The Darkness Behind A Shadow

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Chapter 8: The Dream

Serenity and calamity travel through the air as the sun sets on the beach. The fierce orb is enchanting as it casts its beauty, tinting the ocean.

Elena stands at the end of the beach, and her auburn hair is gleaming as the sun makes its exit. She rubs her toes that are engulfed in the sand as she stares, mesmerized. The waves periodically skim the ends of her blue jeans as she wished reality would be this soothing.

“Breathtaking, isn’t it?”

Elena quickly jocks her head over to the side, noticing the stranger. The wind plays with his blond locks. He stands quite tall, around six feet. He seemed to be familiar, but she couldn’t pinpoint how. But, the most intriguing aspect of his appearance are his bold, blue eyes; they were orbs that Elena could stare into for hours.

Snapping herself out of her thoughts, she replies.

“Yeah, it’s one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen.”

“Even more than my eyes?” Questions the stranger with a smirk forming.

“Y-yeah,” she stutters after blushing, not thinking the stranger would notice her ogling.

“I’m kidding, relax. But you’re right, it is one of the most beautiful sites. Fireworks would be a close second though,” soothes the stranger.

“Fireworks? Nope. I love the illumination of color though. I can never peel my eyes away from the fiery sparks. They dazzle into the velvet sky, blazing the darkness. But the sound. Every time one goes off, it feels as if I’m in the middle of the battlefield,” she replies honestly.

“Well, I guess that is understandable. But, I have a feeling you treat life as if it’s a battlefield.”

Elena scrunches her nose in response, confused.

“What do you mean? We just met. How could you so easily make that assumption?”

The stranger steps closer until he is five inches from touching her. He faces the sunset as he speaks.

“Well, your eyes have been hazed this entire time. It’s as if you have been deep in thought, possibly replaying mistakes in your head. Possibly regretting actions. And, I’m here to tell you that this isn’t a battle. It’s just life. It has its waves of good and bad. Don’t try to make it more than that. Because, in the end, there’s never going to be a more prominent war than the one you’re holding with yourself.”

Elena is taken aback by the words uttered by the stranger. She never contemplated life in such a way. And, despite only knowing her for mere minutes, he has read straight through her. It’s as if he was the detective and she was the mystery.

“Thank you. I really needed to hear that,” Elena answers, breaking the calm silence.

In return, the stranger smiles.

“You know, your thoughts about fireworks got me thinking,” The stranger murmurs as he faces Elena and moves even closer to her, leaving an inch between their lips.

“Hmm,” Elena mumbles as her breath halts, eyes not moving from the stranger’s lips.

“Maybe, I may be a color you’d like to know,” the stranger continues breathlessly, intoxicating Elena with his breath.

“The name’s Spencer. What’s yours?”

“Elena,” she breathes, resisting the urge to graze his lips.

“Elena, Elena, Elena,” Spencer softly repeats like a prayer.

“My sweet, little firefly, what a pleasure to meet you,” he whispers as he leans in.

Elena gasps for air as she awakes. Fiddling with her comforter, she focuses on controlling her breathing. It was just a dream. A dream. So, why did it feel so real? These thoughts circulate through Elena’s mind as she heads to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. As she was gulping down the beverage, she was still shaking from her dream. It felt so real. His touch was electrifying. The sound of his voice was as smooth as honey. This couldn’t be the same Spencer she was married to, right? Because, she let him go without actually meeting him. He puts her empty glass in the sink with a pang, frustrated. She made the right decision. Boys are distractions. She can’t afford distractions. She doesn’t even know if the Spencer in her dream was even the person she was currently married to. And she’s never even met Spencer before. Hell, she’s never heard of him. Or had she?

With curiosity circling through her mind, she runs back into her room and snatched her cell phone from her night table. She didn’t care that it was 2 am at the moment. She needed Mark to give her answers now. She couldn’t wait until tomorrow.

As she dialed, she paced back and forth in her room, hoping he would pick up. She couldn’t go to sleep. Not until she truly knew who Spencer is. When she heard a voice on the other line, she internally jumped for joy.

“H-hello? Elena? Why are you calling at such an ungodly hour? Is everything okay?” groggily asks Mark.

She rolls her eyes in response.

“No, everything is not okay. Who’s Spencer? How old is he? You can’t just sit there and gobble like the goldfish and not tell me anything!”

“Okay, just relax. We’ll talk tomorrow at lunch like we pl-”

“NO,” shrieks Elena, not caring if she wakes anyone.

When the other end of the line remains silent, she continues.

“We will not wait until tomorrow for you and Maria to sit there and spoon feed me. I am an eighteen year old who was forced into marriage by people who you probably already know. I was married to someone that you already know. You have the explanation behind this ‘secret organization’ that I want to know. I am not some five year old schoolgirl; I am an adult who can make her own decisions. Don’t leave me in the dark. I can handle it. And all of this concerns me because I am the heir to my father’s wealth. Now, quit acting like the glorified Vice President and give me answers. Otherwise, the first thing I’ll be doing when I take over is kicking you out!”

“Okay, okay just relax! Both you and Nick have severe trust issues with me and I promise that we are all doing this for your protection.”

“I don’t need your damn protection. I need answers. Now, cough them up!”

“Okay jeez! But can I only tell you about Spencer? I really want Maria to be there for our other discussions,” questions Mark, hoping Elena’s anger wouldn’t cloud her judgement.

“Fine,” Elena replies bluntly.

“So, Spencer is a nineteen year old, blonde, blue eyed teen with a complexion of calamity. He is the son of Christopher Lent, one of the three business partners at Henry Solars, the other two being your father and Liam Beckett. His parents are divorced and he has not had any connection with his father since. He is currently studying at NYU with a major in Computer Science. We think the kidnappers got you two married because you both are heirs to Henry Solars. He currently lives in New York City with his mother, so you may have actually seen him. I have always wondered why-”

Elena zones out of the conversation as her mind goes numb. The Spencer he described was just like the Spencer in her dreams. She moves to grip the edge of her dresser as her breathing begins to get heavier. She doesn’t understand. She was the one who pushed him away. She was the one who wanted nothing to do with him. So, why was she craving for his presence even though they had never truly met. Or had they?

“-because he is so stubborn, kind of like you. Elena? Are you listening?”

She shakes her head and steers back into reality.

“Yeah. Sorry. It’s interesting that he lives so close. How close exactly?”

Mark chuckles in response.

“Probably around ten miles away from your house. Why? You want to pay him a visit or something? Last I checked, you wanted nothing to do with him,” Mark comments as he is surprised by Elena’s change of heart.

“How do you know that?” Asks Elena, puzzled.

“Despite Nick hating my guts, he does tell me things once in a while. Don’t worry, you are bound to meet soon, whether-”

Elena hastily ends the call as her guardian creaks open the door.

“Honey, who are you talking to so late at night? It’s almost 2:30 am, sweetheart,” inquires Ms. Kuttler, yawning.

“No one important. I’m heading to bed now.”

Ms. Kuttler raises an eyebrow in acknowledgement but doesn’t question further.

“Alright, sweet pea. Get some beauty sleep. And you let me know if he’s someone special. We all find someone at some point,” she remarks nonchalantly as she shuts her door.

Elena blushed profoundly as she heads to bed, not because Ms. Kuttler assumed that Mark was one of her lovers, but because she wished she actually was talking to a lover. Specifically, Spencer from her dream.

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