• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Laurell Kaye Hamilton > The Anita Blake Series > Wounded (Chapter 15)     
  • Wounded(Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #24.5)(15) by Laurell Kaye Hamilton
  • His black hair was short, but with enough length so someone had used hair gel to style it back from his face in one of those careless wavy hairdos that some men can pull off. In a few years, when he filled out to his new height, the hair would be a serious selling point, but his face still looked like a little boy’s face, so that the combination made him look pretty in a way that most thirteen-year-old boys don’t want, but he seemed to be fine with all that hair framing his face. It probably meant the hairdo wasn’t just for the wedding, but something he did regularly, which meant he cared about his hair more than my own little brother had at the same age, a lot more. I remembered Manny telling me that Tomas was already starting to cut quite a swath through the girls in school, so he probably cared about a lot of things that I didn’t associate with thirteen. I’d been hopelessly backward at the same age.

    He sat slightly crooked, favoring one side heavily. There was a tightness around his eyes, even on the baby face, that said pain. He was hurting, but the kind of meds he was probably getting for pain would have drugged him up or made him sleepy. He was going to hold out from pride. I’d have done the same thing, so I couldn’t really throw stones.

    Tomas gave me a look out of big, brown eyes, the nice hair spilling forward a little so it framed his face on one side. The gesture reminded me of how Asher used his golden hair to frame his face to such good effect. That let me know that it was on purpose for Tomas, too. He knew he was pretty. It was a level of self-awareness that I didn’t associate with most boys his age.

    “Hey, Tomas, I won’t ask how you’re feeling.”

    He grinned suddenly. It made him look years younger and more real than the careless, almost-flirting look of seconds before. “Then you’ll be the only one who hasn’t asked.”

    I smiled back. “I know, you get sick of answering the question. When you’re still in the hospital people ask the question. I always want to answer, ‘I feel like shit, how are you feeling?’”

    He laughed then, and it was like the grin, younger. I liked both; it made me see the little boy I’d known since he was in kindergarten. “I like that, I like that a lot, but Mama would have a fit.”

    “How many of them have asked, ‘How are you doing?’”

    “A lot,” he said, rolling his eyes.

    “Next time, say, ‘I got shot, how you doing?’ See what they say.”

    “Anita,” Mercedes said, “don’t teach him to be a smart-ass. He’s already bad enough.” But she was laughing.

    “I still get stupid questions about the scars,” I said.

    He gave me serious eyes as he said, “Micah said you got hurt bad once.”

    “More than once, but this is the one that the doctors thought would cripple me.”

    His eyes flinched, but I’d used the word deliberately. He gave me narrow eyes; it wasn’t entirely a friendly look, but it wasn’t unfriendly either, more a considering look, like I’d done something interesting.

    “Most people won’t say the word, they talk around it, but you just say it: cripple. I’m going to be a cripple.”

    “Bullshit,” I said.

    He gave me wide eyes, and almost smiled. “Why’d you say that?”

    “From what I hear, if you do your physical therapy you’ll be walking just fine, and if you add more weights and gym work you’ll be running, too.”

    His face darkened, eyes suddenly angry. “They won’t promise I’ll run again.”

    “But if you don’t do your PT, they guarantee you won’t run again, right?”

    He gave me the full force of those angry eyes, his mouth set in harsh lines. He looked bitter. It didn’t make him look older, really, but it did something unpleasant to him, as if his entire energy changed. I understood in that moment that this wasn’t just about Tomas’s body, or even his emotional recovery, but something more profound. Bitterness can spoil you for life. It eats away at all the good things and makes everything seem bad, if you let it.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire