My hands can’t stop shaking after the incident. I lost him. For a few minutes, he wasn’t there mentally, and I didn’t know if he was going to come back. Luckily, he did, but it could happen again. That is why I am on my way to Nox to speak to Nyx. She is his best friend, and she is so intelligent. I thought that maybe she would know how to help with the nightmares.
I chew my bottom lip anxiously as I walk down the street, finally coming to a stop in front of Nox. Placing my hand on the door, I take a second to think about what I am doing. I am going behind his back to speak to her. To talk to her about information about him that she probably didn’t know. He is going to be upset about this. He may not even trust me anymore, but it would be worth it if he could sleep properly at night.
Opening the door, I take a step inside Nox. It is dark, like most night clubs. The room is lit up with purple and blue lights. It is delightful to look at, and if I were here for other reasons, I would consider going to dance on the dance floor.
I chew my lip anxiously as I wait for Nyx. It only takes a few seconds until she appears to greet me.
“Hello, alitheia.” She smiles warmly at me.
I smile brightly back, although the expression does not reach my eyes. “H-hello, Nyx. How are you today?”
“Well enough. I can see you are not, however.” She glances at the man beside her, who nods. “Would you like to come sit?”
I glance at the door for a second. A part of me thinks Eros will walk in here at any second. The door doesn’t open, so I turn back to look at Nyx. “Yes, please.”
She frowns, ushering me over to an empty booth near the back of Nox. The man appears a few seconds later, placing a tall glass of ice water for me and a drink for her onto the table. I subconsciously start to spin my engagement ring around my finger.
“How can I help, alitheia?” she asks me.
I stare at the water, continuing to chew my bottom lip. “It’s about…Eros…”
“Is something wrong? Is he hurt?”
I close my eyes, releasing a shaky breath. “He is going to be upset that I’ve mentioned this to you…I just don’t know what to do. He hasn’t been sleeping, and he’s been having these nightmares. I just found this out last night.”
“Why would he be upset? You’re his wife, regardless of what visage you wear now.” She frowns, leaning on the table. “What kind of nightmares?”
“From what it sounds like…the nightmare is about me cutting off his wings,” I say, picking up the water and taking a sip.
“That’s…quite the nightmare.” She rubs her face. “Oh, Eros. What do you make of it?”
I shake my head. “I haven’t gotten that far…I only learned what they were about a few hours ago, and Eros wasn’t…himself.”
Nyx reaches across the table and takes my hand gently into hers. It is a tad comforting, but the thought of Eros hurting lingers on in my mind.
“Tell me, Clio. I cannot help otherwise.”
My eyes glow as I remember the conversation between him and me earlier. “H-he wouldn’t tell me about his nightmares. He wouldn’t let me help him. So, I foolishly took off my engagement ring and gave it back to him. I really wasn’t thinking clearly when I did this, and it affected him. He wasn’t there mentally when he told me about the “darkness” or his nightmares. I don’t even think he realizes what he told me. He was confused when he mentally came back…” I ramble, trying to get all the information out at once.
She squeezes my hand for a moment. “You gave him your ring back? Then what is that?”
She gestures to my hand, and I look down at my ring.
“I put it back on after I realized what I had done,” I say.
“Did Eros notice?”
“I don’t think he remembers what happened, honestly. He wasn’t there mentally. Nyx…it scared me. I thought I lost him,” I mumble.
She rubs my hand, staying silent for a few seconds. Her eyes narrow, focusing on my neck. “Clio. What are those marks from?”
I wince, squeezing my eyes shut. I was so focused on getting to Nyx that I forgot to hide the marks from when Eros attempted to strangle me in his sleep. This is something I did not want to explain. Not to anyone. They would think poorly of him when it wasn’t his fault. Although to get help for him, I would need to tell Nyx…everything.
“Eros…he uh…strangled me in his sleep…”
She sits back sharply, her eyes piercing. “He what?”
I sink into my seat, instantly regretting what I said. “He was having a nightmare and… yeah.”
I couldn’t bring myself to say it again.
“Clio,” Nyx closes her eyes, still holding my hands. I can feel her immortal form pulsing, and I gulp. She must be angry. “Are you alright? Can we at least remove the bruises?”
My hands begin to shake in hers. “I-I’m okay. I haven’t tried to get rid of them yet. I’ve been trying to figure out how to help Eros.”
“You need to take care of yourself before you can help Eros, alitheia,” she says.
One of my hands rubs my neck, and I close my eyes. “What do you suggest I do?”
“I suggest grounding yourself before we go speak to him. Whatever that is to you,” she says. “I would then suggest trying poppies, lavender, or valerian if you want a natural way of helping. Or Morpheus, if you want a supernatural way. I can assist as well.”
I mentally note the ideas she gives me. I do not know what I will do, but at least I have some ideas now. After a few seconds of thinking, I look up at her. “Wait… we?”
I begin to chew my lip harder, breaking the skin. Blood drips down my bottom lip.
“He isn’t going to be happy I told you.”
“He isn’t going to be happy about anything right now, alitheia.” She leans forward, wiping the blood from my lip.
I nod, gaining a bit more courage. “I guess we should go speak to him now.”
Nyx pauses. “Are you going to suggest the ideas for his sleep?”
“Possibly. Although I don’t know if he will listen…”
“Then leave it to me.” She rises from the booth, waiting for me. “Let’s go. Is he at home?”
