It wasn’t over!
Klaid had me pinned to the ground beneath him. He straddled my hips as he leaned down and licked my cheek with his rough tongue. His breath was hot and moist as he proceeded to lick down my neck and along my shoulder. I struggled, but I couldn’t free myself. Klaid held my hands captive above my head. I was trapped under his weight. He leaned back and flicked his forked tongue over his lips before he bared his teeth and sunk his fangs into my shoulder. I screamed in pain.
“I got ya,” Jake said, as he wrapped his arms around me. “It’s alright. You’re safe,” he soothed.
It took me a minute to orient myself.
I was in the Ukhta hospital.
I was safe.
It was over.
It had been a dream - a horrible nightmare.
I buried my head in Jake’s shoulder and hugged him tightly trying to calm my racing heart and my trembling nerves. The dreams were so vivid.
Jake stroked my hair and rocked me gently where he sat on the edge of my bed. He kept repeating what he had said that night in the glade. “It’s over. It’s all over, Babe.” It had become his mantra the last few days while caring for Arr and me.
The Ukhta doctors had patched us up, but we needed time to recover. Fusing tissue and knitting bone were just part of our injuries. Our bodies still had to finish the healing process and I personally was traumatized and not up to travel. I was exhausted. I couldn’t close my eyes without that monster taking over my dreams. I hadn’t had more than a few hours sleep since the rescue.
Jake laid me back down in the bed. He brushed hair out of my eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I think I brought that one on.” He lifted a damp rag off the table beside the bed. “You looked warm. I thought I would cool you down.”
“Felt like a forked tongue to me,” I said, trying to make light of my overactive sub-conscious.
“Sorry.” Jake looked beat.
I don’t think he had been away from Arr and me since we were delivered back to this room after the doctors got through with us. He had parked himself between our two beds and not moved except to care for us.
I put my hand over his with the cloth in it. “Not your fault.” I took the rag and wiped my face. “It really feels good. I just can’t get over the dreams. How do you and the other guys do it? You must have seen some really horrible things over the years.”
“I don’t know,” Jake shook his head. “Having someone eating you registers up there with some of the worst I can think of.” He squeezed my hand. “You won’t ever forget it, but it will fade in time. Other work will push is out of your mind eventually.”
“Then I better get back to work soon,” I said.
I looked over toward Arr in the next bed. “How is Arr doing?”
Jake’s eyes went to his young partner sleeping soundly in the next bed. “He’s resilient. He heals fast.” Jake looked back at me. “This wasn’t near as bad for him as for you. His dreams are still haunted by the Hydra.”
“We’ll find an imagining chamber when you both are ready to travel,” Jake offered. “I’ll treat you to a virtual trip anywhere you like.”
“I’d like to go back to Olympus,” I said. “I don’t think I appreciated the place when I was there. I’d like to see that centaur again in a pristine world.”
“You got it,” Jake promised. He took the washcloth from my hand and laid it back in the bowl of water. “Try to get some sleep now. I promise not to disturb you this time.”