“Where is Travis?”
“Travis? Oh. The man who brought you home. He’s outside in the hallway with your folks.”
“Well, I’ll need to run some tests, but I think you may have a touch of what your grandmother had when she was your age.”
“What was that?”
“It’s a condition unique to our pack. I only know about it because I treated her in her later years and saw her records. Essentially, your human side attacks your wolf side in an attempt to overcome it. It causes a drop in your blood pressure, and you pass out.”
“Oh, my God! How often is that going to happen?”
“Relax. It sounds worse than it is. Your wolf side is stronger and will always win, but obviously, you can’t go passing out unexpectedly. I have a vaccine for it. It’s mostly antibodies that will combat the human cells, but it also will correct the condition permanently.”
“Well, that’s the good news. You’re not going to like the next part.”
“What?” she groaned.
“You’ll have to stop by my office to get a weekly shot ... for the next six months.”
“That’s crazy. Isn’t there another choice?”
“Not if you want this to go away.”
Kat looked up at the ceiling and made a clucking sound with her tongue.
“And if you miss a round of shots, we’ll have to start over. The treatment is cumulative.”
“There is some good news, though.”
“Can’t wait,” she sighed.
“As long as you stay on the treatments, you won’t have to worry about passing out again without warning.”
“That is good news. I’m pretty sure that portion of last night’s date will guarantee that I don’t get another.”
“You might be surprised,” he laughed. “How about we get your folks in here and tell them what is going on? Then, one of them can follow me back to the office with you to get your first shot.”
“We can’t just do that here?”
“I don’t carry the vaccine around with me, kiddo. It’s a rare thing that I find someone who still suffers from this particular ailment.”
The doctor opened the door for her parents, and they stepped in, looking tired and upset. She noted that Travis wasn’t with them, but assumed he was out in the hallway while the doctor discussed her medical affairs. Big Mike appeared in the door, and she waved him inside too. The doctor explained the situation and packed up his medical kit to leave.
“I’ll be right behind you,” her father told him.
“What about Travis? I need to talk to him for a moment before we go. He must feel so weird about all of this.”
“Your date went home,” Mike snapped.
“Oh,” she replied.
It was a bit hurtful that he hadn’t stayed to make sure she was okay, but she supposed it wasn’t his place, and there was no doubt he must have felt incredibly out of place with all of this going on. At least she didn’t have to see him right now, looking a mess. She had a feeling she needn’t bother to message him later either, which was disappointing. He had seemed nice, for an alpha.
“Come on, kiddo. Let’s get you down to the doctor’s office and get this shot so we can all go back to bed,” her father said.
“Okay, Dad. Thanks.”
“He seemed like a nice guy. A little old for you, though,” he told her as they drove down the highway.
“Yes, but I doubt if he’ll want to go out with me again after all this.”
“You might be surprised,” he told her as they pulled into the doctor’s driveway.
He had made it there ahead of them but met them at the door with his finger against his lips as he held the door open for them.
“Marjorie is still asleep. Just have a seat in the kitchen, and I’ll bring your shot out.”
“Okay, Doc. Thanks,” her father said.
A few minutes later, they were on their way back to their house, Kat rubbing her arm where the sting of the needle was still aching.
“Stop doing that. You’re only going to irritate it more,” her father said.
“It hurts, though.”
“And it’s going to hurt more if you keep rubbing it.”
Kat felt like a child, and she knew that he was holding back the lecture he really wanted to give her, the one about going out with strangers and drinking, the one about how dangerous it was to accept rides from relative strangers or telling them where she lives so early into the game. It would all be there, and she was in no mood for it.
To her surprise, he said nothing. Instead, he drove her back to the house in silence. She looked out the window to avoid any eye contact that might inspire a rant until they were pulling into their driveway and he spoke again.
“Do you want to go home, or would you rather spend the night at the house tonight?” he asked.