About three minutes later, Bill snuck into the cabin in the woods he and Prez called home. He would've been there sooner if someone had warned him she'd been relocated, but no. Let the omniscient demon have a panic attack.
He ignored the pang in his gut when he passed the rooms belonging to the boys and Tammy and drifted into the master bedroom, finding a certain redhead sitting with her.
Bill would've normally felt the urge to tease Wendy about how he'd never known her as a softie, but the circumstances had drowned his sarcasm.
"Thanks." He offered weakly. "I'll stay with her now."
"All right." The tall woman stood and patted Bill on the shoulder as she left.
The demon sat on the edge of the bed, pulled his wife into his arms, and scooted to the center of the bed. He hugged her close to his chest.
He'd never really realized how utterly small she was.
Her personality and bushy hair more than made up for her tiny stature when she was awake, and even when she was fast asleep some of the time. It never really sunk in that she was only five-foot-zip and just over a hundred ten pounds.
Occasionally she would whimper and bunch up some of the fabric of Bill's shirt - he'd removed his suit jacket - in her fists, hiding her face in her husband. Bill had no idea if she could feel him there, had no idea if the comforting embrace was helping her at all.
But it was the most he could do.
Prez woke up with a shriek to find she was being touched. After less than a second, however, she realized that it was a loving hug instead of against the wall. The final edges of the visions faded. Theo's face faded to Bill's, and she realized that none of what she had just felt or seen was real.
She burst out into violent sobs, wrapping her arms around her husband's middle, terrified of loosening her clutch lest she be wrenched into another vision.
He didn't try to shush her, just held her close. This did more for her than words would, and within minutes she had calmed enough to stop crying.
"Don't leave me." She begged, not caring how pathetic she sounded.
"Never." Bill promised, and he sounded like he wanted to cry himself.
They're done for today. October mentally promised, watching the main member of the Time Council lumber off for some sleep.
'Are you sure?' Bill's voice responded, skeptical.
Unless torturing your wife for his own sick amusement is more important than sleep, then yeah, pretty sure.
A sigh of relief on the other end.
'How long do you think we have?'
Twenty four hours, give or take a couple. The kids are fine, by the way.
'Thank you so much, October.'
No problem at all.
Tick, tock goes the clock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.
Billie groaned and turned over, holding the pillow over her head. The grandfather clock's ticking was a very soothing thing for her at first, but now it was weaving its way into the inner workings of her mind, trying to drive her mad.
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.
Billie sighed and turned back onto her back, staring at the very object that had been taunting her. The second hand moved its merry way around the marks around the face. "Craziness doesn't have to run in the family, you know," she growled at it.
"SHUT UP!" She threw the pillow at the clock, doing nothing to slow it down.
Then she noticed the tiny changes that had taken place within her, changes she had learned to watch out for. The slight adjustment in her abdomen, the senses heightened by just the tiniest fraction. And today was supposed to start...
She sat up quickly.
"Ooooh no." She stared blankly at the silky yellow fabric of her dress. "Nonononono. Not again."
She pulled her black elbow length glove down a little, glancing at the hundreds of tally marks dotting her left arm. She gulped, remembering how badly it had hurt all eight hundred times.
"I can't protect you." She protested weakly to her stomach, like that would stop the embryo from forming. "There's nothing I can do for you."
Billie sighed, hugging her knees to her chest. "All right, have it your way. I'm sorry in advance."
She rested her forehead on her knees, trying to ease the panic out of her system. Maybe this time he won't kill it.
Yeah, and maybe chinchillas will grow wings and fly west for the winter.