Read The War of Roses Online

Authors: L. J. Smith

Tags: #Vampires, #Romance

The War of Roses

Text copyright ©2013 by the Author.

This work was made possible by a special license through the Kindle Worlds publishing program and has not necessarily been reviewed by Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. and Alloy Entertainment, LLC.. All characters, scenes, events, plots and related elements of The Vampire Diaries remain the exclusive copyrighted and/or trademarked property of Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. and Alloy Entertainment, LLC., or their affiliates or licensors.

For more information on Kindle Worlds: http://www.amazon.com/kindleworlds

 

Evensong

Part Two:

The War of Roses

by L. J. Smith

 

Dedicated to my readers, worldwide. Thank you, friends,

f
or your many messages of kindness and appreciation.

Please let me know what you think of this fanfic!

@drujienna,
[email protected]
,
http://www.ljanesmith.net
  

https://www.facebook.com/ljsmithauthorofvampirediaries

 

 

 

 

Foreword by L. J. Smith

Once again, for anyone who may have missed it:
this is an episodic adventure fanfiction story.  It is
not
one of the official books in
The Vampire Diaries
series, nor is it meant to replace these books.  This fanfic takes place in an alternate world from the official books that follow
Midnight
.

Normally, I would not
release the beginning of Part Two along with the entirety of Part One, but I do have my reasons.  For one thing, it didn’t seem quite fair to Bonnie fans to only release the Elena scenes in
Part One: Paradise Lost
, and not do this.

Again, I’m not
certain how many different parts there will be to this work, but I do plan to spend the time that I can afford to take off from my professional writing, until this complicated love story/episodic adventure is finished.  And, yes, that means until The End.

As for who gets married
just after midnight amidst a constellation of rose-shaped candles and tapers in a half-ruined chapel in Dyer Wood (and yes, with the bride wearing black, while the bridesmaids wear red and all carry black or red roses) . . .  I’m still not going to identify the bride or groom.  You’ll have to wait until I post that section in order to find out.

As always
, I would like to give my thanks to my agent, John Silbersack of Trident Media.  You are reading this story because of his efforts, and if it is any good, he made it better.

My
most sincere gratitude as well to Amazon and Kindle Worlds for giving me a place to house this fanfic and for welcoming me so warmly. 

I would also like to thank (as ever!) Julie, Christina,
Toni, Frini, Jesa, Jan, and Usok of Usok Choe Designs.  Without their help, encouragement, brainstorming, kibitzing, last-minute coding and consideration for my welfare, I would never have been able to write a page of
Evensong
.  

I
do actually mean it when I say write to me to give your opinion of this episodic literary adventure.  Please email me at
[email protected]
.
  I may even write back to you!  Or else visit me at
http://
www.ljanesmith.net
,
like me on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/ljsmithauthorofvampirediaries
or follow me on Twitter
@drujienna
.  

Cheers,

Lisa

 

 

             
                                                       

 

Evensong

Part Two:

The War of Roses

by L. J. Smith

 

 

“A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,

And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.”

― Robert Frost

 

 

Bonnie was headed for Biology 101, her first class of the day.  She had given up trying to convince Meredith to stop following her, even though she knew that Meredith was going to miss her own classes.  Bonnie’s pride was injured—as if she couldn’t take care of herself in the sunlight, with ordinary students streaming all around her!

She walked as fast as she could, but the
tac-tac
of Meredith’s shoes still kept up by her side.  Of course, Meredith had longer legs, which was another injustice.

It was insanely cold for the end of September and the watery sun in the sky did nothing at all to warm the morning air.  Bonnie shivered inside her thick wool sweater.

The good thing about Dalcrest College was that it was quite small, which made it easy to walk from one place to another on campus.  Bonnie reached Lerner Hall before her nose was completely frozen, and she turned for the first time to look at Meredith.

“Are you really going to follow me in?” she asked piteously.

“Of course,” Meredith said, with grim determination in her dark gray eyes.  “I’m going to sit in Biology with you, too.”

“Dr. Reichard is going to be mad at you,” Bonnie said feebly.

“Let her.  I’m auditing the class—just because I’m dying to learn about the insides of a fetal pig.”

Bonnie turned back in frustration.  She knew that under that determination Meredith was no happier about shadowing her than she was about being shadowed.  It was ridiculous, but Damon really wanted it, and neither of them was good at refusing Damon. 
He was always so thoughtful and reasonable—and really, really good looking.  Bonnie wished she’d had a chance to speak to Elena this morning, but somehow . . . things had been too rushed. 

Elena should be all right now, though, she told herself.  Damon won’t let anything bad happen to her.

