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Chapter 21 : The Murderer With a Face and a Name
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The next day Rose put on the strong face. It was always me who made breakfast and consoled her, reassuring her that things would be fine, and doing my damnedest to keep a smile on her face. But when I woke up, I found that she already had my coffee in her hands. She swooped down to give me a deep kiss even as I protested to at least give me the chance to brush my teeth, but she denied me of that before she crawled on top of me and gave me the greatest wake-up call I had ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
We sat up together after a good while of splendid kissing, and I told her it was only morning and she had already done too much for me.
"No," she protested, jumping from the bed and running to open the drapes I had made sure were closed before the night ended. My eyes adjusted to the light, but I still watched her joyously scamper about her bedroom. Just watching her put a smile to my face. "I wake up to you just about pushing my coffee into my hands. If you're not that far, then I can already smell it brewing in the kitchen, at least. I finally woke up before you for once, so I took advantage of it! It's my turn to take care of you."
I smiled, placing the mug on the nightstand, and I reached out to capture Rose about her waist. "But I like taking care of you."
She turned and said with a kiss, "We take care of each other."
"Fine," I said as she jumped up from my lap.
I tried not to react too much to her comment about waking up before her. Yes, I had also realized that it never failed that I was the first awake in the morning. Although I most likely knew the reason to this, I liked to pretend that I didn't. Rose would be turning twenty soon, and I was already a whopping twenty-seven. I knew I was still at the tip of my prime, but I'd be leaving those golden years soon. I knew I was already going to bed earlier and waking up earlier as well, and I blamed my blasted age for that. Rose was still young and thriving, in the middle of her prime.
I'm not old; I refused to believe so, but I knew it was a contributing factor.
Rose really went out of her way to make sure I was comfortable and wouldn't have a relapse of last night. Of course I knew I wouldn't because one huge contributing factor was the large, swelling moon in the sky last night, and of course there was none of that. I was fine now, but Rose didn't know that. I tried to make her realize she was doing too much, but she wouldn't listen to anything I had to say.
We just relaxed in the hammock and made a small sandcastle when late afternoon was nearing. Rose and I discussed where we would be going tonight, for we still planned on escaping the summer house one more time. We knew we would have to get out of Europe, perhaps even off the continent if we didn't want to risk exposing ourselves. Our faces were known to the wizarding world now, and we couldn't risk that.
Finally Rose threw out a city that I considered being too dangerous for our faces at first, but as I thought about it, I grew more and more fond of the idea until finally I agreed. Eagerly, Rose ran to shower, put on make-up, and do her hair before our dinner out. I took my time showering, shaving any stubble that had appeared over the past few days, and I changed into a pair of dress pants and a white dress shirt. I flared the collar a little and patiently awaited Rose in the living room.
She finally emerged wearing a small black dress that clung to her every curve. I could feel my body grow hot and tense as she stepped in to the room. She was also grinning at the sight of me. I stumbled to my feet, and she ran to undo the top button of my dress shirt; having the top button undone seemed to be what she liked best. She was still holding her ear rings with her pursed lips as she messed with the buttons, her eyes concentrated hard on her work. To get her to slow down and enjoy the moment, I pulled the diamond drop ear rings from her mouth and grabbed hold of her fingers, pressing a kiss to her mouth.
When we pulled away, she snatched her ear rings back, quickly put them in, and reached for my hand again.
And then we were in New York.
Neither of us had been here. The atmosphere was completely different; especially after adapting to a quiet, remote summer house by the ocean. Rose and I had grown used to the sound of the waves lapping at the shore, the caw of the birds in the morning, the rustle of the wind, the gentle chimes of the garden ornaments, and nothing more. Here, a mixture of white noise suddenly filled our ears.
We knew it was a risk to come to a city that attracted so many tourists, both muggle and magical, but that was also a plus for us. With so many people, it was more likely for us to just slip into the crowd and go unnoticed. We knew that we were taking a huge risk, but neither of us seemed to care at all as we ate at a diner and travelled the busy streets. We saw all the well-known places, living in the moment as we visited Times Square, Rockefeller Center where we went to the top of the observation deck and looked at New York City in its entirety and where Rose and I ice skated together - a disastrous event but perfectly enjoyable with her; Rose and I should really stick to water and sand field. Then Rose and I had champagne and danced together at the Plaza.
We seemed to have forgotten everything except for just being with each other. We spent hours in New York until we realized how late it was. It was with reluctance that we apparated back onto the familiar beach and began the long trek back up to the summer house. Rose kicked off her heels, and I carried her on my back for half of the walk. It was when I could no longer tolerate the kissing and nibbling on my ear when I set her down and we took a few moments just to feel one another.
