CHAPTER ONE ~ DAYDREAMER
“Someone’s in love.”
“Brian. Can’t you tell? He isn’t even walking on the ground anymore!”
Nick cast a suspicious glance out of the window to where his friend sat alone on the beach. There was something different about him. He had hardly spoken that morning and had instead sat staring into space while humming to himself.
“Who is it?” He turned back to Howie.
The older man shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him with anybody. I can just tell by the way he’s acting.”
“And he hasn’t told us? I’m offended,” Nick replied.
“I don’t think he’s told anybody, but from the way he’s acting, its someone who really does have a hold on him.”
Brian was not even aware of his friends’ curious eyes upon him as he gazed at the shimmering ocean before him. His blue eyes slid calmly over the splashing waves that rose to form great, foam-topped crests that would playfully crash into one another before they finally tumbled upon to the golden delight of the hot sand. The sky was a perfect blue fir the summer day and the sun shone unhindered upon the beach, dancing upon the waves to form a spectacular show of flashing sunbeams that dazzled the eye.
It was beautiful, but in comparison to the enchanting, moonlit glade he had wandered in his dreams it was nothing more than a pale shadow or a faint watery picture. He failed to be as awed by this beauty as he had been in his dreams.
He sighed as he fell back to lie against the comforting, warm sandy beach and closed his eyes to allow her face to drift into his mind.
He did not normally experience such sensual or vivid dreams and he rarely even remembered any of the images his mind conjured up in his slumber, but these were different. True, the forest with its flowery incense and showering rainwater was now only a vague memory but she was real as the sun that beat down upon his chest now. He could recall her face as easily as the bright colours of a rainbow and even now he swore that he could still smell her perfume and her sweet breath that made his skin tingle. He had fought to cling onto this image and to not allow it to float away down a hazy river of forgetfulness along with every other dream he’d ever had. These were too amazing to simply forget. Now when he closed his eyes, he remembered her soft, dark hair and the taste of her mouth as her lips pressed against his. It was almost as if she had imprinted herself within his mind or cast an alluring charm upon his soul to make sure that she never vanished from his mind.
He knew he was crazy. She was a dream, a figment of his imagination, but it felt so real! She had come to him in his dreams for the past three nights and he had been captured by her beauty the second she entered his slumber. Even if it was a dream, he could not help but feel his heart beat harder inside of him as he thought about her. He couldn’t help it as he fell in love…
“Hey, cloudy head!”
His eyes opened to reveal his misty, dreamy blue orbs and he found himself gazing up at another pair of blue eyes as somebody leaned over to stare down at him in amusement.
“So who is she?” Nick demanded.
“Who?” Brian asked innocently, not moving as he lay on his back on the sand.
“The lover girl who’s dug her claws into your skin so tightly that you don’t even know what day it is?”
“Actually, it’s Friday. See, I’m right!”
Brian rolled his eyes. “Stop being a dork Nick. It’s Thursday.” Wasn’t it? Was he really beginning o lose track of time now? “What makes you think there is a girl anyway?” he turned onto his side to avoid Nick’s piercing eyes.
“Because you’re walking on water and your head is somewhere in the clouds where we can’t see it! There’s this really dreamy expression in your eyes and… hell, you’re just in love! Now tell me who it is!”
Brian turned his head to flash Nick an irritating smirk. Nick would think he was nuts if he told him about his lover in the forest.
Nick sighed in irritation and he heavily dropped his body to the sandy patch beside Brian. He lie back as Brian had done. “I don’t get it. There’s nobody around here for miles and you’ve hardly been out of the house since management dumped us here.” His brow furrowed as the Carter brain attempted to puzzle out his best friend’s secret. He suddenly turned. “Unless it’s that hot chick who works at the store down the road. Aaww Brian, she was mine buddy!”
“It’s not her.”
“Oh… good.” Nick fell silent for a moment. “Okay I give up, so tell me. Who is she?”
Brian stared up at the sunny sky and listened to the waves as they glided over the sand and a smile played across his pink lips. “The girl of my dreams.”
* * * * * * * *
As usual, the grass was damp with dew beneath his bare feet that gave a very pleasant sensation as he walked over it.
His forest dreamland had been awaiting him the second he felt his eyes close that night. Sometimes he was afraid that he would fall asleep and not dream about this place, but every night his fear was unjustified. It always waited. It was always ready to draw him into its paradise and each time he walked within it, he swore that it grew more beautiful.
She would be here too. His heart skipped slightly inside of him as his mouth began to grow dry with anticipation.
He looked down and found that he was clad in a pair of light brown pants that were only held up by an elasticised band and a pale shirt which was half unbuttoned.
He stared up at the great trees that towered above him, their leaves being softly rustled by a faint breeze. There was no life giving rain falling tonight and the air was warm, but cooling after the sun’s heat had eagerly baked everything that had been caught in its fiery blaze.
