Ana looked around at the room, mildly alarmed, then looked up at me. At least she’d seen me before. I said, “You have to get up, little monster. We’ve got a busy day.”
Ana rolled over onto her back, decorously taking the blankets with her. She yawned, frowning. “Why’d you call me a monster?”
“I like monsters.”
“Mmmp.” She decided to accept that that was an answer. “Oh. Law centre. Cops. Oh god.”
“Are you coming with me?”
The blankets, and Ana, launched themselves at me. I caught her, carefully. “Thank you.” She shook her head. In a more serious tone, she said, “no, everything. thank you.”
An armful of Ana is never a bad thing. I held her for a few seconds, trying not to touch any bare skin. Then I pulled back and patted the blanket on her shoulder, trying not to dislodge it, and feeling like an utter fool. I said, “That’s ok. But it’s shower time. Then get dressed, and I’ll put out some breakfast. Shower. Now.”
I left. I I didn’t look back.