20 20 | Dancing In The Dark

____ 𝐀𝐃𝐑𝐈𝐀𝐍𝐍𝐄

I took several deep breaths as I held Sebastian for dear life. "P-Please don't leave...please...I'm scared," I quietly pleaded. My grip on him tightened as I soaked his shirt with my tears. He placed his hands on my back and rubbed circles on it. And raked a hand through my hair. I don't know how long the lights have been out but it felt like forever. Is this going to last forever? 

"Shh....I'm here, don't be scared." He helped me sit up properly as I had collapsed on the floor earlier.

I felt my heartbeat...every single pound in my chest. It felt like a drum. I didn't hear it through my ears that was drowned with the noises of the creatures that lurk in the dark. This great pounding. This immense pressure; I could feel it all. Sometimes, my heart beats shallow. Sometimes it beats so fast I would think that it would jump out of my chest.

"Adrianne, are you okay? What's happening?" He asked me, raking a hand through my hair. 

"I-I'm scared o-of the dark…" I said in between breaths. 

He cupped my cheek. "You're going to be okay," he told me.

"Please don't let them take me," I pleaded like a child. "I'm afraid that someone might take me again," I said, voice trembling. 

"Adrianne, let's stand up." He clutched my hands and hoisted me up.

I trembled in his arms, afraid that at any moment something might grab me and put me into a dark room. Suddenly, a wave of tears came rushing out like water flowing out of a dam. Tears streaming down my cheeks. I feel like a terrified child calling out for her parents yet no one comes for me. Except him. He soothed me as he enveloped me in his warmth.

"What's with the power?" He suddenly spoke.

"Power outage, sir," a voice from somewhere replied. 

He hand slid down to my waist and pulled me closer to him lest I panic again. "Find a way to fix this."

A perceptible thud echoed through the halls outside the ballroom. A scream escaped my mouth as I buried my face in his chest. Tears spilt from my eyes as small hiccups broke free from my throat. "Sebastian!" I buried my face in his arm. "I'm scared..."

"Hey, Adrianne." He stroked my back, "Breathe, can you do that for me?" 

I cleared my throat and took deep breaths. "Yeah, yeah I can." 

"Here, inhale." He made a sound like he was sucking air through his mouth, "And exhale." He let out a sharp breath that slapped me in the face. 

"I– I know how to breathe," I retorted. I would laugh or scoff but my mind is too preoccupied in trying not to shut down. 

He chuckled. "Then breathe, for me." I nodded my head as I made an attempt to stabilise my breathing. Inhaling and exhaling, his hands remained on mine. "There we go." He rested his chin on the crown of my head. "You're safe here, I'll protect you. You're not alone in this." My muscles relaxed as the words slid off his tongue. "I'm staying here. Hear my heartbeat? Just focus on that," he said quietly.

I nodded my head and did as he told me. I focused on his heartbeat. His heartbeat that fluttered like a bird. A little bird who just learned to spread their wings and flap it as it flies off into the distance.

"You're going to be fine, I promise." He placed a hand on my head and stroked my hair. "They won't find you here, nobody will."

"W-What if they do?" I asked nervously.

"Well if they do, you'll kick this thing in the ass. You're tough, I should know because I've lived with you for a while." He chuckled.

I let out a small giggle, "Thanks." I sighed.

"Hey, can I ask you something?"

"W-What?" 

"Remember the night we got married?" he asked, all of a sudden. 

"Yeah, why?" 

"I made a couple mistakes in the first dance, I didn't know why you didn't notice it but I did. I stepped on your foot and sometimes stumbled around. Maybe you were preoccupied with glaring at me or maybe a little tipsy." His hand slid down to my waist and raised my other hand in the air. "May I have the honour of dancing with you again?" 

I chuckled. "Are you serious?" 

"Dead serious." 

I gulped. "Why are we even dancing?" My hands started trembling again as I closed my eyes tightly. 

"Just...dance with me." 

And slowly, we both swayed to the quietness. Although we had no music, it was like there was. Like there was soft music that twirled like ribbons around us. I rested my head on his chest and let him sway our bodies. The imaginary music swirled around us like gravity. He twirled me around and in a moment, I felt safe. And content with what was currently happening. I couldn't count how many times I accidentally stepped on his foot due to the lack of light but we kept going. And even if there was no light, I could almost see the outline of his silhouette. His silhouette that gently held me. That wrapped me in his arms when I felt defeated. 

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So we continued dancing. With every step, it seemed like lights were sparkling as I spun around in delicate circles. His hand on my lower back and hand made me feel reassured. Assured that he wasn't going anywhere, that he was staying with me through this. He lifted me up in the air and I felt like Sebastian's heartbeat; I felt like a small bird, learning how to spread her wings, flailing around until I finally flew. He gently placed me down as we continued swaying to nothing. If we weren't under these circumstances, I could call this moment…'perfectʼ with the moonlight shining behind us. It was almost cinematic. 

We stayed still for a moment, feeling each other's warm smoky breaths hit our faces. Momentarily, I didn't want this to end. I didn't know what this desire was but I was certain that I wanted to remain in his arms...at least for a bit longer than what was given to us. 

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