I shot up, fighting my tangled mess of bedding as if it were the enemy – the shrill sound of my cries still echoing in the darkness. My clothes were drenched in sweat. As my lungs begged for air, my heart threatened to escape my chest, pounding violently against it.
The dream had seemed so real.
Cooper crashed into the room, startled but prepared for a fight.
“What is it?” he shouted, eyes wild. “What’s wrong?”
Disengaging from the comforter, I stood shakily as I struggled to speak without any oxygen to spare. My dire expression pleaded for help, though the words were absent. He, in return, silently eyed my unraveling state before scenting the room. His growl erupted low and threatening, and initially I thought it was the source of the breeze I felt sweep across my body, causing me to shudder.
The tiny dance of the curtain at my bay window told me I was wrong.
The sash stood slightly ajar – it had been closed when I went to sleep. My chest tightened further as my fear compressed it, and I gasped for air while two barely audible words escaped my lips.