Two thoughts occurred to Carlon as he observed the continuing discussion between the two girls. One was quite how much effort it took for him not to focus on the fact that there was clearly a gun holstered on Makatalas person to the exclusion of all else. He was relieved that she had not had to use it yet, but the implication, and reminder, that eventually she might have to hung in the air unspoken but acknowledged.
Only now did it occur to him that his lack of exposure to violence had left him with slight awe when it came to being confronted with weaponry. He knew by explanation and reading that crossbows and guns were dangerous, but until yesterday he had had no real understanding of precisely what that meant. They had all heard the announcements, and he and Alexandria had seen the corpse of Daniel Whitten first hand. They had both seen how easily a life could be taken with the weapons given to them. Yet, when faced with more weaponry, Carlon felt uneasy and certainly sick but that had more to do with the memory of what he had seen rather than being in close proximity with either. Camilla had not even drawn attention to her crossbow despite carrying it in plain sight. Neither of them wanted to harm Alexandria or him with their designated weapons, and Carlon realised that it was for that reason alone that he still felt safe.
The second thought that had sprung to mind was that he still had no idea what Alexandrias, let alone his own, weapons were. Nothing quite as deadly as a crossbow or gun, he imagined. Nothing that would protect them except without preparation and ingenuity. He slung the bag around his person so that he could open it slowly and in full view of everyone else present in the lobby, then lowered his hand in searching for the heavy metal object that he had only discovered yesterday when treating Alexandria.
Her leg, he realised. It would need examining again today, and he bet that there would be drugs in the hospital that might expedite the healing. His fingers closed around and lifted the combination lock into view, half an eye still on Alexandria and Makatala as they talked. His smile resurfaced at the assertion that she was coping; it was the best anyone could hope for, really. Youll have no need to use it here either, and youre welcome to stay as long as you like. It was an open and earnest invitation, as much for their benefit as hers. Excepting the guns, this was a normal conversation and gave them a breather a moment to not think about the named killers that were wandering outside the walls of the hospital.
It was only as an enquiry was made into what had been going on that Carlon realised that there was something he needed to know. A few somethings actually, but he had raised well enough to not want to flood her with questions. Kam, have you seen Michael? From the book club? He knew, mercifully, that the other boy had not died, but that only increased the urgency to find him. Though he tried to tell himself that nothing was going to happen to Michael, the list of names that he had memorised only minutes before mocked that very belief.