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18+ Language Mature Content

Reflecting Hearts - Ch. 7 - Unwanted Encounters

by ariah347


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.

Back in my dingy room, I couldn't rid my mind of Abigail's image. What the hell was it about her that had me in such a damn tizzy? I mean, sure, she was a total princess with a silver spoon shoved so far down her throat that she probably tasted stainless steel. And yeah, she clearly had some weird hang-ups about being partnered with me in our art class. However, there was an elusive quality beneath her polished exterior that perplexed me.

Insomnia crept in again as I tossed and turned in my uncomfortable bed. It wasn't so much the tossing and turning that bothered me; it was the thoughts, the twisted musings that pirouetted through my mind like demented ballerinas.

I thought about Paw Benji, how his back was bent and worn down as he walked, how he needed a cane to move around anymore, and how, despite being past retirement age, he couldn't afford to retire. I worked tirelessly through school to earn my scholarship, even taking a part-time job while being a full-time student, just to scrape by.

Abigail came into my thoughts, too. Her life was like a goddamn fairy tale. It wouldn't surprise me if she lived in a mansion, had servants at her beck and call, and bathed in champagne. Meanwhile, my house had more roaches than food in the fridge some days, and the electric bill was overdue again.

I hated her; that much was clear. Or, well, I hated people like her. They lived lavish lives they didn't always deserve. I had to admit that I was envious of their lifestyles. The ease with which Abigail carried herself, the confidence that came from knowing you never had to worry about money or where your next meal was coming from, infuriated me. The only thing that seemed to knock her off her high horse was me. I didn't even have to utter a single word, and she was flustered. Laughing to myself, I imagined her cheeks turning red and rolled over once more.

And then there was her old man, the big shot of his soulless corporation. Through smart investments, they established their name and expanded over generations. The campus adored their contributions, which to the public were stoic and generous pursuits to improve the academic atmosphere, but I saw through it. It was to save face as the press raved over them and their educational endeavors. With his influence and wealth, the man could buy a fucking country if he wished. Despite this, he gravitated towards actions that seemed altruistic but harbored hidden agendas. I wondered how I could use my effect on Abigail to my advantage. Perhaps I could charm her father by pretending to be a photographer interested in business and in need of a mentor. He'd probably toss me a few crumbs just to get me out of his daughter's hair.

But that was a plan for another day. Tonight, my twisted mind had other plans. It forced me out of the house and onto the empty streets, heading towards the only suitable place for these nights.

As I approached the conservatory, I heard the faint strains of music drifting through the night air. The captivating music was both beautiful and offered a temporary escape as I listened.

I parked my bike and dashed up the stairs, slipping inside and sticking to the shadows. And then, like a twist of fate–or maybe just my luck–I spotted her: Abigail. She was alone, sitting at the grand piano affixed between two massive telescopes. How did I miss that before?

The moonlight bathed down on her as her fingers danced across the keys, creating a melody that was as enchanting as it was unexpected.

I should have vanished into the night instead of staying. But something held me there, rooted to the spot. I watched her, not disdainfully, but with a strange admiration blended into frustration.

When she finally finished playing, she sighed as if the weight of the world rested on her shoulders. It was such a real, human sound it shattered my perception of her as the pampered princess.

I couldn't stop myself. I stepped out of the shadows, revealing my presence. "Couldn't sleep either, huh?"

She jumped, her eyes wide with surprise, then narrowed in annoyance. "What are you doing here, Zeke?"

I shrugged, leaning against a nearby pillar. "Same as you, I suppose. Seeking solace from the demons that haunt the night."

She huffed, clearly not amused by my theatrics. "You're not the only one with demons, you know."

I chuckled, the sound harsh. "Oh, I never claimed to be special. Just misunderstood."

She rolled her eyes, a familiar gesture that was growing on me. "Why are you always so damn sarcastic?"

I ignored her question, my eyes locked on her. "So, did you drop art to appease old man Winslow? Or did your partner scare you off?"

Her gaze faltered momentarily, and I saw a hint of guilt in her eyes. "No, I didn't. I thought about it, but I didn't."

A slight smirk of satisfaction formed on my lips. Though she hadn't evaded me, it was clear she had a desire to do so. "Good. Because I was just enjoying our little game, princess, or should I call you Abbie?"

