Cujo sank into the soft velvet chair slowly, surprised that a piece of furniture could be as soft as it was. He leaned back and let his eyes close, exhaustion sweeping over him. He knew he shouldn't let his guard down, but he couldn't help it. He heard a door open behind him and forced his eyes open again.

A girl walked into his line of view; she had long, wavy brownish-red hair that framed her face and deep, navy blue eyes. "Hello," she said. Her voice sounded like a million wind chimes being blown in the breeze. She was wearing a soft lilac colored dress with cream stitching and embroidered flowers along the neckline. "I'm Cerryn." She knelt next to where he sat and placed her hand on his knee. Her complexion was pale, and the dim lighting made her seem even paler. "Are you hurt?"

"I'm fine," Cujo managed to mumble. Why would this girl care if he was all right? No one else seemed to. He resisted the urge to take her hand off his knee; the only thing stopping him was his exhaustion.

"Why are you here?" Cerryn asked him. "My mother said that there weren't going to be any visitors until the spring." She sounded confused, like the idea of her mother lying was preposterous.

"The…guards found me," Cujo mumbled, watching the girl with wary eyes. "I…fell into the…stream." He leaned his head against the side of the chair, watching with what would have been amusement, had he not been so tired, as the girl's eyes widened.

"You were in the stream?! In this weather?" She jumped away from him, walking quickly to one of the trunks in the corner of the small room. She pulled out a blue and green fleece blanket. She walked back to Cujo and unfolded the blanket carefully before laying it across him. "You're lucky you didn't get hypothermia and die."

"That was…the point," Cujo said, blinking slowly. He was so tired…just a few seconds of sleep couldn't hurt, right? Even though whoever had brought him in here said he couldn't go to sleep yet, not until they made sure he was all right, what harm could a few minutes of sleep do?

Cerryn looked horrified by what he had said. She sat on the edge of the chair and picked up his hand. "Your hand is freezing," she said, clasping it tightly in both of her hands. "Hey now," she said, seeing he was almost asleep, "you can't sleep. You might be sick, or you could end up in a coma, or…or…"

Cujo sighed. "I'm tired, though. I want to sleep," he argued, making no effort to pull his hand away. He blinked again, almost forgetting to open his eyes again. His eyelids felt heavy, like there was lead trying to weigh them down.

"You can't," Cerryn insisted, trying to pull Cujo to his feet. "Come on, walk around, get your blood flowing."

"I don't want to." This time Cujo yanked his hand away. He let his eyes close, but it was only a moment before the door behind him banged open quite loudly.

Bang, creek, BAM! Cujo winced as the door was slammed. He opened his eyes, waiting for his fuzzy vision to clear. When it did, he couldn't quite place the expression on Cerryn's face. Fear? Respect? Adoration? It seemed to be a mix of all three.

Cerryn forced a smile. "Hello Father," she said. "What are you going to do about this boy?" She gestured to Cujo, who was studying her with an unnerving glance.

Cujo turned his head slightly, his eyes widening a bit as a man walked into his line of vision. The man had to be at least six feet, and his hair and eyes were deep black. He wore an emerald green tunic of a pristine white shirt with a gold belt around his middle. The man looked at Cujo, studying him intently.

"Leave him here. If he doesn't die by morning, he can stay."

Cerryn's eyes widened at her father's harsh words. "You… You aren't going to help him?" she whispered, her voice shaking. She put her hands together in front of her chest, and she almost looked as if she was praying.

"If he wants to live, he will. He wasn't in the stream on accident," the man told his daughter. "You can stay and watch him, if it makes you feel better." His eyes softened as he saw tears well up in his daughter's eyes. "Cerryn, there isn't really much you or I could do if he does not wish to live."

Cerryn dropped her gaze. "Yes Father," she mumbled as her father, the man she had always trusted and loved, left without even glancing at the sick boy in the chair. She turned to Cujo and grabbed his icy hand in hers. "I'm not going to let you die," she announced.

Cujo laughed once without humor. "You think you can save me from myself?" His voice was raspy and quiet, and even though Cerryn couldn't hear parts of what he whispered, his intention was clear. He was going to die. "Why don't you leave me alone? Go play with your dolls." Even near death Cujo was determined to be left alone, to not be bothered.

Cerryn sniffed and nodded. "If that is what you wish." She let the boy's hand fall back into his lap and stood slowly. As she walked away, she heard him whisper something, but she didn't hear what he said. She closed the door behind her quietly, hoping that somehow, someway, the boy would still be breathing in the morning. She leaned against the door, the moonlight shining on her pale face.

The sun woke Cerryn the next morning, shining brightly onto her face, warming her skin. Her eyes flew wide open as she remembered why she was sleeping outside of her father's study.

She stood and yanked the door open quietly, praying the boy would still be alive. She ran to the chair, as she had done so many times to speak to her father.

Her gaze fell on the boy; his eyes were closed, his face peaceful. He hadn't moved when she came in. Yesterday, he'd been on full alert. She set her hand on his cheek; he was colder than he had been yesterday, too. "Hey, wake up," she whispered, laying her hand onto his shoulder. He didn't stir. He hadn't been lying last night; he was gone.

Tears streamed down the girl's face. Her father walked in, sadness in his eyes. He didn't like to see his daughter cry; nothing should upset her. "Cerryn," he said, putting an arm around her shoulders, "come on. Go eat breakfast and forget about this night." He paused and sighed. "It was something you should not have been made aware of."

A/N: So, what did you think? I'm pretty mean to Cujo; the poor guy just can't get a break. If you want another Cujo story, review! (And I might not kill him next time!)