Author's note: Summer's this close. I can smell it. And we're psyched. Haw haw. But on a more somber note, this story. It's rather… angsty, to say the least. Feel free to interpret as you wish. Enjoy.


Roses. Pink, long-stemmed roses. He shows up at her door with a single one every time, an apologetic smile on his face and a look of infinite sorrow in his eyes.

I'm so sorry, he'll say. She'll remain stoic, her walls up.

I didn't know what I was doing… the curse seal…his voice will be low, soft and tender. She'll look away, wrapping her arms around herself and pressing down to feel the bite of the bruises on her body.

Please, give me another chance, he'll reach for her, his touch hesitant, his entire manner beseeching her to forgive him. Her resolve will weaken, but the memory of those angry red eyes will awaken her from the lulling power of his presence. She'll push him away and move to close the door.

Don't leave me, he'll cry. I love you, and all her movements will stop, her very soul affected by his words. She will tremble, and he will take advantage of her moment of weakness, pushing through the door and taking her into his arms. He'll whisper soothing words into her ears, words of apology, affirmations of love, promises that it will never happen again. Then he will kiss her, and all her walls, her defenses, her logic will come tumbling down. And as she returns his embrace and he reaches to push the door shut, she thinks to herself, maybe this time it will be different, maybe this time he can control it, maybe this time he won't hurt me.

And for a few days, it will seem as though things will work out, but inevitably, she will find herself cowering in a corner, broken and battered as he towers in front of her, his body covered in swirls of black. And at times like those, she wonders when she'll realize that roses eventually wilt.