Chapter 4 Behind the Mask

Chapter 4 Behind the Mask

A Chapter by A Drawer of Paper Roses
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Typos!!! Grant finds out more about Diane and Loretta, while Loretta learns the history behind the scar on his face. Havocs ensues

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Diane shook Loretta’s shoulders, her body snapping back and forth violently. “YOU GUYS NEED TO GET OVER IT!!!”

She broke out of the death grip, grasping her sore shoulder “But he f*****g hates me!”

“Does that mean you should hate him back?”

Maybe… “…No?”

“Exactly why you guys should get over it.”

“But if I come, he’ll tear out my heart and beat me to death with it!”

“What?”

“Never mind.”  She walked away, not looking into the confused lady’s eyes. “Diane, he just really hates me, after that incident. If we were to go to a party he wouldn’t come if I was going. And if he wanted to go he’d go straight up to my face and tell me to get out.” She crossed her arms, trying not to loose her cool. But she was shaking. “Nothing’s ever gone good since we started fighting. He really, hates me, Diane! He extremely f*****g hates me! And everyone knows it!”

Diane places her hand on Loretta’s shoulder. Loretta turned and saw the encouragement in her eyes, trying to reassure her. “Time, heals all wounds.”

She shook her head, doubtfully “But there’s so much that time cannot erase.”

“For you maybe.” Diane shrugged, then thought before speaking “But I am Vito’s sister, adopted or not, I know he’s not that angry anymore. Besides, Zara we’ll be there.” A smile lit up her face “Remember life isn’t short, especially in your case, there is nothing that time can’t heal.”

“Okay. So maybe you’re right.” She said defeated

Diane was bouncing up and down “So, you’ll come?”

Loretta shrugged, turning to face the smaller woman in defeat “Yeah, whatever.” A small smile was on her face.

Diane cheered and hugged her.

What was that all about? Grant thought. Little did they know, he heard the entire conversation. Every detail, didn’t miss a single thing. And now he realized there’s much more to Loretta than he’ll ever know. What does she mean that the woman won’t have a short life? And who the hell is Vito and Zara?

Only reason why they didn’t notice him was that he still was being carried on Blake’s back. He recovered his consciousness, yes, but his brain was still fuzzy, hazed with random thoughts. That is, until he started eavesdropping. He mumbled to himself, he probably looked ridiculous being piggy back by a stronger man. He cursed under his breath to whatever forces were against him. And then he was thrown onto the ground.

The earth was hard and rugged as he slammed into it. With piercing eyes, he glared up at the towering man “What the hell was that for!?” he hissed

Blake, slightly turned his face down, barely even acknowledging Grant. “You’re awake so then you can walk.” He nudged his foot to Grant’s ribs, and then flipped him over. Again Grant landed hard on the ground, face planting.

He cussed again

“Anyways, we’re here.” Blake said disappearing into the building, leaving Grant to struggle himself up.

His body still wasn’t cooperating. Parts of his body remained numb, such as his entire arm in his case. Pushing his weight onto his left fore arm, he checked to see if his legs weren’t numb. His answer: they were unresponsive.

“Didn’t think you were that weak.” A cold voice said

He strained his neck up at Loretta. “You’re friends are freaks, you do know that woman?”

“Yeah, yeah.” She bent down eye level with Grant “That’s why I like them.”

He tossed his head to the side in a snicker “Figures.”

“Here.” She wrapped one arm around his waist, and put his around her neck. And with one foot, she pushed them off the ground; holding him upright.

At first he was startled, trying to figure out why she helped him. This was the first time she did something nice. “Are you being nice to me?”

“You want me to drop you?”

There’s the Loretta he knows “Woman, you’ll probably drop me either way sooner or later!”

“True.” And they entered the building Grant limping.

“Blake where’re we going?” he peered down at his fiancé, still piggy backing the sleeping man.

“To another bar, Diane.”

“Why?” Loretta asked

“’Cause shawty, if you’re and the rest of them are gonna fight, it’s better to have a decent place to have it in.”

