She screamed in pain.

Holding her injured hand in the other, she looked at the rose she had been holding, the reason of her injury. She stared at it, her eyelids half closed, uncertain of what to do…or what might happen. She bent down and picked the flower up gingerly, trying to avoid the thorns.

The thought of poisonous roses frightened her. After all, she had received this bouquet with no note or any other indication of who might have sent them. She felt an involuntary shiver pass through her willowy form- whoever gave the flowers to her must've had that strange dark intention in mind.

But further medication resulted to the easing of her pain and doubts. She realized she was acting quite silly, thinking of poisonous plants. Sure those existed, but there were none in the room as of now. She cradled her hand still, as if it would assure her well being. She was scared. The queen of Griffin Empire was afraid.

She remembered the feeling quite well, actually- it was different from all the other usual emotions she had. There was pain, sadness, joy and anger. Vengeance, a sweet yet bitter feeling, and loneliness, which what plagued her until now. But fear? She only felt it when Nicolai had been revived as a vampire, when she was kidnapped, but it had been so long ago.

In truth, it had been already a few years, and she had aged. She wasn't 25 anymore- She was Thirty. Five years. She hasn't changed, though her hair had grown a tad longer. She risked a glance at the unconscious form beside her bed. She had no idea why she did not put him on the bed. Perhaps it was because she was too weak and he was too heavy, or that she thought it awkward.

She approached the body. She had been wondering what had happened to him when she saw his form lying on the grass. Why or how he got there she did not know, but Godric had taken him back into the castle and left him in her room. She knelt down and traced his cheek. It was so soft, so white and flawless. Raelag.

Her skin, though blessed with the lack of any blemishes or freckles, has nothing compared to his. Elves were always so graceful, after all, no matter the gender. She felt a pang of jealousy, but because of the wonder that invaded her mind, she ignored it.

She sat before him, exploring with her hands. She has never felt this way. Nicolai had not given her what she needed; his life ended too quickly, and perhaps she would never see him again alive. In the after life, she had been assured, but she didn't want to die early just for that.

She reached for his neck this time, tracing the thin line down his collarbone, concealed beneath the black metal that embraced his neck. The matter was that he had his armor on, the Dark Elfen ebony plates and purple capes that hung around his shoulders. It contradicted to the whiteness of his skin.

But she did not care. Carefully she relieved him of his armor and put them aside. She didn't know what to do if anybody would burst into her room and see her, yet she couldn't care less. There was a strange tingling feeling now, her muscles on her thighs tense. She had to appease herself, even for a bit.

She marveled at his toned stomach and hard muscles- for an elf he was well built. Deftly she pressed her lips onto his, her hands in his silky hair. She couldn't take it anymore, she wanted him, and she was going to get it no matter what. She was sure Raelag was in a deep sleep, but the thought of him wakening bothered her. What would she do then?

Forget it, she told herself. Her need was important. Let her be selfish just for once. Her lips now suckling his skin lightly on his neck, she heard him moan, and she freezes in mid action. She felt him move slightly- and slowly she pulled away, staring at him in horror. Yet her eyes were met with his usual intimidating black orbs. She could not decipher the hidden struggle beneath the gaze, but he held her wrists tight, as if demanding what was going on.

Then he pushed her into the wall, covering her body with his. Everything else happened in a blur; the rapid eagerness, the animal coupling, and the chilling aftermath of their mutual orgasm. When she opened her eyes she realized she was on the bed, naked, having woken up from a seemingly deep sleep. She saw Raelag putting his armor back on, his back to her. She didn't know what to say. She was at a total loss of words- everything that had happened earlier was done with their wilder youth; there was no intention there, only it had only chanced to happen. But it was still a fault, and Isabel did not know what to do.

Quietly she rose from the bed and walked up behind him, only the bed sheets covering her naked skin. But he left for the door before she could do anything, and quickly she reached out and grabbed his arm.

"Raelag, I..."

There was a sudden movement, and Isabel found herself once again cornered by this man, but this time his feelings were not of lust. It was the emotion of being betrayed, and his eyes shone with angered frenzy. Isabel cowered beneath his gaze, trembling in fear. She has never seen him so angry, so hostile. She tried to pull away, avoiding his eyes.

"Why?" she heard him ask, his pitch quivering. There was a thump behind her head, and she realized he had punched the wall beside her face. She looked up at him this time. She could see the tears gather in his sharp eyes, and a horrible guilt pierces her heart. What had she done?

"Oh, Raelag, I'm so sorry..." she whispered in reply, reaching up to his face. "God, I'm so sorry..."

She hugged him, whispering "I'm sorry..." into his sharp elfen ears. She has never heard a man cry like this, sounding so weak and vulnerable. But it was her fault after all. They slid to the floor, still clutching at each other and weeping. A while later, she saw something clenched in his fist, and she looked closer to see what it was.

There was the rose who had hurt her earlier; his palm was bleeding terribly from holding its thorny stem for a long time.