azombiewrites: (Lost in Space)
[personal profile] azombiewrites
Title: Lost in Emotion
Fandom: Lost in Space
Genre: Sci-Fi, Hurt/Comfort, Angst.
Rating: PG
Main Characters: Don West and Judy Robinson.
Secondary Characters: John Robinson, Maureen Robinson, Will Robinson, Penny Robinson, Doctor Smith and the Robot.
Disclaimer: Based on the characters created by Irwin Allen.
Challenge: Written for [livejournal.com profile] 10_hurt_comfort.
Prompt: #1 Emotion
Author's Notes: Set after season 3.
Chapter Word Count: 5,187
Status: Complete

Summary: Dragged down into a deep hole by the black dog of depression, Don West struggles to maintain a facade of his former self, but when Doctor Smith causes more harm and injury, West loses control, his facade crumbling in front of everyone.





Lost in Emotion

Chapter Two


Don couldn’t move, body frozen with fear and the knowledge that this could be the end of everything. The idea of life without Judy . . . his knees buckled beneath the heavy weight of emotion. Body slumping back toward the ground, his shoulders hunched, Don closed his eyes. He wanted to scream but couldn’t find his voice. Expected tears filling his eyes, Don covered his face with hands trembling with emotion and fear. His shattered world began to crumble. Time stopped, his world turning darker, the hole he was in grew deeper, its edge no longer within his reach.

A hand on his shoulder, the physical touch pulling him forward, John’s voice calling his name. Don pushed John away, the movement violent. Emotion turned to anger. Smith. Don opened his eyes, his vision blurred, gaze searching for the man who had ended his world. Had ended Judy’s world. Don came to a quick decision; this time, Smith wasn’t going to get away with it. He was going to kill him, with his bare hands and then he would let the darkness take him.

The ache in his chest shifted, becoming sharp, driving him forward. Don stood up, legs weak with fatigue and emotion. Turning, he searched for Smith, mind ignoring the sight of John pulling his daughter up into a firm embrace. Smith stood a short distance away, a picture of health, his face an unreadable mask. Don knew what the man was doing.

Smith was waiting for the outcome of his actions. Waiting to see if Judy were dead or alive. How the cards fell would determine the man’s response, his excuses, his apologies. Don wasn’t going to wait. Judy was dead. Smith was going to . . .

“Don!”

Breath caught in his throat at the sound of her voice, Don’s lungs struggled to take another breath. He stood still, closing his eyes. He didn’t want to turn around and look. He couldn’t believe, be hopeful. Imagination a hurtful thing.

“Don,” said Will.

The young boy tugged at Don’s arm, his hand moving downward, gripping Don’s fingers, squeezing them, “Judy’s okay.”

Knowing Will would never lie to him, Don opened his eyes, turning his head, his body. Judy. His relief was palpable, his shoulders collapsing as the tension fell from his limbs. He couldn’t trust his legs to carry him forward but Will gave him no choice, pulling him toward the woman Don thought he had lost.

John moved back, stepping out of the way, giving them space . . . privacy. Don dropped to his knees, reaching forward, taking Judy in his arms, face against her neck. He could feel her pulse, her chest move with each breath. She was alive.

“I’m okay,” said Judy, wrapping her arms around Don.

“I thought . . .” A painful sob ripped the words away from him. He squeezed her tight, not wanting to let her go, not wanting to reveal his emotions. He kept his face hidden from curious eyes, waiting until the need to cry in relief was over.

“It’s okay,” said Judy, her voice a whisper, words meant only for Don. “We’re okay.”

Emotions returning to a singular event, the darkness moving back in, Don pulled away, gaze grazing over Judy’s face. He saw the blood, a small cut on her forehead; it could have been a lot worse. He had thought . . .

“I’m okay.”

He looked into her eyes, “Are you sure?”

“A bit shaken up,” said Judy. “What happened?”

Anger gripped his heart, “Smith is what happened.”

“Help me up.”

He knew she was distracting him, pulling him away from unhealthy thoughts. He stood up, limbs still shaky and pulled Judy up onto her feet. She stumbled, John quickly moving in to help her stay upright, pushing Don out of the way. Don stood by helpless as her father took control of the situation.

John looked over at Don,” We’ll go back to camp. The drill can wait until morning.”

Don nodded, it was all he could think of to do, John moving away, taking Judy with him. Judy glanced back over her shoulder, watching him as he stood still. She stopped, pulling herself free of her father’s embrace. Holding out her hand, she called his name.

