Fate’s Heartblood – Chapter 7 & 8
Once the two of them passed through the doors, Jayanta turned slightly and pushed them closed with his foot. Immediately he was pitched into a blackness so pure he could feel it pressing against his skin.
Sachin reached out and touched a wall switch, illuminating the space from a series of low wattage recessed ceiling lights running the length of the short hallway. There were two doors on the right; the dog was sitting expectantly in front of the farther one. Sachin stopped them both in front of the first door, and Jay sent an enquiring glance at him.
“This is a conventional bedroom,” Sachin explained, “The other is underground.”
Jay tried to tug him along. “You would probably feel better resting in your own bed.”
“With this leg, I cannot navigate the steps, so it must be done in here. We need to set the bone before it can heal properly. When I was thrown from the motorcycle, my leg was caught against the bumper.”
Jay sucked in a breath, wondering how he managed to sound so calm when he must be in terrible pain. He used his free hand to open and push the bedroom door, and paused for a moment for his eyes to adjust before he proceeded.
The bedroom was as spare as the rest of the bungalow. A low platform bed in dark mahogany sport a counterpane with a simple repeating pattern of purple and orange diamonds; a small nightstand stood on either side with tall narrow white ceramic lamps. Jay gently deposited Sachin on the bed, then turned the closest lamp on. He looked over at his friend and noticed the pain lines etched on his forehead.
“What do we do now.”
Sachin replied. “There’s a first aid kit under the sink, and we are going to need the scissors first. Also, there are sheets in the closet as well.”
Jay hurried to the bathroom, and grabbed the kit under the lapis ceramic sink. He unzipped the top to confirm there were scissors, and then grabbed the first sheet he could reach and walked out.
Sachin was lying back on the counterpane, his right arm over his eyes. Without removing it, he said, “First, my clothes need to be cut away. Then, we’ll need several strips of cloth.”
Pulling the scissors out of the kit, Jay made short work of Sachin’s pants, starting at the hem and cutting along the outside all the way to the waistband. Folding back the fabric, he was shocked to see the mass of bruising along the entire length of his leg. A large abrasion covered his left hip, and the area below his knee was clearly not in alignment. As he quickly cut away the flap of fabric, he flicked his eyes to the injured man.
“I need you to wrap a strip of cloth around me ankle. You’re going to need to set the bone.” Jay rocked back on his heels.
“I…I don’t know if I can do it,” he all but whispered, panicked at the thought of what actions he needed to perform. Sachin grimaced and pulled himself onto his elbows and looked into the young man’s eyes.
“I don’t have anybody else I can trust to do this. Please, Jayanta.” The sound of his full name on the lips he had fantasized shored up his flagging confidence. Following instructions, he cut several wide strips and cross-wrapped them around the left ankle, leaving a loop underneath the ball of the foot. Jay stepped back and surveyed his work. By then Sachin had scooted up to the low headboard and grabbed the top with both hands.
“Now, you are going to have to pull until the bones move into alignment.” Jay looped his arm through the makeshift strap until it was centered on his forearm and then began to apply pressure.
Jayanta watched the sweat bead on Sachin’s face as the pain intensified. He increased the pressure, until his arm muscles began to quiver. He grabbed his straining wrist with the other hand and pulled even harder. A groan escaped the injured man past his gritted teeth, and Jay almost relented, when he felt a slight movement to the leg as the bones finally shifted. Instantly, Sachin’s body relaxed and he opened his eyes. At a nod, Jay slowly released the pressure until the loop was hanging lax on his arm. He looked at the leg; it now looked normal, although still bruised and swollen; Sachin had dropped his grip on the head board and his hands were lax on the bed.
Stepping back from the bed, Jay walked through the bedroom door out into the hallway. The dog gave a low whine from his place in the room.
“Asha, stay here. I’m going to the kitchen and I’ll be right back.” The dog settled back down as if he understood, and Jay carefully closed the bedroom door before walking to the double doors leading back to the front of the house.
Quickly slipping through lest any light get inside, Jayanta made his way to the kitchen and prepared a simple meal; sandwiches, milk, and fruit. He saw a small jar of dog treats and removed two. Rummaging through a small pile of recyclables, he found a piece of cardboard and also took that with him.
When he returned to the room, it appeared Sachin was sound asleep, so Jay had a chance to study him closely for a moment after he set the tray down.
Even battered and bloody, he was still one of the most attractive men Jay had ever seen. His skin, a smooth coppery brown, belied his nocturnal habits. His hair, rave-hued and sleek, framed classic features, slightly almond-shaped eyes, and a mouth with a slight overbite. That one flaw made this person more approachable, Jay mused.
He reached out to stroke a brow, but pulled back. Standing up, he walked to the bathroom, where he found a basin under the sink, and filled it with warm water. Picking up extra towels, he carried it to the bed.
Sachin walked through a rocky dreamscape, white tendrils of clouds swirling near his feet. Almost imperceptively, the eddying clouds traveled higher and higher until they touched his face with cool intent and he was all but blinded. He came to a halt as he sensed a presence nearby, and stood, waiting.
Red tinged the clouds to his right, and Sachin reflexes cringed at the light, suddenly afraid.
“So we finally meet.” A deep, commanding voice came from the direction of the glow, and Sachin knew this wasn’t an ordinary dream.
The figure coming out the mist appeared to be a young man, slightly older in appearance than Sachin. His skin was faintly blue, and the black business suit was shot with red and gold threads. His left hand gripped an ornate cane of palasa wood, although he did not appear to need it. A heavy gold signet ring depicting a buffalo head was on his left hand. Sachin felt a chilling fear as he made a a deep, formal bow to this figure.
“My Lord Yama.”