Bedside Manner: Chapter 3

Bedside Manner: Chapter 3

A Chapter by Bad Medicine

                Please let everything be alright.

 

                Please, please let everything be alright

 

                Nicklaus hesitated for a long, tense moment before opening the front door, and stepping into the house.  He didn't take one step further " just listened.  It was unnervingly silent, and the silence terrified him.  He started a bit when the sound of running water hit him.  It was coming from the kitchen, accompanied by the sound of footsteps far too light to be Gunar's.

 

                That didn't entirely dispel the sense of dread coiled tight in Nicklaus's stomach, and he hesitated a moment before actually stepping into the kitchen.  Sofia's back was turned, but, she must have heard her husband come in the front door " she certainly didn't seem surprised when he greeted her.

 

                She did quickly turn around and return the greeting, though " smiled, and closed the distance between them.  She seemed confused, however, when Nicklaus placed a hand gently on her shoulder to stop her short " to look her over with a gaze that was more worried than anything.  "Is… everything alright?" Sofia finally asked, sounding a little worried, herself.

 

                Nicklaus's heart wasn't pounding quite as hard as it had been just a moment before, but his hands were still shaking just a little " the remainder of an adrenaline surge.  There were no bruises, though " no visible ones, at least.  Sofia looked just fine, if a little confused, and more than a little pregnant.

 

                "It is," Nicklaus finally replied, offering a small smile, before carefully wrapping his arms around her.  He felt a sense of relief when the gesture was returned, and it wasn't just Sofia's body heat that warmed him up when she leaned against him a little.  "Has… everything been alright, here?"

 

                "It's been fine," the woman replied, finally letting her arms drop back to her sides.  "It's certainly a lot more peaceful than it was in Landshut.  I think it's starting to grow on me," she added, along with a little smile.

 

                It was some distance from Landshut " an hour's drive, at least.  There were a few villages between the city and the estate, and Nicklaus had tried to calculate, on more than one occasion, how much time it would take to get from the house to the nearest doctor.  He had never needed stitches, himself " Gunar had, by his nephew's estimate, not wanted to do any permanent harm to his physical assets.  He wasn't sure if the same would ring true for Sofia, though, or their unborn child.  The thought of something happening to either of them, let alone while he was away, was enough to make him sick " apparently noticeably so.

 

                "Are you sure you're alright?" Sofia questioned, her brows pulling into a worried frown.  "You look like you're about to drop.  Are you sick?"  Before her husband could offer any protest, she raised an arm to rest her hand on his forehead.

 

                "I'm not sick," Nicklaus insisted.  He offered a weak smile " but, Sofia wasn't buying it.

 

                "You stayed up all night studying before driving here, didn't you?" she said.  It was a statement, not a question.

 

                It was a statement that Nicklaus folded under, and he finally gave a little nod.  His grades, thus far, had been stellar (or so the dean had told him), but, he took that as no indication to sit on his laurels.  Between worrying about school, and what was going on at home, he found it more than a little difficult to sleep.  He had found the line, for the moment, where he was getting just enough rest between studying to function at school.

 

                "Go to bed," Sofia insisted, a stern expression melting into one of worry.  "Please?  I'll be up in just a little while."

 

                The man finally relented, offering a weak smile, and leaning forward to press a chaste kiss to Sofia's forehead before gathering his things back up and starting up the stairs.  He paused at the top, though, and found himself holding his breath, trying to keep himself silent.  There was no movement from Gunar's room, though " nothing to indicate that he was awake.  That didn't mean he wasn't, though, and Nicklaus decided it would be best to tread lightly.  The hardwood floor was a minefield, and he went very tense, and very still when one of the boards creaked underfoot.

 

                Nicklaus's heart was pounding, and he held his breath, again, as he listened for the sound of footfalls.  There were none, though, and he finally exhaled in a long, shaky sigh once he had the bedroom door closed behind him.  He leaned back against it for a moment, eyes closed, waiting for his pulse to stop racing.

 

                The feeling of a hand resting on his shoulder startled him.  His eyes shot open, but it took a few seconds for his vision to clear, and " and, he was lying down?  Nicklaus didn't remember getting into bed, or even unpacking, for that matter.

 

                Sofia offered him a small, apologetic smile.  "I didn't mean to wake you.  You really should get under the covers, though," she added, before doing so, herself.

 

                It took a moment for Nicklaus's mind to actually process the words, and, really, no wonder he felt so chill.  "Right," he replied, somewhat sheepishly, before pulling the sheets and blanket over himself, as well.  He slowly, haltingly curled an arm around Sofia's waist, and felt some small sense of relief when he felt her hand rest over his.

 

                "Good night, Nicklaus."



© 2012 Bad Medicine


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Added on February 29, 2012
Last Updated on March 12, 2012