Chapter 5

The darkest dream

"I lay down three five" Musha Dokuro said laying three cards on the decent sized pile.

"I don't think so hombre" Cactus Gunman said.

"You accuse me!" Dokuro said reaching for his spear.

"Si" Cactus reached for his gun.

"Need I remind both of you…" Faithe said not looking up from pouring herself a drink "Either of you leak on my floor, you both will be scrubbing it for the next few hours? We play every other day no need to get cutthroat now" Both players grumbled and Cactus turned the cards over revealing three fives, he sighed and took the pile.

"Ill lay one six" Alexander said playing safe and no one questioned him.

"Tres siete" Cactus threw down two cards

"Wrong… Not when Alexander holds two, Gunman" Faithe countered and the cactus took his cards back. "Right then" she said "I play two eights" she lay the two cards down which would have emptied her hand.

"Umm" Alex saw Faithe play an Eight earlier… why hadn't she discarded these two then? "I think you're bluffing Faithe"

"Sure about that Alexander?" she stared at him her dark eyes giving away nothing.

"N… no" Alex looked around to see if Dokuro or Gunman would back him up… they didn't. "I uh withdraw my claim"

"That's game the…" suddenly the door to the cottage opened and a small white sheep in a blue and white night shirt tread wearily into the room, it was yawning heavily and dragging a pillow. "You three should go its getting late" Faithe mentioned to her companions as she got up and hoisted the little ram into her arms. Gunman and Dokuro said their goodbyes and left as Alexander started to leave Faithe turned to him

"Stay just a minute or two longer, please Alexander" she reached under the bed and rolled out another slightly smaller one, then she placed the lamb in it. Edging around the far side of the table Faithe went to a cupboard and pulled out a white ribbon, then fetched a yellow rose from outside.

"Faithe? Can I have some tea?" the sheep mumbled as Faithe began wrapping the rose stem with white ribbon, she paused and made a hand gesture and from the window a rose vine came in and poured tea into one of the unused cups from earlier then handed it to the lamb.

"There you go sleepy sheep" Faithe then turned to Alex and handed him the rose. "Put this in water in your room, it will help make things clear after you've had a good nights rest" Alexander took the gift and was about to ask more questions, but Faithe was already attending to her small guest so he turned and left.

He went back through the kitchen and through the house, and toward his room. Alexander was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't notice anyone or anything he passed, at the top of the stairs there stood Gregory who quickly got his attention.

"I've heard you had a busy day my friend" Gregory said with a smirk. Alexander looked up and saw the little blond rat from earlier peeking around the corner. "I don't suppose you can tell me where you got the key to the back garden?" the question brought his attention back to Gregory.

"This?" He held it up remembering what how Neko implied it would be bad if Gregory found out Alexander had gone there. "I just found it while walking in the hall; while I was looking at the roses I noticed a matching gate"


"And I went there, ended up playing cards, and had a wonderful time"

"I suppose you heard all manner of wild tales"

"If by wild tales you mean the old war stories told by Gunman and Dokuro ?" Alex shook his head and squeezed past Gregory "those are the only stories I've heard, if you'll excuse me I will be heading to my room "

Once in his room Alexander looked around, found a cup and placed the rose in it. Then he got settled in for the night looking at the Rose.
"White ribbon in a bouquet usually mean truth and clarity and a single yellow rose means……" he muttered to himself as he dosed off.

Alexander was working in his home greenhouse with a pretty blonde woman working with him

"How are you both holding up Camellia?" he asked and the girl smiled

"We are fine Alex, though I think you should be painting the nursery instead of putting that arrangement together" she unconsciously moved her hand over her stomach

"Can not be helped really, love. My shop is in the same building as the T.V studio and they want this done for the party tomorrow… they and people connected with them make up about 89% of my business"

"You're good at this, you should move to a new location"

"I will eventually but you must admit we are going to need the steady patronage soon enough, Afterwards I will" he was drawing a bouquet checking colors and meanings, along with a list of preferred flowers that he had been given. Camellia came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his shoulders.

"Also we are supposed to have lunch with your mother tomorrow… I'm almost 5 months along we should tell her, Alex" Alex reached up and clutched her hand as a chill ran up his spine he turned and stared into her ice blue eyes

"Please Camellia, Please, just wait to tell her if you're alone, I have a really bad feeling…. Please?" Camellia tightened her grip on Alex's hand.

"All right" She murmured

Alex tossed in bed as he tried to wake up. He cracked his eyes open and could swear he saw the white ribbon begin to glow, but before he could react darkness swooped in to claim him again.

It was a day or 2 later, Alex found his Mother, Camellia, and himself having lunch at his mother's on the upstairs balcony. The house was made of gray stone and the edge of the balcony was surrounded by a knee high stone railing more for form than function. They are sitting and talking and Alexander is hoping that maybe they can get through all this with out his mother finding out. After all Camellia was just barely showing. Before he can think of anything else though his pager goes off, checking the screen he sees the number of the P.R. department of the station. Alex got up and went inside and down to the front hall to answer the page.

"I don't want to talk to them" but none the less without his own control his hand dialed the number on his pager.

"No!" cam a sudden fearful shriek from Camellia, followed by a sickening thump.

"She didn't fall" whispered Alexander shutting his eyes tight and trying to convince himself otherwise. "She didn't…she didn't… she didn't"

"She did" came a wordless nudging voice in the back of his mind "now deal with it"

"Seeing this will change nothing" Alexander still denied the voice. He suddenly felt a pair of his hands on his shoulders turn him around to face the garden. His eyes opened quickly and he saw a fading flash of familiar pale green. But then all his attention turned to Camellia. Her blue dress that matched her eyes and her fine blond hair now a mess with her own seeping blood as she stared sightlessly toward the door.

Alexander suddenly shot up out of bed he noticed the rose and Gunman's earlier words echoed his head "He told me cut roses could show people their dreams… but that was my worst memory relived… Faithe must have known!"

Alexander leapt from the bed grabbed the rose out of its pot and threw the bloom where it fell behind the bed without a sound. A whine escaped Alexander as he held in a scream of anguish and stormed out to Faithe's cottage.

A/n Merry Christmas, And Happy Holidays! sorry about being gone so long but my computer went on strike. anyhow please reveiw and i hope to have another update soon