Safe House: Graceland Fanfiction

Chapter 19

12:18. That's what the clock read as Paige slowly opened her eyes. She was still using Mike's bare chest as a pillow; his arm was wrapped around her frame, holding her close to him.

She slightly repositioned herself to try and get more comfortable.

"Hey, there," Mike whispered.

"We fell asleep..." Paige whispered back to him.

Mike squeezed her hip with the hand that was holding her. "Well, that's what you do after two people..."

Paige playfully kicked him under the sheets. "Are you sure the monitor is working?" she asked him.

"Yes," he said clearly. He kissed the top of her head. "Go back to sleep, Paige. We'll hear her..."

Paige skeptically closed her eyes once more.

Her eyes shot open. Mike was rubbing his hand on her back. "Do you hear that?" he asked her softly. Paige looked over at his nightstand. The clock read 1:35.

She stared at the speaker, trying to figure out what the noise was.

"She's breathing heavy," Paige said to him with a worried tone. She sat up a little more. "Do you think she's ok?" she asked him.

"Let's give it a second," Mike said, eager to go back to sleep.

Paige kept her eyes open and listened intently to the small speaker.

"I think it's getting worse, Mike," she said. It sounded like someone was blowing air into the transmitter. The sounds got harsher and they no longer came in a steady rhythm. "I'm going to check on her..." she said, trying to push herself up and out of the bed.

By the time Paige got to Mike's door, the heavy breathing had turned into cries. She looked back at Mike.

He bent down to grab his t-shirt off the floor. "I'll be right behind you," he said, "Go."

Paige didn't shut the door as she left, bolting up the stairs to Jessie's room.

She saw the girl twisting in bed, eyes scrunched and fists swinging once more. Paige went over to her and sat on the edge of the bed so that the girl was only an arm's reach away. Jessie's breathing was heavy, but sporadic, and her cries were growing louder.

"Jessie, wake up sweetheart," Paige said to her, running her hand over the girl's head. "You're safe; The bad guys aren't here; No one is going to hurt you; Wake up for me." She repeated the phrases and tried to hold one of Jessie's hands, but the girl fought her off.

"Just hold her."

Paige snapped her head back over to the door. It was Mike.

Paige put one hand under Jessie's knees and wrapped her other arm around the girl's shoulders. She lifted Jessie onto her lap and held the girl tightly. She kept talking to her with a calm voice and held her close to her chest. Jessie continued to twist and was still clearly lost in the nightmare.

Mike walked over to the small table and turned the transmitter off before sitting beside Paige on the edge of the bed.

He ran his hand over the back of the girl's head and through her hair, repeating some of what Paige was saying to try and wake her up from the nightmare.

They froze as Jessie started to cough. The tone of her body changed and she was now clinging to Paige instead of trying to fight her.

She immediately started rubbing circles on her back. "Shhh, we're right here. We've got you. You're ok."

Paige could still hear cries mixed in with the coughing.

She rocked back and forth with the girl in her arms, occasionally kissing the top of her head. After a few minutes, the cries stopped.

"She's shaking," Mike whispered.

Paige glanced behind her at the full size bed. "Is there a smaller blanket in here?" she asked him.

"I don't know."

"Go get the purple one on my bed."

Mike wrinkled his eyebrows, trying to understand why she wanted it.

"Just go," she said, "quickly."

As Mike ran back downstairs, Paige repositioned herself so that she was sitting completely on the bed with her back up against the headboard.

She moved Jessie so that the girl was straddling her lap. Jessie buried her face in Paige's chest and gripped the sleeves of the agent's sweatshirt.

"Mike will be right back," she said. Paige had both of her arms wrapped around Jessie and was holding her protectively. "I need you to take slow deep breaths with me, Jessie."

Paige dramatically took a big breath, watching as the girl's head rose and fell with the movement of her chest. "Can you breathe with me?" Jessie didn't respond, but Paige thought she may have tried to have her breath match what Paige was doing.

Mike came back holding the purple blanket. Paige gestured with her head for him to come sit next to them. The movement on the bed startled the girl. "It's just Mike," Paige whispered.

She took the blanket from Mike and continued to try and get Jessie to slow down her breathing. She wrapped the blanket around her back, pulling it and securing it tightly up against her chest.

"I wasn't holding her tight enough to control the shaking, and I didn't want to put too much pressure on the burns," she explained to him. He nodded at her, but he didn't seem persuaded or impressed. "Breathing control and physical security are like, child anxiety 101."

After another few minutes, Paige could feel that Jessie was less tense. She looked down and saw that the girl's eyes were open, staring over at the closet.

"Do you want to lie down with us?" Paige asked her gently. Mike was already lying in the bed on his side, watching how Paige was handling the situation.

Even though she didn't get an answer, it was after 2am and she knew that they needed to sleep.

Paige started to scoot forward on the bed so that she could lie back. She felt Jessie resist wanting to lie down. "You're safe," Paige said, "You need to try and sleep. Mike and I aren't going anywhere." She rolled towards Mike a little to try and get Jessie to lie between them on the bed.

Seeing Jessie's hesitance, Mike reached out and helped Paige get Jessie to lie down.

The girl kept the purple blanket wrapped close around her as she snuggled into the pillow on the bed. Mike and Paige were close enough to her that she could feel them on either side.

Mike ran his hand through her hair again. "Do you want to tell us what made you so scared?" Jessie kept her head tucked into the pillow.

"Do you want to read another story?" Paige asked softly.

After a few moments, Jessie turned her head and looked over to Paige. "Sing?" she whispered, her puffy red eyes were pleading with Paige and her little worried tone pulled at the woman's heart.

"You want me to sing?" Paige asked her. She rubbed circles on her back, proud that Jessie spoke to them. The girl took a breath and nodded.

"Close your eyes," Paige said soothingly. Mike smiled at Paige, trying to hold back a laugh. Paige leaned down to Jessie's ear, "Next time, Mike is going to sing, ok?" Jessie nodded.

"I'm used to bar karaoke... I'll think of something else," Paige said to her with a small nervous laugh. "Let's see if we can make this more of a lullaby."

"When something may upset you, you never let it get you down. Don't wear a frown. If fortune should forsake you, don't let it ever make you sigh. Keep flying high..."

Paige smiled as she sang the next part of the song, "Be a crooner, not a groaner, never kick. Here's a spelling lesson that will do the trick..."

Paige looked over to Mike as if he was going to chime in with her, "You've got to S-M-I-L-E, to be H-A-double-P-Y. Keep it in mind when you're blue. It's easy to spell and just as easy to do..."

Paige looked down to Jessie and thought she saw a small smile creep across her face. Her legs were stretched out more and Paige noticed that one of her hands was now holding onto Mike's arm.

Paige continued to turn the Shirley Temple song into a slow and calming tune, singing another verse and the chorus again. Mike looked just as amused and relaxed as Jessie.

When she finished the song, she hoped that Jessie was close to falling asleep. Paige snuggled into the bed, making herself comfortable. She reached out and rested a hand on Jessie's back, smiling as Mike gently placed his hand over hers.

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