Dream: Part Seventeen

She is standing at the sink when he comes in.  Her back is to him, she is humming faintly.  He pauses in the doorway briefly and watches her.  She is lovely in her rhythmic motion, hands circling plates as she cleans away the residue of last night’s dinner.  He watches for just a moment more before he moves towards her, grabbing a towel so he can help.

“Hey there,” he leans in to kiss the back of her neck playfully.

“Reese, stop that, I’m all wet.”

“Just the way I like it,” he gives her a lascivious grin and picks up a bowl.

She glances at him out of the corner of her eye, watching as he haphazardly slings the dish rag around.  She smiles, tilting her head towards him, beckoning for another touch of his lips on her skin.

“How was work?” she asks, putting down the plate and turning to face him.  Looping his arms around her waist, he pulls her to him.

“Boring.  I kept thinking, if only my lovely wife would stop by.  I have my own office you know…with a door and everything.”

She laughs, “You are ridiculous.”

“Fine.  If you won’t come to work to satisfy me, I will just have to start coming home earlier.”  He sweeps her over his shoulder, carries her screaming into the bedroom.

He tosses her on the bed.  He unbuttons his shirt, slips his jeans down, as she starts to pull her dress over her head.   Arms raised, eyes covered, he stops her.  Grabbing hold of the fabric, he leans her back, exposing her throat to him.  He kisses her softly, moving out along her collarbone, back in along the line of her bra.

“Reese, please.”

He silences her, kissing her more intently now.  His tongue finds hers, and the taste of him is exquisite.  He lets her go.  And then they are wrapped tightly in one another.  It has always been this way.  She can remember nothing but the feeling of his skin on hers.

“Lana.”

His voice sounds strained, harsh.  She looks up at him.  Red.  Everything is red.

“Why, Lana?”

He pulls away from her and she can see the gaping wound.  There is blood, pouring from him, running down her arms, settling in the creases of the sheets beneath them.  She can feel the cool of the metal in her hand.

“No.  No.  No.  Reese?”

She rolls out from under him, feels the slick wet of blood, so horribly familiar now, as he lies back on the bed.  There is a ragged gash of torn skin and raw flesh crossing his chest.  She watches, frozen, as Reese raises his head to see, fingers fluttering vainly over the laceration as if willing it to heal.  It must have shocked him, the extent of the damage, because she can see his muscles tense and the skin parts even further.

He looks back up at her then.  There is nothing but pain and confusion on his face.  He opens his mouth to speak, but he chokes.  She wipes away blood from his lips.

The room fills with an indistinct haze.  Lana reaches for Reese’s hand, but she cannot find it.  She is overcome with a sense of panic.  The feeling that she must run, and she must run now.  She takes off, slamming into the doorway as she sprints through the house.

She runs, until her lungs burn and her vision is blurry.  She doesn’t know where she is any longer.  It is dark.  Trees lash out and she can feel the blood coursing down her face.  She loses her footing, and suddenly she is falling.  Her arms spin out, grasping for anything to grab hold of, but there is nothing.  She is rolling, smashing head and side and back into ground.  It does not stop.  She is dizzy and cannot breath.  Everything is black.

When she can see again, she is immediately struck by a devastating pain.  It pulsates through her, piercing every piece of her.  She tries to lift her head, but can’t.  A sharp, blinding burn radiates from her throat.  Shaking, she reaches up, and screams.

Her fingers run over the course grain of the wood, the sharp green of pine needles, follow it until they meet the soft flesh of her neck, wet and slick.  Her breath becomes shallow, frenzied.  She gently pulls at the branch, trying to free it from her skin.  The pain is unbearable.  She cries out, screaming for Reese, Dean.

But no one comes for her.

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Dream: Part Sixteen

The water is mesmerizing.  She has never seen anything as beautiful as the crystalline flow spilling over and around her.  It surrounds her and becomes her.  She watches each drop shatter against her skin, breaking into a thousand pieces, each one reflecting the light in every direction.  Creating colors she didn’t know existed, greens and yellows, blues that rival the brilliant sheen of Dream.

Rushing past her ears, the water sings to her.  It is an indistinguishable melody, but one she knows she has heard before.  She begins to hum along as she rinses the blood from her hair. The red is beautiful too, as is slowly spirals away from her.  She is almost sad to see it go.

Her dress is heavy, too heavy for her to hold, once she soaks it in the warm water.  It sits around her feet.  It looks comfortable, inviting.  She lies down on top of it, letting the water rain down.  It feels as though Dean is holding her, arms wrapped gently around her, fingers trailing lightly over her skin.  She closes her eyes.

When she opens them again, she is freezing, her skin feels hard and her legs are stiff.  She turns off the water and struggles to stand.  It is nearly dark.

“Fuck.”

She wrings out her dress, slips it over her head.  It is cold and wet, but she doesn’t care.  She wants to go home.  Stepping gently around the edge of the bed, averting her eyes, she grabs several bags of Dream and stuffs them into her purse.  She hesitates.  Then takes another DayDream, rips it open and empties it onto her skin.  Rubbing it in hastily, she dials the front desk and asks for a cab.

