[Sorry for the delay - with the holidays and then the pandemic, a lot of things just got crazy. I am pushing to finish the story this month, and then get it all edited! I hope you enjoy :) ]
Selendra woke up to a stiff feeling in her thigh. She inhaled sharply as she stretched out her leg. It was healing, but the movement felt like the skin was being pulled apart. It took all she had not to hold it in pain. Once she had collected herself, it became obvious it was just her and Vince in the room. The lights were dim, and he was fast asleep. Occasionally a nurse walked past, but it was silent otherwise. The moment of peace gave her a sense of safety, so she got up to stretch her legs.
It was then she noticed her pant leg was stuck to her skin. The shirt hadn't held the blood welll, and it had begun to leak through. Panic burst inside her. What was she going to do? Before any decision could be made, she heard footsteps heading toward the room. She quickly sat back down, reigniting the pain and causing her face to contort just as a nurse walked in.
"Are you all right?" She whispered.
Selendra forced a smile and nodded. It didn't fool the nurse who had noticed her leg, even in the dim light.
"Christ, you're bleeding!" She tried to keep her voice down, but Vince's rest didn't mean anything compared to Selendra's wound.
"I'm fine! It's from earlier-"
"You've been bleeding this whole time and didn't say anything? I need to look at that. If it gets infected-"
"No!" Selendra shot up and staggered closer to Vince's bed. He jumped awake and saw both women with panicked expressions.
"What's wrong?" He mumbled and slowly sat himself up.
"I-I'm fine. Please leave," she continued quietly as she tried to hide her leg from view.
"Her leg is bleeding," the nurse tattled.
"What?" Vince rubbed his eyes and looked at Selendra. She again tried to hide it, but he saw. His eyes widened and his face lost its color.
"See? I need to take a look. At least let me make sure it's not infected."
It took a minute for Vince to realize why Selendra was refusing help. Her blood was different, and she had avoided him for that reason when she had hurt her hand. His brain began to work on a solution despite the drugs in his system slowing him down.
"I'll take a look. Just tell me what I need to worry about."
Both women turned their heads to him so quickly it made him dizzy.
"Are you out of your mind? You have at least three different types of drugs in your system. You're in no condition to do anything!"
"She trusts me," he responded sternly.
The nurse clenched her jaw and looked at Selendra, whose eyes were locked on her but held an intensity she couldn't describe. After a minute of deliberating with herself, she gave in.
"Fine. But you will tell me if something is wrong. If I have to knock her out to do my job, I will," she threatened. A few minutes was all it took to gather the disinfectant swabs and other first aid items. She placed them at the foot of Vince's bed, unhooked him from the vitals machine and anything else he was stuck to.
"Thank you," Vince muttered and sat up.
"You've got thirty minutes." She left the room angrily.
Selendra watched as Vince slowly turned to sit on the edge of his bed. His hospital gown didn't look comfortable, but he didn't seem to care. Her eyes slowly moved to his leg. It was bandaged up. Neither could see the scales underneath. She wasn't even sure if he knew about it.
"Let's see your leg," he said gently.
She nodded and hesitantly pulled her pants down. It felt worse than it looked. Already the top of the wound was starting to heal, but the lower portion was what had continued to bleed. Dark blue was smudged all around it. Yet the skin was clearly still raw and pink from where she removed her scales.
Vince sat and stared at it. His face had gone dark.
"I can clean it up-"
"This happened because of me," he interrupted. "I'll do it."
"It's not your fault!"
"Yeah, it is," he grabbed some gauze and carefully wiped around the wound.
"I should have waited until we were done and rested. I shouldn't have left you alone," she choked.
"I wasn't payin' attention and got myself hurt," Vince sighed as he finished cleaning up around the wound. "It was a bad call."
Selendra swallowed back tears as he carefully applied the disinfectant. It wasn't just because of the pain, but the fear and guilt that had been building up inside her.
"You should be able to trust me," she muttered.
"Trust you? Of course I do! I know things have been a little weird, but that doesn't mean I don't trust you."
Vince carefully stood up and pressed his forehead against hers.
"You've never done anythin' to hurt me. You just saved my life. I don't even know-"
Something hit the door to the room and both went silent. It wasn't the nurse returning, just someone else who accidentally hit it.
"Let's finish this first then we'll talk," he breathed and began to wrap her leg with gauze. Once it was wrapped tight, he pulled the bloody shirt away. The fabric was a dark enough color not to cause suspicion, but he wasn't so sure the nurse wouldn't inspect it.
"I'll go rinse my clothes off," Selendra muttered. She took her pants off completely, took the shirt in one hand and made her way to the bathroom. Time wasnt on her side. The blood would have to be removed as quickly as possible.
The pants were easy to take care of. Cold water and a quick scrub with her hands took enough of it off. Her shirt wasnt so easy. She soaked it, and scrubbed as hard as she could. There was only a faded stain now, but it wasn't enough. The hand soap above the sink was added, and thankfully removed an amount that Selendra was happy with. She rested it on the sink, then used paper towels to dry up her pants a little before putting them back on.
Vince had lay down again with an arm over his eyes. He hadn't expected to feel as off as he did now, but it also was just the first night of proper recovery. When Selendra appeared back by his side he tried to sit up.
"No, no. You've done enough. You need to rest," she whispered.
The nurse knocked on the door before walking in.
"Everything fine?" Her eyes focused on Selendra's leg.
"Yes," they both replied.
"Nothing looked infected?"
Both shook their head no.
"Good," she relaxed with a smile. "I'll get rid of this then let you rest. In the morning the doctor will examine your leg. If everything goes well, you can go home tomorrow afternoon."
Selendra perked up at those words. It was almost over.
The nurse threw out any bloodied gauze left over, taking no notice of the darkened blue color. When she was done, she left without a word.
"Rest! The sooner you feel better the sooner we can go home," Selendra practically begged.
"I definitely miss our bed," Vince chuckled and tried to make himself comfortable.
"So do I," she kissed his forehead.
Morning came quickly, and with it the doctor. He was reserved, precise, but gentle. Vince looked better, his concussion was gone, and though he still needed rest, nothing needed monitoring anymore. All that was left was one last examination of his leg. With care he unwrapped it, and wrinkled his nose.
"Doesn't look worse," he stated with little confidence.
Selendra's heart beat rapidly as she peaked at it. The scales were losing their shine and color. The surrounding outer edges were beginning to merge with the skin. Already it looked as if they were melting away into his skin. She looked at Vince, who kept his eyes glued to the ceiling instead.
"I'll take your word for it," Vince muttered.
The doctor wrapped his leg back up, and left to prepare the discharge papers. Another nurse returned in his place. She gave the medication to Selendra, explained the home recovery procedures and when to take the medicine.
"You'll be able to leave as soon as your employer comes to pick you up. We called him about twenty minutes ago."
"Thank you," Selendra responded as gratefully as she could. The last person she wanted to see was the Captain.
"I'm probably gonna get yelled at," Vince groaned. "Think he'll take pity on me?"
"He better," she threatened before looking over the papers she was given.