Chapter Two: The Cottage, Part II

“Well, well… Look what we have here….”

The boy’s excited tone grabbed the attention of the child, who looked up to the two boys across from him.

When his gaze fell on the book in the boy’s hands, he froze; only his eyes moved as he watched the older pick something from between the book’s pages and gently lift it up so it could stand in full view of everyone there.

“You have got to be joking!” The taller gave a throaty laugh, shaggy hair falling over his eyes as he bended over clutching his sides. “A flower…?! Could this kid be any more of a freak?” he said in between laughs, shoulders shacking.

“Not just any flower, but a rose at that,” the boy with the dark eyes added softly, a huge grin that showed all his bad teeth still stuck to his face as he stared intently at the dry and flat rose that he rotated with his fingers.

“A rose…? Pas du tout!” exclaimed the brunette at the child’s side, staring at the flower with a heavy frown on his face. “There is no such thing as a bleu rose!” he contested in a thick accent, unconsciously loosening the hold he had on the child’s hair.

“Not naturally anyway…” the one holding the flower corrected in a calm manner, smile fading away but dark eyes still fixed on the rose’s petals, which glowed an intense and mesmerizing blue against his dark skin.

“Someone gave you this, right?”

The child blinked his wide eyes and, quick as a whip, turned them to the holder of the flower.

“You never keep a flower like this, especially a rose, unless it was given to you by someone … and it’s someone really special to you … that’s why Stevie here had to practically rip that bag off from you.”

“Oi! I told you not to call me that!” chided the taller with a scowl, face as red as his hair.

“And that’s why you didn’t speak a word when I broke your stupid glass toy,” the other continued his reflections, nothing on his expression indicating that he had heard the other at all. His eyes were now fixed solely on the child’s, who in turn was doing everything he could not to look at the flower in the elder’s hands and keep his eyes on the boy’s.

The older smirked as he noticed the look he was being given. “Oh, don’t worry. I won’t hurt your silly flower... If-” He paused, eyes narrowing, “you tell me who gave it to you.”

The child gave a start at this, and took on a shocked expression. His restless gaze jumped between the flower and the boy holding it, before settling once more on the later.

The two of them stayed like that for what seemed like an eternity under the blazing hot sun, just staring at each other, one begging and the other unrelenting, until, finally, the child’s eyes seemed to waver and he turned them away, lowering his head to stare at the ground.

Black eyes hardened at that display of behavior, but only for a fleeting moment, the frown being immediately replaced by a more relaxed expression as a twisted smile slowly took over. “Well, if that’s the case, then…”

The child watched, horrified, as the other’s bent fingers dropped the rose’s stem, and as the flower fell soundlessly on the paved ground. His breath hitched in his throat as he saw the teen’s foot once again leave the stone paved floor of the courtyard and move slowly towards the unsuspecting flower.


The End

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