She clenched her jaw, clearly irritated by my nicknames. "Game? This is no game."

I pushed off the pillar, closing the distance between us until we were almost toe to toe. "Life is a game; some of us play it better than others."

She stared at me, the green in her eyes burning with a fire I hadn't expected. As quickly as I saw it, it vanished. She turned away, determined to create as much distance as possible.

Interacting with her this way made me feel more alive than ever. It was both exhilarating and perplexing. What the fuck was happening to me? I wondered silently, trying to make sense of it.

Her eyes met mine, and I realized how breathtaking she was. She settled gracefully onto a bench. Her auburn hair, previously restrained in that tight bun, now cascaded down her back in loose waves, shimmering like a fiery halo under the moonlight. At that moment, a part of me desired more than just friendship with her. It desired every piece of her in a way that defied logic and explanation. What would it be like to ignite her passion like a struck match? I reveled in the potential unfurling wildfire.

Snapping out of it, I berated myself for wanting more than a brief encounter with a girl of her status. Sure, that stupid part of me wanted her as mine, from her delicate features to the depths of her soul. The other girls in the Shore were nothing like her. I was like a moth drawn to the flame, knowing it could burn me but unable to resist.

However, the other side of me that viewed her as a mere pawn in life's grand chessboard had to win. There was an opportunity to exploit her family's power and wealth for my gain. It would secure my future and allow Benji to retire from work indefinitely. It may have been wrong, but even the most reasonable person acts unreasonably sometimes. I was driven by my calculating instincts to achieve my desires, particularly when it benefited the man who raised me.


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Thu Jun 13, 2024 7:27 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Oooo, a chapter to give us even more insight from Zeke, on his state of living and grievances with the Winslows, school, and Abigail. Yet amid this ranting, it seems like Abigail is causing him even more inner trouble, scattering his thoughts in so many ways. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

I didn't have any recommendations to make this time!

Why The Grin Widened...

Right off the bat...

However, there was an elusive quality beneath her polished exterior that perplexed me.


Oooo, even in your personal time, you can't escape Abigail. No use in resisting for long, Zeke ~ (00 )

I also like how he immediately backtracked after claiming to hate Abigail, changing it to people like her and expressing his frustrations with the world and the differences between their lives. Speaking of which, I loved reading his perspective, as complex as it made me.

I could easily be off and would love to read more that would elaborate, but right now, it only sounds like Zeke is envious of the upper-class, and it's evolved into him being mad at everything with a semblance of that lifestyle. Including Abigail, even though she directly suffers from one member's oppressive agenda. Abigail seems balanced in the sense that she appreciates the privileges afforded to her without abusing or boasting about them like her father would, whereas Zeke is purely driven by envy -unless the Winslows, or perhaps the university itself, have done something that directly impacted the opportunities of his town. Ooo, I would love to hear more about that if so...It makes me really hope that Zeke will come to see reason; that as sad as his own current style of living is, lashing out and holding a grudge against everyone -especially Abigail- will do nothing to help. Likewise, maybe Abigail will be able to use some of her business smarts and family ties for good, to help the town! Ooo, so many thoughts ~

The moonlight bathed down on her as her fingers danced across the keys, creating a melody that was as enchanting as it was unexpected.


Oh, an unexpected appearance from Abigail! And this girl can play piano too? Dang, she's so talented and cool!!

However, the other side of me that viewed her as a mere pawn in life's grand chessboard had to win. There was an opportunity to exploit her family's power and wealth for my gain. It would secure my future and allow Benji to retire from work indefinitely. It may have been wrong, but even the most reasonable person acts unreasonably sometimes. I was driven by my calculating instincts to achieve my desires, particularly when it benefited the man who raised me.


Ah, this is so sad, frustrating, and so many other things -the idea of Zeke exploiting Abigail for gain is awful, but there isn't just malice behind it, especially with this self-conflict over the slow process of falling in love with her, and admitting that he wanted her. He just wants to help Benji, who really is struggling right now ToT

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, another awesome chapter, nicely done! :D

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Wed May 15, 2024 6:44 am
22Midnight wrote a review...



Hi it's 22Midnight again
hope your doing well, let's get into it!

Side Note again sorry this took so long I haven't been up to reviewing lately so I left it till now since i'm feeling better and more up to the task.

