Link to [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5]
Cutter glanced dispiritedly at McCoy, whose intent expression belied his light tone, and shrugged. “Thought I might check into a hotel.” He coughed a little and pulled the sweats the hospital was loaning him a little higher on his hips.
“Without a credit card?”
Cutter closed his eyes. “Hadn’t thought about that.”
McCoy watched him sympathetically. “I’ve got a spare bedroom.”
“Are you offering?”
“I … wouldn’t want to intrude.”
“You’re not.” McCoy exhaled. “Mike, you and I both know that you’ve got the soul of an artist, and that includes a certain amount of … moodiness. I want you somewhere that someone can keep an eye on you, at least for these first few days.” He paused delicately. “Besides, if you go into a coughing fit—”
“All right, fine,” Cutter rasped. “Just shut up.”
McCoy subsided, smiling to himself. Shucking his coat, he held it out. Cutter eyed it warily.
“What about you?”
“I’m not burned.”
“It’s just my hand.”
“No, it isn’t. Your face looks like you’ve been lying in the sun. You’re going to feel that tomorrow, and trust me, you don’t need to be getting cold when you leave. Just take it.”
Cutter ground his teeth. “Fine. Whatever.” He started to pull it on, hissing a little as he discovered that his arms as well as his face had been scorched by the fire. “Shit.”
“All right … Mr. Cutter?” A nurse ducked into the exam room and smiled. “You’re ready to go? You’ll need to sign here, and these are some forms explaining what to be alert for. Basically, if you start coughing and can’t stop, or if your cough becomes productive, we want you back here.”
Cutter nodded. “Okay.” He took the pen and awkwardly signed the release form.
“Now, rest for a few days, and no exertion for at least a week to give your lungs time to heal.”
He nodded again.
“Well, then, if you’re ready to go … you’re discharged.” She smiled comfortingly. “Take care of yourself.”
“Thanks,” Cutter whispered.
Link to [Part 7]