"You know what to do?"


"Do you promise? Rosita, you have to know what to do."

"I promise."

Anthony sighed deeply and handed out a sharpened piece of wood with a metal coating at the tip. "Silver-tipped..." He put a hand on her cheek. "I... hope you don't have to use it. You shouldn't have to if... if things go like they should. Just in case, though, okay?"

Rosita took the stake, her eyes a bit wide. Whether that were due to fear or nerves, it was hard to say. Anthony bet it was both. "Will we..." She looked down. "Will we be able to do it? Anthony, I... don't think we can..."

He stepped forward and pulled her into a hug, lifting her slightly off of her feet. He chuckled weakly. "Heh... Come on, Rosie, have a little faith." He kissed the top of her head. "I'm not going to let you get hurt. I will protect you."

Rosita told Cornelius and Sunny that she and Anthony would be back later, that they would be okay, and, of course, that they would be home before 4 AM. They had both taken a parental role over her and Anthony, she had noticed. They seemed to hover, Sunny especially, always watching, but it was comforting. It felt like they were trying to keep her and Anthony both safe. Rosita did not understand for certain why they had acquired this protective nature, but she could consider the possibility that it was because of Cyri.

Now that they were traipsing through the woods, she was starting to feel her nerves coil back up again. How could Anthony think they could do this? What was driving him to this? Why had she agreed? She sighed softly, bowing her head. He would have gone alone if she had not come. For certain he would have been hurt or, worse, killed. The irrational ginger needed someone here with him.

Suddenly, Anthony's steps quieted and he walked a little more slowly. She quickly stepped into easy pace behind him, copying his movements, figuring they were getting close. She shivered slightly. Walking to Cyri's home was a bit like being a fly heading intentionally to a spider's web. This was a stupid idea. She's going to kill us. She looked at Anthony, starting to tremble slightly. He should know the consequences. Cyri was not someone new that Anthony had no idea about. Why was he so stupid? Why couldn't he have waited a little longer? For weeks, he had been insisting they do something about Cyri on this night. Why this night?

She shivered. If they had had enough time... enough time to prepare... Would they have been ready? No. Not unless they had an army behind them. Or... Cornelius, but Anthony said it had to be them to finish Cyri, no help. She did not understand that either, but had come to the understanding that a man's pride could make them very stupid.

They were still among the trees, yet she could now see a grand house through the poles of wood. It was two-story, white house with white trim on all of the windows. It was large and, in a way, elegant. All of Cyri's homes were, though, so it was not surprising. The outside of it shocked Rosita a little bit, though. Cyri's houses never ceased to amaze her to how normal they looked from the outside. Who could have guessed, with its flower gardens and perfectly trimmed rose bushes, that such a terrible person lived inside? There was not a single light on inside, and Rosita hoped that Cyri would not be home at all.

She stopped walking when Anthony did, pausing by a bush and looking over it at the house. No, this was stupid. He had not thought this out. She could see it, now, as he measured up the house, probably looking for their way in.

"An-Anthony," she stammered, hoping she could reason with him.

He turned around, eyes wide with fear, making her tense and flinch. His finger went up to his lips, and he moved closer to her, taking her hands in his. She had not realized they were shaking until Anthony held them still. "Sh..." he said, softly. "It's okay. We'll go in. We'll kill her. We'll leave, and everything will be better after this." He smiled comfortingly at her, but it did nothing to ease her fears or diminish her feelings that he had not planned this well. He had not let her in on anything, either, and she'd been given no opportunity to see how fruitless this effort was going to be from the beginning.

"What if..." she spoke in a whisper, now, but she could see, by his wide eyes, that even that tone seemed too loud to him. "What if she hears us come in? W-we can't d-do this, A-Anthony."

Anthony shook his head and opened his mouth, about to speak. His mouth shut when he saw her eyes widen more, and, the very next second, he felt a nail slide down his back, someone pressing themselves closer to him from behind.

