A Deal With the Devil

By Imani Brown

Adventure / Romance

A Deal With the Devil

Darkness. That's the first thing I see as I open my eyes. I can feel my eyes rapidly blinking, almost like the fluttering of a butterfly's wings, as my eyes try to adjust. At first, all I manage to see are unrecognizable shapes accompanied by a sea of darkness. It takes me a minute before the shapes turn into outlines of figures that I would know anywhere. People. Why were there people surrounding me? What's going on? Where am I? At my own inner panic, I hear a strange beeping noise that is continually getting faster and faster, louder and louder, but the sound is so far away. My heart is beating so fast that it feels as if it's about to burst from my chest. I can vaguely hear noise... no, voices of people, but I can't understand what they're saying over the sound of my pounding heart in my ears. I can feel hands all over my body trying to hold me down. This only seems to make me struggle even more. When had I began to struggle? Beating increasingly faster by the second, my heart, I'd think it impossible to get any faster. I can just barely think, and there are only three words that stay on repeat in my mind. I wake in bed gasping, desperately trying to fill my constricting lungs with air. I can feel arms wrap around me, and I am brought back to my nightmare. I fight to free myself and seeming only to make it worse as the pair of arms tighten around me; I hear what sounds like someone screaming only to find out it's my own voice. A light is turned on to the right of me, but I hardly notice. Stuck in my own subconscious, I can vaguely hear someone speaking soothing words in my ear, an attempt to calm me. Stiles . Repeated over and over as if begging , calling, for me. The scent of axe body wash fills my senses bringing me back to reality and the feeling of someone stroking my head. As I pull my head off of a shoulder, a face comes into my line of sight, successfully putting an end to my struggles. My mind becoming empty to accommodate for the person in front of me. Green. Eyes that seem to see into my soul. Eyes that seem to plead and search for something, a sign that I'm okay. These are the eyes of someone I could never hurt, never fear. Someone I would always love.

"Derek,' I breathed. I could tell from the moment I say his name that I am no longer still stuck in the nightmare. That I am his fiance. That I'm me. His eyes turn from panic to ones of comfort and concern.

"Another one," Derek says, voice filled with worry. He moves to gently caress my face with a loving look. A look you could never forget. A look that used to make me squirm but now accompanies with it a warm fuzzy feeling inside me.

"Yeah," I sigh. I bring my hand up towards my face, taking hold of his hand as he began to pull away. I intertwine our fingers and turn my head to place a soft kiss on his palm. "Let's go back to sleep".

We shuffle around in our bed, getting into a familiar position. As I lay in bed, back to chest, hand in hand, I try to sleep knowing that I have to get up early and head to the gallery to do the finishing touches before the grand opening. The room is silent except for the soft breaths that caress my neck. Sleeping doesn't come easy. My thoughts, filled with questions about my dream, prevent me from succumbing into my subconsciousness. Derek's arms tighten around me as if he knows exactly what I'm thinking about.

"Go to sleep, Stiles. You're safe. I'll be here when you wake up," he whispers. More words of comfort are said that are then accompanied by a kiss on my neck so soft as if it was barely there. "I love you".

"I love you too," I say. I am soon drifting into the dreamland that is now more welcome than before. But I can't help the thought that accompanies me to sleep. What if I could change everything? What if I could go back?

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