The White Rose

It's laid out very simply on her bed when she finds it. It has delicate petals, white in colour rather than the usual red, and its leaves and stem are a brilliant green.

Thorns line the stem; she reaches out and touches her finger to one. It pricks her skin but doesn't pierce it.

Her fingers travel further down and grasp the roses' stem where there are no thorns. She brings it to her nose and breathes in its scent.

"It's beautiful," she murmurs quietly. She knows he is by the door, listening for her reaction.

A smile finds its way to her face.

"I love it," she adds, a little louder.

Her smile widens when the sound of retreating footsteps, light footsteps that are undeniably Mal's, meets her ears.