Kara changed her pajamas for the second time that night after she changed her sheets. She had a fever, but without a thermometer she could only guess at what her temperature was. She only knew she was hot right now, but would soon be shivering with the chills. Padding out to the living room she dumped her sheets into the washer and went to pour herself yet another glass of juice. She had just shut the refrigerator door when her phone started vibrating madly on the table.
“Hello?” She croaked her greeting into the phone, her voice barely recognizable even to herself.
“Princess, is that you?” Richie pulled the phone from his ear and checked the number, sure he hadn’t misdialed.
“Yes Rich. It’s me.” She coughed again, “is everything okay?” She glanced at the clock, “how was the show?”
Richie winced at the sound of her cough, “Princess have you been to the doctor? You sound terrible.”
Kara tried to laugh, “that’s an improvement over how I feel.” He heard her sigh. “No, I haven’t been to the doctor. It’s just a cold. I’ll be fine in a couple of days.”
Richie wasn’t going to lecture her, she was a grown woman after all and she should know when she should go to the doctor. “The show was fine. What are you doing up anyway?”
Kara curled into their chair, “I had to change my sheets and my pajamas and my phone started vibrating.”
He rubbed his hand across his forehead, she was worse than Ava, “go back to bed princess. You have a fever, you shouldn’t be up and about.” He made a mental note to call his mother tomorrow and ask her to bring Kara some soup. “Where are you right now?”
Kara pulled a blanket around her, “our chair. I can breathe slightly better sitting up.”
Richie paced the room, “okay princess, stay in the chair, but try to get some sleep. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
After they hung up Richie decided against calling his mother. Instead, he threw some things in a bag and went and knocked on the door across the hall. Jon yawned as he opened the door, “what do you want?”
Richie didn’t hesitate, “the plane.”
Jon’s eyes widened in surprise; “what the hell for?”
Richie pushed Jon into the room and shut the door, “I just got off the phone with Kara, she’s sick and I want to go make sure she’s all right.”
Jon studied his friend, “you love her don’t you?”
Richie nodded, “I do man. Look, I’ll go tonight and meet you in Chicago on Saturday. I just need to see for myself that she’s all right.”
Jon could see the worry etched into Richie’s face. “Go man. Just be back in time for sound check on Saturday.”
Richie hugged him briefly, “thanks man.”
Jon waved him off, “just get out of here already and let me get some sleep.”
Richie used the key Kara had given him and he let himself into her apartment. After quietly dropping his bag and hanging up his coat he went in search of Kara. He found her curled up in the chair, covered with a blanket. He reached out and felt her forehead. She was warm, but not overly so. He left her to go make sure her bed was made. He came back out, scooped her up and settled her in her bed, pillows stacked under her head to keep her propped up. With a gentle kiss on her forehead he backed out of the room and shut the door.
Looking around he gathered up the two dirty glasses and put them in the dishwasher. He remembered her telling him she had to wash her sheets so he checked her washing machine, they were still in there. He moved the sheets to the dryer and stretched out on the couch.
When Kara opened her eyes she looked around, confused. How did I get in here? She couldn’t remember getting out of the chair and going back to bed. Getting up she grabbed some clean pajamas and decided that taking a shower might help her feel better. After brushing her teeth she stepped into the steamy shower and just stood there, letting the hot water cascade over her, the steam helping to ease her breathing.
When she was finished she dried off and pulled on her clean pajamas quickly, not wanting to get chilled. Pulling her hair back in a loose ponytail she headed to the kitchen for a cup of tea and more cold medicine. She stopped short as she made her way through the living room. There was someone on her couch.