"Yes, Antony," a cold, female voice hissed in his ear. "How did you plan on sneaking past me?"

He bared his fangs, whipping around, stepping between Cyri and Rosita, crouched slightly and ready for the fight to come. She was in a strapless, red dress that went down to her knees. Her blond hair was curled and she had a thick layer of red lipstick smothering her mouth. Her bright red eyes, the same shade as Anthony's, burned with her stirring rage.

"I don't need a plan, now that you've come to me. Do I," Anthony growled at her.

Cyri laughed and stepped closer to him. In reaction, Anthony raised his own wooden stake up, threatening her with it.

She laughed again and he flinched, exposing that he had lacked the courage required for his threat, anyways. "Do you think you can win, Antony? Do you think you can protect Rosita? How have you forgotten about what happened last time?" Her grin widened, her own fangs elongating. "Poor. Little. Katherine."

Anthony growled and started forward, but Rosita grabbed his wrist, holding him back. "How dare you!"

Cyri flitted to Anthony's right side, stepping into his blind spot. He turned just in time to see her driving a knife towards his side. Quickly, he hopped away from her and she growled softly. He shifted into a crouch, watching her.

"Do we need to do this, Antony," Cyri asked coldly, her eyes shifting from him to Rosita every now and again, but always back and always quick enough that there was no gap of time for him to act. "You know how this will end for you. I always win."

Anthony growled, watching her closely, and remaining between she and Rosita. When Cyri finally attacked, it was to his right, and straight into his blind spot. He turned quickly to repeat the action from before, but she moved around him, remaining invisible to him.

"Anthony," Rosita shrieked just before his right side split in pain. He grunted and his grip on his weapon relaxed. The wooden stake dropped from his hand. Cyri kicked him in the back, sending him forwards. He landed to the ground with a soft whimper, body shaking. After leaning down, Cyri gently turned his head to face her. "Stupid, Antony..." Her hand grabbed the knife and twisted it before shoving it deeper into him and then ripping it across his abdomen. She jerked it up and sliced it across his neck as well.

Rosita growled softly. From where she stood ten feet away, she leaped at Cyri, just as the terrorist was turning around. To her surprise, Rosita landed on Cyri, tackling her to the ground and tearing her nails into Cyri's throat, the wooden stake she had been given having fallen away when she had landed. "You hurt Samael," Rosita yelled, angrily. "And I'm tired of you hurting me and Anthony!"

Cyri laughed under Rosita and proceeded to wrap her own arms around the girl, tearing her nails down her back, having dropped the knife she had stabbed Anthony with. Rosita whimpered and gasped, releasing her hold on Cyri. Cyri rolled them over and looked at her hand, smiling some to herself at the sight of blood on the tips of her fingers. Cyri licked one of her fingers and then looked down at Rosita. She was straddling the young girl, pelvic bone resting on her belly, and legs on either side of her. One hand was keeping Rosita's shoulder pinned.

"Well, well, my little bird. You have become more interesting a creature, haven't you?" She ran a hand gently down the side of Rosita's face.

Rosita growled softly again, her fangs elongated. She turned and snapped at Cyri's hand, the blonde removing it quickly. "Get off of me," Rosita demanded. She reached out and tore her nails into Cyri's legs, blood running down her fingers from Cyri almost immediately. She left a red trail behind as she dragged her nails across Cyri's skin.

The blonde grabbed Rosita's throat in one hand, new blood blossoming around her fingers. "You stupid bitch. You wouldn't have to die, you know." Her hand squeezed tighter and Rosita let out a strangled squeak, finally removing her nails from Cyri's flesh. Cyri laughed lightly. "Samael apparently rather see you dead than give me a simple piece of information, though." She let go of Rosita's shoulder and pulled a knife from a red, lacy garter around her thigh.