“In other word Retta, Blake’s head couldn’t fit in that other place.”

“My head’s not fat!”

“I didn’t say that, but thanks for pointing that out!”

Diane turned around to Loretta who’s face was blunt “You should really consider being nicer to him.”

Diane giggled and spun around, still the energetic person like before “Coming from you?”She leaned over and grabbed Loretta’s necklace. This shocked her, she reached over to grab back the small wooden craving, but it already lay in Diane hands

Inlentwa Nisg Hoqn” Diane spoke. Her voice was rough and sharp as razors as she said those words, but felt smooth and light. She led the small wooden carving in the light, fingered tracing over the small symbols.

“I’ve been waiting to ask you what it said.” Loretta informed, approaching Diane from behind. She was curious to know what the symbol meant and how it’ll affect her. “Can you figure out its meaning?”

For a moment Diane paused then slurred her next words “This, is a protection seal, the strongest. It means as long as this is with you, you’ll never be without protection.”

“That’s all?”

“Yep.” Diane retied the necklace around her friend’s neck. “Unicorn gave this to you didn’t he?”

Loretta’s face was startled at the answer, but her voice was still monotone

“How’d you know?”

“Just guessed.”She continued skipping down the pathway, before turning back to face Loretta once more “You know you should be nicer to him.” she teased

Loretta sighed in refused, pinching the bridge of her nose.

“One more thing.” Diane poked at her shoulder annoying

“What?!”

She tossed Loretta a jacket. “You were supposed to wear that dress when you were sixteen. Now look. Seventeen, you grew. Again!” Diane gestures towards her body, the hem of the dress was too high now and then front could barely contain her breasts. Diane shook her head “Man, you definitely have you’re mother’s body.”

“I do not!” Loretta’s voice was nearly a scream. She tugged the jacket over face, flushed with red. Her mother was extremely curvy, especially when it came to her bust. Loretta wasn’t lying when she once told her friends her mother was an H cup. “Leave me and my body alone!” she muttered. They both laughed a bit in the end.

 And Diane trotted off; humming the words ‘True love will bind us together.’

 

It would be a standard bar, but it was extremely spacious. The walls were mahogany brown, lined with ivory. Red velvet furniture and drapes decorated the area. A long slender bar table that took up one entire wall. Raoul ran about, whipping out his sword testing it. Kane watched them on the side lines as Henry approached Raoul, mocking smile on as he unsheathed his sword. Sparks flew in their flurry of metal striking against metal. Blake, found the nearest chair, a giant beanie, and slumped into it, fast asleep in seconds. His limbs were sprawled out; he looked as if he wrestled with a bear. Diane leaned over him, closely inspecting his face. With a bright smile, she whipped out a sharpie marker for her pocket. Meanwhile, Loretta had set Grant down on a mat. Well, actually she kind of dropped him more likely.

They stared each other down for few minutes, anger flaring in their eyes. Then she broke it, she spun around and trotted off; leaving the currently paralyzed Grant on the floor.

“Hey woman!” he called, but she kept walking further. He struggled to push himself back up, but failed. Giving up, he flopped back down. Then something clicked in his brain. He lifted his head and peered over to the suspicious act. Loretta was talking to Diane, who was nodding in concern. He strained to see even more. In the back, Blake’s face had been distorted with random doodles. Diane still holding the sharpie, which was now leaking down his face, pressed against his eye. Immediately, Grant dropped his head down, when they looked this way. It hit the cold granite and he cursed, squinting his eyes, muttering. When he opened them, all he saw was bright lavender eyes.

“Finally awake are you?” Diane’s face was to close to see properly. When he didn’t respond, she shoved the sharpie marker up his nose.

Grant screamed and flailed trying whatever he could to make her stop. Diane laughed, clutching her stomach before removing the sharpie.

