Bob turns to his side, noticing Paul is gone -- was he ever there? Was that just a dream, too? But no, this is not his room but Paul's, and the mattress scents of him, when Bob buries his face into its softness, holding his breath for while. The dream hangs still heavy in the air, it felt so real: there was blood, and noises and...
Am I still dreaming?
Familiar voices are carried to his ears through the thin wall, and it is almost like the dream he had; almost, but not quite. He knows that sound, it is a fist meeting soft flesh. He closes his eyes as if he was hit himself.
Should I go and see?
With that thought the nervousness fills him like he had downed a glass of ice-cold water. It is not wise to interfere, he knows it from the experience. Nothing good ever follows that. Besides, Paul's mattress is nice and soft and still warm under him... He drifts into a dream again, but it's not real sleep, it's thin and empty --
and he wakes up again, wondering how long he had slept. It is silent again. No spoken words, no whimpers or suppressed sounds.
He gets up, stretching, crossing the floor to the closed door. What the door hides is only the familiar, bare room, empty of people -- but the air is heavy with the scent of blood. Frowning, he walks to the sofa, leaning over to see... blood. On the carpet, on the floor, forming a sickening pattern that looks even meaningful: isn't it like an artwork of a kind, resembling roses?
Bob feels sick, and he turns his back to the sight, leaning to the sofa, and seeing someone -- Nick.*