"I have two more things to ask you." I take a deep breath. I'm sitting in Faragonda's newly reclaimed office in Alfea. A few hours ago she kicked professor Avalon (who was her substitute) out of the room and told me everything: how Sky saved my life, how he called her, how she made sure I got a job in the Palace of Eraklyon, how she tried to keep the Queen out of the picture until I had gained strength..
"Go ahead." She nods. "I suppose it has something to do with the Count of Wehrinde." She smiles knowingly. I sigh relieved.
"What side was he on?"
"He was supposed to be on our side. You see, it was a little dangerous to … expose you to prince Sky very early." I flush at her words. "The Queen would notice his altered behavior. So I admit I deliberately confused you about your own identity by introducing Alistair in your life. And love life. But it served a higher purpose, you know. I trusted him."
"Then why…" I am not angry with her, I only want to know the truth.
"Did I write that gruesome note to Sky to keep Alistair away from you?" She completes my question. "I suspected Alistair from being in touch with the Queen a little too often. And I had a feeling he was falling for you. I'm not sure he had particular tender feelings, but his hormones were very active, to say the least. Anyhow, I didn't inform him much about you, but one way or another, he started to discover who you were. That was very dangerous. We thought Sky would be the perfect person to put the Count in his place. We figured he was already able to … control himself around you."
"You should have known better." I give her a small smile.
"We should have." She nods, agreeing. "The outline of the note was not my idea, by the way, it…"
"It was Griffin's." I interject. She raises an eyebrow. "I'm sorry." I quickly apologize. "I just assumed…"
"You were right, Ms Bloom. Griffin has always had a strange sense of humour and… persuasive skills." She smirks at a funny reminiscence.
"The letter, secondly." I practically command. I cover my mouth with my hand. "I'm sorry, it wasn't supposed to come out that way!" she raises her hand soothingly.
"It's fine. For once." She adds, a bit sternly, but she smiles nonetheless. "You don't have any more questions?" She asks with a quizzical look.
"I have a ton of questions, Ms Faragonda, but I want to find my own answers to the other questions."
"You have no idea how proud you make me, Bloom of Sparx." She stands up and walks over to me. "I will leave now and I will have you letter sent in. It is probably not how you picture it, but it has transformed in its original form because you already discovered everything that was in it. I took the liberty to take it from you room." She smiles and hugs me one last time. After that, she waved the door open with a gesture of her hand, revealing Sky standing there with a glistening black tube in his hand. They cross each other, winking, as Sky enters and Faragonda walks out.
"Hey." I whisper breathlessly as he stops one foot away from me.
"I have something for you." He says with a familiar twinkle in his eye and puts the tube out at me. I take it from him and look up surprised when our hands tingle against each other agreeably in the process. I tug at the tube carefully and suddenly the black cloth disappears, showing me a remarkably glittering red rose.
I look at the scarlet flower, still burning ardently, and realize it will betray me.
"Is this…?" I barely manage to utter those two words. He nods, smiling.
"It's my rose for you and your former letter. I don't know how you did it, but you were absolutely bent on you remembering everything in case of an accident. Rather remember than love me again, I suppose."
"You know that is not true." I whisper inaudibly as he entwines our fingers.
"Well of course you couldn't resist me." He lightens the mood cockily. I slap his shoulder with my free hand, but grasp his fingers even more tightly.
"I don't think I was meant to remember everything so sudden. I was supposed to find the letter, read it immediately -stupid of me not to-" I glance at his guilty face ", remember fragments of our relationship through the letter and then… realize?" I shake my head wearily. "How did I ever think of such a thing?" I ask, not understanding.
"Yeah, stupid you." He nudges me with his shoulder. "I think it was pretty brilliant though. I mean, you got to hide the rose from me because you knew it would continue to sparkle and you found a way to transport your thoughts in the letter. There was only one flaw." He smiles and pulls a green leaf out of his pocket. "It wasn't indestructible." He lets the leaf float around the rose and it magically attaches itself to the stalk.
"I was that good in magic, huh?" I joke, trying to ignore the sting of tears.
"You were good at everything." He says seriously. "Doing magic, doing acting…" he sums up and grins mischievously. "… doing me."