“You scream like a girl, mutt.” Loretta told him. She too, couldn’t hold back. A wide, brilliant smile lit up her face. Her emerald eyes tearing from giggling. For awhile Grant was stunned. It maybe because of the smell of sharpie permentally stuck in his nose, or the new lose of brain cells, but he could’ve sworn! Could’ve sworn that Loretta smiled at him, in a friendly matter, a pure and true smile. NO in the way that meant she was going to kill him n his sleep. And it felt a little warming to know that she smiles.

“I just couldn’t help it!” Diane howled with laughter, chocking those words out between her fits. After the giggles had died out, she cracked her knuckles. “Unicorn I need you to take a deep breath and not scream like a girl, for this okay?”

“I’m not a f*****g unicorn!” he glowered, but when Diane came dangerously close, his attitude changed. He saw her hand, glowing a dark purple “Wait! What are you trying to�"” then she touched his chest, right over the heart.

An electrical surge pulsed through his body. His bones were cracking back into places, his muscles rapidly flexing, nerves began to feel again. His body tingling with a pain as it healed itself. It was a pain worse than before, worse than anything he ever felt. The muscles twisted around the bone, the bones bent and melted. His nerves were on fire. His eyes felt like there were being soaked in acid. His lungs choking o boiling water. Luckily, as fast as it happened it ended. Grant shot up screaming in pain, howling like a demon. Everyone stooped immediately, startled at the sudden burst. Both men had dropped their swords, Blake had awoken from sleep, Loretta had fallen to the ground. Only Diane stood unaffected. He clutched his heart, shaking uncontrollably. Blake stood up and surveyed the room. Then he finally realized his mistake of falling asleep, he groaned and covered his face as he headed towards the bathroom. Loretta got up and dusted her dress. Henry and Raoul continued fighting, trying to forgot the crazy things that been happening. Diane smiled in relief and waited outside the bathroom for Blake.

Grant sat there, shivers crawling up and down his spine. He dug his fingers deep into his chest, until it started to bleed. Loretta stood there behind him, watching his pain of shock. He half�"way turned to Loretta, eyes still on the ground, but were red and teary

“What the f**k?! What the hell is she?”

Loretta didn’t answer. Maybe because she saw him crying. How pathetic he looked, how miserable, like an abandoned puppy. She was stunned, but she could remember the first time Diane had done that to her; she could relate to his new found pain. With the little effort she could find, she place one of her delicate hands on his back. Finally, he stopped shaking. Slowly, his hand removed itself from his pounding heart. He looked down at his hands, moving his fingers

What the f**k!? I am healed. He thought. He practiced moving the originally numb parts of his body, they were all working.

“Weird isn’t it?”

Grant stared at Loretta. Her face was like stone but her eyes had sympathy. “Imagine that being you’re only cure.” She sat down beside him, bringing her knees up.

Grant buried his face in his hands “F****r, how the hell does she do that?!”

“Well. She is the Princess of Riqus.”

This had him speechless. Riqus. Even from the far land was its name great. It harbored grave military strength, despite being on the defense. Their soldiers were all trained in various weapons. They were watched carefully and examined to be fitted in the perfect spot of battle ground. Their militia was among the top five. Number one being the Royal Militia that only chose a select few.

They also contained vast numbered of ancient texts, still hidden deep within the forest, only a certain few knowing where they are. These texts were said to contain secrets to are meant to be carried to the grave. Secrets never meant to be revealed. Even if someone found it, it was heavily coded in glyphs. Anyone who had the knowledge about how to read them and the power to hold the secrets were the sacred few. Some rumors even said there was a special language to them.

It’s giant tropical forest were dense and plenty, which balanced out easily with the country’s bustling capital; which was one of the most high tech places known. There were transportation machines. Mechanisms that cleaned the air and eliminated poisonous particles. Grand stores filled with a large variety of items. And many talented people were born and raised there. The Amazon like forest carried a rich amount of biodiversity. A new species being discovered nearly everyday. Its beauty was unable to hide, for any point, the forest were a majestic fantasy.

But what really set Riqus high on the scale was their government. It was a very strange one indeed. It was a monarchy, a democracy and a republic all at once. There would be three positions that ruled over the entire country and monopolized most things. The highest was the King or Queen. Below that was the Emperor or Empress. Lastly, was the Princess or Prince. But only one person from each category could rule. If there was a king, there’d be no queen even if the man was married. Which goes the same for all positions; only one of the two positions existed in each level. Currently, the High Trio is all female; the Emperor had retired a decade ago.

Elections were also complicated. During election for a new member in the High Trio, the person had to be nominated by the High Trio itself. Then the Council Members (The next step under the High Trio) would have to approve of the nominee. The nominee would only pass if two thirds of the Council Members approved. Usually, there’d be about five nominees for the same position. From then on, the people would choose who they would want to rule. They’d have access to their biography and life to help deicide. The person with the least votes would be eliminated after each voting round until one was left standing. That way, majority would be comfortable with the choice.

From rumors, it’s said that the current High Trio was the strongest so far. The Queen was intelligent, and brave, she gave everyone a voice in opinion and could easily divert someone’s ideas into her own by constant questioning which made the scholars feel like fools. Her experience was gained by the harsh treatment she was raised in; lies and truth were all the same back in her childhood.

The Empress was a hard woman. Little did she speak, she always held up a fan to her face, revealing only her cold eyes. Her ideals were to focus on the long run instead of being concerned with ‘now’. If she was ever to encounter something she didn’t like, she’d only need to glare at the person to know that their idea is rejected. She too had a horrible past. They found her, nearly dead in an abandoned apartment, she had amnesia; no one could figure out her assaulters from the lack of information, so she had to bear the pain on her shoulder.

The princess…there were a lot a rumors about the princess. None of them good, maybe the one that she wanted everyone to be equal, so she’d randomly throw money into the streets…

Grant busted out of his deep thoughts. He looked over to Diane. She didn’t look, or act like the High Trio material, but what she did to him, maybe.

“Woman?” he asked, crossing his legs. His voice had mild concern but what little was there was covered by the harsh edges in his words

She turned to him letting him know that he had her attention. “What mutt?”

“Are the rumors about the Princess of Riqus true?”

Loretta rested her chin on her knees. “Which ones?”

He scratched his head. Never did he imagine the day were he’d be asking her questions like these “Does she love gore and war?”

“That’s a lie!” she hissed that immediately after the words left his mouth

“She doesn’t?” he remembered hearing that she was constantly getting into illegal underground fights. “What about those illegal Caged Battles?”

Loretta’s voice seeped with venom. “I hate those rumors, they don’t even know her pain!” she spat on the ground before giving her explanation “The ‘illegal’ battles aren’t illegal! Just because it’s far separated and hidden doesn’t mean it’s illegal! Fighting is a popular sport in Riqus, equaled to football in America! Caged Battles are to exhibit fighting skills! Diane hates fighting! The only reason she does is because it’s a requirement in her training! She hates the sight of blood, the weapons, the battles! She hates it all! They don’t even understand what happened to her as a child! They don’t know what pain and torture she was put through! She fights to save others from the same fate she’s suffered! They don’t even know what lies behind her mask! Just because she smiles all the time doesn’t mean she’s happy!” Loretta was clenching her teeth. Hands gripping the table, making her knuckles white. Her voice rose, but she restrained it so Diane and Blake wouldn’t hear. “Diane’s suffered the most. The Queen was forced into a life she didn’t want. A marriage that wasn’t true and too early, she was only ten. This resulted in her cheating, and eloping with Luke; and her pregnancy with twins at thirteen. She was shunned from the world; she had to prove herself worthy. She had to wear her scars proudly. Diane. Diane was born in the darkest hour of the bloodiest war ever. Her birth was only for the use of science. They�"they�"” Loretta slumped down in defeat. So that her hair covered her face. Covered her tears. Grant sat there, wondering what she was trying to do. They sat there in silence. Memories rushing over Loretta.

