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" He snarled tightening his grip around Lissa's neck. "I'm strigoi remember?" "But what's the point?" I asked taking an offensive stand, not really knowing how I could attack him and make him let go of Lissa before she got hurt. She would run away and I would probably end up killed but that was not even relevant. "Fun? Challenge? Revenge? Pleasure?" He shrugged still holding Lissa. "You pick… your guess is as good as mine." He said with his now usual humorless and cold laugh. "You don't want to do that" I said in a silly attempt to resurrect a tiny part of my Dimitri. "I told you…That moroi is no concern of mine anymore. Only you are." He said jaw locked. "Please…Please don't hurt her. I'll…I'll do anything." I added with defeat, raising my hands in surrender and letting go of my fighting stance. "No Rose don't." Lissa whimpered and Dimitri growled tightening his grip around her neck. "I have some questions before," he said repeating the exact words I used when he held me hostage. I looked at him without a word as an invitation to continue. "Would it have changed anything?" He asked cocking his head to the side. "Would what?" I asked confused. "If I told you that I loved you on that bridge…Would you have joined me?" He asked with such a neutral voice that it actually gave me a chill. "Would you have meant it?" I asked expectantly, my heart racing. That was the question that kept me awake, eating me up inside. "Does it matter?" He asked with his still cold voice. I sighed. I was almost convinced strigoi couldn't love anyways. "If you let her go… I'll join you." I said with my head held high. "Rose…" Sobbed Lissa. Dimitri looked at me for a minute and laughed. "You know what it doesn't matter anymore." He said seriously. "You staked me twice and I think you deserve a little punishment before I awaken you. You'll understand then, but I think your last minutes of pure agony will be punishment enough." "Why---" I started but he broke Lissa's neck. I screamed with all I had. The pain I felt was almost impossible to bear and that's when I jumped out of bed screaming and kicking with my hair stacked with sweat. It was just a nightmare I thought breathless. Just a terrible horrific nightmare. I added to myself getting off the bed in need of a shower.
I looked at the clock beside my bed and sighed, still two hours before breakfast and I didn't deal with being alone that well these days. It gave me time to think and it was breaking my heart. Too many questions and so much incertitude. I was back four days now and it was my first night back to the dorms that was probably why I was shaken...I was just so confused about everything. Once under the shower I started to feel better, feeling the burning water on my back made me think of the contrast with Dimitri's icy cold hand, causing me to shiver. And I was asking myself the same question that I was asking since Dimitri hit the dark water. If I gave him the chance after that will he have said 'I love you too' and more importantly would he have meant it? I didn't realize that I was crying as the hot water was running down my face. Damn this experience was supposed to make me stronger, I thought I killed the love of my life. I say 'thought' because I failed…twice! But I was not stronger, a part of me was weaker…I realized that even the great Rose Hathaway had her weaknesses. I almost turned the blood whore of a strigoi… Hell I did turn into the blood whore of a strigoi!! And now that I realized he wasn't dead I could feel that weakness in me, that weakness I didn't know was there before. I dried quickly and dressed for training as I was supposed to meet Alberta to train in an hour now. I still couldn't believe that she decided to put the effort to help me graduate. Well I guessed Zmey senior was a part of it but still, she had been kind and sad for my loss I needed to ask her about that. Zmey…My father. I thought looking at myself in the mirror I recognized his eyes in mine, his skin tone, even his angry sarcastic smile was the same as mine. Now that I knew the truth it seemed almost impossible to ignore our genetic connection. I turned around and let my eyes roam to the desk where Dimitri's note was. I brushed the envelope with my fingertips which made my heart ache. I couldn't grieve anymore, I knew for sure he was still walking around…probably plotting my death but shamefully that was not what disturbed me the most. No what was disturbing me was that I maybe had a chance to save him. I knew it was total utopia and that even if I managed to get all the settings right (which was almost impossible) Robert Duros was probably totally insane by now if not dead and it could also very easily be a lie. So every part of my logical self said to drop it, to be prepared for when Dimitri comes for me and this time end it…by his death or mine. But there was this small part of me, this tiny but powerful part, that kept telling me that I had to keep hoping that there still was some hope. As small as it was, I knew deep down that this minor hint of hope could very well kill me. I sighed heavily, deciding to run laps before joining Alberta for training. That was at least a lesson given by Dimitri I didn't forget. When you didn't have any weapons to defend yourself what should you do? RUN!! and boy did it help me during my 5 weeks away. My legs were starting to hurt badly as I only started my third lap that was insane!! Only 6 weeks without training, a week as a blood whore, and some good ( already healed) beatings. I was almost back to the starting point. I felt like I did last September… incompetent. "Don't use all your strength Rose…You'll need it with me." Alberta shouted from the other side of the track where the gym was. I ran to meet her, I really didn't know what to expect of a training session with Alberta Petrov. "It's okay Guardian Petrov I need the exercise." I said dismissively.
She looked at me thoughtfully and I could see the sorrow deep in her eyes before she could hide it again. We walked into the gym and it was stupid of me not to expect the shooting pain that over powered me when I looked around. I hoped I was doing my best to hide the pain from my face but I didn't think I fooled her as she just stood there without talking letting me time to be myself again. You know how they say your life flashes in front of your eyes when you are about to die well it was exactly what happened here except that it was the moments with Dimitri that flashed before my eyes, every fight, every touch, every kiss, every laughter and except that I was not dying...not physically at least. My heart was aching in my chest like…Like I was having an heart attack. Who would have thought that a broken heart could literally hurt? After a little while, I took a deep breath stood straighter, concentrating on Alberta again. She was kind enough to ignore my reaction and talked like I didn't go in 'weirdo mode' for the past 5 minutes or so. "Well I think you should train with more than one guardian you know, adapt to more than one method." she said sitting down on a bench patting the spot beside her. "I bet you have so many volunteers" I said sitting. She had a small smile playing on her lips "Actually I did get two." She said shooting me a sidelong glance. "Really?" I asked honestly surprised. She nodded. "Guardian Alto and…" I was about to interrupt but the second name shut me down, "Guardian Hathaway." "Guardian… my mom? But what about her charge??" I asked completely dumbfounded. That was so not like my mother to stay behind. "Yeah she managed to get assigned here for a while and I think that they knew it was useless to argue with someone as stubborn as she is." She chuckled. "I guess you know where you got that from." I couldn't help but smile, my mother was a stubborn, controlling wiseass and my father was the same with a little addition of criminal… I never stood a chance… It was their fault if I was full of attitude and sarcasm, it was genetic. "You know what…Maybe it's better if we start everything tomorrow." She stood up. "I'll work out a schedule and give it to you tomorrow ok?" She said before awkwardly squeezing my shoulder. She turned around to leave but I couldn't help to ask. "How did you find out?" I blurted out. She turned around and knew exactly what I was talking about. She took a deep breath and thought for a little while. "I guess a part of me always knew," she said quietly. "I knew… Dimitri a long time…" She said and I could see she used his first name for my benefit only and it was very nice of her. "I met him once when he was still a student and I crossed paths with him during his years as a guardian and there were always walls around him, he always had his guard up and when he lost his charge." Alberta shook her head. "He seemed tortured deep down but once you two started training I could see some subtle changes in him he seemed less tortured, so much more at peace and even happy and you…Oh Rose…" She smiled sadly. "I could see it in your eyes." She took a deep breathe "Then…Then we
I was such a bad ass that I went in an infiltration mission as a spy for the secret service. Some of the rumors were just crazy and some were funny." I said once my mouth was empty. Chapter 2 "Well good morning to you too sunshine!" I said reaching for a sugar coated donut that was on the table. I was pretty sure he was coming to the commons very early or very late to avoid any of us." she said with a rueful smile. I haven't run into him again. "It's alright.had the kidnapping and he was frantic." I said even surprising myself. I could feel it from Lissa." she added before exiting the gym. Lissa always knew I was a sucker for sweets and sugar in general. Others said I went rogue and left to hunt strigoi like Faith in Buffy the vampire slayer (not so wrong) and my personal favorite. read it in Adrian's eyes and if the great Janine Hathaway decided to stay around it had to be the reason. Like the previous days Christian was nowhere to be found. As soon as I made it to the table and saw Lissa smile I felt better it was like the part of my heart that belonged to her helped numb the part that used to. "I know the situation is pretty messed up but he just needs some time…give it to him. I walked slowly back to the commons. Now students were starting to move around I couldn't help but sigh to the not so discreet sidelong glances full of questions that they were giving me. I knew he was doing it on purpose to avoid Lissa and he was doing one hell of a job. sorrow." she simply said and I could feel the pain. so much more than what a mentor should feel and part of me knew right then that he loved you so so much too. "I'll see you tomorrow. I barely reached my seat when she spoke. Some said that I just couldn't deal with the aftermath of the battle and needed to get institutionalized for a while. I really did feel better when I was with her. belonged to Dimitri. I was not sure I could even speak. I stayed there a little while longer looking around and trying to look good enough to join the others for breakfast as even if they tried to hide it they were worrying about me. I just bit my bottom lip looking at her trying my best to contain my tears. "Rose I need you to help me. and still. "Sorry. I didn't realize how hungry I was before sitting down at the table." She said and I could feel the worry irradiating from her. Well I'd rather them think I was a spy or a rogue slayer or even psychotic than what I really was…a failure to my one promise and a temporary blood whore. Who would have thought I would ever take Christian's defense? Not me! "Sending me to talk for . it was always easier to have your way with me when I was full of it. "It's Christian. "Awww Lissa come on. With the exception of the little chat we had the day I came back. and guilt radiating from her in huge waves. I did my best to swallow as fast as I could without chocking and took the opportunity to quickly glance around the room. Lissa blushed slightly feeling embarrassed to have jumped on me like that." I chuckled. "What can I do for you?" I asked before inhaling almost half of the donut." I just looked at her not knowing what to say.
" Oh my god I really sound like Abe right now don't I? I added to myself as that was still a part of the story Lissa didn't know about. "Do you want me to walk you there?" I nodded grateful. "I mean if I could help by beating him up or something I would but I don't think it would work. I decided to wait before telling her since I needed to figure the whole Victor plans before and because I was not sure if it was really my place to say. "Oh yeah that's good! I went twice myself to show them some movements you know." Well not that I don't want to know your plans for the future but I'd rather you talk to me on your own initiative. "He is actually doing a pretty decent job I can even imagine him as a teacher. that almost made me think we were going back in time…before Spokane. he was not close to Eddie and he certainly couldn't talk to one of his 'students'. "Ok…. ." he said smiling. It was true that our little group were the only people Christian was talking to. I did tell her almost everything else and she would know it all eventually. also known as torture 101 for me. I just needed a little more time." I said since he invited me anyways. "I'll go meet him at his training session after class. the guy can be pretty stubborn" I added before taking a sip of my coffee." She added going full force sad puppy on me. "So what are you going to do now?" Asked Eddie as we exited our last class of the day. well mobster boss.." I said evasively. "Well he needs someone to talk to and even if he never said it out loud he…" she smiled. Classes went pretty well." she said and I could feel relief radiating from her. named Abe but at the time I related her the full adventure I didn't know Abe was my father. Even if Eddie changed after all the horror we faced he still had some of his carefree laugh and the faint glint in his eyes." I chuckled. It was nice to be with him to do small talk.help him get better." I said confused. "I was more concerned about the next few hours." He said nicely. My mother and him did their best to hide it to everyone maybe there was a reason. I nodded still thoughtful. "Well I wanted to go and see one of Fire boy training sessions. "No it's not that. It was the secrets that almost destroyed our friendship and ultimately almost cost her life." he added and I could hear in his voice that he was as surprised as I was. He is a good person and I knew how badly it hurts when you have nobody to confide in. She knew I met a man." she said biting her bottom lip trying her best not to cry. "He trusts you and he loves you. Eddie accepted me like I never left and he didn't try to question my absence because he knew only too well why I left. And I certainly didn't help with that. "Now as in the next few hours or now in the future since I came back?" I asked knowing that even if I was not going to give full details to Eddie. He thought Adrian was a useless alcoholic. I looked at her for a little while in silence. I had to admit it. He seemed to seriously ponder my question." she said shaking her head. "Thank you Rose. I could at least give him a very small and vague resume of where I went. Calculus.you won't help that's for sure. it was like before…sort of. "Well Christian always had some trust issues. However. I was the only one left and even if I would rather get stabbed than admit it out loud I wanted to help him. Please Rose….
"I've got your training schedule for the next two weeks here. "I see…" I said simply not really knowing how much they knew and what did they share with her. "It's not necessary you know. "They told me about your kills and I needed to talk to you about getting your Molnija. I really didn't care who I was training with really…it was not my Dimitri. "Well that and something else too." She said slightly frowning when she saw the relief on my face." Alberta said business like. "Well yeah but still I think you deserve them however we can't give you a mark for every kill since some well… can't officially be attributed to you." I said sincerely." She added and she was getting more uncomfortable by the second. She looked at me startled but didn't comment.We were maybe half way to the junior gym when Alberta met with us." she said handling me the piece of paper as we were walking side by side." I simply added concentrating on Alberta again." I said resting my hand on Eddie's shoulder." she said to me after acknowledging Eddie's presence with a nod. it was stupid as she had no way to know that but I just couldn't help it. 5 strigoi in St Petersburg and 2 near Baia are attributed to you. "That's…That's what you wanted to tell me?" I asked honestly surprised as it could have been said in front of Eddie." said Eddie squeezing my hand. "Well Eddie was just walking me to one of Christian Ozera training sessions." I said watching Eddie too. I really didn't expect to get any marks. But you can only be marked for 7 and I'm sorry about that." She said nicely quickly glancing around to be sure we were not spied on since the alchemists were more or less a well kept secret. hell I didn't even expect to make it back. "Well since you have been reintegrated the Alchemists did a report of your time in Russia. "I really need to have a word with you." he said with clear respect before walking away. "Thanks" I said putting it in my rear pocket. "It is a huge advantage but also a weakness. "I'll see you back in the dorm. Alberta cleared her throat. "He knows what to expect outside…. I stopped to face her." She said with clear admiration in the voice." I said smiling to him hoping it looked genuine enough." . based on their official report.he saw it first hand." I said as an invitation to continue." Alberta commented while watching him retreat. I nodded not really knowing what I should say anyways. I had the irrational fear that she would announce that Dimitri was on his way. "Yeah see you later. she had a folded piece of paper in her hand. "Oh I can walk you there!" She said jumping on the opportunity. "He is going to be a good guardian. "They added that semi-officially you probably took down around 15 strigoi. At least what they know about your time there." I nodded. "Guardian Petrov. "Uh huh. "Thanks Eddie. "So. "Are you doing something important?" She asked but her voice was saying 'I need to talk to you alone'. "I was looking for you." I said patting his arms.
" she said padding my arm before rushing away I guessed she was scheduled for security. "Thank you. . that pseudo strength could be your fatal weakness. I thought for a little while." I said before taking my hand from his mouth. "Excuse me can I ask you a question?" He asked directly to my attention. "Yes that's fine by me. "Stop right there Christian that's not why I'm here. it's not the marks that make the quality of a guardian. "Well fine you'll see how we can kick ass too." I added not really knowing what I felt thankful for." I added winking to Christian and sitting down. I would have 9 Molnija and the big battle one before graduating. "Well…" I ran my hands through my hair. "So buddy how are you doing?" I asked with a small smile. "Of course you can!" I said trying to smile as warmly as I could." she said but it was not clear in her voice if it was a compliment or not." I said pointing to the bench. So many pieces of advise were crossing my mind. He looked at me and I could see his eyes widen as if he understood something." I said simply. I thought he was maybe 12 and one of the fire users like Christian turned around to face me."I said it's no biggy. it was clearly enough to impress any guardians but deep down I never felt lesser of a guardian than I felt today. she seemed clearly saddened by that. "Did you came to share some of your moves with us?" I heard some muffled 'wow' and 'awesome'. I shook my head before entering the gym where Christian was talking to a little group of approximately 8 moroi. Christian was a very good teacher." I said trying to show some interest. When he dismissed the group one of the young boys. she sent you to try to set things right. They were clearly thinking he was just so brave to talk to badass Hathaway ( apparently it was the nickname they gave me behind my back). I just came as an observer. "I'll see you later. I didn't need to scare the kids. "Ah I get it. "Well well well if it isn't the great Rose Hathaway!!" Christian said but he seemed genuinely pleased to see me there. how strong you think you are. I told you I don't --" I stopped him by bringing my hand on his mouth. "No matter how ready. As soon as the students left I stood up and went to meet Christian." said Christian before concentrating on them again. "Maybe next time. "Ok I can arrange it for tomorrow after class then?" She asked before quickly looking at her watch. I chuckled. "You have grown so much Rose." I said trying to sound nonchalant but I could see that Christian understood only too well. "If you had only one piece of advice to give us what would it be?" He asked as the 8 students and even Christian looked at me eagerly. The lesson was pretty good actually and I had to recognize that Eddie was right. "Well not today. The others were looking at him in a awe. never be over confident because that confidence. pretty hard but clear and fair.
