Spike pushed my hair out of my face and smiled weakly. He wiped away my tears and kissed my cheek. He was sat in front of me on the hospital bed, holding my hand.
“It’ll be all right,” he said comfortingly.
“No, it won’t,” I pressed.
“I can’t change ever again.”
“In a few days, all those blood cells from the transfusion will die and they’ll be replaced by your own.”
“Since when did you have a doctorate in biology?”
He smiled. “A* in biology, remember?”
“Oh, yeah, in every single test.”
He laughed. “That’s me.” A worried expression crossed his face.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Can you not hear the others?”
“They want to know whether you’re okay.”
“I’m alright now. Better than I was anyway.”
“OK, think of the transfusion this way: if they hadn’t done it, you’d be dead and because they did, it’ll only be a few days before you’re back to normal. A week tops.”
I squeezed his hand. “Thank you. How did you know I was here?”
“Your mum rang me from your phone. Well, she rang my house and my mum sent Astin out on his bike to find me. Nephi feels really bad by the way.”
I waved my hand. “Not his fault.”
“Of course not,” I mocked.
I stuck my tongue out at him. “My parents hate you.”
“They just don’t understand why you’re my best friend. They think I should have more ‘normal’ friends.”
“What’s more normal than a bunch of teenage wolves?” he joked.
I laughed. “God, Altair’s been really weird recently.”
“Recently? He hasn’t changed for the last five years. He thinks he’s in love with you. And he’s quite depressed that you don’t like him back.”
“I do like him.”
“You know what I mean. I know you like him, but you don’t have a crush on him. Do you?”
I touched his cheek. “Jealous?”
“Do you?” he repeated.
“No. God, Spike, pushy or what?”
“Sorry. It’s just, you know, busy night. First I have to stop you killing Nephi, then I have to rush to your emotional aid.”
“Life’s so hard, isn’t it?”
He kissed the back of my hand and stood up.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“I think I should leave you to get some sleep.”
“Hey! If you’re tired, you can sleep here.”
He smiled, almost sadly. “I don’t think the doctors will be too happy about that.”
I shrugged. “Oh well. Come here.”
He sighed with defeat although he hadn’t really made an argument. He kicked his shoes off and sat next to me in the bed.
“Are you sure, Ingrid?” he asked.
“Lie down,” I urged.
“Shut up, Spike.”
He smiled and lay down next to me. He fiddled with my auburn hair, twirling it around his fingers. His dark orange eyes shone in the light. He reached up and turned the light off. The only light was the one that came out of the monitor screen.
“Remember when we were little and we used to have sleepovers every new moon?” he whispered.
I chuckled quietly. “Yeah. That was fun.”
“Why did we stop doing that?”
“I’m not sure.”
“We should do that again.”
“Hmm,” I said, agreeing.
My eyes were sliding shut. I was absolutely exhausted. Just before I slipped into sleep, I felt something press against my lips.
“Goodnight, Ingrid,” whispered Spike.