So Strange And So Surreal
And I heard your voice
As clear as day
And you told me I should concentrate
It was all so strange
And so surreal
~Only If For A Night, Florence + The Machine
I'm sorry, Robyn.
My eyes snapped open.
My heart raced uncontrollably as my head pounded, a thin sheet of sweat coating my forehead. I breathed heavily as I wiped it off, mixing with the tears that trickled down my cheeks.
Frowning, I turned and jumped as I saw Sweeney sitting up.
What the . . . ?
"Are you alright?" he asked softly, brushing a strand of my hair behind my ear.
"What happened?" My voice was barely above a whisper.
"You got home from the pub and fell asleep," Sweeney explained softly. "You were exhausted, remember?"
"No . . . "
Running a hand through my hair, I let out a heavy breath.
"Where's Robyn?" I asked suddenly, remembering. Before Sweeney could respond, I scrambled up from my bed and ran across the room to the cot. In it, Robyn was fast asleep.
Relief washed through me as I reached out and gently stroked her hair, smiling as she squirmed. I reached down and gently picked her up, cradling her against my chest.
"What's wrong?" Sweeney asked, also standing up. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed the top of my head. Still hugging Robyn, I leaned against him.
"I had a horrible dream. At least, I think it was a dream." I stared up at him. "What happened when I got back from the pub?"
"You complained that you had a headache, so you put on your pyjamas and fell asleep. You've been asleep for several hours now."
"Asleep . . . we're not dead?"
Sweeney frowned. "I don't think so."
"You haven't been down in the bakehouse?"
"Not since the day you saved me."
"So we didn't argue about the accounts when I came home?"
"No." Sweeney frowned. "What's wrong, Niamh?"
"I had the most horrible dream," I explained. "A nightmare. A really awful nightmare."
Kissing her forehead, I gently placed Robyn back in her cot. Straightening up, I wrapped my arms around Sweeney, burying my face into his chest. His arms encircled me, holding me close, and immediately I felt safe.
It was just a dream.
"I love you," I mumbled. "I love you so much."
"I love you too," he whispered, kissing my head. "Mrs Todd."
Pulling away, I grinned up at him and then at my hand, where both my engagement and my wedding ring encircled my finger.
"We're married, aren't we?"
"Yes." Sweeney laughed softly.
"I love you," I repeated, standing on my tiptoes to kiss him. He kissed me back, his hands resting on the small of my back. I slid my arms around his neck, pulling him closer.
"I love you too," he said when we broke the kiss, both of us breathing heavily.
Smiling, I slid my hand into his and led him to the bed. Lying down, I shuffled as close to him as possible, burying my face into his chest as he wrapped his arms around me.
With him there, I knew I wasn't going to have any more nightmares.
I woke up late the next day, hugging my pillow. Yawning, I rolled over and smiled up at Sweeney, who was sitting up. He had Robyn on his lap.
"Good morning," I said.
My smile grew as Robyn immediately stretched her arms out, reaching for me. Sitting up, I took her from Sweeney and hugged her.
"Hello gorgeous," I murmured. "You're up early."
"You're up late," Sweeney corrected. I looked over at the clock and saw it was half ten, swearing softly.
"Don't ever repeat that word or mummy will kill you," I told Robyn with a wide grin. She grinned back; she had no clear as to what I was saying. "Has she had breakfast?"
Leaning up, I kissed him and grinned.
"So," I said as Robyn squirmed in my arms. I let go, and she immediately began climbing over my legs and Sweeney's. "What do we want to do today?"
"What do you suggest?" Sweeney asked, gazing at Robyn.
"I don't know . . . something fun." Reaching out, I gently brushed hair out of Robyn's face. "Something with Robyn."
"A walk somewhere, perhaps?" Sweeney suggested, holding his hand out to Robyn as she struggled to stand. "The zoo?"
I froze. In my nightmare - I still couldn't believe it was only a nightmare - Mum took Robyn to the zoo before I . . .
I blinked. "Yeah," I finally said. "Lets take her to the zoo. She'd like that."
"Would you like to invite Theo and Anna?"
I stared up at Sweeney, frowning. "Since when were you all such good friends?"
"We're not, but they are your friends." Sweeney leaned down and kissed me. "And I do find their company enjoyable at times."
I grinned up at him, kissing him again. "Thank you."
We kissed a final time, only to be interupted by Robyn making a fuss, demanding attention. I laughed; already, she was a drama queen.
"I'm going to have a quick wash," I said, untangling myself from the sheets. "Will you dress Robyn?"
I climbed over the end of the bed and, just before opening the door, ran back to kiss Sweeney one last time.
"I love you," I whispered, placing my hand on his cheek as I stared down at him. "I love you so much."
His hand covered mine as he gazed up at me, everything else forgotten. All that mattered was Sweeney and I because we were alive and married and in love and a family.
"I love you too."
I realised that I loved Niamh as a character way too much, and so couldn't leave her story the way it was. I hope that this makes up for deleting the original sequel, and I promise that I will try and stick with this rewrite. Already I have planned out what I hope to be a brilliant plot.