I started to relay to him everything that happened during the last 5 weeks only leaving the same details aside than I left out for Lissa. How it warmed my heart to realize he was on my side. his voice breaking. he was the only person I had ever trusted with my life. "You still love them right?" I asked uncomfortable as even to Lissa he never openly mentioned his parents. "Yeah I still love them."Oh?" He said simply. "There are no reasons for you to be ashamed. "Let's go to my room.. "How can you…" I started to say. I looked at him as my eyes filled up with tears." I said barely louder than a whisper. Christian stared at me for a little while thoughtful and I could see no judgment in his eyes just understanding." He smiled "Don't tell me you didn't slip in Lissa's head while you were away. I wanted to say how can you know that? but I realized that he was the only one able to understand me. "I'm ashamed. I just smiled. I hate them for voluntary going strigoi and I hated myself for years because I couldn't stop loving them. He nodded." I said to him. We walked back to his room in silence and as soon as we walked in he gestured me to the armchair as he took off his jacket and sat on his bed. You are so brave and strong! Don't think you failed anything or anyone because you didn't." He said in such a way I realized it was the first time he acknowledge that fact out loud. I know you enough to be sure you couldn't abandon her." And it was true he was my favorite smartass. You know it's evil that stands before you and you hate yourself for not hating him completely…you think you are bad because you love that strigoi to some level. "I guess trust is something that needs to be gained. Christian looked at me "I bet you know that already Rose. "What is?" I asked confused." And I really did. I couldn't even understand myself. "Why?" Asked Christian anxiously coming to kneel in front of me." 'Avery is not Rose' I remembered him saying. His parents they were strigoi before being killed. "Well I'd like to think we're friends and even if I would never say it out loud in public I missed you. "And I'll prove that I trust you." . "You've been so good at playing ninja and hiding that I didn't get a chance to even talk to you. except for Dimitri. "To realize that strigoi or not you still love him? It's hard isn't it? You start to hate yourself for that." He nodded slowly. I was about to say something I didn't say anyone. How could he understand? I thought a bit troubled." He said." he said picking up his bag from the floor. "How have you been doing?" I asked resting a hand on his shoulder. not even to myself. "It's terrible isn't it?" He asked nicely. "So how have you been?" I asked again.
I couldn't help but snort because it was also Christian's anti-social behavior that lead him to gain the 'strigoi-wannabe' nickname." He said sincerely." I said blushing. You are my favorite annoying smartass. After a while we parted a bit embarrassed. "You know Lissa would never judge you right?" I tried. He sighed. trying to keep his feeling in order. I never did. "Rose you promised. "What do you want me to explain?" He asked with a sigh of clear rendition. "He begged me not to do it. and she only managed to control Lissa after making her drink. "And I've seen. he hugged me tightly and I hugged him back. I chuckled drying my tears. So you are. "Sorry. Things started to get messy even before Avery came into the picture." he said still in the hug. Christian nodded.. "And you know that she probably kissed Aaron under influence." "So you are fire boy. "See that's the problem." He sighed.." I said sincerely. very close friends. what could I say when I knew he wasn't wrong. "Nah don't be. "When I was on the edge of the bridge ready to kill myself he…" I took a deep breathe as Christian squeezed my hands to encourage me." He said sitting back on the bed. "The 'probably' and 'pretty much' clearly states that it was still a bit her. I knew that from now on we would be friends." I whispered looking down at his hands on my knees." I looked up. "You know that Avery controlled Lissa's mind pretty much the whole time right?" I asked rhetorically. "I mean she let herself become influenced for whatever reason when she could have just confided in me." "Believe me. if it's what she wants to do but you see I don't play their game. maybe I would have joined him." he said simply. "Don't get me wrong. "What do you mean?" he asked so caringly that I was scared to crush the friendship we were creating. "yeah I do. to see the disappointment in his eyes. "You know I came to check on you and you comforted me." Christian then did something I wouldn't have expected in a million year.. I just looked at him not saying anything."If he had given me the right answer I'm not sure I would be here today. I was probably the only one who could understand that part of him and vice versa "You shouldn't feel bad Rose… after 10 years I still long for my parents Strigoi or not. I'm proud of who I am as you are proud of who you are Rose." He said and I could see the deep hurt in his eyes. "It was nice to have just some you and me time. "It's nice to know that someone can understand that part of you that you thought you had to keep hidden. "And I know you …at least I think I do and I'm sorry but I'm just trying to understand here ok?" I tried raising my hands in surrender." He said calmly." he said still very calm. I don't blame her for trying to be part of the royal game. When I asked him why he didn't want me to die he said because he wanted me but… I can't help to think that I might have decided differently if he had said that he loved me…Maybe." He said as he was just stating a fact. you comforted me too. I've seen that you and…Belikov were ready to sacrifice ." I added resting my elbows on my knees.
Save me a seat. he was like me. Can you understand that?" He asked and I could see he was actually yearning for my comprehension. who is to say we are made for each other?" His last words wouldn't have hurt me more if he actually slapped me. "Hello Adrian. I liked his company." I said. "Always stunning I see. and now our shameful love for still 'living' or dead strigoi." he said quickly. I could still hear him clearly in my head like as if he was beside me 'Oh Rose you are young. I couldn't help to think that it was the forbidden love that I shared with Dimitri that made him fall and shattered my heart.everything to be together. Everyone thinks their first love is the only one they'll ever have. It made me think of Abe and what he said to me. "Oh I finally found you. "You too. "Eat breakfast with us tomorrow. I need you to know that you'll always have a friend in me okay?" I said standing up." he said giving me a quick hug." he said with his usually laid back grin. "You're right. Before we make choices for the future that we can't take back." He said handing be a black folder. Please. "I wanted to give you that." he bit his bottom lip thinking.sad. the campus. because it would be a lie. We were friends for life now. You left everything behind to find him but you see." I said actually happy to see him. "He said awkwardly. Life…. His black eye had totally faded and he was as gorgeous as ever. Spokane." he said before kissing my cheek as I exited. I needed to go. just to make the other one happy. We have so much more in common than most people. "Avoiding her won't help you decide you know. I'll meet you there. Victor." "I just need time to figure it out even if it will be hard.. "What's this?" I asked curiously." He said and I saw the anguish in his eyes and it was now my turn to jump for my seat to hug him tight. . "I'm not sure I could make all the compromises that need to be made for her. "But sometimes love is not enough and we're barely 18." He said simply "I… it's--" I started taken aback." I asked with the full force of my sad puppy eyes. "It's just….Life didn't spare us. "Even if you decided not to get back together with Lissa. "I'm not saying that I don't love her more than I thought I could love. You've barely lived. I was sure of that. curfew was getting closer and closer." He looked deep into my eyes before nodding.' "I just need some time to figure it out before it's too late and before we're only good to hurt each other. "Sadly I do" I said in a breath. even for myself to realize that. I was about to enter my dorm when I heard Adrian's voice behind me. "You too Rose. he was always so carefree. I was walking back to my room still stunned I never thought Christian and I could become so close but all the battles we fought side by side. pretty much disabled when feelings were concerned.
) . I could hear Abe in my head all over again. I already know a lot about you. "I'll see you tomorrow. I knew I would have more success deciphering hieroglyphs than his messy handwriting. or in my dreams. that I was sure of. . his bravery and protectiveness. his longing. it did strike a sensitive cord. Adrian financed my crazy escape. Part One was called 'Facts' and divided in small paragraphs: . maybe now more than ever." He said seeing the matron approaching. That was a true fact. Why should you date me by Adrian 'Awesome' Ivashkov.' He replied I groaned. and there is nothing you could do or say that would make me care or respect you any less. I looked at the folder stupidly.You already know that even if you want to do something completely crazy." I looked at him mouth wide open probably looking like a complete idiot. his fear of losing me. "Just so you know I never worked as seriously or as hard on something in my whole life. I know you think it's borderline stalkerish but I just think I'm being super cute. . For now I was still stuck. Not after Dimitri. (Come on you know it's true. I could see through his pretenses. He was humoring me. I will always follow you. I'll never judge you or let you down .' I had said 'Oh Rose you are young. I let my guard down around you and you've already gotten a very good look at the real me. 'I'm never going to be involved with anyone again. I had seen his goodness. Yeah right. =D I sighed closing my eyes. Dimitri was still half alive somewhere probably organizing my assassination but a promise was a promise. Everyone thinks their first love is the only one they'll ever have. It was so right.Not that you care but I'm a good catch.You also know that I'm not the kind to take things seriously. I put on my PJs and quickly sank into bed. I care a lot about you.And you know me."The essay you asked for about why I'm dating material. he wanted to make me laugh and that was something I desperately needed these days. I picked up the file chuckling as I saw the title." I whispered walking back to my room Chapter 3: I put the file on the night stand since it would probably be some pretty interesting bedtime reading.All in all to. good name. ." he said seriously. You've barely lived. it's true but you… I've always been serious about you Rose and I know that you can't deny that. It was all very clearly typed on a computer which was good. He was playing the dandy shallow rich royal most of the time but I knew better and he knew that I did. He quickly kissed my forehead before rushing back toward the guest pavilion. I could see his seriousness. I really hoped he gave up on me. "Shut up old man. our little chat back in Baia. I took a deep breath before continuing to read. I think way better than anyone else. and a terrible reputation just as you like. When we were together. . he never gave up on me as much as I pushed him away. I bet that my blood whore days would crush this respect if he ever found out. telling him to let go he kept coming back supporting me.
He didn't need to be all dressed up to be gorgeous.I also truly believe that with only a little amount of work we could create something worthy. healing. with the sun playing in his dark brown hair. just one date no strings attached ok? . comprehension. It will be on campus and you'll be free to call it quits whenever you like. family.I would never judge you or let you down and you know that I will never play with your emotions or your heart. (the biggest part which was 37 % was my brave. showing that he did have a washboard stomach and he was barefoot. just one date. He was dressed so differently than his usual self. Paper can't contain all the finer points of things. he knew that it was possible I would not go in to deep with him. That was the scariest part..Now I did expose you to the theory but I need to show you how perfect I would be for you Rose and the way is that you accept one date. it could be good. I'll support you all the way whatever you decide to do or not do. very good but I could hurt him so badly…he could hurt me so badly. fun etc…) The third part: Practice. We were in a breathtaking garden with a beautiful little pond where some swans were wandering. It has to mean something. I could even say that dressed as simply. I took my shoes off and sat beside him in the deliciously warm grass. fierce & protective attitude. just a small little date. The third chart was on how awesome we could be together. He simply added. I can get a little impatient.I can make a better case in person Rose. and last. .. As soon as I drifted into sleep I knew it was not my dream and based on the one I was having these days I was rather grateful." "So it seems. . You couldn't wait for my answer?" I asked Adrian. a black tank top that was quite fitting. "What do you want me to say little Dhampir. I sighed putting the file on the floor and turning off the light. like I find the place where I need to be and I long for it each time you're away. . Adrian chuckled and sat on the grass patting the spot beside him. "So. I promised him. was on what we could offer to each other. The fourth. sensitivity. whole. (Love. . as crazy as it sounds.If you decide to give me a chance I'll do my best to try to heal that part of you that I know you think is lost. He was wearing a pair of faded blue jeans. There was a pie chart on which part of me he liked the most. It's just a date. I said to myself deciding to agree with it. he was even more beautiful than I had ever seen him.Moreover I'm just asking for a chance.. support. humor etc…. Adrian was a good man and I owed him that much at least I had to try. not a promise. making his emerald eyes even greener in this magical surrounding.) The second chart was on how compatible we were as far as sarcasm. strength." I said taking a good look at him. I laughed out loud when I saw the little charts he made just below that. Part two was 'Future & Conditional' . Apparently he knew what to expect.Plus when I'm near you I feel at peace. right? .
I bet that Lionel. "You'll see there is no place like Bavaria. "Yep. "You can call it quits at any moment during the evening and go back to your dorm. Bartholomew church. "My grandmothers' garden in the Bavarian Alps. "No strings attached right?" I added in order to stop him from hoping too much." He said tenderly." He added and I knew he was sincere. "Because they would never accept me there." "Why is that?" He asked lying down. . I went sullenly to get my 7 molnija marks. "Anyways." He leaned down to kiss my forehead. The training with Alberta was quite interesting with the experience she collected during the years she was able to show me some effective moves. "Uh huh…" I said opening one eye. The day went by rather quick and went pretty well. "Yeah?" He asked and he seemed incredibly surprised that I was giving in."Where are we?" I asked curiously because this was no place I'd seen before. this time I was the one laying down. He shook his head. "It could honestly be heaven but I know it's not. I'll come pick you up an hour after the end of your classes so be ready." He added with enthusiasm. "Ok Ivashkov. I guess it was because he didn't know how unworthy I felt each time his needle touched my skin." He added before getting out of my head." I said not really knowing if I was making a mistake or not." I said with eyes closed." he said like it was a certitude. no hard feelings." I said evasively. "I'll take you there one day." he said but I could hear the underlying hurt in his voice. "I really do. You're very lucky. but Christian did his best to talk even with Lissa. seeing him propped on one elbow looking down at me with what seemed pure joy on his face. He sat up and looked at me. "So little dhampir was the presentation good enough?" He asked in all seriousness. I didn't answer but it was painful because it reminded me so much of Dimitri's enthusiasm about Siberia. So close that I could feel his body heat. one date." I said looking around once more. By the end of it things were still weird but I could see that with time they could probably get cordial… maybe even become friends. "You don't agree to anything by doing that you know. "Do you like it?" He asked eagerly. "That's beautiful. seeing flowers of colors and shape I have never seen before. the tattooist guardian. "See you tomorrow Rose. I wanted to show you one of my favorite places on earth. "Do you agree to the practice part?" I stayed silent for a minute. the fortress Marienberg… you'll love it." he added with a wink. the St.. not tomorrow but the evening after that. "And where are we?" I asked. Breakfast was a bit more awkward. "I couldn't disagree more." he said laying beside me. never saw someone being so depressed to receive those badges of honor. one of my secret happy places. letting the sun warm my face.
"I was thinking. We stayed silent for a little while and I said the first thing that crossed my mind to break the silence. I nodded expecting her to explode any second." She said hugging me tighter. She was propped against the door frame and she seemed completely lost in her thoughts once more. She seemed pretty confused by what I assumed she considered as a random comment. I swore to myself if I could have you back safely I would try to spend as much time as possible with you. so scared. maybe if you don't have anything planned tonight. or." I was such a terrible parent. we can have some mother and daughter time. . "I guess it's time to answer your questions." She said sincerely. "Hey! Sorry I just spaced for a minute. I had never seen her that defenseless. "Don't get me wrong it's nice to have you here but you didn't need to abandon your charge to keep an eye on me.." She confessed. "You know… I usually never go back on my word. I felt guilty to have brought her these souvenirs and hurting her in the process. She sighed and opened her bedroom door." I blurted out wanting to slap myself. it was not like it would be a first. Because I never was so scared in my whole life. to do." I looked at her with shock. "Running away." She asked nicely probably not wanting to be disturbed by one of my fellow students and. leaving Lissa behind was so not like you. I promised you I would graduate and that's exactly what I am going to do." she said with an embarrassed laugh." I added already surprised that she waited 5 days before starting to interrogate me. "You…" she shook her head sadly. that 'human'. I did the only thing I wanted." she said mainly to herself. she was probably surprised." I said to her just before reaching the guardian living quarters. and I decided.. "Why don't you come to mine. which of course was utterly idiotic. "Oh Rose…I love you too. I hugged her. "I decided to stay because. "Ivashkov?" She asked truly surprised but not mad…that was odd." I replied knowing I wouldn't be training with her before the week end. "I love you mom!" I said and I heard her sharp intake of air. I probably hadn't told her that since I was about 6 or 7. "Do you want to go back to my room?" I asked while we started to walk." "I know that Rose. that I needed. "My word is all I have. I nodded. friends. My quest created so much unnecessary worry." I said stopping to face her. "You think that's why I stayed?" "Well…" I shrugged slightly. "Mom?" I said stopping in front of her.When he was done and applied the gauze on it I saw my mom waiting for me at the end of the room." "That would be good. I got scared. Then I realized it was better for her to know about it before hand so she wouldn't go full overprotective mom on me. "I have a date with Adrian tomorrow.
"Yeah why not he isn't a bad guy." She said staring at the wall and I knew she was now lost in her thoughts. "And considering Ivashkov I was wrong about him he really does care about you." She said wanting to spare me and it was the most considerate I've ever seen her.She twisted her mouth slightly. I didn't need to cause her more worry and pain. That's when I finally understood everything. "Disappointed? No. if you started to deal with Dimitri's loss." We stayed quiet for a little while. that he would be the one coming after you!! It was pretty dangerous for someone…someone like him to do that and I needed to tell him I appreciated it that's it." she said dismissively. he is one of the good Moroi. "How did you meet?" I asked curiously. "She had been accepted to Kings college in London but she was pretty intrigued by Muslim ." She gave me a small smile." She chuckled. I nodded. "I phoned him to thank him because…" She sighed and sat beside me on the bed. I narrowed my eyes slightly with suspicion that was just too weird I knew my mothers' opinion on Adrian and it was certainly not the 'not a bad guy' type. The fear to lose me really changed her and I realized how much I missed her all these years." I said. "I guess you have questions about my trip. "I know you are honest enough to answer my questions. "that's when he asked me how you were doing. "You are not too disappointed?" I asked giving her a sidelong glance. not even in a million years." I smiled remembering her saying that Abe was a good man. "You know when you went missing I called him for help but I thought he would just send messages to his many contacts." she simply said. how he tried to support and help Lissa." she said quickly to reassure me." she said in such a tone that I knew she was not talking about me only. "I think that a date is not that bad." A date is just a date. that was private!! "I did but not to spy on you or anything." she said shaking her head. how much I was yearning for my mother. "Sometimes you don't fall for the most suitable person. but there was something in her eyes. "Since when he is not a bad guy?" I couldn't help but ask." She patted my knee. "Ah…That's some story." And that's when I understood everything and she realized she shouldn't have said 'move on' "You talked to Abe!" I said sitting on her bed. I never wanted you to suffer and certainly not that young." She sighed unexpectedly kissing my forehead." she added with a small smile playing on her lips. "It's about Abe and I isn't it?" She asked simply and I couldn't see if it was a good idea to continue or not. "Well I graduated and got assigned to Clarissa Voda. "I'm just sad for you really. it's not like you care what people think of you. taking my hand in hers. "Well I was mainly surprised but I could see why you fell for each other. lost so much… I wanted you to keep that innocence just a bit longer." I bit my bottom lip trying to contain my tears. something I couldn't place. "You know what? We'll do that some other time. "you already lived through so much. "What do you want to know?" She asked." She shrugged. "He told you!" I added wanting to shoot him in the kneecaps as the mobster kid I was. that people were looking for you I never imagined. "Can I ask you a question?" I asked uncomfortably. "I've seen how truly worried he was about you when you were away Rose. it can help you to move on. because clearly I wouldn't tell her more than necessary. He shouldn't have mentioned my feelings for Dimitri.
