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   No sleep tonight.

   His arm itched. A ridiculously demanding tickle stuck under the folds of his cast. Derek was going to go mad, imagining every millisecond of pleasure he could enjoy from crushing a cheese grater across the taunting spot.

   It stopped.

   Not the itch, Derek’s attention to it.

   Someone was in the hallway. He could hear footsteps from the other side of the wall beside his bed. He requested this room at the end of the hall so he’d know footsteps coming to this end, close enough to hear, would be only for him. It wasn’t just one person either.

   He looked at the clock, 9:48 PM

   Watching the door as calmly as he could, Derek moved his right arm to the side of the hospital bed, feeling around until his fingers found the emergency distress alarm. He stilled himself as the locked door pulsed a small green light in response to a keycard. No way it’s the staff.

   Nabbing a keycard in a place like this would be easy, he’s done it once himself.

   The handle clicked open, the way someone would click their pen, after everyone in the class was annoyed by them. Silently.

   A solitary green eye appeared in the opening.

   Derek relaxed.

   The eye was framed with hair he wouldn’t forget anytime soon. A single profound lock of blue. Claire Brenson.

   “Oh!” she breathed, turning to people he couldn’t see, “He’s up!”

   “Whats… going on?” Derek flipped on the switch next to him.

   Clair opened the door smiling, followed by Grace, and Alex.

   Alex beamed a grin, hefting a box into view, “Merry Christmas man!” 

The End

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