Chapter Twelve - Flashbacks

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I apologize for the long hiatus between chapters but the craziness of the last two months of school and a bit of writer's block has kept me from writing for a while. The good news is it's summer and I should have more time to work on the Prisoner. I have also planned out the rest of the story which I hope will make writing it go faster and with fewer writer's blocks. :)

As Grace retired to her room for the rest of the day she was able to calm her nerves that were strained by an anger that bordered on hatred towards her captor by reading. After finishing the first few chapters of her favorite romance novel she found herself to have calmed down considerably and by the time dinner had past and the novel neared its close, Grace was in a different state of mind entirely.

As her novel began moving towards its resolution and each character finally realized their true love, evoking a touching feeling in the reader that only the very best of words carefully wrought can bring to life, her thoughts wandered from the pages of her book to outside her darkened window. The ceaseless multitude of stars illuminating the night sky brought her back to a time when those same stars had once looked so favorably upon two star gazers on the hill behind her house what might have been an eternity ago. She placed her book down as she rested her chin on her hand and fixed her gaze on the heavens in dreamy recollection...

It was just about a month before her seventeenth birthday when Benedict Whitefield showed up at her windowsill unexpectedly in the middle of the night. Since it proved to be an unusually warm night, Grace had left her window wide open, proving to be to the convenience of Benedict who was able to easily enter after climbing up the thick ivy that grew by her window. With a gentle nudge and a finger pressed to his lips to indicate that she ought to quiet the words he knew would surely spring forth from her mouth in surprise, she awoke to see him standing beside her bathed by moonlight.

Walking back towards the window, Benedict motioned for her to follow. Although she opened her mouth a few times to speak before remembering that she ought to keep quiet or else risk waking everyone else up, Grace quickly pulled on her boots and dressing gown. With all the quiet they could manage, the two climbed down the ivy and onto the dew-soaked grass. Once both of them were safely on the ground, Benedict took Grace by the hand whispering "Follow me" through a playful smile as she replied in a slightly louder voice,

"But where?"

"You'll see." Was all he would give, however, as he squeezed her hand and made a break for it, jogging into the night with Grace at his heels. She recalled that as they ran through the grass and trees, trying their best to withhold their laughter, that the moonlight made glistening diamonds of each dewdrop and turned the night into a new, innocent world that was all their own.

After they had climbed breathlessly atop the hill that rose a little ways behind Grace's house, Benedict stopped abruptly, causing Grace to stumble to a halt right beside him.

"Here we are!" Benedict finally spoke up, no longer at a whisper as they had wandered far enough from the house to know that they wouldn't be heard. As he said this, Benedict proceeded to take off the long greatcoat he was wearing and spread it out on the ground.

"What on earth are we doing here, Ben?" Grace had known her friend to drag her along on any variety of escapades before, but nothing quite like this.

"Stargazing." Benedict laid down, resting himself on half of the outspread coat as he placed his arms comfortably behind his head and turned his gaze towards his friend, "Care to join?"

Grace took the spot beside her friend as she too laid down with her gaze towards the sky, illuminated with a billion tiny points of light. The night was so clear and the heavens above her so vast and numberless that very quickly she found herself too immersed to try and once more elicit any sort of explanation as to why he had brought her here. For all she cared the magnificent view above her was all the explanation she needed.

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