"I was at the library keeping an eye on Clarissa when that big Moroi walked in like he owned the place! He was followed by two guardians looking all big staring at people with disdain behind dark sunglasses." My moms' voice dropped slowly like she was revealing something in confidence. "Abe. "Was he already that…exuberant?" I asked curiously." She added and I could hear some longing in her voice even if she was doing one hell of a job to hide it. It was hard to acknowledge her as an actual person with feelings and weaknesses. She gave me an amused look before she continued." She stopped and squeezed my hand. "He didn't want me to leave at the end of the summer but I was not the kind to abandon my charge. He has a very big heart. She chuckled. . I sat beside her. his business is irrelevant and none of your concern. I opened my mouth to say something but she shushed me by continuing. Half-way through the first year of college Clarissa got a once in a lifetime offer to study at the University of Istanbul where she could even assist a very renowned professor. I was only a guardian for 3 weeks. He was just so intriguing moreover when Clarissa saw him she hissed that trouble was on the way. It was an offer she just couldn't refuse and as soon as we arrived at the airport there he was waiting for me." she added putting a string of my hair behind my ear. it was almost unrealistic. He was a good man and I know he still his." I said. It was Abe alright! He was like that walking in the streets of Baia. I'd never been out of the Academy much. "Oh wow…'' I said imagining my mother going after a man like him. hair going down to his shoulders…just like yours. the face closed off from emotion. "And she started to talk about their son Ibrahim who was even more powerful than his parents as he was not reluctant to bend the line between what was legal and what was not. long. Later on he told me that's exactly when he fell for me. a machine without emotion. wavy. "When he noticed me. "That's funny." She said with nostalgia." She said. 'Bigshot-I-own-the-place' with us. Like I said to you before. and earring so yeah he was. "He was a student there?" I inquired in order for her to continue." "Total badass!!" I blurted out before cursing myself hoping she would continue. "I was a lot like you Rose.architecture so her parents decided she should spend the summer as a student at the University of Istanbul. wicked. "So I left and it broke my heart. "We became friends. "But I was intrigued you know. I could see that a part of her still loved him…After all these years I just didn't know how important that part might be. "Right! Aşkım and authority never really worked well together!" She said with so much fondness that it actually made my chest tighten." she specified still completely lost in her memories." She shook her head but smiled brightly… brighter than I ever saw her smile before. seeming farther away now." She replied. I put him back in his place showing him I was not impressed that I was as 'badass' as he was. golden jewelry. "If by exuberant you mean flashy scarves. I never thought I would see him ever again." she added." She added and again it was possible to see that a part of her still loved him. That's when I crossed Aşkım's path for the first time. I saw her as a guardian robot for so long. I despised the man right on the spot. he just grinned and started to act all Mr. At the time I didn't have the control I have now. "Aşkım?" I asked confused. while looking at her. "He even had long hair at the time you know. My mom nodded. it was not who I was. eager to hear it all and she told me all about the rich and powerful Mazur family that owned half of the businesses in Turkey." We both chuckled at that. "How old was he back then?" "He was 23 and I was 18. Anyways. maybe she regretted her choice now.
"I see a lot of him in you and before you go all offended it's a compliment. "Anyways. I was 20 and he was 25 then. "No no Rose don't even think that. "I swear my pregnancy didn't break us up. you couldn't help it when you're in love. 'We both thought it'd be best if he wasn't in your life. "I'm so sorry!" I said crashing on her chest. "never mind. as much as I loved the person he was. "I kinda like him you know. "Because of me you've lost each other. As I said before." I remember what my mother had told me when I found out that Abe was my father. "We dated for the next two years and then… then I got pregnant with you and things changed." We were the only one in the kitchen and that was good." She laughed when I nodded. freed from his somehow harmful influence and he was a benefactor of this school. his activities were his own business and he didn't want to let go. "long story. you're in love. I told you he is a good man Rose. That life was no place for a child Rose. I laughed to myself he was such a hypocrite. I looked at her and my eyes filled up with tears." I said concentrating on my pasta. I could have had a worse father." she said with a playful smile. but I wouldn't rule it out. he never let me down. since now part of me really wanted to know him. . "But that's when we started to talk about the future you see. "So a date with Adrian tomorrow night?" Said my mother with a fork in her hand and I appreciate how she used his first name." I said standing up. far from his shabby business but as my mother said before. He sacrificed his time with her to assure me a good future. It was my identity and well." She said with a playful smile. 'it's exactly because of the life I lead that you should listen to me when I say abandon this path and go back home. "Yeah…I owe him one. But he is a good man it's just…" I shook my head. Abe is the kind of man to do exactly what he wants to. He wanted to assume you know. "I honestly don't know Rose. Some first loves lasted! His actions and my mothers' face were proof of it and I intended to let him know that. She said." "Really?" I asked blowing my nose in a very unlady like way." I rolled my eyes. I was not ready to let go of my guardian duties it was who I felt I was. We thought that it was better to call it quit. "I guess you noticed that the man was pretty impressive and could get anything he wants.' Abe also said something quite similar back in Baia."Don't ask me how he pulled that one off because I honestly don't know and I never asked. "Do you think I'll see him again?" I asked my mother. his activities were…'' She seemed to think for a minute. When I told him that he wasn't a role model he told me.' They wanted me to be raised well. I would bet that he was since I entered it as a student." she sighed and kissed the top of my head." she said pushing me back to look into my eyes. "Really!" She said looking deep into my eyes to show me that she was sincere." I said sobbing on her chest. I felt guilty for all the hard times I gave her over the years. He had to have loved my mother deeply for taking those inconsiderate risks 18 years later for a daughter he didn't even know." she replied and stood as well. "What?! Why??" My mother asked sounding completely confused and wrapping her arms around me. "Well let's go to the kitchen and grab something to eat.
" "You too Mum." "Thank you Ma." I said teasing. "Nice you know me that well already." She nodded and kissed my forehead." "Believe me Sydney he would get mad if he didn't get my message." "Right!" She snorted taking my number. "Will you tell me why you left to go to Baia?" My mother finally asked. I just need to tell that to someone else first but then I'll tell you everything I promise. five years. As for getting over it…'' She grimaced slightly." she said teasing back." I said chuckling. "Anytime Rose." Sydney responded.) "Oooo that's tough Rose. or maybe even ten years. She sighed." she said with concern. "Unfortunately." I said before running to my room. "Have a good night Rose. "The guy hates to be bothered." I said decided to play it honestly. "Hello?" She said warily. It was 6 am here so it meant that it was 4 pm in St Petersburg. "I need you to get him a message. The memories won't hurt so much anymore and you'll even smile." she said her eyes and voice full of sorrow and pain "You have to let time do its job and open the door to the people who are trying to help you. "Anyways I know you need something come on tell me. apparently uncomfortable. "I wanted Zmey's number but I know you don't have it. any kind of healing is good to take. I smiled at her. "Sydney? It's your favorite evil creature. "All right I'll tell that to my superiors but I can't promise anything. I reached for my brand new cell phone I bought the day before and looked for Sydney's letter. "This aching in my chest…Do you think I'll get over it? Over him?" "You will get better Rose. not completely anyways but one day in a year." "Do you think I will get better?" I asked as she was really the only one here that I trusted who could actually have the beginnings of an answer. "I'm alright I wanted to give you my number you know for when you come back home." she added probably not wanting to add to my distress. Give him my phone number and tell him that Rose Hathaway has the answer to his question. Apparently I was a bit above the rules here…I was Badass Hathaway after all." I said hoping I was right. My mom walked me back to the dorms since it was after curfew. It was silly to even think that she was scared of me at first. Not like it mattered." She said reaching for my hand from across the table. "Maybe not today but one day. it won't be a burden to remember." . "You'll never get over it." ( He kept asking me over and over again. "Rose!! How are you doing?!" She asked sounding genuinely pleased."No tell me." I said as it was exactly the kind of honesty I needed. "I want to help. If you want we can go hunt strigoi together. 'why are you here?' he'll finally get his answer. "I will tell you very soon." She asked laughing.
" Well now I needed to figure out a plan for Victor and wait for Zmey senior to phone me but before I had to be ready for my date for Adrian. I left my hair down and settled for some lip gloss. I half expected her to come knock on my door anytime telling me that Abe phoned her and that I should stop trying to contact him. I finally settled for a pair of low waist black jeans and a silky red tank top with thick straps. but nice and not too revealing. I just hoped it would be better tonight. I hoped that the day would end way better than it started because today sucked ass. I really couldn't put a name on it but it seemed to run deeper. Lissa even lent me a black cashmere shawl to go with it. It meant that whatever he was wearing he always had this classy edge and this royal vibe. Abe didn't call me AND I tried to find out which prison Victor Dashkov was in and I found nothing!! It was like the location was protected by freaking Homeland Security.What was it. "Rose you look stunning!" He said. I had to be the pacifier. "Actually I do…a little." I said feeling sincerely pleased and taking the flowers. "you are very good looking yourself!" I said quickly assessing him. Then Christian snapped at Eddie when he tried to mettle in his relationship with Lissa. I was just finishing getting ready when I heard a light knock on the door. hopefully."Thank you!" I said sincerely. All in All. it was a shitty day and nothing went my way. my favorite stalker but still it seemed more serious somehow. "Thank you. I couldn't help but smile! I was pretty sure it wasn't my mother because it didn't have that military feel like her knocks tended to have. bowing slightly before handing me a big bunch of flowers. I was relieved that Lissa kept all my belongings after I left the Academy. It was Adrian. more like me. the old pair of faded . in memory of the past. I didn't know how to dress either because being too dressed up would probably give him the wrong idea and too casual could be insulting. Maybe he helped me only because he felt that he owed something to my mother. I'd always seen Adrian as being a very picky. "Talk to you soon. All I came back with were the clothes I had on my back and some of Dimitri's jewelry (which I needed to sell very soon.Do you miss me??" I asked teasing her again. luxurious man and these flowers were different. He was probably the only man I could call the 'classy-casual' type. That was it. First the training with Stan turned pretty messy since it seemed we were both trying to take revenge on something. simple yet still sort of classy. I opened the door to a smiling Adrian but it was not the kind of smile I was used to." I said laughing. a role I never liked nor excelled in. Chapter 4: I was getting ready for my date and as silly as it sounded. I knew it sounded juvenile and irrational but it would really crush me to be rejected by him." "Love you too Sydney. So. See I'm so alone that I'm missing an evil creature of the night. It was such a simple yet gorgeous bouquet that it surprised me.. It was pretty sober. Area 51?? Part of me was scared that Abe didn't actually want a relationship with me. I didn't know if you could call a bright smile 'serious' but it was exactly the case here.. They were daisies with a single red rose in the middle.. "So…. it could help me with my Victor plan). I felt slightly nervous about it. Even in my dreams when he was barefoot.
The air was still a bit cold for end of May but the shawl made it very agreeable. those flowers are simple there is no big fuss about them but it makes them even more beautiful… even more stunning because they don't need to be extravagant to be noticed. and black tank top. He smiled. "Do you trust me Rose?" He asked mysteriously. "So what made you decide to get me daisies?" I asked curiously reaching for the big long box of smarties I had. It was probably one of the most beautiful compliments anyone ever gave me. I'll bring a vase too. It was not something I expected. "You said the first reason but what is the second one?" I asked. "Note for next time. We were near the administration building when Adrian stopped me putting his hand on my shoulder." he said chuckling as I put the flowers on the desk. "Well…Two reasons really. an emerald green button up shirt. I frowned and looked up at him." he said and I could hear the clear disapproval in his voice." I said grimacing." I said with a small smile before rushing to the small sink to fill the plastic box with water." he said teasing. "Well the second reason is the meaning of course.blue jeans." he said taking what looked like a black tie from his jacket pocket. I was scared we would end up on the Mexican border completely drunk with tequila…maybe not such a bad plan based on my shitty day…shitty weeks really. "The flowers needed to convey the right sentiments. changing subject walking out of the room. ugliest vase in the history of the world but it would have to do. I swirled around looking deep into his eyes trying to spot any kind of joke or teasing but there was none." he said softly leaning against the wall looking at me moving around." "That has not been proven. "I…guess. It was probably the crappiest." I said warily. I let the door open and invited him in while I tried to figure out where to put the flowers." He said giving me an amused sidelong glance. "And that's just a shame. I had been emptying the box when he said that and it almost slipped out of my hand." He said barely louder than a whisper. so crazily original. "I'm not used to getting flowers…except from you. He followed me out walking by my side." I said with a slight pout making him laugh. and black jacket. It was true that Adrian was one of the people I trusted the most but he was so exuberant sometimes. "Yeah sorry." "Which are?" I asked but I wasn't really sure I wanted the answer. "A little bit of work won't hurt you. "Well that will be your job to figure out my little dhampir. "Please don't spoil the surprise. he looked far more impressive and royal than most the guys I knew when they were in tuxedos." I added joking. "Firstly. just like you. I shrugged dismissively reaching for the shawl. "Thank you. Right now he was wearing a pair of black dress pants. .
"What do you want to do with that?" I asked pointing to the tie. "Strangle me? I don't think you'll be strong enough." I said half joking trying to hide my discomfort. "I could never hurt you Rose." He said so seriously, more seriously than I ever heard him before. "I just want the surprise to be total, let me blindfold you." I felt my heart tighten in my chest. Someone else also made that same promise to me in what seemed to be another lifetime and nobody ever hurt me more than that person. I nodded slightly giving him permission to actually take away the sense on which I related the most. "I would never let you fall, I'll never let you down Rose," he said fondly after knotting the tie. "I know…'' I said not really sure if I liked the idea on how much I trusted that half crazy Moroi. Adrian wrapped an arm around my shoulders as I wrapped mine around his waist mainly to help my steadiness. Although, I could feel his muscles tightening slightly under my touch and I had to admit shamefully and selfishly that it felt good to have this effect on someone. It was exactly the way I used to react each time Dimitri touched me. We walked like that for about 10 minutes. I registered that we entered and exited the building again based on the gentle wind caressing my skin. "Are we there yet?" I asked in an annoyingly childish voice. "Yes we are," he whispered so close that I could feel his warm breath on my face. I could feel him standing behind me and he softly removed the tie from my eyes. What I saw took my breathe away. "I--Oh my." I said with wide eyes. This was a part of the campus I had actually never seen before. I could see the glass patio where I had the hot chocolate with Dimitri pretty far on my left side. I assumed we were behind the guardian administrative building, but who would have thought that that rear end was so beautiful? "Do you like it?" He asked expectant still standing behind me resting his hands on my shoulders. I looked around still in awe. There was a small pond, much smaller than the other one on the other side, but with the trees and flowers, the full moon reflecting in the water like a sliver lining it was simply magical. There was also a beautiful white kiosk on the bank. The kiosk was illuminated with strands of fairy lights and there was a table set for a candle lit dinner…I called Adrian extravagant, I never thought he could be a romantic. "It's beautiful," I said sincerely and I felt his hands relax on my shoulders. "Come on," he said standing by my side and taking my hands to intertwine our fingers. I looked down at our hands with surprise and as silly as it was, I felt like I was cheating on Dimitri, somehow betraying his memory…Our love. "You want me to let go?" Asked Adrian and I could hear the underlying pain in his voice. I looked up and met his eyes, "No…it's nice." I said with a small smile not wanting to hurt him. I wanted him to be happy, he was a good man, he deserved to be happy. He flashed his million dollar smile and gently pulled me with him to the kiosk.
God help me not to break his heart. I thought as he pulled my chair out to gallantly help me sit. Once we sat at the table a young man I had never met before came from the glass patio with a big platter setting a plate in front of each of us. "Spaghetti and Meatballs?" I asked truly surprised. I expected some persnickety food like caviar (ewww), Foie Gras, lobster, but certainly not some basic Italian food like spaghetti and meatballs. "Yeah," he said with a small smile while serving us some San Pellegrino sparkling water, he really went to the details. "Don't you like Italian?" He asked but I could see that he already had the answer to that. "Of course I do!!" I said looking at the plate with the scent of the wonderful oregano sauce filling up my nostrils almost making me drool. "But…But how did you know??" "That my little dhampir…It's a gift," he said tapping his temple gently. "Of course," I said rolling my eyes but it gave me a chill. I knew he couldn't do it but Oksana and crazy Avery could. Adrian would probably be able to do it one day and that was scary because there were certain things in my head I'd rather die than let him see. I could only see good things in his eyes when he was looking at me, seeing the repulsion would kill me. "Nah," He chuckled "I heard you talk to Lissa once about how when you were starving while held hostage in Spokane, it was the memory of the meatballs pasta from some little restaurant in Portland so…" he pointed to my plate. "Here we go," he added with a wink. "You remember that?" I asked startled. "Of course!" He said like it was an evidence. "I remember everything you said." "I--" I shook my head I couldn't believe how caring he was, it was actually getting harder and harder to play detached because now if I ended up hurting him it would hurt me deeply too. I simply nodded concentrating on the food. "Let's eat before it gets cold," I added pointing to my plate. Adrian nodded apparently seeing my discomfort. We ate mostly in silence when the dessert came, I almost squealed. It was tiramisu and I loved tiramisu! He was just so sweet with me but I couldn't help to think that Dimitri was still around and what if I could save him? What would happen to Adrian then? I didn't even notice that I sighed out loud. "What is bothering you Rose? There is so much sadness in your eyes…" He reached for my hand from across the table. "If it makes you sad to be here with me …" he took a deep breath. "I don't want you to be sad, not because of me." He stood up, "let me walk you back to your room, we can't say we didn't try." I looked at him agape. "What?!" I asked stupidly staying on my chair. "You think I'm sad to be with you?" I shook my head. He shrugged slightly but sat back down. "No it's…" I thought for a minute I didn't want them to know that Dimitri was still running around, at least not yet. I needed to put my plan in action and see if it was possible to do anything. Part of me knew that if they found out about Dimitri they would think I was crazy to do all that just for him….and maybe I was.
