[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
Thom had promised to weather them all with me, but how was I going to guarantee that? Could I? Could he?
The visions suggested he couldn’t—that neither of us could. They’d come back after all this time, after they’d gone away for so long. I thought that it was over, that I wasn’t going to have to be afraid anymore.
Thom hunched over, perched, wavering on the edge of our bed. I reached over and laid my hand against his spine. He just felt so cold, like there was ice beneath his skin. I spoke softly, trying not to wake Lin, asleep on the other side of the small room.
“Talk to me,” I said softly. “What can I do? How can I help?”
“I don’t know,” he whispered, reaching back to lay a frigid hand on my arm. His fingers practically burned with cold where they touched my bare skin and I shivered despite myself. He winced and withdrew his hand.
“You’re like ice,” I said, feeling hollow. “What’s going on?”
He shook his head slowly and pushed himself up, standing, swaying for a moment before he seemed to catch his balance. “If I knew, Mar, I’d tell you. Going to go for a walk. Go back to sleep.”
“Let me get dressed. I’ll come with you.”
“No,” he said softly, reaching down to trace his fingertips along the side of my face. They were cold, but somehow felt a little warmer for at least a few seconds. “Stay here. Lin will wonder where we’ve gone if he wakes up and we’re not here. I won’t be long.”
“No, it’s okay,” I said, watching him as he stepped away, started to dress in the darkness. “Take as much time as you need.” I pulled the blankets more tightly around me, trying to quell the panic that started to rise, tried to calm my suddenly pounding heart. “We’ll be here.”
“Love you, Mar,” he said softly. I could see his smile in the dim as his hand touched the door handle. “I’ll be back.”
“Okay,” I whispered. “Be careful?”
Then he was gone and it was suddenly hard to breathe.