Division 5By: Krista Street
The Makanza Series Book Four
1 – HOME
“Meghan, you can’t go to work with a gunshot wound!” My mother stood in the doorway of my childhood bedroom with her arms crossed. One of her blond eyebrows arched in disapproval.
I struggled to get my shirt on and grimaced. My mother didn’t try to help. It was the first time in four days she hadn’t stayed at my side, helping me with every little thing.
“Mom, I have to go to work. You heard Bethany. I can’t leave her in that state if she’s going to be miserable for the rest of her life. I need to help her.”
I turned my back so she wouldn’t see how much it hurt to put clothes on.
Janine Forester frowned.
I knew she did even though I wasn’t looking at her. I also knew she was studying me. I could feel it. Like someone was holding a burning poker to my neck.
Her exasperated sigh followed. “There’s no reason you can’t return in a few weeks. The doctor said you’re supposed to rest, take short walks, take your pain medication and antibiotics on schedule, and not lift more than ten pounds for at least six weeks. Not to mention, you’re not supposed to drive.”
I finally turned around to face her.
My mother’s fingers drummed on her bicep. Glittering hazel eyes met mine – eyes that mirrored my own eye color.
“Mom, I’m leaving. It’s not up for discussion.”
Searing pain shot down my right arm when I tugged too sharply on the sleeve. I carefully put my arm back into the sling. The sound of ripping Velcro, when it took several attempts to get the straps right, filled the room.
Thankfully, my pants were already on. Now, it was a matter of packing the rest of my clothes one-armed before I headed back to Sioux Falls.
It was crazy to think my recent physical limitations had begun only a week ago. That was when I’d woken up in the hospital after my former boss shot me in Mobridge, just outside Reservation 1 in northwest South Dakota. Dr. Roberts had been waiting near a building beside my vehicle. I had no idea how he’d found me. I could only guess that he’d followed me when he spotted me driving through the streets.
And when I’d returned to my vehicle with Davin, the twins, and Sharon, Dr. Roberts had raised his gun to shoot Davin. Without considering the consequences, I’d lunged in front of the only man I’d ever loved.
So now, a still-healing bullet wound marred my upper chest. But it had been a week since the incident, and I’d spent the entire weekend in Vermillion at my parents’ home recovering. And while my mother was right, I wasn’t 100% – far from it – I couldn’t stay here any longer.
For multiple reasons.
My hand stilled over my suitcase as those reasons pummeled my mind. It had been four days since I’d seen Davin Kinder – the Kazzie infected with strain 11 – the man I’d been in love with since I started my job at Compound 26 over a year ago.
Davin was free now. He was no longer a prisoner in the Compound or on Reservation 1. All of the Kazzies were free. The Post Wave Rehabilitation Act ensured that despite Senator Douglas’ promise to overturn the law.
White-hot pain squeezed my heart, an ache that had nothing to do with the bullet wound. It felt like someone had taken my soul and clenched it between their hands, wringing the life right out of me. Not only had I been shot by my former boss, the same man who’d tormented Davin and my friends for years, but I’d also made a startling discovery about Davin only four days ago.
Unbeknownst to me, he’d been in communication with his former girlfriend, Jenna, during his time on Reservation 1. Weeks ago, I’d found letters from her under his bed. They’d agreed to meet in Rapid City if Davin were ever freed.
When I’d found those letters, I hadn’t wanted to believe what I was reading. It hurt too much.
For so many months, Davin had pushed me away despite our feelings for each other. He’d been adamant that a relationship would never work with someone on the outside. So when Jenna showed up at the hospital four days ago, looking for Davin, it became apparent his rule had only applied to me – not her. The only explanation for her arrival was that he’d cultivated a relationship with her long-distance while he’d lived on the reservation.