Get Well Soon

Kaden stood outside the bedroom door holding a tray that was loaded with all manner of breakfast food: Bagels with crème cheese, roasted bacon, scrambled eggs—but as happy as the breakfast looked, the bearer looked like he'd rather be setting off into the scorpion den. With a sigh, he balanced the tray in one hand and with the other opened the door.

It was practically the same as pressing play on the stereo. Without a moment's delay, when that door opened, the occupant inside immediately began to scream—


"I'm holding your breakfast so shut up!" Kaden snapped quickly.

"You managed the door, didn't you? You could manage a knock too!"

"Eat your fucking breakfast and choke on it!" Kaden slammed the tray down on the night stand and then turned to stomp out of the room. When he had just rounded the corner of the frame he heard her yell, "You forgot my orange juice!"

Kaden froze, his whole body tense with irritation. For a moment he thought, "Fuck this!" But then he was calm again and he continued on his way to the kitchen.

"You forgot her orange juice," Marcella said with a smirk when he walked in.

"Shut up," he snapped.

"I'll take it to her," Shane offered from her seat on the counter. She hopped to the floor and grabbed the glass.

"Is Anna feeling better?" Charlotte asked hopefully.

"I didn't ask," Kaden replied from the corner of his mouth.

"Kaden," Charlotte said in that tone akin to a mother scolding her children. "You should be more patient with Anna. She's ill—"

"She's ill, all right—an ill hornet!" Kaden was sure to yell load enough that his voice carried down the hall.

"Anna is always patient with you when she has to take care of you," Charlotte pointed out. "Doesn't she deserve the same kindness?"

"She ain't used to being the sick one either, is she?" added Marcella from her seat at the bar.

Kaden opened his mouth to respond, but Charlotte cut him off by holding up her index finger in his face. "Before you say she's asking for it, think of how ungratefully you act nearly 100% of the time."

Kaden's mouth shut with an audible 'click.' Grumbling about the terror that is women he turned and stalked away, climbing the stairs to the lounge.

"Doesn't he get tired of getting worked up over everything?" Marcella questioned, one eyebrow quirked.


Shane sat back in her chair, her face showing how startled she was at Anna's outburst. The smaller girl sat in bed propped up on pillows. Her massive amount of red hair had been braided and piled on top of her head. Her green eyes were dulled by fever and red-rimmed. She was constantly sniffling, and bouts of coughing had her voice strained and rough. Though her complexion was naturally fair, now she looked white as a sheet, her skin nearly translucent.

"You can't heal or take some kind of potion…?" Shane asked, wondering if her question would only prove to upset Anna more.

"I've tried," Anna groaned, "but I'm still coughing and puking, sneezing and blowing my nose so hard my brain ought to be on these tissues!" She sunk deeply into the pillows, sighing. "And I don't have any herbs with me."

"Well, it sounds like the flu," said Shane.

Anna stared at her with round eyes. The blank stare baffled the she-vampire.

"Gods, Anna, I know your people don't get sick, but don't you know what the flu is?"

Anna's brow knit together and she glared. "Why should Ah if we don' ge' sick?"

Shane picked up the accent like a tornado siren—it was time to take cover. "To get better y'sleep an' drink a lot of water." She gave her a lopsided little grin. "See ya later."

Kaden hadn't expected to be found by Shane once he had left the lounge, but when she approached him in the marketplace his heart skipped a beat and only one thought came to mind: Has something happened to Anna?

"There you are," Shane said, but there was no delight in her tone. "Why aren't you helping Anna get better?"

Kaden pursed his lips. He should snap at her to mind her own business, but he was in the mood to complain, "She doesn't want me around."

Shane rolled her eyes, looking as thought she had never heard anything so ridiculous. "You are an idiot, aren't you?"

"You're a bitch!"

Shane ignored him. "She has the flu, douchebag; she doesn't need a cancer like you around too." She channeled her hatred into her glare for a moment before turning on her heel and stalking away.

Kaden flowered after her, his teeth bared in rage. When she was out of sight he calmed down and sighed, sharing his hands in his pockets and turning away.

Anna was savagely blowing her nose when there came a knock on her door. She considered telling whoever it was to leave her alone, especially if it were Kaden. She seethed at the thought, still angry at him for earlier.

"Come in," she called reluctantly.

The door opened and Kaden poked his head around the corner.

"NO! Go away!" Anna yelled hoarsely. "Shane—" She was cut off by a bout of coughing.

Kaden stepped into the room, shutting the door behind him. He held a red gift bag in his band. Before Anna could ask about it he held it out, practically thrusting it into her arms.

"Just look inside," he muttered. She looked up at him, but his eyes were averted.

There was no tissue paper, so when she looked into the bag she saw all at once what its contents were. But her mind latched first on the white stuffed bear. Her jaw fell open as she lifted him from the bag. He wore a green scarf and his eyes were black buttons.

Anna looked at Kaden with joyful disbelief, but he was still staunchly looking away. However, now his cheeks burned red. The Aushlen girl resisted a giggle and turned back to her goody bag. Sitting under the bear was a box. When she pulled it out she saw that it was flu medicine.

She couldn't explain why, but her eyes filled with tears and she started to cry.

Kaden was horrified. "What!? Why are you crying!?"

Anna's reply was punctuated with hiccups, "Be"—hic—"cause you're never"—hic—"this nice"—hic—"to me!"

Kaden sighed, running a hand through his hair. He sat on the edge of the bed and held his hand out for the medicine. He deftly opened it and pulled the bottle from it.

"It tastes nasty," he explained as he drew it up in the included measuring cup, "But it works." He held the cup of red liquid out to her.

She smiled gratefully and for a moment, despite her messy hair and red nose, Kaden found her adorable. When she had taken the medicine and handed the cup back to him, he leaned in and kissed her. He didn't care if he got sick, and he ignored the taste of the medicine.

He cupped her face with one hand, tangling his fingers in her hair. When he drew back and gazed at her and smirked, "Druggie."

Anna grabbed her pillow and began to beat Kaden mercilessly with it. He laughed gruffly, snatching it from her and capturing her in his arms.

"Kaden!" she shrieked at him but then immediately began to laugh.

"Calm down before you start hacking up a lung," Kaden warned. He held her firmly against him, his arms around her slender waist.

Anna did as she said and sighed contentedly. "Thank you, Kaden."