Lost: Rose

Atwood Forest is untouched by the human world surrounding it. All they know is whoever enters, never returns...

Inside Atwood Forest there are one type of prey and one type of predator. The Vampire Hunter's are a race of magically blessed men and women who hunt and kill those who stray from the vampire fortress in the west of the forest. It is known that occasionally humans venture in the forest but not once has a Hunter ever been able to successfully save a human without losing their life.

A young girl is one day found on the boarder line of the Hunter and Vampire territory. She is without food, clothes, and shelter. When she is picked up by a group of Hunter's she is given the name Rose, due to a cryptic tattoo of roses embedding the skin of her back. She is without memory of who she is and where she'd come from. Trapped in a forest where a century-long war still rages on, she struggles to find the truth behind her existence in a world where everything is not as it seems...

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13. Bethany

Spinning around I played with the skirts of my long red dress, the waves of the dress flying up and down as I spun like a merry-go-round. I loved it.

"What's the occassion?" a humoured voice came from the doorway, I turned to see Laylan and smiled seeing him in what looked to be some kind of formal wear.

"I don't know, Norie wouldn't tell me" I admitted looking in the mirror my usually untamed curls pulled up into an elaborate bun revealing my neck and fine collar bones, a small rose necklace settled between them.

"I like this part" Laylan said playing with the laces at the back. Slapping his hand away I turned to see Norie standing frozen in the doorway. Laylan turned around,

"Oh, hey Norie" Laylan chuckled going to give her a hug.

"Awkard..." I sang under my breath, he turned around giving me an unsure but certainly accusing glare.

"What?" he asked,

"Nothing" I lied with ease turning back to my reflection before sighing with conteness. It had been a long time since I'd worn anything so beautiful.

 

"Are we all ready to go?" a voice asked from the door war I turned to see Zara in a long black gown. I frowned. She smiled shrugging,

"Having run away with the vampires kind of grew on me. I love black" she admitted before eyeing Laylan with a glare.

"Get out" she said her voice turning sharp and dangerous before he left. She came over to me and smiled before shaking her head.

"Leonora..." she tutted as she pulled my hair out of the bun. I froze in shock.

"Hey...!" I protested, she went over to the wardrobe and went looking through it before pulling out a black case.

"This is your dress" she said slamming it down on the floor before flipping the locks and pulling out a floor-length ice-blue dress with long sleeves, that shimmered beneath the dim light from the single lamp that lit up the room.

"It's beautiful" I breathed unsure of what to do. Zara smiled getting up she began to undo the laces at the back of the dress with ease for helping me pull it off she gestured for me to take off the jewelry as she took out two more boxes from the wardrobe.

 

*          *          *         *          *

I walked into the grand ballroom of the vampire castle which was now inhabited by both hunters and former vampires. I took a swift glance at my reflection still in a small state of shock in the glass framing the armour of the former royals of the vampire clan, the most magnificent one that had caught the eye of many of those who passed by it belonging to my father. I stopped for a second to admire it whilst catching sight of my own reflection once more the 'o' neckline revealing the flawless cream colour of my skin yet above it a silver saphire embedded choker. The sleeves fell loosely along my arms the see-through, chiffon fabric creating a silluette against my slender arms my shoulders bare from the cut-outs creating emphasis on how well it hung off my shoulders.

"You look beautiful" Laylan smiled appearing behind me his hand resting on the side of my waist giving me a small comforting squeeze against the fabric that fell elegantly from my chest downwards showing nothing of my figure which I loved. It was beautiful, magnificent...

"Pure" Zara breathed, lifting a stray wisp of hair that kissed my cheek and pushed it back into place into the high crowned, elaborate plait that started from the front of my head and fell down my back white lilies threaded through it with a single white chiffon ribbon that tied it all up. I smiled somewhat sad wishing my parents could have been there for me... With me, during this moment of time where all they had hoped for may have finally be coming true.

 

Pausing at the doors Laylan signalled for me to wait before a sound of trumpets came from the other side of the door before a bellowing voice spoke,

"Introducing, Princess of the vampire clan and future leader of the Hunter village... Princess Valentina Ansel Rose...!". The doors opened and I blinked in surprise to enter to see the hall filled to the brim with hunters and former vampires all reunited for this wonderful night of celebration.

"What's going on?" I asked Zara slighly confused. I understood they were all happy but I didn't know what the occassion possibly could be. She nodded towards the other side of the hall where Heath stood beside his father. My breathing hitched just for a moment as I saw his usually rough appearance filed to perfect attention. His usual bristle of whiskers shaved back to just above the skin, his hair swept back in a smooth wave of what looked to be water, his eyes shining as he smiled and laughed attracting the attention of those around him. No longer restrained by the duties of being a Hunter, Heath was at his best. He'd reached his prime state and for reason I felt extremely nervous.

 

Being lead across the floor by Laylan who brought me exactly where I didn't want to be I struggled to ignore the fact Heath was there. Zara laughed as she went off with her husband casting me a wink before Leonora appeared and nimbly asked Laylan for a dance to which he happily agreed to.

"Your looking beautiful tonight Valentina" Heath spoke his voice sending strange shivers up my spine, the sound of his voice speaking my real name feeling odd. I turned around to face him and gave him a small nervous smile not meeting his gaze as I looked to the right of his head focusing on an extremely tall pot.

