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Black Roses (Chapters 1-2)
Abaddon Algernon sniffed the air viciously searching for her scent. Ah yes. There it was. A mixture of vanilla and honeysuckle- her mother’s scent. Before long, said Abaddon to himself, she will be gone. She will be gone, and he will be rid of her memory. She cannot survive much longer. But he would be rid of her soon. Yes, he said, nodding to himself. He will have his revenge. She was the lucky one. The one with the nice life with Mummy while he was here with Father, being treated like a slave and never having enough to eat and always getting the end of his belt. No, she will feel pain this time and it will be real, like it or not that she is his half-sister. She will feel great pain and will not survive it. No, she will not be the bane of his existence any longer. He would have his revenge. Her mother could be dead, but he knows for sure that the girl is still alive and that is the reason for his suffering all these 18 years. The reason why she is alive is because his cowardly mother didn’t want him, cheated on his father under that Aldrik’s council and ran off with that demon she may still call a husband. Never again, Abaddon fumed. Would he be cheated of the life he should’ve had. Never again would he be subjected to harsh treatment and lack of nourishment. No, he decided. It’s time to pay a little visit to his little sister. Demitri, his assistant, would lure her in with his charm and flirtatious ways. Good old Demitri, Abaddon thought. It’s too bad the only reason he is helping is because Abaddon had his precious Anna-Marie locked away. But he could rely on him more than he could ever have relied on his mother. Curse that woman, he fumed once more. For leaving him with a life of poverty and disdain, a life of hunger and disappointment. It’s her turn, now, to feel what he felt and so much more.
Part 1 The Beginning
Ch. 1 Isabella
It was said of Isabella that she was part of a loving family. This is only partly true. She was an adopted child-her godparents told her that her mother had run away for fear of being found by someone, and left her with her godparents. Her godparents, Henrietta and Stephan Inkling weren’t too happy about it, so they made her a maid. Isabella didn’t mind since her god-sisters, Vanessa and Lynne, were nice when they wanted to be.
“Isabella, wake up!” Vanessa shouted in her ear. Isabella jerked awake with a groan.
“Five more minutes,” she pleaded. Vanessa laughed.
“You’re 14 today!” Lynne said, prodding Isabella’s shoulder.
“Please, girls, I’m tired!” Isabella moaned.
“Come, now, Isabella it’s only 7 in the morning! Rise and shine!” Vanessa laughed again. She poked Isabella once more.
“Fine, fine, I’m up!” Isabella sighed, running a hand through her long black hair, blinking her big blue eyes against the glaring light of her room.
“Happy,” began Vanessa.
“Birthday!” ended Lynne.
“Here’s your gift,” Vanessa said with a grin, holding out a gift to Isabella.
“Thanks, guys,” Isabella yawned.
“No problem. Happy birthday!” cried the twins and, with a flourish of giggling, flounced from the room.
“Phew, I’m glad that’s over,” Isabella thought to herself.
Isabella ripped the wrapping paper and opened the box. A small, whimpering Australian sheepdog was shaking in the little box. Isabella gaped at the furry beast.
“It’s adorable!” Isabella squealed, picking up the animal. The puppy looked at her with big brown eyes and opened its mouth with a lovable yawn.
Vanessa and Lynne poked their heads around the corner of the door.
“Do you like it?” asked Lynne.
“I love it! Thank you!” Isabella cried, hugging the puppy gently.
“We hope you do,” Vanessa started.
“Because we figured you wouldn’t have any human friends,” Lynne ended.
“So we got you an animal one!” Vanessa laughed. Isabella smiled, for, despite the insult, she loved the little animal.
“Mother and Father said it was fine that you have a dog as long as you take full responsibility for it,” Lynne said, with a huge grin.
“Don’t worry, Isabella. It doesn’t have rabies but it hasn’t been fixed or anything. Good luck, little sister!” Vanessa called, pulling Lynne from the room.
Before she could leave, Lynne asked, “What are you going to name it?”
Isabella thought for a moment and then said, “Why not Anna?” As she said this, the puppy looked up and gave Isabella what looked like a grin.
“I think she likes it,” Vanessa commented, watching the puppy try to catch its tail.
