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  • Home > Laurell Kaye Hamilton > The Anita Blake Series > Wounded (Chapter 19)     
  • Wounded(Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #24.5)(19) by Laurell Kaye Hamilton
  • “I’d love to, but my mother died when I was eight.”

    “Jesus, Anita, you have a worse story for everything.”

    “Tomas,” Mercedes said, as if warning him to be nice.

    “It’s okay,” I said. “I do have a bad story for almost any occasion.”

    “I didn’t mean it that way,” he said.

    “What way did you mean?” I asked.

    He sighed, frowned, and slumped in the wheelchair even more than he had been, as if he was suddenly tired. “I’ll do my PT.”

    “And hit the gym,” I said.

    He scowled at me. “You are pushy, do you know that?”

    “I do know that,” I said, smiling.

    “Tomas,” his sister said again, in that tone that older siblings and parents seem to have.

    “This isn’t Anita being pushy,” Micah said.

    “Not even close,” Nathaniel added.

    I glanced up at them. “Thanks a lot, loves of my life.”

    They smiled at me from the couch. “Argue with us if you can,” Micah said.

    I tried to frown at them but ended up smiling, too. “I can’t, so point taken, or made.”

    Tomas was watching us, like he was filing it away for later use. “So if I do PT and hit the gym, then what?”

    “Then you stop having to use a wheelchair ever and you get off crutches. You relearn how to walk, and then run.”

    “Doctors won’t promise me I’ll run as fast as I could before.”

    “I’ve told you, Tomas, the doctors can’t promise that, there are too many variables,” Mercedes said.

    “If you work hard you’ll be able to run and you won’t be on crutches, which is a pretty good thing, right?” I said.

    “Yeah,” he said, the sullen tone seeping back into his voice.

    “So that’s worth working for all on its own, right?”

    He frowned at me. “I guess so.”

    “But for all you know, if you hit the gym harder than ever, you may get faster, and I know you’ll get stronger.”

    “You think I could run faster than before.”

    “I don’t know, but I do know if you don’t do the work, you might end up on crutches for the rest of your life or in a chair like this forever.”

    He looked up at his sister. “Is that true, could I end up like this forever?”

    “If you don’t do the PT and gym, I don’t know, Tomas, and that’s the truth, but it could be as bad as Anita is saying. That is one possibility if you don’t work to help us help you.”

    “None of this help us to help you crap,” I said. “You’re thirteen, that’s old enough to help yourself, if you’re ever going to.”

    “What does that mean, ‘if I’m ever going to’?”

    “This is your moment of choice, Tomas. You can be a stand-up guy, and do your best to help yourself, or you can feel sorry for yourself, do nothing, and by the time Mercedes marries you can wheel yourself down the aisle. Maybe Manny can get you one of those sport wheelchairs.”

    “You’re going to scare him,” Mercedes said.

    “Good, he should be scared.” I leaned in so I could give him very direct eye contact. “You have a choice, Tomas; it’s your life. You can cripple yourself for the rest of your life, or you can fight to run again, but don’t blame it on the guy who shot you if you don’t do the PT and the gym workout, because if you don’t work to get better, then it’s all on you.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire