Taken Away

Taken Away Read Online Free PDF Page A

Book: Taken Away Read Online Free PDF
Author: Celine Kiernan
Tags: JUV018000, JUV058000
clenched fists.
    â€˜Dom! Sit up!’
    I tried to climb the side of the bunk and failed, scraping my belly on the battered side-rail as I slid back over the edge. Dom rolled his unfocused eyes towards me. His mouth was wide, his chest heaving, but it was obvious there was no oxygen getting to him. Just enough air to make that awful rusty-bellows heave in and out of his throat.
    â€˜Hang on, Dom! Hang on!’ I took the ladder, missed the first step, took it again and scrambled to the top bunk, crawling up Dom’s straining body to the head of the bed. There was nothing in this world that scared me more than Dom’s asthma. I’d thought we’d seen the end of it two years ago, when the last of the really bad attacks had put him in the hospital. It was this damned house. It was this filthy, dusty house, bringing it all back again.
    Sit up!’ I grabbed his shoulders, with the intention of dragging him into a sitting position, but froze when I saw his face. ‘ His eyes were all pupil, and he was searching the ceiling with horrified desperation.
    â€˜Lorry . . . ’ he gasped, just a whistle of air meant to be a word. ‘Lorry!’
    He wasn’t even awake. He was having an asthma attack in the middle of a nightmare.
    â€˜DOM, wake up!’ I shook him so hard he’d have bruises in the morning where my fingers had dug into his shoulders. He took in a tremendous gasp of air and his head snapped up, nearly loafing me. I scurried back and the rickety bunk creaked dangerously under our combined weight as Dom bolted upright, wide awake.
    â€˜Jesus, Pat!’ he yelled. ‘What are you doing climbing all over me in the middle of the night?’
    â€˜You were having an asthma attack.’
    â€˜No, I wasn’t.’
    â€˜Yes, you were!’ But I had to admit, he didn’t look like he was anymore. There was no sign of a wheeze or a cough, no difficulties breathing. Just Dom, staring at me as if I’d grown two heads, rubbing his shoulders where I’d grabbed him.
    He pulled his feet out from under me and clutched the covers to his chest. ‘Patrick,’ he said, ‘I believe you may have had a bad dream.’ He was doing what he called his ‘schoolmarm’ voice, blatantly taking the piss. But damn it, I’d been bloody well awake when he was shredding the covers and gasping for air.
    I gathered my dignity. ‘You were the one whimpering like a big girl’s blouse,’ I said. ‘You were dreaming about a car crash.’
    He almost snorted, but seemed to think better of it halfway through and suddenly looked thoughtful, as though remembering something.
    I jumped on it. ‘You were having a dream!’
    â€˜No . . . well, yeah.’ He looked at me, puzzled. ‘What makes you think it was about a car crash?’
    â€˜You said Lorry. Twice.’
    Now he did snort, laughing at me, though obviously intrigued. ‘Lorry?’
    â€˜Yeah! Lorry! You must have been hit by a truck or something.’ ‘Oookaaay.
    I’ve had enough.’ He shoved my knees with his feet and pointed at the ladder. ‘Goodnight, Patrick.’
    I climbed back down, miffed, creeped out and mortified all at once.
    I was crawling under the covers when he called down to me. ‘Pat?’
    Expecting more slagging, I snapped my reply. ‘What?’
    â€˜Thanks for coming to my rescue . . . even if you did nearly kill me in the process.’
    I smiled. ‘Shut up, you eejit. Some of us are trying to sleep.’
    I bunched the covers up under my chin and settled comfortably into the pillow, but I didn’t sleep. I lay listening to Dom instead; the gentle, untroubled rhythm of his breathing was reassuring, but not quite trustworthy enough for me to let go.
    I found myself watching the mirror over the dressing table. Its mottled surface had little to show me of the dark room, but I could just make out the lumpy silhouette of my
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