Grigori matched her stride. “I’ll try to get the tow truck out here tomorrow. We might have to check the cars for varmints, though. Maybe we should smoke them out.”
She shrugged. “Whatever. Just don’t burn down the park.” Her sock squelched, and she grimaced at the tacky feeling of drying blood. “Where did you learn to do that?”
He shrugged. “Dad took off, so we had to learn to defend the house ourselves. No loss.”
“Mom, two brothers, two sisters. I’m oldest.”
“You got a trade in mind?” she asked.
He looked at her. “I’m working on it. I want my own salvage yard someday, maybe a welding shop.” He said it defiantly, as if he’d been mocked for it before.
She laughed. “Yeah? I’ve got lots of junk. Knock yourself out.”
She made it to the station at dusk and waved goodbye to Grigori. She still didn’t trust him, but time would tell.
“You made it back,” Lt Bjorn observed. He was stirring gravy in a pan. He turned off the burner and looked her over. “I smell blood.”
“Yep. I was attacked by a mutant kitty. Fortunately, my teenage sidekick reduced it to sashimi. He’s half elf, and he likes junk cars.” She rambled when she was tired, and today had been a heck of day.
“You’re bleeding, too.” He breathed deeply and walked around to look at her shoulder. “May I?”
“Sure. I already glued Twix back together.” Coming from a farm, she had lots of experience cleaning and treating wounded animals.
She grimaced as he gently peeled back the sticky cotton to examine the cut. “It stings, but I don’t think it’s too bad.”
“Take a shower and rinse it out, and I’ll get the unicorn glue.” Named for miraculous unicorn flower and made of natural botanical ingredients, the glue had amazing healing properties and numbing agents.
Twenty minutes later, Juniper sat at the table with a cup of cocoa while he dug the remaining glass fragments out of her shoulder. It had sucked getting dressed, but at least the tank top and jeans were clean. “I appreciate this, Bjorn.”
“Call me Kjetil. I think we’re well enough acquainted now,” he said dryly, dropping a piece of glass in the bowl next to him. He set the tweezers aside and put a towel under the gash as he rinsed it with saline. “I don’t think you’ll scar; the glue is good stuff.”
She almost shrugged, but thought better of it. “It doesn’t matter; I don’t see my shoulder.”
“Don’t be in a hurry to collect battle scars; you live in Bramble Burn now. There’s plenty of time to build a collection.” He applied the glue and cleaned up his mess. “I work hard to keep the damsels out of distress. You give macho types like me the vapors.”
She grinned. “I’ll have to keep smelling salts on hand.”