 


 

 

Stumbling from the taxi, she lands on her knees in the gravel walkway leading to the front door.

“Shit, lady, you okay?”

She stands, brushing the rocks away.  She tries to ignore the damp spot she has left on the seat, water dripping from her dress.  Money exchanges hands.

“Fine. Thanks.”

The walk to the house seems to take hours, and she can’t remember her feet ever touching the ground.  Reese is there at the door, and everything is red.  Did she forget to wash the blood away?

But this is different.  The air itself is red, a crushing, angry red.  It vibrates through her, sets her teeth on edge.  It is coming from her husband.

“I know.”

Even through the haze, she doesn’t have to ask.  Somehow, he has found out about Dean.

She watches him speak, and realizes that though she has been afraid to hear this for so long, there is a raw beauty in the writhing and twisting of these words on his lips.  She is free.

He opens the door for her, and lets her walk past him into the house.  She does not stop until she reaches the bedroom and gently closes the door.

Pulling out the bags of Dream, she crawls into bed.  She slides under the covers, wrapping them tightly around her.  She opens one, then another, then another, letting the blue powder trickle over her tongue and settle on her gums and teeth.

Lana reaches over to the nightstand to set the empty plastic aside and glances at the picture of her and Reese, so long ago.  When they had first moved into this house and she had taken such care to decorate each room, nesting Reese had called it, she had hung this picture where she would see it every day.  It had been her favorite from their wedding.  She had loved him so dearly then.  She wished she could remember why.

She slips the band off to read the words inscribed inside.  Love. Always. Reese.

Her head spins.  She closes her hand tightly, holding on to the one piece of him she has not lost.  It is only with fleeting sadness that she shuts her eyes.

Dream: Part Fourteen

She is furious with him.  With herself.  With this fucking rain.

Lana tugs at the edge of her dress, wishing she could wear something more sensible.  Glancing around though, at least she doesn’t stand out.  She isn’t sure if that’s a good thing though.  She can feel her rage seething, and tries to at least relax her face into some semblance of approachability.

She tries to recall at what point in the conversation she agreed to this.  She tries to recall why she doesn’t just walk away.  Just go home.   Or go back to Dean and tell him to go fuck himself.  Or better yet, go to Reese at work, dump her purse full of Dream on his desk and tell him where to find the Sandman.  The more she thinks about it that would be the best way to get rid of him for good.  But she doesn’t trust Dean not to take her down with him, and she isn’t sure Reese would let her get away with it either; he lives for his job.

In the middle of her meditation, she notices someone who doesn’t seem all that interested in the merchandise already on display.  Lana strides confidently to him.

“Can I help you, baby?”

“Only if you think you could help me sleep at night.”

“I got something that will keep the nightmares away.”

He comes in close.

“Who are you?”

“You can call me Oneiroi”

“What?”

“Nothing…I take it you aren’t new to this.”

He looks her up and down.  She can feel the overconfidence roll through her.  It sticks in her throat, burns her eyes.  It makes her gag.

“Hell no.  Let me see it.”

She reaches slowly into her purse.  For all his machismo, he seems skittish, as though one quick movement could send him running.  She hands it over.

“What is this shit?”

Lana looks at the bag and realizes she left the hotel with DayDream.  Fuck.

For a moment she panics, and she can sense that he is moments from turning and leaving.  Before pushing the thought violently out of her mind, she thinks about not disappointing Dean.

“Here, let me show you.” She reaches out and takes his hand, runs her fingers lightly over the knuckles before turning his wrist upwards.  He startles, beginning to pull his arm free, but the sensation of her touch causes him to hesitate.  She tears open the package and drips just the smallest hint of blue, no sense in wasting it.  She knows it won’t kick in in time to make the sale, but she’s confident he will buy.

Lana massages the DayDream into the soft, tender skin.

She leans close, her words a warm whisper in his ear, “It’s just like Dream, but you get to stay awake.  Everything feels more real, better.”  She brings her hand up to his face, runs her thumb over his lips, “Everything that touches you lingers, and everything that you touch…”

He looks up at her, and she realizes how young he is.  Sixteen, maybe seventeen.  A child.  She almost feels sorry for him.  His cheeks are red, and his breath is racing.  He takes the bag from her hand and slips her the money.

“Of course, if you don’t like it, you can always go back to Dreaming.”

He looks down as he stuffs the DayDream into his pocket, jumping slightly as a car horn blares down the street.

“How do I find you again?”

She laughs and turns away.

“Same way as last time.  Ask the Sandman for sweet Dreams.”

Across the street in an unmarked car, Reese watches his wife saunter away from the kid, leaving them both wondering, what the hell just happened.  It is some time before he finally pulls away from the curb and turns towards the empty house waiting for him.

Dream: Part Eight

Reese is gone when she finally wakes up.  She stretches, running her fingers over his side of the bed, sheets already cool to the touch.  She wonders if she should just stay here until he comes back.

            There is a message waiting on her phone. 

            Lana slowly slides her feet to the floor, beginning what feels like the inevitable and unavoidable return to Dean.  Will she always come when he calls? 

