Sharon fingered the edge of the brightly-colored package, biting her lip. “Cholera?”

I shook my head.

She picked it up, shaking it gently; the contents made a small rattling noise. I watched her, hiding a smile behind my hand. Whenever she concentrated too hard on something, it really highlighted the lazy eye she’d retained from the stroke I gave her last year on her birthday. I found it adorable.

She tossed out another guess: “Whooping cough?”

“Why don’t you just open it?” I laughed.

“You know I like to guess…”

“I know, but with your hit-rate, we could be here all night.”

Letting out an overblown huff, she sighed, “Fine, fine.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Keep up the attitude, and you’ll get a vaccine instead.”

She stuck out her tongue and tore the paper open, revealing a small black box. Flipping the top open, she gasped; set into a red velvet backing, the delicate glass barrel inside twinkled. Its contents, a deep ruby color, sloshed slightly as she clutched it to her chest and grinned.

“Red, liquid, that’s…” she pondered for a moment, “what, AIDS?”

I stood up, crossing over to the loveseat, and perched behind her, placing a hand on each shoulder, “Nope, lung cancer.” I instantly noticed the change in her posture as she slumped forward. She was disappointed.

Placing a finger under her chin, I raised it so that her upside down gaze met mine. “Of course it’s AIDS, silly.” A grin instantly split the pout in half. I reached in my jacket pocket, producing her favorite syringe, and plucked the barrel from the package, chambering it for her as she tied off.

I tapped her arm, watching the vein inflate against the strain of the rubber hose like a balloon, and pushed the needle into her arm.

“Honey,” she said, her voice dripping with dreamy endearment, “You’re so good to me.”

“Only the best, darling.” I leaned in for a kiss, depressing the plunger as our lips met.