📘 ROSES FOR RACHEL💞
When I sat back up, there was a man in my face. “You’re so stupid you don’t even kno-.” He’d raised a hand to me, but his movement, and his sentence was cut off when he took a blow to the face by Master Pedro. The man turned his scarred face angrily to Pedro, and swiftly ripped Pedro’s arm clear off of his body with a sick cracking sound. The blood squirted out across Lexton and me, drenching our hair in the cold liquid, as Pedro wailed out in pain.
The guards finally restrained the man, in the corner of the room and I rushed to Pedro. “Oh my god, oh my god, are you going to be ok?” I shouted.
Pedro’s face was crumpled with agony, but he used his only remaining arm to pick up the other from the floor and press it into the socket for a second. “I’ll be fine.” He winced, pressing it harder. “It just burns like a bitch.” He tried to laugh but it came out more strained.
“Let’s go.” A guard called, backing Tessa away from one of the bookshelves roughly. “Pedro.” He said impatiently, and Pedro quickly went to the shelf, pulling out one of the books and then placing a device from his pocket into the middle of the book, and then sticking the book back on the shelf.
Dust floated around the shelf as it began to shake and then push deeper into the seemingly stone wall behind it until a small gap opened up around it, just big enough for us to squeeze through. Once all of us girls, Pedro, and two guards were on the other side of the shelf a guard handed the little device back to Pedro quickly and the shelf began to move again, blocking us into the cramped, dark hallway, the only light coming from a torch that a guard took off of the wall and lit. “This way.” He demanded and we began trudging through the wet hall until we came to a nice shiny metal door about ten minutes from the secret shelf entrance.
It was a long, dome shaped room, with awful florescent lights hanging down the length of the room.
There were at least twenty single sized beds lining both sides of the room that reminded me faintly of being back at Drighten, but the walls and ceiling were the same shiny metal that the door was. In the very back of the room there was an open curtain that could be pulled out to hide the small shower and toilet, and when I spun around to face back to the door I’d come in I saw the large black refrigerator on the wall beside it, and a small microwave sitting on a little table next to that.
“What is this place?” Lexton asked.
The two guards who had come into the room with us were standing on either side of the door, their shields resting at their feet, and Pedro walked over to sit on the closet bed. “It’s the royal bunker.” He said, his voice still holding a little pain in it. I went to sit beside him, putting my hand on his knee, and he covered my hand with his. He smiled at me while Greer, Lexton, and Tessa came to sit on the bed across from Pedro and me. “It was built ages ago, back when this sort of thing would happen more often. Usually the king and the king’s chosen officials would flee to the bunkers until it was safe again to return.” He explained to us. “It’s built to survive a nuclear attack, any kind of attack really, and it can sustain at least 50 people for two years.”
Pedro shook his head. “Don’t worry, we won’t be down here that long, darling.” He said. “This is merely a precaution. Most of the fighting has ended, but there are still a few rebels hiding within the castle and the guards need to go through and make sure everything is clear before you girls are brought back out.”
“Rebels?” Lexton asked, covering her mouth with her delicate hand. “What kind of rebels?”
“Not the good kind.” Tessa said as she pulled her long blonde hair up into a bun, securing it with a band from her wrist, then began rubbing at her eyes with her palms, trying to get all the smeared mascara off.
Pedro chuckled a little. “No, not the good kind.” He agreed with her. “We only found out about a possible rebellion recently, and tonight the king made a statement to them, saying he knew what they were trying to do and blah, blah, blah. Basically he riled them up, and they mobilized a little over two hours ago.” He informed us.
“But where is the king? Shouldn’t he be down here with us and not you? And Calvin?” Tessa asked.
Just the mention of Calvin made my chest ache. I was trying so hard to remain calm and not think the worst, but thinking of him at all made it difficult. Pedro cleared his throat and I took that as a bad sign. “Well, the attacks came out of nowhere.” He said. “Men and women we’ve lived with for centuries just began turning on one another. It was a blood bath.” He said with a shudder. “There were bodies and fires all throughout Castrum de Petra, and the last news we all got officially was that the king had been captured.” He paused as the girls gasped. “I know that Calvin went to find him, but I haven’t heard anything since.”
My calm front was gone. My shoulders slouched forward as I cried out. “No!” I shouted. “Why did he have to do that?” I asked even though I knew the answer. “What if something happens to him?” I asked in horror.
