Another Dream, A Different Path (Part 6)
Hazy moonlight filtered through an open window, a soft breeze playing idly behind sheer, billowy curtains. Her stranger lay sprawled over the floor propped up on his elbow with a laughing smile making his face that much more beautiful. She'd dreamed about him every night since leaving grandmere's cabin. By now she knew her time here would be brief, and sorrow always struck when she awoke.
Tonight, however, Orleans lost herself in the moment, savoring every last second she had here. With him. She spun and twirled before him, putting on a silly little show for her beautiful stranger-and here, in this place he was hers alone-. The long skirt she wore fluttered and whirled around her legs; silver light illuminating her curved silhouette.
A smile curved her lips. She felt so free and relaxed in his company, more than she ever had with anyone else. He didn't know her name, and she didn't know his. There were no lies, no false pretenses. There, wrapped in the shadowy cocoon of dreamscape, they could just be.
She fell to her knees, laughing alongside of him. He lifted his hand to cup her cheek, her heart beat quickening.
"Remember that your path may not lead you here, Chere. You must face the other possibilities." Grandmere's deeply french accented voice whispered through the air, though her stranger seemed not to notice.
Orleans started and looked around frantically. Then suddenly afraid the dream would end, she locked her gaze onto his face, etching every detail into her memory even though she knew she would forget the instant she awakened. It never stopped her from trying though.
"You have to go now, don't you?" Shock flared in her eyes. This was the first time he'd spoken of her abrupt departures. She nodded, already feeling that familiar pull, tears slipping down her face. To her surprise, the room faded, her stranger along with it.
Now she was standing in a courtyard or large garden of some kind, gazing up at a window set high in the mansion before her. She could see clearly her stranger standing idly in front of the window, appearing as though he were lost deeply in his thoughts. She yearned to go up to him, to wipe that worried look from his brow, but found her feet were rooted to their spot.
She knew she was meant to observe, and not participate in this vision, and was proven correct when only a moment later a female silhouette came into view. His expression cleared, a smile dawning over his face as they came together in a meaningful embrace. Their laughter drifted lazily down to her ears, and she forced herself to take a deep breath. Looking closer, she thought the woman looked familiar, and hope began to bud. The scene flashed forward, and now she was standing in a dark room, when her eyes adjusted, she could see her stranger again. But he was different somehow. When he looked up from his desk at something in front of him that she couldn't see, she bit back a gasp. His eyes were completely pitch black. They looked like endless twin black holes, greedy and cruel.
"What has happened to you, mon cher?" She whispered, horrified.
A sudden, blinding light flared in the room, and when she could see again, she was in the middle of a crowded dance floor. Bodies spun around her so fast it made her dizzy. She didnt notice the scene changed again for a moment, still trying to get her bearings. The dreams have never spun so out of control before. The images moving before her grew horrific as she was thrown from one vision to the next. Blood soaked the floor beneath her feet, screams rang so loud in her ears that she began to scream trying to drown out the noise. She squeezed her eyes shut against the carnage, praying for it all to stop.
Suddenly everything went quiet. She opened her eyes. The blood was gone, the dancing bodies, and her stranger. She tried desperately to will herself awake. To end the dizzying nightmare. The path to her greatest desire would be rife with obstacles and impossibly twisted with possibilities of all that could ever be. It would take a miracle to lead her to the outcome she'd grown to desire with every fiber of her being.
"Now you understand, Chere," the last of grandmere's words trailed into nothingness as Orleans slipped back into the world of the waking.
She awoke with tears dampening her lashes, and a stony resolve to focus on the hunt. The hardest thing she had to do was leave it all in the hands of the Fates. Who knows? She may never even meet the mystery man. How could she miss what she never even glimpsed? Tough thoughts for a girl who cried in her sleep. Orleans rose from her bed and fell into packing and readying for the ride back to Louisiana with a vengeance. She had a bone to pick with the Yelley brothers, and those boys would regret ever laying eyes on Orleans when she was finished with them. She would make sure of it.