Taking a tentative step, his courage growing, Don moved quickly forward, taking her hand. They walked together, John beside his daughter, Will next to Don. The Robot moved in behind them as they passed. Smith kept his distance.

They reached the campsite, Maureen standing at its edge, waiting, an expression of fear and worry on her face. Penny stood beside her, brown eyes wide. Maureen took one glance at her daughter and rushed forward, “What happened? We heard the explosion.”

John took a deep calming breath, “There was an accident. No one was seriously hurt.”

Maureen pulled Judy away from Don, his fingers slipping free of her grip. He didn’t take much notice, John’s words distracting him. Accident? He could feel the anger returning, its strength growing, pushing the dark ache in his chest to the side. Before he could say or do anything, Smith stepped into center of the group.

“It was all my fault,” said Smith, looking at Judy. “My dear, Judy, will you forgive me?”

Don stepped forward; hands clenched, knuckles white, his anger still growing. John reached out, placing an arm in front of Don, stopping his approach.

“This is between Smith and Judy,” said John.

“No,” said Don. “It isn’t.”

Smith, hearing the conversation, turned to John, “It was an accident, Professor Robinson. I meant no harm.”

“Accident!” said Don, stepping closer to Smith, pushing John’s arm away with force when the man tried to keep him in place. “You threw a bag of explosives into a working drill hole.”

“I underestimated my own strength,” said Smith, hands clasped together in front of his body.

“Your own strength! You’re unbelievable, Smith.”

“Take it easy, Don,” said John. “His actions weren’t done with intent.”

Don spun his body around, facing John. “You’re wrong. He knew exactly what he was doing when he threw that bag.”

“I’m sure his purpose wasn’t to throw the explosives into the hole,” said John, facing Smith. “Was it Doctor Smith?”

“Of course not. My aim was off.”

“You shouldn’t have thrown it in the first place,” said Don, turning back toward Smith, moving in, getting in the man’s face, Smith taking a fearful step back.

“Don,” said John. “That’s enough.”

Not understanding John’s calm attitude, Don’s own anger snapped, taking control of him, his words, turning and walking back to face John, “You may not give a crap when someone gets hurt because of Smith but I do.”

It was a verbal slap in the face, Don hoping the man would retaliate, verbally or physically. He was in the mood for a fight. The effort of keeping his dark emotion hidden collapsing beneath his anger, the new emotion giving him a respite, an opportunity to feel something different.

“I do care,” said John. “I even care about you.”

Don laughed it off, “No. You don’t. He could have killed all of us. He could have killed Judy!”

“He didn’t.”

“No,” said Don, looking back over his shoulder at Smith. “If he did, he wouldn’t have lived long enough to come up with an excuse for his actions.”

Will stepped forward, “He didn’t do it on purpose, Don.”

“He never does. Always an excuse, and everyone forgives him,” said Don. “He’s going to keep doing it until he kills someone.”

Maureen lent in close to Judy, “You need to stop him before he says or does something that won’t be easily forgiven.”

Judy glanced quickly at her mother. Moving away, she stepped around Doctor Smith, stopping beside Don. She took his hand, holding it tight, expecting him to turn his attention toward her. He didn’t.

“Doctor Smith,” said Judy. “You will not have my forgiveness. Don is right. This happens too often.”

Pointing his finger at Smith, Don continued, “And I can guarantee you that if you let him near that drill site tomorrow, something else is going to happen.”

John stood quietly, taking a moment before speaking, “How can you be so sure something else will happen?”

“Because something always does,” said Don.

“You wouldn’t do anything to ‘guarantee’ that something would you?”

“I’m not the saboteur around here.”

Maureen moved forward, stepping between the two men, “That’s enough!”

“And I’ve had enough,” said Don, turning and walking away, pulling Judy willingly along behind him.

“Judy!” said John.

Judy stopped, forcing Don to come to a halt as he waited to see what she would do. Was she going to stay with her father? Or stay with him?

Her words were simple, honest, “Don needs me.”

They walked away, leaving the camp to find solitude with each other.

.
.
.

Solitude found, a short distance from the campsite, the large rock formation behind them. They were cool in the shade, huddled together against the rock to keep warm. No words spoken, none needed; each other’s company enough to satisfy. Don had expected someone to come after Judy, drag her back to the camp, his intention to disagree, argue if need be. He couldn’t be alone right now; unsure of what he would do, now afraid of his own actions.

