Sequel to Glass Slippers
She looked up quickly, "Sorry, I'm a bit tired…"
"It's alright. This won't take much longer." Said the man with a kind smile. "So, why are you interested in our school?"
Vienna gave a weary smile, "Well it's always been my dream to go to a prestigious school, and the university is in such a nice area."
"Yes, it is." He flipped through the folder providing her records, "It says here you missed a lot of school this past year, yet your grades are superb. Why is that?"
"I had a parasitic virus." she said without hesitation, "Luckily for me, all the teachers that I had at the time posted their assignments online so I was able to keep up to date with my school work while I was sick in bed. Schoolwork isn't the most enjoyable thing to do while you're sick but I knew it was necessary."
"We'll, let's hope that virus doesn't come back." He laughed softly. "I must say, I'm impressed. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to-"
Fire flickered, drowning out the image of the office. Vienna turned quickly, her eyes wide with fear. "And you thought you could get away…" Spoke a soft, sly voice. "You should've stayed at Beaudine. At least there you would've been protected."
The fire soared into the darkened sky as Vienna screamed. A young man with long black hair, ruby eyes, and a tilted crown on his head frowned, his richly colored robes slowly sliding down his arms flashed across his mind, only to allow a white sheet to cover his sight. White feathers descended like snow, gathering on the ground. The feathers continued to fall, more heavily now, and the fresher ones sprinkled with blood till the entire landscape was flooded in scarlet. The same young man stood in the ocean, drowning, sinking to the depths of the crimson sea.
He could hear Vienna shrieking in the distance, calling the young man's name-
Derian sat up in cold sweat, panting heavily. He stared down at the dark blue sheets as his hair stuck to his bare skin. Throwing the covers off, his feet touched the cold marble floor, yet his heart did not slow. He turned on the lamp next to his bed eagerly, banishing the long shadows.
Rubbing his forehead, the dream leaving a migraine to rest in his frontal lobe, he groaned loudly. "Wrath!"
The yellow eyed man was there within seconds of his command, "Yes, your highness?"
"I had another dream…" Derian looked up at the tall man, his ice blue eyes tired, still reflecting the vision. "It was about Vienna."
Wrath continued to stare at the prince his eyes unchanging, "Hm."
"And… someone else…" Derian looked back down at his feet, trying to remember everything. "A sea of red, and feathers… a boy drowning. He had some kind of crown on his head."
Sighing, Wrath took a seat beside Derian, "These dreams, are just that. You're taking them much too seriously."
"Believe me, I would think nothing of them if they hadn't come true time and time again." Derian leaned forward and held his head in his hands, the migraine worse. "When I first had one of these dreams I dreamed my father died. He did exactly the way I dreamt it. The dreams increased from there, but only giving me horrible visions. Leonard… I dreamed he died from Farris' attack. Life played out exactly how I dreamt it would up to that small detail, and now he has a fate worse than death."
"Leonard will get better." the yellow eyed man stated before standing up, "You just need to have a little faith, as for your dreams…they're just coincidences. Now then, do you require anything for your headache?"
Derian was silent for a few moments as he willed his heart to calm down, "Yes… That would be lovely."
Vienna sat quietly in the corner of Ryo's apartment while the New Years festivities raged on. Ryo and Victor seemed to be arguing about something (again) and Alexander, who had insisted on coming with Victor was feigning sleep on Carrie's lap.
Her green eyes slowly drifted toward the snowy landscape outside, her thoughts scattered. She frowned as more unsettling thoughts filled her head. Her stomach ached from worry and hunger, but her body could not tolerate food. Vienna had been like this ever since the night of the Autumn Ball. She kept expecting that demon to pop up out of no where to take what he'd left behind.
Carrie touched Vienna's shoulder and gave it a light squeeze, "Hey, are you feeling alright?"
She shrugged her away, "Yeah…I'm…I'm fine."
The blue eyed girl sat back, her hand returning to Alexander's blonde hair with soft strokes, "I'm glad you're alright, Vienna. Ryo was going crazy not knowing where you were." There was a hint of jealousy in her tone, but it was easily overlooked.
Vienna nodded slowly her attention to Carrie slipping fast, "Don't worry, Carrie."
"I'm not." Carrie smiled. "So, are you going to go back to school?"
"Yes." Vienna nodded, "But…" she looked towards Ryo and victor before continuing softly, "Not at Beaudine. I'm probably going to be moving within the next couple of weeks. I already started packing."
"Where are you going, if you don't mind me asking?" Carrie asked out of curiosity.
"The east coast if everything goes well." Vienna said distantly as her attention turned back to the falling snow outside, "I haven't told them yet, so don't say anything."
