Rounds this morning had been going well. Miles jotted down his observations on the last patient and hung the clipboard next to the bedroom door. The antivirals and the pain medication were alleviating the symptoms, but they were not a cure. Still any night or morning with no one dying was a good sign.
The sound of shattering glass echoed from a bedroom down the hall. "You damned witch!"
So much for that. Miles sprinted down the hall and pivoted into the doorway.
Azkadellia cowered near a wet spot on the wall. The broken remains of a bowl were at her feet. Baron Colfer sat up in the four poster bed, his body still heaving from the exertion. She tried to gather herself. "I'm not the witch, Baron."
"This sickness is your fault!"
"Somebody's feeling well enough to make a mess." Miles put himself between the bed and Azkadellia as he put on his stethoscope. "Do you want something else for lunch?"
"I don't want anything from the Sorceress." Colfer wheezed. "This evil of hers isn't killing us fast enough and now she will poison us!"
Miles glanced at Azkadellia. The pottery shards floated up from the floor and reassembled into a soup bowl before resting in her hands. "I am not the Sorceress and I did not make this sickness." Her chin trembled.
"You've got a virus, a nasty one, but just a virus." Miles moved closer to listen to the Baron's heart and lungs, but the older man batted his hands away. "If you want to blame someone for your illness, you should start with yourself. After all, you broke quarantine and caught the same thing everyone else had."
Colfer focused his bloodshot eyes on Azkadellia. "I had to see how she murdered her mother, Slipper. You haven't got me fooled nor the rest of the Council. We will not let you work your evil through your weak-willed sister! We will stop you, Sorceress!"
She gasped as her face paled even more, turned, and ran out of the room.
"That was uncalled for," Miles said. He turned and left the bedroom in time to see Azkadellia's skirts round the corner of the upstairs hallway. "Wait!" He rounded the corner and she had sat down on a window seat, hiding her face with her hands. He knelt down in front of her, pulling off his gloves. "Don't cry over what that jerk said."
"They all say it!" She dropped her hands and tears streaked her face. "No matter what I do, how I try, they don't believe I'm not the witch who hurt them."
"I know it's not true."
She sniffled and pulled a handkerchief from her belt. "Thank you." He sat next to her while she wiped her face. She took a deep breath. "Sometimes I wish we could erase the past. Do you ever feel that way?"
"Sometimes, usually after Dr. Connor has yelled at me." That earned a giggle. "But past mistakes are what we learn from."
"That is true. I'm sorry, I shouldn't be keeping you from your duties." She sprang up. "And I have to finish delivering lunches."
"If you need to talk, just come find me, okay?" Miles stood up. Her tentative smile was dazzling.