"It's what?" He encouraged me. "Well you are a very good guy, you're kind and caring and good looking," I said grimacing. "And it's bad how?" He asked chuckling but I could see the real wonder in his eyes. "I don't want to hurt you, I just don't know if I can...if I ever could offer you what you deserve and…you deserve so much more than a 'maybe one day'," I said honestly. "I haven't moved on, and I'm not ready to. I would go crazy thinking I'm leading you on," I added, my voice shaking. He nodded. "Ok," he said simply. "But I never thought that one date would be the beginning of a relationship Rose. Knowing how passionate you are, how you put your heart in everything you do, it would have been insulting to even think you could move on like that." He reached for my hand again. "You didn't promise to marry me Rose, you didn't sign a contract with your blood," he added chuckling. "Consider me warned ok? I know what I'm entering and what if we just took things slowly…friends?" "Friends?" I asked raising an eyebrow. "Yeah special friends, spending time together, enjoying each others company no strings attached. And if it has to happen than it will and if it doesn't well…That's life. " He said with his goofy grin. I chuckled too. "I just don't want you to get hurt." "Let me worry about that ok?" He asked standing up opening his hand. "Dance with me little dhampir." I took his hand and stood up. "But…there is no music." I said surprised. He winked at me and reached for a little remote that was in his other pocket. He pressed a button and I finally noticed the little radio discreetly hidden beside my his chair. Nick Lachey's voice filled the air and for once I did recognize the song, it was 'Run to me'. Very fitting I thought as he wrapped his left arm around my waist, holding me tight against him, so tight I could smell the woody, mossy odor of his pricy aftershave. I would recognize this sublime aroma everywhere it was Xs for Men by Paco Rabanne. We danced for a little while and I had to admit it did feel nice. Adrian was a very good dancer and being in his arms was pleasant, knowing that someone cared about me that way. "May I hold your hand walking you back to your quarters?" He asked with so much courtesy it made me laugh, so 18th century. "As friends of course." "Of course…" I said and I couldn't help but blush slightly as his fingers intertwined with mine. We walked back in silence actually enjoying each others presence, it was not awkward and I liked that. "Well thank you again. I really enjoyed myself it was one of the best evenings I have had in a very long time." I said sincerely. "Me too Rose, I really enjoyed every minute of it," he said nicely. As he leaned down to hug me I stood on my toes and kissed his cheek. He jerked up eyes wide with surprise and touched the spot with his fingertips as if my kiss burned him.
" he said seriously. "So I heard you were eager to talk to me. the lovestruck smile or even someone taking inconsiderate risks for someone he loved in another lifetime." I smiled and I was sure he could hear it in my voice. "It's a long story. "You 'thought'?" he asked confused. I…" I cleared my throat." said Abe with some laughter in his voice. "Oh just one more thing. "So some first loves do last." "Did you succeed?" He asked and I could hear no judgment in his voice." I said sitting on my bed. I can sleep in the morning. Thank you so much. "If I remember correctly I never said that your first love wouldn't last forever or that it wouldn't be the strongest love you'll ever have experienced. He didn't give up on me after all. Why out so late?" "Zmey!!" I shouted too pleased to have him on the phone." . "Sleep well. "You apparently have the answer to my question and I like to have my curiosity satisfied so Rose…Why were you in Baia?" I took a deep breathe before answering. As soon as walked in my cell phone started to ring I hurried and answered without even checking the number. I know for a fact that sometimes it does last for a lifetime!" I said with a sure voice. for not giving too much away to my mother and for trying to get the information you know I'm longing for. "It's Friday night I was out with friends." I said with a small smile walking into my room." I bit my bottom lip. "I also wanted to thank you." "Wrong? Me?!" He asked chuckling." I said cursing myself." I said and I didn't realize how much emotion I had in my voice." He said the voice lower than usual probably under the emotions." he said and I'll be damned but there was emotion in his voice." Abe was quiet. for helping me when I didn't realize I needed it." I said without even thinking. "I just said that you would love again…eventually even if a part of you will always belong to someone else. "So thank you.He seemed completely dazed. "Finally reaching you little girl. "I think you were wrong. "I was about to give up. "I thought I did. I had to keep my promise. "What for?" He asked sounding taken aback." I said jumping up. leaving him in the corridor. "That would be a first so please little girl tell me where I was wrong. "Hello?" I said warily because the amount of people having my number was pretty limited and it was very late in our world and still very early in the human world. "I could see it in someone's face recently that even after 20 years it was still there. quiet for so long that I thought he hung up on me." "You…you're welcome. "I once talked with Dimitri about if we were to be turned Strigoi one day and we both agreed that we rather be dead than to be changed. "Abe? Are you still with me?" I asked frowning. When he didn't say anything I took it as an invitation to continue. "For trying to keep me safe. "We agreed we would do that for each other." "Well old man I think you were wrong considering first love.
" "Don't talk to me like I'm a child old man! I know what I'm doing!" I said briskly because I hated to be talked down to. I'd go to his room and drag his hardheaded ass if I had to. she would still look cold and detached to an outsider but to me she was totally different now. we'll just see where it leads' Friends it's good. Bless her heart. I knew it was only worry talking. on what is good in your life. "Don't be like Don Quichotte Rose. "You can…I'm not saying I'll answer though. could be repaired." I said and I couldn't help but to sound like a begger because it was exactly what I was doing. rightfully or not. Concentrate on the tangible. fighting some imaginary battle." he said warily. Even the Moroi. "I just wanted to thank you so thanks…and have a nice life. "He wouldn't give me any information and I offered him a lot of things. "Go to bed it's time. So I stayed pretty evasive with a 'we're taking things slow' and a 'we're friends for now. What could you possibly offer that I couldn't?" I just wanted to talk to him." "I…" I started. Still. Even if it was getting better and better between us. Damn Zmey senior!! Chapter 5: Today did start a lot better than yesterday. She was still the tough guardian. "Why?" "Can you tell me where please?" I asked really trying to hide my eagerness. maybe just beg him I was pretty sure he would enjoy that. She was my mother and I knew at this point that with everything that had happened between us. "I…Do. With his help or not I was going to find out where Victor was incarcerated. "I'm sorry Rose but no I won't tell you and. a part of him still loved my mother and probably always would. royal or not. She said approvingly and taking an offensive stance and we did what we both did best…Fight. And I won't help you on this path."I see…" I said and I understood what he just said. she was just hoping that I would heal fast enough. I was about to tell him to 'fuck off ' but I did see the real concern and worry in his eyes back in Novosibirsk." he sounded even colder. his voice colder now. were showing me respect when I walked by them and this included Jesse and Ralph. I haven't given up on the idea of getting Christian to join us. . I could see the curiosity and hope in her eyes. "Can I ask you a question?" I tried. or rather my lack of one. She asked me about my date trying to sound as detached as she could. "I can't offer more but… tell me please. Not every story has its happy ending." He sighed. with her." He said. slow. begging. It would just be longer than what I expected. I was just getting out of training with my mother and I couldn't help but smile. Firstly. all the mistakes that had been made. It will not end well. Fellow students that were even getting out of my way whenever I walked through the corridors. "Now you should just forget about these bedtime stories and grow up." I added before hanging up and turning the phone off. it was Saturday so it meant no classes and no sidelong glances from my fellow students. it's very good. it still felt extremely awkward to talk about my love life. "You know where Victor is in jail right?" I asked trying to do my best to sound neutral." he said matter of factly. "There is no point in me telling you Rose. I still couldn't comprehend that! I had some plans with Eddie and Lissa this afternoon. having the power over me was worth something.
What she wouldn't give for him to hold her tightly in his arms again while whispering in her ear how much he loved her. I saw the pure anguish in Christian's eyes but I didn't think Lissa registered it. Almost immediately. What if the spell could be broken? What if the prince could return home and save the princess from her own bleeding heart? What if this infinitesimal chance was in the hands of the bad wizard. "Will it always be like that?" Asked Lissa not able to hide the longing and pain in her voice any longer. "You have as much of a right to be here as I do." he said with a small smile as he turned to leave. I bit my bottom lip and decided to sit under the oak tree near her dorm just to slip in her mind for a few minutes. and sorrow coming from her and it could mean only one thing. I went towards the Moroi dorm to spend a bit of alone time with Lissa but I could feel that she wasn't there. self-destructive. Those two needed help and I needed to know the material I was working with. Lissa nodded thinking about how much she missed him. she chastised herself because she preferred he did confide in me rather than in anyone else. I was just super curious and dying to know but the first excuse seemed far more commendable. Abe did tell me that not every fairy tale gets its happy ending and of course I knew that. "Avoiding each other. except that in my case the chances to get my prince back were close to absolutely zero. he was probably as shocked as I was myself when I defended him. Christian.. their old love nest .. I was the masochistic. not able to help but feel a bit jealous that Christian confided in me." He added as she took two slow steps in. "I'll see you later. Christian and I apparently owned the corner of the 'self-sacrificing' shit. it meant that he would be the one leaving… Idiot! I thought. whispering about how everything would be ok. Well actually. "Will what?" He asked now being the one standing by the door and I understood when he told her to stay." he said softly brushing some dust from his pants. guilt. I could feel a wave of uneasiness.When we were done my mother went it the direction of the guardians building because she was scheduled for a morning shift.she was with Christian. pain. the one that swore to take revenge? Any normal 'princess' would give up this hope before it got her killed but not me. At least talk to her geez!! "You and me?" She asked pointing to both of them trying her best to keep her feelings in order because she was a mere step away from breaking down. stood up looking pained. . Surprise crossed Christian's face. Also. How far could we go before we break? That is the question she kept asking herself. It hurt me to feel that with her because I felt just the same." Lissa muttered. "Please Lissa give…just give me some time to figure it out. "Don't be silly… you don't have to go because I'm here." "That's what Rose said. Lissa was standing near the door of the chapel attic. The prince had been cursed. idiotic type. I would hold on to that hope till the end thinking 'Come what may!' I concentrated on Lissa and Christian again. who was sitting in a corner. My fairy tale turned into a nightmare in just seconds." "I…" Christian sighed and ran a shaky hand through his hair. the princess was now dancing with the fine line between sanity and despair not really knowing how strong she really is.
he turned around to face her." "But I don't need to play the game. the problem is what we are and what we want to become. She wanted to do honor to her name and it ran deep in her blood. unable to stop her own smile. "So why aren't we together?" She asked him. you know that right." He finally said. "Whatever it is I'm sure we can work on it." He replied." Lissa seemed to get more and more desperate by the second. it was something he really thought about but she did her best to keep her face blank for him to continue. the exact same moment than I said it to myself. I thought in a useless attempt to calm her down. Chill out Liss…Just breathe. the rest will follow." he said with pride. "So what is the problem?" She asked almost plaintively. It was a little eerie! "Would you mind developing?" Lissa asked and now I could even feel anger in her. it's who you are and it's part of the girl I love. I mean you are the last Dragomir and it's a terrible burden to carry and I'm genuinely sorry for you."I just miss you so much." He said softly and you could read the sincerity in his face. It ran deeper. She realized it was not only anger or her silly behaviors during my absence that made him break up with her. "It has nothing to do with Aaron or even Avery because lets face it. "And I know you'll end up as our ruler one day. . "I miss you too Lissa. Slowly. So lets just take a step back on everything and think for a while." "I love you too and you know that. "I love you." Lissa nodded." "Sometime love just isn't enough." said Christian. "I was just getting tired playing the Court and royal game." He admitted and sat down in front of her. you wanted me to come with you when you went to the Court. she also couldn't deny that. To some extent it was one. you'd end up resenting me. "Why are you smiling?" Asked Lissa curiously. "We both need to consider the future seriously before it's too late and that irreparable mistakes are made. He looked thoughtful. "I understand your desire to live up to the name of your parents. If you sacrificed that part of you. she was human enough to do it. She didn't want to say it but she decided that her relationship with Christian was just more important than her pride." Lissa whispered. As long as there is love." She said but part of her deep down knew that she was lying to herself." He smiled. "and you'll be the best ruler the Moroi world will ever have but… I'm not sure I'm ready to play the game or I don't know how long it will be before I can't do it anymore and it's not fair to any of us. "Yes you have to Lissa. "Love has never been our problem. Christian smiled. it all sounded scarily reasonable and she hated the idea to lose the man she loved because it was the reasonable thing to do." she said with a sigh. Christian froze with one hand on the door frame. Love is not the problem. I mean…we don't have to. Lissa was so happy he decided to stay and she considered that as a small victory. "I understand. You would have never kissed that guy and…" He shrugged slightly.
"It would be better for the kid." said Adrian teasingly while folding one of his long legs up and resting his chin on his knee. I reached down with my hand to help him up." he said goofily. "Yep… She is the best. "Uh huh!" I said rolling my eyes. "Says the guy who dream stalks people and I was just checking on her to see if she was alright. "Anyways…. "You know together or not we could at least try to be friends…" Lissa shrugged." I said laughing. so much love that it actually hurt me to think how I let her down. I wanted to ask you something since you seem to know everything. "my answer will be 'of course!'" "OK…good to know. "Anyways." . fidelity." Lissa said fondly." He replied teasingly.how are you doing today?" I asked standing up." I said only half joking because even if the secret of the alchemist was very well kept he knew about it. "We could at least give it a try. "Yea? Well she told me to grant you the space you asked for. "She told me to talk to you . It said they mean loyal love. the friendship. share your feelings. "I agree but if you ever rat me out I'll deny it with my life. "Well well well my little Dhampir. and simplicity. "Well yeah I do know about everything and if your question is 'can we have some angry sex on the roof of the building?'" He replied and pointed up." "I agree." Lissa added with exaggerated contrition." "Yeah poor Rose." he said chuckling at my name." "Uh huh right. I probably wouldn't have my fairy tale ending but I could help them have theirs.What Christian said startled me. I just do it to you and I never denied it. that you were smart and that you would understand. "God forbid I ever do that!!" She said teasing him back." Lissa actually laughed. She said avoiding you was just making the situation unnecessarily uncomfortable. "No my question is more serious actually. I thought and decided to drop the subject. if only they saw what I could see. "And I don't dream stalk everybody. "We've go one hell of badass guardian angel don't we?" Christian asked with a grin. "I've been sitting here for the last 10 minutes so…" He winked." said Adrian chuckling." He shook his head." She smiled and I could feel all her love for me. "she was so right." Okay one for Ivashkov. and the love." He said seriously before smiling. "It's Rose. I decided to purposely forget about that." They both started to laugh and I exited her head with a smile on my face." I blushed slightly. which I know is not the case. "either you are super slow to assess a situation." He shook his head. or you were spying. at least for the time being. "Good now that I'm with you. beauty. I did do some quick research last night on the meaning of the daisies. patience. "If I didn't know you better I'd say you were spying on your best friend. My smile faded as soon as I opened my eyes and saw someone sitting in front of me with a wide grin on his face. that you just needed time to think and that it wasn't too much to ask. At this exact moment I could see it was still there the connivance. "She could almost denounce us for child abuse.
