"I want to dream I'm with you on the beach where Harry and Roxanna met. I want to be there at sunset, however. Tell me it's too much déjà vu or something. Be creative with your description of yourself - I want to feel breath-taken."
How about ‘my hair glints, illuminated by both the warm summer sun and the fantastic flow around me which seems to dance'?
I drew in a sharp breath. "That's perfect!"
Are you ready then?
I nodded, smiling.
He smiled back.
He leant forwards slightly to stare intently at me. He stared much deeper than usual, with a blazing intensity about his eyes. My mind instantly went blank. I fell exhilaratingly quickly through the blue depths. The blackness rushed up to meet me quickly too. The world dissolved into this black depth.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. My thoughts were all fogged up. Where was I? Who was I?
A voice came through the fog, a male voice as enchanting as the tinkling of small bells.
Your name is Terri. My name's Christopher.
The voice was extremely pleasant.
I'm your boyfriend and I have a tendency to call you ‘my dove' and Terri, you're just holding onto the fog now, aren't you?
It was true. The fog had started to clear but I'd had the feeling the voice might stop if I let the fog go away. Consequently, I'd concentrated on it. Also, only having the voice in my thoughts was a wonderful sensation. Reluctantly, I let go and allowed myself to remember I was sitting on the couch in the study of Christopher Parker's house.
"I think you overdid the trance induction a bit," I murmured sleepily, vaguely recalling a similar situation from the summer.
Christopher smiled. ‘I meant to, my dove. That's how you influence dreams.'
"Your voice is so captivating," I murmured.
‘I think you're tired, my dove.' His voice turned relaxing and soothing - it was very enchanting. ‘Just gently drift to sleep, my dove.'
Oh, I adore his voice, I thought as sleep slowly overwhelmed my senses. The last thing I heard was a soft chuckle.
I was on a beach. It was very familiar though I could swear I'd never been there before. The sand beneath my bare feet was warm and golden-coloured. Before me, the sea stretched out to the horizon: gentle, blue waves which lapped softly and rhythmically against the shore. The effect was slightly hypnotic.
The sky was a beautiful array of colours - orange, magenta, even streaks of blue that reminded me of Christopher's eyes. It was sunset, and everything around me was bathed in a warm golden glow that also reminded me of my lover.
Ah. Christopher... He was walking up to me now, even though it was still daytime. His hair glinted, illuminated both by the warm, summer sun and the fantastic glow around him which seemed to dance.
His skin was slightly tanned, but the glow made him look like some kind of deity. There were emerald sparks in the glow too.
As he approached, though, all of this became insignificant. I focused on his eyes, for they were their usual captivating blue.
"Hi," I said breathlessly. "Why are you Christopher?"
He answered aloud in his gorgeous voice. "I spent so much time here when I was younger. I used to imagine my parents meeting each other. I used to stroll along, wondering if I'd ever find a girl who would arouse the same feelings of my tenderness my dad has for my mum."
"Did you find her?"
"Not here. I found her in a village called Rowanbrook."
"That's where I live."
"Terri, you are that girl, silly."
Christopher was standing right in front of me now. He leant forward and I closed my eyes as our lips brushed. He held my hands down at our waist. I felt waves of love through me. I was oh so content.
The scene changed. Christopher and I were walking along the shore hand in hand.
"When's your birthday?" he asked me. I didn't care that the question was random; I could listen to that voice all day.
"17th May," I replied. "Yours?"
"Wow, so soon after Valentine's Day!"
"I know." He smiled. "What d'you want for Christmas?"
"I don't know. Perhaps a book though I've no idea what's meant to be a good read. What were you planning on getting me?"
"A new diary, as you know. And also, maybe a CD of recordings of me suggesting romantic dreams. I could even put some lullabies on there."
"Wow." My heart did somersaults. "Won't you always have to put me in a trance first, though?" I wondered.
"No." He smiled. "I can send you into a trance with just my voice and some well-chosen words." He grinned cheekily. "I won't have to make them suggestions, will I?"
"You may do," I replied playfully.
The scene changed for a final time. It was a simple scene. Christopher and I were sitting on the sand in moonlight. The sand was a beautiful silver colour and it glistened and sparkled mesmerizingly.
The last thing I heard in this wonderful dream was the words ‘I love you, my dove.'
I opened my eyes. Where was I? Charlie's bedroom? How did I get there? And then I remembered last night. I smiled at the success of Christopher's influence over my dreams.
Suddenly, I heard slow footsteps approach. Charlie appeared, yawning. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me. He stared.
"Terri?! What on earth are you doing here? And why are you tied to my bed?"
"Morning, Charlie. What am I doing here? Why am I tied to your bed?"
"I don't know."
I pretended to look pensive for a moment. "Maybe I was magically transported here?"
"On a flying unicorn?" Charlie raised his eyebrows to convey his scepticism.
"Maybe it was because I wanted to see you again."
Charlie's face softened. "That's very romantic, Terri. However you got here, we might as well untie. I'll take you down to breakfast. My parents will be very surprised."
I doubt Harry will, I thought to myself.
"I met Sandy," I said randomly, as I followed Charlie to the kitchen.
He stopped. "Sandy? As in my ex, Sandy?"
"The Black Dove last night," I replied truthfully before making up a tiny lie. "She was a waitress and she recognised me from the descriptions someone had given her of your girlfriend."
"What did you talk about?"
"Oh, nothing really. She just recognised me, said hi and introduced herself."
We started walking again. I thought I detected a hint of sadness in Charlie's tone.
Charlie's parents were sitting at the table when we arrived in the kitchen. They both looked alarmed as I walked in.
"Hey, Mum, Dad," Charlie said. He frowned before saying. "I found Terri in my room this morning. Neither of us knows how she got there and she was tied to my bed with this. He held up my belt.
Harry raised an eyebrow at me before saying, "That's very strange, Charlie."
Rosie nodded in agreement. "I can't see how she could've got there."
"I guess we won't ever know, though," sighed Harry.
Rosie nodded again. "Does Terri want breakfast?" she asked Charlie.
Charlie turned to me. I nodded.
Luckily, there were some clothes in the guest bedroom that I'd left there the last time I'd stayed here so I could wash and get dressed.
I then went home with Charlie who was bewildered by my parents' nonchalance. I hurried into my bedroom and burst into laughter. Oh wait, the curtains were open. Oops. I shut them, counted to five and turned around.