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Chapter 25: Shane's Dream

Shane was in the living room, the heart of the Salem mansion.  He finished adjusting his cuff links and crossed the room to where the love of his life was standing.  The firelight made Kim glow, the flames accenting the gold dress.  He loved the way it hugged the curves of her body, and the off-the-shoulder cut left her shoulders exposed, enticing him forward.

"You look wonderful," he said.

Kim turned, and he again found himself amazed by the brilliance of her eyes and her soft, sweet smile.  She stepped forward.  "You're not looking too bad yourself, Captain D." 

He put his hands on her shoulders, and stared into her eyes.  There was so much love in them, he thought, as he leaned down and whispered, "What if I told you you were alluring?"  He kissed her right shoulder, just at the nape of the neck.  Her head turned to the side to give him more access.  "And ravishing," he said, as he kissed the spot once more, eliciting a small moan.

She gave as good as she got, turning into him, kissing his neck, and nibbling the spot that always sent a jolt of electricity down his spine.  At his gasp, she said, "I'd say we have a party to get to."  Yet she made no attempt to pull away.

"What party?" Shane said.  This time, their lips met in a long, hungry kiss.  Kim's arms wrapped around his neck and her fingers ran through his hair.  He pulled away, breathing hard.  He looked into her eyes, still amazed at the passion in them, and knowing that the same desire was clear in his own.  "Kimberly Donovan," he breathed. "If I don't have you out of that dress and in my bed in the next ten seconds, I'm going to go insane."

"Ten seconds?" she asked, her voice rightly amused even as she seemed to be struggling with her own breath.  "You'd better work fast."  She had let go of his hair and was doing her part.  He heard the sound of his tuxedo studs, one by one hitting the wood floor.  She had the shirt open now and her hands began to roam his chest as Shane began sliding the zipper of her dress down.

They were never going to reach the bedroom.

"Kimberly," he breathed again, as he lifted her into his arms.  He carried her to the couch and lowered her onto the soft leather.  Their eyes met again, hers still showing a touch of amusement, which quickly gave way to that deep desire.

"Make love to me, Shane," she begged.

The request was entirely unnecessary.  He didn't need further invitation.  He leaned over her, kissing, exploring every inch of her exposed skin, even as he began sliding the dress away.  "Oh, Kimberly," he said, between kisses, enjoying the sounds of her responsive moans and the feel of her hands as they slid his shirt from his shoulders.

Then there was silence. 

He was standing, back in front of the fire, but it was nothing but ash.  Half-dressed, shaking, aching for her.

"Kimberly?"  He looked around, but the living room was empty.  Dark.

"Kimberly!"  Shane jerked awake, disoriented and confused.  He was breathing hard and covered in sweat.  Where was Kim?  And then he began to reorient himself, as his eyes adjusted to the dark and he saw the sliver of light snaking under the door.  The dank cell.  The thin, moldy mattress.

He tried to sit up and catch his breath.  His body fought him, his ribs and back still in agony from the beating by the guards a few days earlier.  He had barely moved since being dumped into the cell, but he forced himself to move  now, physical pain being the least of his worries.  The dream had been so strong, so realistic, stronger than his previous dreams about her.  He had tried so hard to avoid consciously thinking of Kim, trying instead to focus on regaining his strength and planning an escape. 

His subconscious was another matter.  A man could not control his dreams, and if they grew stronger, they would threaten his sanity.  No man could survive the constant reminders of what he had lost, what he still wanted more than anything.  And those reminders were now coming more and more frequently in his dreams. 

Shane lowered his head to his hands.  For the first time, he was terrified that he was losing the battle with this place, with being alone, so alone.

He had no idea how long he had sat there.  Probably a few hours.  Time was mostly meaningless in the dark cell, though he now had a way of marking days.  As if on cue, he heard a noise at the door.  Shane blinked as the window panel in the door slid open and light streamed into the cell.  A moment later, a packet was tossed through the opening.  It landed on the floor with a thud, the sound quickly followed by the door opening slamming shut.  This was the third time since the beating they had dumped a packet through the door.  The two others sat where they had landed, as Shane had been unable to move from the mattress.  Three openings, three packets, three days.  It must be three days now.  Three days since the guards had attacked him.  Three days since he had curled up on the mattress and his dreams had began to overwhelm him. 

His body protested again as he pulled himself from the mattress and crawled over to the packet.  He fumbled with the wrapping, finally pulling it open so that the foil-wrapped contents spilled out.  In the dim light, he could see what it was and he laughed.  American-made, humanitarian field rations, probably left over from some Red Cross emergency supply that Vasquez had intercepted.  A man like Shane had to appreciate the irony.

But Shane appreciated something else even more.  It had been a long time since Shane had subsisted on field rations, but they provided far more kilocals than the rice and gruel that Shane had subsisted on for the previous year.  And that was the key.  More calories meant more energy.  More energy meant the possibility of recovering his strength.  The possibility of escape.

Maybe he still had some reason to hope.

He opened the first foil package.  Crackers of some sort.  One of the two larger foil containers would hold a stew or beans or some unidentifiable protein and rice.  He pealed it open and tasted the contents.  A stew or beans; he couldn't really tell.  US field rations were officially called "Meals Ready to Eat," but the nickname "Meals Rarely Edible" was far more fitting. Still, it was food, and food was energy.  He just had to remind himself of that.  Shane ate slowly, avoiding the temptation to devour the entire packet, knowing the sudden change of diet could wreak havoc on his system and leave him in worse condition than he already was.  After a half-dozen bites and a couple of crackers, he set the food aside.  He would rest now, wait for an hour, and then eat a little more.

He would be methodical, build his strength, and plan carefully.  He would do what he could to avoid antagonizing the guards and further beatings.  He just had to survive long enough.  Victor had opened the door by ordering the guards to feed him.  Now Shane to take advantage of the opening and make his escape.  Frankly, even if he died in the attempt, it had to be better than the alternative, letting his dreams drive him mad.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
This is good. I decided to jump in at the latest post just to get a feel for the fic. I was totally floored when you made the jump from the romantic scene to the nightmare. I was totally not expecting it.
I'll post more when I've had time to think over it.
Oct. 5th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the response. I was wondering how people would react to the dream/nightmare. I hope in context, with Shane having spent a year in solitary confinement and having been beaten, it would be understandable that the lines between dreams and nightmares might be blurred.
Oct. 10th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
I loved this scene! I was so wrapped up in the romantic scene that I was probably as shocked as Shane was when it turned into a nightmare.

The writing of the the dream stayed true to the very nature of why I think people fell in love with Kim & Shane as a couple (at least why I did, anyway)... I loved their passion for one another!
Oct. 10th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I know the transition from romance to nightmare was abrupt, but I'm trying to get across that dreams and nightmares are equally dangerous to Shane, given his isolation. I hope that came across.

As for the dream part, I'm really glad the passion came through. One thing I love about the couple is the wittiness of their romantic dialogue and how they could go from passion to humor and back so quickly. I really tried to come up with dialogue that was true to that history.

Thanks again for reading. I'm always thrilled to hear from readers.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )