"Brrrrr-ing! Brrrr-ing Brrring!"
The loud ringing sound of his alarm clock jerked Jordan Kyle awake.
"No," he mumbled to himself. "'M not ready to wake up yet."
"Brrrrr-ing! Brrrr-ing Brrring! Brring!"
The alarm clock began to ring again.
"Fine!" Jordan opened his eyes slowly, reaching out and turning off his alarm clock before he even woke up fully.
The first thing that hit him was the pain in his head. It wasn't a migraine, which he had gotten before he Changed, more of an ongoing, pulsing ache.
He groaned and pulled himself out of bed, shivering as his blanket fell away. Why was he so cold?
Jordan glanced around the room. Was his window open? Did he have the ancient, mostly-defunct A/C on?
Mystified, Jordan shivered again. He was freezing, and the room was the same temperature as he had left it. And he was sore, and had a headache. Maybe he had a cold?
Nah, Jordan discarded that idea. Because . . . werewolves don't get sick, right?
Right. Ignoring his various symptoms, Jordan padded into the kitchen.
Simon was already awake, slowly draining a mug of coffee and texting someone, presumably Isabelle.
"Hey," he said, looking up as Jordan plopped down at the table. "You look kinda sick. You ok?"
"Thanks," replied Jordan sarcastically. "Anyway, werewolves don't get sick!"
Simon arched an eyebrow (something that took becoming a Vampire to accomplish), but didn't say anything. It was obvious from the way his roommate spoke, walked, and moved that he was sick.
Just at that moment, Jordan's phone, which was lying on the kitchen table where he had left it the night before, buzzed.
Maia R: u up for something today? –Message Sent 9:32 AM-
Jordan smiled, forgetting about the way he felt. He was always up for something with Maia.
Jordan K: always ;) dinner that cool Italian place work for you? –Message Sent 9:36 AM-
"You sure you want to go on a date, today? I mean, if you're sick…" Simon trailed off at the look on Jordan's face.
"I'm. Not. Sick," he said, glaring daggers at Simon. "Anyway-"
"I know, I know," said Simon, smirking. "Werewolves don't get sick."
"Exactly." Jordan retreated back to his room. He had to work today, as miserable a concept as it seemed to him. But- maybe when he got going he would feel better.
With that glowing shard of hope, Jordan pulled on his favorite pair of sweatpants, thick socks, and long sleeved dark-blue shirt, layering a short-sleeved green t-shirt over it.
Still cold, he yanked a black sweatshirt on, ran his fingers through his hair, and walked back towards the door, to grab his phone, bag, and sneakers.
"That's a lot of layers, for a bike messenger in April."
Jordan couldn't see Simon, who was sprawled on the sofa playing "Call of Duty", but he got the distinct feeling that he was being laughed at.
"Yeah, well," he replied, before realizing belatedly that he couldn't think of anything to follow.
"You leaving now?" Simon paused the game, and glanced over at Jordan, who was crouching by the door, lacing up his sneakers.
"Yeah," Jordan replied, rising from the crouch he had been in. As he stood up, the pounding in his head intensified, and he whimpered softly, clutching his head.
"Are you ok?" Simon had crossed the room, and was peering at Jordan with a look of concern.
Jordan nodded slightly. The pain in his temples was fading back to a throb, but he felt colder than ever.
"Maybe you should take off work today, and come see the movie that Jace and Clary, Alec, and Isabelle and I are seeing?"
Jordan almost agreed- he was in no mood to bike around the city, and the thought of curling up somewhere and watching a movie was so tempting.
Then again, besides Alec, who had been moping around miserable since his breakup with Magnus, the others were all couples. And Jordan had no interest in third wheeling with a depressed teenaged Shadowhunter, i.e. Alec.
"Nah, I'm good. But thanks,"
"Huh. Well, ok, if you're sure that you want to bike today, it's your dumb choice to make." Simon threw himself back down on the coach. "See you tonight, I guess."
"Yeah-" Jordan adjusted his sweatshirt. "See you tonight."
By 2:00 in the afternoon, Jordan thought was ready to curl up and die.
He had been biking around all morning, and he was so exhausted that he actually found himself dozing off on his bike, while waiting at a red light. His legs felt like lead, and his head pounded dizzyingly fast. He had sat down at his favorite (dirt-cheap) pizzeria, but the thought of eating made his stomach clench painfully.
