“Where are you taking me, Adam?”
“If I told you, it would spoil everything. Don't worry, Blake. We're almost there.”
Even though she was blindfolded, Blake Belladonna could tell Adam Taurus had a coy smile on his face just by the sound of his voice. Unable to see anything, Blake had to rely on the tall redhead to guide her through the incredibly dense forest by firmly yet lovingly holding her hand.
Using her other finely tuned senses, Blake could both hear and smell the entire world around them. A fresh breeze blew across the treetops, making the wooden limbs bend and sway. Just by how they creaked Blake could tell which trees were elms, oaks, pines or willows. The sounds of flapping wings and chirping betrayed the many species of birds that were busy preparing for the arrival of their young. Squirrels scurried about through the dead leaves and branches along the forest floor, burying whatever nuts they could find.
Blake could smell the tender new leaves growing above them, as well as the damp musk of the soil beneath their feet.
“Ow!” Blake yelped as a low hanging tree branch stuck her in the forehead.
“Oops. Watch your head.” Adam said with embarrassment.
“You are the worst guide a girl could have.” Blake half teased, half growled as she rubbed the sore spot on her face. “You only blindfolded me so that you would have an excuse to hold my hand.”
“Disappointed because you wanted me to go the full 'Ninjas of Love' by bounding and gagging you?” Adam replied slyly.
Blake felt her face go hot. “N-no! Don't you dare get any ideas!”
“Hey, you're the one leaving your stuff lying around the camp.” The young man chuckled.
“Stop teasing!” Blake said more out of embarrassment than anger. “How would you like it if I when through your things and used them against you?”
“I would probably throw you into this river.” Adam replied nonchalantly.
“What river?” Blake asked. She had been do distracted, she had failed to noticed the steadily increasing sound of flowing water.
“Well...more like a large stream, really.” Adam admitted.
“I've never been this deep in the forest before.” Blake remarked.
“Few have.” Adam answered. “Which is why I wanted to bring you to this special place I found a few years back. I swear, Blake, you've never seen anything like it.”
“I haven't 'seen' anything yet, handsome.” Blake waved her free hand in front of her blind face. She suddenly let out an unexpected yelp as she felt Adam lift her off her feet and cradle her in his arms. “Keep this up and people are going to talk.”
“Then let's give them something to talk about.” Once again, she could hear the smirk in Adam's voice.
Blake gave a slight gasp as she felt his soft, warm lips press against hers. After a moment of delightful surprise, she kissed back, taking her time as she melted away in the arms of the man she loved. When Adam pulled away, Blake knew her face was as red as a cherry.
“Mmm...” Blake purred. “That was very-AH!!”
Blake suddenly felt a tremendous weight press down on her while still in Adam's arms, followed by a weightless sensation that left her stomach feeling like it was doing flips, ending with her whole body jerking to a stop.
“What the hell was that!?” Blake cried out, pushing herself out of Adam's arms and back on her own feet.
“I just jumped the stream while still carrying you.” Adam laughed. “The look on your face was priceless!”
“You jerk!” Blake snapped, reaching up to remove her blindfold.
She felt Adam's hands quickly grab hers to stop what she was doing.
“Wait, Blake, please. Not yet. Just a little further, I promise. I won't tease you anymore.”
She was tempted to pull the blindfold off anyway. It had been hours since they left the White Fang camp, the entire time spent tripping and bumping her head and being mocked by her boyfriend, which didn't leave her feeling very compliant. But she could hear how earnest he was, telling her just how much this surprise meant to him.
After a moment's consideration, Blake released the cloth that covered her eyes and reached out with her right hand. “Alright. I trust you.”
Taking her open hand, Adam resumed guiding Blake deeper and deeper into the forest.
Time slipped by as they began to talk about many things; life with the White Fangs, being a Faunus, the war with the Grimm, and the world of Remnant as a whole. Adam would often make Blake laugh with his stories of how much he got in trouble growing up, from falling into a filthy swine pit trying to impress a girl to getting spanked by his mother, his father and the local baker in the space of one afternoon for stealing a loaf of bread.
Blake, in turn, confided in Adam her darkest fears, such as the hardships she suffered just because she was different and how much it affected her. Adam would listen in silence as she recounted tragedy after tragedy of what should have been her happy childhood, leaving her scarred forever.
Soon they were talking about the future, of all the hopes and dreams they had. And even though neither of them said it out loud, they both wanted to see that future together. Blake quickly lost track of time, the day cooling off as the sun neared the horizon in the late afternoon.
“Alright,” Adam said unexpectedly, coming to a stop. “We're here.”
Blake, still unable to see, having been so engrossed with her conversation that she had once again failed to noticed how their surroundings had changed. They were still in the forest, but now the wind sounded muted and distant. The ground felt padded and soft, causing their footsteps to make very little noise. It was like they had found a quiet spot in the world, a type of sanctuary. But that wasn't all.
Blake could feel something brushing her hair, arms and face so lightly it had escaped her notice before. However, the biggest change was the aroma. She could smell flowers, a countless amount flowers.
