Rob's eyes jerked open and he bolted up in the bed. He had been awakened by a piercing scream. Jess was lying next to him; or rather, she had been lying next to him. Now she was thrashing and grunting and screaming. And she would not wake up.
Rob reached out to grab her shoulder and shake her, hoping to rouse her from whatever bad dream she was having. He ended up on the floor next to the bed. Jeez, she was strong. He tried again, this time climbing on top of her and straddling her waist with his legs. With his hands, he pinned Jess's arms above her head and tried again to wake her.
"Jess! Jess, what's wrong? Wake up, Sweetheart."
Jess eyes wrenched open and she shot upright, knocking Rob back onto the bed.
"Where am I? What's-"
Rob took her face in his strong hands and tried to calm her down. He looked in her eyes and whispered, "Sshh, Jess. Baby, it's okay. You're here at home with me. Everything's okay. You had a bad dream."
Jess sighed and leaned forward, covering her eyes with her hands. A single tear fell poetically from her eyes and dropped into her palm.
Rob leaned forward and kissed the top of her head. "Do you want to talk about it?" His lips tickled her hair.
After a moment, Jess sat up straight and stood from the bed. "No, just go back to sleep. I'm going to get a drink." She strode from their room, leaving Rob looking after her miserably. This was the second night this week that she had woken up screaming. Rob was not concerned for his sake; he was fine with little sleep, but he was worried for Jess and the unborn baby. The doctor had said that stress would amplify any problems that may or may not occur. So, he flung back the light sheet and grabbed a shirt off of the dresser, covering his bare chest. He wandered down to the kitchen, now wide awake.
Jess was in there, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
"That baby is going to be born with two heads, Jess."
"More to love." She retorted, but her voice carried none of the usual spunk. Instead, it sounded dead, like all of the life had gone from her body. "I thought I told you to go back to sleep."
"Since when do I listen to you?" He asked jokingly. A ghost of a smile flickered across her face, but it was gone as quickly as it appeared. Jess took her cup and moved towards the door, exiting the room to sit on the quaint old porch swing and watch the sunrise on this warm, early summer morning. Rob closed his eyes and sighed, going out to join her. He sat down and wrapped a long, muscled arm around her.
"Jess, Sweetheart, what's wrong? What is this dream you keep having? Maybe talking about it will help you."
She leaned into his arms, nestling her head against his shoulder. Jess's arms were protectively around the almost imperceptible baby bump. She took a sip of her coffee and looked at him. Her face was gaunt and haggard. The dark purple bags under her eyes were prominent; they almost reached the end of her nose. Her cheeks were drawn; she hadn't been sleeping well.
She took a deep breath and started in. "My dream starts when I'm in Afghanistan. I'm in the warzone with the SEALs and I'm looking for whoever the government wants me to find. Next thing I know, a bomb gets set off near me and I go flying. All the men are killed, but I'm alright. I get up and look around, and I see this little girl. She's like, three years old, just a baby. She's standing all by herself, but then some terrorist comes up behind her and grabs her. He starts hurting her; he's like, stabbing her and poking at her to see what she'll do." Jess had starting speaking faster and faster, grabbing Rob's hand and squeezing until he could feel the bones crack. He didn't care; he just wanted his wife to feel better. She swallowed roughly, trying to keep the tears from falling as she continued. "And this little girl is just looking at him with these big blue eyes as he's trying to kill her. Then the dream flash-forwards and I'm in one of the Afghani houses; you know, just sticks and mud and stuff." Rob nodded, caressing her cheek in a comforting way. "And I'm in there, with this little girl, and she comes running toward me, screaming 'Mommy!' but then people just come pouring in and they grab her and they grab me and they take us in different directions. She's still screaming my name and calling for me to come save her, but I can't." Jess was now openly sobbing as the words tumbled from her mouth. Rob pulled her into his lap and tucked her head under his chin. "And then, I see them take her into a house, and the house explodes, killing her and everyone else, except me." She finished.
"Jess," Rob started, but he stopped, not knowing what to say.
"What if that dream is real? Rob, that was our daughter in the dream." Jess jumped from his lap and turned to look at him with a demanding stare, "What if that really happens?"
Rob stood up, shaking his head. "Jess, that will never happen. It won't. We would never let it come to that." His arms surrounded her again and she leaned against him, trying to draw some of his strength.
"Jess, I don't know what I can say to you, but our daughter, or son, or two-headed child, whatever it is" His words had the desired effect, she giggled and he smiled, "will be safe. We will protect it and the baby," he paused here, looking in her eyes, "will be perfect, because it will be ours. Do you read me?"
"Loud and clear, Babe." She looked up at him, "I love you, Rob."
He smiled and returned the words.
"And now, I'm taking the coffee so that it doesn't have two heads." She protested, but he was unrelenting, "Consider this my first act of protection."
He pulled her to the swing again and sat down, pulling her into his lap. They sat like that for a while, discussing the baby as they watched the sun come up.
"What do you want, Rob?" Jess asked him, smiling.
"I would think it's obvious, Jess," his lips brushed hers and he smiled, "A little girl with big blue eyes like her daddy and brown hair with a heart shaped face like her mama."
Jess just rolled her eyes and kissed him again.
Leave your thoughts in the review section and I will love you for all times. Do you think it should stay a one-shot, or should I make it a full story?