Chapter Twelve: Confession between Souls
Alexander extended his hand down toward her on a white, panting stallion. "Come on, Ana, what are you waiting for?"
Anastasia looked at his smooth white hand, and wanted to wake herself from this dream. She knew she was going through a memory again, a memory where she was in control of what happens next. Yes, this Alexander was from the past, but she was real. It was a dream to her, the dream of a memory, but it happened after the conversation about the party of the Helsings.
This was the complete version of the flashback memory she had when she first met him. She looked up at him.
"I can't go with you. Because I don't know where you will take me."
He looked bewildered. He closed his hand, and cocked his head to the side.
"Don't you trust me?"
"I… I don't know. I just wanted to know why I keep having these dreams."
Alex was down the horse in a flash and had put a hand around her waist.
"Ana, it's dangerous to ask these questions. Just come with me, and you will know a little of the truth."
He gently backed her up against an oak tree, and pressed her between the tree and his body. Ana felt her heart pounding furiously. The heat of his hand burned through the loose white robe she was wearing. And something was tickling on her back. Something sort of feathery.
He gazed at her with his intense green eyes, and leaned close to her.
"Come with me, Ana. Let me at least spend some time with you. I couldn't have you for long."
His eyes darkened, and Ana felt his grip on her tighten. With his other hand he caressed her blushing cheek, and Ana could feel the warmth of afternoon sunshine bathing her cheeks. She closed her eyes.
"Oh God, I wish I could explain everything to you, Anastasia. How much I need you, how much I love you." He breathed, his lips at her ear and his head almost resting at the crook of her neck. "But you can't stay with me."
"Why not?" She put her hands on his chest, feeling his even muscles. She dug her fingers into his skin in tension. "I am here now. And I won't leave until you tell me what you want… and what I want."
He moved his hand down her face to her neck, then down to her heart.
"You are not mine to decide... for you, Anastasia." He whispered. "You don't want to stay with me. Because it's a dream to you. But it's so real to me. And at this moment, I have not lost you yet. But I will. God forbid, I will."
She cupped his face in both hands and stepped closer to him. Her face was inches from his. She can read the horror and desire in his eyes.
"I am not going anywhere, Alex. Just tell me. What is going on? Who are you? Who am I?"
"I am no one." He said sadly, placing his hand above hers. "But you… you are everything. You are everything to God, and you are everything to me. Everything that I love, hate, and desire…it's all you, Anastasia."
He moved his thumb across her lips, and his other hand gently touched her cheek. He ran a finger down her skin, and she instantly blushed to his caress. She closed her eyes, and knew the end was coming. The end of the dream, the end of the memory. She didn't want to leave. She didn't care what will happen to her. She only wanted Alexander. Handsome, sexy, mysterious Alexander… This Alexander, who loved her, and would do anything for her.
God, she would rather stay in this dream with this Past Alexander than see the Present Alexander who cared nothing for her. What did she do to lose his love? What stopped him from loving her?
A cold chill ran down her back as a probable answer came to her.
Did I hurt him? Did I betray him afterwards? Is that why he didn't love me anymore?
Alexander suddenly pressed a hand against her back, and pressed her up against his hot body.
"Fly with me, Anastasia." He whispered. "Fly with me, before you leave me."
She placed a hand against his cheek, and felt how warm it was. Oh God, she would do anything he asks her to do. Anything.
"Set them free, Anastasia. Set your wings free."
Something pushed against the flesh on her back, something ticklish, like feathers brushing across her skin. She rolled her shoulders backward, the feel of the bursting feathers making her very uncomfortable. She arched her back, and uttered a low grunt and a cry. Then golden wings were flapping around her, wings of pure gold, shimmering under the sunshine. They were enormous, and surprisingly strong. As they flapped, the leaves around them danced in the air.
She uttered a low gasp, watching the wings folded protectively inward towards her. Alexander was also in awe. But Ana knew he had seen her wings before, many times. Perhaps no matter how many time he had seen them, it never stopped surprising him.
She had so many questions, about herself, about him, about the wings. But all she could do now was taking his hands into hers, and stepped closer towards him.
"Take me away, Alexander," she whispered.
Without warning, enormous snow white wings spread out behind Alexander, smoothly, slowly. They were glowing with a white light. She gasped at their beauty, but Alex seemed not to notice them. He gripped Ana's hand, and raised it to his lips.
"I would always wait for you. Here. Forever." He promised her.
He bent his knees, and in reflex, Ana did too. Then they hurled themselves into the air. And then they were flying over the mountains, towards the warm sun, towards the sea.
