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Blood Roses After Dark Ch 4

Tags: girl, dreams, roses

A girl stared into my eyes, her face a familiar stranger. She looked worried, if a bit terrified. Wide blue eyes, long black hair and porcelain white skin, I somehow knew this girl. Her lips moved, but I couldn't hear a word she said. I walked up to her in case she was whispering the words. I still couldn't hear her.

"What are you saying?" I asked worried.

"They are coming, Akiko," the girl said ominously. She broke into a smile, lighting up her face in an endearing way. I noticed she wore a pure white dress with some lace around the cuffs, neckline and brim. She stroked my cheek gently as if I would shatter into a million pieces of broken glass. "Akiko. That is a cute new name for you. I must say it fits you quite well, I think."

A name sprung into my mind as I reached for the girl's hand on my face. "Isadora"

A brief expression of bewilderment passed on her face, "you're trying so hard to force yourself to remember. Let it go and it will come to you, don't throttle the visions, my friend." Isadora paused suddenly. Her dress started to turn red. She turned around in fear of something I couldn't see.

"Isadora, what is it?" I couldn't mask the concern in my voice.

"They are coming for you." She dashed away. My heart jumped and I ran after my friend, my best friend. I was tired of receiving half of the information; so far, she was the only one who told me something useful. I had just about grabbed her when she disintegrated into thousands of white blood splattered rose petals. The silky, almost velveteen feel of the petals distorted by the thick oily blood was too much to handle as they slipped from my hands. The breeze swept them away into oblivion, as tears streamed down my face.

Words tumbled from my lips, almost like a sacred chant that I knew not of. "A yellow rose for a liar, blue for the depressed. Pink for lovers and red is for the hot mess. Orange rose for an optimist, and purple for the traitors. Black, the darkness within, and white for the purists." I gasped for air and clung to the blanket desperately. The puppy whined from the bedside and I reached out to comfort it. It backed away from my hand, so I drew it back to rein in my emotions. Soon my breathing slowed and my mind raced to make sense of the dream I had. Who, who was coming? Was it ‘Him’, or someone else? I struggled out of bed, and let my strength return. I moved fluidly now, and the pains on my arms and legs were a minor buzz. My back still felt tight, but I was sure that within a week it would loosen up. I changed out the linens on my arms and legs, and searched for fresh clothes. When I discovered there were no clothes, I reluctantly went to the bathroom and hand washed the ones I got. While I was at it, I washed my hair. When I finished, I realized I didn’t have anything to wear because my clothes were sopping wet. I sighed irritably and searched the house for new clothes. I should have been embarrassed for walking around in my underwear, but Ronan wasn’t home.

I expected the rest of the house to look just as bad as the room that confined me, but it was just depressing to see dead wires hanging from the ceiling. A thick layer of grease and grime covered the windows that caused the light filtering through to be dull and yellow. I glided my finger across one, removing a streak of dust off the top layer, but didn't cut all the way through to see out clearly.

There was a door at the end of the hallway, off to the left that I must have overlooked before. I touched the doorknob and lightly turned it. The metal was cold beneath my fingers, as it creaked open slightly. It stuck, so I applied a little more pressure and toppled into a girl's room.

Sheets and quilts covered some furniture with heavy layers of dust on them. The neatly made bed was ready for use with a lace canopy overhead. The boarded up window allowed light to shine through the cracks. The cream-colored walls weren't particularly cracked or damaged unlike the rest of the house, great care showed in this room. I grew suspicious as to why Ronan would only take care of one room in the whole house. I spotted a closet, and crept over to slide open the door. There was an array of dresses and coats. They looked to be about my size, but I don’t feel comfortable wearing someone else's clothes. I saw a pale blue dress with frilly edges and black lace and reached out to touch the soft fabric. A flash of red ran through my mind, blinding my vision with the abstaining color of blood. I pulled my hands away sharply and held my head still. After a few waves of nausea, I slowly pulled them away. The color dissipating in blotches, I sat down on the bed and waited for my vision to clear.

"Ahem," Ronan leaned against the door, his eyes cold and dark. I glared at him in response; some of his true colors finally shone through. "What are you doing?" he demanded, clearly upset as if I had just smashed a window or something.

"I got dizzy," I told him crossly.

"And you came into this room? I thought I told you to stay in bed."

"You never told me that!"

He wordlessly stared down, and his face turned beet red. "Um, Akiko" he turned his face away avoiding me completely. "Where are your clothes?" My eyes widened, as I realized I was still wearing next to nothing. My face turned crimson in both embarrassment and anger. I was just glad that linens still wrapped my arms, legs and torso.

