Footsteps. Light as they were – nearly soundless on the stone floor – they crept past where he slept and intruded into his dreams. He opened his eyes at the sound of liquid pouring into a glass.
She stood by the dresser, illuminated by moonlight, drinking from the cup the servants had left there earlier that night.
"You should be asleep."
"I'm thirsty. Don't you ever wake up thirsty?" A pause. Then, "Why are you sitting there?"
"I am guarding you."
"That's not necessary here. Why don't you get some rest?"
"I was resting. You woke me."
"That chair can't be comfortable. Why don't you use the bed?"
"You are using the bed."
"I don't take up much room."
"No, you don't."
"Aren't you cold?"
"Go back to bed. Then I won't be cold."
"That doesn't make any sense."
"I am mad, after all."
"Go back to bed. I am fine here."
"Why don't you want to share the bed?"
"Neither of us will get rest if I share your bed."
"It was an invitation to sleep, not for…other things."
"I know. I find it impossible to be near you and not touch you at night. So I will stay here."
"No, just mad."
"What if I have a bad dream?"
"That is what I am guarding against."
"What if I get cold?"
"Do you need another blanket?"
"Go back to bed, sweetling. I will be here in the morning."
Of course, he wasn't, because it was a dream.