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  • Home > Laurell Kaye Hamilton > The Anita Blake Series > Wounded (Chapter 17)     
  • Wounded(Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #24.5)(17) by Laurell Kaye Hamilton
  • I pulled down the collar of my shirt enough to show the very edge of the collarbone scar.

    His eyes widened a little, some of the suspicion fading, but then he said, “I believe you have all the injuries, Anita. But Mercedes just wants you to tell me to be good and do my PT.”

    “She’s your sister, she’s supposed to want you to get better, right?”

    He frowned harder.

    “Would you like it better if Mercedes didn’t give a damn about you?”

    “No, of course not.”

    “Then, yeah, she wants me to talk to you about what I did to keep my arm.”

    His eyes widened just a touch, the sullen teenager slipping around the edges. “Papa didn’t tell me you almost lost your arm.”

    “They weren’t going to cut it off or anything, but the doc told me I could lose fifty to seventy-five percent mobility from the joint, which meant I’d basically be down an arm.”

    His eyes stayed big, face serious, not sullen as he stared at the scars. “What did you do?”

    “What the doctors told me to do, physical therapy, and hit the gym like it was my new church. I’d never lifted weights or worked out so hard in my life, because I was saving my arm. Screw skinny jeans, or looking good in a bikini. I wanted this.” I made a fist for him and flexed the muscles of my forearm, even the ones underneath the scars.

    “You have more muscles than any girl I know.” He was sincere, eyes still wide as he stared at all the scars on my arm. Then he grinned suddenly. “I bet you look great in a bikini, too.” His eyes swept up to my face briefly and then down to my breasts, which was a little disconcerting coming from someone I’d known since he was six years old.

    “Eyes up here,” I said, motioning with my other hand.

    He had the decency to blush.

    Mercedes said, “Anita!” like I’d done something bad.

    “If he’s old enough to look, he’s old enough to get called on it, and he’s old enough to start learning how to do it without being pervy about it.”

    “Anita’s right,” Micah said.

    Nathaniel nodded, and added, “You can look without being creepy, it just takes practice.”

    Tomas raised his hands in front of his face to hide the blush, or because he didn’t know what else to do. It was like a holdover gesture from when he was a much younger kid. He brought his hands down and his eyes were angry again, as he tried to rebuild the sullen too-cool-for-school attitude.

    “I’m sorry I stared.”

    I liked that he didn’t ignore it all, and even more that he apologized. “I appreciate the apology, Tomas.”

    He shrugged, the potentially pretty face not pretty at all as he let the attitude take over. Maybe I’d embarrassed him and maybe that wouldn’t make him want to listen to me, but screw it, he’d had it coming.

    “If you apologize for something, you don’t get to keep giving someone attitude about it after the apology,” Micah said.

    Tomas looked at him. I think it was supposed to be a hard look, but he was a suburban teenager who’d had his first violent experience less than a month ago; his hard look wasn’t that hard.

    Micah gave him calm eyes. “An apology means you’re sorry you did something; continuing to be a shit after the apology means you aren’t sorry.”

    “So which is it?” I said. “Are you sorry you stared, or was the apology just something to say because you thought you should?”

    Tomas looked from one to the other of us, then said, “You guys are weird.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire