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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12. Healing

The sound of impending voices caused me to stir from something that had stolen my consciousness. I hadn't been asleep, it was something else... I forced my eyelids to move as I opened my eyes taking in deep heavy breaths as if my lungs had been deprived from the air around me for more than I could guess. I turned my head to look around. I was alone in a room which wasn't made of stone, it had a mat floor and a featured brick wall the other walls painted green. I looked down at myself unsure of how to move when it felt like someone had injected led into my body to keep me from moving. But that was impossible, because that's what one would've done to kill a vampire... well, slow him down anyway. In the corner of the room was a table with a small bowl-like pot, the flicker of a flame beneath it caused me to bolt upright as I realized smoke rising from the bowl.

"It's a healing remedy" a voice said out-of-nowhere. I turned instantly to see the small, blind girl... Leonora leaning on the edge of the window. She was outside... So maybe not out-of-nowhere. Almost as if she could see me she smiled gently before turning her head to the side.

"It's been a long time..." she murmured slowly,

"Just blow out the candle and you can come on out" she said before I could ask her how long it had been, before she turned and disappeared.

 

Turning to the bowl I went forward and hesitantly paused before going forward and flowing out the candle. Flinching back after I did so I watched it unsure if it would come back to life. In the vampire village we did not have such things like these... 'remedies'. After a few seconds I decided it was safe to say it was out, before opening the door and stepping out into the surprisingly warm and embracing sunlight. A smile crawled across my face as I bent my head backwards a bit and stretched out my arms wanting to embrace it. Humanity. I was a human. The sound of feet and a calm murmur of voice startled me from my over-flow of happiness. Turning I paused, frozen unsure of what I would see until I saw what looked to be Zara and a stranger walking together. Confusion spread across my face when I saw she had two arms... As if she had heard my thoughts Zara turned to me and a look of surprise and shock slapped across her face before she came running towards me with her arms open.

"Valentina!" she laughed, embracing me as I stood there stunned. Not only had she two arms but she also looked slightly older...

"Like it?" she asked registering my shock. She flexed both arms causing me to smile at her unusual display of happiness for things. The man she'd been walking with came and stood behind her and looking up I froze.

"Valentina, this is Hermes..." Zara introduced.

"His a vampire, Zara" I snarled on edge. Would he take me back to the vampire village...? Back to Laylan?

"Your majesty" Hermes said, his voice deep and the honor and pride he seemed to hold from this edging into his voice before he swept himself into a low bow.

"Always to be of your service" he said. Glancing at Zara who had bowed her head slightly almost as if doing the same I felt the swelling of annoyance hit me like a ton of bricks.

"Get up you low-life, Zara lift your head. Both of you will not bow before me unless I instruct you to do so" I snapped. Damn, human emotions were way out of whack.

 

A giggle emerged behind me and I turned to see Callum with a small petite girl beside him... Erin. They hugged eachother and laughed as they headed our way our presence unbeknownst to them as they cradled a small bundle of what seemed to be cloth between them, but two small hands appeared reaching upwards and before I knew it they had stopped dead and were staring.

"Rose?" Callum asked his voice seeming shocked yet also vunerable,

"It's Valentina now Callum" Erin chided him comfortably elbowing his side. As if waking from a trance Callum smiled before taking the small child from Erin's arms.

"His a cute little thing isn't he?" he asked, holding the small little boy up in the sunlight. I was surprised he wasn't hiding, keeping the child safe. Instead he was out and about with the child which could die in any instant...

"How can you take him out so freely?" I asked, my voice soft yet wary as I glanced either way. My gaze froze when I realized there was no longer a barrier surrounding the village...

"Get inside now" I bellowed furiously at Callum who flinched back in shock causing the baby to start crying. Erin rushed forward taking the child and hushing it as she put a hand on Callum's arm. She looked at me her eyes wavering slightly under my gaze as she looked to where the border had once been around the village.

"There is no danger Valentina. No vampires come here anymore" she said.

"Why?" I asked, the thought striking me odd. Weren't they at war? Laylan as long as I could remember was the general of the vampire army, he never made any motion suggesting he would back down...

"Laylan...?" I asked my eyes widening in fear. Was he safe? Even if during our last moments together we hadn't been all that 'chummy' I still loved him. Laylan was my best-friend...

"Valentina..." Zara said her voice drifting off. Erin glanced at Callum who turned his face away but I could tell from the look on his face.

