Someone was on top of him, holding him down. James thrashed and kicked, trying to shake them off. The claws of the dream were still in him: not a real memory, but a feeling, a feeling of hatred and darkness, a choking sense of horror—
His eyes flew open.
The world spun around him. He was on his bed, tangled in a snarl of blankets. Most of his pillows were on the floor, and the window had been cracked open—the air in the room was cold. There were hands on his shoulders—Cordelia’s hands. She had clearly climbed on top of him in an effort to control his thrashing. Her chemise was slipping off her shoulder, her red hair undone, spilling down her back like a river of fire.
“James?” she whispered.
He had dreamed something, something awful, but it was fading, gone like morning mist. This was the real world. His icy bedroom, the air so cold his breath puffed out in white clouds. The empty tincture bottle on his nightstand, the bitter taste of its dregs still on his tongue. Cordelia above him, her dark eyes wide. She was shivering.