She lifted her head and asked vaguely, “What?”
“Baby doll, your doctor will know what to do. Do you have his number?”
“In my phone, in my –”
She didn’t finish for Callum was out of bed and bounding down the stairs, literally. He planted a palm into the railing and leaped over the side coming to rest agilely on his feet on the landing. He did the same again from there and landed at the foot of the stairs.
He found her phone in her bag, the number in the phone and he rang it while he took the stairs, three at a time, going back up.
While Sonia, who’d thrown off the covers, looked to be fighting the battle of her life in the bed, Callum went through the rigmarole of phoning the on-call doctor who was not, regrettably, Sonia’s physician. This man took too long (in other words, more than ten seconds) to promise to contact Sonia’s doctor and they would be in touch urgently. The only positive thing that came from this was the fact that the on-call doctor seemed familiar with the lethal importance of Sonia’s illness and didn’t sound like he was fucking around.
Unable to touch her even to soothe her, Callum went to the bathroom and threw a towel in the tub, drenching it with cold water and not bothering to ring it out. He carried it to the bedroom and carefully threw it over her back.
“Yes,” she whimpered her relief, falling down to child’s pose under the large, wet towel, her arms stretched out in front of her.
Her phone rang and Callum snatched it from the receiver.
“Dr. Mortenson?” he clipped into the mouthpiece.
“You’re Sonia Arlington’s husband?” a man replied.
“Yes,” Callum ground out. “Is this Dr. Mortenson?”
“Yes, son. My colleague said she’s having a turn?”
A turn? He called this a fucking turn?
“She’s boiling to the touch and says she’s coming out of her skin.”
“Did she teach you how to administer an injection?”
“Yes,” Callum bit off curtly.
“Then give her an injection.”
“I did that five hours ago.”
“Do it again,” he replied calmly. “I’ll stay on the line.”
Callum wasted no time. When he returned to their bedroom, she’d thrown off the towel and was on all fours again, keening low as she battled the pain.
“It’s okay, baby doll, just hold tight for me,” he cooed and sunk the needle into the flesh of her buttock as swiftly as he could.
She cried out, arching her back, her neck, her hair flying over her shoulders. Then she shifted, rounding her back, her head falling between her arms, her moan going low, distinct, guttural and absolutely terrifying to hear.
He snatched the phone to his ear. Frustrated beyond anything he’d ever experienced at his impotence in the face of his mate’s agony, Callum clipped, “She’s worse.”
“I’m counting down, son, stay with me, one minute, thirty-five seconds,” and then he counted down in Callum’s ear, every five seconds, as Sonia dropped to the bed and started writhing.
“Doctor –” Callum’s voice was vibrating with fury.
“You can probably touch her now,” the doctor said quietly then went on. “Forty-five seconds…”
Callum dropped the phone and cautiously approached his mate who had stopped twisting. Reaching out slowly, he touched her skin which was clammy with sweat but no longer scalding to the touch.
He slid his fingers across her skin to touch her with his full hand and she didn’t cry out so he carefully gathered her into his arms and sat with her in the bed, his back to the headboard, Sonia cradled against him.
“I’m okay,” she whispered into his neck and at once his hand snaked out and snatched the phone.
“I’ll want to know why this happened,” Callum said into the phone.
“She’s better now?” Dr. Mortenson queried in response.
“I said, I’ll want to know why this happened,” Callum repeated.
Dr. Mortenson sighed. “Bodies are magnificent and terrible things, son. It could be Sonia’s built up a tolerance to the drug; she’s been using it for years. But there are changes in life and in your body all the time. She may be releasing more, or less, hormones. She may have suffered a shock that caused a physical response in her system which triggered a change in the efficacy of the drug. Even if she’s living under significantly higher amounts of stress and anxiety or depression, say the loss of a loved one, the body has physical manifestations to all of those and all of them will interact with the medication. I’ll want to do blood work and she’ll need two daily injections, morning and evening, until I’m happy with what I see.”