He walked to the little wooden bench near the path and sat down." I mumbled sarcastically. so agreeable that I was actually sorry to see it end. "Anyways what do you want to know?" I looked up meeting his eyes. I felt bad for snapping at him when I saw shock." "Sure I am. Almost immediately." I shrugged cocking my head to the side." "I'm sorry. "I honestly never thought you would be the one to be concerned about that Rose. holding me even tighter against him. "Do you know where Victor Dashkov is incarcerated?" "Oh!" Said Adrian eyebrows arched with surprise." He said coldly standing up with his jaw locked. cursing myself for reacting so impulsively. We all spent just about every waking hour together. the biggest traitor. "No I don't know." I looked up at him and emotion washed over me. "You usually have ulterior motives for--" "Do you know or not?" I asked cutting him off. Christian was starting to be more and more like himself. . "Listen we're all going to hang out together. He frowned slightly. "Wow if I knew that trying to answer your question would lead to that kind of reaction. sadness." I said trying to sound as disinterested as I could. "And I don't care. crappiest. "Yeah…" I said getting out of his grip. "I'm not sure a lot of people even have the answer." he said all teasing gone." He said bringing his hand to his chest. "I can try to find out if you want me to but I can't promise anything." he said teasingly and wrapped his arms around me. my patience was wearing thin. I would try more often." "You are not just curious Rose I know you by now." I said in a breathe. "That was honestly not something I saw coming. "Thank you. "I'm just curious. even if it sounded crazy or unusual. I joined him but just stood in front of him. He shook his head. which could be seen as annoying for some but I just marveled to have some of my stability back. "Sometime it's true. He sighed." I said. I thought all that mattered to you was that he was locked away for life possibly in the shabbiest."Business…always business with you Rose." I replied and hugged him tightly burying my face in his chest." he said resting his hand on my shoulder. "So do you know?" I questioned. he is the biggest royal treat you know. "I haven't heard anything about him since the trial. "I didn't mean it." he said apparently dazed. He really did mean what he said. "It's alright Rose. pretty sure that Christian was going to join us today." he had a smile playing on his lips. he would help me whatever the reason was. My friends were the one constant thing in my life and I had to hold on to that with dear life. The week end was very agreeable." I saw his features soften by the second. "Do you want to hang out with us?" "A chance to hang out with Rose Hathaway?! I would be totally crazy to refuse!!" He said trying to make it sound like a banter but I knew he meant it. dirtiest jail in the world." He grimaced. "You are breaking my heart. and anger cross his face.
now she could sit across from Christian without being sullen. "A mobster guy?!" I asked apparently the voice pretty appealing as Lissa eyed me warily and Eddie frowned. "Only as far as my little dhampir is concerned. At first I could feel the pain radiating from her even if she concealed it so well. "Where is your fellow dhampir?" Christian asked curiously as I sat beside him for dinner. "well I hope mobster dude blows up your knees. Told you he liked boys. "Does it involve a girl?" Asked Christian suggestively. "Or a boy…Let's keep an open mind." said Christian shaking his head with defeat. The mobster reference swept my smile away. "Maybe he is getting a quickie somewhere. Things were getting even better." "Shit. He was with 3 guardians and talking to Kirova on how he would like to visit the school to see ." I said just to piss him off." he added slightly pouting.00 Ozera. waving her hand so Eddie could spot us. "Oh Rose I love when you talk dirty to me." Adrian added." Christian stated so matter of factly that I burst into laugher. "Dunno…" I shrugged quickly scanning the room . I can't tell with him." he said to me." said Adrian wiggling his eyebrows as he sat across from me. Lissa rolled her eyes but couldn't help but chuckle too. He was slightly flushed and a light of excitement was in his eyes. But it was nice nevertheless. "Uh…?" Eddie shook his head. "Are you jealous I mean…I can help you with that. "I totally won. "Umm either he got laid or he has exciting news…not sure. I just rolled my eyes ignoring his comment but deep down I really liked his unwavering attention. By Monday night we were all like before except with less sexual tension from fire boy/spirit girl but a lot more from the spirit boy/crazy dhampir girl. By Sunday night she was still longing for him but she managed to be there and just enjoy his presence." he grinned and winked at me. "Yeah there is this guy and--" "YES!!" Said Adrian cutting Eddie's off with his hiss of victory. "Oh you are so funny guys!!" Said Eddie with heavy sarcasm.I was even impressed by Lissa's behavior. "Stop it" I said slapping Christian's arm which was almost immediately imitated by Lissa on Adrian. "Anyways I got up there and there was this guy with flashy scarves and golden jewelry. "Yeah I had to go to the Administrative building to give the paperwork Alto forced me to collect during class you know. "Dude!! You won't even guess why I'm late!!" He said coming to sit beside Lissa. you owe me $20. About 5 minutes later we saw Eddie enter the common scanning the room probably looking for us. I quickly nodded trying my best not to jump from my seat." "You really are a pervert aren't you?" Asked Lissa elbowing him.
that I was different. "Yeah no wonder he scares people shitless. I did have the answer to that particular question. "Why would he even give money to a school…this school in the first place?" Asked Christian looking at me quizzically like I was a freaking Abe expert and had all the answers. "Yeah I think I know why he did that you see he---" I started but stopped when an almost eerie silence fell over the room. oh the man is something. "Was my mother around?" I asked imagining the effect it would have on her to see him after all these years. I thought it was the time to come clean and if my mother got mad for me telling the truth to my friends. "Oh. All three of them were looking at me with wonder which was making me self conscious. Lissa was whispering in Eddie's ear probably helping him get up to speed. He was only with one of his guardians." Eddie looked up like he half expected for someone to be standing behind him. Oh you won't laugh long I thought seeing Abe approaching our table. He slowly walked to our table as people started to whisper. Eddie shook his head negatively." he said resting his hands on the back of Adrian's chair.how the generous donations he had been making for the part 15 years had been used. Vladimir!! It's going to get ugly. I could see why people just shut up when he was looking at them but he never impressed me." "The knee blowing machine?" "The one and only. "I mean if his reputation is accurate I don't think he gives a shit about his donations." added Adrian laughing too. he dropped his voice." He frowned. "Hello Little girl. I looked up and saw Abe looking right at me. sarcastic trade mark grin. One of the guardians I met in Baia…Pavel I believe his name was. ." said Christian chuckling and keeping his eyes on Abe. then so be it. "Abe Mazur at St." he added and I could hear the real respect in his voice." I said almost wanting to laugh at the irony of the moment. I bet the others thought he would continue to the end of the room to join the guardian quarters but I knew better. Lissa looked at me with wide eyes. it was true that he had a freakishly enormous charisma. "Is that---" "Yep" "The one that help you when--" "Uh huh. Well. And as expected they stopped laughing when Abe stopped just behind Lissa and Adrian and looked at me with his cocky. Maybe…Maybe I always knew deep down that it was different. "Apparently the guy is like one of the biggest mafia bosses… Mazur I think was his name is. "What do you think he wants?" Asked Christian warily." "Oh that's good!!!" Said Adrian chuckling.
'? She said through the bond. I had a small glimpse of Mad Abe in Baia and that wasn't it." I answered to her unspoken thoughts." "What the f--" Started Adrian trying to see in my face if it was the true but I probably paled 2 shades and gave away the answer. he couldn't keep his witty mouth closed. Not such a smart mouth anymore I thought laughing. "Help me." He whispered to me. I looked at him wide eyed and mouth half open probably just like Lissa and Eddie. just vastly surprised. I couldn't help but smile at his comment. I also knew that Kazim meant 'daughter' in Turkish that I randomly started to learn words from the Turkish. "Poor kid." muttered Christian just loud enough so I was the only one able to hear him. That was something I didn't expect. The others were looking completely astonished. Adrian./English dictionary I borrowed from the library." I said under the incredulous eyes of my friends. "Well at least now we know where Rose got her 'psycho-criminal' side from." he said chuckling. He looked at Lissa raising an eyebrow about to talk but he was stopped by Christian. I was probably looking like I was having an attack of some sort. It helped me to keep my mind occupied during my nightly alone time. They were used to our unusual way of conversing but Abe lost his natural smugness for just a second.Adrian was looking at me and I could see he was tense. Baba was the Turkish translation of dad and I knew it would be enough to divert his attention. "We should stop the pretenses. we probably were brother and sister in another life." I said trying not to show he destabilized me. "Excuse me? Are you calling me a psycho criminal?" Asked Abe now concentrating his attention on Christian. "Yes Kazim?" He asked apparently pleased with my efforts. Christian. whoever she is. I came to check on my daughter!" He said still keeping his eyes locked on mine." he said nudging me playfully. and Eddie didn't react. You never told me that!! Rose that's big!! Why didn't you say something like 'By the way the mobster guy is my dad. "And by the way you should stop calling me 'old man' it's not very polite. "Anyway baba…" I said for Abe to concentrate on me. you can call me Daddy. . "And he wants to sleep with your daughter!" Christian blurted out pointing at Adrian. "Hi dad. "How are you doing?" Lissa was completely astonished. I bet they knew that not a lot of people could disrespect Abe Mazur and get away with it. You had to give it to him whatever the situation. "Hello old man. He didn't look that smart now. She wasn't mad. I didn't know that when I told you the whole story. "Nah. "What brings you to the middle of Montana?…Business?" I asked with heavy sarcasm raising an eyebrow but I was sure I was not looking as cool as Dimitri used too." He grinned. "I couldn't have. "I…" Started Christian the eyes widening slightly. His eyes and voice were pretty cold but I knew he wasn't mad. you know. "I missed you.
"Smooth…really smooth. " As we turned around I saw the little red head walking in the room and." Said Christian actually making me laugh. Yeah I didn't react that well to love these days but who could blame me… ''What are you doing here?'' She asked trying to sound detached but I didn't think she fooled any of us. too long bi tanem. Oh my god!! She just blushed like a school girl!! I would have bet my silver stake that my mom could not blush except for when she was mad. It was pain."Thanks Ozera. as their eyes met.'' He said his voice slightly threatening.'' I said doing my best to sound teasing. We slowly walked to the door where she was waiting for us. What I saw in my moms' eyes was just breath taking." I said standing beside Abe." "What? I want to keep my kneecaps. "We're all going to keep our kneecaps. there was love. ''Oh you can count on it." I said standing up. I want to know the whole story Rose! Tomorrow. "Please…that would be nice. I was just guessed it was lovey dovey and gooey enough to make me puke. his jaw was locked and his face somber. He was probably here to kick my butt about my childish attitude on the phone and my stupid wish to find Victor. I didn't know what the Turkish words he just said meant and honestly I didn't want to know. Want to go somewhere private?" I asked Abe. sorrow. ''Well guys things are getting awkward for me right now.'' Said Abe very softly to my mother. Yeah I guess the expression of feelings was something that neither my mother nor father were experts in… I never stood a chance in that area." said Adrian acerbically apparently doing his best not to look up and meet Abe's probable death glare. my heart literally crushed in my chest…at least the little part I had left. Damn!! He could do the sexy eyebrow thing too just like Dimitri! That was something I wished I had inherited from him. ''Aren't you happy to see me?'' He asked raising an eyebrow. It has been long. "Hello meleğim. ''So I think I'll go back to my room but I'll see you later'' I added to Abe's attention. She smiled at me probably to tell me that everything was alright but as she looked up at him again. I knew most people would miss it but I knew her well enough and I knew that would be exactly how I would look when I see Dimitri again. "Let's go. and above all else. the longing was still there. Lissa warned me through the bond. My mom nodded with a discreet sigh of relief." He said quickly glancing at both Christian and Adrian causing me to smile. Abe gave me a strange smile. "Promise Liss. "I'll see you tomorrow guys. . longing. I could feel Abe tense up beside me and I dared a quick look to his face. even in 20 years.
I looked at the alarm clock and frowned. As strange as it seemed I was not ashamed to be his daughter. ''I'm coming!'' I growled.I sighed." he quickly glanced at his watch. The flight was really awkward and mainly silent. I was excited but also disgusted to feel this way. Abe nodded quickly. ''Do what?'' I asked still slow. "Once we're in you have. guardian Mishka is going to wait by the prison main door while you and I get inside. I was happy when the plane finally landed. No one needs to know…your mother would kill me. "60 minutes and 60 minutes only to . ''Dress quickly. I was just starting to drift into sleep when I heard a knock on my door. Pavel is going to take you to my private plane where Mishka (One of Abe's other guardians) is already waiting. ''Arranged for you to see Victor Dashkov. I could already hear Christian's witty remarks and couldn't help but smile." He said with his very cold voice." He said so frostily that I could have been iced on the spot. he took risks to keep me safe. The three of you have to go now so you make it back before morning. Chapter 6: The plane trip took about 90 minutes and the whole way I couldn't believe I was about to see Victor. Pavel turned to me and gestured me forward. "I'm not done Hathaway. stupid. I managed to do it." I said ready to exit the plane but he gripped my arm. Pavel looked grim and the other…Mishka. it was even more impatient this time.'' he said barely louder than a whisper. "Fine. From Abe's concerned face to Pavel's grim one. well he didn't look any better. It was silly.'' I mumbled.'' He said clearly proud. tomorrow I'll have to respond to the Gestapo questions about for being the biggest Moroi mobsters' daughter. ''I'd like to see you try. ''What…Is everything ok?'' I asked worried. After opening the plane door Mishka and Pavel exchanged quick words. ''I hope it's important or god help you I'll kick your butt. ''Where you wanted to go Kazim. "Ok here is the drill. I still couldn't see his eyes because they were constantly hidden behind his very dark aviator sunglasses.'' ''Go? Go where?'' I asked looking from one to another.'' said Abe with a small smile playing on his lips The sun had just risen and it was not good for a Moroi to be out and about. I heard the knock again. and selfish but I just couldn't help it. The grim brothers! But I guess you didn't choose your guardians on their smile or cheery attitude and these two really look lethal. not ashamed at all. It brought me closer to my goal… my impossible fairy tale ending. it was firm and still quite loud. That man went out of his habits just for me. I opened the door and swore with surprise when I saw both Abe and Pavel standing in front of me. Which was making me feel a bit uncomfortable.
" I snorted. "Go now. even if chatting with a freshly woken up grizzly bear seemed far more attractive. casually resting a hand on the wall." he said not even bothering to turn around. and one of the people I needed the most as well… How ironic! When I finally saw him he had his back towards me. He quietly closed the door and rested his back against it." replied Pavel as we walked down the main corridor. Are we clear?" He said keeping his firm grip on my arm. Victor narrowed his eyes slightly." I retorted before cursing myself for not being able to keep my voice from shaking. Victor turned around quickly and started to laugh. . "Let's go. I could feel his eyes on my back as I slowly walked to meet my living nemesis. here we are. "I'll stay beside the door." he said clearly ignoring me. "It's the isolation ward." he pointed to the glass panel in the middle of the corridor." I bet you did you jackass!! I thought but just gritted my teeth looking at him thoughtfully. "Yeah it is. "Anyways. Done or not. "Well it's nice to have some visitors. "She…She is doing alright. He still had his silky black hair." He said pursing his lips." he said as we reached a corridor in the basement. "Of course…it's not like you worry about anyone but yourself anyways. "Rosemarie Hathaway?!" He asked not able to conceal the surprise in his voice. "I always enjoyed your agreeable company. "How come?" I tried. "I wish I could say the same." Victor replied with a nice smile as he started walking towards the glass wall. I knew it sounded childish but it took all of my self control to not kick him in the back of the knee and make him fall. he was reading." he said walking briskly in front of me. "What a nice surprise. "What's that supposed to mean? "I asked getting really angry now. You'll be separated by a plastic panel but don't worry it's absolutely indestructible.talk to him. "Crystal. the disease hadn't claimed his body just yet. I needed him on my side. "Who would ever think of looking for a Royal Moroi in a human jail?" He asked rhetorically. "It's a human jail!!" I said completely shocked." I barked getting out his grip. happy or not we'll have to go since we'll have only 30 minutes before the change in the guards. "So Dear Rose…How is Vasilisa doing?" He asked. the douchebag was really getting on my nerves. The man I hated the most. "The one and only." I said standing up straight and crossing my arms on my chest. He was getting suspicious since he probably didn't expect me to answer." " Like I worry about Victor Dashkov." I said giving in.
"it has to be big for you to come here and I don't even want to know what you promised Abe Mazur. "No it's true. He did ask Strigoi Natalie to do her best to spare my life." He said sounding saddened by the fact. I quickly took it and sat in front of him as he pulled his own chair closer to the glass." "Is that so?" Asked Victor chuckling. he clearly understood that he had the power. " 'All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.." I said evasively. he was a fantastic mentalist." I said standing straight. "I'm the one looking for your brother. he wanted me in his army. Dang!! "Is that so?" He said crossing his legs. "I also know a lot about spirit. making your own daughter turn Strigoi…you make me sick."What can I do for you Rose? Are. I had to be careful." I snorted. I knew him too well by now." I admitted. "Now we're talking. I tried to help you and you just pushed me away as if I was evil personified. "Maybe I could answer your question Rose…I'll help YOU! " he said pressing on the 'you' trying to make me feel like I was special. "It's just spectacular." he said pointing at the folding chair that was against the corridor wall. "Please take a seat. "You see I heard this rumor. "I need you to tell me where I can find your brother Robert. His face lit up. "So why would you need my brother that much Rose? I mean…" He shrugged." I said resting my hands on my knees. What is that saying?…" He said pretending to think while gently tapping his chin.' " I wanted to say Whatever freaking psycho." He shook his head. "And you see well…Spirit does take a toll on people and my brother…my brother is not as sane as he once was. "I'm here to help…" He smiled." "I heard he is an expert on spirit and I really need his help. "He has some information that I need. you are an evil motherfucker!! Torturing Lissa. that was already something. but I knew he didn't mean it at all. "That's why I'm here. I always had a soft spot for you…your protecting instinct. "A rumor that says your brother knew the way to reverse the Strigoi state." Said Victor and I could see his curiosity increasing by the second." "Robert? Why?! Everybody is looking for Robert these days. but he didn't fool me." I added and I knew that even if I tried as hard as I possibly could. I nodded. I sighed with relief apparently he was still alive." He said staring at me with his keen eyes probably trying to decipher my facial expression." And I knew that it was true in a twisted way. "May I ask who told you that?" . "Maybe my methods were not the best but the goal was right. Are you managing the spirit effects alright?" He asked and I could see the malevolent light in his eyes. But I just stared at him not trusting myself to speak." He said and seemed rather pleased about that. "I always liked your honesty Rose. I was sure he could hear the despair in my voice. you know that already.