We kissed deeply, my hands daring to inch her dress up and her fingers twisting my hair. In those kisses, something ignited with in us and we wanted to be back at the summer house, falling down onto a bed together. We were a mix of running, laughing, chasing, and kissing just to get back so we could kindle the lit flame.
We stumbled into the house, the door banging against the wall followed by the thud of Rose's back hitting the wood of the door. I threw her shoes somewhere into the living room and kicked off my own, my lips travelling to her neck. She was already fumbling with the buckle of my pants as I pulled her tiny black dress over her head, throwing it carelessly behind me. I stepped out of pants Rose helped me rid of, and in one fluid motion, I grabbed her by the waist and tossed her over my shoulders, carrying her to my bedroom.
We fell onto my bed in one perfectly molding shape with her legs about my waist and our arms around each otherís, our mouths pressed together. We both fumbled with the buttons of my shirt, clumsily undoing the thing and forcing it down my shoulders. When Rose wore only her lacy knickers and I in my boxers, we slowed to that of just passionate kissing. This was good for me. After a night like this, I didn't know what sort of excuse I was supposed to come up with this time.
I had made that promise to myself to not take our relationship any farther than it had already gone. I promised. I couldn't deceive Rose like that, I knew I couldn't. I wanted to be me and not Malfoy when we finally made that step. I didn't want to be in the body of someone else, but I found that it had become extremely difficult to hold back. It was getting harder and harder with each kiss every day.
I kept my hands tight on her hips. I realized I was probably squeezing a little too tight, but I knew I had to if I didn't want my hands to tug down her knickers, that and my boxers being the only things separating the two of us. It was all too hard. I didn't know if this was the kind of will power and self-control that I had. I also figured that if I didn't initiate sex tonight, Rose would do it herself. She was assertive and bold like that, just another thing that I loved about her.
Loved. I had subconsciously used the L word.
We had to stop. I knew that.
But just a few more kisses...
The taste of her tongue on mine was that of her spearmint toothpaste and her own taste that I couldn't quite describe. She was a mix of honey and tea; it was soothing and sweet. Her hands moved from my neck and to my back. Her nails were short, but I could still feel the pressure she put into my back as she moved them down the curve of my back. Her hands had traveled their course when they settled on my bum, her fingers playing with the rim of my boxers.
I froze at that and stopped moving as she pulled them down.
I had to make a decision. And fast.
I broke our kiss and pressed a finger to her lips. "R-Rose, wait," I stuttered out, unable to catch my breath. Panting, I pressed my forehead to hers. "Just wait."
"I'm tired of waiting. Haven't we waited long enough?"
"Y-Yeah, we have," I admitted. Honestly, we had. I had never waited this long with a woman. I've had my fair share of relationships, and they were never the ones to take it slowly. I am also not ashamed to admit that I have had a few one night stands, and that was the exact opposite of taking one's time. But I didn't mind that we had waited, not that I wanted to wait for the pure fun of it. If I was actually me, this would have been a completely different situation. "But I have something to tell you."
Did I though? What was I going to tell her? What exactly was I planning on saying? I should have thought that through before opening my fat mouth! Hadn't I learned that recently? Why wasn't I more prepared for this moment? Was I about to break my contract? Well, I had already done that, but was I about to send it completely into oblivion? Was I about to tell her who I really was? I was dying to do so, but a part of me wanted to live as Scorpius forever just so I could be with Rose.
Live as Scorpius forever to be with Rose. I could do that, couldn't I?
I'm so fucked up. Maybe I'm losing it...
Rose surprised me though and brought me out of my thoughts that were currently running about on a wild rampage.
"Shh," she said quietly, gently. She kissed the fingers I had placed upon her lips and pulled me down for one long, passionate kiss. When she pulled away, Rose once again caught me off guard. "I have something to tell you too. I know you love me, and I love you too."
Oh, Merlin. Just like our first kiss, it was something I hadn't expected. I was taken aback and too surprised to act properly. But I realized that her words were in fact true. There was no other way to describe how I felt about her. I had been in love before. I know what love feels like, and I know that this is love. I would do anything to protect her, to make sure she was all right, just to know she was happy. Just like my infatuation for her, my love for Rose had snuck up on me. It had caught me unaware and left me speechless.
I had just used the L word with myself, but I hadn't even taken in the fact that I love Rose.
She had been waiting for a response, but suddenly she wasn't anymore. Something within her had changed. Her beautiful blue eyes, sparkling with life and love, suddenly dropped and were filled with fear, and I knew her all too well to understand that they were also filled with guilt and self-loathing.
Her hands left my butt, and this time she whispered it. Whole-heartedly.
"I love you."
It melted my heart, and I knew it was true. It was the last thing I expected, but how could I deny it?
I embraced her, not daring to let go, and I pressed a kiss to her cheek.
"I love you too, Rose," I whispered, and I knew in that moment that I had never spoken anything more true.