His anger gone, the ache in his chest stronger than it had ever been Don made the decision to tell Judy everything. After his display earlier . . . if he did something to hurt the others, say something that would cut like a knife. He took a long breath, holding it as he gathered his thoughts, the words in his mind jumbled and confused. Start with something simple.

“I’m sorry, Judy.”

“It’s okay.”

“No,” said Don. “It’s not. I’m not.”

She shifted out of his embrace but kept close, keeping eye contact, “I know you haven’t told me everything. Are you afraid of what I would think of you?”

“More afraid of what you’ll tell your parents.”

She took both his hands in hers, “Trust me.”

“Even if my life depends on it.”

“Don,” said Judy, “you’re scaring me.”

“I’m scaring myself. The way I spoke to your father . . .”

“You were angry, Don. You had every right to be. Sometimes, I wish my father would react the same way. He wasn’t angry at all.”

“You don’t always agree with my anger toward Smith,” said Don.

“He really threw the explosives into the drill hole?”

Don nodded, “Yes.”

“I won’t forgive him.”

Head falling forward, chin resting on his chest, Don said, “You should forgive your father. Just because he didn’t get angry--”

“Don,” said Judy, reaching up, fingers of her right hand combing through his hair, making some sense of the spikes he’d created earlier. “Tell me everything.”

.
.
.

“What do you think Judy meant,” said Maureen as she set the table for dinner, moving around her husband as she worked. “When she said that Don needed her. He’s been angry before.”

“Not like that,” said John, arms crossed over his chest. “I’ve never seen him so angry.”

“Do you think Judy lied to us this morning?”

“About Don only being worried about the trip. Yes. I’m sure there’s a lot more going on here than we thought.”

Maureen stopped, plate in mid-air, turning to face her husband. “We have to keep him close.”

John nodded, “I agree, Maureen, but we can’t intrude on his privacy.”

“Then we watch him from a short distance,” said Maureen, hesitating before making her way to John, putting her hand on his arm. The feeling she’d had that morning still nagged at her, like a disagreeable mother-in-law. “I have a bad feeling about this, John. Whatever is bothering Don, it must be serious.”

“Judy seems to think so. Have you noticed that she hasn’t left his side since we got here?”

“She’s keeping him close,” said Maureen, hoping she was wrong, but voicing her suspicion, “Could he be sick?”

“I don’t think so,” said John. “Judy would have done something about it if he were.”

“Should we talk to him? He might be honest with us if we sit him down and ask him what’s wrong.”

“If he wanted to tell us, he would have already.”

“Maybe he’s afraid to tell us,” said Maureen.

“Don?” said John, smiling. “When has Don West ever been afraid?”

“John, he’s afraid of something and whatever it is, it’s eating away at him.”

A strong, sudden urge filled her. She wanted to find that young man, fold him within a motherly embrace and take away his hurts and ailments. But he was a grown man, not one of her children. They would take things carefully, one-step at a time; any wrong move would send him into withdrawal, keeping him from them emotionally and physically. Except he was already doing that. No, keeping their distance wasn’t going to work. She decided; a mother’s approach needed.

“You’re right, darling. We’ll talk to him after dinner.”

“Do you think they’ll come back,” said Maureen.

John frowned, “Why don’t we make sure. Penny! Will!”

When the children responded, running quickly to their father’s side, he knelt down, a hand on each of their arms, “Can you go and find Judy and Don, let them know all is forgiven and dinner is ready.”

Will hesitated, “Don was really angry, Dad.”

“He had a right to be angry, son,” said John. “Go find your sister, bring them back.”

Maureen watched them go, “Who can say no to a child.”

.
.
.

“I feel like I’ve been beaten down so many times and I just can’t get back up anymore. I can’t sleep. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to be around your family. I don’t want to talk . . . I just feel like . . .”

He shook his head, turning it away, Judy’s hand falling back into her lap. Closing his eyes against the threat of tears, he took a shaky breath, a hard painful lump in his chest. Breathing became difficult. He needed a moment, but if he stopped now, he would never tell her everything.

“Judy, if it weren’t for you, I don’t think I could go on.”

She moved in, pulling him toward her, embracing him, holding him close. Her left arm across his shoulders, she settled him into a comfortable position, his forehead against her neck, his warm breath against her skin, her other hand against his cheek, his skin warm. Don wrapped his arms around her, if they could stay like this . . .

“You’re my only reason for living,” said Don.

“Oh, Don, why didn’t you tell me sooner? You don’t have to do this alone.”