Cyri raised the knife up, Rosita's eyes going wide as she cringed. Her arms went up to protect her face. Cyri let go of Rosita's throat to roughly push the girl's head to the side. She laughed, tearing the knife into the skin behind Rosita's ear. "Come on, birdie. What..." Rosita grabbed her arm, scratching at her again. Cyri's smile widened even as she started slowly sawing at Rosita's ear. "... did you think..." The blonde threw the knife to the ground and used her newly freed hand to tear Rosita's ear from the side of her head. Rosita screamed and retracted her nails again, her hand falling to her sides. "... you could actually kill me?"

Rosita reached a shaking hand up to the side of her head, where she was bleeding profusely. She started sobbing quietly.

"Aw..." Cyri's eyes hardened. "Poor. Little. Birdie." She threw the ear to the side and picked her knife back up, quickly slashing it towards Rosita. Rosita's eyes closed, but the blow was never delivered. All of a sudden, she felt Cyri's weight leave her belly. She opened her eyes and saw, first that Cyri's knife, drenched in Anthony's blood from earlier on in their skirmish, was next to her. Then, it was the fight going on just two feet from her.

Anthony and Cyri rolled a couple of times, angry snarling coming from them both. When their motion stopped, Anthony was sitting on Cyri, straddling her like she had just done Rosita. Fist after fist wailed down on Cyri, but it took very few before Cyri had her hands on his wrists and pushed him onto his back, herself hovering over him, now. "I." She broke one of his wrists, but he uttered no noise but a hissed out breath. "Am." She broke the other at which he finally gave a pitiful cry. She dropped his wrists and put her hands on his chest. Her face was a snarl as she tore her fingers into his flesh. "So. Sick." This time, she pushed her fingers deeper into his flesh with each word. "Of you." Her hands dragged down his chest, slashing down his body.

Anthony gasped, his jaw clenching and eyes misting. He closed his eyes, face twisting into a grimace.

"Oh my dear, little, Antony," Cyri purred. She raised the knife that she had just used to harass Rosita with. Anthony had just enough time to flinch and squirm before it was driven deep into his belly. "You are so annoying, now." His eyes misted up again and he gagged, blood coming up into his mouth. Cyri twisted the knife and then yanked it out, stabbing it into his chest, just off center and just missing his heart. "You thought you hated me before, Antony?" He looked like he was choking, his breathing near non-existent by this time. He shuddered and weakly lifted a hand to her, slapping it against her leg. "You don't know how lenient I have been with you, Antony," Cyri growled, leaning closer to his face. She turned the knife in his chest and he finally let out a loud whimper. His fingers curled into the dirt under him. Cyri laughed, yanking the knife out of him and raising it up again to bring it back down. However, as her hand went back, she suddenly let out a loud gasp, her eyes wide, and her fingers loosening on the knife so that it fell onto Anthony and then slid off of him to his side.

Anthony watched through blurred vision as the tip of another knife poked through the middle of her chest. Rosita's face came into view, hovering above Cyri's shoulder. The girl pressed her cheek against her creator's and smiled bitterly. "Oh, dear Cyri," she whispered. "What made you think I would dance for you forever?"

Cyri growled softly, lifting her hand towards Rosita's face. Rosita twisted the knife and used both hands to push it down a few inches through Cyri's body. The blonde's body lurched and shuddered. She coughed, breathing labored. Rosita twisted the knife once more and her tormentor's body suddenly went lax. Rosita let her go, allowing the blonde to fall to the side. She glared down at her and laughed softly. "Stupid bitch."

Anthony coughed and Rosita's attention returned to him. She shivered softly at the sight of all the blood that poured out of him. His shirt was soaked in crimson. "A-Anthony," she asked, kneeling beside him, suddenly just a scared, little girl again. His eyes opened wearily at her. "Sh-She's d-dead..."

Anthony's eyes flickered slightly to look over at Cyri's body. He smiled weakly. "Good." His voice was weak and heavy. "Good," he said again, more softly, his eyes closing. "Y-you did g-good."

