Daniel was sound asleep when he was woken by someone or something creeping into his chambers. Stirring he adjusted slowly to being awake, rolling over towards the sound. Watching as Sophie crept towards the bed.
Straining in the darkness he watched as she passed the bottom of the bed and headed towards the chair. For a moment he debated calling out to her but deciding better of it he just watched and waited, unsure of what the reaction would be of his unpredictable wife, if she noticed him awake.
What was she doing? He wondered when he’d first seen her for the briefest of moments he’d wondered if she was coming to his bed as a woman to a man. However having passed the bed she now sat herself upon the chair, pulling her knee’s up under he chin she just sat and watched him.
Did she know he was awake he wondered? Of course she did, Sophie it seemed knew everything. Every now and then she let out a small sniffle indication that she was or recently had been crying.
Deciding that she knew he was awake Daniel sat up “Sophie” whispered “Are you alright?” she didn’t reply but let out a small sniffle letting him know she was there. “Come here” he urged, she shuffled on the seat and when it became clear that she wasn’t going to move Daniel tentatively began to get out of bed.
It was early January outside snow lay thick on the ground and the fire in his chambers had been out for some time and there was a chill in the air. Placing the first of his feet on her cold stone slabs of the floor he resisted the urge to recoil back to the warmth of his blankets.
Slowly he tiptoed across the room to where Sophie sat, a small amount of light filtered in from the stained glass windows giving him enough light to see her tear-stained face and glistening eye’s. “What’s wrong?” he asked his shivering, wife.
She didn’t replied instead hung her head in her hands and began to sob.
“Sophie” he whispered, moving his arm around her back to embrace her he drew back sharply when he noticed she was soaking wet her shift clung to her body. No wonder she was freezing “Why are you wet?” he asked.
“I had to put out the fires” she sobbed looking child like, in the moonlight.
“Was there a fire in your room?” he asked, wondering if he should call for one of the guards.
“All the burning people” she sobbed “I had to put out the fires”
Unsure as to what she meant, he decided it must have just been a vision or dream of some sort. She looked so vulnerable and scared he felt somewhat like a father protecting a child from the monsters beneath her bed. “Come on Sophie let’s get you back to bed”
“I don’t want to go” she protested standing quickly, before throwing her arms around Daniel’s neck “Don’t make me go?”
“You want to stay here with me?” he asked her pulling back so he could see her face she looked lost and afraid. It wasn’t usual for Hamdun women to show their vulnerability in this way. He wondered who it was she went to back home, when things in the night scared her. He couldn’t imagine Peter, Gabriel or her father when he was alive, being comforting.
He wondered then what it must have been like for Sophie growing up in the Hamdun house with the visions? how had her mother and father accepted her behaviour? He couldn’t imagine Aldun being very understanding, he didn’t have many memory’s of the man, but the one’s he had where not good.
Sophie nodded “Stay with you” she shivered the dampness of her body was begining to make Daniel cold.
Daniel nodded, guiding her back to the bed “Your freezing, we need to take off these wet things. I’ll go and get you a new nightgown”
“Don’t” she replied with urgency, grabbing his hand tightly to prevent him from leaving “Don’t leave me”.
Daniel nodded strangly honored that in her moment of vulnerability she’d chosen to come to him, even though she’d not seemed quite sure what to do when she’d arrived. “Alright.. one of my night-shirt then” he smiled moving to the chest of draw’s which held his night things. Pulling the draw open he looked for a suitable shirt finding one he turned back to Sophie.
Helping her undress she didn’t flinch as he pulled the soaked shift over her head, leaving her standing naked before him. Slipped the nightshirt over her head and pulled back the blankets allowing her to climb inside, “In you get” he whispered gently.
The only other night they’d spent together was back at Hamdun castle, a night where they had both firmly kept to their own sides of the bed. This time though she seemed to want to be close to him, nuzzling into his chest she fell asleep in his arms and for once Daniel felt that she’d done something because she’d wanted too, not because the vision’s in her head told her it was the most acceptable option.