Georgina smiled sympathetically as she brushed Payton's sweaty hair from his forehead. She had been watching him like a hawk ever since he had gotten back from school and nearly passed out in the doorway.
She had brought him to her and Keaton's room, being able to tell by his face that at any second he probably would start vomiting uncontrollably, something that had happened a lot when he was younger.
"Mom, it's just a bug." Payton insisted as he let out a cough, leading him to swallow back a gag. "Campaigning is hard work."
Georgina just pressed her cool hand against her son's forehead, feeling him sink into her touch. "You're really not feeling well, are you?" She crouched down to his level, still holding her hand against his burning forehead. "I'm gonna call my healer, okay?"
Payton nodded. He knew he would end up vomiting horrifically that night, with the nausea and the stabbing pain in his stomach, but he could wait until his mother's healer got there. Even though he would probably rub crystals in his armpits or something else that was strange.
"Bad news, he's stuck in traffic. He won't be here for another hour."
Payton responded by turning over and retching on the floor. He closed his eyes. He knew the more he saw the vomit, the more he would puke, but he heard his mother exclaim before feeling a bucket shoved under his chin.
"Just let it out, sweetheart." Georgina told him, propping his sweaty, feverish body against her chest. She slid a hand inside of his shirt, rubbing circles on his back with her cool hands.
"Thanks, mom." Payton muttered before his body shook and he threw up again into the bucket.
Georgina stood up on the other side of the bed and gently grabbed his sweaty arm, helping him stand on the cool, hardwood floor, but Payton barely noticed with all his attention on retching into the bucket.
He only realized what was going on when his mother helped him onto his knees and bend over the toilet.
"Try and breathe, love." She insisted as she started rubbing his back with one hand, texting her healer with the other.
The man suggested the basics that she knew how to use. Juneberry, cactus poultice and holding the healing crystal against his head and armpits.
"I'm gonna go get a few things, okay?" She asked, and Payton managed a weak nod before letting out another retch, finally leaning against the wall in surrender.
She walked out of Keaton's bathroom and into hers, grabbing the supplements, gel and the crystal out of her cabinet. She also grabbed the forehead thermometer that was in the drawer of her more traditional medicines before returning to her husband's bathroom, where Payton leaned against the wall, taking very shallow breaths.
"I'm back, Payton." She smiled slightly, gently swiping the forehead thermometer against his head. 102.4. That was definitely not what she wanted to see.
She grabbed the cactus poultice. Squirting some onto her fingers, she gently massaged it into the skin on his back, shoulders and neck, before grabbing the crystal, and holding it against his forehead.
"Eyes on me, sweetheart." She insisted, noticing how unfocused he was. "How's the nausea?" She bit her lip when he made a so-so gesture with his hand, and after she slid the crystal under his right armpit, she grabbed the juneberry supplements that were on the counter, offering one of the gummies to her son.
"Chew that well." She stood up, and filled a paper cup with water, sitting back down to offer it to her son. " Even if you puke this up, it's better then nothing."
Payton put the supplement in his mouth, swallowing it before reaching for the water to wash out the bitter taste of the gummie. Georgina gently tipped the water into her son's mouth, and threw the paper cup away before moving the crystal to his left armpit.
She reached over and brushed his sweaty hair out of his face. "You really think this is just a bug, love?"
Payton nodded and swallowed down the vomit he could already feel rising up from his stomach. But Georgina just sighed, and guided her son back over to the toilet bowl and started massaging his back again.
He swallowed again, but he knew he was just delaying the inevitable, so he closed his eyes and whimpered as his body expelled the juneberry and water into the toilet, hearing his mother swear loudly when she saw the blood in his vomit.
Georgina winced as her son retched again. She had lost count of how many times Payton had leaned over the toilet and vomited at this point.
"How long has he been like this?" Her healer questioned as he waved a crystal near his head.
"Over an hour. I did the juneberry, and cactus poultice. I put the crystal by his head."
"Did you place some in his armpits."
"Yes, I did everything you told me to do!" She exclaimed while fighting back tears. "Nothing's working. I'm scared!"
"It's probably just a bug, mom." Payton exhaled, trying to ease his mom's nerves by proving he was coherent, retching again, leading him to gasp for breath before his mom and her healer helped him sit against the wall.
Georgina wiped the sweat away with a cool wet washcloth before her healer started mumbling to himself while using the forehead thermometer. Payton swallowed his vomit over and over while the healer exclaimed. "103.5 !"
She helped her son lean back over the toilet just in time for him to puke again and that's when her healer told her that he needed a hospital. So, she grabbed the phone and called a ambulance. Maybe they could help.
"You look a little better, love." Georgina smiled at Payton. He was still very pale, and had dark circles under his eyes, but he had stopped vomiting twenty minutes ago, and already looked like he was on the mend.
"Anti-nausea medication." He smiled slightly as he lifted up his right hand and showed off his IV. But Georgina knew that he didn't take to that IV well, or the blood test that they were waiting for the results on.
Despite how much he hated needles, however, they needed to figure out why he was puking up blood, and if there was anything they needed to flush out of his system before they could give him anything orally.
"I'm so hungry." Payton chuckled slightly as he looked up at his mom. "I really hope they don't give me a feeding tube."
"I don't think it'll come to that." She spoke softly as she brushed the hair out of his eyes and kissed his forehead. "After all, you seem to be doing better already."
"I feel way better." He insisted, sitting up a little straighter on the bed, but Georgina just tisked her tongue and put a hand on her shoulder.
"You don't need to present yourself perfectly in front of your mother who saw you puke for almost three hours." Georgina said, and that's when the door opened and the doctor came in.
"So, we have the results from your blood test. Your bloodstream contains high levels of zinc phosphide, difethinlone and warfarin. These chemicals are most commonly found in rat poison, and can give you symptoms similar to severe food poisoning, which explains the fever, and the vomiting."
"What's the plan?" Georgina asked, sliding her hand into her son's. "How long is he gonna be here?"
"We have to flush it out of his abdominal walls and bloodstream, but he should be able to eat and drink by morning. Any questions?"
"Why was I puking up blood?" Payton asked as he squeezed his mother's hand, trying to ignore the fact that he could feel himself growing more and more pale.
"Well, that could be the rat poison, but the vomiting may have also torn the walls in your abdomen, which allowed blood to leak into your stomach acid."
Payton nodded, and the doctor left the room, and that's when he heard Georgina ask.
"You look like someone just told you that you were dying, love. What's wrong?"
Payton swallowed back a sob, and looked his mother right in the eyes as he spoke. "I think McAfee poisoned me."