My body is tucked behind his in the long bath, my chin rested on his shoulder. He's silent- completely silent and I'm trying so desperately not to push him to talk but it's hard. I run my hands over his chest and throat, leaving behind the white bubbles of his body wash.
My nervous instincts have taken over. I don't even know if he wanted to take a bath but I made him, hoping it would calm him down. He didn't fight- didn't say anything really which, of course, made me even more nervous. I glide my hands through his hair gently with his shampoo and as I rub it in, massaging his scalp, I finally get a soft hum of appreciation.
And that hum is enough for me to keep doing it for a long while. After it's rinsed and I'm able to see his golden streaks again, I press my lips to his neck softly. "You told me once before... that you've had nightmares. Was this one like those?"
His deafening silence is all I need to inform me of that answer. It hurts to know that he's gone through something like this alone- probably with that bitch in the other room- no idea to what's going on with him. I take a deep breath and try again.
"Did your medication-"
"I stopped taking it... I thought- I had gone a couple weeks without a dream. I thought they were over."
"You have to take them, Tristan. Please, your nightmare- it was so strong..."
His answer is quick and sharp. "I know I do."
"... Okay," I whisper, nodding although I know he can't see me. I feel off balance. His nightmare was powerful enough to manage to affect us both. I continue rubbing my hands over his chest, not wanting to at least break the closeness. I don't want him to shut down on me tonight.
My fingers freeze as his hand comes up to clasp mine.
"I'm sorry I scared you before. I know you were worried."
I wrap an arm around his neck, cuddling my face into his wet hair. "Don't think about it."
Reaching down, I grab the comforter that was pulled to the ground and set it back onto the mattress. Tristan's drying his body in the bathroom beside me; it's taking everything in me to stay in this room away from him.
When he makes his way in, completely bare, the gray towel in his hands, I stare at him, clutching my robe tighter. I realize quickly that he's not going to look at me so I grab the comforter and get in.
A part of me, a very large part wants desperately to ask him if he wants me to leave. I'm so worried about the rest of the night that I don't even dare ask. I know he would never ask me to go.
As he gets in naked beside me, turning to face the window, I stare at him silently, slightly shocked although I shouldn't be. I consider saying something but nothing that wouldn't sound completely ridiculous comes to mind.
I resort to silence. My eyes are one with the ceiling, wide-awake as the time ticks by slowly. I'm unable to sleep- too nervous he's going to have another nightmare. By the time an hour rolls by, I finally see Tristan's breathing soften as he drifts back to sleep.
My restless mind denies me peace and so I move closer to him for comfort, resting my cheek against his back.
It's not long before soft light shows through his windows, bringing in a new day. I blink, realizing I've stayed up all night. Detaching my arm from under his, I sit up, glancing over to the clock.
I'm going to pass out on my desk today. My eyes flicker down to the quiet man beside me. I resist reaching out to push back the soft blonde lock that's shading his full lashed eye.
YOU ARE READING
What do you do when disaster strikes? You survive. On the night before her entire life changes, Genevieve Harding was walking along the shoreline with a man she'd only just met. Tristan Maddox. A man who grazed the pages of the magazines and newspa...