 

Loretta was wandering around the castle. Diane was supposed to be babysitting her, but she fell asleep. Which left Loretta to wander around. Constantly, she passed by the room with the white door. It was the only room with the white door. The only room she was not permitted to enter. But curiosity had gotten a hold of her. Loretta sized up the tall door. It was plain unlike the others. Carefully she twisted the knob and gently pushed open the door. Softly, she tip-toed around the room.

It was a small room. A giant desk that took up most of the space stood on the right of the room. It had cabinets filled with files that were sticking out. On top of it were papers scattered. There was a bookshelves opposite, containing a few amount of books but very large; enough to fill up the space. Loretta went over to the desk and delicately removed the papers, revealing a grey, spiral bound notebook. Opening it, she could tell it was old, pages yellowing. But what caught her eyes was the familiar hand writing. The hand writing of Diane. Daring herself, Loretta read the first page.

 

 

 

Dear Journal,

This is to help me cope with my problems. Lately, I’ve been having nightmares about my past. I can see it eating away me. So this it to get my mind off of things. Miyako says it’ll work. I really hope it does. Here goes nothing.

I can’t really explain, nor show how death waits behind me. It’s like it’s tapping on my shoulder, breathing against my neck, waiting, waiting to claim me for its own. I walk down the sidewalk, foot in front of foot, dangling on the edge of the bridge. This counts as suicide for others, for me it’s my way of escaping my problems. Constantly, I’ve been running away. Honestly, I don’t know from what though. Its, some unspeakable force for sure. It wants to kill me slowly, rip me to shreds, piece by piece. I laughed at that thought. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been wanted dead. My arms are held out to my sides as I walk and the thin edge of the bridge. Teetering, it’s like life; I’m teetering on a thin rope. I lean against the wind, over the edge and pretend I’m weightless. It was here; on a night like this I met Blake.

From the day I was born, I’ve never had control over myself. I was a tool of the enemy and recently, I’ve just discovered the disturbing truth about what happened to me. Why I’m like this. From what I’m told, after countless interrogations of the enemy’s scientists; I am a literal killing machine. I was operated on, cut open as an infant, and changed into the ‘perfect weapon’. People never really believed in magic, but I where to tell you there’s another soul living in me, would you believe that? Another soul, from an infamous assassin, living in a girl’s body? Would you? I know, most people wouldn’t believe it, until they hear the sickening cracking of my bones. That’s how it always starts before my purpose is activated, my bones crack, I shiver and twist around as if I’m possessed; and I am. I let out a blood curdling scream right before I go under. Then I’m sent far into the corner of my mind, to witness the horror of what I’ve done, as my other soul takes control over me, and murders thousands of innocent people in a matter of minutes.

I’m realized I’m cursed. Even though I’ve made friends, in the end they all ran away. Everyone always run away. No one likes a monster. I thought I had hope with Blake, he knew about my secret, he protected me. But I guess that was all a lie. Who would’ve guess that their one best friend, the only person they could rely one, has abandoned them. He left, disappeared off the face of the earth without a trace. Like I said: I’m hated. I always will be. If I were to have three wishes it would be this:

1)     to reverse what horror I’ve done

2)     to remove my curse

3)     to be re-borned into another life

But wishes don’t come true. Miracles are fake. And the truth I wanted to believe was always a lie. And the lies I hated were true.

 

            Loretta slammed the book shut! She stumbled backwards and hit the bookcase. She slid down and cowered in the corner. The haunting words echoed in her head. It was like the book had attacked her, put her there in the same situation, and made her suffer. She whimpered and rocked herself in the corner, crying. Those emotions were strong. Hate is strong. Loretta couldn’t believe Diane had to suffer this. She wanted to believe she was dreaming. She pinched herself hard, and held it, until she started bleeding. Until she knew this was real. She sobbed in the corner, doing her best to block out the visions

“Loretta?” she could hear a faint voice call her. It came closer nearer, repeating. Until it became a scream “Loretta!”

Diane rushed to young girl’s side. Who was balled up, crying her eyes out. But when Loretta looked up, she didn’t see the caring Diane. She saw a murderer. Loretta screamed and thrashed. She wanted to escape from Diane’s grip but couldn’t. Diane, realizing what happened after seeing her old diary opened, figured out what was going on. She dropped everything and left the room.

