What do I say? I am truely a very evil and horrible witch of a person...and I'm terribly sorry to all of those people who have got so rightly fustrated with me. True, I've been busy but it has been so long since the last time that I updated. I will never forgive myself..and I wouldn't be surprised if none of you people did either.
Okay..loooong chapter here...mainly introducing Rose's brother, Alec -for those of you who didn't know :) - and going through some of Rose's thoughts...next chapter there WIILLL be more Dracula action :D:D:D:D:D:D
Rose peeked her head around the corner, and again, nothing was out of place. Even though she guessed that he had been kind enough to take her to her apartment without trying to wake her, she still could not take any chances. Limping into the hallway, she leant her hand on the wall next to her as she remembered having her bag lying on her stomach whilst he carried her. If he managed to get me inside then he must have found the keys to the apartment in my bag...she looked around frantically, trying to find her handbag. However, Rose hadn't needed to look far as she found it hanging on one of the hooks behind the entrance door to the flat. She breathed a sigh of relief and approached it to check that everything it had contained was still there.
Phone...check, purse...check, makeup bag...check, brush...check, chewing gun...check, keys...keys? KEYS! She whipped her head around in panic, and her eyes immediately settled on the table in the hallway. There was a yellow lamp sitting on the plain wicker table, and lying beside it was a basket where she dumped all her keys and small change. Rose staggered towards the table in the hopes that the keys to the apartment or the spare ones hadn't been taken. However, to her relief, she found both keys still lying within the little basket. Her hand had flown up to rest on her chest, trying to calm her erratic breathing. Rose shook her head, inwardly reprimanding herself for jumping to conclusions...again! Despite her previous panic, she smiled. Not only had he put her handbag and keys in the correct places, he had also taken her shoes off. Now her converse were lying the shoe rack opposite the wicker table. He's certainly a lot more considerate than Alec, she chuckled, remembering that her brother usually had the tendency to plonk anything where ever, without much thought.
An umbrella was leaning against the wall, and so Rose decided to use it as a makeshift crutch for the time being, as she wasn't too keen on limping everywhere around the flat. She picked it up and started hopping into the kitchen with her right hand clutching at the umbrella. The kitchen was located across the hall way, opposite her bedroom. Next to the kitchen was the lounge and so next to her bedroom was her en-suite bathroom.
Once in there, Rose lifted her left hand and traced her finger along the cupboard doors to the left of the sink, scanning them. When she came across the medical cupboard, she opened it and took out a small role of bandages to wrap around her ankle and also grabbed a pair of scissors.
The legs of a chair could be heard scraping across the tiled floor. Rose had taken a one from the small rectangle table in the middle of the kitchen and plopped herself on it. She rested the umbrella on the table before her and started cutting a suitable length of fabric from the role. With a little bit of difficulty due to the pain throbbing on the lower part of her foot, Rose lifted her right leg up so that it lay on the knee of her other leg. Then the length of fabric was wound carefully around her ankle, making sure not the jerk or to make any other sudden movements.
The kitchen was fairly simple, having all the necessary appliances such as a coffee maker, kettle, microwave and blender which had all come with the apartment. The electrical appliances and kitchen surfaces and cupboards were quite modern looking, indicating that these block of flats had been recently built. The room was rectangular in shape, and covering about three quarters of the wall space were cupboards and larger appliances such as a washing machine, fridge and freezer. The sink was lying right in the middle along the longer side of the wall, and beyond the sink was a wide window with squared patterned green and white curtains hung at either side that tied in with the green coloured walls of the whole kitchen. Also on the ledge of the window, were various assortments of leafy plants, which thrived from the sunlight shining through the east facing window. Above the sink was a pole which stretched from one side of the opening to the window right to the other side where bunches of dried roses were left hung up, along with other bunches of dried plants which looked more like branches with small balls of seeds at the ends of them.
You would think that Rose spent a lot of time in the kitchen and therefore cooked a lot, but that really wasn't the case. She just liked to make an effort to keep everything looking homely in every room. In fact, she had very bad eating habits as she always prepared ready made meals or ordered takeaways due to her busy schedule during the week. Her friends often marvelled about how Rose kept in such good shape. However, every Saturday morning Rose did go out for an hour long jog, so it wasn't as if she didn't have a completely unhealthy lifestyle.
