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Black Roses (Chapters 5-6)
Ch. 5 Demitri
Isabella’s classes flew by. There was nothing truly important that happened in class, though Demitri was constantly smiling at her, and Lyndon stayed silent. Demitri fought to keep his mind on the plan, and out of thoughts of Isabella- her gorgeous black locks, her startling blue eyes that almost looked like his…Demitri’s thoughts whirled as he remembered His Wickedness’s deal with him- bring the girl and get his true love back. He thought about his true love- Anna-Marie DeVecillio had the same jet-black hair, but green eyes- Demitri never liked green eyes and couldn’t remember why he had thought Anna-Marie was his true love. Was she? He couldn’t remember- it was so long ago. Isabella…Demitri’s face betrayed his thoughts to Professor Brinkham, who rapped his ruler on Demitri’s desk sharply, shaking him from his reverie.
“Mr.….Soothed, is it? Well, Mr. Soothed perhaps you can tell us the square root of pi?” Professor Brinkham asked with a withering glare.
“There is none,” Isabella called from the other end of the room. “Pi is an irrational number. Unless you’re talking about the approximation of pi.” Professor Brinkham scowled slightly, stroking his long, dark brown beard.
“Excellent work, Miss…Brookman, is it? You very much saved your friend Mr. Soothed there.” Professor Brinkham winked at Demitri, as Demitri turned a shade of pink.
“Thank you, Professor,” Isabella said, grinning over Demitri, who blushed even harder. He was beginning to really like Isabella, but he was afraid to say so- His Wickedness was out there with Anna-Marie. Demitri’s face still showed his hormonal confusion, as Isabella gave him a look that said, “Are you alright?” Demitri answered with his deep blue eyes, “I’m fine.”
Isabella caught Demitri outside the classroom. Holding him by the arm, as if to keep him from running away, Isabella walked beside him, preparing to ask a question.
“Are you okay? You looked a little sad back there.”
“I’m fine,” Demitri said, giving her a look full of meaning. Isabella blushed prettily and Demitri ached to tell her, warn her, and protect her.
“Are you…doing anything this Saturday?” Demitri asked suddenly. Isabella looked startled.
“I was thinking…That’s the weekend we’re allowed off campus if you…I don’t know… wanted to go somewhere? With me?” Demitri hoped his face didn’t show his real feelings or he would die of embarrassment. Isabella didn’t seem to notice anything and looked rather elated.
“I’d love to,” she said breathlessly. Brielle was approaching. Demitri gave her a nod that said, “Not now!” Brielle quickly read the signal and changed directions before Isabella noticed. Demitri reached down and gave Isabella’s hand a light squeeze. To his pleasure, Isabella squeezed back and smiled up at him. It took every ounce of Demitri’s willpower not to give himself away.
“Awesome,” Demitri said, smiling into Isabella’s eyes- how he loved those eyes!- and she smiled back, much to his relief.
“So, um, where would we go?” Isabella asked, entwining her fingers with his. Demitri’s tangled heart skipped a long beat.
“I was thinking Il Ristorante di Amore. Sound okay?” Demitri looked at the ground, at the sky, at the wall- anywhere except Isabella to keep himself from telling her the truth.
“The Restaurant of Love? Isn’t that, like, famous for its romance?” Isabella’s voice rose with excitement. Demitri nodded, trusting himself to look at her molto bel volto- her very beautiful face.
“Do you mind at all?”
“Not at all.”
“Meraviglioso, I’ll pick you up at seven,” Demitri said, smiling as well as he could. He gave her hand another squeeze and went on his way to biology. He stopped by the bathroom and slipped into a stall. He put his face in his hands and thought:
“I have got to protect her. She can’t face His Wickedness on her own. She’s got to know. I love her. I need to let her know before it’s too late…”
Demitri’s cell phone rang.
“Don’t do this, Demitri.”
“Abaddon.” Demitri was overwhelmed with the want to throw the phone at the wall.
“Don’t do what you’re doing. Don’t soften to her. She’s the cause of your misery, remember? If it weren’t for her, Anna-Marie wouldn’t be locked away. You wouldn’t be under my control.”
“What if I love her too much to care?”
“Then I kill Anna-Marie.”
“Don’t do this, Abaddon. There are other ways.”
“I should’ve known better than to trust you. I will come for her myself.” Demitri heard a click and started yelling.
“No! No, Abaddon, don’t! Have mercy, Abaddon, please, no!” Demitri sobbed into the phone, even though the line was dead. Demitri’s mind whirled with the terrifying thought of Abaddon- he could say his name, now that he was free from Abaddon’s control- in the school.
Demitri ran from the bathroom, turned left and ran down the spiral staircase, half tripping, and half stumbling, to the chemistry classroom. Bursting through the door, Demitri stopped dead.
“Yes, Mr. Soothed?” Professor Kilikinns said, putting down her pointer.
“I need to see Miss Brookman,” Demitri said breathlessly. “It’s an emergency.”
Abaddon threw the chair at the window, shattering the stained glass. Lyndon backed away a few steps, receding slightly into the shadows.
“He told her?!” Abaddon roared. Lyndon cowered slightly but did not fall apart.