Now, he was stopped by a fire hydrant in Upper Manhattan, consulting the list of deliveries he needed to make.
Supposedly, he only had one more- delivering a package to the public library on 42nd St.
Thank god, Jordan thought, slowly swinging himself onto his bike. Traffic was slow and quiet, allowing Jordan to go at his choice of paces, which was a blessing, as Jordan couldn't seem to make himself go at a reasonable speed.
Every motion sent jolts of pain through his body, and his legs felt heavy-so heavy- and his head pounded, and-
"Hey! Watch where you're going!"
Jordan blinked, trying to clear his head. An elderly lady waved her cane at him angrily, and he realized that he had stopped in the middle of the crosswalk.
"Sorry," he tried to say, but only managed to cough.
He pulled to a stop at the curb, bending over, trying to catch his breath. After a few minutes of painful, hacking coughs that made his head hurt even more badly, and causing his chest to ache, he stopped, breathing deeply.
Pulling his phone out of his pocket, Jordan smiled as he saw a new text from Maia.
Maia R: hey bb wasup? –Message Sent 2:26 PM-
He replied quickly, grinning despite the cold, achy feeling in his body. He loved hearing from Maia.
Jordan K: nm, how bout u gorgeous? –Message Sent 2:30 PM-
Just before he got back on his bike, a reply from Maia zinged in.
Maia R: aww nm ur 2 sweet cant wait 4 dinner 2nite –Message Sent 2:37 PM-
Finally, after what seemed like hours, he had dropped off the last package, and thank god for that. Jordan could barely move by the time he was finished, his whole body achy, his head pounding, and throat painfully raw. He slowly made his way to the nearest Starbucks, stopping to have a good cough every few minutes. Finally, he was there, in the lovely heated place, sinking down into a seat with the tea he had just bought. It had gotta be the first time he, Jordan Kyle, had ever bought a tea from Starbucks, but hey, desperate times.
As if punctuating the thought, Jordan doubled over as a fresh wave of coughing racked his body.
"I say, young man, if you know that you're sick, you shouldn't come out in public!" Yet another angry old lady was frowning at Jordan, jabbing a gnarled finger at him.
"I'm not si-" Jordan attempted to reply, before he began coughing again.
The old lady sniffed condescendingly, and stalked off (or stalked as well as a little old lady with a cane can stalk) muttering about "young people these days".
Jordan rolled his eyes, something that, in itself, caused pain, before leaning back in the armchair he was situated in.
It was warm, so warm . . . Jordan closed his eyes in the soft armchair, his whole body relaxing. It was comfortable, so comfortable . . .
The next think Jordan knew, he was drifting off to sleep.
Maia R: hey so lets meet at 6? Luv u –Message Sent 3:49 PM-
Maia R: k ill take that as a yes… –Message Sent 4:02 PM-
Maia R: r u ok? call me! –Message Sent 4:31 PM-
Maia R: jordy im legit getting worried. if you don't write back im calling you. –Message Sent 5:08 PM-
Jordan woke up with a start, looking around frantically. Where was he? What time was it? He ran his hands through his hair, slumping backwards as he remembered walking into the Starbucks, sitting down, and then promptly passing out.
Reaching into his sweatshirt, Jordan drew his phone out of his pockets.
Holy Crap! His eyes widened: Four new messages from Maia, along with eight missed calls. He glanced at the time- it was 5:47- he had thirteen minutes to get to the restaurant he promised to meet Maia at. Shit, he thought, gathering his stuff and standing up. Immediately, a wave of dizziness washed over him, making him grip the arm of the chair. The ache in his head had also come crashing back, if possible, worse than before, his throat felt like someone had grated it with a cheese grater, and he was weirdly hot and cold at the same time.
Jordan K: so sorry im ok im running kinda late but c u soon babeJ-Message Sent 5:49 PM-
Jordan narrowed his eyes, trying to focus on the screen of his phone, which seemed to be twisting and floating, the display sliding in and out of focus. But slowly, embarrassingly slowly, he managed to keep the screen in focus long enough to send Maia a text.
Maia. She was why he was still out, not curled up in bed watching The Lord of The Rings.
After all, Jordan reasoned as he dragged himself back into the blustery early evening and hailed a cab, he probably just needed some excitement to jerk himself back into shape. And, he thought, a smirk twisting it's way across his pale face, Maia was bound to give 'im some "excitement".
