As he drove me home, I began to feel crippling panic. What if he was there, laying in wait for me much like a panther crouches in the bushes before he attacks. What if he'd been listening and he knew Thomas was bringing me home?
He seemed to sense my thoughts, and he squeezed my hand. "He's not going to find you, Catherine," he said firmly as we pulled up in front of my house. He opened my door and caught me as I stumbled just a bit, the fatigue I hadn't realized I was feeling catching up with me.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"Yeah," I replied. "Just tired."
He stepped in front of me and began to go through every room. "No one here," he assured me as he put his bag down in my guest room. "You can go rest."
I patted his shoulder in thanks and showered, changing into my nightclothes. I was happy to see my own bed. It had been a really long night. I pulled up the covers and fell asleep quickly. Soon, though, I was trapped in an all-too common flashback.
I was strapped to the bed, Capra over me, inside me. I tried to wriggle away, but the restraints were too tight. I was in such pain.
"Stop! You're hurting me! Let me go!" I screamed out, but he just laughed and continued. After what seemed like a long time, I saw him go toward the door. The last sound I heard was running water. I knew he was trying to drown out any noise I made.
I woke up shaking and crying, and I heard Thomas's footsteps coming from across the hall. I heard him open the door and pad over to my side of the room.
"What's wrong? Did something happen?" he asked softly.
"Capra," I breathed. "He came back, and he..." The rest of my thought was drowned out by my tears.
"Shh," he soothed, rocking me and holding me against him. "Capra can't hurt you again. He's dead, Catherine. He won't come for you again." His voice was soft, and he kept murmuring comforting words to me. I found myself clutching his shirt.
"Don't let me go. Don't let him get me," I begged, embarrassed by my desperation.
I felt him pick me up and take me into his room."It's all right, Catherine," he assured me, kissing the top of my head. "It's gonna be okay, I promise. I'll protect you."
For the first time since the nightmare with Capra, I felt safe, so I snuggled closer to him and fell asleep