"Oh shut up!" I smile involuntarily as he presses a kiss on my temple. "I have one more question for you. Promise you won't be mad." He nods, signaling me to continue. "Why did you follow me that night? You didn't believe what I said about your mother and I told you quite convincingly I did not love you." I sob softly.
"Hey." He whispers and places his free hand on my cheek. "You were pretty convincing, but when I came home and opened my closet, expecting to see a withered rose, the flower sparkled just like it used to. The colour had changed from scarlet to almost burgundy, but it was there and very much blooming.
"I love you, Sky." I say distinctly and kiss his lips. His hand moves from his cheek to my waist and pulls me closer.
"Always." He confirms, kissing me again.
"And forever." I complete, smiling.
"Well, I am not so sure about that one." He quips and captures my lips in a long, searing kiss. I pull away after two minutes, panting heavily.
"Always and forever, Scarlet Rose." He whispers and moves his hands to my hips to pull me flush against my body. Something changes when he kisses me after that final statement. He starts walking, continually kissin me, until we bump into book shelves. He traps me between his arms and grins. Uh oh, I know that look.
"No." I say decisively. He leans in and kisses my neck slowly.
"Really?" he quickly glances up at my distorted face.
"Sky, we cannot make out in Faragonda's office!" I whisper hoarsely as he attacks my neck again.
"God it sounds even more exciting when you say it." He says and covers my lips again. I try to fight back, but it only makes him kiss me even more fiercely. He coaxes my mouth open and before I can react, he slips his tongue in my mouth.
"Sky…" I groan as he moves his hand under my blouse and tugs at the clasp of my bra teasingly.
"Sounds like a yes to me." He glances at me again, his usual clear blue eyes darkened by lust. Before he makes his next move –he will probably wrap my legs around his hips- I manage to switch positions and push him against the shelves.
"You're no fun." He pouts and I place my hands on his mouth to prevent him from kissing me again. He knows too well he would succeed. "Fine." He gives in. "But you…" he pinches me in the waist, making me shriek. "Have…"
"Some serious making up to do." I roll my eyes. "Find a new line."
"Well." He scoops me up unexpectedly. "You have to take a shower with me." He lowers his voice seductively. "A cold one."
I said my goodbyes to the girls yesterday evening. The only thing that's left to do is say goodbye to Sky. 'Only' thing. If I recall how the last goodbyes went, I'm not really looking forward to this one…
"Hi." I greet her, feeling small for the very first time in these past 48 hours. The euphoria has died down and been replaced by worry and a new-found reluctance to leave.
"Don't you 'hi' me, Ms Bloom." She narrows her eyes. "Or should we call each other 'princess' again?" I smirk at her transparent test.
"That would be a first." I smile, making her laugh loudly.
"You haven't changed a fingernail." I raise an eyebrow dubiously. "Although…" she murmurs quizzically. "Since when do you paint your fingernails… blue?"
"I'm leaving Stell, there's no use."
"You really are leaving, huh?" She asks rhetorically, suddenly sounding vulnerable and croaky. "I've known for a while that you would do this. I would offer the help of the Winx, but we have nothing to do with it, really." I shake my head negatively at her last addendum.
"Of course you do! And you know it. But you…" I bow my head wordlessly and she takes my hand.
"I understand. We will be there when you need us." She pulls me into a soft hug.
"I will need you." I confirm, also anxious to convince myself.
"Then we will come." She replies simply. "Now go before my mascara smudges." She sniffs. "Musa's waiting for you in her room."
"Goodbye Stella. I'll miss you." I whisper, more to myself as I walk out.
"Bloom!" Halt. "Don't wear anything orange." I shriek, fake-offended and throw her a mischievous glare.
"Have we met?"
I hear her chuckle and sob at the same time as I close the door behind me. I sigh and take a deep breath before entering Musa and Tecna's room.
"I wrote something for you." She announces without looking up as I step in the room.
"Musa." I begin. This is going to be hard.
"It's right here." She stammers and starts tossing papers and cd's on the red carpet furiously.
"Musa." I speak a little louder.
"I'm gonna find it. Damn." She curses as a glass falls down and shatters angrily.
