Major Hugh Dégaré bolted upright, blinking in the abyss-like darkness surrounding him. As adrenaline pumped through his body, accustomed to racing from deep sleep to full throttle through years of practice, the familiar sights of his bedroom came into focus, everything tinted silver with moonlight through the bedroom window. A sound from across the room pulled his gaze to a corner. His wife, Elizabeth, sat on the floor, arms clutching her legs against her chest while the shoulders of her petite frame shuddered.
He was wide awake now, senses on overdrive and heart racing. In one gesture, he threw off the covers and jumped out of bed. Surefooted as a leopard, he hit the floor moving, crossing the distance in two purposeful steps.
“Are you all right?” he said.
She cowered into the corner, clutching herself tighter. “Stay away.”
Kneeling, he reached out to caress her leg, the tribal tattoos on his arm a black void of light against his skin. She shrank from his touch, and he froze. What had gotten into her? “What is it?”
She wiped her eyes and stared at him, her eyes reflecting the moonlight. “You hit me.”
He shook his head. That can’t be true.