It was apparently a masquerade ball and Rose had to think about the expenses. She already did blast her savings and now there was not a penny in her pocket to spend more on the things to go with the dresses. Quick as an idea came to her she searched into the cut out waste pieces of the clothes and she finally got around to find a few hard material. The cut parts would be perfect if made into masks.
Rose burned the night candle while working and sewing on the machine. She yawned finally getting ready the four masks needed for the ball. She made Beth’s a simple blue one that matched her dress. And Tamara’s was with plumes on the edge of the right eyed one. Her eye mask was the prettiest one than compared to the others. Well, only Tamara did want something ornamental and ostentatious. Bella’s was blush silk and Rose’s was lovely peach.
She went back to sleep after that and only got up late in the afternoon. She woke up to the sounds anxious fluttering girls.
“Oh, good lord, look at the time. Im afraid we aren’t going to reach the ball soon.” Bella, always the anxious one said worriedly.
Rose blinked and got up the bed yawning heavily.
“What happened?” She asked hoarsely, with sleep filled voice.
Beth came towards her frowning in sympathy.
“Oh, darling, you worked all night over the masks. You are such a lovely girl but dear you look so ghastly.” She said looking all over her face in anxious tension.
Rose gave her a droll stare.
“Thank you for appreciating and insulting me at the same time.” She grumbled while getting off the bed.
Tamara looked down into her frowning.
“We need to work on the circles under your eyes.” She said observing her truly and critically.
Rose sighed pitifully.
“I don’t want to go to the ball looking like this. I may as well be named an ugly looking debutante. I will be remembered for seasons to come.” She rued.
Bella laughed while coming towards her and turning her to the mirror. She slid her hands into Rose’s hair.
“Well, we need to work on your flat lifeless hair too.” She said dryly.
Rose gave her glare.
“Thanks alot for being such good friends to me. Im officially abandoning you all from hereafter.” She said fiercely while making a fast walk towards the bed.
Beth laughed while curling her hair with hot iron tongs.
“Darling but we are there for you to make you transform into a swan, don’t we, Tamara?” She quipped while taming a grin.
Rose gave all of girls a very nasty look.
“So I’m the ugly ducking after all.” She scowled fiercely.
Three of the girls chuckled while getting into the gowns.
“Darling but we never said that.” Tamara murmured while looking at herself in the mirror.
She looked so beautiful in the dress. She wasn’t going to swoon but make people faint. Her hair was curled and the green in her eyes accentuated by the green dress she wore so confidently. She must be the most gorgeous woman in the lot at the ball.
She came towards Rose and pulled her in the centre.
“Girls. We need to work alot here.” She murmured sighing while twirling rose around.
The girls all ready and looked every way a titled lady. Not one would be suspicious about their position in the society. Beth hurried with the hats, gloves and shawls and they walked down outside towards the hansom at last. Mrs. Donald’s went all the way for them.
The hansom driver helped each of the girl up into the carriage. It was freezing cold outside but not one complained about the weather since all were excited to reach the mansion. Rose’s heart leaped up looking at the new built mansion. It was rather different than the before one. She gasped looking at the ostentatious display of it but once her eyes viewed it wide eyed the glimmer ob her gaze died slowly. It did not call Edward. The place looked completely in contradiction of her dream. But all now what happened all those years seemed a beautiful dream.
The girls smiling wide got down the carriage and each one gasped at the number of girls and every society level turned up for the ball. Seems like the event was rather big. The chatter. The glitter. The soldiers. The gowns. Rose stared wide eyed again at the expense not spared at all for the dresses. They saw numerous group of rich debutantes walking towards the entrance.
Bella looked suddenly worried under her bonnet. Rose smiled and squeezed her gloved hand reassuringly.
“We are going to be alright.” She said warmly.
With that Beth and Tamara too smiled and they walked confidently towards the wide lightered hall. The floor and the carpet and the glass covered walls awed the guests. Gasps filled the air. Everything was so luxurious. Rose needed not anything else but look around the vastness of the place.
