The Dream

She dreams of touch.

His skin is warm beneath the curve of her cheek, and she lifts her fingers in dreamy sleep, perplexed. She brushes against his stubble. It's him. His skin. Beneath her.

With a sharp shove and spike of terror, she pushes off him, hovers over, wide awake—caught in a nightmare.

"Remy!" she screams.

He doesn't answer her. He does not stir.

She screams.

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Her thrashing wakes him. He catches his arms around the slender limbs, the arms, the legs, so much stronger than they've ever been before. Her hair spills against him like water. She almost slips away from his grasp with her turning. He pulls her against him, captures her in his embrace.

"Rogue." He calls her name softly, but there is no response.

The heated, feverish trembling of her body against his, the whispered moans of terror.

His tone sharpens. He brushes back the silken curtain of brown and white to see her face, shakes her in the circle of his arms to waken her. "Chère. Wake up, mon amour. You're dreaming. It's a dream. Jus' a dream," he breathes this last near her mouth. It's their gesture of intimacy, almost a kiss.

Her hands clench tightly against his biceps, and he bites back a curse at the blinding pain.

Too strong. And it's a warning to him that she is not alone within her dream, beneath her skin. Too strong to hold.

"Remy." Her breathless, frightened voice caresses him. "Remy?"

The grip on his arms lessens. He stares down into emerald pools of terror shining in her fragile porcelain doll skin.

This girl is her. His Rogue.

"Rogue," he whispers her name, soothing, reaching out to cradle her in his voice.

He draws her closer, but she stiffens, sharply, and tugs against him, pulling away. Somehow, she slips through his grasp like water. He tries to catch her with his fingers, but she is already standing on the side of the bed.

"I need a shower," she says abruptly.

He knows that isn't what she needs. He knows the sound of her fear.


But she is gone.

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She pours her tears out silently beneath the running stream of water. Her fingers splay against the shower wall.

She cannot do that to him, let him hear her tears.

Bare skin remembers the feel of his heat beneath her cheek, the stubble, the warmth of his breath. Then...

Wake up, she commands herself, trying to be strong.

But another voice with far more strength than her own whispers back, I can't wake up.

It rolls over her with quiet terror and desperation. She sees a flash of blue eyes, golden hair whipped by the winds in a battle with the Brotherhood. Her skin remembers, too well, the instant, too long, too late, of contact with that uncovered skin.

I can't wake up. The words haunt her.

She shivers, dreaming of touch.