dreaming (even if it breaks your heart)

dreaming (even if it breaks your heart)

By Lee
Author's Notes

She doesn’t dream much anymore.

For months after he left Sunnydale, she dreamed of sunshine and picnics in the park and ice cream melting down her hand as he kisses the sweet concoction away...

She is standing in an open field, the grass tickling her bare feet. She giggles at the sensation, a happy, carefree sounds that she hasn’t made since she was a child. Her wide smile is nearly as blinding as the sun as she twists and turns, enjoying the warmth of the rays washing over her. A blanket has been placed on the ground beside her, the delicious bounty from a nearby basket spilling out on the red gingham material, two plates carefully set in the middle as if waiting for another guest.

She is too busy dancing to notice him lurking in the shade of the trees that line one edge of the field. She continues to move, as if celebrating a sacred rite, her movements brimming with a naïve sensuality. Her golden hair whips around as she spins in a circle, spinning, spinning, spinning, until she suddenly ceases, hair fluttering gently to rest against her shoulders. She turns to face the trees, and she raises a hand to shield her eyes from the dazzling sun.

The shadows play across his face and even through the distance and glaring brightness of the sun, she can see the hesitation in his eyes. He doesn’t believe, not fully, and she can’t blame him. She’s not sure that she even truly believes it’s possible. Despite her worries, despite the fear that nearly radiates off of him, the sheer joy of the moment is overwhelming and she smiles, a gentle turn of the lips that tells him everything will be okay.

Finally, everything will be okay.

He steps forward cautiously, a heavy boot slowly emerging from the darkness, and as he moves into the sunshine, her breath catches as the light sweeps across a long forgotten vista. Seeing him in the sun erases every thought from her mind, save one:

He is the most beautiful man she has ever seen.

Suddenly, he is before her, the same man she has loved for years (eternity), and for the first time, she notices things she could never see before. The way the light shines in his hair, the crinkles at the corners of his eyes caused when he stares into the sun, the way his eyes dance and sparkle with a newfound radiance.

It’s a dream, she tells him. A dream come true.

He nods his agreement before leaning down to kiss her, his mouth as warms as hers.

I love you, he whispers against her mouth as they break apart.

And then she awakes, alone.

…of tangled sheets and sweat-soaked skin, his whispered plea of I love you breaking the silence of the darkened room as she climaxes again and again and again...

Her heart is pounding, and she swears she can hear the blood rushing through her veins.

She knows he can.

The room is dark and the air still, broken only by his soft whispers of love and adoration, passion and ecstasy, against her heated skin. His words stoke the fire that is raging, always burning, in her. His mouth drifts lazily over her belly, tongue darting out to lick a cool stripe across the sensitive flesh before moving lower.

Lower…

Lower…

Her belly clenches with the steadily building desire that threatens to sweep her away, the tide that will destroy the last remaining strength she needs to push him away.

Instead, she welcomes it with open arms.

She shifts restlessly against the bed, sheets twisting around her limbs, trapping her in a prison from which she never wants to escape. His mouth hovers over her, cool breath tickling her core, and she has to bite back a scream at the pleasurable torment. His hands caress the velvety smooth underside of her breasts, his touch never firming beyond a gentle pressure.

Please, she mouths, loathe to break the stillness surrounding them.

He grins and shakes his head before lowering to press a kiss to her belly. He smoothes kisses up her torso, spending an inordinately long time teasing her breasts, nipping and suckling the hardened nipples, until he is finally face to face with her, his gaze shining with newly expressed love.

I love you, he says.

And suddenly, she is swept away.

And then she awakes, alone.

…of blood and sweat, his taunts surrounding her at every turn as he grins at her, fangs sharp and glinting in the candlelight, as he slowly approaches, his movements controlled and steady like a predator about to strike...

The air is thick with the scent of blood, congealing in puddles throughout the great room of the mansion. She lays on the floor, bruised and battered, muscles screaming in agony with every slight movement. Drained from the fight, she waits for him, unsure if his next move will be one of pain or tender grace.

It scares her how much she wants, needs the pain.

How much she deserves the pain.

