Ok, here we go. Credit for giving/helping me with my story goes to my friend (whose name I'm not putting up for safety reasons) but you know who you are!! Thanks soo much! I love this story, I hope you will too!!
I strolled down the sidewalk beside my mostly silent companion, enjoying the warm day. I impatiently brushed the hair that had escaped my ponytail out of my eyes. Fang had his hands in the pockets of his jeans, and was looking around at through lidded eyes. I stretched my long, tanned legs as I walked, glad for the chance to relax. Absentmindedly I trailed my hands through the shrubbery as we went, pulling off leaves and tearing them apart.
Startled, Fang glanced at me. I made a face at him and pulled out the thorn that was embedded deeply into my finger, a drop of bright red blood oozing to the surface.
Fang grabbed my hand with a look of mock seriousness and examined my bleeding finger.
"It's bad, but I think you'll live," he said dryly, dropping my hand.
I turned around to see the plant that had stabbed me. A rosebush sat, in full bloom, looking deceptively innocent.
I snorted. "Ironic."
"I love roses, and one just gored me."
"I think that may be a slight exaggeration." Fang's eyes twinkled at me, one corner of his mouth lifting in an amused half-smile.
"Whatever. Let's go."
I stepped outside into the scorching heat to get the mail with a groan. I pulled the sweat-soaked tendrils of hair from my neck and twisted them into a messy bun. I glanced around for the mail, then stopped. A single, blood-red rose was sitting on top of the mail. Curious, I picked it up, careful not to prick myself again. Noting that there was a card attached, I pushed the door back open and headed for the living room.
I folded one leg under myself and sat down on the couch. I glanced at the card, which had my name on it.
I couldn't believe it. Why would anyone send me a rose?
And such a perfect one, too, I thought, examining it more closely. It was absolutely flawless, every petal a perfect crimson.
I stood again and walked into the kitchen. I laid the flower on the table carefully, so as not to damage it. Grabbing a glass from the cupboard, I filled it with ice. Just as I was pouring water into it, the door slammed and Iggy clattered into the kitchen, Fang not far behind.
"Man, is it a scorcher out there," Iggy complained, tossing his books on the table.
"Yeah. Did you find the books you needed at the library?"
"No," Fang grumbled, glancing at me quickly as he sat down. "But Iggy did. He shouldn't be able to find anything."
"Now, now, boys," I teased.
Fang brushed his hand lightly over the rose on the table. "What's this? Got yourself an admirer? Who is it?" His fingers hovered lightly over the flower.
Blushing, I grabbed it. "It's probably not even anything like that! And if it is a guy, I'm sure he's nicer than you!"
Iggy chuckled evilly. "Oh, Maaaax…" He clasped his hands and fluttered his sightless eyes at me.
My face flaming, I smacked the back of his head and stormed out of the kitchen.
I went into my room and shut and locked the door before sinking down on the edge of my bed with a sigh.
Who could it be?
I leaped down the steps, taking them two at a time. I almost collided with Fang as I spun around the corner. His arm flew out to steady me at my elbow before I could fall.
"Whoa whoa, whirlwind. Where are you off to in such a hurry?"
"I'm gonna go for a run," I answered quickly, darting around him. I banged out the front door, leaving him standing with his arm still out.
As I jogged back up to the house, I stopped and stretched with pleasure. It had been a long time since I had gotten good exercise like that. Feeling much better, I reentered the house.
"I'm back!" I yelled to the house at large.
"Man!" Iggy shouted back jokingly.
I shook my head and headed up to my room to get stuff for a shower.
And there, sitting on my bed, was a pure white rose.
I wanted to scream.
I picked it up and examined it. It was just as perfect as the last. Feeling suddenly angry, I threw it on the bed carelessly and stomped over to the dresser to get my things.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. "Max? Are you OK? Someone sent another rose. I put it on your bed." Fang's muffled voice came from the hall.
"No, I'm not OK!" I yelled back.
The doorknob jiggled as he tried to open it and found it locked. "What's wrong?"
"That dumb rose!"
I could feel his surprise. "That makes you mad?"
"Yes!" I tossed my tennis shoes across the room and they hit the wall with a thump.
"Why?" He asked incredulously.
I suddenly felt perilously close to tears, and dashed them away angrily.
