Beautiful Souls

Chrystal Winter's life is about to change forever. Fleeing from her dark past and her former self, she finds her self making a small but successful living in sunny LA. Whereupon, she meets the young, wild force of nature that is Ashton Irwin. Immediately drawn to one another but for what reasons? Chrystal's heart isn't the only thing she's desperate to keep secret...

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24. Chapter 23

Chrystal woke abruptly, panting- covered in a thick sheen of sweat. Just a dream. Just a dream... She thought, trying to calm the beating of her erratic heart. In her dream she was standing in and endless field, which offered nothing but darkness that stretched on forever and ever. No matter how far she ran, her surroundings never changed. She was trapped in this endless darkness forever. It was dark outside, she flipped on her bedside lamp, unable to bear the darkness which seemed inescapable. Her clock read 19:07. Horrified, she realised she had slept for over 14 hours. Shakily, she got out of bed and headed straight to the shower. She stood under the hot stream, and let it wash away the horror of her nightmares. Her entire body ached and her head thumped relentlessly. She crouched down, wrapping her arms around her knees, she stayed like this for sometime. Her thoughts were mostly of yesterday and of that odd boy with the blue eyes. She was relieved she never had to see him again. However, she worried about why she felt she knew him somehow. Why she felt compelled to talk to him, share her secrets even. Her insides began to shake at the thought of letting herself get so close to revealing the truth. Revealing the darkness of her haunting past, she could never seem to shake no matter how far she ran. Just like my dream. No matter how hard she tried to run from her past, it always followed her. 

The water finally started run cold and Chrystal sighed, she didn't want to leave her little sanctuary she always found when she was in water. She wrapped a towel around her small body, absent mind idly thinking about taking up swimming. Her phone buzzed loudly from her bedroom, snapping her back to a reality she didn't want to face. She decided to ignore her phone for now and curl up on the couch with her favorite book, wearing nothing but her fathers long plaid shirt. She'd lost him when she was seven, she had no bad memories of her father, he was one part of her past she held dear to her, she missed him very much. She felt a small pang of sadness engulf her, as she tried to inhale the scent of something which had long been gone. Tears formed in her eyes at the thought of her father. His constant warm smile, how they would walk in the woods for hours, collecting leaves. She smiled at the fond memories and pulled his shirt more tightly around her. She banished the tears away with the back of her hands, and opened up her battered old copy of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights." Within minutes she had lost herself in Kathy's haunting moors, completing forgetting herself and all her troubles. 

Many hours passed almost unnoticed, but she couldn't escape the nagging feeling in her tummy which slowly brought her back the real world. Sighing, she closed over her old book and stretched out her stiff limbs. She wished she could remain in Kathy and Heathcliff's tragic love story with them. Unwillingly, she tossed the book on the coffee table next to her and dragged herself to her bedroom. She retrieved her phone and took a deep breath, preparing herself for the tedious job she had to do. Here eyes widened at the amount of notifications and she almost threw her phone away. But she was just being a coward. She scrolled past many, her heart skipping when she seen Ashton's name, but she kept scrolling until she found Kendra's. She clicked it immediately and sent a heartfelt apology, and said she was ill. She replied to the others she had and left Kelly's and Ashton's to last knowing they would require the most attention. Kendra replied within minutes. 

*KENDRA: It's fine honey, was just worried about you running out suddenly. I'm sorry to hear your ill, you can have the week off to get yourself back on your feet. Get well soon, we're all going to miss you! :(* 

*CHRYSTAL: Thank you so much Kendra, I'll be back within the end of the week, you wont have to miss me for too long.*

 

Chrystal felt guilty for lying to her boss who was filled with nothing but genuine concern for her. But she was just feeling too unstable to do much lately. She had to sort herself out, she couldn't keep putting it off any longer. And with that thought, she scrolled to Ashton's message and opened it up. 

 

*ASHTON: I have plans for us tomorrow x 

                  Chrystal?*

 

She sighed sadly, she knew what she had to do, her stomach churned nervously as she quickly typed in her message. Her thumb hovered over the send button, she deliberated deleting it and giving into her feelings, but a moment later she determinedly hit that button. 

 

*CHRYSTAL: I can't see you anymore Ashton, I am sorry. Please don't think it's you, because it isn't- you're wonderful. I just can't do this, I'm not ready. Please don't ask any questions and please don't try to call or text me. I know it seems harsh and sudden but trust me it's for the best. I hope you respect this request as it will just make this so much harder for me than it already is. I am truly sorry, but thank you for everything, and I wont forget you.*

She locked her phone immediately and lay back on her bed. She stared blankly at the ceiling, chewing at her bottom lip. What did I just do? Tears began to form in her eyes. She knew she had to end it at some point. She knew she couldn't be close to anyone that way without lying, and she couldn't lie to Ashton. Her chest tightened as his perfect face flashed in her mind. She shut her eyes and concentrated hard, trying to savor the image. His tanned skin, scarred in places- imperfect, yet beautiful all the same- stretched over his high, sculpted cheekbones. His strong, chiseled jaw with a light bronze stubble. Her fingers almost twitched at the memory of how it felt beneath her hands. His wide mouth set in his small amusing smile; the bottom lip slightly thicker than the top. Her cheeks heated at the thought of that mouth on hers. His soft dark blond curls, falling wildly into his eyes. His eyes- she saved for last. No matter how hard she concentrated she couldn't quite imagine them right. Right now, she seen them as the colour of melting honey; soft, warm and irresistible. "I wish you were here," She half mumbled to the man she pictured in her mind. And then she began to cry. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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