Uncle Bart’s hand feels like a lead wait on Cas’s shoulder, “young one, you must calm yourself. There is no reason worry yourself over what is happening now.”

“I shot him.”

“No, you don’t know that,” Jacob says, lighting a cigarette.

“How the hell can you say that, we were covered and he still got popped.” Cas uses his spent butt to light another cigarette.

“We need to talk about how Byron found our hideout. Not how Solace was shot.” Jacob watches Uncle Bart go back into the hospital. “We were doing daily surveillance and never found more than two or three mercs miles away from us.”

“I must have missed some.”

“We missed some.”

“I was the one responsible for the security, it’s on me.”

“Cas, I swear if you don’t get off this fucking self-loathing kick you’ll be in the E.R. with Solace.”

A nurse walk out onto the roof behind them, “you are not supposed to be here, turn those out and get down stairs. The doctor has news about your friend.”

The two of them bound down to the surgery floor and skid into the waiting room. The doctor is already talking to the rest of the group. None of them have a smile on their face. The doctor looks over to them and waits until they have sat down with the rest.

“As I was saying, the bullet narrowly missed his spine. It went clean though his right kidney and intestine, there was a lot blood loss and bile seepage. Since he was like that for the better part of two hours before arriving at the hospital, we had to hook him up to a dialysis machine. It isn’t doing too well, his only kidney had to do the job of two and is subsequently shutting down. His drug use had already done its damage and this may be too much.”

Patricia stands up and paces, “but he hasn’t used in nearly eight years, and even when he did he wasn’t using enough to kill himself.”

The doctor looks at the bunch with a piercing stare. “Any sort of usage will harm the body. And our toxicology screens show that he must have used no less than four days ago.

No one could look at him, and they could all feel Uncle Bart staring just as intently as the doctor. Seeing that no one will talk the doctor continues, I suggest all of you get blood test, we need to find a donor for your friend.”

“He and I share the same blood type,” Andy says standing up, Teller doesn’t let go of his hand.“I don’t use.”

“We’ll soon find out.” The doctor says walking away briskly. Cas runs after him.

“Doc, what caliber was it?”

“Why should I tell you? So you can take your little gang and seek retribution?”

Cas doesn’t say anything.

“It was a forty five, hollow tip.”

Cas sinks into the nearest chair and watches the doctor walk away. It was his bullet.


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