Day 3

Train station.
People walking around busily.
Roselyn got down from a carriage. The coachman helped her with her luggage. She was going back to her home after a fine stay with her dear cousin. Susan wanted her to stay longer but Roselyn had to go. She taught art in a school in her hometown and her leave was almost over. Susan had wanted to see her off but something came up and she couldn't come.
The carriage went away. The train seemed to be running late. So Roselyn waited. She was wearing a red dress; Susan had made her wear it. She had winked and said, "Who knows? Maybe you'll run into the Count again." Roselyn had frowned. It was unlikely to happen. But she wore it anyway.
As she waited, she looked around. Then suddenly she started wondering if she were hallucinating. He wasn't supposed to be there at the station!

But no. Roselyn could see Ewin Ronal at a little distance and he was coming her way. She could swear it was him; there couldn't be a second person like him.

"Rose! Fancy meeting you here." said the Count as he came near. "Are you heading somewhere?"
"I'm going back home, my lord." She somehow said. She couldn't believe she had run into him again before leaving. Was it fate?

He looked a bit disappoint though. "You're going? Without having told me?" he had a pained expression on his face.
Now Roselyn had no idea how to reply to that. She simply said, "I'm sorry, my lord."

"Please, now," he said, "could you stop with the 'my lord' thing? It sounds so formal and frustrating."

She felt confused. "Then how should I address you?" She feel a bit silly after the words slipped out of her mouth.

"For you, my dear," he reached out and touched her chin, "I'm simply Ewin."

Roselyn felt her cheek growing warm. She softly said, "Yes, my lord."
The Count frowned, and she quickly corrected herself, "Yes, lord Ewin."
"You're still holding onto the 'lord'!" He sighed. "I guess it's better than before." this time he laughed. Roselyn had never seen someone laugh so beautifully.

He took her hand and said, "You're not going today."

She was confused.

He continued, "I'm going to take you to the river, to show you the roses."

"But I have to go back."

"Don't worry, it won't take too long." He smiled.

She thought for a while. Her vacation ended next week, which gave her a few more days to idle away.
"Okay," she finally said. "I guess sparing a few hours wouldn't hurt."

His face lit up. "Great!" and he guided her to his carriage.

On the way, she had a healthy conversation with the Count. He admired her when she told him that she was an art teacher. She got to know much about him. His parents had passed away when he was very young. He grew up in his mansion, never going outside, with his aunt, a faithful butler and tutors. People tried to trick him into giving them money, as he was the sole inheritor of his parents' immense fortune. So he couldn't trust anyone. After he became an adult, he got into business directly. He only expanded his already vast property. He had more than he ever wanted, except for a true companion.

Roselyn's heart cried. How lonely he must have been all these years! He was so young, and so sad.

The carriage came to a halt. They had arrived at their destination. The Count alighted and helped Roselyn out. They were a little far away from the bank. They had to walk the rest of the way. They traversed a light woodland and reached the river.

Reaching the bank, Roselyn stood in awe; her eyes widened in amazement. The part of the river bank where they stood, was covered with wild rose bushes, with blood-red roses blooming all over. So many red roses blooming together had concealed the leaves and looked as if the whole area was carpeted with them.
She had never seen so many red roses blooming together. "So pretty!" She whispered, afraid to disturb the peaceful silence of this pristine beauty. It was too quiet.

The Count stood next to her. "Do you like it?" he asked.

"I love it!" she replied, unable to avert her gaze. "They're so beautiful." she went near the roses, bent down and touched one, feeling the soft petals with her fingers.

"I'm glad." He said as he slowly walked to her. "There is a legend about this place. People say that many years ago, there was a beautiful young lady named Elisa Day. They say, she was as beautiful as the wild roses. One day her dead body was found on this bank among these roses. She died by hitting her head, nobody knew how it happened. People say that her soul still roams this place. I became interested when I heard it but I've never seen her."

Roselyn felt very sad to hear about Elisa Day. Such a tragic death took place in this wonderful place! She stood straight and wanted to say something. But before she could utter a word, she was startled to feel the Count's hand on her neck. His cold breath grazed her skin and for some reason she was petrified. She felt his mouth on her neck, followed by a sharp piercing pain. She couldn't understand what was happening but she felt dazed. Breathing became difficult for her and she tried to suck in air though her mouth. Gradually her body grew weak and it became harder and harder for her to stand. She closed her eyes and it felt as if he was draining her of all her strength.

The Count held her by her shoulders and bent his head lower to dig his fangs deeper into her vein. Her blood was delicious, as he had expected.

After a while, Roselyn didn't know how long, he moved his mouth from her neck and spun her around. She was now facing him. Through a hazy vision she saw his gorgeous face. Pale blond hair; light blue eyes; two sharp fangs showing at either ends of his lips, smeared in blood.

Roselyn's pale skin had become even more white and veins and arteries were visible.
Count pulled her closer, placed a gentle kiss on her was-white cheek, leaving blood stains. He whispered into her ears, "Goodbye, my dear Rose." Then he let go of her, letting her fall. She fell on the roses, the soft petals caressed her blood-drained body as she watched him walk away.

She weakly blinked and when she opened her eyes, she saw a woman. Though the image was very hazy, she could tell that she was beautiful... as beautiful as the wild red roses. The woman had red hair and red lips, and a trail of deep red blood was trickling down her temple. Se was smiling at her.

As the world grew hazier in Roselyn's eyes, she heard a light sound, as if someone was telling her not to be afraid.
"Don't worry. Vengeance shall be delivered." A whisper streamed into her ears as the world blackened in her sight, and she slowly closed her eyes

-end-