One final knot was made with the extra lengths of the bandage once she had wrapped it around her ankle. Happy with her work, she put her right leg back down onto the floor. It was at that exact moment when she heard her phone ring. The phone was hung on the wall only about a few feet away. With Rose not being that willing to get up any time soon after only just settling herself down, she tried to reach out to the receiver. However, her efforts were in vain. No sooner had she only just grazed her finger tips along the coiled wire, she found herself tumbling to the floor.
"Oh nuts..." Incoherent mutterings emitted from her mouth whilst she attempted to lift herself up and grab the phone. This time she was successful and took the phone in her right hand, crawled her way back to her chair and sat on it again without leaning her weight too much on her sprained ankle. Once this was done, she held the phone up to her ear.
"Hello? Hey Rose, are you there? The tips of her mouth rose once she recognised the voice.
"Oh thank god! I was starting to get worried, you took ages to pick up the phone and answer it! Are you okay?"
"Yeah I'm good. Sorry about that, I guess I'm a bit tired. I only just got up." Rose yawned and rubbed her eyes to rid the sleep in them.
"You sound it. I rang you yesterday evening but you weren't there. I was just checking up on you as usual." She chuckled at his concern.
"Alec, you do know that there are other methods of communication, like email. I replied to your one yesterday as well. Did you check your email after you tried to call or something?"
"Yeah, I got your email before, but I just like to hear that you're okay. You can't notice those kinds of things over an email! I guess I'm just old fashioned." Alec joked.
"Tell me about it. Well it's nice to hear from you anyways." She tried to divert to a different subject, but alas, with not much success.
"So, where were you last night? You said on Wednesday that by the end of this week you were going to get an extra early night." As usual, her brother was always quick on the uptake. Rose paused for a second trying to think about what to say as an explanation. Her brother wasn't a fool and she just hated lying to him, but she didn't want to cause any unnecessary worry on his part.
"Oh, one of the girls who work at the Greek taverna invited me to a little birthday party of hers. It was a bit late notice, but I was kind of...dragged along." Rose laughed, but she could tell that Alec was not convinced.
"Hmm...was there a lot of beer and stuff because it's quite late in the morning - almost about an hour and a half till lunch time actually. You must have gotten pretty sloshed last night if you had only just got up!"
"Yup, it was quite the little birthday party that she said it was gonna be." She nervously laughed, trying to add a bit of sarcasm in order to lighten up the conversation. "I'm alright now, I got home safely and everything. Anyway, what you been up to recently?"
"Well yesterday, as well as checking up on you, I was also going to ask for some advice." Rose let out a breath when he allowed the change in subject and raised one eyebrow in curiosity.
"Yes...what advice would my dear brother be in need of?" Sensing that this might carry on to be a long conversation, she decided to try and make herself some coffee. Rose rested the phone between her chin and right shoulder and picked up the umbrella from the table with her right hand. Lifting herself up from the chair, she then hoppled over to the kettle.
"Err...you see..." Alec stuttered whilst Rose rolled her eyes and let out a small chuckle.
"Actually, no I don't see. Now will you elaborate?" She filled the kettle full of water whilst trying to keep a hold on it with her left hand. Her hand started to shake as the water rose in the container causing its weight to increase. Just before she almost dropped the whole thing altogether into the sink, she quickly took the kettle out of the way, put it down and flicked the switch on. Alec, who was at that moment completely oblivious to Rose's difficulty of trying to do everything with one hand, carried on talking.
"I met this girl. She's around your age actually...and I really like her."
"Ooo! So, what do you exactly mean when you say that you really like her?" Rose teased. She opened a cupboard above her head and leant forward, trying to find a decent sized mug.
"Well, you know what I mean!" However, just as she had chosen a mug and taken it down, the door of the cupboard started swaying back off its own accord and ended up bumping Rose in the head.
"Ouch!" She stiffened, making sure the phone didn't slip off.
"Rose, are you alright?" Concern was etched in his voice.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Now, where were we?" Thankfully, he let the matter pass and carried on. All the while Rose gave the cupboard door a menacing stare and mouthed a few ill-omened words in its direction.
"Well...I haven't dated anyone in a long time and last time I did, it was the girl who had made the first move-"
"-oh! So you want me to give you some advice on how and when to make the first move to her, is that it?"