Rosita frowned and bent down, putting an arm around his shoulders. She lifted him into a seated position, producing from him a groan. "Rosita... d-don't..." She wrapped her other arm around his front, hoisting the majority of his weight onto her as she stumbled up to her feet. "Y-you need a d-doctor."

Anthony's body lurched forward in her arms and shuddered as blood fountained from his mouth. His hand weakly clutched at Rosita's arm for support. His legs gave way completely under him, forcing Rosita to drop him. She bent down as if to pick him back up.

"N-no," he said, firmly. His eyes closed again. He had started to tremble rather violently, spasming with each wave of pain that clawed itself through his body. "Rosita..."

She knelt again, her eyes starting to mist. "B-But... I can g-get you..." She took his hand in hers and held it tightly as a small sob escaped her. He was starting to still, she realized after a concise moment. "An-Anthony..." Rosita looked up to his face, but his eyes were closed again, his breathing nearly mute to her. She slapped his hand a few times with her own. "Anthony," she questioned again. His chest stopped rising entirely and she heard his heart give one more strained thud before it gave no more.

Rosita dropped his hand and put her own hand gently on his chest. "Anthony," she whispered. Her misty eyes flooded over again, her body quickly wracked with unrestrained tremors. She sobbed loudly over his body for a full half hour. When she was quiet again, she looked up from where she had rested her head on her arms and over his chest. Anthony's face was smooth and peaceful, she could see now that she was looking. Rosita wiped her tears onto her sleeve. She got shakily up to her feet and looked down at the ginger's long body. She glanced behind, and then bent down again, picking Anthony up the best she could.

It took her an hour to drag Anthony all the way back to Cornelius' house, but, as soon as they were on the property, he was taken from her with the promise they would hold his body until they could have his funeral. After that, someone took her hand and she was walked quickly to the doctor. Her senses dulled as her feet shuffled along the yard; everything was a blur and nothing made sense. Someone spoke to her, and she couldn't hear. Someone lifted her up once inside and she couldn't feel. Her head felt light and she was only half aware when she was sat down in the doctor's room in Cornelius' house. She was too numb to even twitch as the doctor took care of her wounds. After that, someone else gave her blood, told her to drink it, and she did. Then, she was sent to bed.

Blanket wrapped around her and her yellow pajamas on, she was curled in her coffin. The silence from across the hall, where Anthony had resided these past weeks, was deafening. Rosita squeezed her eyes shut, more tears beginning to spill. No one was here to comfort her when she had a nightmare or to soothe her when she was scared for Samael. Anthony had understood above all the others the torture she had been put through all these years.

Sobbing quietly, she rose up out of her coffin and headed for her bedroom door, her hand curled around the corner of her blanket like a child. She stepped out of her room only to enter Anthony's room across from hers. Redentore, his dog, looked up, happily when she entered. She was lying across the big bed pressed in the corner of the room.

Rosita stumbled to the bed and then collapsed onto it, sobbing hard into the blankets. Redentore whined and moved beside her, licking gently at the side of her head. Weakly, Rosita put her arms around the dog.

She fell asleep, curled around Redentore and in Anthony's bed.

He was standing far from her, dressed all in white. He grinned crookedly at her, and his eyes, gone back to blue, crinkled a bit at the corners. He had back both eyes and both of his legs.

"A-Anthony." she stuttered, confused.

He laughed at her and she smiled softly. "Well, come here."

She ran to him, and he picked her up, hugging her tightly. "You did so good, Rosie. Cyri's gone, now. You did good. You won't have to deal with her anymore." He pulled away a little, still holding her off the ground, and still smiling widely as well. He shook his head, chuckling softly. "And don't worry, girly. I'm okay." He put a hand on the back of her head, leaning her head forward and kissing the top of it. "Everything will be okay for you and me, now. Just like I promised."