It is done: Chapter Seventeen is done, finished, first drafted.
In the last scene written Annie got caught, but the punishment . . . well, it’s not all that hard. Really. Nurse Coraline is a big softy. Not only that, but Annie admitted something that she wouldn’t tell Kerry–probably not ever–but she would admit to another woman.
(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
“It’s not just that, Nurse Coraline—” Annie hated to admit to anything bothering her; it wasn’t her nature. And it wasn’t like what she was about to admit to bothered her a lot, but given her current situation, she knew what she was about to say wouldn’t go beyond the person listening. “Kerry always sees me to my room. He’s the last person I see before getting ready for bed. And . . . we’re the only ones on the floor. Even though he’s on the other side of the tower, it’s comforting to know if I needed him, I only have to knock on his door.”
Now we know that there’s always a “Good Night” given somewhere on the First Floor of Cernunnos Tower, and that Annie had to go to the hospital to get hers that night–but that’s not the same, is it? Doesn’t really have the same, loving impact that holding hands and giving someone a kiss and telling them “good night” before heading into your room to fall asleep has. Which is probably why Annie is back on the ward because . . . well, she has her reasons.
And Coraline has to lay down the law.
“Okay, Annie.” Coraline patted the girl’s shoulder. “Here’s what’s going to happen: first, consider this a warning. The rules I have about sneaking into my hospital are there for a reason, and I don’t like seeing anyone break them—even people I like. Should this happen again, there’s gonna be detention.”
Annie glanced down and nodded once. “It won’t happen again.”
“That’s good, because you don’t want detention from me.” She didn’t bother waiting for the question from Annie. “It’s always the same: you’re sent to clean up the morgue. In the lower levels. At night.” She slowly raised her eyebrows as she smirked. “No one ever wants a second detention from me.”
Annie met Coraline’s stare. “I don’t want a first.”
“Then don’t sneak onto my ward again.”
Yeah, girl, this is crazy, but you just snuck onto my ward floor, so how about heading down to the morgue at eight-thirty PM and doing a little dusting maybe. No bodies lying about, but that doesn’t mean the place hasn’t been used.
But the Head Doctor/Nurse isn’t a total meanie:
“I believe you.” She slid her hand behind Annie’s shoulders and directed her back down the ward corridor. “Now, second: I’m gong to to walk you back to your tower—” She felt the girl stiffen under her fingertips. “I’ll see you into your commons, and I’ll give you something that will help you sleep. And I’ll watch you take it, just to make certain you have—”
Annie hung her head. “Yes, Nurse Coraline.”
“—after you spend some time with Kerry.”
Annie looked up, absorbing what she’d just been told. “Really?”
“Did you think I wasn’t going to give you at least a little time with him?” Coraline stopped in front of Kerry’s curtained-off bay. “Like I said, Annie, I’m a romantic, too. If I’d had a boyfriend in the hospital when I was an A Level, and I felt about him the way you feel for Kerry, I’d have probably risked detention to see him.”
“Thank you, Nurse Coraline.” Annie was genuinely touched. She knew Coraline was upset with her rule breaking, but she also sensed the honesty behind her actions. “How much time do I get?”
“I’ll give you thirty minutes.” She half way slid back the bay curtain and spoke softly. “I’ll come and get you when time’s up. No one will bother you, so Team Annie—” Coraline grinned broadly. “—can have enough time to comfort her sleeping boy.”
Team Annie. Because only pervo vampires sneak into someone’s place of rest and sit their watching them while they sleep. Nurse Gretchen already called Annie out on this, saying she was getting into some “strange Twilight stuff” with that, but that’s okay with Annie, because . . .
Annie sat and moved the chair as close to the bed as possible without scrunching her legs against the frame. She knew it likely seemed strange to both Gretchen and Coraline that she wanted to sit and watch Kerry sleep, but she felt that since she couldn’t share their dreams together—for whatever reason—this was the next best thing.
If I can’t see you in my dreams, I’ll do the next best thing. Which means it much torture her to sleep across the tower from Kerry and not be able to do the same. You can draw any conclusions you like . . .
But do it fast, because Samhain is up next, and believe me: Halloween dances at a school full of witches and gifted kids might just be a lot of fun.