Kiora was going to LIVE! There are no words to describe how happy I am right now. I hugged her close to me and wanted to laugh out loud with happiness. "Don't you ever do that to me again!" I whispered fiercely, "Do you have any idea what you put me though? Waiting for you to come back? And when I finally come to get you, I find you on the floor, bleeding and barely conscious. The worry that you caused me?" 

Kiora looked at the ground as her cheeks turned pink, "I'm sorry," she mumbled. 

I sighed, I couldn't stay mad at her, even if I had wanted to. I sighed, "What am I going to do with you Kiora?" I asked of no one in particular. 

"Kiss me?" Kiora asked, smiling coyly.

I hesitated for all of three seconds before leaning toward her. Just before my lips touched hers Ambrose scared us and fell out of the tree laughing. After paying him back with a soaking, he told the others were waiting then began moving through the forest. I carefully picked up Kiora and followed Ambrose to a huge, abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. 

As I carried Kiora in, I noticed that her lips were pursed tightly with pain and there were lines of strain around her eyes. "Are there any decent beds around here?" I asked Ambrose.

He nodded and pointed me upstairs, "They're up there, twenty-two rooms each with a bed and a little bit of other furniture."

"Thanks," I replied as I carried Kiora carefully upstairs. 

I laid her on the bed and then moved to flip on the light. It was a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling by the wires which fed it with electricity. Then I took a chair and pulled it up near the bed to keep Kiora company. I ran my hand through her silky black hair and down her cheek and sighed, "It's so nice to have you back in one piece."Kiora smiled back at me and put her hand on top of mine, "Thank you," she whispered. I paused, perplexed...what was she thanking me for? Kiora smiled at my confusion and explained, "for being here, for saving me..." she trailed off. I reached down and carefully hugged her. 

A knock came at the door, and I had to let Kiora go to go answer it. I found a worried Evelyn waiting there, "Can I see Kiora?" She asked. I smiled and nodded as I moved to the side to let her in. She rushed to Kiora's side and started to bombard her with questions. Kiora smiled and answered them happily. 

Feeling unneeded, I slipped quietly out of the room to explore the house. I first looked through the other rooms, some had obviously been claimed, but others most were empty. I found one that had a big bookshelf full of books, right next to Kiora's room and decided that this would be my room. I took a look through the shelves and found that whoever had lived here before, had had the same tastes as me in books. I saw a lot of books by Ted Dekker, a few by Frank Peretti, and all of the Andre Norton books in existence. I was thrilled! Time for books later though...I moved downstairs but didn't stop, I moved directly down into the basement. When I got there I stood and gaped for a while. There was literally thousands of canned foodstuffs, just about every food that could be put in a can was, from different assorted meats, to fruit (even strawberries!).

My stomach growled loudly, reminding that I hadn't really had a good meal since I had escaped from the government at the hotel. I went through the rows of cans, taking out all the ingredients for a stir-fry...enough for everyone here. Then I carried them up to the kitchen and started to clean up the things and places that I would need. Eventually, I got the stuff out and began to cook. When I had finished the topping for the rice, I started the rice going and moved over to the sink to clean dishes and silverware for everyone to eat from. After setting the table, the rice had pretty much finished, so I called everyone in for dinner. Once everyone had been seated and was contentedly eating their first good meal in a long while I loaded two more plates and moved up to Kiora's room again. 

After helping her sit up I placed the plate full of food on her lap then sat next her to eat my own food. Cooking had put me in a very good mood, it reminded me of home, where half the time I did the cooking for the family because mom didn't enjoy cooking so much anymore. I beamed at Kiora as she made happy noises while chewing on her first bite, "This is really good!" she exclaimed when she swallowed.

I turned pink and looked away, "Thanks," I murmured, embarrassed. 

The End

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