Chapter 42

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Camila’s POV

I opened my eyes slowly and stretched mildly. Usually, the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes these days was Lauren’s face and that alone made my day every single morning. This time I wasn’t facing her which was unusual. I turned around and discovered the dark-haired woman lying on her stomach and sleeping peacefully. She looked incredibly young whenever she wasn’t awake. Watching her sleep had become one of my favorite pastimes. I was tempted to touch the porcelain-looking skin of her face immediately. Taking in every little detail, I got in closer and couldn’t help myself.

My finger brushed against her cheek and I flinched at how cold she was. I was used to her being rather chilly lately because of her bad circulation but this was not normal. It was like touching an ice cube almost. My heart was beating faster within a split second when I realized something else: the absence of the sound I loved listening to so much; her breathing.

Her chest wasn’t moving and I didn’t hear the subtle sound which caused my own breathing to hitch in the back of my throat.

“Lauren”, I whispered and put my hand back on her cheek. There was no reaction and I felt paralyzed. “Can you hear me? Wake up”, I added a little louder but my voice was already shaking in absolute fear. Placing my trembling fingers on her shoulder, I started to shake her a little but she didn’t move or show any response whatsoever.

“No”, I breathed and I felt tears burning in my eyes but I was too shocked too really do anything else. It took another few seconds of trying to wake the lifeless body next to me before I sat up.  Shaking her more strongly didn’t amount to anything and all I felt was my heart cramping up in a way it had never before.

“Lauren!”, I wanted to scream but my voice gave out and I only managed to sob while turning her on her back and seeing how limp she was. “No…no…”, was all I managed to get out. “Don’t leave me…” I kept shaking her before I bent down and put my ear on her lips and finger on her pulse point. Nothing. No breathing, no pulse. My forehead pressed against her cheek and I couldn’t hold it in anymore but burst into tears.

“Please…Lauren”, I begged although it was hopeless now. My hand wandered to her chest and looked for a heartbeat even though I knew it wasn’t going to be there. The validation of it, not feeling the pumping organ throb beneath my fingers was sending me over the edge. Her heart, her beautiful heart was not beating and all I felt was pure agony. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs but there was nothing coming out.

Lauren’s POV

I was hesitatingly blinking my eyelids when I heard a sound that woke me up being the light sleeper that I was. It took me a while to realize where I even was or what was happening. Camila was lying next to me and I recognized the unfamiliar sound as her voice. But she was asleep. I smiled gently because the younger woman was apparently talking in her sleep and I had heard her do that before. It was mostly not something I was able to understand, though. I closed my eyes again since it was probably still very early; the sun was not up yet.

“No…”, Camila suddenly mumbled and I eyed her more intently now. She was fidgeting and I discovered that her forehead was covered in sweat. Her breathing was becoming more erratic and I realized she was probably not having the most pleasant dream. Just before I decided I should wake her, I saw something I had never seen before. There was a tear running down her cheek and I felt chocked up at the sight.

“Lauren”, she exhaled shakily and felt a sharp pain in my chest when it dawned on me she was having a nightmare that was somehow related to me. But I didn’t want her to endure any more of it and started softly nudging her shoulder while whispering her name.

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