"I love you," a honey coated voice purred, bright hazel eyes staring into Anne's own soft blue orbs. She felt her heart soar, tears of unadulterated happiness streaming down her pale cheeks as she comprehended the meaning of his words. Finally...

"I love you too..." she could feel her heart slamming in her chest, pounding away as if it were some sort of jackhammer on concrete.

"Please...stay with me, forever..."

"I will." All at once, the distance between their two faces closed and Ross's lips touched hers, a soft and silky sort of sensation that made her entire being cry out with want. She wanted this feeling to last forever, wanted to have his embrace envelop her for the rest of eternity.

"Anne..." The sound of her name rolled off his tongue so smoothly, it made her shiver with want.

"Anne..." The voice sounded a little different this time, but she did not put much thought into it. She finally had what she wanted, she finally was going to be happy.

"Anne. Wake up." Suddenly the entire scene melted away, and she felt herself being warped through what felt like it could have been the space time continuum. Everything went black for a few moments, until she opened her eyes. She blinked slowly, her eyes adjusting to the almost intrusive sunlight that threatened to blind her. Where was she?

"Are you awake?" A soft voice drew her out of her thoughts, and she tilted her head to see her mother standing over her, a look of both concern and amusement in her dark eyes. Realization shot through her, and her heart sunk into a deep pit.

It was only a dream... She looked at her mother with a lost expression, trying to think of something to say without directly giving away the pain that had started to flare up in her chest at the thought that none of her heaven had been real.

"Yeah," Anne answered, slowly sitting up and stretching her muscles as a way of trying to convey that she was okay.

Her mother grinned.

"Good," she said. "Breakfast is ready. We have bacon and chocolate chip pancakes; your favorite." Anne forced a smile, trying her best not to let tears well up in her eyes.

"Okay...I'll be downstairs in a minute, alright?" At least the food was something to be grateful for. Like her mother had said, bacon and pancakes was her favorite, so she should have been at least a little relieved, perhaps a little distracted from the thoughts that were raging around in her head like a storm. But she wasn't. She was too far absorbed in the disappointment; too far lost in the idea that for just one tiny second...she had been happy. And now that moment was gone. But she wasn't going to let anyone see.

Her mother turned, heading out into the hallway and shutting the door behind her, leaving Anne alone with her thoughts. For a moment, she slumped back down onto her bed, cherishing the warm and soft haven that made her eyelids droop and her thoughts cloud. But then she straightened up again, swinging her legs over the edge in order to get oriented with the ground, letting the blood return to her feet so she didn't get dizzy when she got up.

"This fucking sucks." She let out a brief sigh, stretching her arms and legs once more before sliding off of the bed letting the soles of her feet touch the cool hardwood floor. She moved slowly; taking off the shirt of her pajamas and then slipping a new one on, changing her underclothes and pants, then putting on some socks. Shoes were downstairs, and she wasn't planning to put them on anyway unless she went outside to walk Kaden, the family dog.

After brushing the sleepers out of her eyes, Anne turned to look at her reflection in the dresser mirror, studying herself carefully. In all honesty, she was barely more than the average teenage girl, save for her recently dyed blue hair. She was short, with pale skin, blue eyes, and a curved but overweight frame. She frowned.

I still need to lose some weight...

The sound of a dog's bark reminded her that she needed to go downstairs and eat, though, by this point, she wasn't sure if it was the best idea. If she started crying at the kitchen table, her mother would know she had been thinking about Ross again. She already suspected it; already knew that it was killing her inside, considering the events of the previous night. Tears would make things worse. But she needed to eat.

Crossing her fingers that she wouldn't break down while munching on bacon, she headed out of her room and down the stairs, being careful not to trip and fall down. Breaking a bone wasn't very high on Anne's bucket list. By the time she reached the last step, the smell of bacon and other breakfast foods was hitting her nose.

For the smallest second, a genuine smile lit up on her face. Maybe the day wasn't going to be so bad after all.