By the time Raven got back to the truck, Mary was attending to the other man. “Dayken, hold still please. I just have to bandage your arm.”
So the man with Brody was Dayken. Her fiancé had spoken highly of the man often. They got on each other’s nerves, that much she knew, but he looked up to this man. He was also well known as one of the leaders within the New Haven Confederacy. If her brother had known who he was, he might not have let him live but hopefully she could convince him to keep him alive. If nothing else, they would have someone with them they could use against the NHC. She didn’t want that, but it might at least keep the man alive. The truck took off, and Raven nearly lost her balance. She sat down quickly next to Brody, listening to the small talk Dayken made with Mary while she worked.
“You do this often?”
She smiled at him, her long brown hair falling across her shoulder as she moved. “I was a nurse for about five years before the virus hit. I know what I’m doing.”
He smiled back. “You don’t look old enough to have been doing this awhile. You can’t be more than 16.”
She shook her head, the smile leaving her face. “I just turned 28.”
Dayken frowned. “28? That doesn’t seem right.”
“Good genetics, I guess. My mom looks younger than she is. Or at least she did.” Her voice trailed off and she looked away for a moment.
“I lost my parents too.” Dayken reached out his good arm to touch Mary’s arm gently, and Raven caught a glimpse between them she didn’t like. If anyone else got Mary to go with them, she stood no chance at her brother winning the woman’s heart.
“Mary, come check on Brody again.”
The nurse glanced up at her. “I’ll be there soon.”
“Now, please. I don’t think he’s well.” Mary was quiet, but Raven heard Dayken say he could finish on his own. She moved back over by Brody, sitting on the opposite side as Raven.
Checking his breathing and heart rate again, she turned to Raven. “He’s about the same.”
“That’s something I guess.” She lifted up her fiancé’s hand. He didn’t move at all, and his hand was cool. Her heart was racing as she thought about what her brother had said. She needed to talk to the other woman, but she dreaded it. It was awkward and she feared the answer that would be given. Still, Raven needed to know before they reached the compound. “Do you like my brother?” Mary stared at her, a look of shock across her face. “Answer me! Do you like my brother?”
The nurse seemed to stutter over her words as she spoke. “I….I…I barrelly”
“Just spit it out!” Raven didn’t like how she was acting, but she had to find out before they got back. It was her only chance at getting her brother to forgive her.
“I barely know him.” Mary looked down at Brody, avoiding eye contact with her.
It wasn’t a no. She had feared the nurse would say no, but that wasn’t her answer and it gave Raven hope. “Would you go out with him?” Mary kept her eyes down on Brody. She was quiet and it made her nervous. She drew in a deep breath. “Look, I know he’s not the easiest person to be around, but he cares about you. He’d do anything to make you happy. Would you give him a chance?”
Slowly, the nurse lifted her shoulders up and down and brought her eyes up to meet Raven’s. “All right. I guess it won’t hurt to try one date.” Raven blinked and tried to focus on the words she had said. The woman was actually wiling to give her brother a chance. She hadn’t expected that. “But…” Her heart raced as she waited for the nurse to keep going.
“But he has to ask me. It can’t come from you.”
Raven smiled. “I’m sure he will.” She leaned back against the truck and breathed a sigh of relief. Things were finally looking up. Somehow she knew her entire life was about to change.