It was dark.
His heart thrummed, and his breath caught in his lungs, seized by a momentary panic. In those seconds, everything was alien to him, the strange sterile smells and the rasp of rough cotton, and the cold breeze that hit his face.
He couldn't remember where he was or what he was doing, and for long moments, it was like he really did have amnesia.
But then it came back to him: infirmary. Nurses. Poison. Antidote. Rakitin. The one true gap in his memory he couldn't reconcile, the missing time, and what he'd been told had happened to him in it.
His shoulders shook, but he drew in a steadying breath. He was fine. The infirmary was secure.
David closed his eyes, and lay back.
A second later, he recalled the cold air he'd felt on his skin.
It had carried with it the smell of night.
Adrenaline surged through him again, and he sat upright in bed, even as pain speared through him, tore at the deep wounds in his chest and back.
He knew he wasn't alone.