Pedro pulled me under his arm and patted my blood matted hair. “Hush now, you can’t think that way.” He told me. “We will get word soon, I’ve been named the unofficial hand of the king and I will be the first one contacted when there is any news.” He told me, but his words meant nothing knowing my Calvin was in danger.
I stood up from the bed. “I have to go find him.” I said going for the door. “Please!” I said to the guards.
Pedro pulled me back, hugging me to his chest. “It’s going to be alright.” He comforted me. “You know he will come for you.” He whispered to me.
I nodded my head, trying to believe it.
A weird noise came from inside of Pedro’s suit jacket pocket and I leaned away from him as he jumped. He pulled out an ultrathin walkie-talkie and pressed a button. “Repeat that.” He said into it and we all waited in silence.
There was a crackling sound, then a terrifying two words. “He’s dead.” The voice on the other end said firmly.
Pedro glanced nervously down to my glassed over eyes. “Who?” He said into it. “Who is dead?”
The wait was agonizing, each second felt like my heart being stabbed with knife.
“The king.” The voice finally said. “The king is dead, killed in battle.” The crackling echoed the room. “Prince Calvin is officially king.” The man on the other end announced. “Stay put until you get the all clear, sir.”
“Calvin’s alive?” I asked Pedro and he looked down at me with tears in his eyes.
“Calvin?” Pedro said into the walkie. “Has Calvin been found?” He asked.
“King Calvin is unharmed.”
My heart leapt hearing that Calvin was ok, but then it immediately dropped when I realized that he’d just lost his father. Calvin was now an orphan.
“Oh, thank god.” Tessa whispered, holding her hand to her chest.
I glanced at Lexton who also seemed incredibly relieved, but at the same time she seemed to have made the same realization that I did because her face was still full of sorrow. Seeing how she so clearly felt strongly for Calvin too, made me have conflicting emotions of jealousy, but also I felt sympathy for her. The weight of my ring on my finger told me that her feelings would go unreturned, which made me feel bad. My only interactions with her had been pleasant and she seemed to be a genuinely good person.
Feeling a little more relaxed now that we weren’t in any imminent danger, I excused myself to shower, needing to get all of the blood washed off of me so that I could feel like a human again. After me, each of the other girls took their turns and then we all picked a bed. After a few minutes we ended up pushing three of the beds together and all sleeping together. After all of the crap of the last few hours, our differences seemed pretty small and it felt better to be close to people, especially when you’d close your eyes and see carnage and pieces of bodies moving around on the ground.
Two whole days ended up going by down in those bunkers while the guards worked on clearing the castle of any other hostile rebels. Pedro didn’t tell us much when he spoke to people on the outside, but he did say that Castrum de Petra was in full lockdown from any other places. He said that it just wasn’t safe to let people come and go as they pleased anymore, especially since one king had already been killed, and I agreed.
I wouldn’t say the girls and I got close, but we did learn not to completely hate each other. Greer and I were pretty much back to the way we were before we came here, and I found that Tessa was actually pretty funny when you’re not on the other end of her jokes. We had no other choices for entertainment but to talk, so we kind of had to accept each other. Lexton was still pretty quiet, but I liked her anyway. She didn’t feel the need to fill every bit of silence with pointless words the way Tessa and Greer did.
On the start of the third day we finally got the all clear, which was good because we were dangerously low on food. The bunkers were made to keep vampires alive, not humans. There was a very limited supply of actual food, and I was beyond sick of wearing my same bloody dress.
We were all a little jittery as we left the bunker and made our way back out into the main castle. The other girls broke off, going to all stay in Tessa’s room, while Pedro ushered me away and to the elevators. “He needs you.” Pedro said as we road up to level 6.
It had been hard when we were walking through the corridors, not to notice the burn marks in places on the ground, and the smoke damage to walls. It was obvious that there had been plenty of death all around.
I got off the elevator, then turned back to look at Pedro. “You coming?” I asked and he shook his head as the doors began to close.
“He doesn’t need me.” He smiled.
I walked over to Calvin’s door but the guard in front of it shook his head, pointing over to the king’s door. I bit my lip as I turned and entered the king’s suite. Everything looked the exact same, but somehow it felt entirely different now. I looked around for Calvin before I went over to the study, sticking my head in.
He was sitting in a chair facing the empty desk, his back to me.
I felt my nerves, and so much sadness roll over me as I came to his side, looking down on him in the chair. His hair was wild, and his clothes were ripped and bloodied, making his hollow expression only that much more heart tugging.