"And I'm telling you that celebrating two New Years is stupid. You should just pick one and stick with it." Victor smirked and leaned back against the counter, his usual red "punch" in his hands. He had to refer to his drink as punch around Carrie.
"There's nothing wrong with celebrating two of one thing." Ryo's eye was twitching. "Did you come here just to argue with me?"
"Nah, I came because I wanted to hang out with everyone." Victor winked over at Carrie, who flushed out of embarrassment.
Ryo held back the urge to punch his face in. "Sure you did."
"I sure did." Victor drained the rest of his glass. "How's the snow looking, Strawberry?"
"White." she said flatly.
Carrie looked up at the clock and shifted Alexander off her lap and onto the couch, "Oh! It's almost midnight. I better get out the cake." She stood and hurried into the kitchen to bring out an ice cream cake with cookie bits carpeting the surface and big letters that read "Happy New Year".
"Snazzy cake. Did you make it yourself?" Victor asked.
"Ah, yes." Carrie smiled happily. "With suggestions from Ryo, of course."
Ryo scratched the back of his head, "Not really… I only suggested putting the words on it."
"Don't be modest, Ryo. It was a very good suggestion. Vienna, do you want to cut the cake?" Carrie grinned over at the distracted girl.
"No." she stood up and stretched, "I'm gonna go now, my car's getting covered in snow." she was referring of course to the small white car her grandmother had gotten her for Christmas.
"You sure?" Ryo asked with a frown, "I mean… uh… it's probably not a good idea to drive in this weather. The roads are icy."
"Ah, she'll be fine." Victor cut in, already holding out Vienna's coat for her. "You need to learn to respect a lady's decision, red eyes."
Ryo glared at the vampire, "I do respect her decision, I'm just concerned."
"Well, don't be. She's a big girl." Victor helped Vienna put her coat on. "There you are. Would you like an escort home?"
Vienna shook her head, "You'd have no way of getting back here. Have a happy New Year guys…"
"Wait, Vienna!" Carrie hurried over to her, holding out a slice of cake on a paper plate protected by plastic wrap, "Here. This is for you to enjoy at any time you want. I'm happy you came by."
Vienna smiled nervously, "Thanks…" the thought of sweets made her stomach summersault uncomfortably, "Bye." she nodded before leaving the apartment.
Once inside her car she sighed and sat there for a moment, enjoying being out of the company of prying eyes. "I'm not going to tell them…" she whispered before starting up the car and driving home.
Ryo watched her from the window, his brows knit with worry. "She'll be fine." Victor said from the kitchen as he was helping Carrie clean up.
"How can you be so sure?" Ryo pondered aloud.
"Because I know how she's feeling, that's how I know." Victor stated bluntly. "If you coddle someone too much they won't be able to function correctly after a traumatic experience like that."
Carrie smiled wearily, "Yeah… traumatic experience…" She mumbled.
"What was that, Peaches?" Victor asked slyly.
"Oh, it's nothing. Just mumbling." Carrie laughed nervously.
Alexander shot up from his spot and pouted, "Hey Victor! "Peaches" is my nickname for her!"
Carrie literally jumped from surprise, "I-I thought you were asleep!"
"He does that. A lot." Victor said with a bland taste.
"I was asleep until I felt A KNIFE IN MY BACK!" the little boy glared daggers at Victor, "Jerk."
"I didn't steal the name, kid. I liked it so much I wanted to use it." The older blonde shrugged his shoulders with vague innocence.
"How naïve do you think I am ingrate?!" Alexander huffed before brushing a lock of his curly blonde hair away from his face.
Carrie stared blankly at the little boy, "That's… a complex sentence for a boy your age, Alex."
Alexander smiled sweetly, "You know in most countries I'd be considered a child prodigy."
"Oh, I see." Carrie's blank stare turned to a smile, "You didn't tell me that, Victor."
"I didn't think it needed to be said. He shines wherever he goes." Victor smirked, obviously making fun of Alexander's "talents".
"I can see why. Would you like some cake, Alex?" Carrie asked.
Alexander smiled through a yawn, "Sure do!"
Ryo managed a small smile at the three before he turned his attention back to the hushed snow. What a strange New Years.
"You called?" Vienna said as she strolled into her headmaster's office.
Derian looked up from his desk and leaned back in his large chair, indicating to one of the smaller plush chairs in front of him. "Have a seat."
She nodded and took a seat where he indicated, "So…I'm a bit confused as to why you called me here."
"I was going through this semester's applications and I didn't see yours. Are you going to leave Beaudine?" Derian cut straight to the point.
"Yes." she said bluntly, "I'm moving back East in about a week, actually."
"How would you like to go further East?"
She gave Derian a confused look, "Further East? Massachusetts is far enough East for me."
"How would you like to go to school in Europe?" Derian asked.