“My grandfather was sick. Melancholy my mother said.”

“Is that how you feel?”

“I think a proper diagnosis would be depressed.”

“Have you felt this way before?”

He shook his head, “No and I don’t know why I’m feeling like this now. There’s no reason. I can’t explain it.”

“What happened to your grandfather?”

“He took his own life.”

Judy closed her eyes, “Don . . .”

“I’m scared, Judy. I’m scared I’m heading down the same road my grandfather walked all those years ago.”

“What can I do, Don?”

He didn’t know, not having any answers. His mother hadn’t talked much about his grandfather, only giving him and his siblings a short explanation that lacked any real information after his death. If she had told him more, he might have more of an idea of what he could do to drag himself out of the hole he was in. But there was one thing he did know . . .

“Stay with me.”

“Always,” said Judy, holding him tight, her silent tears falling. “Always.”

“I’m just so tired.”

“You’ll be okay, Don. I promise you, everything will be okay.”

Judy glanced up, noticing movement, a human figure. Penny. Her sister stepped forward, her body language awkward, an expression of sadness on her features. Judy shook her head, before nodding toward the camp, telling her sister to leave them alone. Penny turned around; her movements slow before rushing off.

Don felt warm, safe, unwilling to let go of Judy. She had listened to his worst fears, understanding them, understanding him. She would stay with him, keep him safe, protect him. But what would happen if he reached the end of the road? He won’t travel it alone but if he decided to go the same way as his grandfather.

So sure he couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything to harm himself in front of her, Don said. “Don’t leave me alone. I wouldn’t do anything if you were there with me.”

“Not for a second.”

Judy tilted her head, resting it on top of Don’s, feeling him relax, the tension leaving his body. She began to rock him, calming him further. She stroked his cheek, his skin too warm in the cool air.

“Judy?”

She looked up, her father standing before her.

Worried John would take their position the wrong way, the man assuming the worst, Don panicked. He sat up, pushing Judy away, hoping she would understand his actions. She did, reaching for him and pulling him back toward her, the distance between them short. He waited for John to explode, fatherly need to protect his daughter strong.

“Penny came back to the camp crying,” said John. “What did you say to her?”

Don frowned. Penny.

“Penny wasn’t upset because of anything that was said to her,” said Judy.

John stepped forward, kneeling down in front of Judy and Don, “What’s going on?”

Judy stood up, Don moving with her, “We should go back to camp.”

“You haven’t answered my question,” said John, standing with them.

“I can’t,” said Judy. “But please, trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

Don couldn’t look at either of them, keeping his head low, his gaze downward. His heart clenched with pride at Judy’s show of support, not relaying his words and his fears, keeping her father in the dark. He knew the day would come when he was going to have to tell John and Maureen but it wouldn’t be today and for that, he was grateful.

Judy led the way back to camp, her posture confident, assured. Don had put his life in her hands and he hoped, with every ounce of his being, that he had done the right thing. Judy would save him, drag him kicking and screaming from the hole he was in, he was sure of it, confident she would save his life, his sanity.
.
.
.

Dinner was . . . awkward, everybody silent, not a word spoken. Food barely touched, Don not the only one without an appetite. He knew all eyes were on him. He couldn’t hide anymore. They knew something was wrong, they just didn’t know what. His mind had shut down, no longer able to carry on with his charade. If it weren’t for Judy . . .

Time was short and soon questions would start. Questions he wasn’t yet ready to answer. He struggled to find a solution, an answer to cause them to keep their distance. They were getting too close. Lifting his head, his gaze travelled the table, the others quickly looking away, Penny the only one holding his stare. She smiled, her expression hesitant, gentle. Not able to hurt her feelings, he smiled back before shifting his gaze, searching for and finding Judy.

Judy was watching him. He sought the injury on her forehead, now clean, taken care of by her mother, the small cut surrounded by a colourful bruise. He felt guilty for dragging her away from the campsite so soon after the explosion, both of them dirty, covered in dust, her injury left to fester. Maureen had assured him that she was okay, no infection, no reason to be concerned. He looked away. Something else to make him feel bad, as if he didn’t feel bad enough.

He felt uncomfortable amongst the awkward silence, knowing he was the reason for it, everyone else too afraid to say anything in front of him, their bodies stiff with tension. Even Smith was keeping his mouth shut.

As much as he hated to do it, not wanting a conversation, he forced himself to say something . . .

“Do you think we’ll be able to fix the drill?”