First Impression: Can't wait to see what this chapter holds mirrors still broken so must be in Zeke's point of view still :) i wonder if Zeke's going to finally see that Abigail isn't like her family and that she's actually a really nice person.

Back in my dingy room, I couldn't rid my mind of Abigail's image. What the hell was it about her that had me in such a damn tizzy? I mean, sure, she was a total princess with a silver spoon shoved so far down her throat that she probably tasted stainless steel. And yeah, she clearly had some weird hang-ups about being partnered with me in our art class. However, there was an elusive quality beneath her polished exterior that perplexed me.


dude you thinking about her this much tells me that your trying to still keep the hole she's a stick in the mud approach but really your interested in her.

Insomnia crept in again as I tossed and turned in my uncomfortable bed. It wasn't so much the tossing and turning that bothered me; it was the thoughts, the twisted musings that pirouetted through my mind like demented ballerinas.


i hate insomnia it's the worst thing ever, i read this and it was like yeah this happens way to often, why is it that i get all my great ideas right before bedtime.

I thought about Paw Benji, how his back was bent and worn down as he walked, how he needed a cane to move around anymore, and how, despite being past retirement age, he couldn't afford to retire. I worked tirelessly through school to earn my scholarship, even taking a part-time job while being a full-time student, just to scrape by.


Shame pure Benji, he sounds like he actually goes through a lot just to get some money to buy anything, this really did make me feel even more sorry for them, and i guess this is why he can't understand Abigail because it looks like she has everything she could ever want yet she's still not happy.

Abigail came into my thoughts, too. Her life was like a goddamn fairy tale. It wouldn't surprise me if she lived in a mansion, had servants at her beck and call, and bathed in champagne. Meanwhile, my house had more roaches than food in the fridge some days, and the electric bill was overdue again.


Abigail is really lucky but she doesn't like the way that she lives, while her father on the other hand likes to parade it around everywhere.

I hated her; that much was clear. Or, well, I hated people like her. They lived lavish lives they didn't always deserve. I had to admit that I was envious of their lifestyles. The ease with which Abigail carried herself, the confidence that came from knowing you never had to worry about money or where your next meal was coming from, infuriated me. The only thing that seemed to knock her off her high horse was me. I didn't even have to utter a single word, and she was flustered. Laughing to myself, I imagined her cheeks turning red and rolled over once more.


yeah being rich doesn't always mean being happy, sometimes it just means that your a really rude person, but Abigail i think just want to get out of that type of life style and it's really hard. dude that's because she likes you!


And then there was her old man, the big shot of his soulless corporation. Through smart investments, they established their name and expanded over generations. The campus adored their contributions, which to the public were stoic and generous pursuits to improve the academic atmosphere, but I saw through it. It was to save face as the press raved over them and their educational endeavors. With his influence and wealth, the man could buy a fucking country if he wished. Despite this, he gravitated towards actions that seemed altruistic but harbored hidden agendas. I wondered how I could use my effect on Abigail to my advantage. Perhaps I could charm her father by pretending to be a photographer interested in business and in need of a mentor. He'd probably toss me a few crumbs just to get me out of his daughter's hair.


I keep switching from maybe he likes her, to maybe he actually really doesn't and his going to mess up her life and make things even harder for her. Her dad really isn't a nice person though that's for sure.

But that was a plan for another day. Tonight, my twisted mind had other plans. It forced me out of the house and onto the empty streets, heading towards the only suitable place for these nights.

As I approached the conservatory, I heard the faint strains of music drifting through the night air. The captivating music was both beautiful and offered a temporary escape as I listened.

I parked my bike and dashed up the stairs, slipping inside and sticking to the shadows. And then, like a twist of fate–or maybe just my luck–I spotted her: Abigail. She was alone, sitting at the grand piano affixed between two massive telescopes. How did I miss that before?


doesn't he wake his paw when he goes out every night, if the house is that old doesn't the door creek a little bit? aww she's playing music that's so pretty, now his going to go and disrupt her.

The moonlight bathed down on her as her fingers danced across the keys, creating a melody that was as enchanting as it was unexpected.

I should have vanished into the night instead of staying. But something held me there, rooted to the spot. I watched her, not disdainfully, but with a strange admiration blended into frustration.