The people. The cheer around. The food. The waiters. The butlers with long black frock coats and delicacies’ that they carried in golden trays. Everything was fascinated her. Soon the girls went towards the refreshment counter and soon enough too they gathered in the dark corridor. Everything was observed sharply in the dark corner.
“Have you seen the woman’s bonnet filled with the lot of plumes. I can barely see her hair through the bird’s nest. Preposterous.” Tamara said through her mask.
Beth nodded her head while sipping over her orange punch glass.
“You failed to observe the preposterously huge diamonds dangling down her ears.” She quipped dryly.
Bella chuckled while her cat like twinkled in the mask.
“Hardly. I was enjoying seeing her walk so elegantly. I fear by the time of the night her corset is going to burst.” She joked.
Rose grinned while she shook her head. The smiled wiped out of her lips and she elbowed Tamara.
“Soldiers.” She muttered under her breath.
Tamara looked around excited.
“Where?” She asked smiling wide.
Beth elbowed her too.
“Good lord stop being so apparent. The men would think that we are a bunch of shameless hussies with you jumping around like that for attention.” She retorted under her breath, while a deep blush covered her face.
Tamara just shook it off with her right gloved hand.
Beth intervened just then while smiling.
“Stop it both of you. The soldiers are walking towards us.” She warned them with closed teeth.
And as said four of the most handsome soldiers walked towards the girls with ever charming smiles. Oh no. She looked at the dance floor and at the music starting just then by the pianist and the flautist. She wasn’t ready for a dance. She barely filled any man in her card to allow anyone closer to her. She ripped the card into pieces.
And as quietly as a mouse could Rose sneaked from beside the girls and she walked fast out of the well lit hall and chitter chatter of the people. She walked down a darkened corridor. She knew that she shouldn’t venture out here alone without the girls but something did not allow her to walk back to the dance hall. She walked aimlessly listening to the creak of the floor while padded down another of the maze like corridor. She wondered again at the richness of around. The mansion was beautiful. Just that this place should have been the ruin of her first love but now it replaced and washed away without a speck and glimpse of the old castle.
She finally entered into a large wide empty room. The only place where expensive furniture wasn’t laying around. It was simply white washed and uncarpeted. The floor was made of smooth red mahogany wood. Rose smiled and twirled around and het eyes finally fell over the large rectangular windows. Those covered almost the space of the room. She walked towards the large glass shutters and het eyes narrowed input slit because there was this bright light falling over the see through surface.
She went towards it and blew air on tue cold surface only for it get fogged up. She drew pictures over it with her forefinger of her right hand. Her eyes narrowed suddenly and the smile on her lips vanished looking past the mist over the glass window. She took off the mask from over her face and she wiped frantically the surface. Her eyes widened. Her finger went over her opened lips and a shaky gasp eyes escaped her mouth.
The luminously light was coming from the floating waters of a very large pond. It was almost as big as a river stretching rectangular and large. The small twinkling light were adorned over each branch hanging down from a very large lilac tree. And the most awe binding thing were the numerous white ducks flapping happily around in the pond. The large pond was in the back of the mansion that it couldn’t be seen from afar. To the most it would seem nothing spectacular but for Rose it slithered deep a warmth into the ice valleys of her heart. It was just a gazebo for a few but for her it was her very breath. How was it possible that a piece of him was frozen in time for her.
Her eyes stung with unshed tears.
“Edward.” She whispered, and placed her gloved covered hand over the cold glass surface.
Just like from the shadows of the mist his face appeared smiling warmly across at her. Rose moved back breathing hard. She took another step back and turned around immediately. A few of the hair pins and pearls fell down the floor when she twirled so fast but it didn’t matter to her anymore. With tears filling more in her eyes she ran out of the room sobbing all the while. Rose grabbed her dress and pulled it up from over her feet and she ran more freely now.