"Thank you Heath" I said to the pot before turning away.

"Would you like to dance Valentina?" he asked. I pretended to not hear even as he repeated his question. I spotted Callum across the dance floor with Erin and picking up my skirts went to run off before his hand wrapped around my elbow and turned me around.

"Would you like to dance Valentina?" Heath asked again for the third time, his voice firm and steady as he stared into my eyes. I tried desperately to avert my gaze glancing left than right but he kept moving his face so all I could see was him.

"I'm sorry to say Heath, but I cannot accept" I said my voice shaking as I yanked my elbow from his grip before turning and heading off.

 

"Care to dance?" Laylan asked appearing out of nowhere, I looked around and gave a small greatful sight to see Leonora gone.

"I'd love to" I said calmly taking his hands and stepping on his feet as he whisked us both onto the dance floor.

"You dance exceptionally well, I must say" Laylan chuckled as he twirled me round and round before setting me back on his feet so he could lead us both.

"Why thank you, I have to say all the practice really has paid off" I joked back before the music changed and everyone began to dance a rotating dance. Oh well. Setting me down we both took our places our eyes meeting one anothers as the music began.

 

Palms lifted together we rotated left before turning to swap palms and walking the other way...

"I'm surprised you remember this dance" I mused as we stopped before feigning illness and then clapping twice, and then began circling one another neither of our gazes leaving one anothers.

"I'm surprised you know how to dance, you have improved" Laylan joked, as we paused and spun around our glances quickly meeting one anothers once more as we turned full circle.

"Haha, how funny" I mocked as we swapped partners.

 

Hands meeting I clasped hands with my next partner before trying to yank them back.

"What's so funny?" Heath asked, as the music changed and we began to salsa.

"Nothing" I snapped, not looking at him as he led us into a furious series of forward then waist-turning steps.

"Really...?" Heath asked, not getting an answer as we turned in circles before he dropped... No,

"Nothing?" he asked, dipping me causing my breath to catch for a moment my head nearly touching the ground my leg in the air which he held expertly.

"I have nothing to say to those who torture me" I snarled, before he lifted me up. I slapped his hands away and walked off the floor furiously. Heading towards the balcony I slammed open the doors and took in a deep breath of cold, night air loving the feel of being back home yet hating the fact 'somebody' was there.

"'Who torture' you? Do I still torture you!?" Heath thundered coming out after me. I turned to walk away but his arm went out infront of me his hand clasping the edge of the railing trapping me, going to turn the other way his other arm did the same causing me to do nothing but look straight at him. I was trapped. Kind of.

 

Not answering I closed my eyes shutting out his presence, but focusing on the curious thoughts as to where Agatha was at that very moment...? Laughing at me?

"I said: 'do I still torture you'?" he asked his voice a deep, dangerous, growl. My eyes snapped open and I glared at him.

"Do you really want the truth?" I asked my voice sharp and angry.

"Please..." he said releasing his arms from my side.

"Enlighten me" he said stepping back throwing his arms up in the air. I sighed motioning for the guards to shut the doors just in case any of the guests happened to hear. When the doors were shut I turned to the dark night sky and stared at the beautiful moon that shone it's dim light over us.

"I killed your precious Bethany" I said my voice firm and steady. Hearing no answer or reply I didn't turn to see his face even as I smiled gently reminiscing over the memory of Agatha explaining what had to be done for me to have life.

"When I was sick, I needed someone to die for me so I could live..." I began slowly...

 

"Shut up..." his voice was hoarse, jagged, I turned to see Heath with his forearms rested on the edge of the rail his head hanging as his hair fell over his face slightly not doing much to show the gut wrenching, overflow of emotions that had taken over him... Sadness, grief, pain. My eyes welled up with tears but I showed no mercy, I offered him no comfort. This was the truth, and he would hear it.

"It was just another night of the continuous war..." I continued,

"Stop..." Heath pleaded.

"All I needed was to steal the life of one so beautiful, loved, pure, one who was innocent..." I continued.

"Shut up!" he thundered, turning away.

"But look at where we are now, without her life I couldn't be here" I laughed my cold, tinkling laugh echoing throughout the forest the heartlessness I allowed to take over something I'm sure even my mother couldn't of been more proud of.

"You're an animal" Heath murmered glancing at me.

"But hey, look what I've made you. Did you see yourself inside? You were magnificent, glowing, wonderful...!" I continued laughing as I gave a sigh of what would have seemed to be the feeling of being content, however, was the sigh of the guilt slowly setting in.

"Yes, you torture me. With your kind words and carefree attitude... It's almost as if you forgot who you loved once, who died for you - oh, no wait - for me..." I smirked watching him. Testing him.

"Because I feel like I can't laugh at you without seeming cruel. You torture me by making me have to not laugh, not cry with happiness..." I lied with ease, so much so it was almost the truth.

"Who are you?" he asked standing up and looking at me his face wet with tears full of anger and hatred.

"I'm the product of two lives that were taken for me... One of which you liked to think belonged to you. I maybe a monster, Heath, but I am not like you. I am no fickle man who can forget what I couldn't do, who can forget what I failed..."

"You killed her!" he bellowed at me his voice shaking the trees as bats took off into the night, the reverberation of his echoing voice causing me to smile.

"No Heath, I didn't kill her. You did"

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