Anja held the gauze pad over her chest wound so Dante could tape it. She waited in his eyes for an elaboration.
“Innocent and harmless,” he said as he taped the gauze in place.
“Hurt by someone meant to protect you.”
Anja shifted sideways, pulling her hair around her shoulder so he could tape gauze to the bite on her shoulder blade.
“You suffered their pain.” Dante ripped an antiseptic wipe open and began wiping the blood from her chest. “But you know what the difference is?”
“I had a fighting chance?”
“You survived.” Dante closed the first aid kit and dropped it back into the trunk slot. “You liberated their enemy. Now liberate yours.”
Dante offered her his hand. Anja smiled and took it, sliding off the trunk and falling into his arms, laughing when her legs failed her.
Dante laughed and held her up. “After you recuperate, you know.”
“Maybe a nap and some dinner first?”
Dante opened the passenger door and Anja climbed in.
“I’mna put the lock back on the door. Hang tight, okay?” Dante closed her door.
Anja watched Dante through the window, and suddenly felt very alone without him. Secluded and vulnerable and afraid. Like she walked down the wrong alley and stumbled on trouble.
Must be an echo of the fight, she thought. Remnants of Twelve Horn’s hatred attached to her through the bite marks. Making her feel suffocated in the completely sealed car. Overemphasizing her distance from Dante.
Anja gasped so hard her chest tightened and her back went ramrod straight.
“Miss me?” a voice growled from the backseat.