She ran towards the back door never really knowing her away but strong instincts took power over her mind. She pushed open the door and ran towards the large garden. Her ballet slippers dug into the damp mud but she didn’t care about it anymore. The blast of chill rattled into her bones. She shivered and her teeth chattered while running. She finally reached the pond panting heavily. Her eyes wild looked around the dark and at the illuminated Lilac tree and the large pond. Frantically she looked around for something. Anything. Just for a warmth to melt the ice formed around her heart. It was killing her slowly from inside. She cannot live more with the burden of this love for him. He was dead for the lord’s sake. How was she ever going to fill the deep chasm of his loss. Her eyes burned more and she cried again. For his warmth. For his smile. For his love. For his affection. For everything that he made her learn only by being with her an hour. The firm pillar of her life. The very foundation of her soul.
Sanity began to dawn into her mind slowly while the wind blasted her face with awful cold. She looked around the eerie dark silence in apparent fear. Fool. She shouldn’t have come here.
She moved back and her ears suddenly attuned to a sound coming from off the distance of the dark. Dear lord, she should get inside the hall before anyone catches her snooping around the mansion. She heard it quite clearly now. The hooves trotting fast towards where she stood. Oh, no. The wind started to blow hard and she almost fell over her face.
She turned around and grabbed her dress. Rose took to running again as her heart thudded hard and the trotting on continued after her fast. The lightening struck across the sky and she screamed in fear but never did her feet slow down. It started to rain immediately. Heaven wasn’t with her tonight. Her right leg sprained and she squeaked before turning around. Her eyes widened when the mighty beast of a black horse raised up its front legs up in the air. It got ready to strike her and the horse neighed. The sound of it penetrated into the falling rain.
She fell back on her feet and cowered back before darkness took over and circled around her eyes in inky mist. Her senses gave away and she frowned into the inviting swoon. She fell into the pool of mud.
The man over the horse cursed and removed his mask from off his face. He watched a colourful peach bundle sprawled dead in the black inky mud. The rain made it hard for the man to see clearly what it was.
He clicked his tongue and the horse immediately calmed down. He whipped the strings and it moved across the bundle. The man bent down to grab the peach cloth and he pulled back surprised looking at a person.
“Blaze, you seem to have frightened a person to death.” The man said in a gruff deep amused voice.
His horse gave a snort in reply. The man frowned down into the mud. The rain pelted hard over his head.
And who else would venture here but a stray beggar. The clothes said otherwise though. Only way to find out is to look.
The man pulled himself again down but he did not get off the horse. He grabbed the clothing and took hold of the thick cloth. With all the strength that he acquired through years of sword fight training the man pulled the person up and he was surprised at how light weight the bundle was.
He hefted up the person over Blaze. His horse went back on the trotting.
“Easy.” The man rubbed the wild mane of the horse.
He then wiped the water trickling down his face. He frowned again while his hand worked over the layers of clothing’s. What in the damned hell was this?
He finally pulled the bizarre looking covering from off the person’s shoulders. His fingers dug into the softest of a velvety skin. His fingers probed more over a delicate curve of a neck. The man immediately wiped the mud off the skin and it started glistening in the dark. His hand went over up the neck and he rubbed off the mud and the rain helped to clear his vision. His eyes widened slowly as he took in a glowing beautiful face of a girl. An elfin gorgeousness. The mane of her curls lay all over his thigh as he kept her head in cradle. The youth over the round face drew his eyes fascinated and unblinking. His gaze over the red luscious lips and across down her neck. The dress was ripped from off her shoulders. The rain cleared off all the remains of the streaks of mud but it only accentuated the brightness of the white lotus he had in his arms.
“I’ll be damned.” He murmured surprised.
He looked around the rain and wondered how the girl ended into the pool of mud. Did she fall off the sky?
Something was after her. Making her run. Making her heart give out in fright. Grunting animalistic sounds entered into her ears. It was hungry. Hungry for her. Rose ran hard. Faster and faster it approached behind her. She sweated and screamed. She looked around to see it’s yellow eyes and teeth glistening sharp get to her throat. She was going to die.
Rose woke with a loud gasp and fright. The sheen of sweat covered her skin and her eyes wild and unfocused tried to look around. After several minutes her hard breathing tamed into short pants. She blinked several times. She was in a white large bed. Frantic with fright she looked around the room. It seemed like a bedroom. It was quite large and there was warm fire burning at the crate. Her heart slowed down its race.