"You hit the nail right on the head...so what do I do? I mean, you're a girl..." There was a click as the kettle turned itself off, signalling that the water was boiled. Rose lifted it up and shakily poured the steaming water into the mug.
"How long have you known her?" Rose reached for the tin marked 'coffee' and took out a spoon from a draw below her, thanking the interior designer of the kitchen that all the facilities for making a hot drink were close together.
"About a week I think..." Immediately her eyebrows shot up.
"Really? Wow, such a short space of time. She must be really nice!"
"Yeah, she really is." Alec agreed, "I can see that you two would get along very well too."
"Oh, that doesn't matter so much! What's her name anyway?" Rose leant her right elbow on the crook of the umbrella handle as she grabbed hold of the base of the coffee tin to keep it in place with her left hand. She used her now free right hand to take off the lid. Just when she had managed to pull the lid of with a pop, the phone started to slip from her shoulder...
"Sylvie-" The phone fell and clambered against the hard tiled stone floor. Rose lost her balance from leaning all her weight from her elbow onto the umbrella, and she too followed the phone to the ground, creating a loud thud afterwards. A series of curses were issued soon after when the umbrella hit her on its way down too. With Alec having no idea about what had happened, he was left panicking, thinking that maybe there was an intruder in her apartment.
"What's going on? Rose? Rose! ROSE!" Still lying sprawled out across the floor, Rose huffed to herself in aggravation and reached for the phone that lay ahead.
"Calm down, I'm okay. Just I - erm...fell over." She cringed, dreading the thought that he might find out what happened last night. He just wouldn't stop worrying if he did. She wanted him to focus on himself for the time being and on this new girl that he had the hots for.
"Calm down? That fall sounded serious! In fact, I heard quite a few things fall with you! What happened?" Knowing that she was stuck between a rock and a hard place, with not having a clue how she would get out of this one, she decided to tell the truth - well at least, as little as she could.
"Well, the phone fell, then me...and then the umbrella."
"The umbrella? Why on earth did you have an umbrella with you...your inside." His tone was one of utter confusion.
"Yeah...I was leaning on it."
"You were using it as a walking stick?" Rose's cheeks flushed at how stupid the situation sounded.
"Yup, I err...twisted my ankle or something."
"Who did it? Did it happen at the party last night?" Rose sighed, exasperated.
"No one did anything, it was an accident. And while we're on the subject, there was no party. I just didn't want to say anything that would get you all worried - because there is nothing for you to be worried about!"
"That means you were trying to cover something up. Please don't lie to me. How did you hurt your ankle? It must be pretty bad...are you sure you haven't broken it?"
"No! He said it's only sprained-" Realising her mistake, Rose's hand flew to her mouth to prevent her saying any more.
"He? Who is 'he'?" Rose cringed. Oh dear, I am so not a morning person...
"The guy who I played hide and seek with...in the park." She added reluctantly, "...his name is Vlad. Don't worry, I've known him for a-"
"Vlad? Never heard of him. When did you two meet?" Rose lifted herself up and rested her back against the kitchen draws behind her.
"About...five days ago." Rose confessed.
"Five days ago? And then you start playing hide and go seek yesterday night when it's dark...and in a secluded little wood type place? I mean, y - you hardly know the guy!"
"I know!" Rose slid back down to the floor with her head buried in one of her hands. God, it sounds so stupid. I sound so stupid!
"Then why? How did you two meet? Who is he - apart from the fact that he's called Vlad?" Well I was bound to tell him sooner or later...
"I met him on Halloween...well more like he met me in the park after I'd finished work and decided to scare me by pretending to err, harass me -" At the mention of this, Alec immediately cut in.
"Harassing you? Sexually? Rose, I don't like the sound of this-"
"Hey, let me finish! I avoided using that path for about two days. Then on the third day which was Thursday, I decided to use the path through the woods again as it's shorter. I found him there at the edge of the path waiting for me...he had come to apologise, saying that he was just having fun as it was Halloween after all! I forgave him, and then he asked for my name, he gave his...blah blah...and then he asked whether he could see me again. I said maybe and left it at that."
"So, what about yesterday?"
"Well, I found him in the park again...we got talking, as one does. I can't remember all of the details - but then he was playing the 'silent' game just to annoy me...naturally, I got a bit pissed off and decided a little game of hide and seek would throw him off balance. I know it sounds weird, but at the time - everything just flowed..."
