“I have nothing to apologize for,” I seethed, holding my hands in a death grip against my ribs.

“Nothing to-” Royce stopped pacing at the end of the hospital bed, “do you freaking hear yourself, Jay? That bastard almost tore your freaking heart out with his bare hands… you could have died!”

“And I didn’t!” I shouted back, recoiling from the sharp pain stabbing in my chest from the outburst. Lowering my voice, I made sure our eyes met before continuing. “I didn’t die, Royce… I’m fine.”

His heavy breath escaped his nosed like steam escaping a boiling pot. His hand tugging through his slicked back hair before moving down to rub his neck. I knew he hated that I didn’t wait. I knew he blamed himself for what happened. The fact was, I knew if I hadn’t gone alone he would have been the one in this hospital bed or worse laying butt naked on a steel slab in the morgue.

Humans were always so sensitive. Their personal relationships, even those small ones forced upon them from work, made it hard to keep everything in perspective. The Jinn was hurt, meaning it was likely in hiding licking its wounds. That gave me time to recover and Royce time to get his shit in gear before more bodies started turning up.

“Can you at least acknowledge the fact you screwed up? That you shouldn’ve done that take down on your own,” Royce breathed, gripping the plastic foot-board of my bed. He glared at me, trying to read me.

Idiot. My fault.

“I was an idiot – I’m sorry – k?” I started, noticing him smirk. “Blaming yourself isn’t gonna bring that psycho in.”

“Neither is you being in recovery,” he straightened up crossing his arms.

“I’ll be out soon…”

At least that’s what I hoped. As much as I shared a similar body design with these humans didn’t mean it took me as long to heal. I’d be healed within the week but they would insist on me staying off the job for at least another two to recover. Humans were squishy meat suits – not as resilient as my kind.

“In the mean time what should I be looking for?” Royce asked.

Sliding myself to sit higher up in bed, I gave a groan when my body ached. My ribs were hurting the most, but that Jinn’s venom was still coursing through my veins. Everything felt stiff.

“Hospitals… vet clinics… drug stores,” I shrugged. “Wherever you think someone with a bullet hole would go to get patched up.”

It was unlikely that thing would go anywhere. Like me, the beast was healing up fine on its own. Royce didn’t need to know that. The police didn’t need to think about it. The Jinn was down for the time and that meant it gave everyone a well deserved rest.

“All right, I’ll look into it,” Royce headed for the door. He stopped for a moment just as he reached for the handle. He turned back to look at me, opening his mouth before he stopped himself.

Sorry. Worried for her. Please, get better.

“I’ll keep an eye on the cat,” he muttered, opening the door and hurrying back out into the bustling hall.

The sound of footsteps and shouts echoed through the white washed walls. The smell of bleach and floral arrangements filled my nose. I didn’t want to be here but I had to stay put. I was playing a role and not all parts were going to be glamorous.

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OTHER MOMENTS WITH JAY & ROYCE:

Tranquillity                                           I Wish