The highland in Africa where prehistoric beasts dwelt was where Patrick and Julie fell in love… Or began to at least. By the time they had reached Johannesburg, they were completely in love.
Zulu’s tale of a distant alp chain just north of the highland was an interesting tale. He said there was ancient debris on a wee atoll that rose from a mere was a fane consisting of cobble barricades and abnormal figures that were overgrown with wilderness. It sounded like they were very old and to see them would be something! What nation of humans could have assembled those gravestones?
In his mind’s eye, Patrick could see that fane well. As he slept, he dreamed and as he dreamed of the fane. Then out of the fane came a daeodon and the fantasy turned into an incubus.
Once more the chase began yet this time Patrick was alone. How long could a dream last? It could last for a minute or even a second and seem like a lifetime. Such was the case of the chase. How long had the daeodon pursued Patrick? A second? A minute? How about an hour? It seemed longer than any of that and yet in real time it could have just been a few minutes. When the teeth of that hog from hell once more grazed his right shoulder, Patrick jolted awake.
He looked next to him and there was Julie. She slept peacefully while he had nightmares. He did not envy her, he did not hate her for it for what man could hate or envy the woman he loves because she can sleep peacefully while he cannot?
Yes, he loved Julie and she loved him. The thought of that moneygrubbing Collins forcing her to be his wife was enough to make him sick. The date for Mr. Cartwright’s payment was still a month away yet still Patrick was frightened. He feared what manner of husband Collins would be to Julie… Unfaithful? Abusive? Collins had said that he wanted Julie because he couldn’t have her mother. To Patrick’s thinking Collins would treat Julie as a trophy wife and thus would not harm her yet even a drunkard could damage one of his own trophies. He had never seen Collins drink, indeed he had only seen Collins once but from that one meeting he had gotten the impression that a number of things could have caused the overweight half of his appearance just as a number of things could have caused the muscular part of his look.
In truth, Jeffrey Collins was a muscular man whose muscular physique was halfway gone. He did indeed drink and that drinking had caused a decline in both his physical and mental condition. Patrick had no idea of knowing this however. For all he knew, Collins was an overweight man working to become physically fit. Still, he was somewhat muscular and if he were to turn physically abusive, Julie could be seriously hurt.
Running his hand through his hair and sighing, Patrick lied back down and rested his head upon his pillow. Rolling onto his side, he wrapped an arm around Julie and held her close.
Julie opened her eyes and there was a worried look in them. With his eyes closed and him facing the back of her head there could have been no way Patrick could have seen the worry in her reddish-brown eyes. She worried about him as a woman should worry about the man she loves. What could be done to help with his nightmares?