Judy squeezed his hand, encouraging him.

John, surprised by the question, looked up, gaze settling on Don, “We brought enough spare parts and a second drill. We should be fine.”

Don nodded, fighting himself, wanting to return to silence, but there was something else. He should have said it earlier. He needed to say it now.

Gaze down, unwilling to look at John, Don said, “I’m sorry about earlier. I shouldn’t have . . . I’m sorry.”

“Children,” said John. “Could you leave the table please?”

He had made a mistake, his apology giving John an opportunity. Don closed his eyes, berating his own stupidity. He had wanted to delay the inevitable, keep John and Maureen at arm’s length. Don shifted in his seat, pushing himself up onto his feet, standing, ready to walk away from the table, the questions he knew were coming.

“Don,” said Maureen. “Please. Stay.”

Keeping his head down, he couldn’t look at her, couldn’t refuse her. He nodded, not wanting to voice his agreement to stay, sitting back down.

Will stood first, his voice silent, walking away. He stopped and turned back when Judy spoke to him, “Will, I think you should bunk with Doctor Smith.”

The boy looked at Don, disappointment written all over his face.

John looked at Will, “I think it would be best, son.”

Will nodded and walked away.

Penny stood up, glancing toward her parents, before moving around the table, toward Don, standing next to him. Don lifted his head, leaning back in surprise. He saw Penny hesitate, his reaction to her abrupt closeness causing her to second-guess herself. It only took her a moment before she came to a decision.

She leant down, wrapping her arms around Don, whispering words into his ear, “I hope you feel better soon, Don. We all miss you.”

She broke his heart, her innocence crushing his soul. He couldn’t do this. She let him go, running away from the table. He watched her. Penny’s shoulders were hunched, a hand covered her mouth. She was crying . . . again.

“Doctor Smith,” said John. “Please leave.”

“I am not one of the children,” said Smith, snatching a piece of food from his plate, stuffing it into his mouth.

John snapped, “You’re lucky you are still a part of this expedition, Doctor Smith. Go. Now.”

Doctor Smith didn’t argue, knowing better than to anger John Robinson. He stood up, and taking his plate of food with him, he stomped off and out of sight, ordering the Robot to follow him.

Left alone, Maureen stood up, mirroring Penny’s actions she moved around the table to Don, bringing a chair with her. She placed the chair next to him; too close to him. Sitting down, she took his free hand, wrapping it within her grasp. Don wasn’t sure what he should do: run or stay. He still couldn’t look at her, his head turned away. He felt her gentle grip on his chin, turning his head, her gaze searching his face, his eyes.

Her question shocked him; she had read him too well, much like her daughter, “Don. What's gotten you so upset? Did we do something? Say something?”

He couldn’t speak, not straight away, his hesitation causing more worry, “No. You haven’t done anything.”

“Then tell me,” said Maureen. “Please tell us what’s wrong.”

Shaking his head, Don whispered, “I can’t do this. Not now.”

John spoke up, “We can’t help you if don’t tell us what’s wrong.”

“You can’t help me,” said Don.

“But Judy can?” said Maureen.

Don nodded, unwilling to say more. He felt Judy squeeze his hand.

“I don’t think so,” said John.

Judy turned to look at her father, “What are you saying, dad?”

John stood up, changing his position at the table, sitting opposite Don, “Judy’s smart, caring and Maureen and I know she would give her life for you. Just as you would give yours for her. But if she were able to help you, she would have by now.”

“She’s helped more than you can imagine,” said Don. “She is helping. More than she could understand.”

Knowing that he’d already said too much, Don looked away. He could feel his muscles, cramped with tension, his body sore, exhausted beyond repair. The darkness within him grew more painful, his chest aching. He felt the lump rise into his throat, making speech difficult.

“I can’t do this.”

“Don.”

Judy’s voice caught his attention. He looked at her, her eyes full of tears.

“What if he’s right? If my help isn't enough. If I can’t . . .”

If I can’t save you.

Don leaned back in his chair. Pulling his hand from Maureen’s grip, he covered his eyes with trembling hands. He wasn’t ready for this. He couldn’t tell them but maybe Judy could. She could speak for him. He had told her everything, no more secrets kept. He was scared. Scared of what they would think, of what they would do. He felt arms wrap around him, embracing him, pulling him into a hug that was warm and welcoming. It wasn’t Judy. She sat on his other side. Maureen. And that made it so much worse.