I quickly stand, joining her. “He should be.”
Nyx holds onto my hand, popping out of Nox to the front door of the complex. I place a hand on my head, feeling a tad sick. I do not enjoy popping to places. It always makes my stomach feel sick.
I follow behind Nyx as she marches into the lobby, making her way to the elevator. She leans on the button, and although I am looking ahead, I can feel Nyx’s eyes on me. The doors open and I step inside, pressing the button for the 69th floor. Nyx taps her foot impatiently. It feels like forever before we reach my floor. As soon as the doors slide open, she storms out of the elevator and hammers on our door. I stand a bit behind her, nervous.
The door swings open.
“What is this? Sergeant Benjamin?!” Eros’s answers the door, his brows furrowing. “Nyxie? Aren?”
I don’t answer him, looking away as I rock back and forth on my heels.
“Eros. We need to speak. Now,” Nyx says, entwining her arm with mine. She steps past him and heads straight to the living room.
“Uh, okay.” Eros follows after us, confused. “Did something happen? Is Din…is he alright?”
“Dinlas is just fine. You, however,” Nyx takes a seat on the arm of the couch, sitting me close beside her, “are not.”
He sits slowly in the chair in front of us. I still can’t bring myself to make eye contact with him. “I’m not?”
“You are not sleeping. Your nightmares are seeping into the real world, and you are hurting your wife by accident because of it,” Nyx says, gesturing angrily at my neck.
Eros’s face pales, his eyes turning stormy. “I’m handling it.”
“By manhandling your wife in your dreams? This is not up for debate, Eros.”
I watch him. His hands tighten on the chair beneath him and I squeeze my eyes shut.
“I’m fine when I don’t sleep near her. She touched me mid-nightmare,” he says.
Nyx crosses her arms. “You do not sleep beside your wife. That should be all the indication you need to get yourself help. Instead of asking for it, however, it’s kicking in your door.” She makes jazz hands when she finishes speaking.
“And you, Nyxie? Are you getting help?”
“I am the help, melilla.”
Eros stands. “It’s just dreams. One night. It was a fluke, and I hurt her. I’ll have to live with that memory for the rest of my immortal life. How about you, Nyx? Traveling much? Outside of Din’s floor and Eventide?” He changes the subject.
“‘Mine are just dreams not nightmares that are making me lose it. Huge difference. You may have to live with it, but your wife is terrified of losing you.” Nyx grimaces. “And yes, actually, I am. Funny how soon that happened after I died for you.”
“Died for me? I begged you not to do it. And she’s not losing me.”
“Yes, you did, and yet here you stand because of what I did. Actions are louder than words.” Nyx scoffs, shifting on the sofa arm. “Are you sure about that? Because a wife terrified of her husband, who loses himself to nightmares that he will not share with anyone—with nightmares that make him attack those he loves—is quite close to it. Not being present is the same as not being there. So, your dreams need a swift kick in the ass.”
Eros looks over to me. “T-terrified? You’re terrified of me?”
I open my mouth to say something but close it. I want to say no, that I am not terrified of him, which is the truth. I would never be scared of him, but I was terrified of losing him again.
“I…I…,” I stutter.
Eros falls back into his chair, his entire face becoming emotionless. “Whatever you want, Nyx,” he says, his voice monotone.
“If you are about to throw in the towel, I will light this place up like a Christmas tree, melilla. And that is a promise,” Nyx says.
He shakes his head slowly. “You can take the dreams. They don’t matter. Apparently, the damage is already done.”
His words send little pin needles into my heart, and I clutch my chest. I didn’t want to break down in front of Nyx. Stay strong, Clio. Stay strong.
“It is reversible if you work with your wife, not give in like this.” She gestures at him. “I have three solutions readily available, if you actually wish to hear them.”
Nyx holds a finger up. “You can try valerian or poppies, perhaps in a smoothie. That will aid in deep, dreamless sleep.” She holds a second finger up. “You can ask Morpheus for assistance in your nightmares. He might be able to purge them.” She holds up a third finger. “I can assist you personally.”
Eros whispers to himself, lost in thought. “I didn’t want her to blame herself.”
Nyx sighs softly, dropping her hand onto her lap. “It’s hard not to when you do not have all the facts, melilla. Your brother and I would know that well. It is not a shot.”
We sit in silence for a moment. I watch my husband as he stares at his hands in his lap. He must have been thinking about last night. Gods, I wish I could rewind history and change that moment so he wouldn’t have this guilt.
“I don’t want to be drugged into sleep every night. I’ll talk to Morpheus to purge them,” he says. “She’s going to blame herself, Nyxie, for every night I see what I see in my nightmare. Two thousand years of nightmares.”
“Not if you speak with her.” Nyx turns to me, smiling softly.
Eros slowly stands once more. “I’ll talk to Morpheus later.”
I stand as well, taking a step towards him. My voice is barely above a whisper, “Eros…”
“I will speak with my son, let him know he is needed. You two have some things to catch up on,” Nyx says.
“Give my love to Din and the baby.” Eros nods.
Nyx kisses my head, moving towards the door. She stops at Eros, squeezing his shoulder and kissing his cheek.
“You are a team, now more than ever. Remember that you found each other, in every life, and into the next. You are meant to do this together, melilla,” she says.
Eros only nods. I turn to look at Nyx, giving her a small smile.
“Thank you, Nyx.”
“Call me whenever, Clio.” She nods, exiting our floor.