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After the Nightmare
Sam awoke silently screaming.
She gave a panicked yelp aloud
when she realized she was not in bed alone. Turning quickly
tormented by the sight of Nick Cooper. Much to her
he rolled over, sat up, and hugged her to his broad chest.
to hold her anguish inside, she began to sob uncontrollably.
“Shh. What’s the matter,
Sammy?” he asked, concerned. He rubbed circles on her back as
did for Chloe when she had nightmares.
“I thought you were dead!”
“I’m right here, darlin’.
It was just a bad dream.”
Several hiccupy sobs later, Sam
stammered out a short explanation. “Oh God, it was so
Jack had a partner, Jill. And they killed you. And then
kidnapped Chloe and brainwashed her into thinking I’d killed her
Only she didn’t look like Chloe and she was older, but it seemed
was Chloe.” She gave all the details she could recall.
Nick kept up his soothing
her account, murmuring assurances that he was alive, that everything
all right, and that Chloe was safely asleep down the hall.
was finished with her story, Nick kissed her softly on the forehead
offered to make absolutely sure Chloe was okay. Sam seemed to
the reassurance, so they climbed out of bed and quietly made their
down the hall, to Chloe’s bedroom. Satisfied her daughter was
safe and sound and still looking the age she should, Sam turned into
embrace once again began to cry. He carried her back to bed
in beside her.
Uncertain how to proceed, he
held her, stroking her back and once more rubbing circles on her
Sam eventually quieted. “It was so real.”
“I know, Sammy. But it
just a nightmare. I’m fine. And Jack isn’t going to kill
And he’s never going to get his hands on Chloe either.” He
of his little-boy grins. “This doesn’t mean you’ve had second
about agreeing to marry me is it?”
The question reminded Samantha
of the picnic dinner they’d shared earlier and Nick’s heartfelt
after asking Chloe for permission to propose to her mother.
incident had been funny, romantic and straightforward, just as Nick
was. She’d agreed immediately and they’d all had sparkling
cider to celebrate.
She looked deep into his
“No.” she sniffled “I still want to marry you. I guess the
of Jack still out there trying to kill us all just scared me.
I’ll be okay. The dream just shook me up. It seemed so
“No getting rid of me that
We’re taking our vacation to Lake Tahoe tomorrow and we’re getting
We’ve got the private plane, and we haven’t told anybody where we’re
I’m not underestimating the threat he poses, Sam, but I’ve taken
“I know. We’re
to be okay, Nick.” Thinking of their turbulent courtship she
“I’m through pushing you away. And I’m through running.
getting married tomorrow.”
“And honeymooning at
“And honeymooning at
How could I say no to a man who loves my daughter as much as he
“You can’t. Thank God,
She reached up to kiss him and
they made love. The images of her nightmare receded as he
her slowly. She fell into a surprisingly restful sleep.
the morning she was treated to breakfast in bed.
The sight of Nick, healthy and
happy, as he carried the tray of French toast and orange juice was a
to her wounded heart. Chloe followed closely at his
She jumped onto the bed with her mother and Nick set the tray
The three of them all ate heartily.
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