So yesterday was a GOOD day. I was within my calorie range and I did 60 mins on the treadmill.
Today will be stretchy in the eating dept. We're doing a Koi rescue this evening. A guy hubby works with died and his koi need a new home. So we're taking them.
OK..here is Santa Baby chapter 14. Enjoy!
Chris brought his snowmobile to a stop next to Olson’s machine. Climbing off, he walked to where the big man waited for him. They were just outside the door to the main NPI building that was the largest building in the NPI complex. It housed not only the medical unit but most of the other functions that ran NPI on a daily basis. More like a fully staffed small hospital, the Med Unit where the poisoned shifters were undergoing treatment. As they walked into the lobby, both men removed their gloves, hoods and facemasks stuffing them into various pockets. They nodded at the security guard that was sitting behind a large counter before turning left to stride down a long corridor.
“Doctor Rowan requested we meet her in the ICU.” Olson had taken the lead, always vigilant and ready for anything.
“Fine, let’s hope she has some answers.” His response sounded clipped. Chris unzipped his parka just as a door about half down the hall opened. A tall, curvy woman in a white lab coat stepped out of the door, walking toward them. Her long red hair, pulled back into a tight ponytail, swung across her back. The end of it peeking around each side of her body as she walked. Both men stopped as she approached, clipboard in hand. She stopped in front of them, glaring at Olson. He glared right back at her, his lips almost curling up in a snarl.
Chris frowned, looking between the two. What the h*ll is that about? A part of his brain asked. He cleared his throat, focusing his gaze back on the Doctor.
“Yes,” she broke off glaring at Olson; she smiled as she looked at Chris. She held out her hand, “I’m Holly Rowan. I don’t think we’ve met, Mr. Kringle.” Chris reached out and shook her extended hand.
"Dr. Rowan," Chris nodded his head in greeting. "What can you tell me about my team? How bad is it?" He asked frowning.
"If you'll follow me, I'll fill you in as we walk." She turned and started back the way she had come. Chris fell into step next to her with a scowling Olson following behind them.
"My team, Doctor?" Chris prompted.
"We haven't isolated what poison your team has been exposed to yet, Mr. Kringle, although we suspect it was some form of silver," she slanted a frown up at him. "Our focus has been on stabilizing the most critical among them." Chris grimaced; silver was one thing that could sicken or even kill a shifter.
"How many are critical?"
"Two are in the ICU. They were the only two who weren’t able to shift. The other four shifted at once. We're watching all of them closely." Shifters not only healed faster in their animal forms, but they could process toxins faster.
"They couldn't shift?" Chris asked, surprised. Shifting should only take a few seconds in adult shifters. "Where were they found?"
"They were all in the Stable." Olson supplied the answer. The Stable was the staging area for all of NPI's Christmas week operations. It had its own OPs center, sleeping quarters, and a large stable for the shifters."Dash and Randy were in the Ops center. The others had just started to arrive." Chris nodded at him his face grim. Turning, he gestured for the doctor to continue.
"The two in ICU," she looked down to her clipboard. "Silas Dancer and Myles Prancer ‘s exposure was longer than the others. They were in human form when found. They will heal, it will just take longer. The other four, Lucas Dasher, Victoria Vixen, Adam Blitzen, and Rudy Rudolph were able to shift before collapsing. They are resting comfortable in the Stables." She stopped in front of the wide door to the ICU. She turned to look up at Chris. "I need to warn you. Both men are still unconscious, but they are breathing on their own." She pushed the door open and stepped aside allowing the men behind her to step into the room. The only sound in the room was the soft in and out breathing of the two figures in the side by side beds. Chris stopped in the middle of the room, his face stricken.
"They'll recover?" His voice was rough and low. Chris walked to stand between the two beds, his head bowed, waiting for her answer.
"They should-" the door swinging open behind them interrupted her. Spinning, Olson stepped between Chris and the Doctor, bring his rifle up to point at the intruder. Standing in the doorway was a young man dressed in green scrubs. A tiny red dot centered in the middle of his chest.
"Whoa, dude!" the man raised both of his hands, his eyes becoming as large as saucers. In one he held a sheaf of papers. "I come in peace!" A growl sounded from the good doctor.
"Da*mit Commander Olson," She stalked toward the big man her voice taut, "drop the macho GI Joe sh*t." She wrapped her hand around the barrel of his rifle, looking into his eyes. "We don't need you going off and shooting the staff." Olson's only repose was a deep rumble in the back of his throat. His gaze never strayed from the young lab tech standing in the doorway. Holly gave an exasperated sigh. "Sig, it’s alright. He's from the lab and isn't a threat." She said quietly, calling him by his first name. After what seemed like minutes but was in fact only a few seconds she felt some of the tension drain out of the large man. Breaking eye contact with the tech, he looked down to where Holly's hand was still gripping his rifle. He spoke without looking at her.
"Never touch a weapon like that again," he quietly cautioned. "It could get you hurt." She inhaled sharply and released her hold on the gun barrel. Olson brought the barrel of the rifle up once again cradling it in his arms. He looked down at her, "Do you understand me, Holly?" He added. Stepping back, she simply nodded. Turning to look at the lab tech she saw his hands still over his head.
"Put your hands down Tommy." She gestured at the papers in his hand. "Are those the lab results I've been waiting for?
“Yeah,” Tommy replied, his voice trembling a bit. “They rushed them for you Doc.” He slowly held out the papers in his one hand and dropped the other to his side, never taking his eyes off Olson or his rifle.
“Thank You, Tommy, you can go now.” Dr. Rowan dismissed Tommy without looking at him, her attention on the lab results in her hand. Tommy wasted no time in backing out of the room, making sure the door closed behind him with a soft click. She gave a small nod before looking up at Chris and Olson.
“It’s what we thought, Mr. Kringle,” She tapped the papers in her hand with one long, elegant finger. “Silver poisoning. From lab results and the lung x-rays of all the victims’, they inhaled it.”
“Inhaled?” Chris repeated. “How would…the air vents!” His eyes narrowed. “The a*shole must have used the air vents to distribute the silver.” He looked at Olson. “We need to check every air vent in the Stable. Find out which one he used.” Olson nodded, reaching for his phone. “And Olson?” the man paused, looking up, “Have every vent checked for tampering campus wide.”
“Will do, sir.”
“Doctor, how long will my team be out of commission?” Chris was back to focusing on his people.
“The two here,” she waved toward the two men in the beds, “will have to stay until they wake up, and the silver is no longer a threat to them. The other four should be able to be released after they purge the toxin from their bodies and can shift back to human form.”
“Alright, Doctor, please keep me posted.” He scrubbed his hands over his face. “And thank you for taking-“ The ringing of his phone interrupted him. “Excuse me a minute.” Pulling it from where it hung from on his belt he unlocked it with a swipe of his finger. Seeing Kandy’s name he answered it.
“Kandy? I was just talking to…” he paused, “wait a second…hang on…slow down. I don’t understand…gone? What the hell do you mean Jamie’s gone?” Olson looked at him, pausing in his conversation. “Don’t go inside. Go back to your place and stay there. I’m on my way now.” He listened to be sure she understood his instructions. Ending the call, he looked at Olson, who was ending his call.
“We have to get back to Jamie’s. She’s missing!” He rushed out of the ICU, Olson hot on his heels. What the f*ck, he thought, first the Lists, then my Team is attacked, now Jamie is- Shaking his head, he didn’t finish that thought. It was just too hard to think that anything could have happened to the one woman meant to be his.