He went to her bedside and took her hand, careful of the protruding IV. Her skin was hot and dry. Her fingers twitched, but her eyes stayed closed. “Can you hear me?”
She nodded, a slow almost imperceptible movement, but a nod all the same. She followed it up with a soft murmur that might have been his name.
He tightened his grip on her hand. “I’m here.”
“Sorry,” she whispered.
“Don’t apologize. None of this is your fault. You didn’t know.”
A weak smile curved her mouth. Then the smile disappeared and her lids flickered halfway open. “Wolfsbane,” she muttered.
He nodded. “I know. I’m going to figure out who did this to you.”
Her eyes closed. “M’kay.” Then her breathing evened out and she was asleep.
He bent and kissed her forehead, pressing his lips to her feverish skin. The need for justice pierced him like an iron rod, stiffening his resolve to find whoever had done this to her and make them pay.
He left her to sleep and headed back to the waiting room, pinching his radio and calling Cruz. “I’m setting up a rotation in front of Ivy’s room. I’ll take the first shift. You and Blythe decide who’s next.”
“You got it, boss,” Cruz answered.
As Hank walked in, Bridget and Titus stood. Bridget spoke first. “How is she?”
“Groggy and feverish. Asleep now. She knew it was wolfsbane. Obviously too late to do anything about it.”
Titus growled softly. “Who the hell does that to someone?”
“I plan on finding out.” Hank’s pocket buzzed. Ivy’s phone was going off. “Hang on.”
The name Sam came up on the screen. He answered it. “Hello?”
Silence for a second, then, “Sorry, I must have the wrong number.”
“Were you trying to reach Ivy?”
“Yes. Ivy Kincaid.”
“Then you have the right number.”
More silence. “Are you the Merrow she was sent to marry?”
“I am. Who are you?”
“I’m her brother. Where is she?”
“Unable to come to the phone right now.” Her brother had interesting timing. “Is there a message?”
“I’m in town. I need to talk to her.”
In town. How convenient. “In that case, we’d better meet.”
Hank gave Sam the address of the station, then hung up. He looked at Titus. “Can you stand guard on Ivy’s door until I get back? That was her brother. He’s in town. I need to go meet him and explain what’s going on. And find out why the hell he just showed up.”
Titus nodded. “You got it.”
Bridget wrapped her arms around herself. “I feel like I should be doing something, too.”
Hank tipped his head. “Just keep your wits about you and your phone on in case I need you.”
“You know it.”
“I’ll walk you to your car.” He nodded at his brother. “Be back as soon as I can.”
Hank saw Bridget safely to her vehicle, then took off for the station. Birdie was gone for the day and Cruz was at the front desk.
He frowned as Hank came in. “Something change?”
“Titus is standing guard. Ivy’s brother is in town. I told him to meet me here.”
Cruz stood. “I can take over for Titus if you want. Give you some privacy.”
Hank thought about it. “Okay.”
Cruz grabbed his things and left. Sam showed up ten minutes later. He had Ivy’s coloring but not her delicate features. He was almost Hank’s size. Apparently, the Kincaids were getting bigger.
Sam looked Hank up and down as he came in. “You’re Hank Merrow.”
Hank nodded, but didn’t move from where he stood in front of the reception desk, one hand on the desk, the other casually on his duty belt near the handle of his service weapon. “What brings you to town all of a sudden, Kincaid?”
Apprehension tightened the muscles in Sam’s jaw. “What makes you think it’s all of a sudden? What’s going on? Why couldn’t Ivy come to the phone?”
“Because someone tried to kill her with wolfsbane.”
Sam’s mouth opened, and genuine shock registered in his eyes, giving Hank the sense that Sam might not be as bad as his father. Sam swore and glanced away. “I’m too late. Those mutt bastards. Is she going to be okay?”
“Should be. What are you too late for?”
Sam sighed. “Is there somewhere more private we can talk?”
“My office.” Hank pushed off the desk and led the way.
Sam closed the door behind him and sat as Hank settled into his chair. The other shifter eyed him warily. “When was she poisoned?”
“Late this afternoon.”
Sam nodded. “Anything else happen?”
“Yes. Earlier. Some pictures were dropped off in an envelope with my name on them.” Hank watched Sam’s face. “Pictures of her and Charlie.”
Sam’s brows lifted. “I guess you know now that’s her son.”
“I already knew. She told me about him yesterday.”
Sam frowned. “She told you about him?”
“Did you think she wouldn’t?”
Sam hesitated. “Our father made her swear she wouldn’t.”
Sam snorted. “Isn’t it obvious? He thought it would sour the deal.”