"Right..." He was disappointed in her, she could tell. Rose could see where he was coming from - that after everything that they had been through, Rose should have learnt by now that what she had done had been incredibly foolish. But I'm 20 years old! I can't live under a rock my whole life... However, she dared not say her thoughts at that present moment out loud, in fear that Alec could get hurt. He was after all trying to protect her.
"Come on! I was in a random mood. " She said in defence.
"Rose, you know that's no excuse. You hardly know anything about him...you can't trust someone after just a few days, especially not a guy."
"Well, he knows hardly anything about me either!" Alec sighed, obviously finding this an uncomfortable conversation.
"A guy doesn't need to know anything about someone if they want to rape them!" Rose shifted against the kitchen draws behind her. She winced in pain as the handles dug into her back.
"Well if that was Vlad's intention, then he could have done so last night." She held her chin up high, convinced that this would make Alec back off. There was a long pause on Alec's side of the telephone line, stubborn as ever as he was not wanting to give in so easily. It was one of the many characteristics that they both shared.
"So, what else happened after your little game yesterday?"
"As you already know, I fell whilst running. Actually, it would have been a lot worse if Vlad hadn't lept forward and broken my fall."
"-Yeah, he was so fast...almost supernatural..." The last part she spoke more to herself as she reminisced about the event in silent wonderment. Rose shook her head and carried on, "Anyway, to cut a long story short, he carried me to my apartment - he had insisted to not leave me to walk back unaccompanied. So there you go. He acted the perfect gentleman!" Rose deliberately left out the part that she had actually been asleep at the time to avoid further reprimands and embarrassment.
"Well, err...that changes things slightly I suppose." Rose drew in a breath, but Alec cut in before she could speak, "but do be careful Rose. You know I don't want you to get hurt again. I've got your best interests at heart!"
"I know..." Rose had dropped her defensive tone and was now speaking in a softer voice, full of affection for her brother. "Let's not worry about that now anyway. Besides, it might not feel like it's early in the morning for you, but it is for me!" She smiled when she heard Alec chuckle.
"No chance you will be jogging today I suppose?"
"Oi, shut up you!! So where were we about an hour ago?" Rose joked. "Oh, that Sylvie girl! Tell me more, tell me more..." Then she started singing the lyrics from the musical 'Grease', knowing that this would most definitely make Alec's cheeks burn.
"Once you've stopped singing that annoying song, then yes!"
And so they chatted on for another quarter of an hour about Alec's new crush - much to Rose's relief. Alec seemed to have forgotten all about Vlad as he merrily nattered on about what the girl looked like, her hobbies...the list went on. All the while, Rose was grinning ear to ear at hearing how happy and excited her brother sounded. This is just what he needs. He needs to focus on himself a bit more now...hopefully this Sylvie will help!
At thinking how happy Alec sounded at the prospect of asking this girl out, she couldn't help but wonder about herself...maybe I should take the plunge? Besides not every guy is a complete jerk, and I can't live under a rock my whole life!
After a good three quarters of an hour of nattering, they finally bid their cheerios to one another.
"Well, until next time bro."
"Yeah, bye Rose...and take care of yourself, okay?" She smiled, I'll try. Once they both had hung up, Rose gave out a long sigh of longing. She was happy for her brother of course but she just wished she had a love interest as well. Rose didn't want to be on her own anymore. Okay, she had her brother...but was that really enough? Besides, they were separated by two states.
Then an image of a person flickered unbidden through her mind...Vlad. Rose shook her head. Me...like him? She was shocked that she would even think such a thing, especially since she had only known him for only about five days - that was under a week! Do I really...well I suppose I kind of do - maybe fancy him a teeny weenie tad little bit...perhaps...maybe...
Ooo seems like Vlad's seducing plan is gonna work after all..but of course, there are going to be complications ;) teehee!!!
Would just like to give a final thankyou to all those people who have put up with my irregular updates and continuous claims to being busy..as well as the people who actually have been taking their time reviewing..THANKYOU! - especially Kurby..I think you need a cookie and hug from dracula...oo and do you like jelly beans?
Oh and thanks Bestest mate yeh...I know who you are:D:D:D:D (massive hug)xxxxx