“Anna, sit!” Isabella cried. The puppy immediately stopped and sat on the ground, an expectant look on her puppy face.
“Anna it is, then,” Vanessa laughed. The girls vanished. Suddenly, Henrietta and Stephan burst through the door.
“What is that?!” shrieked Henrietta, nearly tripping over Anna.
“Vanessa and Lynne’s birthday present to me,” Isabella said simply. Stephan turned scarlet.
“The twins gave you this beast? As a present?” he asked in a dangerously quiet voice. Isabella nodded happily.
“Well, then,” Henrietta sighed. She didn’t seem to like the fact that her daughters gave the maid something to enjoy.
“They said that you knew,” Isabella said, an innocently confused look on her face.
“We most certainly did not know, young lady!” Stephan roared.
“Stephy, please!” Henrietta moaned. She didn’t like loud noises.
“I won’t have this fiend being smart with us, I simply won’t!” Stephan cried, putting his hands on his hips. He looked much like Henrietta at that moment, for she always had her hands on her hips.
“I wasn’t being smart, Stephan,” Isabella said impatiently. was fully alert, sword out and ready to smite the first person to touch Isabella. “I really thought that you knew. The girls would never do anything without your permission,” she continued, stroking a shaking Anna.
“That is true,” Stephan muttered reluctantly. He hated when Isabella made a good point.
“Girls, will you come here for a moment?” called Henrietta in her mother voice. The only voice Henrietta ever used with Isabella was her scolding voice.
“Yes mother? Oh, Isabella, you have a puppy! How adorable, where did you get her?” Lynne said innocently, a devilish look in her big blue eyes.
Isabella’s eyes narrowed in her most withering glare. Lynne held her ground but Stephan was shaken slightly.
“You will not look at our daughters in that manner! What an ungrateful, stupid girl you are, Isabella! We took you in, we cared for you and now you come reigning terror on our home with stories of Vanessa and Lynne giving you a small dog? I won’t have this, I simply won’t!” Stephan cried.
“You will get rid of that beast at once or you will have no supper tonight!” Henrietta threatened. Isabella held her ground, though shakily.
“Vanessa and Lynne gave me this dog and I intend to take care of it,” she said bravely. Stephan was taken aback.
“You will not speak to us in that tone, girl,” Stephan said, punctuating the last word with a tone of disgust.
“Now, on to different matters. Isabella, you are to report downstairs tomorrow at seven thirty in the morning. You are going to boarding school in Italy,” Henrietta said with a smirk. Vanessa and Lynne exchanged gleeful glances that said, “Mission accomplished.”
“Start packing, maid,” Stephan growled, ushering the girls and Henrietta out of the room.
Isabella looked happily at Anna.
“Here that, Anna? We’re going to boarding school! No more chores or Inkling sisters or godparents!” Isabella cried, sweeping up Anna into an enormous hug. Outside, a shadow passed across the yard, unnoticed by everyone. Isabella’s story was begun.
“I have found her,” Demitri said quietly. Abaddon turned from the window.
“Excellent! Where is she?”
“She is attending the Weeping Willow Academy- the boarding school- tomorrow.”
“Perfect,” Abaddon murmured, sounding almost like a cat purring.
“Have we got her right where we want her?” Demitri asked, his voice rising with excitement. Abaddon shook his head and smiled at his ignorant eagerness.
“No, of course not, you fool. It is not for you to know the time of which these events will happen. Only I need to know that,” Abaddon said, almost to himself, in a quietly crazed voice. A voice gone wild with the obsession of finding and destroying his little sister.
“But, Abaddon…” Abaddon whipped around furiously to face his friend. Abaddon sneered at the word in his mind’s eye. Demitri was, of course, only bait in his plan. Abaddon had never had a real friend and never would.
“You will not call me Abaddon, Demitri. You will call me ‘Your Wickedness,’ from now on,” Abaddon said gravely, smiling eerily at the sound of his new name. He never smiled regularly. He only ever smiled eerily, as if to compliment his one blue eye and one brown eye.
