Derrick was waiting for me when I got to work. He did not look very happy, and that shocked me for some reason.
“Office, now.” He pointed at the door like I was a child getting sent to my room.
“Derrick, I-” he just snapped his fingers and pointed at the chair.
Once he was sitting in his chair, that’s when he exploded; “Do you have any idea what he could have done to you?! Why didn’t you call me?! If Brandon had not hit him correctly the first time, do you know where your boyfriend would be right now? He sure as hell wouldn’t be here I’ll tell you that.”
He sat back and took a deep breath, “I really am glad that you’re okay, I was really worried about you.
“Mr. Parker is in jail now followed by special treatment, so you’re safe. I guess I can stop treating you like my child and start treating you as my employee. As such, I think it is now a good time for you to start working with some of our special burn patients. Piper will show you to that wing of the hospital now; you may go.”
I didn’t know what to say, I was shocked by his worry and his anger. Was this how a normal boss would react to these kinds of situations? Did he fuss over Piper and the others like this?
I stepped out to find Piper standing there waiting for me. My mouth moved before I knew what was going on, “Is it just me, or does he worry like that about everyone?”
“No, it’s not just you, but his worry list is kind of short these days.” She walked down the hall and spoke over her shoulder,
“You are a dying breed in this town. Not near as many naive and innocent people left anymore. Not that there is a problem with it by any means, but Derrick just wants to keep you innocent for as long as he can. It’s his way of keeping the peace in the town.”
“So, he lets a madman run free, instead of locked up in a padded cell, all for peace?” I was jogging to keep up with her fast pace.
“He tried to give Kraig a chance at a new life and he blew it. Derrick does way more than you know he does, just to help all kinds of people with their problems, whether or not they thank him for his efforts.” She glanced over her shoulder at me pointedly.
“Okay I see your point; I’m taking your crush for granted.” My comment hit home, Piper turned away from me, but not before I caught a glimpse of her cheeks turning scarlet.
“By the way, Kelly wanted to see you today.” Piper hurried away before I could further tease her.
I was grinning in triumph as I made my way to Kelly’s room. As soon as I stepped in, Kelly jumped off her bed and made a quick pose. At first, I was a little frightened by her movement, and then I was stunned. Kelly was no longer that child I came to visit any chance I got; now she was a beautiful young woman, even with her scars.
“Oh-my-god, Kelly, why didn’t you tell me it was this close to your birthday? I would have gotten you a cake or something. Look at you, you’re stunning.” I rushed to her and hugged her in my excitement.
“I didn’t want people to fuss over me; so only Piper and Derrick knew. They cheated; looking at my file to find out… it wasn’t fair. Piper got me these new robes, and Derrick got me a cupcake. Oh, Oh, Oh, and the reason I wanted to see you today was because today is my last day here. I got me an apartment, furnished too.” She was still hyper, but that was one of the reasons I liked Kelly.
“Wow, I am so happy for you. You have to give me the address so I can visit. Oh and here is my number, call me anytime.” Kelly started pointing behind me with a giggle, “Piper is waiting for me isn’t she?” Kelly crossed her arms, frowned, and tapped her foot tauntingly. “Okay, I’m coming. Kelly, you’re going to get me in trouble one of these days.” I socked the laughing Kelly in her shoulder and left the room with a slightly moody Piper.
I did my normal rounds with Piper, and then we made our way to the special burn victim wing. It was really dark and colder than normal.
I was about to ask why, when Piper lifted her hand and pointed at a door. Not really knowing what to do I opened it, looked at her and walked in.
There were only two lights to light up the few beds and medicines lining the two shelves. Two people were in the room, a man and a woman, both had glowing eyes. The man was a little goofy for someone that was need of treatment, whereas the woman was a little grumpy, not that I could blame her.
Piper went to the man and grabbed a bottle of the burn ointment and began to apply it to his hands, face, and neck. I noticed it was his exposed skin, as well as the woman’s that had been burnt.
When Piper handed me the bottle I did as she had done. However, the woman seemed to be very tender, and very grouchy. As soon as I began to rub in the ointment she began to snarl at me like an animal, Piper rushed over, pushed me away and applied it herself.
“I barely-” I stopped myself from complaining when I heard the man chuckle.
“Miss, try not to worry about it too much, Amanda is just angry with herself for getting her burns in the first place.” I looked over to see him smiling at me sweetly.
“Shut-up Quintin, she’s new and I’d like to not worry about it right now.” The woman grumbled across the room.
“Well don’t worry too much; Winter is going to be my replacement. She had a run in with Kraig, and as a result, Derrick thinks she should know the dangers. I thought -seeing as you’re here- now would be a good time, and you two would be the best at… settling her in.” Piper was wiping her hands off on a towel looking rather hopeful.
“Fine, whatever… I guess I have no choice seeing as she’s going to be doctoring me anyhow.” Amanda stood up in a dismissive manner.
“I would love to help. And Piper, thanks for the added bonus of this one being cute.”
“Quintin, stop flirting. You know she belongs to that air breather Brandon Silvermen.” Amanda’s shrill voice cut Quintin’s off quickly.
I watched as Quintin slid off his bed and start walking to another room looking rather depressed.
Piper followed them into the other room with me trailing behind.
The air rushed out of my lungs at the sight of stone slabs lining the room, and Amanda crawling onto one of them. Quintin looked at me and smiled as he did the same as Amanda.
“Don’t worry Miss Winter, not all of us are as crazy as Kraig was. We can be good people; do not forget that as Piper tells you everything.” He relaxed onto the slab, as did Amanda, and both of them wished us a good day before floating above the stone.
I took hold of Piper’s arm as she started walking out of the room, and back towards the main part of the hospital. The fear in me refused to let free of Piper’s arm even once we got to Derrick’s office.
“Well, I see you had an eventful time with the special patients. I bet you have questions for me to answer.” Derrick was sitting at his desk with a calmness about him that sent me into panic mode.
“What were they? Did they really just float? What is it that makes their eyes glow? Why is it that yours glow sometimes too? Are you just like them? Am I going crazy? What is this job going to do to me if I take it? Is Piper one of them?”
Piper took hold of my shoulder and moved me to sit in the chair. “No Winter, I am not a vampire, Derrick is not one either; however we are not normal either.”
Derrick sank comfortably into his chair, “Those two and Kraig, along with quite a few others are vampires. Piper here is a white witch, yes, there are dark witches too. The reason my eyes glow periodically is because I am a werewolf. You do sometimes push my limits, miss Winter.” He smiled at me although at the moment it did nothing to calm me.
Piper stepped over to Derrick’s end of the desk as she spoke, “I need a replacement because I will be working with the zombified residents… the previous doctor retired, don’t worry.”
“Your job will be to learn about the vampires’ health regeneration rate, and find out what medications work best on them. Quintin and Amanda are great people to work with; more so said about Quintin than Amanda, but I’m sure you learned that already.” Derrick pulled a file out of his desk and looked at it a moment.
Piper smiled at me softly, “Now keep in mind Winter, you do not have to do this; but given that the most common patients we get in this city are supernatural beings we need doctors that can work with these conditions.”
“Piper is correct, I could just place you on human only duty, but it’s fewer hours, and you wouldn’t get anywhere that way. I see you as a person that is willing to help anyone in need; will it count our supernatural patients too?” Derrick held out the file for me to accept or decline.