"Musa!" I say sharply. At that third call, she finally raises her eyes and meets mine, trembling. "I am leaving tomorrow morning."
"And I need to give you something." She replies stubbornly.
"Musa… you're holding it." I point at the small mp3-player clenched in her right hand. And just like that, she breaks down. She sinks down on her knees, crying. I squat down next to her and engulf her in a hug. "I'll listen to it every day." she sends me a watery smile as reply to my promise.
"You shouldn't. It's kinda sad." She snorts.
"I don't believe that. There's always hope in your songs."
"Why is that?" she asks, looking like a lost child as she leans her head on my shoulder.
"Because there always is." I kiss her forehead. "You're not rid of me yet. I will need your help as I already told Stell."
"Of course you need us." She tilts her head to look me in the eye innocently. "Kinda like we need you."
"Where's Layla?" I ask, mentally running over the 'goodbye list'.
"She's not here. One person less to say goodbye to."
"Gives me time to sit five more minutes with you."
And so we sit there for five more minutes.
"I'm not gonna cry."
"I did not ask you." I smile a little at her obstinacy.
"I made you this." She whispers and slides something over to me that looks like a small baby blue cell phone. "It's a gps connected to my pc. And it can send messages in every dimension. Well…" She stammers uncertainly. "In almost every dimension. But I'm sure that wherever you are going…"
"Thank you." I whisper warmly, interrupting her. "I love it. I didn't expect anything less from you, Tecna." Pause. "I don't know where I'm going. Wherever I lead myself… Sparx?" I murmur to myself.
"I'm sorry I doubted you." She suddenly bursts out.
"That's okay Tec, I mean… I didn't believe myself to be Bloom, so why the hell would you have believed it instantly?"
"But the others…" She wants to protest.
"They were not that convinced Tecna." I smile. "Besides, you only wanted to protect yourself from the illusion. I get it. What if I had been someone else? All that false hope for… nothing?"
"I'm not gonna cry." She repeats and takes my hand, placing the gps in it.
"We're not gonna cry." I agree and hold her like that for a while.
"Thought I'd find you here." I make my arrival known in Flora's little flower garden.
"I was just harvesting your gifts." She answers, glancing at me with moist eyes. "I am really sorry I'm crying, Bloom." She quickly apologizes as she puts seeds in a small green velvet purse almost lovingly. "I tried not to."
"It's fine, Tecna didn't cry, so I can take it."
"As soon as she sees Musa, she'll cry too." She replies drily. She motions for me to sit down next to her on a white bench. She sighs. "We had just accepted that you were … you and now you're leaving. You have to realize it's all very puzzling and shocking for us too. Don't misinterpret me, we all understand that it's even more turbulent in your mind, but you're not the only one who's confused."
"I needed someone to say that to me, Flora."
"That's why I am here." She pauses and looks at the sun that is disappearing behind the horizon, coloring the sky in magnificent red and pink. "Here." She places the purse in my hands. "There are ten different seeds in it."
"Thank you." But how do I know what they are for?
"You'll know when to use them." She suddenly speaks up, reading my mind. She glances at me with an amused twinkle in her green eyes.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" I ask her, referring to the newly decorated heavens.
"And it will be there wherever you go." She smiles happily.
"It will be different every time." I reply.
"Everything is eventually." She glances at me as a few tears drop of her chin sadly.
"Don't cry." I request as we move to the grass field simultaneously and automatically. She sniffs and looks at me with wide, teary eyes.
"Let's watch it together."
That's how it went. And I was a little down with the prospect that I had to repeat this saddening process with Sky too. Yet, when I saw him, I immediately cheered up.
"You realize I have to do this alone, right?" I ask tentatively.
"Aren't I your better half then?" he arches one eyebrow, making me smile lightly. I do know I must not cave now. The solitude on this trip is crucial. For me.
"Not yet. Only I have to do this." I reply calmly, kissing his temple.
"But I can come with you, right?" he inquires with an admiringly coy look on his face.