Ch. 2 Isabella, Demitri, Cara
The Weeping Willow Academy was prestigious in that it was hard to get into. But Isabella was a shoe in for the Academy simply for her relations- The Inklings were close friends with the Prime Minister as well as the headmaster of the school itself. Now Isabella stood on the station platform, busy counting her luggage bags- a total of three. She was checking Anna’s care package when a loud crash from behind startled her. Turning, Isabella saw a young boy, just about her age, struggling with countless bags that had toppled over onto the filthy floor of the station.
“Here,” Isabella said, stooping down to pick up a dog’s cage. “Let me help you.” The boy looked up- such vivid blue eyes! - And smiled a thank you.
“I’m Demitri Soothed,” he said with a British accent, holding out a hand while dropping the luggage it was just holding. Isabella grinned.
“Isabella Brookman,” she replied, shaking it. The boy- Demitri- had the brightest pair of blue eyes Isabella had ever seen. And his hair was the most blinding shade of blonde she’d ever seen, and spiked up slightly at his forehead.
“May I call you Bella?” asked Demitri. As he said this, Anna trotted over, released from Vanessa’s cruel grip on the leash.
“Well,” Isabella laughed. “Some people do. This is Anna,” she added quickly as Anna sniffed Demitri’s shoes.
Demitri chuckled. “Well I love dogs. This is Franklin,” he said as he let out a beautiful black Labrador retriever. Isabella smiled.
“I see you’re off to the Weeping Willow? Great school I’ve been told- I’m headed there myself. Parents didn’t want me hanging around with no friends and nothing to do,” Demitri said, then blushed at giving out such personal information.
“Don’t worry. I live with my godparents. They didn’t want me at all,” Isabella replied a little sadly. Demitri’s heart went out to her in more ways than one.
A loud whistle blew. “That’s the signal. May I help you with your luggage?” Demitri asked politely, gathering his things.
“No, thank you. I haven’t got much,” Isabella replied sweetly. Calling Anna, and waving a weak goodbye to Henrietta, Stephan and the twins, Isabella boarded the train, Demitri following at her heels. They found an empty booth and slipped into it as the student authority came around to collect the animals to be put in the Animal Booth at the back of the train.
A girl about their age with extremely black, curly hair and huge green eyes appeared at the door.
“E spazio c’e per una piu qui?” she asked in an Italian accent.
“She asked if there was room for one more,” Demitri said quietly.
“Parli inglese?” Isabella asked, helping the girl put away her luggage.
“Yes. My name is Cara Forman,” said the girl- Cara- quietly.
“I’m Demitri Soothed,” said Demitri, sliding over to make room for Cara.
“I’m Isabella Brookman,” Isabella said with a warm smile.
“Demitri and Isabella,” Cara said slowly. She smiled. “I like it. Cara, Demitri and Isabella. We’ll make quite a trio at the Weeping Willow won’t we? Il migliore degli amici.”
“That means ‘the best of friends,’” Demitri translated for Isabella.
“I know. I’m mostly Italian. My grandfather- when he was alive- would always curse in Italian when he was very angry.”
The others laughed nervously, the laughter of new friends. Each one hoped in turn that they’d know each other for a long time.
Isabella woke to a quiet prodding in her shoulder. Cara was waking her. It took Isabella a moment to realize what had happened the day before and where she was and with who she was, but when she remembered she smiled up at her friends.
“Bon giorno,” smiled Cara. Isabella grinned even wider.
“The train is about to arrive- it’s time to put on the uniform,” Demitri said, plucking at his sweater vest and scarlet and grey- striped tie. Cara was wearing a rather cute, scarlet and grey plaid, not-so-mini-mini-skirt with a similar sweater vest but without a tie. Instead, she wore a scarlet and grey ribbon in her hair. Isabella got up, stretched, grabbed her uniform and headed for the bathrooms.
The train had arrived at the Weeping Willow Academy. It looked exactly like a medieval castle, and was rather like one on the inside. A huge archway greeted them just before they walked inside and there was a large, scarlet and grey rug on the marble, white-washed floor, and the solid stone walls were clad in tapestries of all shapes, sizes, and colors. They passed one on their right showing the mysterious and glorious Weeping Willow itself, after which the school was named. It was said that the Weeping Willow was in the school grounds, just outside of the soccer field, and that, for 200 years it still had not died.