When she finally finished playing, she sighed as if the weight of the world rested on her shoulders. It was such a real, human sound it shattered my perception of her as the pampered princess.


He really isn't sure what to think of her is he, well maybe his going to find out that she's actually a real nice person, who's just been born into a rich and stuck up family but doesn't want to be there.

I couldn't stop myself. I stepped out of the shadows, revealing my presence. "Couldn't sleep either, huh?"

She jumped, her eyes wide with surprise, then narrowed in annoyance. "What are you doing here, Zeke?"

I shrugged, leaning against a nearby pillar. "Same as you, I suppose. Seeking solace from the demons that haunt the night."

She huffed, clearly not amused by my theatrics. "You're not the only one with demons, you know."

I chuckled, the sound harsh. "Oh, I never claimed to be special. Just misunderstood."


Dude don't give her a heart attack maybe next time make your presence a bit more none before speaking out of know where. hmm how's this conversation going to go then hu, hopefully they don't get into another argument.

She rolled her eyes, a familiar gesture that was growing on me. "Why are you always so damn sarcastic?"

I ignored her question, my eyes locked on her. "So, did you drop art to appease old man Winslow? Or did your partner scare you off?"

Her gaze faltered momentarily, and I saw a hint of guilt in her eyes. "No, I didn't. I thought about it, but I didn't."

A slight smirk of satisfaction formed on my lips. Though she hadn't evaded me, it was clear she had a desire to do so. "Good. Because I was just enjoying our little game, princess, or should I call you Abbie?"

She clenched her jaw, clearly irritated by my nicknames. "Game? This is no game."


guess you could call him the sarcastic king, oh great his about to tick her off, oh and he ticked her off, dude try to be nice will you, she's right this isn't a game it's serious!

I pushed off the pillar, closing the distance between us until we were almost toe to toe. "Life is a game; some of us play it better than others."

She stared at me, the green in her eyes burning with a fire I hadn't expected. As quickly as I saw it, it vanished. She turned away, determined to create as much distance as possible.

Interacting with her this way made me feel more alive than ever. It was both exhilarating and perplexing. What the fuck was happening to me? I wondered silently, trying to make sense of it.


I'm really wondering if she still like him, or if she's now just fed up with him and wants him gone, while him on the other hand his playing hard to get, his not sure what he wants, what is happening to you man!

Her eyes met mine, and I realized how breathtaking she was. She settled gracefully onto a bench. Her auburn hair, previously restrained in that tight bun, now cascaded down her back in loose waves, shimmering like a fiery halo under the moonlight. At that moment, a part of me desired more than just friendship with her. It desired every piece of her in a way that defied logic and explanation. What would it be like to ignite her passion like a struck match? I reveled in the potential unfurling wildfire.


okay his gone, his in LOVE!! he so likes her so bad XD, but his going to have to do more then what his been doing to win her over she's a lot harder then that right.

Snapping out of it, I berated myself for wanting more than a brief encounter with a girl of her status. Sure, that stupid part of me wanted her as mine, from her delicate features to the depths of her soul. The other girls in the Shore were nothing like her. I was like a moth drawn to the flame, knowing it could burn me but unable to resist.


he can try to resist her but his doing a real bad job so far, he keeps coming up and talking to her, his near the flame already he just hasn't fully touched it. and it's not stupid it's love, it's that wonderful thing that makes your heart skip a beat.

However, the other side of me that viewed her as a mere pawn in life's grand chessboard had to win. There was an opportunity to exploit her family's power and wealth for my gain. It would secure my future and allow Benji to retire from work indefinitely. It may have been wrong, but even the most reasonable person acts unreasonably sometimes. I was driven by my calculating instincts to achieve my desires, particularly when it benefited the man who raised me.


Shame I do have to see it from his point of view pure Benji does need to retire and just enjoy the rest of his life because it doesn't sound like his got much longer to go. but still I really hope that he doesn't use Abigail for his own benefit and that he actually really likes her.

Overall: Again another wonderful chapter to read, it defiantly made me happy to see that Zeke does like Abigail his just trying to also be reasonable about it and make sure that his not just doing it because he needs money. I hope these two see eye to eye in the end and just end up falling in love even if there isn't any money benefits at the end of it.

anyway that's it from me

hope you have a great dawn/dusk/midnight

See Ya





Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life.
— Kate Chopin, The Awakening