            _______________________________________________________________

 

            “How’d you get this?” She asks, tracing her fingers over the scar on his arm.  She is lying in another bed, beside someone who feels colder beneath her hands than the empty sheets this morning. 

            He sighs and shifts away from her, “I don’t really remember.  Accident as a kid, I guess.  Why does it matter?” 

            “It doesn’t…I just wanted to talk about something other than your work for awhile.”

            Dean is silent. 

            She rolls onto her back and stares at the ceiling for a moment.  Then, bringing her hands up in front of her, she continues, “Like, this one here on my pinky.”  She splays her fingers out for him to see, small, pale and crescent shaped. 

            “Got it caught in a folding chair in the sixth grade.”

            He laughs.  Encouraged, she moves on, cataloging her broken pieces for him.

            “This one here,” she gently lifts her breast and exposes the thin scar running beneath it, “surgery.”

            “Just on the one?”

            “Not that kind of surgery.  I had to have a tube put in when I was younger.”

            There is another pause, but it is less hostile. 

            She turns to him, placing her wrist on his chest.  These scars are faint, but visible.  Tally marks keeping their gruesome score.  He takes her thin arm in his hand and sits her up. 

            “Lana.”

            She curls into him, but can feel him stiffen slightly at this intimacy. 

            “What, Dean?” At least he will give her that.  The feel of his name on her lips.  He belongs to her as long as she can hold those letters on her tongue. 

            “Lana, I asked you here because I need you to do something for me.”

            She smiles, relishing the sound of her name in his mouth, pretending that she is his.  “Of course, name it.”

            “I need you to start delivering Dream for me.”

Dream: Part Three

            When she opens her eyes she is on a stage, the curtain drawn shut, but she can hear the noise on the other side.  Screaming, cheering, and above everything her name.  She can hear her name over and over again.  They are frantic, wild, they need her.

            She is wearing black suede boots that follow the curve of her leg to her knee, adding an extra four inches to her height.  She runs her hands over the matching red lace shorts and bra that complete the outfit.  She feels stunning, daring, desired. 

            The music comes on, a frenetic dance beat that causes the screaming to escalate.  And the curtain parts.

            She stands still for a moment, center stage.  Then she raises her arms slowly above her head, running her hands through her long, unruly hair, swaying her hips in an erotic suggestion.  She lets her hands make their way back down her body, finding their way over her neck, her breasts, sides, thighs, allowing the audience to live vicariously through her fingers.  She moves towards them, each step an invitation to see her more closely, to want her more fervently. 

            He is there when she gets to the edge of the stage.  He is always there, watching her.  Watching others watch her.  But she belongs to him, she always has. 

            He offers her his hand, helps her out of the spotlight.  They exit the crowd together, and she knows that he is the only reason she would leave this fevered adoration.  He has something more powerful to give her. 

            Suddenly they are alone in a room and he is pulling her into a tight embrace, using her hair to tilt her head back to meet his lips.  He owns her completely. 

            He slips the straps over her shoulders, using them to pull her arms back, thrust her breasts forward into him, securing her this way.  He runs his lips, tongue over her neck, tasting her.  She moans softly into his chest. 

            “Can you reach everything comfortably, Lana?” he asks, turning her slowly so her back now pressed against him.

            She flexes her hands, brushing over his stiffened length through his jeans.

            “Yes.”

            “Yes, what?”

            “Yes, sir.”

            She carefully unbuttons and unzips his pants, freeing him.  She leans back into him, using her shoulders to leverage her restricted hands over him, stroking, caressing.  He moves into her rhythm.  His breathing becomes shallow, quicker.  It is warm and heavy on her ear.  She lets go.       Her lips on his skin are light.  They move fast, never lingering long in one place before moving on to savor another.  She slides from ear, neck, chest to the line along his hip, his thigh, before finding him, ready and eager for her mouth. 

            He can feel the desire in her every motion: lips closing tight and then releasing, tongue sliding up and down, teeth barely making momentary contact.  He hears the sigh that makes its way from her.  

            Then he is laying her down on the bed.  He pays careful attention to her, finding places that cause her back to arch and muscles to clench.  His fingers blaze trails that his tongue soon follows.  He attends to her voraciously, in a way that makes her clutch desperately at the sheets, and stifle screams. 

            He moans as he slides into her for the first time.  He can feel her ripple and tighten over him, as her hands rake across his back, pulling him closer in to her. 

            “Oh, god, Dean.  Please don’t stop,” she whispers in his ear, her voice soft but full of need.    

            It seems like forever that they enjoy each other like this.  The pleasure is overwhelming, it consumes everything.  She cannot discern where his body stops and hers begins.  Soon she can taste his sweat with her every breath, hears nothing but his labored breathing, feels nothing but where they touch.  She screams out when he finally finishes, arching her hips up to follow him over the edge. 

Satisfied, she stretches against him and lazily trails her fingernails from the hollow of his back to his shoulders. She can already feel the heat dissipating from the room. She closes her eyes and listens to the sound of his heart, gently slowing its pace. 

            When she opens them, she is lying in her bedroom alone, Reese knocking softly at the door.