It was late. Sam wasn’t sure what made him wake. Perhaps the roar of heating, or chattering squirrels disturbing the night. Aurora stirred, her back pressed on his chest, no stress, soft breath caressing silence at his side.
The mattress creaked. Sam opened his eyes as two red spots of light blinked overhead. Turn three times round; thick legs, soft paws descending to claw their space.
He would’ve stroked the warmth of heavy fur but its touch was ice; would’ve woken his wife but she didn’t, couldn’t, know. For Halloween was the one night every year when Lassie came home.