Diane returned to the room with a knife in her hand. Loretta screamed. She screamed for her parents, her brother. Diane approached, face dimly lit. Loretta backed up and kicked trying to making Diane disappear. But Diane knelt down in front of the girl and held out the knife. And she dropped it onto the floor, her eyes filled with pain. Quickly, Loretta snatched it and thrust it at her like an accusing finger. Diane didn’t budge; she let the girl slice her abdomen.

The red blood oozed out. It took awhile for Loretta to realize what she had done. Retracting her hand, she released her grip on the knife. Her tears didn’t disappear though; she had just stabbed one of her loved ones. When Diane opened her eyes they were water, tears streaming down her face.

“Loretta” she voice was soft and calm, but a taste of sorrow trailing. “I will never hurt you. I don’t know how much you’ve read but�"” Diane lifted her shirt and exposed the side of her torso where a long scar ran though. “We’ve�"Blake found a cure years ago. I’m no longer cursed” It was still red and pink even after years of healing. Gingerly, Loretta reached out her hand to touch it, and it started bleeding again at her contact.

She looked up at Diane confused “Why don’t you heal it?”

Diane shook her head “I can’t”

This shocked her. Diane was powerful; she could reattach a man’s arm after it was severed with her powers. Being unable to heal herself could be a bluff.
“Why?”

“It’ll only go away if I can forgive myself for all that I’ve done.” She dropped the blood stained shirt “And you probably know the answer to that.”

Loretta curled up again, but in Diane’s lap, letting the fresh wound she creating stain her porcelain face with blood. “Why did you let me stab you?”

“It was the only way to get you back to reality. To kill your fear.”

“But I could’ve killed you.” She touched the oozing wound trying to stop it.

Diane laughed. She removed Loretta’s hand “If there’s a reason that I bleed,” she touched the wound, dipping her fingers in the blood, then brought it over to Loretta’s heart “it’s for the one I love.”

 

When Loretta sucked up her tears she continued “They killed her, emotionally. She’s always laughing and smiling. But truth is, all of that is so people assume what they want too. Never to guess that there’s a broken girl underneath that mask. There’s so much to say. But it’s unspoken. Diane’s suffering was the worse. Even worse than the Empress’s. She was left to die in a burning building by her lover.”

Grant lifted his head and slightly faced her with interest “How do you know that?”

“The Empress is my mother.”

He gaped in silence for another minutes “Wait, you’re the Empress’s daughter?!”

Loretta shrugged “Yeah, so what?”

“What are you doing in a run-downed place like this? Aren’t you fifthly rich or something?” he jabbed his finger to her forehead. Okay, Loretta lives in the middle of nowhere in a dinghy house, but she comes from a noble, wealthy family, whose manor is the size of Russia. He found this hard to believe. “You don’t look anything like her either!”

“Yeah, I do!”

“How?”

Loretta, bit her tongue. But her apathetic face showed otherwise. You can’t exactly say that you have your mother’s body straight to a guys face. Then an inspiration lit “I have her eyes. And her attitude.”

Grant raised an eyebrow. This was true, but he couldn’t really trust her word. None the less he sighed. Turning, around he faced the table and looked at the bartender “Two bottles of your best.” His face in a scowl.

The bartender quickly nodded and scurried to the kitchen.

“How nice.” Loretta let the sarcasm out

Grant snorted in disapproval.

“Now that I answered your question” she drawled, dragging her fingers in a circular motion against the counter. One hand supported her tired head. “You answer mine.”

Grant paused. Was he ready to answer the predictable?

This woman will be the death of me he concluded. “What did you want to ask?” he leaned back on the chair, both feet up.

“How’d you get your scar?”

Damn it! He bent over to his side, the held one hand over his mouth, scowling. “Which one?”

“The one on your face.”

He cussed again “It happened when I saw young.”

Unconsciously, Loretta leaned in with interest “How?”

