The wintry air was crisp and stung his pale skin even with the coat buttoned and zipped tightly against jack frost’s advances. Snow crunched under his leather shoes and clung to the soles. He didn’t care though, the world around him could have started burning in a red apocalypse and he would hardly have noticed. All that mattered right now and was his focus was her. That girl who was only a mere few meters away, and yet far out of his grasp. Her perfect innocent smile that was always the pure and only light in the darkness of his mind. Her soft skin, the rosy blush in her cheeks reminding him of the beautiful color red, unlike something else with the striking color. But he would never want to hurt this girl, no, she was a distraction, but a wonderful beautiful distraction. He had learned to cope with this feeling he had come to know as love, or was it obsession? Whichever it was didn’t matter, he wanted her. He needed her, to feel her in his arms, for her to smile for him and only him. When his feelings were first realized he had tried to eliminating them. The only way he knew how.
The memory was still perfect in his mind. Her misguided trust in him could have meant her end. They had been paired up for a project in the culinary class they took together and he had offered his kitchen up for them to cook in. She had agreed immediately with one of those smiles that made him want to give in and make her his right then and there, but this was unacceptable. He would rid himself of this distraction that night, with no hesitation or time for rethinking. It was six when her footsteps and voice entered his house, unknowing, unsuspecting of her imminent fate. Why should she suspect anything? She had grown close to him, knew him through and through. At least, thats what she believed. All she knew was what he wanted her to know. He had greeted her with his childish freckle-faced smile, though it seemed wider than usual. He would finally be rid of this needless distraction; this needless weight constantly on his heart. Helping with the bag she had brought of ingredients they went to the kitchen chatting comfortably as they always had, two good friends. He turned on music for background noise while they worked and she giggled grabbing his hands and whirling them around. He had smiled holding her hand tenderly in his and spinning her around into a dip and standing her up again. He had laughed bowing before she went to work with preparing the batter while he preheated the oven.
“I’m glad we were allowed to make cupcakes for the project, I just love anything sweet,” she said stirring the mix.
He nodded, “I could say the same,” flashing a smile before turning and chuckling to himself, “more than you know love.”
Her hair covered one of her eyes as she tilted her head in confusion, “Did you say something?”
“No no, nothing you need to worry your pretty little head about poppet,” he used the cute pet name for her.
Shrugging it off she turned back to the counter setting the bowl down. He went over and tasted it before scrunching his nose.
“W-what? Is something wrong with it?” her voice heightened with fear.
“Nothings wrong, but... it needs something. I have a secret ingredient that will make it just wonderful! Close your eyes! No peeking its a secret!” he placed a finger to his lips winking and guided her hands to her face childishly.
Skipping off to the cabinet and he took down a small vile of a thick red liquid. Grabbing a large knife from its holder he stabbed it into the cork and pulled it free careful not to spill it. The cork, he noted, was much tougher than her flesh looked, her skin was soft and smooth. Knives always entered the skin easily. Walking back to the bowl he poured it in and stirred it thoroughly, she would never be the wiser.
“Can I open my eyes yet?” an impatient pout was evident in her voice.
A dark smirk dominated his features as he answered turning to face her, stroking the knife’s blunt edge with his index finger, “No, not yet poppet. Keep them closed for me. Wouldn’t want the little secret to get out would we~?” the last sentence was said with a dark undertone which she noticed but ignored with a sigh.
He chuckled to himself taking a step closer to her, the weapon in hand. Just one well placed strike and she was over, distraction eliminated he thought. His baby blue eyes began swirling with a bright pink. But he found, his smile began to falter, and the grip on the knife loosen. It would be a shame when she was gone, who would he talk to? Shaking his head free of the thought he replaced it. That was the reason he was going to do this, friends here just a weight on his shoulders if he had to run, which wasn’t unlikely even if he did cover his tracks. He took another step towards her gripping the knife and raising it, the light catching on the blade and glinting. In the next second, the sound of metal hitting tile and a body falling was heard.
“Are you alright?!” her hands flew from her face and landed on the brit who knelt on the floor a knife not far from his hand.
His bangs covered his eyes, she could not read him. Silence filled the room for a moment, before he spoke.
“I-I’m fine poppet, I just tripped is all,” he replied not meeting her gaze.
She sighed helping him up, “Lets clean that cut of yours.” she led him to a chair and wet a washcloth and dabbing the cut he hadn’t even felt.
When he had dropped the knife it must have grazed his arm, she had noticed even before he had. Her gentle touch made him shiver and relax. This girl, she was the only one who could make him feel this way. The only one he could let into his world. He wanted to protect her, to show her love and do everything in his power to bring out the smile he adored so much.
The memory faded as cold ice crystals kissed his cheeks as they danced from the clouds above. He had only just realized he was standing still, lost in his memories. So far lost that he didn’t realize the familiar voice chiming into his thoughts and waving a pink envelope in his face.
“Hello? Earth to cupcake loving brit?” she tapped his nose with the paper when he blinked.
“S-sorry love! Guess I was daydreaming again!” he smiled and rubbed his arms sheepishly.