A few minutes later, Jordan was stepping out of the cab in front of "La Vita A Bella", a new Italian restaurant in SoHo. He scanned the sidewalk, his eyes searching for Maia.
There- he caught her eye and smiled as she walked over to meet him.
Maia wore a pair of tight light wash jeans and dark purple Dr. Martin boots, a worn dark brown leather jacket wrapped around her. Her dark, curly hair was loose around her face, and she wore only the faintest smudge of pinkish lip-gloss.
"Hey, Jordy," she said, kissing him on the cheek. "Wait-" she drew back. "Your skin feels super hot. Are you sick? 'Cause we don't have to go out tonight-"
"Werewolves don't get sick, Maia!" Jordan cut his girlfriend off, although a moment later, he began to cough, somewhat disproving his point.
Maia rubbed his back soothingly, and then looked at him doubtfully when he had regained his breath. "You sure about that?"
"Tottally positive. I feel great. I just . . . had something stuck in my throat." Jordan flashed Maia what he hoped was a nonchalant smile, and then took her hand and led her into the restaurant.
"This is so fun," giggled Maia. "Us, going on a proper date to a restaurant, not just, like, getting pizza."
"Got a problem with pizza?" Jordan raised his eyebrows in mock anger, as a hostess led them to their table.
Jordan understood Maia's point-so far, their dates mostly involved pizza, burgers, and playing video games. (And then abandoning the video games when they started making out.)
This date couldn't be more different. Their table was nestled in a niche at the back of the restauraunt, lit by a small bronze-and-blue-glass wall sconce above them. The table was covered in a cream colored tablecloth, and a cut-glass vase of brilliant pink, blue, and white orchids was positioned in the middle of the table.
Unfortunately, Jordan was finding it very hard to enjoy. His throat burned whenever he spoke or swallowed, and his head was now filled with a continuous pulsing pain. And he was tired, so tired-
"-Jordan? Jordan!" Maia poked him gently.
"Yeah?" Jordan jerked himself back to the conversation with a jerk. "Tell me the truth. Do you feel ok?"
Jordan opened his mouth, the word 'yes' on his tongue when he stopped. A wave of pain had just rolled through his head, and every little sound- the ding! of cutlery on the plates, the low rumble of conversation, the scraping of chairs as people moved around- seemed 10,000 times louder, sending knives of pain stabbing through his head.
All Jordan wanted was to curl up in a nice, quiet place and sleep.
Slowly, very slowly, since every motion send another wave of pain through his head, Jordan shook his head 'no'.
"I really don't feel well. My head hurts," he said quietly, trying to keep the pain in his throat from being added to his list of maladies.
"Then c'mon, lets go." Maia gently helped him to his feet, (Werewolf super-strength. Helpful at the worst of times…) and steered Jordan to the door.
He closed his eyes, letting himself rest against Maia and tuning out as Maia spoke to the host, saying something about moving their reservation to a week later.
And then he was being helped into a cab, curling up on the seat with his head in Maia's lap as she rubbed his temples softly.
" See? You could have just said that you don't feel well."
Jordan could hear the Maia rolling her eyes.
"Werewolves-" he started, but Maia placed a finger on his lips, silencing him.
"Shh. Werewolves don't get sick, I know. But I think it's an urban legend, actually…"
"No duh." Jordan raised his eyebrows at Maia without opening his eyes.
"This is a pretty good date too, y'know." Maia smiled at Jordan.
The two of them were laying in Jordan's bed, cuddled together, while Crazy, Stupid, Love (Maia's request, thank you very much) played on Jordan's laptop, balanced in the middle of the bed.
"You know, I have to say, it really is." Jordan smiled, and kissed Maia on the cheek. He had taken some cold medicine, (handed to him wordlessly by a smirking Simon as Maia half-carried, half-dragged him in) and was wearing a t-shirt and his softest sweatpants. Maia's head was on his chest, and he had one arm wrapped loosely around her.
"You should listen to me more often. If you'd only said you were sick, we could have been doing this from the beginning."
"Hmm . . . " Jordan was half-asleep, his eyes falling shut.
"I love you," he mumbled, before finally falling asleep.
Maia watched him for a minute, his even breathes, the steady rise-fall of his chest, the thump-thump of his heart, exhaustion slowly washing over her, too. She shut the laptop with a snap, shoved it onto the bedside table, and curled up next to Jordan.
"I love you too," she whispered, although she knew he was already asleep, before she too drifted off to dreamland.