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Crushing a Rose

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"Forgiveness is the scent a rose leaves on the heel that crushes it."


Roy shook his head at the reflection in the mirror. Small towns were the hardest to blend in. People knew everyone, so strangers stood out. His slight build and demeanour often let him pass unnoticed, but for some reason, dark or light, his hair made him stand out. Men and women alike were inevitably drawn to him, no matter how low key he attempted to be. For that reason, in smaller towns, he always dyed it a mousy, unremarkable, boring colour.

I don't even stand out in the mirror by myself.

Sauntering toward the bed, he wrinkled his nose. The hotel room had that strange utilitarian clean smell that reminded him of less pleasant things than cleanliness.

I should have bought incense. Anything would do and China Rain floating in the air might throw off any leads. Not that I have to worry about leads.

Roy grinned to himself as he unwrapped his towel; deciding to indulge, he slid into the bed naked. The sheets were cool and he situated himself in the middle before leaning back and stretching across the entire mattress.

He'd splurged with the king size bed, he had to make sure and enjoy it.

Flipping over easily he bunched the pillows around him, snuggling in for a nice long sleep. It'd be a week or two before he could indulge like this again. Inhaling deeply, he began to count backwards. A number for every breath, he relaxed slowly and methodically.

At seven he stopped and opened his eyes, a frown crossing his face. He sniffed.


He sat up, but the scent wasn't in the air. He picked up the pillow underneath him and inhaled.


"Damnit. Now I'll never sleep. Where are you, Jack?"