Chapter Twenty: Memory Lane
Dream Sequence - Year 1600, Heaven's Rose Garden
She turned towards the voice, and found herself looking at Josie Carter. She was looking very pretty in a baby blue dress that exposed her shoulders and a diamond around her neck. She was smiling at her, as if she had known her for a very long time.
"Josie," she replied, remembering how crazy she sounded that day in the park.
Josie bounded towards her and kissed both Ana's cheeks, startling her. She took a step backward, and Alex's arms came around her, his lips at her ear.
"Here's where it all started. You know her, Ana. She is your best friend, and she loves you. This is before everything happened. Before everything was destroyed."
Josie was still smiling at her, and Ana noticed something shimmering behind Josie's back.
Something very much like… like wings.
"Ana?" She cocked her head to the side. "Are you alright?"
"Yes." She replied quickly, stepping away from Alexander, who looked worried. "Yes, everything is fine. Where are we going?"
Josie threw a frustrated glance at Alexander. "Seriously, you forgot to mention the party of the Archangels and Angels?"
Ana nearly stumbled backward, and Alex caught her before she could fall.
"Yes, the party of the Grand Archangels and Angels. I KNOW, Josie." He said, annoyed. "But you know how they would react if we go with her. The Archangels aren't so happy with us going as her companions."
Josie's face fell, and though Ana was shocked almost to distraction, she wanted to hold Josie and make her happy again. She turned to Alex.
"Don't talk to her like that. She loves parties. And we are going right now."
Alexander grabbed her arm and stopped her as Josie turned away with excitement. She whirled around to face him.
"You are not going to that party. I don't want you to see what happened there."
"What happened there… am I about to see the reason why you stopped loving me? All those times ago? All those… those centuries ago?"
Alexander looked shocked that she knew how much time had passed since he fell in love with her, but he seized her arm and spun her into his arms.
"I never stopped loving you. When I first saw you in the Lounge, I was madly in love with you all over again. Every time I thought that I couldn't love you more, you show up and prove to me, I can love you a thousand more times than the last century."
He brushed a finger across her lips.
"You can't go to that party, Ana, because you already went there once, and… and it almost killed us both."
She wrung off his arm, and pulled her shawl tighter around her shoulders.
"Then it wouldn't kill us to be there a second time, would it, Alexander?"
He looked at her, then sighed in defeat.
"Very well. But we will not stay long, okay? We can't let the Archangels know I am with you. In this century, in this MEMORY, you are still one of them."
She turned towards him, and her eyes narrowed.
"You have a lot to explain, Alexander."
He took her hand, and kissed it gently.
"And that I will, I promise you."
Later that Night - Heaven, Archangels' Court
She was wearing a silvery white dress, gold bracelets and chains clasped onto her wrists. Her shoulders were bare, and the dress was a deep V-neck down her breasts. She felt so uncomfortable in this supposedly easy dress, and her heart was pounding loudly inside her chest.
But she had to do this alone. Alexander had warned her about this. She had to act like one of them, and Alexander will come to her when she needed him. She had to do this for both of them.
She shifted back into focus and concentrated on the golden ballroom in front of her. The women she saw were the most beautiful she had ever seen. And the men… the men were all Greek Gods like, so perfect, flawless, and gorgeous. Though, she thought with a sense of pride, none of them were as seductive and alluring as Alexander Giovanni.
A young man, wearing a golden crown round his head appeared in front of her, and bowed, "Your Grandness, you look stunning, as always."
She curtseyed, remembering the gestures she read in her Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte.
She looked at the man with narrowed eyes, remembering how Alexander had told her to act as if she was queen.
"My Lord, it's a pleasure to see you. How good of you to come to our gathering, Sir."
She congratulated herself at pulling this off so smoothly, though she still had no freaking idea what was going on. Alexander promised her an explanation, and he better do it before she went crazy tonight... Or in this memory, or in this dream, or…oh God. The man before her took her hand and kissed it briefly.
"I remember we were once true friends, Your Grandness, even though we chose... different paths. But you know that I, an angel unworthy of your love, will always serve you with the utmost devotion."
She nodded curtly and moved away from him, wishing him to tell her his name. But she needed to find someplace quiet and unsuspicious, so that Alexander will come to fetch her and tell her what on earth she was supposed to do in this-
She whirled around, and was momentarily stunned by the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
He was bathed in gold, though he was only wearing a white robe. His eyes were the clearest emerald, and his skin was pale and smooth as milk. And he was smiling at her, with such love and devotion, that she was terribly honored by that look. He reached out for her, and took her hand.
"Is everything alright, Anastasia?"
"I-You-I mean-Yes, everything is fine." She stammered, looking down at their hands. He frowned slightly.
"Come now, Ana, I am the Archangel Gabriel, I know something is troubling you. Now tell me, have you been running around with that Giovanni boy again? How many times must I tell you, my sweetest Anastasia, that he is not worthy of someone your station? Why-"
"Gabriel, I know what you are saying." She breathed a sigh of relief. Thank God, she knew this stunning man. She had read about him in her religious studies. He was an Archangel, though she was still shocked that she was involved in some kind of Greek Myth. But now she had to stick to her plan, she needed to believe this before Alex could explain to her.
She drew a deep breath and fixed her eyes upon Gabriel's emerald ones. "I haven't been seeing Alexander Giovanni. I would never defy your orders, you know that." She put a hand on his shoulder. "Plus, you have me under surveillance with your Archangels." Gabriel looked a little uncomfortable, but he raised her hand to his lips.
"I do it because I cherish you, Anastasia. The same as everyone who wanted the best for you." He kissed her palm gently and released her.
She nodded and stepped closer to the beautiful Gabriel. "Thank you so much."
He looked surprised at her obeying so easily. Ana briefly wondered whether she was a lot of trouble to the Archangel in Heaven. Nevertheless, she curtseyed and turned away from him.