“Damn you, woman,” Grant finally gave in “It’s a burn mark, from my mother.” Grant saw Loretta was still waiting patiently in her seat, listening. He already knew she need more than a statement, she needed an explanation.

He continued “I was an illegitimate child. My Uncle, well my biological dad, black mailed my mom and then I happened. My-supposed-to-be-dad, James, was infuriated with his brother, so they executed him. As for me, they had to raise me, but I wasn’t really favored as you can tell. There were rumors, rumors my mom heard. So much, that it drove her to the point of insanity. She cursed my existence, lit a match, and burned me, that damn lady!” There was a deep angry arising in his chest “But when they gave birth to my younger brother, they praised him for every f*****g damn thing he did!”

Loretta remained silent, but in sympathy she shook her head. They were both mistaken people, whose hearts needed to be healed. That’s why they could tolerate each other, their masks were the same, and so were their truths.

The bartender returned with two glasses, the champagne spilling and overflowing. He slid them down the table in a smooth matter. Grant caught his; Loretta’s stopped right in front of her. With a sigh, they both raised their glasses for a depressing cheer. They still faced the table, neither one looking or turning to their sides. “Cheers.” With the clink of the glass they raised the cups to their mouths.

“WAIT!!!” Diane shrieked. She flew across the room and knocked the drink out of Loretta hand (who was very confused), which caused it to spill all over and furious Grant.

I. Hate. You! He glowered in his chair, gripping the glass so hard that it broke.

“Diane!?” Loretta cried as the red champagne stained her jacket. “The the hell was that for!?”

“Loretta!” she took the girls shoulders and started shaking them violently “You can’t drink you’re not eighteen yet!!!”

“Yes, I am!” she shoved Diane away “Today’s my birthday remember?”

“Yeah but you don’t turn eighteen until 8:17!!! It’s only 8:16!!!” she countered. One thing was for sure, Diane hasn’t lost her extreme maternal instincts during her deployment.

Grant started chuckling at the stupid reply. Loretta face palmed Sometimes, you know?! I just don’t know what to say, They waited like that until the clock struck 8:17.

“Hey you’re eighteen! Happy Birthday Retta!!!” Diane squealed as she tightly hugged Loretta; constricting her oxygen. She released her from her bear hugged when she noticed the younger girl’s face turning blue. “Okay, carry on. You can enjoy you’re drink now.” And she skipped off, saying ‘they grow up so fast/’

Loretta glared at Grant, daring him to laugh in her face. He stifled a laugh. And they continued their drinks

In no time, about half of them were wasted. Henry and Raoul were red to the face. Kane was talking to the wall. The bar was crowded; hot air took up the room. Blake sighed, sweat prickling at his neck. He took off his shirt to cool himself down. Underneath that shirt was a six pack and the greatest body ever. Majority of people started swooning over him. Even Loretta blushed. Grant’s eyes widen n amazement. Diane, however, was the only one unaffected.

“Blake what are you trying to do? Show how much fat you’ve gained since you’ve left the battle field?” she teased. And somehow, she was able to pin point what scarce amount of body fat he had and pinch. “Someone’s getting tubby.”

It was good Blake had someone like Diane. After all, he was the perfect packages: tall, handsome, muscular, sweet, gentle, and talented. Diane had been raised around ‘perfect’ people, so it was easy for her to spot the smallest flaws. Blake needed Diane, to humble himself.

“Whatever.” He grunted annoyed. He pulled back on his shirt, to much of his crowd’s disappointment.

