5 years later

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The snow crunched under my heavy winter boots. The beautiful white flakes fell on top of the already thick snow. In uniform they seemed to fall layering the ground. It was winter so not as many people were outside, I passed by maybe two shoppers on the way here.

The snow wasn't falling hard enough to not see what was in front of you. The wind was crisp and almost seemed to cut you when it hit you in the face.

I saw my destination and tried to dust the snow flakes off of my jacket a little. It hardly worked so I gave up and just went in the small flower shop. The bell signaling someone came in went off.

The old woman behind the counter, Mrs.Polert looked up from her crossword puzzle book and smiled warmly at me.

"Ares," she welcomed me warmly smiling. She came from behind the register to give me a hug. I smiled back at her. "Mrs.Polert, it's been too long." I said leaning down a little to embrace her.

I'd grown significantly and overall changed. I was no longer obnoxious, young and naive. Five years had passed and I was forced to grow up or die. War had taught me more things than just how to kill. It taught me people were savages when there lives were on the line. It taught me power was a dangerous thing.

A war over power. A war over authority. A war over position. A war over stupidity.

"What flowers brings you to my shop today Ares?" She said taking her glasses off her apron.

"I need purple flowers this time." I said slightly frowning.

"Pride, dignity and success." She hummed almost to herself.

Mrs. Polert believed every flower had a meaning. Every flower represented something greater. She sometimes personified them.

"I just got these beautiful purple carnations from the human realm, they'll put a dent in your pocket but they're definitely beautiful."

"I'll take them." Dismissing her comment about affordability.

She went to the rows with the carnations and picked out the purple ones. I walked around the small flower shop looking at the seed and other beautiful flowers. A bright red patch of flowers. They reminded me of passion. Caring for something so much it burns. I picked up two or three decided I'd add these to the bill.

"Ares I have your flowers." Mrs.Polert said from a distance away."Coming,"

I made my way to the register putting the flowers on the counter. I took my wallet out of my coat pocket and counted my drachma.

"Red Geums, good choice Ares," I could hear the smile in her face. "They remind me of you." She said ringing up the total.

I paid and thanked her for the flowers. I left making sure to secure my clothes knowing I had to go back into the harsh winter. The store bell signifying someone had came in rung.

"I knew I'd find you here." Rafi said annoyingly loud "did you walk here? Are you stupid Ares!?"

"There's only enough room for one stupid person in this store and when you walked in we reached maximum occupancy." I said walking past him out into the cold weather.

Rafi caught up with me and beside me in silence for awhile. I knew it wouldn't last long.

"Listen brother, you know well why you can't just roam the streets of Thad." Rafi said seriously.

"You questioning me makes me think you do not trust my judgement, I'm not stupid nor naive Rafi."

"No one's outside, no witnesses someone could kill you dead and we'd never know who did it Ares?"

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