Questions started drowning into the silence of her mind. What had happened? How did she get here? Where were the girls? She clenched the sheets tighter in her fist and she was ready to scream her lungs out. Right at that point of her panic a deep rich voice penetrated into her ears.
“If you are going to scream. You do it outside my room.” A voice in a husky drawl came towards her from the darkness of the room.
Rose’s eyes widened and she grabbed the sheets to her chest. A man? How? Why? How?
“Who is it?” She asked sharply while squinting her eyes.
The shadow that she observed walked slowly towards into the light. Rose grew alert and clutched the sheets tighter around her.
A tall figure of a man dressed in the most expensive waistcoat and trousers came into her vision. Her eyes widened looking at the wide shoulders and lean body stretch the clothes in a strain. The man had a mask on. A man from the masquerade ball she presumed had saved her. She remembered now how she had swooned down into the mud. Everything came back clearly. Oh heavens she was too embarrassed now.
“You….you saved me?” She asked stuttering and hesitantly.
He saw him walk towards the bedside table.
“I merely brought you here.” He replied in a drawl again.
Again his voice slid across her skin making the hair on it stand and she shivered.
“You brought me here?” She asked dumbly.
The man straightened and came towards her with a glass in hand. Rose drew back on the bed cautiously. If only she had something of a weapon in hand.
If the man observed the moment he did not care for it. From when he came closer Rose observed the dark unruly hair over the head of the stranger. He seemed young. Maybe he was a soldier.
“Here.” He said shortly.
Rose blinked down at the deep brown liquid in the glass.
“What is it?” She asked blankly again.
“Whiskey.” The stranger replied without much restrain but bluntly.
“I don’t drink. Thank you though.” She said stiffly.
Just like the stranger straightened and looked down into her face and her breath caught in her lungs. She never had seen such clear blue crystal eyes. Deep blue as the ocean can be but as clear as the sky can get in reflection of the waters. But they were blank and unconnected. The serenity in his gaze brought her down into three levels of calm. Was he a saint? A monk? How was it that she couldn’t delve into his eyes. All she came across was this white blank page. Rose had always had this knack for seeing into people’s eyes and here now she stood on the threshold of a great disappointment.
Knowning that she still was naive in the art of studying emotions.
“This is to keep you alive not to get you drunk.” He said in a clipped tone.
Rose snapped out of the numerous reveries of her mind.
“Oh.” She murmured and her cheeks heated up embarrassed.
She took the glass sheepishly from his large brawny hand. Definitely someone rich.
“Alright.” She said awkwardly still and took a sip of the drink.
The man stood looming over her making completely his presence filled around her.
His blue eyes still sparkled like the gems of the flowing ocean.
“You don’t seem much afraid.” The man titled his head to side and observed her face.
Rose almost choked on the whiskey. It was disgusting. She put it down immediately.
“Afraid of what?” She asked dumbly again.
The girls would really kill her for this when she, if she ever told this story. For sounding so stupid constantly.
The man seem to stiffen again.
“Of not finding yourself without a chaperone when you woke up.” He muttered dryly.
Rose almost laughed at the word ‘chaperone’. The girls never needed one and it was too expensive and it said that the man circled only around the rich heiresses.
“Not at all.” She mused back.
She felt the man smile. Was it in mocking she did not know. But seemed a like cold sliver passed into her eyes and Rose shivered. A challenge she observed.
“Perhaps, this will make you frightened.” He muttered in a hard voice.
His large tanned hand went up towards the face mask and Rose’s heart thudded against her chest. In a second the mask came off his face as the man literally tore it.
A sharp gasp escaped her lips and her hand went and covered her mouth in shock. He did that to make her frightened instead she stared fascinated into his face. There were four large scratches streaked starting from over his forehead and drew down cruelly in a slanted slid reaching down his chin. There were burned marks down his neck and disappeared into the white shirt that he had on. The beauty of his face was marred completely. He looked strangely twisted and smug about it.
“Oh dear lord.” She murmured and looking into his face wide eyed.
