"I just..." She sighed, and turned her head to look at the boy lying next to her on her bed.
"I know. I know." He laid his hand over hers, and she squeezed his fingers thankfully.
"Ivan..." The girl's forehead crinkled, and she removed her hand from his, laying it over the sides of her head, trying to limit the discomfort.
"What?" His eyes widened. "Zael, are you okay?"
And then she screamed.
Ivan scrambled to press his fingers over her mouth, and he hissed sharply when her teeth bit into his skin, red bleeding between her lips as she writhed beneath him.
"No, no, no, no," he muttered, reaching for the cylinder attached to his belt and withdrawing a needle. Without a second's hesitation, he stabbed it into her thigh, eliciting a thin wail of pain. Her brother pushed on the plunger with his thumb, making sure to transfer the clear liquid into her body.
She quieted down after a moment, the whimpers dying down into a small noise, one that sounded suspiciously like Ivan's name.
The girl shuffled across the bed to him, seeking comfort.
He let her lie on his chest and tucked her head underneath his chin.
They both pretended she wasn't crying.