 

Tears welling up I suddenly jumped as a pair of arms circled my waist and spun me around before throwing me up in the air so high I thought I was going to die. Laylan. I grinned down at Laylan's familiar face and was shocked when I realized he wasn't burning in the sun. Even as he caught me with ease I was still in shock as I touched his face, brushing his skin with my fingers lightly.

"You can go in the sun" I said amazed, my eyes wide with wonder. He smiled down at me before leaning down and kissing my forehead, his lips grazing my skin. His lips were warm.

"Your a human!?" I asked in complete in utter shock my hands falling down to his chest before I leant my ear against it. Sure enough there is was... A steady heart beat.

"Kind of in transition along with the rest of the vampire clan... I guess you weren't the only one Agatha put a spell on that night" he said. I flashed back to the memory of Agatha telling me I belonged only to one person...

"'Yourself'" I whispered.

"What?" Laylan asked confused. I looked up shocked I'd actually said it aloud.

"I... uhh... nothing" I said looking away as I pulled away from his arms and headed to the forest. This didn't make sense. She couldn't of done a binding spell without my parents or my knowing... Could she?

 

Winding my way through the forest I turned instantly as I heard the familiar gentle voice of Agatha.

"Agatha!?" I called out heading towards where it was. Her voice only laughed as I stumbled further and further into the deep of the forest. A branch swooped down and the leaves scratched at my eyes before I immidiately shut them and began tripping further and further forward unable to stop myself.

"Ouch" I exclaimed as I came into a halt after bumping into a quite large, but soft-like, boulder... Or so that's what I thought it was before I opened my eyes to see Heath glancing up at me his large eyes seeming to shimmer golden beneath the sunlight - but then again that could have been because they were wide. Really wide.

"Ro...?" he began to ask, but before he could have finished I backed up stumbling backwards. He was going to kill me. I knew it. Turning to head for the forest I began running at a surprisingly still fast rate, but considering I'd been out-cold for what I guessed was a few months the lack of food in my stomach and the aching in my chest as I ran further and further seemed to keep holding me back.

"Laylan!" I screamed as I neared the village,

"Laylan!" I cried aloud. A hand clamped down on my mouth and an arm snaked around my waist, knowing who it was I thrashed furiously the cries for help meeting nothing but the backs of Heath's fingers.

"Stop" he growled immidiately. I did so shaking as he lowered his hand slowly, I waited until he loosened his arm around my waist before elbowing him in the ribs.

"Laylan!" I screamed stumbling forward before running as fast as I could before heading through the buildings.

 

Laylan was beside Leonora and Callum chatting away, and turning to see me his face turned to one of worry but glancing past me his expression then turned to one of humour as he opened his arms for me as I leaped into his embrace. I began to cry as he soothed my hair with his hand,

"Heath won't hurt you Valentina" Leonora said her voice shaking as she stiffled a giggle. Laylan burrowed his face into my neck and gave a soft warm sigh causing me to relax immidiately.

"It's good to know you still run to me even after all this time" he said gently earning a poke in the side causing him to burst out laughing before I pulled back wiping my face.

"Don't joke with me 'General'" I snapped furiously, the three of them then turning to glance at Heath. I could see his shadow as his arms rose around my back and I spun around before aiming my foot as his shin. But he caught it, and smirking looked up.

"Nice try, princess" he said. I pulled my foot free from his hands and suddenly felt a wave of nausia overtake me.

"What's wrong?" he asked his voice now turned to worry, it sounded so familiar...

"She just needs some more food and rest, she's been gone for a year. You can't expect her to be one-hundred per cent so quickly now can you, Laylan?" Leonora asked Laylan who glanced away. I watched as his cheeks turned a soft shade of scarlet red.

"Blushing suits you handsome" I smiled leaning up and placing a peck of a kiss on his cheek, he roared grabbing me and spinning me around as I erupted into a fit of giggles.

"No!" I screamed, before he set me back down.

"Food then sleep" Leonora ordered her voice could've tricked you into thinking she was an old maid, but we knew better.

"Alright then Norie" Laylan chuckled patting her head as he put his arm around me waist and we headed off. I couldn't help but glance over my shoulder watching as her expression changed to one of embaressment but also of fury... She liked him. Slightly bewildered I turned back to face the front as Laylan steered us towards the eating hall.

"Steak with eggs?" he asked,

"Alright" I replied.

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