Chuckling she handed him the brightly colored paper and gave him an innocent peck on the cheek, “Happy Valentines day!” she hugged him tightly waving and walked off.
He smiled and waved but it faded when her attention was turned to another, him. That man he despised. England, though everyone knew him as Arthur Kirkland. Why did it have to be him? Why did everyone like him better? Why did she choose that idiotic fool instead of him? He could treat her better than Arthur could ever dream, and yet she was blind to his affections. He watching in disdain and disgust as he leaned down and wrapped his arms around her waist. The girl he loved and wanted to be with more than anything in the world simply wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him softly. Why was she so blind?! Why couldn’t she see how much he cared?! He knew her best not Arthur! He knew how to make her smile the most and comfort her not Arthur! The phrase just echoed in his mind. Not Arthur! Not Arthur! Can’t you see?! Can’t you see me?! I’m right here poppet! Not him!
Yes him, not you not you! A voice called back from the depths of his mind. You’re worthless compared to him. Worthless, pathetic, useless! His head felt ready to burst as he wrapped his arms around himself, as if it would hold together the last shreds of sanity he had left. He couldn’t bare to watch any longer, tears stung his cheeks in the cold air and dropped to the snow below. Shaking his head as if to free the images he ran. Anywhere but there, he would rather be anywhere. Not seeing her kissing him, not seeing him hold her and do everything he knew that he couldn’t. The door to his home slammed behind him and his coat thrown haphazardly to the side. He didn’t care, nothing mattered but her. Her voice, her smile, her very presence nearly made him sob. She was everything he ever wanted and everything he could never have.
Or, could he? No that was senseless, she was with Arthur, she would never leave him. Unless...unless he left her. There had to be a way. Sitting on the couch he hugged his knees to his chest. There was nothing that he could do to break them up, that would only hurt her. Arthur would never leave her no matter what. ...but...that could easily be changed with a little push. His lips curled into a crazed smile, and the pink swirled in his eyes. A little push, that was all he needed.
Sunlight streamed in the window passed the brightly colored pink and blue curtains. The sweet scent of roses and lilac filled the room with a homey feel. A girl lay curled under the pastel colored sheets in a cotton nightgown, a silver engagement ring with a pink diamond sparkled in the early morning light. With a yawn she rubbed her eyes sitting up and looking around the room for her lover, who was nowhere to be found. Confused, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, her bare feet meeting cold wood floor causing her to shiver slightly. The door creaked quietly as she made her way down the hall and was greeted by the mouth watering aroma of chocolate chip pancakes and earl grey tea. Poking her head around the corner the familiar sight of the blond at the stove appeared in her field of vision. With a mischievous smirk and ninja like moves, or so she thought, she snuck up behind him and prepared to pounce. As usual he had heard her coming and turned grabbing her around the waist and dipping her.
“Good morning poppet, trying to scare me again are we?” he asked with a smirk.
“Emphasis on trying, and again,” she fake pouted at her failure.
Chuckling he kissed his fiance’s cheek standing her up and leading her to the table. He instructed her to close her eyes which she did so obediently.
“Open!” his voice sounded a moment later.
She opened her eyes and a small teddy-bear sat in her lap. On its stomach was a small heart and the word forever stitched in fancy cursive letters and it wore a small blue bow-tie. She squealed hugging the plush trinket and then her lover.
“Happy Valentines Day poppet,” he whispered softly in her ear brushing a strand of hair from her face.
“And happy anniversary,” she smiled and brought his lips to hers.
She smiled at the memory, or at least the memory he had tried to remind her of. They had met when they were little and been friends for years. He had moved with his parents out of the country to England while she lived in America. They had stayed in touch as well as possible and in eleventh grade she had been allowed to visit him for a week. It was on Valentines Day he had confessed to her. Unlike most their long distance relationship had lasted and stayed strong. When graduation came he had gotten a stable job and both had raised enough money to fly out. When she had gotten off the plane he had been waiting with a ring and on one knee. That had been a year ago. None of this his fiance remembered, but believed him fully and completely, and why wouldn’t she? They sat on the couch and he poured her tea taking out a small vial. She looked up but didn’t seem in the least bit phased. It was medicine she took every morning for an illness he had told her about. She had lost her memory in a horrible car accident, so if he hadn’t given it to her she wouldn’t have remembered and grown sick again. It was stirred and dissolved into her tea which she sipped contently.
“Do you like the bear poppet? I made it myself.”
She nodded, “Very much,” she curled up next to him as the fire crackled warmly in the hearth, “Especially the lettering.”
“Forever?” his fingers ran over the stitching pulling her close.
“You and me? Forever?” she looked up at him.
He nodded, “Forever. Happy Valentine’s Day, and many more together in the future,--
The couple snuggled content in front of the fire in a comfortable silence. On the hearth was a stack of newspapers, half of which had already been used for kindling. Embers glowed brightly and a burst of them rolled out of the flames, along with a half burned article. A high schooler had been missing for a year and suspected for the kidnap of his girlfriend who had gone missing around the same time. His body had been found washed up on a beach one month ago, but the girl still remains missing without even a trace.
--until death do us part.”