Diane spun her chair around to talk to Loretta “Retta, I need to show you this video.” Instantly she was at her side, shoving a screen I her face. “Do you remember this?” and she played the video

By the looks of it, it was an old one. Seth had been video tapping this. It was the day she got a Teleporter as a belated birthday present form Lance. It was right when she had started growing in height; almost as tall as Lance back then. Lance was handing her the Teleporter, explaining how to use it. Then, in the background, were two figures emerged running. A boy, who still looked the same up to now, maybe shorter and a bit more youthful. He was running away from another figure, a girl. Her hair reached her a little past her shoulders in layers that fringed. Bright lavender eyes and way too hyperactive. Lance and Loretta had turned to see the commotion and there was Diane, chasing Blake with a fully loaded gun. Faintly, Loretta could remember what they were screaming:

“DIANE PUT THE GUN DOWN!!! I TOLD YOU, YOU WON IN RUSSIAN ROULETTE!!! SO WHY THE HELL WON’T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Come on, Blake! I won, so let me shoot you at least once!” she whined

“THAT WASN’T PART OF THE DEAL!!!!!”

“Let me shoot just once, I want to test out this rifle!”

“WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM!!!!?”

“That you won’t let me shoot you!!! Now come here!!!”

The rest of the video consisted of Diane chasing him around with the gun. Soon or later, she started firing, randomly. She gave up when she ran out of bullets but, Blake had already passed out on the floor from exhaustion. It’s a wonder they haven’t killed each other by now.

Loretta found herself, laughing at the old memory. At first, it scared the s**t out of her, at the time; reflecting on it made her feel better. Diane showed her more videos, some old, some new. Even ones from while she was gone and Diane came back. It was a video of her dad, and the rest of her crazy friends and family. They were dancing like idiots to LMFAO’s I’m Sexy and I know it. Seeing her dad, intoxicated and dancing, made her laugh so hard she fell off her chair. She called for another drink and gulped it down.

Meanwhile, Grant was chilling in his chair, surrounded by three drunken buffoons. Henry was talking about the weirdest things. Raoul was trying to lick his back. And Kane thought he was flying. At first, Grant was annoyed, until Raoul started talking about his upcoming marriage. Then Henry got all excited and started singing random songs that included the word marriage; needless, to say his voice was way off key. Kane had joined him in a weird dance, if he was even trying to.

What the f**k is trying to do? Eat his foot while upside down?! Grant watched Kane with pity and humor. Things started getting interesting. Finding a camera, Grant decided he was going to video tape the entire night.

Now only two people were sober. Blake and Grant. Loretta was bursting into giggle fits over every single thing. Diane tried one drink then blacked out. Grant asked, Blake said it a defense mechanism she taught herself: if the enemy tried drugging her, she’d shut down her entire body, but now she can’t even candle one shot of alcohol. The trouble trio was already on the floor, overdosed, trying to figure out how to stand. Grant eyed each and every bottle they drank, noticing their entire group (well mostly, Kane, Loretta, Raoul and Henry) had drained enough bottles to build a bridge.

He slipped his hand through his hair in frustration “In what f*****g way are we going to pay for all their s**t?!” he hissed.

Blake idly acknowledged him a reply “I can manage.” He stated. He held his sleeping fiancé with one arm; cradling her close to his chest.

“You’ve got enough money?!” Grant scoffed.

“Yeah, but I need to save it for the trip home.”

Grant laughed. The doors of the bar swung open and in poured soldier. You could tell them apart from this country’ soldier by their apparel. They dressed in a mix of leather and platinum armor. High officials with black leather and the lower ones wearing red.

“S**t!” Grant caught them in the corner of his eye and cussed. He tried concealing himself. “Damn it! I need to get the hell out of here now!”

Blake looked to the new comers then Grant. He raised an eyebrow “Not exactly acquaintances huh?”

“No f*****g way!”

Blake chuckled. I like this kid, he’s got spunk. “Tell you what, if can keep up with my act, I’ll find a way to pay for only half of this and get these soldiers out.”

“I ain’t buying it! How the hell are you going to manage that? ” he question, then over his shoulder lurked a familiar black and silver armor. “Whatever, deal!” he harshly whispered.



© 2012 A Drawer of Paper Roses


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Added on March 6, 2012
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A Drawer of Paper Roses
A Drawer of Paper Roses

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I have a secret drawer full of paper roses You might think they aren't as romantic as real ones But you're only judging the appearance What if he/she can't get you as rose? He's too poor to buy on.. more..

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