One of my eyes half opened, ready to see who it was that was stealing my warmth. But before I could the stranger stepped out of the way of the sun, and I was instantly blinded. Squinting, I put my hand over my eyes to block out the burning white golden light.
“Do you like it?” The deep voice said eagerly. My eyes sprung fully open at the sound of this, revealing the enchanting view before my eyes.
It wasn’t just the scenery that was enchanting.
The most overwhelmingly handsome face I had ever seen was right before my very eyes. He was the exact person from my drawings, and now it seemed that he had jumped straight out of my sketchbook, and was making a visit in my dreams. Whether I liked it or not he had appeared in every dream I had had for the past three months. In most of the dreams I just got a few glimpses of his face, or the feeling of a warm, radiant sun. However, the last few dreams had started to become more vivid, more real and overpowering. In the last dream he had been at an old masked ball and we were dancing, and before that he was walking through the sun of a golden city I had never seen before. He was both frightening and scarily gorgeous. He was like some sort of dark prince that had come to steal his princess away. I blinked hard and shook my head ever so slightly, telling myself that I was stupid and it was just a dream I was experiencing, and that it wasn’t real. He was just a drawing -he couldn’t possibly be real. He was too beautiful to be real. No-one could be as perfect as the person in front of me.
I let my gaze wander over his tall, lean perfectly muscled body, memorizing every inch of him. He was wearing what looked to be some sort of strange black cloak with three swirling golden clasps and a hood. What a strange choice of clothes for my dream to choose.
He unbuttoned the gold clasps on his cloak, and spread it out under the base of the tree. He gestured for me to sit. Shakily, I stood and walked the few steps toward the shade of the tree where the sun was not so blinding. He sat beside me, and my heart sped up as he did so. I glanced beside me. His cloak had been concealing a formal black long sleeved shirt. He had the sleeves rolled up and the top button undone, revealing the jutting edges of his collar bones. He had long, thin fingers and strong hands. Pale scars slashed at his wrists, like angry veins that had been drawn on with a knife, but they had a pattern to them. With a short gasp I looked back up towards his face. I studied his perfect features so fiercely that I knew I would never be able to forget how beautiful he was. He had hair so dark that it seemed to shine like the colours in a raven’s feathers, or an oil slick on a sunny day.
His hair was messy and unkempt; it covered his ears and fell over his eyes like a dark curtain, partially concealing his deep blue eyes. I blinked again, tracing the perfect line of his lips with my admiring gaze. My eyes travelled along his face, noting his strong, square jaw and the perfect symmetry of his features. His skin had a slight tan from the golden rays that the sun gave out. I made direct eye contact with him. There was something in them that chilled me to my core, but warmed my heart. Was it possible to feel hot and cold?
With a start, I realized that he had been studying me -as I had been him- and blushed a scarlet red. As I hesitantly looked into his eyes again- they were dark and brooding, yet they still managed to seem loving and sincere- I realised he looked every bit like a dark prince.
I couldn’t look away from him, and there was no way I would have kept my eyes closed if I’d known that he stood before me. Questions flew through my mind. Who was he? Who was he to me? Why did he look at me the way he did –with something almost like reverence? I swallowed convulsively as he placed his hand over mine, intertwining his fingers with mine. With a confidence like no other he met my gaze. A slight smile lingered on his lips as he sat beside me.”Do you like it?” He asked again in an intimate voice, his face close to mine. I didn’t know whether he meant him or the place around us, because I hadn’t looked at anything but him since I opened my eyes. I continued to stare at him a few more seconds before I was even able to think about taking my eyes off him. What if he disappeared, as he always did in other dreams? With much effort I wrenched my gaze from his face and glanced around me. I gasped, and for the first time I noticed my surroundings.
“You mean this place?” I whispered back in awe, my gaze still lingering on the scenery. He didn’t answer, but I knew that what I saw now was what he meant.
Everything was golden. The sky, the trees, the grass, even the water where the ships were harboured all had a golden tint. It didn’t seem at all strange either; quite the opposite actually. It was almost as enchanting as the person that sat beside me, who I was aware of like my own heartbeat. The grass we sat on swayed gracefully in the light breeze, making the sloping hill we were sitting on look like a golden cloud floating above an ageless city. I did a double take when I noticed the scale of it all – it was so big! There was no way I could have guessed at what secrets it may hold. It was the most ageless and ancient city I had ever seen, like something from a fairytale much, much before my time.
An imposing castle, both intricate and simple that seemed so old it should be worn away stood strong and regal by the sparkling harbour. The castle was made of different shaped blocks of stone. Numerous towers intertwined with the main part of the castle; they seemed to reach so high into the sky that they were trying to reach to heaven.
As I studied the city further, I realised it was in fact a citadel. There were cobblestone roads and alleyways that snaked through it, leading to old, grand houses and many buildings crammed in on top of each other.
In the centre of everything was the largest, most stunning market I had ever seen. The cobblestoned theme was still there, but it was forming a vivid picture of an eight pointed navigation star ringed by a circle of matching golden stones.
I knew that just by looking at what was before me that I couldn’t begin to guess what this city might hold –or the size of it for that matter. There was no way I could have guessed at how old it all was. It was eternity, it was forever.
Shaking the thought of forever and eternity from my mind I looked towards the harbour. Hundreds of old sailing ships bobbed calmly in the golden-green sparkling water that swelled against the cliffs by the captivating castle. There were people everywhere. The market was a mixture so many colours that it was almost hurting my eyes. People were walking through the streets, entering houses, buying things at the central market and entering shops. There was an insistent flow of people to and from the castle. They were walking hurriedly through the cobbled streets.
I turned back to the handsome stranger, questions forming in my mind about where I was, who he was and who all the people were. But instead of asking the questions I wanted and getting the answers I wanted all I heard was a voice float through the air with the wind.
“Ella...” The wind whispered.
He was gone. He had vanished like a cold breath of air into a night of emptiness. He had left me here by myself, in a world I knew nothing of. A feeling of unease washed over me, causing me to look over my shoulder protectively. What was I protecting? A warm sensation spread through my hand. I was holding something, clenching it so tight it looked as if my knuckles might break through my skin. Slowly, I pried my fingers open, one by one. A golden key twinkled up at me. It was intricately embellished, and fit neatly into my hand. A red velvet ribbon was laced through a loop in the key. It looked as if it could hang around my neck nicely. Shakily, I lifted the key above my head and tied it around my neck. I glanced down longingly at the citadel one last time, trying to give myself a memory of the dream that I knew I would not be able to remember.

The End

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