|Prologue: The Dream|
|Series||Time To Rise by geekie beekie|
|Next||The Rebel Princess|
|← None||Chapter Chronology||The Rebel Princess →|
Darkness. Total absence of light. Shapeless, yet somehow, solid.
She heard it call to her in a voice filled with such venom that it made her name sound like an insult. There was no discernible threat in this darkness but somehow she felt in the inky void that a pain beyond her imaginings waited for her. And so she ran. Chased. Pursued. Hunted. It stalked her through the corridors of Bowerstone Castle; her only home in the 19 years since her birth.
Anne's long legs had begun to burn from the exertion, she felt as though she'd been running for hours. Still, it followed through the twists and turns of the hallways as though it knew them as well as she. It seemed faster now, somehow, and in her haste to escape it she forgot to look where she was going. Suddenly she tripped on the steps in the throne room. Her breath was painfully knocked out of her lungs as she collided with the plush carpet.
Anne knew she was trapped, but still she struggled to get up. She was the daughter of the old Hero Queen and she would not die laying down. She reached out a shaking hand for the throne, grabbed hold of its armrest, and pulled herself up. She was barely back on her feet when she felt icy tendrils of blackness snaking up her legs and arms. She opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out as the crushing darkness enveloped her.
Anne shot up in bed gasping for air as she always did when the dream came. Her black eyes darted wildly around the dimly lit room searching the familiar silhouettes: the couches, table, chairs, piano, and other furnishings that adorned her room, until she was satisfied that the living darkness had not followed her into the waking world. She heaved a sigh of relief as her fingers relaxed their grip on the luxurious sheets that she only just realized she was clutching. Anne knew that sleep would not come again, for her blood was still singing with adrenaline from the dream. She needed the comfort that only one person could provide.
Before she could think too much on her actions, Anne was out of bed and grabbing her nearby crushed velvet robe. She hastily threw it on over her gauzy shift and threaded her arms through the sleeves, not bothering with the laces as she silently let herself out of her room. Her slippered feet carried her stealthily through the moonlit garden, down a path she knew by heart. Through the eerily silent kitchens with long dead fires; on she crept through the maze of the castle until she paused in front of a heavy oak door, behind which lay her destination. She eased the door open and looked around to ensure she hadn't attracted any unwanted attention before slipping stealthily into the room.
Once the door was quietly shut, Anne leaned back against the cool wood and took in her surroundings. Her eyes wandered through the small room and finally rested on the bed that stood in the centre of the room. She smiled to herself as she gazed on the sleeping occupant: a rather handsome young man. The moonlight streaming from the window offered ample light to study him by: his lean arms were tucked behind his head which his dark brown hair was matted against, his full lips were curved slightly upward in a lopsided smile, and his bare chest peeked out from under the covers.
Anne gently seated herself on the bed next to the prone figure and softly trailed her fingertips along his exposed flesh. Her dark eyes took on a mischievous gleam as he stirred under her touch. Her hands left his body and came to rest on the bed on either side of him as she slowly lowered her face closer to his. She softly kissed up his neck and along his jawline working her way closer to his mouth. Once there she let her mouth hover over his; their lips barely grazing. She could feel his breath on her face grow more laboured but still he did not wake.
"Elliot," she whispered, her voice filled with a growing urgency, as she pressed her silken lips firmly against his.