A Rose by any other nameMature

The girl was alarmed. The last thing she remembered, she was being tossed into a supply closet by a giant of man He’d tied her hands together, taped her mouth shut and left her there in the dark. When she opened her eyes again, everything had changed. This was no supply closet.

“Have you finally woken up?” a genteel woman’s voice fills the dimly lit room. The only light came from a roaring fireplace directly across from where she lay.

The girl could not make out from where the voice came. She allowed her eyes to adjust to the darkness and scanned for someone, anyone at all. She was draped across a large bed, covered in silk and satin colored in the deepest blue she’d ever seen. It was mesmerizing. It seemed to flicker as well as the flames of the fire.

“You have no need to be afraid. You are quite safe now.” The woman belonging to the voice said as each click of her high heels brought her closer. Suddenly, the red head knew fear. Her freckled face burned with it.

Rose Red stepped forward and into the light. She’d long removed her white business suit and replaced it with a long, silky night gown that clung to her small curves as if it were painted there. It was the same deep, royal blue of the bed linens. It made her bleach blonde hair seem to glow in the light of the fire.

“I do apologize for the way you were handled before. My sister can be something of a brute.” Rose sits on the edge of the bed, just within arm’s reach of the girl, inhaling her fear like sweet aroma.

“Your sister?” The girl finally speaks.

“Yes, my sister. She was the pushy girl with all the guns that locked you in a closet.” Rose grimaced. There were much better things to do with potential witnesses than lock them in closets. She never stopped to get information. Rose always had to do the detail work.

“Oh” the girl says, seeming confused, but too afraid to ask the obvious question. How could they possibly be sisters?

“I know you’re scared and confused.” Rose consoles. “That is why I brought you someplace safe. This will all be over very quickly, so long as you cooperate.” Her words were kind, but the impending danger of threat was laced in her voice. The redhead nodded her understanding.

“Where are we?” The redhead worked up the courage to ask.

“This is my home. You’re in one of my many guestrooms. I hope you’re comfortable.”

“But why” the girl began to ask. Red lifted her hand and silenced the girl.

“If you let me do the talking and ask the questions, this will go much quicker for you.” The girl swallowed hard. Something about this thin, frail looking blonde was increasingly frightening.

“What Is your name?” Red asked the standard issue question.

“I’m Danielle Stewart. Look I’m just a receptionist I don’t know anything.”

Rose raised her eyes, daring the girl to continue talking. She didn’t.

“My name is Shi. That is Japanese for death. It is not wise to lie to me Danielle. My kind live by lies. I know a lie when I hear one, I can feel them coming. I revel in them.”

“Your kind?” the girl questioned. Finally she was beginning to understand just how deeply in she was.

“Certainly you didn’t think you could work in the company of demons and even lesser beings like trolls and think that you’d be immune to those of us further descended?” The color drained from the girls face.

“They said that I’d be protected. They marked me as safe!” Danielle was nearly panicking. Shi loved it.

“They marked you for death. You were next to be sacrificed.” Shi  chuckled at her naivety. Humans were mostly very stupid in this age. Most had become so separate from the things of the past that they believed her kind were mere fairytale. Others, who did believe, thought that they could somehow control the powers of the world. How when they did not live long enough to even understand them?

“I need to know for whom your boss worked Danielle.” Shi  asked plainly. The girl didn’t respond. Fear had her voice in a stranglehold.

“Please try and relax.” Shi  reached out and touched the girl. A cold chill raced through Danielle’s body. Red was ice cold. “You’re helping me could literally help prevent a war that would cost many lives, both human and not. It is important that you cooperate.”

That was not a lie. Shi  was on a mission from a council completely different from The Unit. They’d sent her to be recruited by the Unit as a way to gather information for her clan. The underworld was astir. Too many fool hearty demons were coming topside and causing all types of problems for man. They were causing the world to fall more quickly into darkness. This would no doubt start the war of all wars. The demons were stupid and reckless. They did not care what type of damage they caused. They were nowhere near as descended as her kind. Those further descended were in no rush to begin the war and end life on Earth for mankind. If all men passed from this place, so would her kind. They were their only food source. She was a vampire after all. Her kind were very low indeed, and few ever made it that afr. For the most part they did not involve themselves in the business of the Great War to come or bother choosing a side. They were happy on Erath with all the men to play with as they pleased. It was a life of lusts and luxuries for her kind. It was the foolish demons who wanted to end it all.

No, the demons had it all wrong. They must first find a gateway into another realm. Men didn’t live long enough to observe the changes in the world and were too simple most the time to pay attention to the signs. There were other realms and worlds out there. The Almighty Ascended never made just one of anything. If the demons were smart, they’d be launching campaigns like the vampire for industry, and the world to go green and invest in sciences to help keep this world whole until they could find a way to its twin.

“He was working for the second realm.” Danielle squeaked, as if afraid to speak the words into the air. This would have been a justified fear were she not in a vampyre’s lair. No demon, especially from the measly second realm, could eaves drop on one as descended as she.

“Is that all? He’d amassed that much wealth by making deal with the second realm?” She was disappointed. Only in Los Angeles could one acquire such great means with so little. The second realm did little more than put on a show, there was no real power there.

 “Dealing with the second realm is no way to descend! Does anyone in all of this town make a living off of real work, or is everyone here looking to get rich quick and live on the beach!” Shi yelled to herself more than her redheaded companion.

“You have been of absolutely no use to me.” Red sighed, looking the frightened girl over with disdain. “Can you at least tell me about my sister? How did she apprehend you? What exactly did she do?”

This was a great mystery to Red. She could always sense when she was in the presence of another magical being, but with Snow she got nothing. If there was anything Shi hated, it was not knowing. She’d seen Snow’s work, knew what she was capable of, but notwhatshe was. It was clear Snow did not know what Red was either. Something was blocking them from reading one another.

“She just told me to get up, and I did.” Danielle replied.

“Did you feel coerced? Was their maybe some hypnotic suggestion?” Red was hopeful.

“No. She looked mean and her partner was a giant. I just got up.” Red’s hopes were that quickly dashed.

“You know, were it not for needing to interrogate you, it would be that same giant you speak of in my bed, and not some useless girl. The way I see it, not only were you not at all helpful, but you cost me a night of hunting and a night of pleasure. I am a vampire, you understand. I only exist for pleasure and consumption.”

Shi turned on the girl with a predatory glare. “How do you intend to repay what you have cost me?”

The girl’s eyes widened like disks. “I’m not going home am I?” she asked, realizing her conundrum. She’d have been safer in a pit of vipers than in the den of a hungry vampire.

“No Danielle, I’m afraid you are not.” Shi slid across the silken sheets and hovered over the girl. She laced her fingers through her soft red waves. “Look at it this way dear. This will be far less painful than being sacrificed, and a lot more fun.”

The End

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