Soooo If you have not done so, read the start of this story.... or not. Whatever floats your boat. If you are here because you're following me, YAY! You're the best.
Anyway, here we go again. I love Clay and Brice so much. their special gifts are fun, and I think this might be my favorite Ice Era Chronicle! (Don't tell my first book, it would hurt its feelings.)
Thanks again for reading!!!
M. From C.M. Moore
"Would you like to tell me about the nightmares, Mister Wicks?" Doctor Gears didn't look at Clay as he asked the question. Instead, the physician flipped through Clay's medical file. The doc's wife, Luna, sat next to a computer in the lab. When Clay's eyes skidded to her, she offered a polite smile.
"It's boring stuff from when The Originals kept me in that hut. It's no biggie." Clay lied. The nightmares had come to a point where Clay never slept unless exhausted. But he didn't want to discuss the images of the shanty or the man who'd kept him warm. Even now, after all this time, Clay could still see the grader's face as if it was burned into his memory. They plucked the stranger from Clay's hands, and through the doorway, Clay impotently watched as they shot the other man and tossed the body into the mass grave. At this point, Clay wasn't even sure he could say the words out loud.
"But you want something for sleep?" Gears looked up from the papers.
"I need something to get me through the H.S.P.C. Basic Agent Training Course." Clay rubbed his temples. The lack of sleep had given him a slight headache that never seemed to lighten.
"I have a drug that might help." Gears walked to a mirrored cabinet above a counter on the far wall. He unlocked the handle and then handed Claymore a small bottle. "I'll be honest with you, Claymore, I don't think you should be here. I told Rea that."
"Claymore will do well," Luna piped up. "Don't worry."
"I hope so." Gears headed to the exit. "I'm going to talk to the head instructor, your trainers, and the men on CQ duty. If you need to, you can stop here for refills or any problems with your medication. During training, you have permission to come to the medical wing and sleep. I don't think it'll be easy for you to rest with all the other recruits."
"Too much snoring." Luna slipped off the desk and smiled at him.
"I'll get a form that you can carry in case anyone challenges your sleeping arrangement. As you know, B.A. trainers are sticklers for the rules." Gears pushed up his round glasses and reached the door handle. "I'll be right back."
As soon as Gears left the room, Luna moved closer to Clay. She stood next to the exam table as she studied his face.
"You have a lot of scars," she murmured. "You don't look like a fresh-faced youth going through agent training."
"My scars are the least of my problems," Clay muttered as he slipped off the table. He winced when his ankle made that familiar twinge. "I just want to sleep."
"You're hurt somewhere?" Luna eyed him. "Rumi says 'The wound is the place where the Light enters you.'"
"It's an old injury that never healed right." Clay shoved the pill bottle in his pocket as he wondered who the hell Rumi was. "It's just my ankle." He didn't add that The Originals broke it. According to some, Luna was a special one to be here at headquarters. The gossip said that she kept Gears' heart beating. Her healing gift was why she was allowed at HQ. Allegedly, she was still with The Originals. Clay wasn't sure how much of that was truth or fabrication.
"I can help." Luna patted the table for him to sit once more.
Clay sat, but he had no idea what she wanted to do. The doctor on his home water base said they could try to rebreak his ankle and reset the bones properly, but not only did Clay not want all that pain again, but he also didn't have time to go through the healing process. He had to be at formation in the training room and ready to go through the Basic Agent Skills Course. He couldn't sit around while his ankle healed up a second time.
"Why don't you relax?" Luna smiled at him. "Rumi says... 'Let the water settle, and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.'" The look in her eye was so sweet and earnest that Clay surprised himself. He did as she asked. As soon as he reclined on the table, Luna set her hand on his arm.
The stab of shooting agony had him swearing and clenching his jaw. The sensation was as though someone took a hammer to his ankle and then lit the muscles on fire. Clay reacted like Luna was a threat. He slapped his hand on her neck. He pushed out his gift, flooding her with dopamine and whatever fond memory she loved the best. Normally in an opponent, his added ability caused the feeling of happiness so strong that they were struck dumb and a little dizzy. That gave him time to fight or escape.
To his shock, the action didn't get Luna to let go of him. She didn't collapse to the floor with a smile on her face. Her lips produced a cute grin, but she held his forearm.
"That's a pleasant gift. Gears looked handsome that autumn day." She shrugged.
Clay's pain transformed into intense heat that kept multiplying and shooting up his leg. When he tried to rise, he found that he couldn't. That heat continued to zip through his system. Steaks of blood from his fingertips now marked Luna's skin.
"No." Clay shoved the word past his lips.
"Luna, my match, we talked about this." The door opened, and Gears appeared. The physician's lips puckered in displeasure as he entered the room. He scanned the blood on his wife and then shook his head. "I know you want to heal people, but you should ask first. Be specific. Get consent."
"I was told that dear Claymore Wicks got injured by The Originals. I'm righting wrongs." Luna's free hand flipped her milky white blonde hair over her shoulder.
"You can't fix all the wrongs and the injustices, my love." Gears tugged on Luna's arm. Finally, she lifted her hand from Clay's skin. "The world is bigger than the two of us. We can only do what we can." Gears dampened a towel and began to remove the blood from his wife's neck.
Clay rolled off the exam table. Fuck this. He would run from the room. As he hopped to the floor, he realized something was different. He jumped up and down. His ankle was like new, not even an ache.
"What did you do?"
"I rebroke your ankle and mended it the correct way." Luna took the cloth from Gears. "I can't close the cuts on your fingers because it's a side effect of your natural gift. You have to find your Conpar, find your match, for healing your fingers." She began to wipe off the blood on his hands. "However, I did take away a few scars on your face. Now, you'll look like everyone else. Training will be fun."
Clay caught sight of his reflection in the mirrored cabinet above the counter. After tugging his hands from Luna's ministrations, he walked to his image. Phenomenal. His smooth skin didn't have a mark, and even his poorly healed crooked nose was straight again. Curious, Clay unbuttoned his shirt and spread the fabric. The scars on his chest were still there. His face might look younger, but the rest of him showed the last twenty-six years and the wounds he'd suffered in his past.
"Did you want me to remove those scars too?" Luna asked. "See?" She turned to Gears. "I was specific. I can get consent."
"Thank you, my match. And to be clear, a Rumi quote doesn't count as asking." Gears pulled out his liquid bandages and walked to Clay. He dabbed the white cream on each of Clay's bleeding fingers.
"No. I'll keep the other scars." Clay grinned. "This is incredible. Thanks."
"My pleasure. Rumi says, 'Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of our life.'"
"And if you need a night of solitude." Gears handed Clay an envelope. "Come here to this floor and rest. I'll make sure that's an option for you."
"I'll remember that." Clay headed to the exit.