Jake's had the nightmare again, the blood-soaked cowboy hat, the weak smile, and wakes up alone and shivering in the cold night.
He grabs his blanket and wanders out into the hallway, trying to be as quiet as possible, trying not to wake anyone, even as the hallway is long and dark and filled with ghosts and monsters.
Mommy sits up when the door opens. "What is it, baby?" she says, sleepily. Pooch mumbles and stirs next to her in the bed, but doesn't wake.
Jake sniffles a little. "Bad dream," he whispers, trying to be strong, trying to be brave, but there's still that tremble in his voice.
Mommy holds out her arms. "Wanna sleep with us tonight?"
Jake nods, dragging his blanket behind him even as he climbs up between them. They bought a smaller bed after New Jerusalem, one that is just right for three instead of four, but it still feels huge and empty.
Pooch mumbles and rolls over, his legs wrapping around Jay's. Mommy wraps her arms around him, resting his head on her breasts, and gently strokes his hair. "Shh...it's okay..." she whispers. "We're here for you..."
And Jake drifts off to sleep.