"I washed my clothes, but they are still quite damp. I was looking for something else to wear, but I feel wrong wearing someone else's clothes." I faltered, that seemed like a weak reason somehow.

Suddenly, I felt a bit uneasy, tension rose in this room and it was more than just me standing around in my underwear. Ronan merely stared past me, his eyes focused straight ahead. He freaked me out, but then he stuffed a dress into my arms. I blankly stared at him.

"Get dressed, Akiko." He glared right past me as he left, and suddenly the room felt empty. Something was vacant from the immediate area that I never noticed before. I puzzled about what it could mean, all the while slipping on the dress Ronan shoved into my arms. It was a long sleeved, knee high, jade colored dress, with a moderate V-neckline. I still felt weird wearing some random dress that wasn’t mine, but I ignored the feeling and walked out to the kitchen. There were two voices loudly shouting at each other in a heated discussion. One was distinctly Ronan’s but the other voice was strangely familiar too.

"What were you doing?"

"What was I doing, what were you doing? I asked you to do one simple thing, one!"

"And I was doing exactly what you were asking, until you barged in. I mean Ronan, this is completely not fair, if I was there, you’d yell at me. If I wasn’t you’d still yell at me!"

"Kurai"

I decided it was my shining moment to walk into the room. "What’s going on?"

"One moment, Akiko." He did a double take, "Akiko, your hair!"

I reached up and touched it. I was confused until I realized I forgotten my scarf.

The other voice spoke up, "Don't Akiko, you look fine without it."

I quickly assessed the new guy. He had messy dreadlocks held back with what appeared to be headphones. I slightly wondered where he managed to find them; even more so if they actually worked, but I decided now wasn't the time to find out. He was taller than I was by several inches, making me feel short, but Ronan was even taller so I felt better about it. His eyes were bright and the color of liquid amber. They seemed to peer right through me, making me feel slightly open, but since there really is nothing to see, I didn't care.

He leaned on the back of a chair, where a black trench coat hung loosely. He had a warm smile now, but I felt as though it was a rare occurrence. He extended his hand towards me and I hesitantly took it.

"I much prefer the beauty of your hair then that dull faded out cloth." He turned to give Ronan a steely glare, "especially since it is unique. I think the town will take to her just fine."

"It's blue, Kurai! BLUE!"

Kurai simply ignored him and refocused on me, "Kurai Kage, by the way."

"How do you know my name?" I asked slightly skeptical of him, but much preferred his company to Ronan's instantly. My directness did not even stun him.

"You don't honestly believe that Mr. Cold, serious, and dreadful found you outside the town, do you? Sorry to shatter that image, but I was the one who has been tending to you the whole time, with him 'working.' I was mainly keeping an eye on you, so you don't get hurt."

"I didn't sense you at all this whole time," I replied still skeptical.

"Well, I am gifted too. The perfect ninja, I swear it is my destiny to recreate the glory of the ninjas. One day, I will have my own army, and take down that tyrannical-" Ronan covered his mouth and struggled to hold him still.

"Enough don't get any ideas in her head. I don't need to babysit two people."

"Technically you do." I pointed out sharply, "And it's not like I have any choice to leave. When I did, you dragged me back!"

"To protect you!"

"I say she can handle herself. Even fixed the roof that you said you would fix several weeks ago!" Kurai stated.

Ronan seethed with so much rage that his face turned red, "she wasn't supposed to be outside in the first place you dimwit! What if someone saw her?"

"Someone did," I added quickly, before the two started trying to strangle each other. "But she didn't suspect anything bad of me. Didn't run me out of town like you said they would. Now you owe me the truth right now, all of it. Tell me, or else." The words hung in the air as Kurai and I stared at Ronan. He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it quickly.

"I don't owe you anything, but you're right, I did drag you back and technically hold you against your will. I shall stop, and you can go outside." He paused and thought a moment. "But, you have to wear the scarf, and you can't stay out past dark."

"I am not a child!" I yelled at him furiously. He took a few steps back.

Kurai took a step closer, "why don't we go for a walk, Akiko. I can clear some things up for you."

I glared, but reluctantly went into the back rooms and tied my hair up in the scarf. He held open the door and we walked out into the square. The clouds above darkened slightly, threatening to rain soon. I sighed and walked straight ahead wishing for something to make sense.

"Oh Ronan isn't that bad." He paused and restated, "Alright, he is that bad." He glanced over to check for any reaction on my part.

"Can you just tell me what I want to know?"

He studied me silently, deciding whether it was a good idea or not.

"Alright," he said finally, "ask away."

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