"Mal?" Daniel didn't bother looking up from the paper. It was all normal routine.
"uhm. uhmm. uhh- well. Daniel?"
He looked up this time.
*tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap* *tap*
"Mallory, what is it?"
"NOTHING!.. what? nothing."
"Mallory what's going on?"
She stood up from the table and went over to the bookshelf, pulling out all the blue books. She let them fall to the floor.
"Blue. blue. blue. blue. blue. blue. blue."
"Mal, what is worrying you?"
Seven. good number. seven. shhh. seven. blue. seven blues. blue seven.
Daniel stood up from the table and grabbed her by the shoulders. She screamed and slapped him. Daniel clutched his cheek. She slid down to the floor and curled up in a ball, hiding her head.
"Sorry. sorry. sorry. sorry. sorry. sorry. sorry."
He sat down on the floor beside her.
"It won't go away."
"Shadows. everywhere." Mallory lifted her head to look at Daniel, fear twisted her expression.
"I don't know how to make them leave Daniel. They won't leave."
"I'll protect you Mallory."
"You can't there. You CAN'T!" She started crying.
"You don't protect me there! You don't help me! They won't stop TOUCHING ME!!"
Daniel clutched his hair as he sat there on the floor with her.
"You can control your dreams Mal."
She paused for a very long time.
"Next time the shadows touch you, tell them to stop."
Mallory stopped crying. She cuddled up to Daniel and he put his arm around her.
"I will protect you Mal. I have thus far, haven't I?"
"Yeah... I love you Daniel." She whispered.
"What?" He looked at her.