Meredith made a sound of impatience.  A dozen students had just walked into the building in front of them.

“Are we going inside
or not?”

“We are,” Bonnie said resignedly.  She hurried up the steps and into the open double doors—

Ouch!

She’d bumped into solid wood.  Bonnie blinked and blinked again.

The doors were closed.

But that was impossible. 

It had to be—was she so late that they had closed the whole building?  And how had they done it while she was climbing the steps? 

Bonnie rattled the doors once more to find that they were definitely locked, and turned around to ask Meredith what was going on.

Meredith had vanished.  Bonnie shivered violently.  She opened her mouth to call, but no sound came out.  Worst of all, something had dimmed the sun.  She could hardly see.

I must be having one of those trance-things, Bonnie thought desperately.  But why am I so cold?  And what’s going on in the real world?  And why—why can’t I remember having breakfast or choosing my clothes this morning?

Bonnie shivered again violently . . . and woke up.

It was the middle of the night.  She’d been dreaming—but, oh, God, there was Lerner Hall, all right!  The big double doors were closed and locked.  The sky was dark
with no moon and about a billion stars and Bonnie was in her calf-length white cotton nightgown. Her bare feet were freezing.

Meredith wasn’t in sigh
t.

In her place,
there was a large and beautiful white dog standing on the steps. 

Bonnie automatically put a hand on its head.  “Good boy, good boy,” she murmured vaguely.

Oh, my God, oh, my God! she was thinking.  I sleepwalked!  I really did it!  In my nightgown!  I’ve got to get back to my room.

Meredith is going to be furious.

Bonnie was still looking at herself in bewilderment.  It was so
cold
.  The wind made it even colder, slicing through her thin nightgown as if it wasn’t there.  How could she not have felt that?  How could she have walked barefoot all this way and never felt the concrete? 

But there was no point in standing here any longer and wondering. 
Other people were bound to be up and around campus.  They might see her at any minute.  In her nightgown!

This horrific thought was enough to get her moving, her face
hot with embarrassment.  Slowly, wincing as she placed each foot on the ground, Bonnie went down the steps.  The dog followed her, and she felt subtly comforted by its presence. 

No wonder I dreamed you were Meredith, she thought, examining the dog while walking.  It was a gorgeous animal, with pure white fur
and golden eyes.  It had a lot of fur around its face and neck and very long legs with enormous feet.  Its tail jutted out like a horizontal brushstroke.  It didn’t wag, even when Bonnie petted it, but it did hold still and look vaguely pleased, tongue lolling.

It looked like an Alaskan Husky.  A cousin of hers had owned an Alaskan Husky, and it had been as thickly furred as this dog, although it hadn’t been as beautifully big and white.

“Who do you belong to?” Bonnie asked conversationally as she hurried along, uncrossing her arm from her chest to pet it again. “You don’t have a collar.”

The dog glanced up at her, as if listening for a word like “walk
ies” or “dinner.”  Bonnie suddenly found herself intensely and specifically glad to have him as a companion.  She was terrified of meeting someone who would laugh at her, or worse.  What if it was a guy?  There was no way to hide; she didn’t dare leave the concrete pathway with its really-quite-distantly-spaced lampposts for the shelter of trees where she might be less conspicuous.

A wicked draft blew straight up her nightgown and she realized that she was shivering
uncontrollably.  The white dog with the golden eyes looked at her, tongue still lolling.

Please,
God, Bonnie thought, resisting an impulse to clasp her hands together because she was already hugging herself, trying to keep warm.  Please don’t let Meredith wake up and find that I’m gone from my bed.  Please don’t let Meredith
ever
find out that I’ve been parading around campus in the middle of the night, with a strange dog as my only hope of protection! 

“But I did it in my sleep,” she said out loud. 
At that, the big dog looked up as if sympathetically.  “And how I am supposed to watch out for myself when I’m not even awake?  It isn’t my
fault
.”

She was talking, she realized, to keep her spirits up.  This sudden understanding brought tears to her eyes and a piteous little whimpering sound to her throat. 

The white dog, still looking up at her, echoed her whimper with a tiny whine.

“Oh, you good boy,” Bonnie said
again.  Suddenly curious, she bent to check whether her choice of words was correct and saw that the dog was, indeed, a male.  “You make me feel better. 
What
a good boy!”

Still, she felt badly enough as she followed the path, which seemed to have gotten ten times longer at night than
it had ever been in the daytime. 

If only she could call . . . call someone for help . . . somehow.  Bonnie shook her head, frustrated.  She wasn’t even sure what she meant but there was something in her mind that believed she could just yell and . . .
someone
. . . would find her.  No cell phone needed. 