He didn’t want to cry, not in front of her, in front of John but he had held the tears at bay for far too long, their need for escape too strong. He couldn’t fight it anymore. He let go, his emotions attempting to drown him, Maureen keeping him afloat with words spoken softly, her comfort pulling his emotions out of hiding.

Judy, voice choked with emotion began to speak. She told her parents everything. The darkness invading Don’s soul, his will to live almost gone. His inability to sleep. His lack of motivation. His need for solitude. She told them of his grandfather’s illness, of his death. She spoke of Don’s fears. Her fear of losing him to a darkness that wasn’t willing to let him go.

“We need to tell the children,” said John.

No.

Don pulled away, wiping his damp face with his sleeve, “You can’t tell them.”

“Is that necessary, John,” said Maureen.

He nodded, “I think Penny already knows.”

Judy agreed looking at Don, “She must have heard us talking earlier.”

“Penny?” said Don, tilting his head back, his world disappearing beneath him. “I can’t . . .”

“You can,” said Maureen, reaching for him, taking his hand. “With our help.”

He pulled his hand away, angry and frustrated. He had succumbed to them, allowing Judy to tell them his secret but he didn’t want the children to know. How could he face them knowing that they knew. They would think him weak. They would fear him, unwilling to approach him. Then he remembered. Penny’s hug, her whispered words. She knew, her knowledge gained by accident. She had understood. He wasn’t so sure about Will, he was too young, his young mind thinking a joke would cure all ills. But if Will found out they hadn’t told him, everyone included except him and . . . a sudden thought smacked him in the face.

“Okay,” said Don. “But I draw the line at Smith.”

John smiled, “We have no intention of telling Smith.”

Maureen leaned forward, close to Don, taking his hand once more, “Is there a reason you’re feeling depressed? Did something happen to cause it?”

“I don’t know why,” said Don, shaking his head.

“Depression can be hereditary,” said John. “A chemical imbalance. It can appear at any time of life. Our main problem is a solution. We don’t have a psychiatrist available or medication.”

“Then what can we do,” said Judy.

“You, young lady, can continue what you’ve been doing,” said Maureen. “Keep him close.”

Judy smiled, “Then you won’t mind if I sleep in Don’s tent.”

“Under the circumstances,” said John. “No, we don’t mind and in the meantime, we’ll try and figure something out. There must be something we can do for you, Don. Something that will make you feel better.”

“You’re not going to lock me in a padded cell,” said Don.

John shook his head, “Judy knows you better than we do. She’ll know if you’re stepping over the edge and we’ll do everything we can to pull you back. Don, you need to stop fighting it. Keeping it to yourself hasn’t been helping. If you don’t want to talk to Maureen and I, talk to Judy. Tell her everything. If you think you’re going to take that final step, tell her. Promise me, you will tell her.”

He hesitated, not sure if he could keep that promise.

“Don?”

Don turned to face her, the expression on her face telling him she was more afraid than he was, “I promise.”

“Now,” said Maureen. “You need to sleep. I have something in the First Aid kit that will help.”

“Thank you,” said Don.

“You’re family, Don,” said Maureen, placing a hand on his shoulder as she stood up. “No matter what happens, you’ll always be a part of our family.”

Don watched her walk away, heading toward the Chariot. He could feel the tears brewing, Maureen’s ability to understand and comfort moving him, drawing his emotions to the surface once more.

“Don’t fight it, Don,” said John.

Giving up the fight, Don found solace within Judy’s embrace.

.
.
.

She lay next to him, watching him, studying his face. Like a ghost, Judy’s fingers stroked over his features, not wanting to touch too afraid she would wake him. She lowered her gaze, watching his chest rise and fall, his slumber calm, restful. Judy was grateful, Don finally able to rest. He had fallen asleep with ease, the sleeping pill taking him quickly. Something as simple as sleep had been so hard for him, his body unwilling to rest. She couldn’t imagine how difficult it must be, but she saw enough to understand.

His body shifted and his breathing hitched, his eyes moving beneath closed lids. He was dreaming. Fine lines appeared on his forehead, the frown telling Judy his dreams weren’t pleasant. She wanted to take him in her arms, hold him close and calm his thoughts and his emotions. She wanted to hold on and never let him go.

Her heart clenched with fear. If he repeated his grandfather’s actions, she would lose him. The thought of living her life without him . . . it was something she didn’t want to do. Couldn’t do.

Wouldn’t do.

Willing to fight for him, for his soul, she would do anything and everything.






Part One | Part Two | Part Three


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