Alexander took her hand, and twirled her around. They were dancing. Dancing in the air.
"Remember this, Anastasia." He whispered to her, his eyes on her. "Don't forget me. Whatever you do, don't forget me."
She woke with a gasp, jumping inside the covers. She could still feel the sun warming her cheeks, could feel the wings, white and gold, flapping around her. And most of all… His words. His promises, his love, his passion.
She looked toward the window, the moon hung low in the sky, and everything was silent. She swung her legs off the bed, and strolled toward the bathroom. Turning on the warm water, she hung her head over the sink, her hands gripping the sides of it.
She couldn't believe in something that never was. But the dreams, the memories she was having…
They are killing her from the inside. She couldn't live knowing that Alexander would never love her like he did in her dreams. She wanted to forget him, to never have met him. The dreams would be so much more endurable if she had never seen Alexander in her real life.
Then there was a knock on the bathroom door.
It was Louis.
Her heart skipped a beat. A shiver ran down her back. She clenched her hands on the sides of the sink and closed her eyes. Hands folded themselves onto her gripping ones, and spread her fingers open, one by one. He was breathing on her neck, and it made her shiver. The hand on hers entwined his fingers with hers, and a finger on the other hand traced the contour of her collarbone.
"Bad dreams again, Ana?" He whispered into her ear, his peppermint breath tickling her.
She knew if she turned her head a little to the side, her lips would be pressed against his, and part of her wanted to show him how much she really wanted him. But the strange, sane part of her warned her it would be a very bad idea.
"Yes," she replied, and found that her voice was barely a whisper.
"Don't be afraid, Ana." He whispered back, his lips scraping past the back of her neck to her shoulder. "You need to think of other things, honey, before you sleep. Or it will just get worse."
Ana flinched under his touch, and she finally had the courage to look back.
"I am thinking of happy things. Like how we met, and how we become friends." The lips left her shoulder, and Louis put a finger under her chin and gently turned her face towards him. "Ana, what are your dreams about?"
It was the first time he had really asked her about the dreams (the memories, now) and she didn't really feel like sharing them. Besides, they are just dark, crazy fantasies about a guy she would never have. She knew Louis read the hesitation in her eyes, and she raised a finger to his face and touched his cheek.
'She couldn't let him misunderstand her. She couldn't… she couldn't lose him…She couldn't lose his friendship,' she told herself severely. That's how I feel about him. Friends.
But something contradicted her. She knew, and she suspected Louis knew too, that she couldn't afford to lose more than his friendship. She needed Louis. More than she could need anyone in her life. Louis leaned close to her, so close that she could read many unspoken words in his blue eyes. She too wanted to lean close…
"Oh, Ana." He breathed, and his hand cupped her cheek, urging her lips toward his. "What are you doing to me?"
She smiled in spite and placed her hands against his chest, while he gathered her against his body. She could feel his heart beating underneath his faded blue T-shirt. She looked into his eyes, and he wound his arms around her, pressing her close.
'This is wrong… you are not supposed to be doing this, Anastasia. Don't do it. My God, please don't do this to me, Ana!' The words flashed loudly across her mind, and she saw a flash of something… something that shouldn't be there.
Someone dressed in white, flashing a silver sword, driving it into the heart of a hooded man who was holding an identical silver sword. The man arched backwards, but the sword remained gripped in his hand. The injured man stood back up, his hood falling back to reveal a pale face with dark, gorgeous looks. Ana tried to reach out to them, but the white figure held out a hand, as if to stop her from going closer. The black-hooded man leaped into the air, enormous sleek black wings burst out of his back, and he took off into the horizon…
Then she was back in the room, back inside Louis' arms, and her lips were inches from Louis'. She knew how wrong this felt, but she couldn't deny she wanted Louis. God, she had always wanted him. And why shouldn't she?
'You are already taken. Remember that, Anastasia. Kiss him, but remember who you love.' It was Josie's voice.
Ana gasped and fall backward. Louis caught her before she stumbled back, and he looked apologetic.
"Oops. I am sorry, Ana." He said quickly, letting her go and avoiding her eyes.
Ana shifted uncomfortably and forced a smile on her face. She was still shaken by what had just happened. Not just by her third near-kiss with Louis, but by Josie Carter's voice and the vision and that other male voice.
What was happening to her?
"Ana?" Louis frowned. "I don't know why that happened. But I am really sorry."
She looked at him, and suddenly wanted nothing more than to be out of his way.
"It's not your fault." She said grimly, shouldering past him and out of the bathroom. "Just... I want to be alone. Sorry." She ran out of the room and up the balcony of their house.