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Brooklyn had to bite back a scream as Jenny finally released her elbow and pulled the syringe from her arm. Unsure what exactly was happening, Brooklyn was too relieved at waking to find Jenny waiting on her to say anything to Legion. She knew he’d tell Jenny any and everything that had to do with her illness. Still, lying on her bed, she watched Jenny frown and shake her head as she stared at the vial of Brooklyn’s blood. Brooklyn already knew that Jenny didn’t have any answers.
“You shouldn’t be in pain,” Jenny confessed. “I mean I know you’re sick and there’s a certain amount of body ache and fatigue that will accompany your illness, but…”
Brows spearing down, Brooklyn prodded, “But what?”
Planting her hands on her hips, Jenny sighed, “But this is mimicking mating symptoms. Symptoms you shouldn’t be experiencing because you haven’t been bound to Legion…yet.”
“Bound?” Brooklyn stalled a moment before rolling her eyes and heaving a weighty sigh. Focused on the ceiling she bit out, “Fucked you mean.”
Jenny was quick to admonish, “It’s not just sex, Brooklyn. It’s a significant event that marks you and Legion permanently.”
“Well, like I’ve already said a million times, I’m not doing it!”
“You don’t need to,” Jenny snapped uncharacteristically then took a moment to compose herself. Leaning down, she went eye to eye with Brooklyn. “It’s already begun, Lyn.”
Brooklyn shot up, resting her weight on her elbows as she stared at Jenny in shock. Shaking her head she demanded, “How? I haven’t…we haven’t…”
“I don’t know how,” Jenny cut in. “But it’s happening.”
“And if I don’t want it to? Then what?”
Brooklyn watched as Jenny’s face flushed red. The doctor curled her hands into fists and clenched her teeth so hard that the muscle in her jaw bulged. Clearly, Jenny was pissed, but too bad. Brooklyn was mad now too.
“You don’t want to save your own life? Is that it?”
Brooklyn felt attacked. Sitting up fully, she swung her legs off the bed. “Why can’t you all just let me die in peace?”
“Is that what you want?” Jenny snapped. “Because if so, you’re wasting my time. I’m in the business of saving life, Brooklyn, not helping end them!”
“I didn’t ask you to come here,” Brooklyn snarled. “Hell, I didn’t ask to be here! In fact,” her voice slowly rose. “I was kidnapped and brought here against my will.” Jamming a finger toward the door, she continued, “I’m still here against my will!”
“And what of Legion?” Jenny parried. “He’s just meant to die too simply because you don’t want to fight?”
“What?” Brooklyn was aghast. “No! Me… My illness has nothing to do with Legion.”
“It has everything to do with Legion,” Jenny growled. “Did you not hear what I just told you? It’s already started. The two of you are binding together in a way that not only makes you his but makes him yours! It means that if you die, he dies, Brooklyn. It’s how it works with all mated Walkers.
Brooklyn was shaking her head hard. “No! You’re wrong. We’re not… We’re not mated, Jenny!
As soon as Jenny exited Brooklyn’s room, Legion shoved off the wall he’d been leaning on and planted himself in front of her.
“She’s fine,” Jenny clipped out.
“Fine?” Legion frowned. “You mean aside from the dying part.”
“Yeah,” Jenny snarked. “Except for that.”
When she strode past Legion with her med kit, he followed. “I need more than that, Jenny. What in the hell is going on?”
“Mating symptoms are beginning to surface.”
Legion slammed to a halt. “How?” When Jenny kept walking, he hurried after her. “How can that be? We haven’t done anything!”
“Then I suggest you fix that!”
Annoyed at Jenny’s attitude, Legion rushed to plant himself in front of her, stopping her in her tracks. “What’s your problem?” he snapped.
“You’re wasting time,” she accused, planting her hands on her hips. “Time she doesn’t have, Legion!”
“And what am I supposed to do? Force myself on her?”
Jenny felt her cheeks flush at the memory of how her Walker had claimed her. She’d hid her affliction from Bishop. She’d lied and avoided him, even going so far as to create serum to help her resist the affliction. For six longs months she’d tortured them both, and in the end, he’d done just as Legion had suggested. Heat creeping up her neck, Jenny cleared her throat. “No,” she shook her head. “No forcing, just…” Just what? Honestly, what did she expect Legion to do? If Brooklyn didn’t want to be claimed what could be done? There was zero time for courting, zero time to allow them the necessary adjustment period. Face scrunched up in concentration, an idea struck.
“Is there any other way to make that happen?”
“Just one.” Reluctantly, Jenny lifted her eyes to his and offered, “Bloodletting.”
Brows spearing down, Legion asked, “Bloodletting?”
“An exchange of blood between the two of you.”
“Like a transfusion?”
“No, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. I mean it can be, but we can do it easier.”
Frustrated, Legion lifted both hands to fist his hair. “Throw me a fucking bone here, Jen! What is it exactly I need to do to save her?”
Stalling a moment, Jenny blinked rapidly as if lost in thought. “I don’t know if it’ll work fully because I’ve never seen it done, but rumor has it that Monroe’s parents mated through bloodletting.” Lifting her gaze, she locked eyes with him. “As you can imagine, they are off limits for any sort of testing or experimentation. But I’ve heard that it works. You and Brooklyn would be the first case at StoneCrow.”
“So how do I do it?”
“It’s laughably straightforward. You drink her blood and she drinks yours.”
Jenny shrugged, “I think so.”
Legion was pacing now as he muttered to himself, “You think!” then more loudly, “How much blood are we talking? Like a finger prick or…”
“That’s the part I’m unsure of.”
“Can you call Monroe?” Legion asked hopefully. “For the sake of Brooklyn’s life, he’d surely contact Elias…right?”
Shaking her head, Jenny’s brows speared down. “I don’t think Monroe and Elias have that type of relationship.”
“Well tough shit!” Legion raged. “He’s making that call!”
“I’ll ask him.”
“No! Don’t ask, Jen. Tell him we need this done!”
“Okay,” she nodded.
Turning to face the door to Jenny’s quarters. “And I’ll work on getting Brooklyn, who’s refused to let me tough her up to this point, to drink my blood and allow me to drink hers.” He huffed a humorless sound and turned a deflated gaze on Jenny. “Suggestions?”
Jenny scrunched her ears up to her shoulders and held up her hands while shaking her head with a quiet, “Ask nicely?”
“Ask nicely,” Legion repeated quietly and then said it again more firmly as he sucked in a breath and threw his shoulders back. “Ask nicely.”