"That's irrelevant." I said dismissively. "Is it true?" "Why is that so important Rose? I mean lets be honest it sounds pretty much like a fairy tale to me." He was literally marveling. "How important is it to you??" "I…very" I replied, somberly. He looked at me for a little while pondering. "Who did you loose to the dark side Rose?" "No one." I said trying my best to keep my face blank. "It has to be someone important…Maybe your mother or Vasilisa's little boyfriend?" He tapped his chin with his forefinger. "I mean for your boyfriend to follow you in that crazy and highly criminal adventure it has to be someone REALLY important." I simply shrugged. "Where is the boyfriend by the way?" He asked trying to peek down the side but he wasn't curious enough to stand so he could have an even better look. "You are legal now aren't you? And he was pretty crazily possessive with you." He chuckled. "Come on Guardian Belikov you can show yourself." Said Victor with laugher in his voice. "I know perfectly well that you wouldn't let your girlfriend face the evil traitor by herself...Come on!" "He…is not here." I whispered, acknowledging that took my breathe away. Victor frowned for a second, "Awww I see Rose. I'm sorry you two were really a match made it heaven." He shook his head with, what I presumed was, fake contrition. " 'Death is not the greatest loss in life . The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.'" Victor and his quotes! I thought exasperated but decided to play along. "So dear I love him that with him, All deaths I could endure. Without him, live no life." I recited, hoping I got it right but when I saw the genuine pleasure in Victor's face, I knew I hit it right. Victor was a sucker for the classics. "I'm going to help you Rose, you two have to be together…I always knew you were meant to be." He chuckled, "and to have you quote Shakespeare to me? it's more than love as far as you are concerned!" "So it's true then. We can reverse the Strigoi state?" I asked, my heart pounding in my chest so fast I could barely breathe. "I haven't seen it with my own eyes but Robert told me that many, so many, times and he has maybe a lot of flaws, but fortunately lying is not one of them." Added Victor with his huge grin. "What do you want from me?" I asked trying to hide my impatience. "Nothing, well maybe one or two healings but no… I'll TAKE you to Robert, you have my word." he said nonchalantly, like he was asking me for a piece of bread or something that's very easy to get. "Take me there…" I whispered. I expected him to ask me to get him out of jail to help me, it was the last card he had to play. He would have been just a fool not to try and I might just be crazy and desperate enough to agree. "Tell me something Rose, do they know why you are here?" Asked Victor resting his back on the chair, his eyes never leaving mine. "Do they even know you're here?" I just stared at him, face hard.
"Do your friends know you are battling because of Belikov, all the risks you are taking just for one man?" He asked again but I could see his eyes sparkle with anticipation. He already knew the answer. He laughed softly. "Well I guess I'm not the only one to have a secret agenda. You are ready to do a lot of things to attain your goal aren't you? Hiding, lying, threatening, maybe even a little torture too." I couldn't deny that, I did have fun torturing. Strigoi or not it was still wrong and I knew that at the time I just didn't care. I kept thinking whatever the means used, only the goal mattered. "Oh Rose I always knew you were special, worthy. You've got such an instinct, when you know deep down something is right you fight for it! You're ready to bind the fine line between what is legal and what is not." He said and it made me think of what my mother said about Abe. "We're a lot alike you and I." He added and it couldn't have hurt more if he stabbed me. "I'm NOTHING like you!" I couldn't help but growl. He chuckled. "Only time will tell." He said dismissively. "Anyways you have my conditions now, plus it's more a necessity that anything else really." He added mysteriously. "How come?" I asked taking the bait. "Robert won't talk to anyone but me." He said keeping his eyes on mine probably to show me he was speaking the truth. "Like I told you, he is not the man he used to be, he won't trust any of you." I sighed running my hands through my hair. I knew I couldn't trust that snake and I never intended to. But now it was clear I had to decide if I was going to help him break free and becoming a traitor. A traitor in the eyes of my whole world, bringing shame on my family and friends. I could just give up and wait for Dimitri to come to me and let it end by his death or mine. Maybe even both. "Don't look so tortured Rose, things are never as bad as we think they are." He said in a comforting tone. Victor trying to comfort me? Things REALLY were bad. "No you're right, sometimes they are worse." "Hathaway time to go." Said Pavel in an hard and commanding tone. "Not a fan it seems," Victor noted. I grimaced getting up. "Well when you make up your mind you know where to find me. I don't intend to go anywhere anytime soon." Victor commented with a grin. "Hathaway!" Repeated Pavel even harsher this time. "I'm coming guardian! Take a fucking valium." I snapped. "I missed your impetuosity Rose! It was so nice talking to you…I can't wait for us to meet again," he said in such a voice that it gave me the chills. I nodded curtly to Victor before rushing to meet a very mad Pavel. "Oh Rose to thank you here is a clue," Victor shouted just as I reached the door. "My brother is safe in the land of Kielland."
I didn't have a chance to hear if he added anything because Pavel closed the big soundproof door. The land of kielland? Or kielan? kelland? I thought as we walked hurriedly out of the prison. What did it even mean? "Hurry you'll think some other time!" Said Pavel gripping my wrist. I gasped. "Let go or I swear to god I'll break every single on of your fingers do you understand?" I snarled with my best death glare. One that I knew I inherited from Abe. I saw Pavel's jaw lock firmly but he let go of my arm. "You don't like me do you?" I asked already knowing the answer and not caring really. "I'm not here to like you," he said bluntly. "I'm here to do my job and bring you back safely to the academy." He added as we reached the main exit where Mishka was waiting. As we walked back to the plane I had the time to detail them. Mishka was probably in his early 30ies. He was not very tall, maybe 5'9 but pretty burly, actually very burly, with thick muscles. He had ginger hair freckled and very sharp yet warm blue eyes. Each time he looked at me I had a small stabbing pain in my chest because he was how I presumed Mason would look if he did manage to hit 30. Pavel couldn't be more different. He was very tall probably as tall as Dimitri 6'6 or 6'7 but much MUCH lankier. Well he was not as lanky as a Moroi in general but I knew a few Moroi that were a lot bigger than him, such as Abe and Adrian. To be fair those two were pretty much freaks of the Moroi world since they were really bigger than they should be. He had very short pale blond hair and as for his eyes well… I had no idea but it was maybe not such a bad thing, I was pretty sure they were not full of love and understanding as far as I was concerned. I settled in the back of the plane deciding to chill for the 90 minutes of the returning flight. I had a lot to decide and those decisions were going to be based on a lot of presumptions. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I could hear Pavel whisper in Russian to Mishka. I caught a couple of words even with my more than scattered knowledge of Russian, I clearly heard 'inconsiderate' and 'selfish' attached to my name. My eyes shot open, that was it! I was already mad enough . "Prasteete!"I said coldly standing up walking up to Pavel. Prasteete meant 'excuse me' in Russian. "If you've got something to say I'd rather you say it to my face," I said now standing only mere inches from him. Pavel looked up to me and I could see that he was gritting his teeth. "Come on guardian, it will be good for you, give it your best shot!" I said, taunting him. "It's not good to keep it all bottled up you know. Based on medical studies it can affect your libido." Mishka sent Pavel a warning glance which clearly meant 'don't go there, shut it!' "I won't tell anyone," I said to Mishka, "his job is safe. Come on Papav," I said even more defiantly now. Pavel jumped up from his seat like it burned him. "Oh little girl you don't want to know what I think!!" He said leaning in. I couldn't help to laugh at that. "Little girl? You are what…21? 22? Please!" I snorted, "and take off those glasses it's ridiculous." I replied, grabbing them and throwing them away.
but I was mad and hurt. "That's SOOO original Zhopa." In a normal condition I would have said his eyes were not disturbing." he said coldly because I kept staring at his one icy blue eye and one that was so deep brown it looked almost black. He was all about safety." he said now actually hurting me he was squeezing so hard. maybe because he was closer to the truth than I expected. I would have said what I really thought being that they were beautiful. So Hathaway… Who are you going to condemn to this fate? Who loves you enough to fall down with you? The Moroi best friend? The Royal deeply in love with you? The newly found dad?? Tell me novice… Who? Who will it be?" He demanded. Even when Mr. "But just so you know the real Belikov would be so disappointed in you…" He said and it had the effect of a hard punch in my stomach. "But now. I heard Mishka tsk with disapproval in the background but neither of us acknowledged him. "What about you sooka??" He asked crossing his arms on his chest. brave. "Oh calling me a bitch ?" I said shaking my head. "I don't wear my sunglasses to look badass like you probably think. "You really want to know what I think?" He asked and it sounded like a threat but I couldn't imagine what he could say to hurt me more than I already was." He snorted. "It's called Heterochromia." He shook his head with clear disgust. He was a lot stronger than I expected from his gangly frame. "You don't know me!" I snapped. "You don't know him!! Nobody knew him like I did!! Kooshite govno ee oomeeite. terribly selfish!" He pointed at me. When we were in Baia. unique. it's just that people can find it a little…disturbing. "And maybe I didn't know Belikov personally but I knew his reputation."I added shoving him again.Pavel balled his hands into fits and I thought he was about to hit me. "You had so much potential and you throw it away You know deep down that this whole thing will end badly and the disgusting part is that you are going to take the people who love you down with you. I understood you. now you are ready to put all the people who care about you in danger just to save him?" I looked at him lips pursed. "I used to think you were a good person. "Don't you EVER talk about Dimitri do you understand!!" I said shoving him hard. and of that I am positive. inches from my face and I could see so much deception and anger in his eyes. "You don't even know the risks your father took by arranging this meeting but who cares right?? As long as you get what you want!" He added his eyes locked on mine. Mazur couldn't figure out why you were there I knew… I understood it was to take him down and I thought that you were a girl with so much honor. you know that helping him escape will be considered as high treason punishable of life imprisonment. risked another persons life or reputation for something he felt he had to do." he snorted. I knew the Russian insults pretty well. "No I won't 'go eat shit and die' but thanks. Pavel grabbed my shoulders hard and nudged me. and THAT's unforgivable and terribly. He probably would have risked his life to keep a promise made to you but he would never. and protection. "I was so wrong. honor. It would have been contrary to all he believed in and that you know Miss smartmouth! You are a dishonor to his memories and you are unworthy of your friends!" . I intended to keep it shut and let him talk but I couldn't. so much for wanting to keep my self control. "You're a freak all the way aren't you?" I asked with a bitter smile. "Don't kid yourself. but when I finally met his eyes I couldn't help but huff.
a way to make me feel better." "Monkey bars? Really??" I asked wanting to jump on him and punch him unconscious. "Just one more thing Hathaway. I started to suck on the mint as the alcohols warmth was filling me. He put them back and went to sit beside Mishka again. "Johnnie. William Lawson's. and Jim Beam bottles . I could feel that my eyes started to fill up with tears and I didn't want to give Pavel the satisfaction of seeing me cry. But I wouldn't cry in front of him. That was a sign. When we landed the sun was still up. "Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. it's the beginning of a new life. Was it a good way to deal with my problems? Absolutely not because they would still be here tomorrow along with a killer headache. . Alleluia!! I took some of them and stuffed them in my pocket. I really missed you guys!!" I said looking at the Johnnie Walker. When I came out I sat on the last seat pretending to look at the landscaping. Mishka sighed heavily throwing a reproving look to Pavel before concentrating on me. I set four little bottles on the lavabo. "Feeling better?" I added trying my best to look only furious. it would be for at least two hours before the academy started to move around…3 hours before my training. actually talking to me for the first time. I took some more for my little trip to the toilet. Jack. "What my idiotic colleague means is that there are things that we never want to let go of. in the place where my heart used to be. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. making me smile. "Is there a bathroom on this plane?" I asked looking away. But keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world. Jack Daniel's. I also took some mints that were in a glass ball for my breathe I knew it was completely stupid and irresponsible to do this but at this point I was already at… I couldn't be more disappointing anyways. I opened the fridge and smiled widely. But deep down I felt like dying. I looked around curiously. But I was still stuck with 30 more minutes with Pavel and then I had to get through the day with all this guilt and pain…. "Behind the curtain. As soon as I pulled back the curtain I let the tears fall quietly. I wouldn't show him how badly it hurt…No! Never! "I do." said Mishka pointing to the blue curtain at the end of the plane. William. I drank the four bottles one after the other knowing that I had two more of each in my pockets." he said not even bothering to look at me." he said walking passed me to retrieve his glasses from the floor.I sighed. "Hello my dear old friends."Are you done?" I said roughly getting out of his grip. I just hope you realize that before it's to late and you make mistakes that you will regret till your last breath. across from the toilet there were some metallic drawers and a fridge. Abe was maybe Muslim (I didn't know for sure yet) but that fridge was full of miniatures…." I said to the bottles. make me numb for a little while." He said with so much kindness that it actually aggravated the throbbing pain in my chest. people we never want to leave behind. and Jim.
" He retorted like he never heard something stupider in his entire life.. Adrian opened it. "Of course I do Rose." He added keeping my hands in his. I walked close to the wall concentrating on the board to keep walking in a straight line." I said reaching for him. I didn't deal very well with rejection. I drank a fourth bottle on my way to the guest dorms and sucked on a mint before entering it." I blushed slightly. "I never wanted anyone as much as I want you."You should go and sleep a bit. "There is not much that a French kiss can hide my little dhampir. the prince I needed to save. "You. his face full of sleep. feeling both confused and hurt. "Maybe not.." he stuttered letting me in. "May I come in?" I asked turning my man eating smile on this time." said Mishka. His lips were warm and soft against mine." I said with a grin. "You don't want me?" I asked him. "Well I'm not that drunk! It won't be like you're taking advantage of me I promise.. Very good. He was my Moroi knight but deep down I would always be longing for my Dhampir prince. I groaned with frustration." "So?" I replied. . opening my arms. "it's going to be a long day. and his eyes widened when he saw me standing here. "Not like that…" He said breathlessly." I said smiling widely. Almost as soon as we deepened the kiss he gently pushed me away breaking it altogether.. "What do you need?" He asked nicely while closing the door. "Rose? Is everything ok?" He asked worried. I knocked at the door twice. Adrian would help me feel good. He was only wearing black Pj bottoms. I started to laugh it was clear where I needed to go." I nodded and as they took the direction to the lower campus where the guardian dorms were. Adrian was still looking at me with a sad smile. his hard body radiating with want made me shiver." He shook his head. "Not while you're like that. I discreetly took off through the trees and drank three more bottles while sitting under a centennial tree.Irresistible." he caught my hands before I could touch his torso." I said putting a hand at the back of his neck pulling him to me so I could kiss him passionately. "But you are clearly drunk enough to regret it when you wake up. "I'm here to be claimed. "Of… Of course. "not when you're drunk." "I'm not drunk!" I said trying my best to sound offended. bare chest. "You know you are just adorable when you wake up. better than I thought it would. Chapter 7: At first Adrian kissed me back and it felt good.
"He is dead Rose." I said in a tearless sob. "But to save him I have to become a traitor. "I don't want you to look back on something we did together and see it as a mistake. I shook my head." he agreed. "And who is that lucky bastard?" He asked teasingly." I got out of his arms feeling slightly angry." "9 bottles?" He asked rhetorically. "You don't understand. "No. When I felt an arm wrap tightly around my waist to steady me. "It really does. but he kept quiet and we continued our way to his bedroom. He even seemed to sound a little worried." "Who do you need to save Rose?" He asked with real concern. Adrian gently help me to sit on his bed but his face was somber now." Adrian responded. maybe as much as I liked being against him. "8 and three quarters of that one." I shrugged and looked up at his face that was torn with indecision. Consider me warned." Adrian eyes were sad now. "Being a good guy sucks!" I said childishly walking into the room. "Not so long ago I wouldn't have thought about it twice but things changed…you changed them." I said looking at him helplessly. I could already see my head banging the side of the coffee table. let's get you to bed." I said my voice cracking. "Sure you aren't. I only had time to get half way through it when Adrian ripped it away from me. He took my jacket off. "Wow… you are drunker than I thought you were. "Ummmm 8?" I tapped my chin. "I…please understand. "My prince!" I stated like if it was evident. "Your prince?" Asked Adrian with a small smile playing on his lips. "no wait!" I pointed to the little bottle he was holding." I saw Adrian recoil slightly and wince like I had just punched him. "I need to save him. I felt slightly relieved. "What don't I understand Rose?" He asked softly removing some rebellious hair from my face. keeping his hold around my waist. you killed him remember?" . renounce to everything I believe in. I presumed that he liked to have me against him. "Come on you drunk. "I told you I'm not drunk!" I said as I raised my arms in exasperation." he said setting the bottle on the table." he said as he started leading me to his room."So what? It will be my mistake. which was a stupid idea because I already had trouble keeping myself balanced. Adrian stopped walking keeping me against him. I stood on my toes trying to attain his lips but he just leaned down to kiss my forehead." I could feel the tears starting to fall down my cheeks." I snorted still looking away. I took a small bottle from my pocket. "I have to save him. "I need to save Dimitri. "How many of those did you have?" Adrian asked seriously. "Dimitri." he whispered against my forehead.
