Looking around I could see nothing but darkness. I blinked trying to force my eyes to adjust but it wasn’t working. A sudden rush of panic filled me and I could feel my chest tighten with each breath I took.
Holding out my hands I felt around hoping to make contact with something. After a few steps, my hands found the wall. I walked along the edge hoping to feel a door handle or a window. One side, two sides, three, nothing.
This was the last wall. It had to have an opening of some kind otherwise, how could I be in here. I slowed down my pace making sure my hands touched every inch of the smooth surface. That was when I made contact.
There was still so much darkness that I couldn’t make out who I was grabbing on to. They were speaking but I couldn’t make out their words over the sound of my own screams. Strong hands gripped my arms and began pulling me towards them. I fought with everything I could, but it wasn’t enough.
My lungs were on fire and I wasn’t sure how much more my body could take before it succumbed to the darkness. Then it happened. As quick as the hands had grabbed me, they let me go and gave me a shove backward. I felt myself fall and braced for impact. Except, there wasn’t one. I was free-falling towards the ground. Unsure of how high up I was, I could feel the cold wind whipping around me. Two pairs of green eyes flashed before me, my heart broke knowing how much I would miss them both. Right before I hit the ground I gasped.
I was now sitting straight up in my bed dripping sweat and gasping for air. I felt hands come down on my shoulders and I flinched away in fear.
“Quinn, baby. It’s me. You’re ok, it was just a dream. I've got you.” Hearing his voice forced me back into reality.
Leaning into his familiar touch I closed my eyes and took in a few deep breaths to help calm myself down. Dominic continued to hold me close making the same soothing noises he used with our daughter when she would cry.
I let out one last shaky breath. “I’m alright,” I said before placing my head on his hand.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“There isn’t much to tell. I mostly remember being surrounded by darkness. Then someone came and took me from the room I was in, and the next thing I knew I was falling. Your’s and Bria’s eyes were the last things I saw before I hit the ground. It wasn’t even the fall that scared me. It felt like I had been taken to a place where no one could ever find me.” I brought my hand up to my face and rubbed my eyes.
“That’s one way to know it was a dream. No matter what, I will always find you. Even if it means having to set the entire world on fire to do so.” He placed his fingers on my chin and tilted my head so I was looking directly at him. “You’re safe, baby.”
He moved his lips to mine and I let all the fear and anxiety I had leftover from my nightmare melt away. I parted my lips and Dom’s tongue found mine. He wrapped his fingers in my hair and held me close.
I moved and turned towards him, straddling his lap. I gripped his biceps and then slowly moved my hands to his chest. I traced the lines of definition around each curve and dip until I reached his hips.
Dom bit down on my bottom lip and gently pulled back on it while breaking our kiss. His strong hands gripped my ass and I rotated my hips to rub against his erection. He let out a deep groan as his fingers dug into my flesh.
Then came the very loud and angry cry from the baby monitor. Both of us dropped our heads forward in defeat.
“I’ll go get her and bring her up here for you,” he said.
“No, it's your night off. You should try and get some sleep. I’ll feed her and put her back in the crib.” I gave him one last kiss before I removed myself from his lap. I grabbed my robe and started putting it on while I walked down the stairs.
Hearing Emilia’s door click, I stopped before I rounded the corner. Even though Dom and Paul told me not to, I still felt bad when Bria would wake her up. I looked down the hallway towards her door, only this time it wasn’t Emilia leaving the bedroom. It was Jonah. Busted.
“I knew it,” I whispered, making Jonah stop dead in his tracks. “You’re just lucky it was me who caught you.” He turned around and had the guiltiest look on his face. It reminded me of a little boy who got caught by his mom breaking curfew. I motioned for him to follow me into Bria’s room.
I turned on the light and there was my baby girl. She had pulled herself up to stand and was staring towards the door, waiting impatiently for one of us. Her hair was a hot mess and even though her face was red there were no tears. Her cries were mostly always for dramatics. I picked her up and gave her a quick kiss before placing her on the changing table.
“Quinn, you can’t tell anybody. Including Dominic.” Jonah pleaded with me.
“Uncle Jonah and Auntie Emilia are keeping secrets from us. That’s not very nice of them is it?” Bria had a big smile on her face and let out a little giggle.
“Quinn,” Jonah said my name as a warning.
“Lighten up. I knew you two were sneaking around, I just didn’t have any proof until now.”
“Wait, how could you have known?”
“I have eyes. I’ve seen the way you two are with each other.” I picked Bria up and sat down on the glider. Jonah looked away as I got myself ready to feed her. “It's ok to look now. So, how long has it really been going on?”
“A little over a month. She and I are both worried about Paul. We don't know how he will take it since I'm his friend and she's his little sister. Neither one of us wants him to be upset over it.”
“If it’s Paul you are worried about, getting it on literally above his head is probably not the best decision. You need to keep all of that to your place only.”
“Yeah, it was definitely a lapse of judgment on our part. If Bria hadn’t woken me up it could have been a lot worse. You won’t say anything will you?”
“I won’t. But if you two are serious about each other you need to tell Paul sooner than later. The longer he’s kept in the dark the greater the chance of him actually being upset.”
“I’ll talk to Emilia and get her thoughts." Jonah looked down and smiled at Bria. "She’s still not sleeping through the night huh?” He was attempting to change the subject and switching the topic to Bria was a good way to do that.
“She’s only six months old and the pediatrician says it's normal as long as I continue to breastfeed. Which I plan on doing until she’s at least a year. I hope to anyway. Good thing I’m a night owl.” I smiled down at my beautiful baby. All chunky and snuggled up in my arms. “You better get going. I told Dom to go back to sleep but if he does come down to check on us it’s going to look pretty suspicious if you’re with me.”
Jonah bent down and gave me a quick kiss on my forehead. “Thank you. I’ll see you at work tomorrow.” I sat there and listened as Jonah walked down the hall. When I heard the automatic lock on our front door go off I relaxed into my chair.
Emilia and Jonah, it was an interesting thought. The two of them were very different but somehow I could see it working. I loved her but she was a little on the prissy side. Maybe he would help ground her a little bit.
I continued to rock Bria until I knew for sure that she was asleep. I placed her in the crib and went to turn off the light. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a shadow move across the window. I flipped off the light and walked over to open the blinds a little.
Bria’s bedroom was technically considered the second floor. So if I did see a shadow it meant someone was on our deck. It was a full moon so lucky for me the area was illuminated pretty well. I glanced back and forth but didn’t see anything out of place.
I opened her door and flipped on the outside lights. I closed it behind me and made my way out into the night air. Maybe it was an animal, or maybe my nightmare was still freaking me out. Either way, I wanted to be sure before I went back upstairs to my bedroom. I walked along the railing and looked down below. Nothing.
Then it hit me, the feeling of being watched. I glanced over to the tree line and slowly made my way closer. I tried to see if I could make out anything through the dense vegetation. I was so focused that when the raccoon came scurrying out, running towards the road, I gasped and stayed glued to my spot instead of heading back inside.
Shaking my head I decided the best thing would be to go back inside and try and get some sleep. I walked back into Bria’s room and made sure all the windows and doors were in fact locked. Then finally, I made my way back up the stairs. Hopefully being in Dom’s arms will help me with this horrible feeling that I just can’t shake.