The rain woke her. It wasn't a hard rain but she could hear it coming down - steady rain - the occasional light wind slapping it against the windowpane. Spencer slipped from JC's arms and into a heavy robe, quietly closing the bedroom door after her.
The front of their house was all windows - floor to ceiling - with heavy wooden blinds. Spencer raised one of the blinds and cracked the window open just enough to feel the cold seep in. Leaning against the wall in front of the glass, she watched the rain splash onto the wooden porch.
JC felt her slip from his arms and wondered why she hadn't come back to bed. When he saw the closed door, he knew something was wrong. Quietly, he opened the door, padded across the house, and watched her for a long moment. She looked lost standing in front of the window, barefoot, watching the rain. Coming up behind her, he hugged her to him, kissing the back of her neck.
"Tell me what's wrong, sweetheart. I'll try to make it better."
"Nothing, JC, just thinking."
"About what?" he turned her so he could see her face.
"Must have been something."
"Just wanted to watch the rain."
"Did you have a bad dream, bambina? Tell me."
Spencer ignored his question, reaching up to hug him around the neck. "Let's get dressed and walk in the rain. I haven't done that in years."
"And we're not doing it now, either. That's icy rain, could turn into sleet. We're not going to tempt pneumonia, baby." He hugged her tighter. "You're too precious to me to take that chance."
"JC, I want..."
"When it's a nice warm summer rain," he interrupted. "We'll walk in it. I promise. Now tell me why you're awake at this hour."
She snuggled against him. "Hold me," she whispered, burrowing into his chest.
JC held her... his arms tight around her slender frame as he slid to the floor, her body snug against his chest, his legs crossed beneath her. Behind him, a stack of large quilted pillows was piled against the couch and he pulled them closer so he could lean on them. Tilting her chin up, he looked into her eyes and was surprised to see large fat tears waiting to spill.
"Dicami, Tell me," he whispered, her chin in his palm, the side of a gentle thumb ready to catch the tears that fell.
They hadn't been married long - six months - and her knowledge of Italian was sorely limited but "dicami" she knew. "There's nothing to tell," she murmured.
"I think there is, bambina. Dicami."
She shook her head, pulling back from his hand.
Placing his hand on the back of her neck, he tucked her head under his chin and began to rock her. Ever so gently, he rocked, humming a tune she recognized, his deep drawl interspersing the lyrics in softly murmured Italian.
"Ho ma un cuore I have but one heart, questo cuore li porto che this heart I bring you. Ho ma un cuore I have but one heart ripartirsi con voi to share with you. Siete la mia un amore You are my one love, la mia vita che vivo per voi my life I live for you. Ho ma un cuore I have but one heart, dare voi to give to you.
She lay so quiet against him that he thought she had slipped into slumber and rose to his feet, taking her back to bed.
"I had a bad dream," she whispered as he pulled the covers over them.
"Do you want to tell me about it?" he asked, his arm snaking around her to hold her tucked into his side.
"I was walking down a street - I don't know where - and I was happy, JC," she said quietly. "I had a feeling of contentment and suddenly, a small child just appeared on the road. She was very small - maybe three or four years old - blonde wispy hair. She was wearing a pink dress with short sleeves, her feet were bare and she just stood there looking at me. I smiled at her and she smiled back but it was such a sad smile, it made me ache."
"And what happened next, bambina?" he asked with a gentleness he reserved only for her.
"I held my arm out toward her and asked her if she wanted to walk with me."
"And did she?"
"Yes, she took my hand and we walked for a while; it was nighttime and I asked why she was out by herself. She said," Spencer stopped talking to blink back tears and turned in her husband's arms.
"She said...?" he asked softly.
"She said she was waiting for me... she said she needed to see me before she died. I was so startled by her words, I stopped walking and I picked her up and held her the way... the way you hold me, sometimes, with your arm under my butt and my head on your shoulder."
"Then... what happened?" he asked as he turned over to cup her face, noting that her eyes had overflowed. "What happened next, bambina?"
"I... I touched her face. She smiled, such a bright smile, JC. And then, she just disappeared. I stood there... holding air."
"What was her name, Spence?" he asked softly and so swiftly, she didn't have a chance to think.
"Mary Elizabeth, I think. She didn't say and I didn't have time to ask... didn't think to ask."
"What makes you think her name was Mary Elizabeth?"
"I don't know; the name just popped into my head. Why did she say she was going to die? Why did she come to me in my dream? And why," Spencer choked on her words. "Why did it make me feel so bad?"
"I don't know, bambina. Dreams are sometimes strange scenes our unconscious mind conjures up. Some we understand; others confuse us. I don't have answers for you but I know this. I want you in my arms when I go to sleep and I want you in my arms when I wake up. And now," he murmured as he kissed her tears away, "I have other things I want to do with you."
Murmuring his love for her, he pulled her closer to his body. His hands swept over her, warming her, delivering the tingling spanks that accompanied their loving. He filled her, moving slowly, tenderly, humming again, whispering words of love.
"Ho ma un sogno I have but one dream che posso aderire a voi that I can cling to. È l'un sogno, You are the one dream che prego vengo allineare. I pray comes true. Siete la mia un amore You are my one love, la mia vita che vivo per voi my life I live for you. Ho ma un cuore I have but one heart, dare voi to give to you.
The dream faded... his embrace enclosing her in the safe haven of his arms, his words ensuring she knew she belonged to him... that she was safe with him... that she was deeply loved.