For the next few nights, Reiner had severe nightmares. He would wake up sweating in the middle of the night, unable to fall asleep again. Often times, Malkina would wake up to find him not in bed at all, then would venture downstairs and find him wide awake on the couch, looking paranoid. She would then sit there beside him and comfort him until he felt safe enough to fall asleep.
One morning, she woke up on the couch before Reiner did, and decided to give Westray a call. She walked into the other room and dialed the number.
"Yeah?" he said groggily when he answered the phone after the third ring.
"Did you just wake up?" she asked.
"No, no I'm just tired," he replied. Malkina heaved a sigh.
"That makes two of us," she said.
"How is he?" he asked sincerely.
"He's having awful nightmares. Waking up in the middle of the night sweating, then going downstairs to lay on the sofa. This is bothering him more than he'll admit," she said, rubbing her temples.
"Yeah," Westray sighed. "I honestly don't know what to do. Marcus is a powerful son of a bitch and Reiner knows it. He knows that nobody can protect him." Malkina pursed her lips.
"There's got to be something that we can do," she replied, frustrated. Westray paused for a moment.
"The only thing I can think of is for just all of us to stay at the house until Marcus comes, then we can at least protect him somewhat. Maybe he'll feel better if there's more of us," Westray said thoughtfully.
"He'll argue at first, Westray," she responded.
"I know he will, but he'll get over it," he replied bluntly. Malkina nodded her head in determination.
"Okay," she said. "Let's do it."
"I'll call The Counselor."
Malkina hung up the phone and returned to the other room. Reiner was still sound asleep. She considered waking up, but decided against it. He'll need all the sleep he can get, she thought.
* * * *
Reiner woke up to find Malkina, Westray, and The Counselor all staring at him with concerned expressions. Malkina caressed his face with the back of her hand.
"How are you feeling?" Malkina asked sincerely. Reiner glanced around groggily.
"What are you all doing here?" he slurred. They all glanced at each other knowingly.
"We're here for you, pal," Westray said. Reiner gave him a confused look, then shook his head frantically.
"You don't h-" "Yes we do," The Counselor interrupted.
"Malkina says you've been having night terrors," he continued. Reiner glanced at Malkina, about to argue, but Westray interrupted.
"Look, Reiner. This whole situation has been bothering you enough that it's got your girlfriend worried. She gave me a call this morning, and I suggested that we all come stay here until... until all of this passes. So whether you like it or not, we're staying." Reiner nodded.
"That's fair," he muttered. They all relaxed, and Reiner leaned back on the sofa and closed his eyes.