The Blue Rose

The Blue Rose

This is an old piece that I found while digging around on my hard drive (so it may be a bit rougher than usual). Several years ago (probably close to a decade now), my husband and I were coming home from dinner out on Valentine’s Day and we encountered a flower seller in the subway selling blue roses. Blue roses have a special significance to me, in part because my husband snuck away while we were on our honeymoon to secretly buy me a blue crystal rose – which still sits on my writing desk every day.

Long story short, he bought me one of those roses and it inspired the scene written below. Even though it’s still old, this scene still has a special place in my heart. It takes place between Cazella and her husband (they’ve only just wed at this point, though they were together for years before that), who is a powerful sorcerer.

. . .

Perhaps she hadn’t been paying close enough attention. It was unlike her to be neglectful when something she considered so important was being handled, but she had also been in the middle of a conversation with the most important man in her life. When the knife slipped, it was hard to say what exactly had caused her to loose control for the split second it took to slice her finger and crush the delicate flower against the table, so by default she blamed it on her own carelessness. It was more a cry of despair than a cry of pain that slipped past her lips in the moment the blue petals began to flutter down to the floor.

The Warden was beside her so quickly she wondered if he had teleported across the room, but dismissed the idea almost the moment it crept into her mind. He wouldn’t waste such energy on the likes of her. She only noticed hasty arrival because a black gloved hand lay on each of her shoulders, gently turning her sideways so that she could face him. “What’s wrong? Are you alright?” His deep voice reached through her panicked despair, calm and cool as always.

“I’m sorry!” she cried hoarsely as she slid down to one knee despite his light grasp on her shoulders, and quickly scooped up each and every one of the fallen petals, holding them tightly in one hand. “I didn’t mean to! Please don’t be mad…” She seemed almost frantic – over flower petals.

The Warden followed her to the floor, kneeling beside her, his luminous green eyes peering down at her from behind his thick wooden mask. One gloved hand slid from her shoulder down her arm to gently grasp her free hand. “Don’t be sorry, Cazella. It was only one flower. I will get you another one.” He answered; apparently neither troubled by the destruction of the flower nor the woman’s frantic reaction.

Cazella glanced at the flower petals in her hand forlornly, dismayed that so many had been torn prematurely from their proper place. The flower was all but dead now, certainly nothing pretty to look at. She curled her hand into a fist, as if to hide the petals from that luminous green gaze and shook her head slightly. “You shouldn’t have to get me any more. I should have taken better care of this one.”

From time to time, the Warden still managed to surprise the woman who had served him for several centuries as a slave and, more recently, become his wife. She couldn’t help but blink and glance up at him when a soft chuckle issued from behind the thick wood of his mask. She could tell instantly, even without seeing his face, that he was not attempting to mock her. “You took excellent care of those flowers, Cazella. I am surprised they lived this long. You do as well with them as with the children – you are patient, cautious, and thorough.” He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “It was only one flower. Look how well you took care of the rest.” The hand still on her shoulder fell away and swept in the direction of the vase of flowers on the table above them.

Her eyes followed the gesture, but it didn’t cheer her at all to see the rest of the flowers, sitting happily in their vase. The entire arrangement was going to be off now that she’d crushed this poor flower. “But look at this one!” She insisted sullenly, opening her hand so that he could see the ruined petals. “And it was exactly the color of my hair…” She sighed and shook her head again, bringing herself back to the moment. “I should clean up.”

“Leave it for now. I will let one of Kirtina’s earn their keep.” The Warden said softly, yet sternly. She could hear the undertone of command in his voice, though he rarely actually gave her orders anymore. Using that particular tone was the fastest way to make her comply.

Instead of arguing she bowed her head slightly to indicate she would do – or in this case not do – as he wished. After a moment, though, she held up the hand cradling the petals and asked quietly, “But what shall I do with these?”

“Whatever you wish.” Was the only response the demonic sorcerer offered. He was a man of few words when he wasn’t discussing his studies.

Cazella slumped, staring sullenly down at the crushed blue petals lying against her pale, milky skin. “I cannot do what I wish.” She replied quietly. “It is beyond me.”

“How is it beyond you?” The Warden asked quietly, his hand moving to cover the hand that held the petals, giving it a gentle squeeze, while the other traveled back up her shoulder and looped around it, pulling her gently closer to him. “What is it you wish?”

Cazella did not resist as she was drawn against him; she never did. She enjoyed the warmth that came with being close to him, hearing the sound of his soft, steady breathing, feeling his strength close against her. It was somewhat marred on this occasion, however, by the fact that she had just horribly ruined his gift to her. “That I could make the flower whole.” She murmured. “That I could make your gift last forever.”

“Hmm…” Hidden beneath the wooden mask he wore, a small smile quirked at the corners of the demonic sorcerer’s mouth. Slowly he lifted his hand away from hers revealing, not petals, but the flower lying in her palm, once again whole, as though it had never been damaged.

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