[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
We lay there in silence, the two of us with baby Lin nestled against Thom’s chest. It was if Thom sensed that if he pressed me, nothing good would come of it, so he let it go. He let it all go, but we both knew that wouldn’t last forever. We both knew that the net time he was awake and aware enough to bring it up, he would.
At least that would give me time to prepare and try to organize my thoughts and prepare my stomach for what I knew would probably follow.
It was maybe an hour before Thom gave in to sleep. I dozed a little next to him for a while, then got up slowly, careful not to disturb him. Lin was awake but quiet as I gently lifted him off his father’s chest and tucked the covers more securely around Thom.
Cradling Lin against my chest, I leaned down and pressed a kiss to Thom’s forehead. “Sweet dreams, sweetheart,” I murmured as I pulled away. Only sweet dreams. No nightmares. Please, for the love of everything that’s still sacred and holy, no nightmares.
I put my shoes back on and slipped outside, leaving Thom to rest alone. Lin wrapped a tiny fist around the end of my braid and tugged, fingers tangled in the curling tips of my hair. It was an act I had to smile at, at least a little, as I headed back to the cookfires. It was long past lunch and there was oddly no one in sight. My throat tightened slightly and I tried to shake the sudden feeling of unease that welled up in my gut.
Don’t be paranoid, Marin. Everything could be okay. Everyone’s just doing what they need to do, that’s all.
Everything’s fine. Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s fine.
Damn, but I hated to be wrong.