Prologue: "Nightmare Rain"
Justin woke up, blinking in the dim light. It had been exactly one month since Jenner's defeat. He slowly sat up, the blanket falling to his waist. Looking around, he saw that rain pattered loudly on the windowpanes, the sky a dark, dismal grey. He heard a light yawn next to him, and looked down. Elizabeth had just woken up, and was gazing happily at him.
"It's not morning yet," she said quietly.
"I know," he replied, sliding back down to her. "The rain just woke me up."
She smiled, wrapping her arms around his firm shoulders. "You should try to get back to sleep," she told him. "Missing it's not good for you."
Justin found himself smiling back as he embraced her, pulling her close. "I know, but how can I sleep when I have such an angel beside me?"
Elizabeth gave him a look. "Flatterer." She scolded playfully.
"Hey, it's what I do," he chuckled, pulling her into a deep kiss. It ended as the door creaked open. There in the crack stood a young mouse, with frightened tears welling in her eyes.
Justin sat up again, and then slid from the bed. He went over to the child, and then knelt down in front of her, taking her into his arms. She buried her face in his shoulder, clutching the collar of his shirt with both hands. Justin held her tightly, feeling her tremble.
"Daddy, I'm scared," she said finally, her voice muffled by the cloth.
He smiled, getting to his feet and stroking her hair. "It's alright, Cynthia," he said soothingly, taking her back to the bed. "It's just rain, it can't hurt you."
Cynthia lifted her head, her brown eyes still wet with tears. "That's not what I'm afraid of," she sniffled. "I had a bad dream."
"About what?" Elizabeth asked, coming to Justin's side as he sat down.
"About…Jenner." Her daughter's eyes filled with anger at saying the hated name. "I dreamed he came back, and did some really scary things."
"What did he do, sweetheart?" Justin asked, stroking her head once more.
"I can't remember. I woke up as soon as I saw his face." Cynthia began crying again, burying her face in Justin's chest as she curled up into a ball in his arms.
"Oh, dear," said Elizabeth, putting her hands on his shoulders. "Justin, that's the tenth time this month she's dreamt about him. Sarah sometimes tells me that Cynthia wakes up during naptime, crying and screaming."
"This is turning into a problem, isn't it?" he asked, concerned. "I'll take her to Ash tomorrow, maybe he can straighten this out." He hugged his daughter closer to him as her shaking worsened. "Maybe he can give her something to get rid of those dreams."
"I sure hope so," Elizabeth said with tears in her voice. "I just hate to see our child suffering like this."
Justin leaned over, and kissed her tenderly. "Try to get some sleep, Lizzy; we'll take care of it in the morning."
Elizabeth nodded, and then slowly lay back down. After a few minutes, she rolled onto her side, fast asleep. Justin stayed up a few minutes longer, gently rocking the child back and forth, until her breathing was deep and even again. Smiling slightly, he slid back down and closed his eyes, sleeping an uneasy sleep.