~ The Weed ~ pg 4

She turned back but only in time to see the door close behind him. Entering Alex’s room quietly, she found Chink’s words were true. Alex was asleep but not peacefully. His brow furrowed from whatever dream his subconscious plagued him with. “No,” he mumbled in his sleep, worry straining his soft, muffled voice. “Come with me.” 

She walked over and sat in the chair beside him. She placed a hand on his arm. “Shh,” she whispered. “There is no danger. Be at peace. You are not alone.“ 

Like a flower turning towards the sun, his face followed her voice. “Come with me,” he mumbled again. 

“I am with you,” she whispered back as she rubbed his arm for reassurance. “Be at peace,” she repeated. “All is well.” 

With a surprising quickness, his opposite hand swung over and caught her fingers. She bit down on her lip to keep from yelping. “Stay…” it was a breathy plea. His hand squeezed hers as he said it again. “Please, stay!” 

“Okay,” she relented. “I will stay.” At least until he fell into a deeper sleep, she would stay.

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He started to wake, her fingers still entwined in his, and a contented feeling bathed him. She had stayed! His fingers tightened over hers and she squeezed them back. She was here. She had stayed. She… She couldn’t be here! 

Alex’s eyes popped open and he released the hand he held with a start. The early evening sun lit the room and its only other occupant. “Good morning,” Fiora said with a smirk. But Alex was not in the mood to joke. His dream shattered as the realization flooded over him. She… she was not here… she would never be here! 

He experienced the pain of her loss all over again. It came out as anger. “Why were you holding my hand?!” he demanded. 

Fiora sat back with an indignant stare. “You grabbed my hand,” she said defensively, “and you wouldn’t let go, either!” 

She wasn’t here… She never would be! Alex struggled to keep his emotions under control. It did not help having the girl in the room. “But why are you even in here?” he snarled, hoping it would scare her away. 

It did not work. “I was checking on you. You’re my patient, remember?” she huffed in frustration, but gave no indication that she was about to back down. “You were having a bad dream, talking in your sleep, and I tried to calm you.” 

Talking? He became suddenly nervous and looked away. “What did I say?” 

“I don’t know…” she stammered, “‘No.’, ‘Come with me.’, ‘Stay’. You were very adamant that I stay. Did I mention you wouldn’t let go of me?” 

Stay… She was unable to stay… His anger dissipated as despair took root in its stead. “You could have woken me up…” 

Fiora snorted. “And ruin such a peaceful sleep? Nivia would have my head if I even thought about it.” 

The End

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