Kye:Rise of the Pride (Book 6)By: Theresa Hissong
Nine months after the protests began
“How are you feeling, Evie?” Harold asked. The healer pulled the stethoscope from around his neck and placed it in his ears. He held the little disk out in front of Evie, but made no move to press it to her chest. Her anxiety over seeing him had eased over the past few years. Things had changed for Evie, but they weren’t perfect.
“I’m fine,” she sighed, nodding for him to go ahead and listen to her heart. “Are we going to check the damage again today?”
“Let me just give you a once-over, then we will talk,” he replied, his voice soft.
It’d been almost three years since she had been abducted. Every few months, she’d come to see Harold, the pride’s doctor, in secret. Besides her mother, he was the only one who knew everything about her time with the wolves. Thankfully, he upheld his strict policy about patient confidentiality.
“Take a deep breath,” he ordered, pressing the disk to her back. She inhaled and exhaled as instructed, knowing he wouldn’t find anything wrong with her.
She wasn’t sick… No, what she had couldn’t be cured.
“Let’s get you over to the ultrasound room,” he said, smiling tenderly. “I’ll take another look.”
“Thank you,” she replied, slipping off the exam table and following him into the other room. She knew this drill well and hopped up on the bed to begin rolling her shorts down so he could place the warm gel on her skin.
“Have you still been shifting several times a week?” he asked, clicking several buttons on the machine.
“Every chance I get,” she confirmed.
“What about your back pain?” he continued as he finished preparing the machine.
“It doesn’t bother me anymore since I started training.”
“Have your cycles returned yet?” he asked, placing a hand on her wrist. When she looked up, she saw concern in the healer’s eyes. He was an older male, his head and face clean shaven. His eyes were soft and caring, just as a healer’s should be.
“No,” she frowned. “Does this mean I won’t be able to have cubs, doc?”
“Your body has been through a trauma, Evie. There was a lot of damage done.”
“I appreciate your bedside manner, Harold,” she began, pausing to take a deep breath, “but you are just placating me. I know that I’ll more than likely be infertile for the rest of my days. Tell me the truth. I can handle it now.”
“Evie,” he sighed, pulling a rolling stool over toward the bed. He sat down and placed his elbows on his knees and steepled his fingers in front of his face. “As far as I can tell without opening you up for surgery, your reproductive system is intact, but the lack of your cycle concerns me.”
“How?” she pressed.
“You have two months before you are matured,” he replied, motioning for her to lay back so he could begin the exam. “When you finally become an adult female, I’m not entirely certain you will ever be fertile. Things could change for you and prove me wrong. We just have to wait and see. I want you to come for a check-up a few weeks after your birthday.”
“I see,” she said, looking up at the ceiling. A tear escaped and trickled down the side of her face. “Thank you.”
“Would you like to stay and have a cup of coffee with me?” Harold asked, taking a moment to look over his shoulder at her as he worked on shutting down the machine.
“I need to get back to the house,” she lied. “Mother is waiting on me.”
“I’ll walk with you,” he offered, but Evie held up her hand.
“I have my gun,” she informed him as she slipped on the special gloves Ranger had found for the women who were now trained to help protect the pride. Calla was still in training alongside her, but Talon had given permission for Hope and Evie to take care of security around his home when he or the Guardians were away.
“Be safe,” he said, standing up from his chair. “I’ll see you after your birthday.”
“Thanks, doc,” she replied, pulling the door open to leave the healer’s office…knowing she had no reason to return.