A hundred black roses were lined up in a hundred glass vases underneath the large window, displaying a cascading and snowy world that clashed with one hundred shadowed, petalled silhouettes. Each thorn, save one, had been meticulously sliced off each of the dyed stems. She knew he did that by hand for her, to remind her that the dark ones were like these flowers. Singular, lovely, dangerous. How many nights had their trainings ended with that harsh reminder, a haunting and longing whisper breathed into her hair.