He interrupted me, "No protesting, sometimes even the strongest person needs to be comforted sometime."
He embraced me tighter pressing his body against mine, closing any gap of comfort I was holding on too. I wanted to protest and my mind was screaming for him to let me go, but my body gave into the steady beat of his heart. He was right, my body desired the touch and I hadn't realized how much till this moment. My eyes started to get heavy as the rise and fall of his chest enhanced the calming effect of his embrace. I was waiting for the typical Leon flirtation to break the moment but he stayed quiet, resting his head against the side of mine. My eyes got heavy and started to close to his sweet smell, the softness of his hair against my cheek and the security of his embrace.
The sudden sound of my brother's ringtone brought me out of my sleep and into a blurry reality. Reaching awkwardly towards the sound; my hands found the nightstand and the vibrating of the phone.
"Hello? " I was trying not to sound as groggy as I felt.
"Claire you sound horrible, rough night?"
"What do I owe the pleasure of this early morning call Chris?"
"Early morning," he let out an amused laugh. "Claire it is 1pm, did you and Rebecca have a girl's night out again?"
Lately Rebecca and I have made it a routine of a ladies night out to relieve stress; we just didn't inform Chris what all that entailed. What did happened last night? I remember a horrible nightmare involving Steve and Sherry, but I thought Leon was there too. He felt so real and it wasn't much of a nightmare so why did his moment feel different?
"Claire, are you still there?" The stern tone in his voice brought me from my thoughts and back to our conversation on the phone.
"Sorry, what were you saying?"
"Claire you need to stop these late nights, you are at least waking up alone right?" The fact that he asked triggered my temper, but still found myself glancing next to me too verify before I responded.
"YES Chris I am alone, not like it is any of your business anyway. " I wanted to get off the phone; this was not the morning conversation to begin my day with. I could hear his amused but relieved laugh on the other end.
"Calm down sis, man you are cranky in the afternoon." This time he was purposely aggravating me and it was about to become an ugly conversation.
"You have one minute to say what this call is about before I hang up! You are starting to sound like Leon did…" My memory recalled in more detail the events involving him and the sudden onset of heat began moving to my cheeks. I looked down at my clothing and it was the same attire from last night. Maybe he was a dream too, which means the stress is mentally making me insane and this vacation was definitely needed.
"Paging Claire come back to reality, what about Leon?"
"Nothing, I had a weird dream last night but considering what today is that doesn't surprise me."
"I know my fair share of nightmares Claire, considering we have lived through most of them it is sometimes hard to determine nightmare from reality. " He went quiet for a moment and took a deep breath.
"That is true and I seem to be having that problem right now."
"What do you mean? You stopped yourself when you mentioned Leon, have you talked to him?"
His voice sounded concerned and I knew if I didn't give him an explanation he would not let it go.
"It was just a rough night of weird dreams and events that felt real enough to make me question reality." I was trying to be vague since I didn't even know what was true yet.
"Well one of the reasons for this call involves Leon actually; he apparently has disappeared from existence. Hunnigan is stressing out and calling everyone that might know his whereabouts. The fact she called the BSAA is pretty serious, considering they usually do not involve us in secret matters relating to their agents."
"What do you mean he has disappeared? Was he on a mission, is he in trouble?" My heart started to race at the thought he could be hurt or dead somewhere, and they can't find him.
"Calm down Claire, he came back from his last mission but then dropped off the map. She has tried to call him and locate him with the tracker on his communicator but no luck. If you hear from him contact her immediately, he could get in big trouble with the government if he doesn't show up soon."
"How long has he been gone?" It was not normal for Leon to disappear without saying why, he was very dedicated to his mission to wipe out the virus.
"His plane landed yesterday afternoon and they lost track of him after that. Just call her directly if you hear anything from him, okay?" I could hear a voice in the back ground but couldn't make out what they were saying.
"Okay, but I doubt he will contact me since I haven't heard from him in years. Who was that talking in the background?"
"It was Barry; we are headed to another possible outbreak in Australia. They would
normally send their "TOP" government agent, but since he is MIA we are next in line."
"Who do you get to take with you?" The more people to back him up the better and I knew one of those people would be Jill.
"Actually it is just Barry and I, and Jill will meet us over there a couple days later."
"Where is Jill?" They don't get split up often but when they do it usually means more suspicious activity than the BSAA can handle.
"She is out on a scout mission overseas, but it turned out to be a dead end."
"I am sure if it wasn't you wouldn't be talking to me right now, but over there with her."
"You know me to well sis and you know firsthand that I would do the same for you." I know he was recalling his rescue mission at the prison island with Steve and me.
"Just be careful okay? You better keep your promise to always come back no matter what."
I know it seemed unrealistic, but it was the only thing that got me through the times he was sent away. Chris was the only family I had and we would do anything to protect each other from harm.
"You worry too much sis," lighting up the mood with sarcasm.
I had to laugh at his attempt of humor, but it was true when it came to him I did worry a lot.
"Well take care of each other and I will see you guys when you return safely."
"Bye Claire, make sure to get out of bed sometime today you lazy bum," with that last taunt he hung up with phone.
He was right I needed to get up and start the day or what was left of it, and a shower was the best way to start. After my refreshing hot shower and slipping into my favorite Queen t-shirt and a pair of shorts, I headed downstairs to make some coffee. The living room was dimly lit from the sun peeking through half opened blinds and the light that was on in the kitchen. That is weird I don't remember leaving the light on…