Cause you see…" I brought my hand to his cheek." . I was in Adrian's bed…another clue. apparently angry. Although." Adrian pursed his lips so strongly that they turned white. Abe? I thought." I think he kissed my forehead and then I was asleep. "You know what forget it. I could see pain and deception in his eyes. Adrian sighed heavily. "Sleep now. I sure knew that this big comfy bed wasn't mine. Okay. I closed my eyes again and sighed with relief trying to remember what the heck happened to me." I said like he was an idiot. so distant.Adrian kneeled down and took my shoes off. The worst feeling in the world is giving all the love you have and knowing it'll never be returned. I looked around slightly panicked. I failed and now he is coming here to take me or to kill me. not knowing where I was. "My heart is breaking because I realized that I have to let go the only person I ever loved. "Why are you sad?" I mumbled already drifting into sleep. Well the headache attested to a hangover." "Rose…Rose focus for a minute. "What's that supposed to mean?" Asked Abe a lot colder now. I was not sure I heard it right or if it was a dream because I was already half way gone but I thought he said something like. He helped me down on his bed and carefully tucked me in. it was empty and cold and I patted myself. like I was letting him down. not anymore. Adrian put my shoes aside and looked at me with incredulity. "Can you believe that only the bad wizard knows the way to break the spell and give me back my prince. I still had my shirt and jeans on. that was already something." Adrian said. "Belikov is alive?" He tried." he said nicely yet his voice sounded so cold. I closed my eyes. breaking his heart." Said Adrian with urgency and for the first time since I met him I could see pure fear in his eyes. "The princess can't go on with her life knowing that her prince could return to her and finally give her the 'happily ever after' she is longing for. "No he is not dead. I instinctively patted the other side." I said in a hushed tone. I nodded crying even harder now. "Someone has to. "You saw Victor? Where??" "In jail! I went to a secret meeting." Adrian replied." said a deep man voice. "Drink please. "You're taking good care of her. "She is still sleeping. it's none of my business. I woke up with a killer headache." he whispered and there was pain both in his eyes and his voice. "And now I even have to break Victor Dashkov out of jail to save him. Victor knows how to save my prince he told me last night. He slipped away from my touch and took the bottle of water on his night stand. I heard voices coming from the other room.
" He added putting two Tylenol in my hand." Added Adrian matter of factly. go back to Court." I said reaching for his hand as he let go of me. "No I knew drunken Rose. "What's going on?" I asked jumping out of bed and apparently my equilibrium sucked because I almost fell. "I think it's time for me to go. ." "But…But what about Lissa and Spirit?" I asked but I just realized that I didn't want him to leave me. "Don't worry I'll take care of her and I'll give you a call as soon as she is ready to go. I almost chocked drinking when I saw him take his suitcase out of his wardrobe." he said dismissively and started to load his suitcase. "Anyways don't you worry they all believed me when I explained she had dinner with me in my room and ate something apparently not so good. "Oh you're awake. Adrian looked at me and sighed. "Thank you." Abe replied and I could hear the real gratitude in voice." He said continuing to pack his things into his suitcase." He sighed again "That is a part of her I really didn't need to meet. "What time is it?" "Classes are about to end. "You'll figure out eventually that what Rose wants and what is good for her are sometime two totally opposite things. "She will be moving to the Court in 2 months…We'll restart our work then." "The drunken Rose?" Asked Abe and I could hear laugher in his voice. The pretenses are never good. I could hear a underlying despair I couldn't understand." "She's been sick?" Abe asked with concern. "What about us? Our friendship?" I asked trying the best to contain my tears. walking to me to check my temperature with the back of his hand. "Are you alright?" I asked sitting up taking the tablets. About two minutes later the bedroom door opened slightly and Adrian peeked in. "Yeah but she is fine now. "Hey…" I said with a sleepy voice." he said opening the drawer of his night stand. "Adrian please talk to me.Not anymore? What is happening?? I thought my heart pounding in my chest. I meant vomiting 'like-in-the-exorcist' Rose. I frowned slightly but decided to ignore his attitude." he commented. What the heck did I say to him? I wondered but my brain was still slow. and that she spent the night vomiting which is actually not so wrong. Apparently whiskey is not her best friend. Adrian sighed with exasperation as he reached to steady me. He didn't smile at me or anything he looked so…distant and oddly enough it made my heart ache." Said Adrian and for once there was no humor in his voice." Said Adrian and he seemed annoyed and that shocked me. "Please you really don't need to keep it up. "Here take that with this full glass of water. He snorted and it sounded so bitter coming from him. she is sleeping soundly.
" ." He said with his voice full of sorrow." he said putting the pile of clothes beside his suitcase. closed it." I got off the suitcase in defeat. it's maybe better this way." Ok he knows everything I thought . ever. "Oh yea you talk when you're drunk and every word you said last night hurt me." He shook his head "I know you didn't do it voluntarily but it hurt just the same. "I know all your dark secrets and I still love you just the same. breath. I thought about how I degraded myself being Dimitri's blood whore. "If he is coming for you and if you're going to become an outlaw they have the right to know. He looked at me silently for minute before sighing in resignation. "I said I'll stand by you but not while you destroy yourself I can't do that!" . I could see my bruised neck in the mirror again. Yeah.wanting to kick myself. I was sure he wouldn't 'love' me anymore after that." he replied and the pain in his voice made me wince." Adrian stopped in front of me with a pile of clothes." If you knew all my dark secrets. Did I say all that? I thought astonished." I said softly. "I won't make the same mistake Rose… I won't insist on a road that will end up hurting me…hurting us. almost begging him to bite me." "How much did I say?" I asked still sitting on the suitcase. shaky." He closed his eyes. "Much more than I wanted to know but if you don't talk to the others about it I will." "Don't try to put that one on me!" He shouted. "I can't do that. "I just don't think you know my darker secret. "But what are you talking about?!" I asked annoyed now. "You wouldn't like the real Rose anyways. "No I do believe you. I was not even sure he realized that he told me that he loved me. "If you didn't want to hurt me you should have told me that Belikov was still alive and that you were still holding on." said Adrian as he stopped packing his suitcase. and sat on it. "I don't want to hurt you." He added flush with anger. "You don't believe me?" He asked crossing his arms over his chest. I turned around briskly looking at him completely surprised because I really didn't expect such a radical switch in his emotions. I…I have no idea what happened last night and if I did anything to hurt you I'm sorry…really I…" I took a deep. "Talk to me please." He said threateningly.I walked briskly to it. "You seem to ponder that. "Oh come on Rose. "But I won't stay here and watch you destroy yourself and everything good in your life for something that was doomed since day one. "Everything was against you two from day one but you were so gone for him you didn't see it!! Think Rose what did this relationship bring into your lives except heartache??!!" I opened my mouth to answer but closed it again." I said sincerely taking a step toward him but he instinctively took a step back. "Doomed?" I asked because it was the only word that lingered in my mind.
Adrian was residing on the fourth floor of the guest area and I decided to take the stairs down." He shrugged slightly. I knew it was wrong to listen but I just couldn't help myself. I walked to the fresh pile of clothes and almost stumbled on his suitcase. I was rather pleased I didn't remember the vomiting part since I'm sure it was pretty embarrassing." He added looking away. I could see that in his eyes." he said pointing to me. I had the childish impulse to hide it somewhere but I knew it would not be enough to make him stay. I was up there maybe half an hour ago. "I saw your neck Rose. maybe I could learn to love him. the one when you were wearing that little blue summer dress. I wanted him to stay…I needed him to stay." said Abe soothingly. He cared about me enough to disregard that. Take a shower and chill out a bit." I nodded. "I know what you are ashamed of Rose and there is no reason to be. You know when I walked into your dreams. at least I thought so. He was honest. "you don't have to tell them everything but you need to tell them the basics. "I'm going to miss you". But sometime it's letting go. He closed his suitcases and took it off the bed. Adrian walked in the small living area and set his suitcase down. "No! Never! And that's the truth! You are still the Rose I met and always will be!" I looked at him in a whole different light." He gave me a sad smile. "Certainly not as much as I'll miss you." . It was my mother and Abe.He bit his bottom lip for a little while like he was trying to decide what to add. almost whispering but the voices were unmistakable. In the process removing the not so nice odor. "I…" My mother sighed. my voice hoarse." He said before leaving the room and closing the door quietly behind him. It was clearly a part of me I didn't want him to see.. I know what you did and do you think it changed anything? Do you think it made me care about you any less? Respect you any less?" He shook his head. I.. I replied in a low voice and I realized how much I would actually miss him. and that sapphire necklace… your aura was all wrong then. as far as Adrian was concerned that is. "And then I'll take the plane back to Court. I took a the quickest cold shower in history just to try and put my brain in the right place. resigned. I'm going to arrange a little meeting with the others so you can tell them. "I just don't know what got into her." I closed my eyes… He knew. "She is fine. I was on my way to the second floor when I froze midcourse. maybe if I tried harder. "Please don't. "I can't let history repeat itself. "So if you love me so much…Why are you walking away?" I questioned. "You see people think it's holding on that makes you stronger. I groaned. I smelled my shirt and it did have the faint odor of vomit and alcohol. There was a very quiet conversation going on. because as crazy as it sounded. "I've seen what holding on to the wrong person could do. She was getting better." I said in a breathe. Lissa brought you some clothes.
I deserve a place in her life. you are an astonishing liar but you never fooled me." My mother whispered harshly." "What are you doing here?" "I told you I came to see Rose. I thought wincing quietly going down two more steps as they dropped their already barely audible voices. especially ours. "That was uncalled for." He added and I could hear the love in his voice. "You knew as well as I did that it was better for Rose. well as angrily as a whisper could convey. "I'm sorry I didn't mean that. "You didn't leave me the choice anyways did you?! I asked you to marry me but you said no! You are the one who decided to call it quits! You decided for us not me. It made me special."It's just an indigestion meleğim. about being his only child. We didn't have the lives for that and you know it. I didn't really realize it before but I felt relieved.'' My mother snorted. I started to go up the stairs. I mean it was almost two decades ago and a Dhampir/Moroi marriage would have been such a scandal. nothing to worry about." added my mother finally. She stopped talking for a minute. Be careful Abe…Angry Janine can be dangerous." "But I'm her father!" Abe snapped angrily. She looks all tough and brave but she is much more sensitive than she lets people see. I'm sorry but I can't help to connect the events. very well." "Are you blaming me?" He asked and I could hear the hurt in his voice. My mom was not kidding when she said that Abe wanted to assume. she is my daughter after all…My only child. "It's because I never really tried to fool you. "Well you came here yesterday unannounced and today she is so drunk she passed out in Ivashkov's room. "Well you don't know her Abe. I helped you get her back. "And you agreed with me then." They stayed silent for a minute or two. "Rose is…" I could hear my mother sharp intake of breath. I felt bad. "You are her genitor! It doesn't make you her father. The last thing I heard was my mother saying. Talk about timing! It was a brief text from Adrian saying that they were all waiting for me in Christian's room." I was shocked. "Indigestion? Right! I know my daughter and she has a strong stomach! And I know you well. ." He said his voice cold too. "I didn't leave because I didn't love you anymore." She said and her tone was getting cold. slightly pleased. now I was the cause of a fight between my mom and dad…I really was bad luck. Letting you go was my way of saying I love you." I had barely closed the door behind me when my phoned beeped in my pocket." "I know but letting you go didn't mean that I stopped loving you or that I didn't love the little baby you were carrying. I was getting uncomfortable and decided I needed to go now." I could hear the sincerity in her voice.
They were hard with a small 'I-told-you-so' in depth of them." Tried Eddie grimacing. "You know how much I want to believe it's possible…but it's just folklore. It startled me and I could feel a faint wave of jealousy coming from Lissa. I knew she was the only one who would never judge me. She felt bad I failed once more. She thought deep down that she could not survive me becoming one of them…her enemy. I just hoped I'd have some friends left when I get done. filled with love and mutual trust. The only thing I left out what my visit to prison last night and Adrian didn't intervene so I guessed he agreed with me that it was not a necessity at this point. "But I witnessed it first hand!" I said in a last plea. Strigoi Dimitri was unable to love and I would have seen the difference. Lissa looked more and more incredulous.There was no turning back now. "I guess there is silver stakes but you know…that's pretty slim though." He snorted. at least I hoped so. bedtime stories just like the story that say dhampirs actually could have babies together with the right spell but that Moroi kept the secret because they were scared dhampirs would not protect them anymore. "Well I spent about 10 days with him and no matter how close of Di…mitri he could be there was this coldness to him that was unmistakable of what he became" I said having some trouble to breathe. There were so many emotions coming out of her. "What then?" Tried Christian as he probably realized I was lost in my thought. I still remembered our pretty heated make out sessions when the only thing I wanted was for him to make love to me but it was maybe a good thing…no! it was surely good thing that he refused to do it as it wouldn't have been like the first time. "I know" I whispered mostly keeping my eyes on Lissa who seemed to be frozen on the spot. It would have been based on his basic need and want. she was scared I would run off again but she was even more frightened by the thought that Dimitri could show up and turn me into a Strigoi." I met Adrian's eyes. She was not jealous of the fact that we might become an item because she knew that it was out of the question for both of . "You see while I was…kidnapped" I said the last word not able to help the faint blush to gain my cheeks because even if I was high with Strigoi endorphins most of the time. I was probably trying to convince them as much as I was trying to convince myself. the whole Victor issue. I just told them everything about what Oksana told me. Chapter 8: "I'm sorry Rose but do you know how crazy that sounds?!" Asked Christian after a silence that seemed to last forever. the stake and Dimitri's note. "I know how bad you want it to be true but it's not. I shook my head trying to get rid of the stupid flashes in my head." He sighed and squeezed my hand. "What do you mean?" asked Lissa finally getting out of her torpor. I bit my bottom lip thinking on how I could mention the ring without sounding completely mental or cheap. "Rose come on you can't honestly consider that!" Said Christian coming to sit beside me on the desk. "No I'm not talking about silver stakes. "If it ever happened don't you think it would have been at least heard of? In like centuries. it was almost overwhelming. Christian instinctively reached for my hand and held it tightly between his. I'd rather kept the memory of our perfect first time burned in my mind forever." I said concentrating my attention on Lissa.
us." She said to him. I could not bare it and as mad as I was against Pavel he was right too." "I know…We know" said Lissa smiling but I could feel her heart break for me she desperately wanted to change subject. a feeling that she would never understand. I could never take one of them down in my fall. things I thought I'd never do. Christian let go of my hand and Eddie stood up and started to talk to him about Christian's training sessions. He was not my Dimitri exactly but he was close to it…so close it hurt." I said quickly glancing at Adrian and I felt guilty. I couldn't lose anymore of my friends. I forced a small smile "yeah you're probably right" I finally conceded. They probably thought I slept with Strigoi Dimitri. Lissa nodded I didn't know what he told them. my future was one thing…I could live with that but destroying theirs? Putting their lives in danger? No that I couldn't. . I mean…It's possible that the topic triggered a part of him that was. she was somehow shamefully jealous that we were sharing something special. maybe I needed to let that story in fairy tale land and concentrate on what was good in my life. "You take care ok?" I asked looking deep into his eyes trying to show him how much I'd miss him. believe it with all her heart as she wanted nothing more than see me happy and it almost made me cry. "I'll see you soon. what was the reason of his hasty departure but she didn't seem to think much of it. "But you see as we were chatting once. is still in him. heard it in his voice. he idly reached for my ring on the night stand. Destroying my life. No. Maybe it was because I finally saw first hand what kind of crazy terrible things I was ready to do on the name of love. I was the only one able to read through his pretence and that smile didn't reach his eyes. as he said I knew him better than anyone else. It never happened but it was not for lack of trying on my part. "Well guys it's time for me to go" said Adrian already at the door. The guys waived at him before concentrating on the training conversation again. I just decided to ignore their assumptions as I effectively did far worse than that. How strange was that? "Maybe…Maybe I was the subject matter. I already lost Adrian now and it hurt bad. "Ditto. I didn't know why but I was on the brink of crying. I looked at the four of them and sighed in defeat. Maybe Abe was right. But she felt terrible guilty to feel jealous of a connection that had been created over loss and pain." He said with a small smile full of sorrow. "I think I got it but… but I wonder if your friend Oksana wouldn't mind just listen to me about it because I want to be sure I got it right before giving it to you…We never know" she said grimacing. It was like my encounter with Dimitri didn't make me stronger as I thought it would but as far as my heart was concerned I actually felt weaker." Lissa shrugged slightly. kept it in his hand well…I swear I saw the longing and warmth in his eyes. "Oh you know the ring" said Lissa bringing me back to reality. "Well as soon as he touched that ring. I shook my head. "You bet" he said with his usual playful grin but he couldn't fool me. uneasiness on Eddies' face and Lissa's wonder. "I just…I just wanted to believe it so much." I started to say but I stopped when I saw a flash of pure fury in Adrian's eyes. She wanted to believe it.
not taking gloves. "I'll see you for dinner guys" she said almost running out making me laugh. "Yep. you can make a pass on Eddie." I replied mimicking his tone. How could I even go on without them? They were my family as much as my mother and father. "Long story but I'm pretty sure we'll hear it at dinner. "I'll see you later Hathaway." I said with a smile but it was slightly forced as I didn't know what to except. "You can call her now you know it's early afternoon there. "Come on buddy. it helped her deal with the whole Christian issue and that was good to take." "Really?" She asked and her exhilaration increased by the second. I'm already so close to it I added to myself. I knew that Oksana would be pleased to talk to Lissa and she even gave me her number in case any of us wanted to talk to her. That was what I liked about him. "What had happened between you and Adrian?" Asked Christian finally. I knew he wanted to say something but he just didn't know how to approach the subject. They were my brothers and sister. . "Well not that I want to kick you out Rose but…my students are waiting for me. Note to self." I said winking." "Eddie can you go meet them first and show them some moves I'll be over in 5 minutes. never used the 'you-go-girl' expression ever again. I did my best to hide my smile.I chuckled. "I give you a free card. let it out. Christian Ozera could be mysterious but the small sidelong glances every 5 seconds kind of gave him away. "You're going to pay for that right?" He asked teasing when he heard the scratching sound of the paper being ripped." "Have fun Castille." Said Eddie pretending to be offended." Asked Christian. he was always brutally honest. I was actually happy that Lissa concentrated on her magic for now. "You go girl!" I said feeling like a full force dork to have said something like that. Christian and I walked out slowly. I took my cell out of my pocket and scribbled Oksana number on a piece of paper I took from one of Christian's notebook. "Come on you could do worse!! I'm a good catch. "What's up with her?" Asked Christian apparently quite pleased to see her that enthusiastic." "Uh? Oh!! Yeah sorry!" I chuckled "I forgot. I love torturing kids…" he said with an evil laugh. "Ummmm no thanks" He said grimacing." Lissa burst into laugher taking the piece of paper from my hand. "Fine!" I said with overplayed exasperation. "Good" said Christian quickly glancing at the clock. I shook my head genuinely smiling now. "When do you think I could call her?" Asked Lissa and I could feel her excitation. "Yeah we wouldn't me turning into a whimper would we?" I asked teasing.