"Sky." I whisper, laying a hand on his cheek. "This experience is about me. The whole point is that I do it alone." Yeez, I sound like a selfish bitch. If that's what it takes… I pause when his eyes fixate on my eyes. "I love you, but…" I'm interrupted by his lips on mine. "What I was going to say…" he pecks me on the lips again. "Will you let me finish again?"
"I love you too." He replies brightly.
"I know. Now what was I saying?" I ask, confused.
"That I'm accompanying you on your personal trip." He suggest with a sly smile.
"Nice try." I pat him on the shoulder. "But…" and then he cuts me off again.
"You know, the way I see it," he pulls me on his lap spontaneously, "there are two options."
"There are no options." I react, more amused than annoyed by his various attempts to come with me. "You stay here and look after your kingdom. I have to go and be me. It's really simple." I explain patiently.
"There are two options." He repeats stubbornly, making me roll my eyes. "One, you let me go together with you voluntarily."
"Absolutely not. No question." I interrupt him firmly.
"Then there's option number two since one is a no-go. I will be sneaky and come with you anyway. I wouldn't choose that way, it's full of lurking shadows, me peeping through your window at night, following you…"
"So you will be following me?" I verify.
"Yes." He confirms confidently, probably thinking he won this battle.
"Tracking my every move?"
"Yes." He replies, a bit less confident.
"Peeking through my window at night?"
"Yes!" he answers, looking suspicious of me now.
"Be my personal stalker, altogether?" I summarize briefly.
"Yeah." He says reluctantly and bows his head down in defeat as he sees Faragonda is busy creating a portal for me.
"Cool." I smile happily. "I choose option number 2."
"What? Are you serious?"
"Like a heart attack."
"Me following you?"
"Tracking your every move?"
"Peeking through your window at night?"
"Perfect." I smile and kiss his cheek. "You know what? I might leave the window ajar one day." I wink and start inching away from him slowly.
"I'm gonna hold you to that!" He yells after me.
"I'm gonna miss you too hon." I walk away, probably smiling to myself.
I stand in front of the portal, glancing over at the girls, Faragonda and Sky. It's time to go.
On to discover what I had forgotten, but couldn't live without.
A/N: Boo! Looooong epilogue, I know, but the loose end needed tying up. If that's even an expression : ) I want to thank ALL of you. Reviewers, readers, people who added me to favorite/alerts… I love that, thank you so much!
I really enjoyed writing this story, even though I couldn't always come up with a following chapter. That's why I'm writing a new story a little differently. I already have the whole thing in my head and I have already written half of the chapters. Updates will be faster then. Finally; I got some sense, I know!
Anyhow, THANKS TO EVERYONE and I will hopefully see you on the next one (PREVIEW and SUMMARY in my profile)
Special thanks to
Sailormoon846212: I am so glad you understand! And thank you so much for putting that in a review for me. Hope you will read my next story too. The best of luck to you : )
TotallyLori: You know, I am very glad you analyze my characters the way you do. Because, there really IS more to them than meets the eye. And I never wanted to portray Sky as clueless (though I made an exception in 'Dancing Alone' – he was really stupid in that story-), certainly not in this story. These intrigues required a sufficient amount of intelligence : ) Yeah, I found the names too, you can even enter them as characters for Winx Club stories now. Weird. Anyhow, if you want to check my new story, I have a totally new idea, other than the one I sent you. I'll PM you. (it has been a long time) Love you xD
Firefairy219: Oké, dat nieuwe verhaal wordt zotjes :p Ik ben er nog niet uit welke rating ik ga geven (T of M) en wat ik ze allemaal ga doen doen tesamen (k, rare zin, ma je snapt het wel ;)) And i did mean the murder, because she did die on Sparx, remember : )? Okay, I will send you a draft this week and you can send it back whenever you like, considering your exams and the studying. Succes, btw!
Phantom Teresa fan
iEatCOOKiES haha, I love your pen name now : D
-Sashaaa.' With her little problem.
Destination's d e s t i n y where did you disappear to anyway?
I'M A CULLEN
I had no idea there were so many different reviewers! Thank you! And alerters, favouriters (I just made up two new words) and other readers!
PREVIEW OF MY NEW STORY ON MY PROFILE
IsisIsabella (who sends love to all of ya ; ))