Miles waved a healer over and smiled as the man began examining him. “It tried to kill me,” he said, gesturing at the monster.

“I can see that,” the healer replied. He applied a compress to Miles’s neck for a few moments and Miles sighed in relief as he felt the soothing energy flow through it. After a moment the healer stepped back and Miles turned to Hassett. “Are the others finished at the crime scene?” he asked.

“They appear to be,” Hassett replied as he gestured at the building.

Miles turned to see his brother dashing across the parking lot. “What did you do?” the older Ballard snapped.

“I sealed the construct,” Miles returned, in as calm a voice as he could manage. “I’m fine, Brother.”

“Fine?” Emery said, as his voice rose in both volume and pitch. He gestured at the compress that Miles was still holding. “This is fine? This is not fine. This is hurt. What happened?”

“I’m not hurt badly, Brother,” Miles assured him. “The mage activated his construct when I tried to seal it. I took care of it and then sealed it. I’m fine. Stop being a mother hen.”

“I’m not being a mother hen,” Emery retorted. “I’m being a big brother. It’s my responsibility to keep you safe.”

“Actually,” Hassett interrupted. He smiled as both brothers looked over at him and he continued, “it’s my responsibility to keep him safe. We were very lucky.” He glanced at Miles and added, “A little warning of just what could happen and just what to do if it did happen might have helped, Miles.”

Miles looked down, with a short nod. “Sorry, Warden Hassett. Sorry, Brother.”

Emery rolled his eyes and nodded. “I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that.”

Advertisements