But that was
insanity.  It was the same kind of thinking as whatever had caused her to say terrible things to Elena earlier and then faint and hit her head and not even remember what she’d said.  If anyone needed more evidence that she was having a break with reality, this little night’s excursion should convince them.

Suddenly the
unpleasant and somehow cobwebby thoughts she was struggling with were brushed away by a frightening conviction.  She felt as if someone was looking at her.  Not merely looking at her, but
staring
at the back of her neck with malicious intent.

Slowly, Bonnie turned her head to look behind her.

With a shock, she realized that she had been correct.  There were two large dogs—
very
large dogs—padding along the concrete pathway, coming straight toward her.  Bonnie felt her eyes go wide at the sight.  The animals were Alaskan Huskies, too, but their coloring was different from her companion’s.  They were sort of brindled on top and white on their stomachs.

They were the biggest dogs she’d ever seen in her life, except for . . .
darn it!
She’d had a flash of an image of a black dog the size of a small pony.  But of course she didn’t know any dog like that! 

Definitely I’m going crazy.

There was a truly pathetic whimper and for a moment Bonnie thought it came from her own throat.  Then she realized it was the white dog.  His tail was no longer horizontal; it had curled completely down and under his belly.  His head was down, his body was held low to the ground, and his ears were so flattened that it almost looked as if he had none.

“Some help you are!” Bonnie gasped involuntarily.  For a moment she wished she had Yangtze, her mother’s spoiled, fat
Pekinese who had died last year.  He would be no good in a fight, but at least he would put up a shrill yapping that sounded vicious.  The white dog was whimpering and, she realized, actually trying to hide behind her.

“Good boy, you’re
a great big coward!” Bonnie muttered.  But she couldn’t pay attention to him now.

The other dogs
were approaching fast.  Their eyes seemed to reflect yellow light at Bonnie.  Their tails were held erect and their muzzles were shut—no lazy tongue lolling.  Their paws made only the faintest of sounds as they loped in for . . .

For the kill, some faraway part of Bonnie’s mind said matter-of-factly.  These weren’t domestic dogs at all.  They were
feral.  They were hunting her and they were going to attack her when they reached her.

But she couldn’t run.  She
couldn’t.
Her legs were paralyzed beneath her, and besides her brain was telling her that running was a
really
stupid thing to do.  The wild dogs’ legs were so long that they would catch up in seconds.

Desperately, Bonnie looked around her for some kind of aid.  Even a rock . . . no!  There!  A big stick was lying just a few feet off the concrete pathway
.  It must have broken off from a tree and been carried here by the wind.

Before she even finished recognizing what the stick was, Bonnie had it in her hand.  She had jumped back
in front of the trembling white dog and brandished the stick like a baseball bat, not even caring how silly she must look. 

T
he dogs were so close that she could see their yellow eyes clearly, and see the feral coldness in their expression.  Neither of them were snarling or even baring teeth.  Was that how wild dogs hunted?  In silence, ready to jump without warning?

The branch was heavy in her hand and she planned on aiming at sensitive ears and noses.

Some part of Bonnie understood that she was so deeply in shock that every thought was abnormal.  But she couldn’t feel that in her gut.  There she was, grimly hefting her bit of splintered wood, where a wiser head would have simply realized that she was going to be severely mauled and probably die even if she got in one or two blows.

The white dog whimpered again, a pleading, puppy-like sound.  And suddenly, astonishingly, Bonnie felt a flame of outrage sear through her.  The
se animals were undoubtedly cruel enough to kill a smaller animal who was terrified.  They were hateful and wrong, and bad,
bad
dogs!  She was going to hit them hard before they dragged her down.

As the two animals reached her Bonnie
gritted her teeth and braced for the attack.  She felt the white dog’s hot breath on her calves; she sensed the bad dogs poising themselves to leap, and—


DOWN!”

The shout came from behind her.  Bonnie choked.  She froze with wide-stretched eyes, afraid to glance over her shoulder; afraid to turn her back on the wild dogs. 

She watched what happened, half-wondering
if it was somehow another dream.  The brindled dogs, who had already started to leap, acted as if they had run into something solid in the night air.  Their long legs folded beneath them as they appeared to bounce off an invisible barrier, and they landed on the pathway more or less in a “down” position.

Should I smack them?  I think maybe they need to be smacked, Bonnie thought.  She could see the frustrated yellow gleam of their
wicked eyes. 

But their ears were flat now, and their tails were tucked under.  They looked
angry, but they also looked beaten.  They almost seemed to be afraid to move, as well, and Bonnie couldn’t bring herself to hit animals that seemed glued in place.

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