“Welcome, new students!” cried the headmaster- Conan Aldrik, or Aldrik as everyone called him. A very old man, he was lively still and, despite long house robes and a rather long, waist-length, snow white beard, he had the heart of a child and a mind of a sage.
“Hey, Mr. Aldrik,” Isabella said politely, calling off Anna.
“Please, please, my dear gal,” Aldrik laughed. “Call me Aldrik. Everyone does!” He turned to Anna and gave her a hearty pat.
“Welcome, welcome, welcome! We’re so happy to have you here at Weeping Willow! Please go on up to your temporary dormitories and we will begin categorizing you into your houses after supper,” Aldrik smiled in a way that made it impossible for anyone to dislike him.
“Thanks, Aldrik,” Isabella smiled back and headed up the grand marble staircase, luggage and Cara in tow. Demitri struggled behind them, calling off a curious Franklin.
“Whoa!” Cara cried as they entered the temporary dormitory. She had a good reason, too, Isabella thought. All around were couches and cushions, and inside one wall was a roaring fire place and scarlet and grey everywhere.
“If this is the temporary, imagine the permanent!” Cara breathed.
“I know! This is way cool,” Isabella exclaimed, trying to count the books in a towering shelf. The girls dropped their bags into a couch, and met Demitri in the Grand Room of the temporary dormitory, where the girls’ and boys’ dormitories split.
“How do you like this?” Demitri asked a smile in his eyes.
“It’s amazing! I’m going to love it here,” Cara said enthusiastically.
“I love it already- amo essa gia,” Isabella said with a smile, looking around at the marble and scarlet and grey.
“We should get going- supper is about to start,” Demitri said.
“So!” shouted a British voice from across the room. Approaching was a tall, blonde-headed girl who seemed nice on the outside but cruel on the inside. Two brunettes stood beside her, hands on their hips.
“Word on the street is you’re from America,” said the girl with a tone of disgust, reminding Isabella vaguely of Stephan.
“So what if I am?” Isabella said bravely. Beside her, Anna’s fur bristled and she maintained a low growl.
The girl tossed her head. “Obviously you don’t know who I am,” she said with a cruel chuckle. “I am Martha Lyndon. My family and I are true Londoners, born and bred in London and our family even founded this very school,” she continued. “We pride ourselves on the fact that royalty from all over come to stay here and we will not tolerate the disgrace of having an American commoner in our dormitories.”
“So if you’re English, why are you setting up a school in Italy?” Isabella asked.
Lyndon scoffed. “As if you’d like to know.”
“Back off, Lyndon. We aren’t bothering you,” Demitri said fiercely, Franklin growling beside him.
“Ha! As if you could do anything about it, Soothed,” Lyndon said with a sneer. The girls beside her- Isabella later learned their names were Valerie Sidney and Lauren Barkla- high-fived Lyndon and pushed Cara out of their way to the door. Isabella knew they would never get along. And she was never so right in her life.
Demitri enters the room. “I’ve gained her trust,” he says, not daring to look into Abaddon’s mismatched eyes.
“Excellent. Now we must move into the flirting phase. Get her to enjoy your company,” he said with a sick-minded smirk.
“Of course. And what’ll I do afterwards?”
“Bring her to me, of course. Really, Demitri, must you be so ignorant?”
“I just thought…”
“It no longer matters what you think,” Abaddon snapped. “Only what that girl thinks. Find out what she’s thinking. Get inside her head. Don’t come out until I give you the signal.”
“Of course. The other girl- Cara Forman- may be an obstacle,” he said meekly, as though afraid of admitting a drawback in Abaddon’s plan.
“The girl will not be a problem,” Abaddon murmured thoughtfully, staring out of a dirt-streaked window. “What will be a problem is getting around Aldrik.” Abaddon’s face twisted with rage at the sound of the name.
“Aldrik is old- old and feeble. He will not notice as long as I am in this plan,” Demitri said with confidence, wanting more than anything for this plan to work- he wished so much to see himself succeed at something.
“I am quite sure that you will not fail me, Demitri,” Abaddon said with an eerie smile. “I am more concerned that you will take this too far, and expose us.” Demitri looked horrified.
“Surely you have more faith in me than that?”
“Don’t worry, I do. And don’t call me Shirley.” Abaddon’s wild laughter filled Demitri’s head.