she didn't scream, though that may have just been from the shock of seeing and feeling her skin regrowing over the course of a heartbeat.

Now do you think you can do something about her noise before my headache gets any worse?” I asked with patently false patience.

“Yes . . . yes, of course!” she managed to say. “Thank you! Thank you!”

“Don't bother thanking me for that,” I sneered as I released her and handed the child over. “The only reason I healed you was because it was faster than giving myself breasts. Now if you will excuse me, I'm going outside for some fresh quiet.”

Page 10

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