He slowly began to walk along the path, taking the time to inhale the scent of the honeysuckle that dangled above him and the roses which grew either side of the path. He knelt down upon the grass and plucked one of the pink roses from the healthy green bush. He held it to his face and smiled at the sweet smell. Not even real roses in his own waking world seemed to smell this good.
He rose to his feet with the bloom clutched safely in his hand before he began to follow the path to the pool. Above him he heard an owl cooing softly in the tree branches and the moon illuminated the way ahead of him. As the owl fell silent he heard another sound reaching his eyes; the soft sound of a sweet melody that delicately washed over him and lulled his soul.
He took a deep breath as he emerged into the clearing where the moonlight shimmered and flickered upon the pool of clam water. He could see the reflections of the stars above him, but the most beautiful creature of all was delicately seated upon a rock by the edge of the water. He could hear her voice clearly now as she sang, her voice never faltering on any of the notes but always remaining perfect.
He silently crossed to her, careful that his feet did not rustle as they crossed the grass. He stopped a few steps away and his heart rushed into his mouth as he saw her fingers brushing through her dark hair that fell about her bare shoulders. The rest of her body was concealed by a pale violet dress that matched the lilacs flowering at her feet.
She continued to sing, unaware of his presence and he simply stood motionless as the peaceful song flew through the air. The language was unknown to him and he could only guess what it meant. Somehow though he knew that she was singing of her love, just as he hummed dreamily to himself in his own world.
All too soon the melody faded as she ended her song. He saw her as she gazed into the water and then he could bear the wait no longer. In swift steps he had closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms gently about her slender waist.
“Karine, that was beautiful,” he whispered as he tenderly kissed her neck.
She turned her face and he could see the smile upon her face. “It was for you.”
She stood up and Brian clasped her hands within his own and brought them to his lips to grace them with a kiss. Still his heart had not yet grasped the wondrous fact that this girl was all his and it still pounded rapidly in excitement and love. “I missed you,” he said as he held the rose out for her.
She took it and smiled at him before placing a soft kiss upon his lips. “I miss you as well when you’re not here.”
“I wish I could be,” he whispered his eyes half closing at the bliss of being with her again.
She playfully batted his arm with the rose. “I’m sure you prefer your waking world to mine with everything that is real,” she teased.
“You are real,” Brian defended.
“Are you sure?” There was a twinkle in her eyes.
Brian knew what she desired and drew her close for a passionate kiss. “Certain,” he said when they parted for air.
She stroked his face for a moment and then took his hand to begin walking with him. “How was your day?” she asked.
“Dull,” Brian confessed. “I wish I could stay here. It must be wonderful to live in a pretty place like this.”
She smiled. “I’m the opposite. I wish I could live with you in your waking world. What is it like there? Do you have forests?”
“Sure we do, but not many really huge ones and I’ve never seen one as pretty as this. We don’t have that many either.” It was rather sad how the humans had destroyed things as beautiful as this place. Maybe his world could have been like this if his race had been more careful.
“At least you have this one.” She stopped and turned to face him. “I wish you could stay here forever.”
Brian smiled but did not reply as he pulled her into his arms. He pressed his face against her neck, wondering what it would be like to stay here with Karine every day for the rest of his life. She was special. Nobody else had ever made his heart beat so fast and nobody had ever affected him so badly that he couldn’t think unless they were by his side. He breathed deeply and then sniffed her hair. “You smell like flowers,” he whispered running the softness through his hands and smelling her again.
She gently pulled his hands into her own. “Why thank you. And you…” She leaned up onto tip toes and began to kiss his face before she pressed her face against his hair. “I have no idea what you smell like, but it’s nice.”
Brian laughed slightly and sighed as he stared at her. “So what are we going to do tonight?” he asked casually, wondering if she wanted the same physicality that he wanted. They would lose themselves within each other when they were together and it wouldn’t even matter if the world ended then because he would have her in his arms…
Her eyes rolled above her to stare at the stars and the moon in the dark sky. “The night is soothing this evening.” She eyed him daringly. “I want to swim.”
“Here?” Brian asked looking across at the pool.
“Why not? As long as my father doesn’t catch us.” She eagerly grasped his hand and began to pull him back towards the pool.
“Would he be angry if he knew you were seeing me?” Brian asked. She rarely mentioned much about her family but he had already guessed that they were oblivious to Karine’s love affair with him.
“Exceedingly.” They stopped by the edge of the pool and Karine suddenly pulled Brian to her for a kiss. “But what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him.” She giggled slightly at the forbidden nature of their relationship and then began to kiss him again.
Brian was only too eager to respond, loving the way his lips would quiver after each kiss, begging for. She broke away from him. “Ready for our swim?”
