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   My lips were chapped, and I was wearing someone else’s shorts and tank top. Wonder how they got there, I thought for a moment. My throat was parched, and I was starving. I wanted to thank Roman. Just then, though, a knock sounded on the door, Jace’s entrance following.


        Roman was next to me, his lips near my ear. I shifted awkwardly, rolling my shoulders back into the comfortable bed. Jace sat down on his bed, smiling at me.

               “Did you sleep well, Ava?” he asked.

               Naturally, a yawn came. I smiled, batting my lashes lazily. “Wonderfully. I’m sorry I kicked you out of your bed. Have you slept?” I asked.

               He shook his head. “Don’t be sorry, I’m glad to give my bed up for you. Unfortunately, no, I did not sleep.” He grinned. “Don’t worry about me, though.”

               I grabbed the hair tie off my wrist and pulled my knot-infested hair back into a bun that fell on the side of my head. I sat up, the blood rushing to my head. Blackness blurred my vision, spots of red forming moving patterns, which looked like optical illusions.

               “Oh, I-“

               “Are you okay?” Jace asked. Before I knew what was happening, he had his hands on my head, feeling for a temperature. He directed his attention toward Roman. “Get Victoria,” he ordered.

               Roman looked like he was about to protest, but gave up quickly. He left the room, obeying Jace.

               Jace whispered, “Your temperature feels high.”

               I said, “I’m fine. Just hungry.”

               His hands moved to my cheeks, causing me to blush. “I think you’re burning up.”

               I laughed. “I’m blushing, Jace. Seriously, just get me some food. What’s the saying- Feed a fever, starve a cold?”

               “I think it’s backwards, actually,” he chuckled.

               I waved it away, unconcerned. He reached for a glass of water on the bedside table and offered it to me. I took it gratefully.

               The woman, Victoria, entered the room. “Oh, dear, are you alright?” she whispered to me. I nodded slowly, unsure what to make of her. She was wearing sweatpants, a t-shirt, and an apron. She pulled out a thermometer and stuck it under my tongue. It felt cold in my mouth, poking at… whatever mouths have.

               She pulled it out of my mouth and raised her eyebrows. “Ninety-eight point seven. Just about perfect,” she mumbled, sounding suspicious. “Go eat something with protein. I think there’s some leftover chicken in the kitchen.”

               I nodded. “Thank y-“

               “Aren’t you a vegetarian?” questioned Jace. I blushed and nodded, glancing down at my hands, which were folded in my lap. “It’s okay. We can get you some nuts or something? Nuts have protein right?”

               I smiled and rolled my eyes. “Yes, nuts have protein.” Victoria nodded, patted my leg, and left. She was soon followed by Roman.


               “Are you still tired, Ava? I’m sorry to have woken you up. It’s only seven a.m.”

               I smiled and shook my head. “Jace, I’m used to getting up at quarter to four every morning,” I reassured him.

               “Oh, well, okay. But you must be tired,” he said.

               I shrugged. “Who cares? You have to sleep.”

               “But-“ he began

               “Butts are for pooping,” I interrupted, quoting Adventure Time- Shut up.

               He smiled and shook his head. “You are something else.”

               I raised my eyebrows. “I’ll take that as a compliment then, okay?’’

               “Sure?” he said, seeming to question it himself. I elbowed him in the gut, and he laughed. “There’s no true insulting thing I could say about you.”

               “Aww, that’s sweet. How many other girls have you said that to?” I joked.

               “Go to sleep.”

               “You go to sleep,” I protested.

               “We could sleep together?” he suggested. I laughed. He gasped. “Oh, god, no, not like that. I didn’t mean…”

               I shook my head. “Calm down, Jace. I get it. Just… come over here.”

               He nodded, crawling into the bed and settling down under the covers. I rolled over to face him.


            She was breathtaking, really. She turned over, facing me. Mind you, it was dark. But her face glowed.

Unconscious of my actions, I took her face in my hands and leaned towards her. My lips met her, and my body was shocked from my mouth to my face, around my stomach, and through to my legs. She gasped, kissing me again. I put my hands around her back and pulled her to me.


We fell asleep intertwined like that.

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