True Memoirs of A Liar 2: Sacrifice
Author: C Lawson

Chapter 39
Sickening Surprise pt.3


“Calm him down,” Giovanni ordered in a forced, soothing voice. “I don’t want to miss.” Alex panicked further at the mention ‘missing’.  I shook my head and told him how absolutely ridiculous he was being.  I’m not sure, but I think he stuck his tongue out at me.

            “Get him still!” Giovanni exclaimed, her voice raising only the tiniest bit, but everyone looked at her in surprise.  I’d never heard her raise her voice, even in the slightest.

            “Alex, stay still,” I coaxed, trying to calm him down by pushing my fingers through his hair.  His bronze locks were drenched; soaked through with sweat.  I laid my lips against his ear and took a deep breath, praying to I-don’t-know-who, hoping that my last resort would work.  I sang to him, at first low and shaky, then, as my voice built up strength, Alex’s thrashing weakening.  I sang I Sing For You; it was the closest thing that we’d ever get to an ‘our song’.  He rocked back in forth in my arms and a few convulsions wracked him.

            I kept singing even as Giovanni lifted the needle to Alex’s arm.  Alex kept eye contact with me; I continued to hum the melody after the song came to an end.

            “Is he going to be okay?” I asked Giovanni in a submissive tone.  As much as I hated to admit it; I was scared for Alex, and this was her area of expertise.  I wiped the sweat off of my brow with the back of my hand.  My heart was playing a game of racquetball against my ribs as I awaited Giovanni’s answer.

            “I don’t know.  He should be.” She read the anxiety in my eyes. “It’s too early to tell, Camille.” I sat up straighter, hardening my back.  Alex squirmed around in my lap until he was comfortable; or, at least as comfortable as he could be.

            “What’s wrong with him?” I asked.  Giovanni shook her head, wordlessly telling me that I didn’t want to know. “Poison,” I stated, steeling myself for the worst.

            “Possibly.  He had an allergic reaction to something he ate.  But we’ve served him the same thing before.  So, honestly, I’m thinking a ten-four on the poison.” Joey rubbed my shoulder affectionately. “Joey, Samuel, Lena, go get me a piece of paper, a pen, cold bottled water, loads of it, our prescription slips, and a change of sheets.” Everyone left abruptly except for Othello. “Elly, keep an eye on them, I’ve got to go get a few first-aid things from my quarters.  I’ll be back in ten minutes.  I’ll tell Jed to take shifts with you.  Camille,” she called softly.  I looked at her through blurry eyes. “I’ll have your dinner sent up.”

            “Thanks,” I croaked out. “But what about Alex?”

            “He’s really in no condition to eat.  He most likely couldn’t keep it down anyway.  We are going to have to flush out his system as best we can.  Until I tell you differently, Alex, I need you to stay still, alright?” Alex nodded weakly.

            “Gia?” I called (using her rare nickname) quietly.

            “No time for questions right now.  But when I get back you can ask me anything you want.” I bit the left corner of my bottom lip and nodded in agreement.

            Then she disappeared around the corner of the wall and I heard the door click softly.  She didn’t know it, but I owed Giovanni my life and my heart after what she’d done for Alex.

            “Stay,” he grumbled again.  I pushed back the forelock of hair off of his forehead.

            “I will.  I’m not going anywhere.” Othello had never really told me his opinion on my relationship with Alex, so he surprised me with his next words.

            “You stay with him, Little Cammy.” I raised my gaze to his face.  His features appeared to have been indented on his skull. “I can see it in your eyes and his.  That kind of certainty comes only once in a lifetime.  Stay together, yeah?”

            Alex coughed a hacking cough; demanding my attention.  My head swiveled until my eyes found his face. “I like him.  He’s a smart man,” Alex said in a raspy voice.  I laughed weakly and half-heartedly.

            “Since when did you get so smart?” I asked Othello, letting my eyes skim Alex’s body, checking to make sure he was really okay.

            “Since I saw you bite Samuel to get to someone who you’ve supposedly been trying to avoid for weeks now, yeah.” Alex and I both laughed until Alex stopped laughing slowly, his chuckle dying like a car breaking down on the highway.

            “What’s wrong?” I wondered, scanning him again.

            “I…” he sighed, then shook his head changing his mind, “sleepy.” I nodded and stroked his chest.

            “Go to sleep,” I told him, settling him back against the pillows.

            “When I wake up—”

            “I’ll be here,” I assured him softly, taking his hand in mine.  I expected him to believe me, close his eyes, and surrender to the pull of sleep.  But he still eyed me warily.

            “Do you—”

            “I promise, you silly man!  Now go to sleep before I knock you out,” I threatened semi-playfully.  Still, his eyes stayed glued to my face.  I raised my hand as if to wave, but curled it up into a fist, emphasizing my point.  Alex smiled without showing his teeth and started to close his eyes; even this he did hesitantly.  I watched him for a few minutes until Giovanni walked back into the room.  She saw Alex sleeping and then nodded to Othello.  She was back to her usually silent state.

            “How long will it take for him to get over this?” I asked nervously.  Giovanni wrapped a band around his upper arm and took his blood pressure.  She then shoved a thermometer under his tongue, waking him up as she wrote down his temperature.  Alex looked at her, realized it wasn’t me, then searched for me quickly.  I grabbed his hand and cradled it in both of mine, crushing our hands against my chest.

            “I’ll be fine,” Alex insisted, not sounding sure of himself in the slightest.  I gave him an incredulous look; he shrugged in response. “I’m sorry.  I should’ve checked the food or something.” I shook my head fervently.  I was the one who should’ve done something… anything.

            “No, it’s not your fault.” My eyes lowered in shame.  I knew I couldn’t protect him if he was here.  He should be at home, with Serenity.  They could protect each other.  Here, I was on Edward’s turf. “It’s my fault.  I’m so sorry.” Alex nodded in agreement.  Shock rammed into my head; was he supposed to agree with me?

            “Yeah, it kind of is.  Imagine how better off we’d be if you’d have stayed with me.” I shut my eyes, determined not to cry, turning my head away from him.  Alex was joking, I could hear it clearly in his voice, but the guilt that stung my throat wasn’t very funny. “I was—” he broke off into a groan of pain—“—kidding.  Everything’s alright, okay?” I nodded wanting to believe him, but knowing that I couldn’t.


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