“Can’t you do something for her?”
Kalila looked at Ricky askance. “Call an ambulance. If one gets here quick enough, she’ll live.”
Ricky looked at the prone and bleeding form on the asphalt of the studio parking lot. Her clothes were torn, her shoes were missing and a leg lay at an odd angle. “But you can heal her now.”
The scattered contents of the woman’s purse lay at Kalila’s feet and she prodded a lipstick with the toe of her boot. “It takes a lot of energy to heal a human. It’s not worth it unless the band did this, and we didn’t. She’s an ordinary hit-and-run victim.”
“No one’s ever ordinary, Kalila. I don’t know this woman either, but I’m sure she has friends and family who care about her. What if something’s wrong that the doctors can’t fix?” Ricky saw her hesitate. “Please?”
Kalila yanked off her bangles and shoved them into Ricky’s hands. “Fine. Monitor the area. Make sure I’m not disturbed.”
For several minutes Ricky paced the perimeter of the parking lot, keeping an eye out for curious pedestrians. Finally he saw a familiar figure, clothes clean and mended, purse slung over her arm. He followed her with his eyes as she crossed the street. Although she looked a bit stunned, she was whole and healthy.
“I altered her memory,” said a voice behind him.
Ricky turned around and was struck by Kalila’s ashen skin and pale lips. The healing had taken a lot out of her.
“She thinks she tripped and I happened to be nearby to make sure she was okay and help her put everything back in her purse.”
“Thank you.” Ricky wanted to say more, but he knew how Kalila hated to be caught doing good. He held out his arm. “Want to go for a walk? There’s usually a breeze at the park.”
She took his arm and they walked for several minutes in silence. Finally she said, “It was more serious than it looked.”
Ricky nodded but didn’t answer.
“She hit her head hard when she fell. Your human doctors probably couldn’t have saved her.” When Ricky didn’t answer, she stopped. “What? No ‘I told you so,’ no remarks about my service to your wretched kind?”
“No.” Ricky dug something out of his pocket. “Want these back?”
Kalila put the bracelets on and reluctantly took his arm again. As they neared the park, the wind picked up and she tipped her face toward the sky, sucking the air greedily, feeding off the restorative breeze.
Ricky waited until the color returned to her cheeks and her eyes had lost their listless cast. “Thank you.”
“I’m not Florence Nightingale.”
“I refuse to do that sort of thing every time you get a sentimental human notion.”
“I know that, too. But don’t you feel just a little proud that you did a good deed?”
Kalila looked away with a small jerk of her chin. “Don’t be ridiculous. Djinns don’t do good deeds.”
“Of course they don’t.” Ricky waited, then asked, “So I’m not to tell anyone?”
“Not even your own mother.” Then, with a faint smile, she started to take his hand, but reconsidered and moved in close so he could put his arm around her instead.