"T-Then I..." she muttered, her voice full of pain and her eyes pulling away from me. She was taken over by something much darker, something I didn't understand but wanted her desperately to share.
I rolled off of her, understanding that the moment had thankfully come to an end. I sat up, leaning against the pillow, and I pulled her into my arms. "Tell me what's bothering you."
"N-Nothing," she stuttered, suddenly swiping at her eyes. "Nothing, I promise."
Lie. Blatantly lying.
Perhaps she was trying to convince herself nothing was wrong. She turned in my arms and pushed me down. She gave me one long kiss. My hand moved to her elbow, stroking the skin there, wondering if we would pick up where we left off but I knew I should stop it while I had the chance. But she ended it anyway.
"I love you," she said again, but the words were still heaven to my ears. "That's why I have to do something tomorrow."
She crawled off me and hopped off the bed. She didn't bother to pick up her clothing, to retrieve the bra that was hanging by the knob on the nightstand. She was moving away quickly, towards the door for a clear escape. She put on her best smile, but with her eyes shielded by the darkness, I couldn't tell how genuine she was being. I could see the rest of her though, and Merlin, was she beautiful.
"Don't worry about it. I'm going to do something tomorrow. For you. I'm going to bed. Get some sleep?"
"Y-Yeah, okay..." I answered, confused but going along with it.
"Good. I love you, Scorpius," she said again.
"I love you too...?" I said, my voice going up to an awkward pitch towards the end. I didn't mean for it to sound so questionable. That was just the way it came out, I guess.
But Rose gave a smile and made me question what had just happened.
I was thankful we hadn't had sex. That was something that was still going to be a Rose and me only event. Not while I'm in Scorpius' appearance and she's moaning his name in my ear. I wouldn't be able to stand that. I realized, though, that I was too happy with the fact that Rose and I had shared our love for me to even care that it had been done while I was in Malfoy's appearance. I was frustrated with it, but I was too happy to focus on that right now.
But I was confused. Confused as to what had gone through Rose's head just now to make her do that. What she had to do tomorrow that made her leave the way she did. If she was okay.
I tried not to think about it, but rather on those three words she had said to me. That she loved me.
"Wait," I suddenly whispered, and Rose thankfully stopped in the doorway. "You can do whatever it is tomorrow, but tonight you can still stay here."
She smiled at that, and I felt an apprehensive weight lift from my shoulders. She nodded and, still bare, slipped beneath the covers once again. She pressed her warm, smooth body against mine, and I engulfed her into my arms. I kissed her cheek and whispered my love to her one more time.
It was her soothing voice that sent me to the arms of sleep.
I couldn't decipher when my feelings had gone further from that of infatuation to love. But I hadn't even noticed when the infatuation had started either, so truthfully I wasn't that surprised. I had been unaware, in the dark and completely oblivious, and I was so thrilled to now be aware of my feelings for her. Deep down there was this loathing hate for myself for also letting her believe Scorpius loved her, and not me truly. I also hated myself for taking it so far, and I wondered if I would ever reveal my secret. But I couldn't think about that just now.
Just like our romance had started, we had fallen in love.
I woke up with a smile on my face, just like I had so many mornings recently. I moved my arms closer together, trying to squeeze Rose within my grasp, but when my arms touched and there was nothing between them, I opened my eyes to see where she was. I was expecting to be holding her in my arms. I hadn't woken up without her in my arms in over a month.
She wasn't in my line of sight. I turned over to look around the room. It was empty, aside from myself.
It wasn't a big deal. Perhaps she was in the bathroom or something. I didn't think much of it, so I lay back down. It was when I had settled once more on my side did my eyes fall on the nightstand beside the bed with a letter propped against the lamp. It had my name on it in Rose's beautiful cursive. Well, not my name...Scorpius' name...
There I went again. Forgetting who I truly am and telling myself I'm Scorpius.
My brow furrowed in curiosity, and I leaned over to snatch it. I settled back down as I flipped up the folded piece of paper, and I began to read.
Last night I realized that I love you, and when you love someone you would do anything for them, right? That's why I'm leaving this morning to go to the Ministry. I don't want to wake you; you're too peaceful, too happy in your sleep. And this is how I want to remember you. If I told you, you would either hate me or refuse to let me go. But I have to. I can't keep going on like this. Maybe I should have said yes when you suggested we run away together, but I can't risk your freedom as well.
I hope you can understand why I did what I did when they come to tell you. I had no choice, and like I said, I would do anything for the ones I love. I'm sorry I ever brought you in to this. It's my fault that you've been put in this situation, but I know I gained something beautiful from it before I make a decision that will forever change both of us.
I hope you can read this before the Aurors find you.
Please understand why I'm turning myself in, and please don't hate me. You're free now, and that will give me peace.
With Love Always,
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