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Kiera tried to calm her jitters with a series of slow, deep exhales. "Well, you did it," she said. "You've turned the kid into another human nuke. What are we going to do once your brother gets his hands on him again?"
"See, if you hadn't been getting all hot and bothered over dissecting him, maybe you would have thought up an answer to that," said Isabella. "Fortunately, I did. We're going to need to install a failsafe that we can detonate from the outside at the first sign of treachery."
"You mean like a bomb within the bomb?"
"Actually, I was thinking a poison sac that would release its contents into his bloodstream at our command, but if you can build a bomb in the boy, go for it!" The Queen grinned evilly.
Suppressing a yawn, as it was getting quite late, Kiera dug through some drawers. "I'm sure I can improvise a bomb out of something in here…what's this tubing for?" She held up a length of soft plastic tubing about the width of the tooth of a comb.
"I can tell you five things it's not for."
Rolling her eyes, Kiera looked through a few more cabinets, eventually collecting three vials and pouring all of their contents into the tubing so that they mixed. "These three combined are explosive when lit. Cham taught me," she said. Her jittery scalpel hand carved deep incisions down each of Colin's limbs and she wound the tubes around and around his bones. With a touch and a thought, she sealed up the cuts as quickly as she'd made them. As a finishing touch, she built a primitive switch and implanted it where the tubes came together, under Colin's heart and over the slit nerve. "One spark, and then…kaboom!"
"Now all we need is a detonator," said Isabella.
"Can I build it in the morning?" Kiera pleaded. "If I have to concentrate for one more second, I think I'll explode."
"Of course. It's late. Of to bed with you."
As they left the lab and began to retreat to their separate bedrooms, Kiera looked over her shoulder. "Is?"
"What is it, Kiera?"
"How long are you going to keep messing with my head like this?"
Isabella grinned darkly. "Only until you start messing back."
~ * ~
Colin awoke naked in a strange room. He felt stiff, as if he'd gotten some new ligaments installed and hadn't had the time to break them in. On the table next to him was a note:
The injuries you sustained in your car accident required treatment via invasive surgery, so I took the liberty of saving your life. You may feel a little sore. It's nothing to worry about. Take the two pills on the console to your left if the pain becomes too bothersome.
Hoping you are well,
Isabella Sordeno, M.D. (In case you were worried)
Colin plucked the pills off of a small metal tray and swallowed them without water. They knocked him out in a heartbeat.
~ * ~
Kiera awoke with her cheek pressed against the bathroom floor, facing the toilet. She felt stiff, as if she'd been sleeping in her current tangled position all night. On top of the toilet tank was a note:
Well, I hope you're happy. I told you to quit knocking yourself out with Tongue of the Reaper, but you just don't listen to the doctor's orders, do you? I do hope you haven't killed yourself this time, and if you are alive, you should be ashamed of yourself. You think this is any better than the alcohol problem you had a few years back? Well, it isn't.
I suppose I owe you an apology for having a laugh at your expense last night. So I'm sorry. But think about it. Your fascination with bodily mutilation truly is funny, and how do you suppose you'll live with it if you can't have a laugh at yourself once in a while?
You're probably not too happy about my forcing you to perform a surgery you were underqualified for, either. I can see why you might have needed to search for solace after that, but trust me, you won't find it in the afterlife. I know. I was there once, remember?
All that said, if you aren't dead yet, please get to work building that detonator for Colin's bomb. You might feel a little nauseous, which is why I moved you next to the crapper. If you need to vomit, go on and vomit, but after that, get to work.
All my grudging respect,
Relieved to find she wasn't nauseous, Kiera pulled herself off the floor and headed to the lab.