Emma had just drifted back to sleep after taking her pain medication, when she suddenly bolted straight up in bed. The pain evoked by the movement caused her to gasp and clutch her sore ribs. When she looked to her right, she saw the bed beside her was empty.
“Killian!” she squeaked, unable to call out because of the sharp ache. She waited for a few seconds, which seemed like an eternity.
After he’d made sure that Emma was sound asleep, Killian had gotten out of bed to use the bathroom and get a fresh bottle of water to set on her nightstand. When he returned to the bedroom, however, he saw his girlfriend sitting up in bed with her eyes wide and frantic, gripping her side and struggling to catch her breath.
He rushed over and sat down beside her. “Sweetheart, what is it? What happened?”
“I heard a noise and you weren’t here, and I was afraid that…that she…”
“I’m sorry, Love. I thought you were asleep, but it’s okay. You’re safe. I’m right here.”
“But the noise…”
“It was probably just me that you heard. I was in the bathroom and the kitchen.”
“No, it wasn’t you! There was a noise! It sounded like…like a loud thud. Like someone hit the wall! I think someone is in the house!”
“Wait here. I’ll go see what the noise was,” Killian told her, kissing her lightly on the forehead.
He went into the living room and turned on the lights. After making sure that everything was in its place, he continued to check throughout the rest of the house.
When he reached the spare bedroom where he’d placed his overnight bag, he saw that it had fallen off the bed. He figured that when he’d taken out his pajamas and toothbrush, he’d probably placed it haphazardly and gravity had done the rest. He picked it up and put it in the center of the bed where it had no chance of accidentally falling off.
He hurried back to Emma’s room to find her still frozen in the same position as she was when he left.
“It was just my duffel bag, Sweetheart - it fell off the bed. I checked the whole house. All the doors are locked and everything is where it belongs.”
He crawled back into bed and began to rub her right shoulder. She melted against him and he could feel the tension draining out of her body. He eased her into a prone position, and adjusted the pillows until she was comfortable.
“Thank you, Killian. I love you,” she mumbled, the pain medication and draining adrenaline taking effect.
“I love you too, Emma, and I’ll make sure that you’re safe. Always.”