“Can I take her back to her room?”
“Aye, but if Anita develops symptoms or runs a temperature, call me. I’ll check on her later this evening. She should take it easy and rest.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Rory said, the pressure on his chest easing now that Anita was awake.
“I’ll call a servant to help you to your room,” the doctor said.
“I’ll carry her.” Rory pulled a face. “Sorry, my wolf is volatile at present. He’s having a hard enough time knowing you’ve touched Anita. Another male mightn’t fare so well.”
The doctor offered a rueful smile. “Thank you for not biting off my head.”
“You treated her, and I can sense you want her to recover,” Rory said.
“You’re welcome. I doubt infection will be an issue, but if the wound becomes red around the edges or gives Anita any problems, please call me.”
“We will,” Rory said. “Edwina, could you get the door for me, please? Lass, I’ll try not to jostle you.”
“It’s okay. I just want to sleep.”
“That’s the painkillers I gave her,” the doctor said. “They’ll make her sleepy. Rest is the best cure. It will speed her recovery.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Anita said.
Rory scooped her off the medical bed and tried hard not to hurt her. Her swift intake of breath told him he hadn’t quite managed, but she didn’t complain. Rory strode down the passage and up a set of stairs. He passed three suits of armor and several large paintings of ancestors with snooty expressions. Greek statues and other intriguing items sat in alcoves.
Edwina and Suzie hustled behind him, darting forward to open doors when necessary.
“We need a quick strategy meeting,” Suzie said.“Someone deliberately shot at us. Who was his target?”
“Agreed,” Rory said.
“We should ask the guys to come,” Edwina said. “I haven’t seen any of them today. Have you?”
“Ramsay isn’t answering his phone,” Anita said in a tired voice. “I haven’t seen Scott or Liam.”
“They may have met someone,” Suzie said. “We promised each other we’d share details, but if it’s early in the piece, they might have nothing to tell us yet.” She winked at Anita. “You didn’t share. Care to enlighten us as to why?”
“We’re mates,” Rory said at the same time. “We’re mates,” he repeated when Anita grimaced. “The only reason I haven’t officially marked you is we need to settle the past. We need to talk.”
“Ooh, secrets. A scandalous history.” Edwina clapped her hands. “Where’s the popcorn?”
“No,” Anita said.
“No,” Rory agreed.
“Aw, you’re no fun,” Edwina said.
Suzie laughed. “Let’s leave these two to sort themselves out and find ourselves some mischief. Anita has our number if she needs us. Is it okay to leave you alone with this growling, posturing wolf?”
Anita gave a half-laugh that turned into a groan, and Rory ushered the two grinning women from Anita’s room.
“You have my protection,” he said in a quiet voice. “You’re Anita’s friends, which means you’re my friends.”
“Thanks,” Suzie said.
Edwina scrutinized his face.“You mean it.”
“I do. Anita will be a huge part of my life if I have my way. Hopefully, her friends will become mine.” Rory meant every word, but he comprehended something else. He and his wolf would walk away from everything they knew and their beloved Highlands if it meant they could keep Anita in their life.