I moaned. Everything was black and I tried to lift my arms but they were too heavy. Even though I turned my head, it was all dark.
Was I dead? Had I died from the fight with Duke Abbott?
I decided to inspect my surroundings. Maybe being dead wasn't so bad; especially if I got to stay in such a comfortable bed. It felt like a fluffy cloud, as did the pillow under my head. I moved my right arm around until it went over the edge of the bed. There was nothing there.
Okay. So I'm in a comfy bed floating in the middle of blackness. I guess I could deal with that. But what was to my left?
I slid my left hand over and hit something solid and warm. I frowned. Wait a minute. What? I slapped it and came in contact with flesh. No fair. This was my bed to be dead in!
"You're not dead, Kendra," the person said.
"Who's there?" I asked, slurring slightly. "It's not fair. Can't I be dead in peace?"
They laughed again. "It's me, Kendra."
"I don't know anyone named 'me'."
A scoff. "Maybe this will help."
Two cold lips pressed to mine and I gasped, kissing them back. It felt amazing. They licked my lips and I eagerly accepted their request. Our tongues moved together and I tried to reach up for them.
"Open your eyes," they whispered into my lips.
"Are you God?" I asked. "No. No, God wouldn't kiss me like that. That's just weird."
Suddenly, something heavy landed on my stomach and I grunted.
"Can't a person be dead in peace?" I grumbled.
"Cami keeps trying to play with me but I have no clue about anything to do with cats."
"Cami? She dead, too?" The person laughed and ran their finger down my nose. "You have a really sexy laugh, you know."
"Yeah. And a nice voice. You smell good, too. It's a shame. If I weren't pledged to someone already, I'd run away with you."
"Well, I'm glad to hear that," they said.
"Ah. You a lady's man?"
"No. But I am your star so you don't have to run away with me. Not that either of us are in any shape to run, anyway."
Finally, my eyelids started to move and I blinked my eyes open. My vision was blurry so I blinked some more as a person came into focus over me.
"Solomon?" I gasped and he beamed at me. "Is-Is it really you?"
He took my hand and kissed my fingers. "Yeah, it's really me," he whispered.
"I'm not dead?"
"No," someone said. "No, I am afraid not."
I looked around. "Uncle Ilya?"
He smiled at me. He was holding a goblet and helped lift my head so I could drink whatever blood was in there. I drank deeply and moaned.
"Oh, that tastes wonderful."
"That is because it is your star's blood."
I looked at the foot of the bed. My parents were there, looking torn between amusement and fear.
They both came forward and hugged me gently.
"Hey," Mama breathed, wiping at her tears of blood. "How are you feeling?"
"Confused," I said honestly. I tried to sit up. "Oh jeez," I said as pain shot through me. "Yeah, I'm not going to try that again."
My papa laughed as Solomon kissed my fingers again.
"You have a lot of injuries, Kendra," Papa sighed.
"What do you mean?" I asked and Uncle Ilya answered.
"Your ribs are broken, your hip bone is dislocated, your left arm is just now healing from a broken bone, and you have lost more blood than I care to think of."
"And I'm still alive?" I asked in shock and they all laughed.
"You are still alive," Uncle Ilya nodded.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, trying to rub my eyes.
Cami curled up on my chest and bumped her head against my chin. I giggled and Solomon put my hand on her for me. I smiled thankfully at him.
"Richard," he said simply and I nodded. Of course. "I have to go."
I pouted. "You're getting the urge already?"
He glanced at Papa with a small smile.
"Well, it would seem that perhaps a good fight is what Ilya and I needed," Papa said.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Long story short: I tried to take you from Erik and he did not take that well. Much fighting happened," Ilya laughed. "I will be able to stay longer now."
"Oh good," I said.
"For now, though, I need to make sure your brother has not worried himself to death."
"We will give you some privacy," Mama said and kissed my forehead. "I am so glad you are okay."
"Likewise," I yawned.
They shut the door quietly and Solomon sighed, putting his forehead on mine. He closed his eyes.
"I was terrified," he muttered.
"Hi," I whispered and he chuckled, opening his eyes and nudging my nose with his.
"Hi," he said. "What did you mean when you asked Ilya if he was feeling the urge?"
"He and Papa are brothers by blood," I said. "However, they had two different masters who were rivals. If Papa and Ilya are around each other for too long, they get the urge to attack each other." He nodded thoughtfully. "Your turn. What happened?"
He laughed and tried to lay down beside me comfortably.
"I don't feel like talking so we'll do it this way."
I laughed as he put his fingers on my forehead and helped me put mine on his. We both shut our eyes and I was transported back to the barn where we fought Duke Abbott.