Time for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. Today’s prompt is ‘zoo’ either as the word itself or as part of a word.
Declan jerked his head as the missile went past, and he felt it nearly graze his cheek. For just a brief moment, he was back. In the middle of the fighting, not knowing when an explosion or bullet could take any of them out. Then, he was brought back. By a little girl’s giggle.
“Sorry, Declan,” Danica said.
And he was right back in his living room. With Eva in the kitchen, and Danica scurrying after the toy she’d just thrown across the room. He rubbed a hand over his eyes. He couldn’t believe he’d fallen asleep sitting up on the couch. That shouldn’t have happened. He couldn’t let it happen again.
Not while these two were still in danger.
“Are you supposed to throw things in the house?” he asked.
“I didn’t,” she said, her eyes wide as she shook her head.
Declan glanced over his shoulder at Eva, who seemed to be trying to smother a smile. He turned back to Danica. “It went flying past my head. So, unless it grew wings, mo cara, you did just that.”
She shook her head again. “It’s Nighthawk. He can fly.”
He lifted one eyebrow at her, and she nodded. “He can, Declan, really. I’ll show you. Wait here.”
Declan hadn’t really planned to move from the couch. Not unless he had to. But, as he looked over his shoulder, Eva bent down to scoop up the toy and moved over to his side. “This is Nighthawk,” she said. “One of Dani’s favorite superheroes.”
He glanced at the toy and reached out to take it but winced at the stab of pain that went through his arm. Eva ran her fingers lightly over the bandage there. “Just relax,” she told him. “I’ll handle this. Get her to play quietly.” Her lips twitched. “It is rare, but it can happen.”
“It’s fine. I’m fine, Eva.”
“You were shot. Protecting us. I still don’t see why you won’t take a pain pill.”
But, he couldn’t. Not unless he got one of the other guys to keep an eye on things. “It’s not that bad,” he assured her, not for the first time.
Before she could argue once again, Dani came running back into the living room, several books clasped in her hands. She jumped onto the couch, and he barely held back another wince as his arm was jostled. “Dani, be careful,” Eva reminded her. “Declan was hurt.”
He didn’t bother reminding her he was fine, the bullet had done only a little more than graze him. He’d been injured worse than this before. But he didn’t have two people’s, who he was coming to care quite a bit for, safety as his sole responsibility then. He sent a smile to Danica, though, to assure her it was okay. “What do you have there?”
She sent a worried look at her mom then turned back to Declan. “These are all about Nighthawk. This one is about his beginning. And these other tell all about the people he helps. Like you do.”
His throat went thick at that, and he glanced back at Eva. He hadn’t been doing a great job of helping them. Barely staying one step ahead of trouble. He was going to have to change that. But, Eva was smiling at them, like that thought wasn’t even bothering her. She trusted him, and he needed to make sure he didn’t betray that by letting either of them get hurt.
“Can you read them to me? I think I’d like to know more about this Nighthawk. As long as he doesn’t fly around my apartment anymore.”
Danica grinned up at him then opened the first book and started reading.
This takes place during Protecting the Heart, which I’m currently over 17k into. This part(him getting shot) hasn’t happened yet, but it’s in the outline. I had no idea where this was going to go beyond the zoom at the beginning. Don’t know if this scene will even make it into the story, but it was fun to write.