Still have a lot to learn about men, huh, kiddo?

His voice is cruel and harsh, the taunt unflinching in its honesty, and as it echoes in the still room, she can feel the razor sharp edge pierce her heart, just as it did that night so many months ago. She recoils when she senses his approach, his steps as heavy and thunderous as an approaching storm. She waits, pulse pounding in a staccato beat.

Hurt me. Bleed me. Kill me.

Love me.

Not exactly something to write home about, he tells her. Not sure why he lost that pesky soul.

He uses words as effectively as a knife, knowing how to apply the right amount of pressure to prolong her agony before cutting her until she lays open before him, soul bared to the one creature she can never resist.

Would never resist.

Shame floods her body at the realization that as much as she needs, wants her lover, it is almost overpowered by the desire she feels for the soulless monster that shares his body. Perhaps the pain is punishment for her transgression.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

He urges her to turn over, his touch almost gentle, and for a moment she forgets, allows herself to believe that he has returned to her, before being cruelly reminded by a harsh slap that he will never be him.

Her cunt throbs at the pleasurepain and she weeps at her body’s betrayal.

Hurt me. Bleed me. Kill me.

Love me.

I love you, he tells her.

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.

But first, I’ll make you mine, he whispers through a grin, sharp teeth flashing in the candlelight.

And then she awakes, alone.

The dreams lessened as time slipped away, as she tried to move on and live the normal life he so desperately wanted for her. Dating, sex, college… she had all the normalcy she could stand and it wasn’t enough.

It was never enough.

Still, she fought, oh how she fought to maintain that oft wished for normal life. She bit and struck and clawed and fought anything that stood in her way of that goddamn normal life. After all, if it was the reason he left, it had to be worth living, right? Sunshine and sex and afternoon picnics and children she didn’t have had to be worth all the pain and heartache and bleeding and agony.

She learned how wrong she was the day she found her mom lifeless on the couch.

She lost herself in the dreams again for a short time, until reality reared its ugly head and suddenly, she didn’t dream anymore.

Dying can do that to a girl.

Then suddenly, she was back. A real live girl again.

Except she wasn’t. The girl she had been still lay in the grave, she was sure.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Life went on. Life always went on. But for her, life remained in that grave, rotting and decaying until there was nothing left.

And then he came back.

Tell me I’m dreaming, she whispers.

You’re not dreaming, he assures her.

Is this real? She questions.

It’s very real, he tells her, his voice firm and strong and reassuring.

Are you going to continue with these cryptic answers? She demands, playful irritation coloring her words.

Yes, he answers.

You’re an ass, she retorts.

So I’ve been told, he laughs.

The sunshine floods their bedroom, lighting the particles floating in the air into burnished gold. Cuddled under the covers to block out the offending early morning light, they whisper to one another, part of their early morning ritual.

They have rituals now.

They have the rituals every couple has: the shared morning routines, the way she steps on her tiptoes to kiss him whenever he comes home, the way he snakes his hand under her shirt to trace her lower back as they watch television, the secret winks across a room that lets the other know it’s time to go… They have them all, big and small, insignificant and treasured moments alike.

They have anniversaries. They have birthdays. They have Thanksgivings and Christmases and every other holiday they can think to celebrate.

They have disagreements and fights, annoyances and stubborn silences.

They have a life. Together.

She still can’t believe it. Years on, she still has mornings when she’s sure she is dreaming, almost unable to believe that this reality is her reality. She still bears scars from her other life, scars that cannot be seen, scars that may never fully heal, but his whispered assurances ease the pulsating ache that sometimes blooms within her chest when she sees a young girl with gangly limbs and long brown hair or hears a gentle British accent. When she sees a flash of soft blonde curls, her heart weeps for a touch she’ll never feel again.

Each day, she lives for those she has lost.

She counts herself among the lost.

But most importantly, she counts herself among the living.

She doesn’t dream much anymore.

She doesn’t need to.

The End

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Author's Notes:
Rating: R
Summary: She doesn’t dream much anymore.
Author’s Notes: Title from Will Hoge’s song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”

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