Chapter Ninety

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It was a nightmare. Meredith knew this. Even as she walked in the dream, she knew this wasn't real. None of it seemed real, yet her heart pounded too quickly. Her body was too awake. She sweated. Fear ticked in her blood, pushing through her veins, making her come alive. She felt the coolness of adrenaline fall over her. Moving forward, she tried to reel herself back-- absolutely no control.

It was a nightmare. Meredith stopped walking, standing back at Dalkeith Palace in Scotland. It was just like the night that Sofia and Veronica died, when Jack attacked. The sky was clear. The moon shone. It was clear. The bridge was off in the distance. Meredith stood atop of the hill, which Jack had rolled down.

It was a nightmare. Jack stood behind Meredith, and she couldn't turn around. His hot breath filled her ear. Under his breath, he whispered. Meredith didn't know the words. His mouth moved.

It was a nightmare. Jack touched her, like Harry might, soft and tender. His hands ran along her arms, up her neck. His fingers were hot against her neck, and his grip was mean, holding her in place.

It was a nightmare. "Do you want to fly, Mere?" Jack asked.

It was a nightmare. Jack pushed Meredith off the top off the hill. Instead of feeling herself hit the dark, rolling through the long grass, she felt nothing. Air rushed past her as she continued to fall. There was no ground. Meredith stared straight. Jack smiled as she fell-- flew. It was just a question when to crash.

Meredith woke with a start and a scream on her lips. Her pulse was quickened. She sat in shock and sweat. Her body trembled. The silence of her room was eerie. Two fans had been turned on when she went to bed, but now it was silence.

Reaching over, Meredith turned the light switch. Bright lights blinded her, and Meredith closed her eyes for a second. With her arm still outstretched, she was scared to turn around, to see what she might find. Swallowing, Meredith shifted slowly. In the dim light, her looked normal, untouched and untainted.

A scream touched her lips as she had to be sure. From her bed, she saw every angle of room, every closet space and hiding place, except for the one she was above. Bending her head down, Meredith shined her mobile phone light under the bed. Scared what she might find, her other hand held a scissors. Opening her eyes, there was no one under her.

Meredith continued to watch, ready to jump out at her, and something surely did. Snapping up as something hit her window, Meredith let out a low yelp, rumbling from deep in her chest. With her curtains closed, she didn't see, yet she was pulled toward it.

Stumbling out of bed, blood rushed past her ears, bringing in a ringing headache. She collapsed to the ground. Another migraine started. Vomit bubbled in her stomach. Bright flashes of white and black clouded her vision. The world twisted around her. Her heart hurt, like it worked a bit too hard. Meredith refused to open her mouth, not sure what might come out.

Finding her feet, Meredith stood and went to her window. With one quick motion, she pulled the blinds up, revealing the dark sky and some orange lights in the distance. The closer her nose came to the window, the more the fear bloomed in her chest. Eyes cast straight, up and down, it was quiet, until movement came from below. Without a second thought, Meredith fell to the ground, pulling her knees to her chest.

Silent sobs flowed out of her. Burning tears coated her face. Her chest was ready to cave in. Blood boiling, she felt hot, wanting to tear off her skin as it grew too warm. Her head was ready to explode. It was only a matter of moments....

Meredith let the scissors go, resting on the floor, as she fumbled with her cell phone, finding it hard to see through the tears. When his number was found, her finger hovered. Should she call him? It was weakness in her eyes; she was stronger than this. Yet, something gnawed at her. Her hand closed into fist, and Meredith stuffed it into her mouth, letting out another scream.

After that scream, her finger found the screen, and his number was dialed. It was a long three rings, and then Harry's face appeared. "Hey, Mere," his voice was happy, "what's up?" He stopped, noticing. "Mere, what happened? What's wrong?"

Shaking her head, Meredith kept her mouth shut. If it opened, someone would hear her. Meredith couldn't risk it.

"Okay, Mere, okay. Just breathe." Harry's voice was calm-- strong-- gentle-- passionate. "Mere, deep breaths."

She tried and found herself drowning in air. Coughing, Meredith laid on the ground.

"Mere?" Harry asked patiently. "Are you okay? What happened?"

"Tell me that you love me," Meredith demanded.

"I love you, so much, more than you will ever know. I love you more than anyone can understand. I love you. You are my world."

Running her hand over her face, she lied on the ground. "God-- everything was going so well. The semester is good-- easy. The residents have gotten better-- they've settled. The paparazzi-- they're gone. But...."

Harry waited. "Mere, please tell me what happened."

"It was a nightmare."

"What happened in the nightmare?"

"Jack Campbell." Never trust a Campbell.

He perked; he straightened. His attention was caught and held. "What happened?"

"It was back at Dalkeith, at the hill." She gulped. "He pushed me off, and I was falling, like from the sky-- and it never ending. And he was smiling. He was happy. He wanted pain."

"Mere," Harry breathed, "I know it won't come as any comfort, but it was just a nightmare. He can't get to you. You're safe. I promise. Jack Campbell can't hurt you. You're safe, Mere."

While it did add comfort, Meredith stared at her lonely and empty room, much like her chest; it ached. "I'm safe," she repeated.

"Yes, you're safe."

Tears burned her eyes, and Meredith closed them again. More sobs came from her body. Harry waited. She didn't know how to breathe. She was drowning. She was falling-- she wasn't flying. She was ready for the crash. "Harry."

"Mere, if you need me, I will come. If you want me there, I will come. All you have to do is say yes."

"No."

"Are you sure?" Harry asked.

"Yes," Meredith said. "Don't come. I'll see you in a month."

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