Slowly, Blake reached up and untied the blindfold, letting it fall away, opening her deep yellow eyes.
“Adam...” She breathed in awe, her eyes wide in wonder as she looked all around them, “It's beautiful!”
The couple was standing in the middle of an immense forest of giant cherry blossoms larger than anything Blake had ever seen before. The nearly hundred foot trees were whitish pink with flowers that had bloomed just days earlier. The air was full with millions of delicate falling pedals that drifted off the limbs and branches, covering the ground like snow.
“They're called Cherry Oaks, extremely rare. I have never seen so many together in one place.” Adam explained. “They grow to be a thousand years old and bloom like this once a year. We had one in my town as a kid, and each spring its flowers would rain down on the houses and streets like a spring blizzard. The adults would be sweeping pedals into heaps for days.”
“What a wonderful problem.” Blake sighed and she began walking about freely. Spreading her arms open, Blake began to twirl around as the cherry blossoms fell around her. “It's like a dream....”
Adam just leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree and watched as Blake gracefully moved about, kicking up pedals with her feet as more of them fell gently from above, decorating her hair. If there had ever been a more beautiful sight, he didn't know what it could be.
“Thank you, Adam.” Blake smiled at the young man. “This has been the best surprise I've ever had!”
“Oh, we're not done yet.” Adam grinned. “Follow me.”
With that the young man sped off deeper into the Cherry Oaks, leaving a trails of swirling pedals behind. Blake followed, her own speed almost matching his. The world blurred by as they raced, turning into pleasant shades of pink.
When they finally stopped, it was at the base of the largest blossom tree Blake had yet seen.
“Unbelievable!” Blake gasped at its nearly three hundred foot height.
“A real king of the forest. Come, I'll boost you up.” Adam said, kneeling down and putting his hands together for Blake to have a foot hold.
“You want me to climb that thing?” Blake asked, dumbfounded.
“Trust me, the view is to die for.” Adam promised.
Placing her left foot in his hands, Blake jumped as Adam threw her upwards, given her just enough momentum to reach the lowest branch some thirty feet up.
The young woman looked down at her beau. “What about you? Are you coming?”
Adam simply waved her off. “This is something you have to experience alone. Come down when you're ready. I'll be waiting.”
“Okay.” Hauling herself up, Blake proceeded to leap from limb to limb, climbing the gigantic tree at a steady rate, reaching the top with little problem.
What she saw took her breath away.
Out in every direction were endless Cherry Oaks full of pink blossoms moving in the wind; a real ocean of flowers. She could see the ripples of the winds as the flowers shimmered in the final moments of sunlight. The sway of the forest made it seem alive, full of grace and power, making Blake feel small and insignificant, a dot of black lost in a sea of blossoms. It was a sight she would undoubtedly never forget.
It was twilight when Blake climbed back down, having lost track of time. Adam was waiting patiently, having made a small fire for the night. In his travel bag he produced a bottle of sake, two glasses and a blanket to sit on. Blake joined him by the warm campfire, her face beaming.
“So? What did you think?” He asked.
“...I think I fell in love with this place.” She replied, full of happiness.
“I knew you would.” Adam chuckled. “Most people wouldn't appreciate it. They don't deserve it. That's why I wanted to only share it with you.”
She leaned over and gave him a heartfelt kiss. “Thank you, so much.”
“You're welcome.” Adam grinned, this time his own face turning red.
“Oh, I'm not done saying 'thank you'.” Blake flirted, kissing him again. “But before we go any further, Adam, can I ask something selfish?”
“Can we come back next spring?” Blake smiled lovingly at him.
Adam smiled back, “Nothing would make me happier, miss Belladonna.”
One year later and Adam was once again standing in the middle of that special forest. But Blake wasn't anywhere nearby. This time she wouldn't be smiling at him, laughing at his jokes, blushing at his compliments or softly whispering his name during the night. No, Blake was gone, having made her choice when she abandoned him that day on the train.
Adam's happy memories of this forest had long since faded away.
Instead of Blake at his side, Adam's entire gang of White Fangs stood at his back, quietly watching their leader as he stood motionless amidst a forest of budding cherry blossoms.
“What are you're orders?” asked Adam's lieutenant, the masked man resting his large chainsaw over his muscled shoulder.
Adam didn't respond, but instead kept staring at the trees.
“Sir, your orders?” The White Fang lieutenant said again.
“They haven't bloomed yet.” Adam observed, speaking to no one in particular. “I'm early this year.”
Adam's men began to look at one another in confusion. Finally, after several more minutes, Adam spoke.
“How much fire Dust do we have?” He asked.
The lieutenant took a moment to think. “At least three crates worth. That girl, Cinder, has supplied us well.”
“Good.” Adam said coldly. “Take ten men and go to the middle of this forest. You'll find a giant, old Cherry Oak. Chop it down.”
“...And the rest of the trees?” The lieutenant asked in his deep voice.
Adam's face grew dark, “Remnant doesn't deserve a place like this. Burn it to the ground!”