"None of your business." To my horror, my voice sounded all choked up.
"Max, let me in."
"Please?" he pleaded.
I sighed. "Fine." I got up and unlocked the door. He opened it and his eyes flew to my face.
I turned and walked to my bed again. He sat on the floor in front of me, cross-legged.
"Now, will you please tell me what's wrong?" He sounded slightly frustrated.
"Someone keeps sending me these roses," I blurted out. "And I don't know who. Or why. They might just be having a laugh."
Fang started. "Why the heck would they do that?"
"Fang, look. Who would send me a rose?"
He just looked at me for a second. "Max, you're crazy."
Fang shook his head. "Maybe you'll find out who it was next time," he changed the subject, pushing himself up with his hands on his knees. "Third time's the charm?"
"Let's hope so," I sighed.
Fang's warm hand rested on my shoulder for a minute.
"Hey, don't worry about this. It'll all be OK."
I looked down, feeling small. "Yeah."
The next morning when I woke up, I immediately felt a sense of curiosity. Who could have been sending me the roses? Maybe Fang was right and they would tell me who they were today.
I dressed quickly in shorts and a T-shirt and ran downstairs. Iggy raised his head from over his bowl of cereal as I walked into the kitchen.
"You're up early," he commented.
"Not really. Where's Fang?"
"He said something about going out for a while."
"Oh." I was strangely disappointed.
"Why?" he asked slyly.
"No reason." I said, trying to make my voice cheerful. "I'm going for a fly, OK?"
"Whatever." Iggy, now uninterested, buried his face again into his Cheerios.
I headed out into the back yard and spread my wings through the carefully cut slits in my shirt. I stretched them appreciatively into the warm sunlight, basking for a moment in the glare. Taking a running leap, I rose into the air, my wings pumping powerfully.
I knew exactly where I was going. After about fifteen minutes of flying, I found myself soaring over a clear, blue-green lake. In the center was a small island, with a grove of trees.
I glided down into the trees, coming to a skidding halt. I tucked my wings in reluctantly, and headed for my special spot.
A huge, dusky brown tree towered over me, its leafy branches stretching proudly to the sky. I settled down among the roots with a sigh, glad for the familiar comfort.
I closed my eyes, smiling lazily as I ran my hands over the rough roots.
I opened my eyes, startled, as I looked at my hand.
A droplet of cherry red blood seeped around a small thorn that was embedded in my fingertip.
Already knowing what I would find, I stretched out my hand and picked up the delicate rose. This time it was deep, ebony black, a sharp contrast to the other two that I had received. I turned it over in my hands, pulling off the note attached. I held the flower to my nose, inhaling the sweet scent deeply as I read the neat, Gothic-looking writing.
"That which we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet."
I looked at the familiar handwriting, then at the silky black rose in my hands.
I touched down swiftly in our back yard, bringing my wings into my back with a whoosh. Gently cradling the rose in my hands, I strode back into the house.
I slipped quickly through the front hall, immediately spying a familiar, dark-haired figure sitting on the front steps outside.
Hesitantly, I pushed the door open and stepped out, still clutching my flower. Fang must have heard me, but he didn't get up or turn around.
I steeled myself and walked up behind him. I could feel the discomfort at the unfamiliar situation practically radiating off of him.
I placed the rose carefully beside me, so I could protect it. I placed a hand on each of Fang's black-clad shoulders and he stiffened, muscles bunching under my fingertips. Slowly, he relaxed.
"Fang," I whispered quietly. Fang sat there for a moment longer then stood up to face me slowly.
His dark eyes flickered quickly over my face, reading my expression like a book.
"Thank you," I whispered quietly, gesturing to the flower on the ground.
He shoved his hands in his pockets, looking down. He glanced up at me with a heart-stopping crooked grin, a silky fringe of black hair falling into his eyes.
Suddenly, on an impulse, I flung myself at him and threw my arms around his neck. He took a half step back in surprise, then slowly his strong arms settled around me.
I could feel him chuckle lightly, but I just closed my eyes contentedly. Fang uncharacteristically seemed to be enjoying the contact, and raised a hand hesitantly to stroke my hair. The other arm was still around my waist, securing me to him strongly.
As I inhaled deeply, I could smell the scent that was individually Fang – pine, wind, and sun.
That which we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.
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