Justice Page 37

The Medical Center was located near the front gates. It was a single-story building with a glass front. It looked deserted as Midnight parked the Jeep at the curb. No one was on the street either. Jessie climbed out.

’’This is where I leave.’’ Midnight gave her a nod. ’’Enjoy your work, whatever it may be.’’

’’Thank you.’’ Jessie hesitated. ’’How do I get home later?’’

Midnight shrugged. ’’I don\ know. No one told me to pick you up.’’ She waved goodbye and drove off.

Jessie shoved her hands inside her back jeans pockets and watched Midnight disappear in the Jeep around a corner. She sighed. So far, this had to be one of her weirdest days. She turned, studying the Medical Center and pushed open the glass doors.

Inside were chairs against the window, one long counter and in the back behind the counter were a few exam tables. They were in the open for anyone to see. Jessie\s eyebrows rose. She glanced around the room but didn\ see anyone. She spotted doors and a few hallways on the other side of the long counter.

’’Hello!’’ Jessie didn\ exactly yell but she knew someone had to have heard her.

’’Coming,’’ a man shouted from the hallway. He came down it and peered at her.

’’You must be Miss Dupree. I\m Paul, the nurse here. Doctor Ted Treadmont is in the back with Beauty. We\ e so glad that you\ e here. We\ve hated keeping her out but she was really traumatized by last night. We want to wake her up and let her see you. We think it might calm her to see you at her side. When she woke up this morning after the drugs wore off, she wouldn\ stop screaming. We had to put her right back out.’’

Jessie walked around the counter. ’’I\ll do what I can.’’

’’Thank you. We were relieved to hear you were coming. Trisha, uh, Doctor Norbit, is on vacation and unable to come back to help out. We thought a female would help.

We considered bringing other New Species in to sit with her but we didn\ want to shock her more. Most of them were too young to remember much and when they see their own kind they have freaked out. Some of them don\ know they look different from us. They\ve only seen humans, so seeing a Species scares the shit out of them.’’

Jessie blinked. ’’I never thought of that. I\ve yet to find a woman who had a mirror in whatever prison she\d been confined in.’’

’’Yeah. It\s a learning process. I\ll be glad when Trisha comes back. They\ve needed her at Reservation for some months now.’’

Paul led her down a hall. The last bed in the corner was Beauty\s. Jessie studied the older man with white hair who sat on a chair with a laptop on his lap. He wore glasses and smiled at Jessie.

’’You must be Miss Dupree. Thank you so much for coming. I was informed of what happened last night.’’ His smile died. ’’Are you dizzy? Experiencing nausea?

Headaches?’’

’’I\m good.’’ Her focus slid to Beauty.

Jessie noticed they\d bathed the frail female. Her hair was now a beautiful, shiny brown. It hung long, flowing down over her shoulders and she looked peaceful in her sleep. The bedding this time was clean and she wore a pretty flower-print nightgown.

Jessie winced over the material. It was pretty in the ’’I\m eighty years old and it\s cool to want to resemble a florist shop’’ kind of pretty but the last thing Beauty needed to worry about was having fashion sense.

Jessie stepped forward. ’’I thought the bruising would be worse.’’

’’Most of it was dirt.’’ Paul shook his head. ’’I heard she was really in bad shape when she came in.’’

Jessie gave him a sharp look. ’’You didn\ clean her?’’ She glanced at the doctor, deciding he looked a little frail to handle that kind of job.

’’Some of the women from the dorm came.’’ Paul hesitated. ’’Men aren\ allowed to touch one of them without their clothing on unless it\s life or death. I think they are afraid.’’ He cleared his throat. ’’You know.’’ He jerked his head. ’’See the camera? They installed it to watch her.’’

’’They are worried one of you will molest her?’’ Jessie turned, saw the camera and gave a wave. She turned her back on it. ’’Can you blame them? I\m sure you\ e trusted but these women have been through the worst abuse.’’

Paul nodded. ’’They said that most of it was dirt.’’

’’She\s in good health besides the extremely poor diet and some abuse she suffered.’’ Doctor Treadmont sighed. ’’They allowed me to examine her with four of their women present.’’ He met Jessie\s eyes. ’’She\s been badly abused for years. She\s also been starved.’’

She understood what he wasn\ saying aloud. ’’I haven\ found one yet who hasn\ been abused or starved.’’ She moved closer to the bed and lifted Beauty\s hand to hold it. It felt delicate and small inside her gentle grip. ’’Do you know what my job is exactly?’’ She glanced at the doctor.

He shrugged. ’’What job? I was told you were here to talk with her when she wakes.’’ The man glanced at his watch. ’’Which should be soon.’’ He stood. ’’I\ll be in my office. One of us is supposed to stay with her at all times.’’

Paul met Jessie\s gaze. ’’Just give a yell if you need help.’’ He pulled the vacant chair to the bed so Jessie could sit and still hold Beauty\s hand. ’’I was told it\s better if men aren\ around when you talk to her. Good luck.’’


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