Chapter 13 - Secrets and Lies

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Rose pulled away once more to look into Derrick's beautiful, liquid blue eyes. She smiled. She had never felt this happy in her entire life. But then she felt fear, and she had never felt so much fear in all her life. Rose knew that, if she lost him, if Derrick was taken from her, she would die; she would want to die. She took a deep breath and tried to banish all thoughts from her mind, deciding that gazing at his angelic face was the best way to do that. Once again, Rose noticed the long scar down the right side of his face and wondered how he had gotten it. She ran her fingers gently down the line over his cheek. Derrick closed his eyes, embracing her loving touch. "Did you get this in the fire?" Rose asked him tenderly.

He looked at her, his features going stiff, and she could see pain in his eyes. "No," he said hoarsely.

Rose waited patiently for him to tell her what had happened. She hoped he would tell her. She could see his pain, and it hurt her to see him so upset.

"I got it in the army." Derrick told her after taking a deep breath. He was bringing up a lot of painful memories, and it was a little overwhelming. He had never spoken to anyone about his family or about his time at war, and he could barely understand why he was talking about it now. All he knew was that he wanted her to know, which shocked him half to death. Derrick never felt the need for anyone to know his past, to know him deep down.

"You were in the army?" Rose asked, surprised. She was starting to realise that there were a great deal of things that she did not know about Derrick Dawson. He was definitely not the man everyone at school thought he was; she knew that for sure now.

"Yeah." Derrick huffed at her reaction and grinned. "I was forced to join when I was fifteen." He turned away from her.

"Who forced you?" Rose asked sadly, watching him carefully.

Derrick looked at her, a little stunned. "Who do you think? The king!" Derrick said rigidly, hatred filling his eyes.

Rose gasped. "No." She shook her head, not wanting to believe his words.

"Yes. He took me away from my siblings for three years so I could fight in a war I didn't want any part of, left them to fend for themselves, left them all alone ... And for that I'll always hate him!" Derrick told her hoarsely, avoiding her stare once more. He didn't want to look at her with the hatred he felt for her grandfather.

"I knew he could be cruel, but not that cruel," Rose said softly. She felt sorry for Derrick and his siblings.

"Oh, he's cruel," Derrick told her. "You should be able to decide for yourself whether or not you want to go through that kind of hell. And I'm pretty sure he didn't want me to come back alive!"

"Do not say that!" Rose replied, distressed. She brushed her hands over his broad chest, making Derrick's heart pound hard.

He gazed at her, and his breathing quickened. "Rose." Derrick breathed out her name. He shut his eyes in torment and pressed his hands over hers, still on his chest. Electric vibes tingled through them both.

"Yes," Rose answered, forgetting how to breathe once more. His eyelids were so beautiful, his voice so seductive.

"I need you!" Derrick told her feverishly. He brought her into his arms as close as he could. "I need you now. I need you always," he whispered huskily, taking hold of her mouth with his.

She giggled in his embrace. "Derrick," Rose managed to say between his passionate, magical kisses. "I want to know more."

"Well you shouldn't have touched me," Derrick said with a grin, and she thought him very cheeky. "I can't help myself. You drive me crazy!" Derrick told her truthfully. He rubbed his large hands up and down her smooth arms, and eyed her from head to toe, loving all he could see.

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