Vienna frowned, "Europe…? Well, I don't know. That's a bit too far for my tastes not to mention school is expensive for foreigners there."
"Not if you have my funding." He said simply. "There's the University of Stele in Romania. I'm familiar with the headmaster and I can get you in without it costing you a cent."
Vienna's expression did not change, "You'll foot my bill?"
"Yes." Derian answered. "I will pay for the transportation, the entry fee, lodging, food, your books, and anything else you deem necessary for your stay there."
She sighed, "I've already paid for the books for my new classes. I bought my own plane ticket and I signed a lease for an apartment." her cheeks grew pink from frustration, "You really don't get it, do you?"
"Cancel your lease and send the bill to me, I will also refund you for your books and your ticket." He wasn't taking "no" for an answer at this rate. "Besides, wouldn't you like to see Romania and the Black Sea?"
"Of course. But I'd like to do that on my own buck. I don't want to be indebted to anyone, especially not you. Are we done here?"
"Vienna," He leaned forward, his fingers linked, "Consider this a gift from my family to you. After all Leonard did to you and for you shouldn't you feel indebted to him?"
She frowned, "That was underhanded. I expected that sooner. Listen, I'm trying to get away from all of this. I want to go to a regular HUMAN school. And you have no right to pull the guilt trip on me when you just stood there and let that thing hurt me. I don't owe you squat." she stood up and headed for the door, "I'm leaving next week and there's nothing you can say that will change my mind."
"Who said Stele University isn't a human school?"
She balled up her hands into fists, "Because you're too good for us humans, you wouldn't know the human headmaster of a human university."
"It is and it isn't. Stele is a bi-racial school. Of course, the number of my kind is greatly diminished in favor of humans. There are more humans, so naturally you wouldn't feel out of place." Derian's eyes flickered to her newly formed fists, "Besides… it would be of great interest if you left this kingdom for awhile, if only to get away from the guilt."
Vienna was beginning to shake, "No. No more of this nonsense! I just want to be with regular people ALL regular people…"
"Let me make this quite clear so you can understand." He had hoped he wouldn't have to bring this up, but she gave him no choice. "The demon that possessed Leonard is looking for you. The minute you leave Beaudine he will have you. I'm giving you an alternative in order to shake him from your trail. Turn me down and you will have no choice but to go to Hell with him."
Slowly her gaze turned to the floor. Her weakness was her fear of that thing, and he was skillfully using it against her, "That's not true."
"Are you willing to risk it?" The prince asked sincerely.
"…No." that's when the feeling returned, the feeling of cold iron shackles.
Derian took out a transfer document and began to scribble a few things down, "Call your human school and tell them you can't attend. I will take care of everything else."
She turned away from him, "No, you'll take care of that too." she growled before quickly leaving the office.
He took a deep breath and exhaled before muttering, "I'll take care of that, as well. It's for your own good…" His eyes softened into subtle sadness. If he can help it he would protect her, just as Leonard protected her in the end. He wouldn't fail his brother, knowing this is what he would've wanted.
"Romania!" Grandma chirped about the news, "Such a beautiful country. I was there once with your grandfather for our first honeymoon. Or was it our fifth honeymoon…? I can't remember." She giggled and helped Vienna fold up her clothes in order for them to be packed away neatly. "How much luggage are you going to take with you, dear?"
Vienna did not look pleased in the slightest, "Six months worth I guess."
"I already told your parents. They want to throw you a "good bye" party." Grandma grinned. "I think… three suitcases should do just fine."
Sighing Vienna threw some stationary and writing utensils in a small back pack, "I don't want a party. I just want to get this over with." she grumbled.
"The party is for your parents. You know how they are."
"Yeah, I do…" she said tiredly, "I guess I should just let everyone ignore my wishes since things are going to happen whether I want them to or not."
The old woman reached over and gave Vienna's arm a soft pat, "Don't worry so much. Remember what I've always told you ever since you were a little girl?"
"You told me lots of things, grandma."
"Do you remember when you had that mean bully back in grade school?"
She nodded slowly as she continued to pack her bag with school supplies.
"What I said back then still stands for now. It's up to you to believe it or not. Speaking of which, I got you something." Grandma reached into one of the bags she had brought in earlier and pulled out a small, flat box made of white velvet. "My gift to you." She held it out for Vienna to take.
Vienna stared at the box for a moment before finally taking it from her grandmother. Inside, on a silver chain, was a tiny figurine of an angel with her head bowed and her hands folded in prayer.
Vienna's eyebrows knitted, "Wow…thanks but I should tell you…I don't believe in angels."
Grandma took Vienna's hand, gave it a squeeze, and smiled sweetly, "I know. I don't want you to think of this necklace as a sign of religion, but as a wish from your grandmother for you to be safe."
The only response Vienna gave was a small, weak smile.