“I tried to stop him, sir. He shook me off by winning a shouting match. It was not to be proud of.”
“You let him win a shouting match?! Again?!” Abaddon roared. His anger distorted his already ugly face, and almost switched his blue eye back to brown- or perhaps it was just a trick of the shadows.
“I’m sorry I failed you, sir.”
“You soon will know the true meaning of sorry, Lyndon, when I enter the school and destroy her myself.”
“Sir, are you sure you’re strong enough? Remember last time…”
“Let us not bring up bad memories, Lyndon. You are here for one purpose and one purpose alone- to rescue your best friend.” Abaddon gestured to the closet door, behind which Anna-Marie and Victoria, Lyndon’s best friend, were trapped inside cages of pure silver.
“Shall I let Anna-Marie go? Demitri is no longer useful to us- ah! I have an idea,” Abaddon rubbed his hands together, smiling eerily again. “I will keep Anna-Marie here for ransom. When Demitri comes for her, I will destroy him, therefore causing added grief to the girl and she also loses her protection. It’s brilliant!” Abaddon cackled.
“But sir,” Lyndon interjected timidly. “What if Demitri comes for her while you’re in the school? You wouldn’t be here to guard her.”
“Ah, Lyndon. Naïve little Lyndon. This is why I will have a guard there. Silly little girl,” Abaddon scoffed. Lyndon’s face burned with humiliation. She was hoping Abaddon would be so distracted that he wouldn’t remember the guard.
Ch. 6 Isabella, Demitri
Isabella sat down hard, trying to concentrate on what Demitri was saying. Her first reaction was anger.
“You mean all this time, you were lying to me just so you can hand me over to my evil half-brother?” Isabella cried with rage.
“No, no, no. Everything I said was absolutely true. Everything I say from here on in is absolutely true. And it’s important that you trust me. I’m your only protection at the moment,” Demitri said, taking her hands in his and sitting on the ground beside her. They were in the orchard, the way they had with Brielle so many years ago. Isabella only hung out with Brielle if and when she ever “hung out.”
“Isabella, look at me.” Isabella looked at him- from his amazingly blonde hair, to his startling eyes, to his huge, protecting hands covering her small, delicate ones. Demitri’s heart skipped another long beat.
“You cannot begin to imagine how important it is for you to trust in me,” Demitri said, keeping his eyes steady. He was finally telling the truth and it never felt so right.
“And you need to get away from here. I can take you to my home in England- Abaddon doesn’t know where I am anymore so he won’t be able to find us.”
“What about that spy-connection thing you have with Lyndon?”
“Well Lyndon can only know where I am if I’m a spy for Abaddon, but I’m not anymore. I threw the watch that connects me with her into the river over there.” Demitri gestured to the sparkling water- no pun intended- in the distance. Isabella put her hands on her temples, and lay back in the grass. Demitri laid beside her, a little way away. He looked at her profile- her bright blue eyes luminous as she looked up through the reddening leaves of the oak tree behind them. She sighed.
“What if I don’t survive this?”
“Don’t talk like that.”
“It’s a legit question.”
“There’s no legit answer.”
“Are you sure?”
“Is my name Demitri Benedict Soothed?”
“I don’t know- you’ve kept most of this from me, God only knows what you’ll be hiding next.”
“Isabella!” Demitri sounded irritated.
“It’s not funny.” Isabella laughed.
“But it is!”
“How?” Demitri looked at Isabella’s profile again. Such beautiful eyes!
“It’s so much fun to tease you.”
“Tease me?” Demitri held back a snort.
“Yes.” Demitri smiled as he looked at the sky.
“You never answered my question.”
“I told you- no legit answer.”
“C’mon. Please?” Demitri took a long look at Isabella’s face again.
“If you don’t survive,” Demitri said slowly. “I won’t have a reason to live anymore.”
“Such a Romeo kind of answer.”
“Well, you’re my Juliet, what do you expect?”
“What a love story that would be.” Demitri grinned, his eyes full of meaning.
“It already is.”
“Cut it out with the mushy stuff, will you? I love you and all, but we’ve got a lot of people to save.” Isabella said it so casually, Demitri was caught off guard.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up and say that again.” Isabella blushed.
“If you didn’t hear me the first time, it’s your loss.”
“Fine. I just loved hearing you say it.”
“I know. But I figured if we don’t make it out of this, you’ll at least die knowing.”
“I know.” Isabella sat up, and helped Demitri sit up as well. They sighed simultaneously and smiled at the scene before them- the castle to the right, the endless fields before them, and the river to their right. Demitri looked at Isabella- maybe one of the last times he would, he thought, shuddering slightly. Isabella looked at Demitri- she hoped she would survive just for him.
She found herself leaning in, and Demitri’s eyes got bigger and bigger until she got lost in them. Finally, their lips touched. Demitri tasted of protection, loyalty, trust- if these things ever had a taste.
Isabella tasted of vanilla and honeysuckle- exactly how she smelled. Demitri’s hand twisted her sweet-smelling black locks and Isabella’s hand massaged his strikingly blonde hair, as the kiss seemed to last days.
Breaking away from him, Isabella said, “What a love story, huh?” Demitri grinned.