She tested her arm gingerly, barely managing to conceal her wince as pain danced up and down the limb from her reconstructed fingers on up to her shoulder. It was better, though–much better than it had been only a few days before.

Alana grimaced. “Now if only I could convince a particular doctor that I’m not going to fall over sideways if he lets me out of bed…”

“I heard that.”

She twisted and was pleased to find that the motion didn’t make her dizzy. Another improvement over the past few days. “I didn’t hear you come in, Ezra.”

“I figured.” He straightened from his lean in the doorway and came to sit next to her on the bed. He looked tired, dark shadows ringing his eyes and a slump to his shoulders. She rested her good hand on his knee and squeezed gently.

“You look like hell,” she said.

“I kind of feel like it, too.” Ezra reached up and brushed her hair back from her face. “No change to Winston’s condition. We could be in trouble.”

“He’ll be all right,” Alana said softly. “He’s got the best doctor in the known galaxy looking after him.”

Ezra snorted and shook his head, leaning forward and resting his elbows against his knees. “If you say so. Right now, I really don’t feel like I measure up to that particular honor.”

“You do.” Alana leaned against him, careful of her still-tender arm. “Is that all that’s bothering you?”

“That, Brendan, and missing you.” Ezra smiled up over his shoulder at her and reached up to trace the curve of her jaw with a fingertip. “Brendan should mend well enough. He’s much better than he was. But Winston…”

“He’ll be fine.” Alana kissed his cheek gently. “Just like Brendan and I.”

“Mm. This is a prelude to something, isn’t it?”

“I need to get out of here, Ezra. I’m going nuts.”

He arched a brow at her and she sighed. “I mean it,” she said. “I need to get out of here, get some air–go for a walk, a run, something. Keeping me cooped up like this is inhumane.”

“One condition,” he said.

“What’s that?”

“You stay on your medication and you tell me where you’re going, when you’re going.”

Alana’s nose wrinkled. “That’s actually two conditions.”

“Whatever. Are you going to agree or not?”

“You don’t even have to ask.” She kissed him again, giving him the soft, gentle smile she reserved for him and him alone. “I’m going to put some clothes on and walk to the cafe. Do you want me to bring back some dinner for you?”

“I will not say no to dinner,” Ezra said, rubbing his face with the heel of his hand. “Don’t be long, huh?”

“I won’t. Take a nap.”

“I’ll try,” he murmured. She gave him a gentle push backward, toward the pillows.

“Take a nap, Ezra.”

He let her press him down and smiled sheepishly. “That bad?”

“That bad. I’ll be back in an hour. Sleep.”

He gave her a faint grin. “Yes ma’am.”

All Alana could do was kiss him again and laugh.

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