“I’m always ready,” Brian said grinning and already plotting how to get them both bare once they were in the water.
He released her hand as he turned to pull his shirt over his head. He dropped it upon one of the rocks and then turned back to Karine. His mouth almost fell open when he saw that she completely undressed herself. He found his eyes trailing down her naked body.
A smile crossed her lips. “Why so shy Brian? It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.” She laughed at the expression upon his face and he swore that she could feel the sudden flush of longing that had heated his body. She turned and began to walk towards the water. She stepped into the pool and then swam out to the centre before turning back to discover that he was still mesmerised by her body.
“Are you coming?” she asked, taunting him by dipping just far enough below the water so that he couldn’t see her naked skin.
Brian took a deep breath and then grinned at her as he began to walk towards the water.
“Ah ah Brian.” She raised her hand from the water and pointed to the pants that still concealed the lower part of his body. “Off.”
“What if someone sees?” Brian asked.
She laughed at him and rewarded him with one of her smiles. “I never thought you would be this nervous! I dare you to swim naked with me! If someone sees, then let them see!” she giggled.
“I’m not nervous,” Brian defended stubbornly. He had hoped that they would somehow end up in this position but Karine had beat him to putting a plan into action.
“Then come on.”
Brian smiled at her for a moment but still didn’t move, wanting to tease her and make her believe that he wasn’t going to follow her. She returned his loving gaze and then raised her hand to beckon him, a daring smile lighting her face.
“Turn around,” Brian said.
“Briiiian!” she teased. “Don’t be so shy!”
“Turn around!” He flashed her one of his own smiles. “Be patient.”
“I don’t want to be patient! I want you in the water!” She sighed as she saw the flirtatious look on his face. He was teasing her, as always. “How about if I just close my eyes?”
“Brian, you’ve never been shy when I’ve seen you before!”
He pulled a face at her and then made a gesture for her to turn around. She smiled back at him and then exaggeratedly turned her back upon him.
“If you’re not with me in ten seconds,” she threatened. “I’ll come and undress you myself!”
“That’s not much of a threat!”
“It will be if I undress you then run off with your clothes!”
Brian rolled his eye and quickly crossed to the deeper end of the pool. He dropped his pants and left them abandoned on the shore before diving into the water.
For a moment there was a brief shock of cold and he suddenly he felt completely weightless. He opened his eyes to see the midnight black waters swirling about him. He could see a faint shimmer where the moon pierced the rippling water and he took a moment to adjust himself to his new situation. The water was not freezing cold, but wonderfully cool compared to the hot day he had spent on the beach. Staying beneath the surface he began to swim towards the centre of the pool where he knew Karine was waiting. The second he saw her body beneath the water he rose to the surface and grabbed her before she could try and swim away or dunk him.
She gasped slightly at the unexpected surprise and Brian pulled her beneath the water laughing. He clasped her close to him, their bodies pressing so close that any watchers would not be able to tell one from the other.
She pressed her mouth to his and they kissed while the cool water swirled about them and tickled their bodies. Brian’s sense were now electrifying alive and aware of the feel of the water and the moonlight that filtered down upon them. He could feel her hair and the pressure of her skin against his own. Then there was the kiss itself, full of passion, longing and love.
They burst to the surface, mouths still pressed tightly together, neither willing to break the moment that they were sharing. Eventually the need to breathe forced Brian to pull away from her and they both gasped to replenish their lungs.
Brian closed his eyes as he savoured the taste of the kiss. Every time it felt as special as the first. He could still remember. He could recall the first time he had entered this forest and seen Karine brushing her hair on a rock. He’d fallen in love that very moment and after one single evening together they had confessed their feelings.
That night he had found his soul mate, the one person he was supposed to share everything with.
He was brought pleasantly back to the present as he felt her lips upon his. He smiled as he opened his eyes. She looked so innocent and pretty with the moon upon her. Her hair was now thoroughly soaked but still it seemed to hold a magical sheen of its own. He eyes twinkled at him and she bit her lip as her eyes fell onto his naked chest.
She laughed as he wrapped his arms about her and began to hungrily kiss her neck and face. She pressed closer to him, her arms entwining about him.
“Not so shy anymore are you?” she whispered.
“Mmm,” Brian said still buy kissing her neck and trying to leave his mark there.
She suddenly used her hands to splash him and then his arms were empty as she laughed teasingly and swam away from him. Brian eyed her and pretended to look offended before he dove beneath the water again. He could hear her above him begging him not to scare her by leaping up randomly again, however she did not get her wish.
Brian easily caught her with the element of surprise and she playfully tried to struggle in vain as he tightened his arms about her and began to kiss her.
“Gotcha,” he said. “And now you’re mine.”
“Oh no Brian. I think I’m the one who has you.”