The glint of his white teeth showed while he smiled coldly across at her. A deep satisfaction entered into his eyes and the serene coloured and twisted his face in a cruel sneer and a mock.
“Now is the time for you to scream and run.” The man said now more deeply.
Rose dared to contradict.
“Why should I?” She asked gulping hard.
Alright she was a little afraid but not looking at his scars. She was suddenly frightened of the change in his attitude.
His head snapped and he looked across at her sharply.
Rose again stared. She knew it was rude to do it but the man came forward more bearing his teeth to her. It did not frighten her and he was showing her that she should.
Her eyed warmed up instead.
“Did you get the scars while in the war?” She asked bluntly, and bit her lower lip later for sounding even more impertinent.
His blue eyes stuck to her and he froze and he looked thrown off the loop. He blinked and frowned at her. The black vibrations coming out of his body penetrated around and Rose’s heart started racing again. Do not show your weakness. Never. She steeled herself against his cold demeanour.
“Yes.” He cleared his throat while moving back still looking at her strangely.
He somehow looked like the wild untamed beast of a horse that she had been afraid of in the rain while the lightning flashed across the sky. Grunting. Spiteful. Angry. And animalistic.
He kept looking at her sliding his blue eyes all over her face. His square jaw seem to settle finally and Rose stirred uncomfortable on the bed.
“You are not afraid of my face?” He asked her in a grunt.
She smiled suddenly and shrugged.
“Not at all.” She replied warmly.
That was the wrong thing to say because his eyes went all stone cold and his face blackened into dark visible anger.
“Get out!” He thundered.
His loud words flung across the room brutally and whip lashed across her mind.
Rose jumped at his voice. It changed into this scary grunt. The hair on her skin stood up into Goosebumps. Dear lord, he must be thinking that she was laughing at his scars. That’s wasn’t right.
“No, you got me all wrong…….I….” Rose started to explain.
Her eyes widened though because he straightened and within a second and in a fast flash his face got closer to hers. A sudden pain behind her head made her eyes water. He was on the bed and was right on top of her. He had his hand grabbed into her hair tightly behind at the back of her head. He tightened his hold more and Rose let out a pained moan.
He sneered down at her and his breath fell over her face and forehead. He was too close. She could see his scars too clearly this near to her eyes. Those stared down at her inflamed and angry as the man was. Rose tried to grab at his hand clenching hard into her scalp.
“You are afraid now.” He grunted again satisfied.
Rose gasped at the pain.
“Let go please, you are hurting me.” Rose said hoarsely, as her eyes watered more.
She could feel his strength. He could snap her into two without much of any remorse.
He sneered down at her again. He grabbed hard at her hair and Rose thought that she would die of the pain.
“Say that you’re afraid of me.” He threatened her.
Rose gave him a determined watery eyed look. His blue eyes flashed recognizing the steel in her defiant eyes.
“I’m not afraid of you.” She gasped in a strong whisper.
He gave her a disgusted jeer of his sharp teeth and harshly and roughly threw her off the bed. Rose wasn’t ready for the attack as her body propelled and she hit her head over the sharp edge of the bed side table.
She groaned in painful moan and her hand went over her forehead. Her eyes filled up looking at the blood smeared fingers. She looked across at the hard cruel man hiding behind the scars. He did not look anymore guilty. His eyes were again stone cold cutting blue shards.
“Get out before I rip the clothes off your body and take your innocence.” He warned her coldly.
Her watery eyes widened and Rose got up and ran fast towards the door. Her skin felt rather hot suddenly and she panicked. Her heart started beating hard under her chest and she was very much afraid that he would do as he said……….
To be continued…..
Sorry had to cut this short. I have some work now. I wrote it so fast. Im gonna cringe later when I go through it.
My tears are always frozen
I can see the air I breath
Got my fingers painting pictures
On the glass in front of me
Lay me by the frozen river
Where the boats have passed me by
All I need is to remember, how it was to feel alive
Rest against my pillow like
The ageing winter sun
Only wake each morning to remember that you’re gone
So I drift away again
To winter, I belong…….
Winter Bird—By Aurora
Credit to: Blue