"Wait!!" I shouted running even faster or at least trying to. "He decided to let go." I looked at him astonished. I ran so fast that I had trouble breathing as I made it to the runway I could see that the plane was ready to go and the stewardess was about to close the door. "The hardest thing to do is watch the one you love. I barely made it and jumped to catch the door."He didn't take the 'Dimitri's still being around and me trying to save him' as well as you guys did" I said evasively." I said knowing how Christian loved to pick on Adrian. The Moroi woman saw me but decided to ignore me." "Thank you" I said starting to run as fast as I could to the runway hoping that his plane would not leave early. "Go now. "Uh? I thought you would lynch him." "But I know you care about him Rose" said Christian nicely "and…well letting go is one thing but the way we let go is what matters. I raised my finger asking a second trying to catch my breath." He give me a small smile. "We'll talk later" said Christian nudging me. "I…" I started. believe me." Said Christian pursing his lips." I said dismissively. You should tell him how you feel. "It will be better for your peace of mind and his too. my crazy side always made him laugh. "Can you asked the mentally challenged deaf chica to give us 5 minutes?" I asked finally once I could breath more or less normally. love someone else. Christian looked at his watch. He just nodded her out. "I see…. what you think exactly . I could see that as hard as he tried he couldn't help to smile. to move on and I think it's better for him. "You think he actually loves me?" "Don't you?" Asked Christian raising one eyebrow." I said starting to regret the fact that I let him walk away without a word. She glared at me while leaving the room. "Hey Idiot what part of 'wait' don't you understand?!" I said breathless glaring at her while getting on the plane. He has every right to move on and he is right we shouldn't let the past repeat itself. "No you still have 10 minutes and the runway is this way" he said pointing ahead. I didn't even notice walking beside him that we walked in the opposite direction of Christian's training and almost reached the end of campus. opening it fully again. explain yourself or you'll regret it. "Well who can blame him?" He added shrugging. "Rose?!" Asked Adrian incredulous getting off his seat looking at me as if I had 2 heads. Adrian couldn't stop his smile to grow bigger. . "I owe him that much." "He is gone now… It's too late anyways. Christian shrugged again.
"It hurts me to hurt you because the truth is that I care about you…of course I do! I care about you a lot more than I should. Adrian shrugged slightly concentrating on his glass again. I couldn't help to grin. "I know you…I know you feel bad for leaving. I'm stuck in the moment and I can't get out and… and I'm battling with some imaginary windmill but I cannot win. It's just enough to make us suffer and…" I took a deep breath as I could feel the tears starting to spring in my eyes. Adrian head shot up looking at me surprised. I drank eagerly. She quickly looked down rushing out in the other room.. I know you will be able to move on…" I gave him a small smile "you already did start while I was away with Avery and…" Adrian blushed slightly." I said with a humorless laugh. that's all. "I think you letting go is the best decision you could have taken. "I needed to talk to you before you left. "What do you want Rose?" He asked so distant that it wiped my smile away. "I know I didn't have time to cause irreparable damage to you and I feel grateful for that. "But you are not doing anything wrong. of course you are right."Look at me like that once more and you won't look at anyone else anytime soon do you copy that?" I asked with a threatening tone. they were darker now and he was trying to read through me." I meant it. what you should do… what I should have done…What…What he should have done" I finally admitted out loud. "No it's ok! I swear I'm almost done now. "I see" said Adrian playing with his glass of scotch. You are doing what is best. "And I'll be happy for you. I realized I meant every word. I knew Adrian inside out and he was always keeping his word. . "I think everything has been said" he replied sitting back. truly happy. "Because you are right." "What are you going to do now?" he asked with clear worry in his voice." I said serious now." I looked up and met his sharp eyes. "I guess that's.. maybe it's just because if I let go I'll take the time to think and I'll realize all the mistakes I made. "Avery was not---" I stopped him raising my hand. Maybe. I gave him a sad smile again. emptying it. looking at the ice cubes rolling in his glass. If she didn't turn out to be a totally crazy-psycho bitch you would have dated her and it would have been all good. Don't worry I'll make it quick" I said playing with the bottle as I was nervous. Adrian threw me a small bottle of water rolling his eyes. like you are breaking a promise" I said cocking my head to the side. "I'm sorry… truly sorry" I said looking away too now. "And I know… I know you'll meet a nice girl very soon and she is going to make you very very happy" I said not able to stop my voice from breaking. I looked at him while he poured himself another one." Adrian opened his mouth to say something but I begged him with my eyes not to and he closed it with a sigh of resignation. "You said it all but I didn't get the chance to speak. a lot more than I want to but I know it's not enough.
"See I'm not drunk and I still enjoyed it" I whispered against his lips." Adrian looked at me with begging eyes. "You surely can understand why she is reluctant to come here. I could see he was scared for me." I said before rushing out of the plane not waiting for his reaction.Yes she is" I said remembering how she took care of me back in Novosibirsk. I leaned down even more and kissed him softly. She opened the door while still on the phone and the mars bar I saw on her desk made my stomach growl and I almost jumped on it as a staving predator. She seemed…I don't know" Lissa shrugged. Lissa and I turned around simultaneously. "Rose!" I heard Adrian call just before entering the commons. "Oh here!" she said giving me the ring. Lissa eyes widened with surprised but she didn't say anything." She said chuckling. I walked to him and leaned down resting my shaking hands on each side of his face. She only had kindness in her eyes. "That was my goodbye. Take care and be happy. I quickly scanned Lissa's mind and located her in her room. "I think I'll try to stop fighting battles I can't win but I'll face it all and it will end soon" I smiled "by his death. so I ran there to meet with her. She is so sweet by the way. almost carefully as if he was breakable.. "What do you want…When the woman is starving she is staving" I said mouth full and it was pretty much a miracle that she actually understood. "So you see… They settled in the middle of nowhere. He kissed me back just as softly as I did. I'm confusing you right?" "No not really" I said as we left her room to go to the commons." "Yeah I really do" said Lissa with a small laugh.I shrugged dismissively. "I invited her to come here for a little while you know. I was chewing on half of it when Lissa hanged up. "They can be so old fashioned sometimes" she said and I understood she talked about me and Dimitri as well as her and Christian. "I thought you left?" Asked Lissa surprised. I did find another candy bar and almost squealed with happiness. for the spirit study. in a town where nobody would judge them. I was pretty sure I heard him shout my name but I was already far. "Like she really wanted to come but also was slightly reluctant." I grimaced slightly. I ate it in 3 bites and started to roam around the room for some more treats to eat." "Yeah. "Uh huh…" she shook her head. "You see well she is married with a dhampir. mine or maybe both. "I talked with Oksana. I looked deep into his eyes and did something I didn't plan to do. "Really Rose? Dinner is in 15 minutes.. . a dhampir 12 years older than her" I added uncomfortable to talk about someone else's love life especially where age difference was involved. healing my body and marks of shame without judging.
He…He showed me what real bravery was. I could have stopped him easily but I knew that public would not stop him from making a scene if he really wanted to make one and his face right now didn't predict anything good so somewhere quiet seemed the best." I smiled fondly remembering. "What a stupid fool! He taught me about life. "You had NO right to do that!" He said harshly pointing at me. mad or worried." "Okay I'll see you guys later. tell me you cared about me and 'free me'" he said with quoting fingers "and you really thought I would let it slide?" "Well yeah" I said looking around as he was talking a bit too loud for my liking. love. how I couldn't always be right. Adrian looked at me thoughtful for a long moment. "I didn't want us to part like that. I owe him that much." I said simply. he made me who I am. What did you mean by that?" He asked calmer apparently deciding to drop the Avery subject for now. not after everything we've been through". She could feel the tension and wanted to escape…Traitor. he then ran his hands in his hair as he did every time he was upset. By healing him or killing him but something has to be done. "I was just telling you that you already started to lose your interest in me when I was away and it was the smartest move and I know you're going to find the perfect woman soon that's all. almost impossible plan with so many variables." I shook my head. "There is a difference between dying for something you consider right or dying by pure stupidity. "I mean yeah I liked her to some extent but still…that's harsh! She was never you for me and you know it!" "I didn't throw Avery to your face!" I snapped and I was doing that. And that as tough as you seem to be. And…" I took a deep breath leaning against a tree. "So explain to me Rose please…Explain me what did he do that's worth giving your life for his soul?" He asked and I didn't hear judgment or even sarcasm in his voice. nobody is invulnerable." . honor and duty." Said Lissa almost running away.' "Rose I need to have a word with you." I added quietly. "And throwing Avery to the face?!" He continued. and I'm the one who has to do it. "But you said I was right. As soon as we made it about 50 yards into the small forest Adrian let go on my wrist and twirled around to face me. to some level. "He taught me that perfection didn't exist and that we just needed to be the best we could. It hurt me much more than I would have expected or wanted it to. "But you also have to understand that. "What?! Do what?!" I asked completely lost. And if you can't understand that well…you are not the man I thought you were. "He taught me everything. "I mean really you thought you could come in the plane kiss me. I thought I did a good thing by letting him go without guilt and he seemed mad. at the end of the day. It was not right."Well… My flight got delayed because of some storm we REALLY didn't see coming" he said trying to sound detached but I knew I was the 'storm. how courage was not the absence of fear. I will get my redemption by granting Dimitri with his. only wonder. "When he brought us back from Portland I thought I knew it all…" I shook my head and let out a humorless laugh. as I did feel tremendously jealous of her when he showed her this serious interest. "I…" I started when Adrian reached for my wrist and led me to a quieter area without a word." Was it really? I couldn't help to add to myself. "It was completely insane to rush into that.
"To help you understand I guess you can say that you are. like he knew I would take it badly. "So yeah I'll save his soul. Adrian detailed me apparently chagrined but I was not sure what it was about. always thinking about fun and partying until I met you. He saw some part of me that nobody else's ever did. Maybe by the fact that I didn't love him as much as he seemed to love me. "I'm going away tomorrow but I'll be back. "So if he was here you would want him to be safe right? To be happy?" "Of course" I said like it was the stupidest questions I had ever heard… and it probably was. you taught me far more about my heart and soul than anyone else in the past 21 years so I guess…Well" he stopped looking away. "You should go and eat Rose. My stomach rumbled again very loudly easing the tension. I just nodded." He said with so much urgency that it tightened my chest." he said finally looking at me again. He was…he just was. You are the only person that can read through my pretense. You taught me so much about love and life. maybe it was to realize how deeply ran the love I felt for Dimitri or even how I felt uncomfortable after he pulled his heart out for me…maybe it was a combination of all that. "So you have to understand me too Rose. He understood that part of me that I'm not sure I even understood myself. I told him to leave with Tasha for that reason. He gently brushed my cheekbone with his thumb pad without a word just staring into my eyes for a couple of second before letting go and taking the direction of the path. along with me." Adrian chuckled." Adrian nodded looking down putting his hands in his pockets.for me. I am older than you." He said with a small smile. "You should always tell me how you feel and …" I started to move from one foot to the other as I was uncomfortable. "But please while I'm away don't do anything stupid ok? Don't rush into anything. my 'Dimitri'. It was." I added getting embarrassed. even if it is to the price of my life because it was not a real life before I met him. the first time that someone became more important than my fun. I looked at him mouth wide open. "Dimitri…Dimitri lent me his strength when I needed it and I lent him mine. and still is. letting his lips on it a bit longer than necessary.I looked at Adrian and I could see the pain in his eyes even if he was trying his best to hide it. "You take care too ok?" I said to his retreating form. "No…No it's all good" I said trying to sound at ease. "I promise" I said looking up." He replied not even turning back taking the way of the guest pavilion. . I know how irrational you become when you're hungry. to some extent. I always took life lightly. "Always. reach this part of me that nobody else ever could. I was his Dimitri? Really? No I couldn't be!! He sighed "I shouldn't have said that" he said and I could see he was cursing himself. It was what he valued the most. I was about to apologize again even if I had no reason to but I felt like I had to for some peculiar reason but Adrian talked before giving me the chance. Be safe…. but in the 6 months I've known you. He gave me a small smile and kissed my forehead.
much more than anything else. "I'm taking care of the coffee" I said to him before getting out of the room leading into a very massive. but last night was completely different. I stayed in bed for a little while looking at the ceiling. I swirled around briskly and my heart jumped in my chest because it was not the strigoi version of the man I loved with every fiber of my being that was standing in front of me no. "Hey" I said with a sleepy voice. "No no my lil'dhampir we don't have time to go back to sleep" said Adrian with a small laugh. I slightly turned in his embrace to face him. threatening…a Strigoi.Chapter 9: When I woke up that morning. "Honestly Rose I'm really disappointed in you. "Hello beautiful" he said against my neck and it was not Dimitri like it had been so many time before. his perfectly tanned skin.. . I opened my eyes. I was about to reach for the kitchen door when a voice behind me startled me. it was the real him! "Dim." He added kissing the tip of my nose. Usually Dimitri was frightening. In that dream. when the alarm clock started to beep annoyingly. a new type of dream that I hope I never have again." He said standing straight about 10 feet from me. I was thinking on how much I loved him. I felt a manly arm tighten around my waist and I couldn't help but smile. even if it was just an echo of the love I had been able to give. I looked back into his deep chocolate eyes. The man beside me started to kiss my neck making me moan. I brought my hand to his cheek brushing it lovingly. I was making him happy and he brought me peace and love…What else could I have asked for? I closed my eyes again with a small smile on my lips. I was still in love with him and in his eyes there was only joy and love. how he healed my heart and that.. It was really him. kissed him hard before getting out of bed. if it was up to me we would never leave that bed but Lissa is graduating today…She needs you there. As I started to emerge. I nodded giving up. "I thought you liked being in bed with me" I said eyes still closed.Dimitri? I…How…" I looked around but Adrian was nowhere to be found. I moved slightly to snuggle closer in the warm body beside me. No. I didn't know what I wanted to do…burst into tears or broke someone's neck since what I was feeling was so intense. "Really Rose…That's the life you want to lead?" Said a deep voice that I would probably recognize till my last breath. it was Adrian. "But why?" I let out in a cry. "You know I do. I was lying in bed. It's not everyday you graduate from University. Those words hurt me so deep. luxury living room. It was the kind of feelings that only a good cry or a good fight could ease. It had been almost a week since I last dreamt of Dimitri and like a reminder I dreamt of him last night and that one was brutal! It was not like the dreams I had since I came back.
changed into my sweats and training shirt. diploma in hand. I said as an excuse. "Well how lucky I am!! Miss Hathaway honored me with her presence today" said Stan with a snort as I walked into the gym." Tears started to fall down my cheeks. I looked down and saw the completely insanely huge diamond on my ring finger. Yeah I needed a good fight as I didn't want to cry anymore. Adrian was behind me with his arms wrapped around me possessively. sad. The Dimitri beside me was the real one. "It's not happening. I looked to us and couldn't help but gasp when I locked eyes with his reflection. I was standing in my graduation gown. tanned. He was smiling brightly and his eyes were full of pride. tightened my hair into a high ponytail. "That's already better than yesterday!" . "Honestly Rose you promised me! And now you're letting me wander the world like that!" He said pointing to his reflection. warm.. "Is it why you broke your promise to me Rose? Is he the reason why you let me down?" He asked and I could hear both accusation and sadness in his voice. "I mean…. his cheek brushing mine. A sadness that was probably still there now. alive but the one in the mirror was sickeningly white.. the eyes cold and ringed with red…it was the Strigoi version of Dimitri." He took a picture frame on the coffee table and showed it to me. I need to find peace. I quickly jumped out of bed. "Do you think I wanted to be like that?" He asked still facing the mirror." He said this time turning me around so I could face the 'real' Dimitri. "I mean Rose explain me what made you give up your life as a guardian to become Adrian Ivashkov fiancée?" He asked pointing to my left hand." "No I---" Dimitri closed the distance between us in a second and put his hands on my shoulders to make me face the full size mirror on the wall. "I thought we were special. splashed some cold water on my face to wash off the reminder of that torturing dream and rushed to the gym. and all the pictures of Adrian and I in different places. not a wimp. to have my redemption. "That's precious!" he said sarcastically. "How could you do that? How could you let me down? I'm…I'm like that because of you Rose if we didn't go to rescue them. I cried enough and it was not me. "I love you Rose please…please save me. Today I literally considered training as a blessing since I needed it more than ever before. feeling angry. I didn't think while fighting and it was good.I'm just dreaming". I was always happy to train so it was the one hour when I truly felt in peace with myself. I'd still be here. He was leaning down resting his chin on my shoulder. my silk pajamas. I was tough." He added and there was pure pain in his eyes. ashamed and most of all I felt like I was betraying my one love. I was smiling too and I had my empty hand resting on his arms around me but there was some sadness deep in my eyes. I'm. That was when I woke up. "It's---" I started. "Your will is already wavering isn't it? I thought you were brave…" He took a deep breath. "No it didn't happen yet but it will…Sooner than you think. Don't you see it? It already started. On the picture."Is that the life you want to lead? Really?" He said gesturing around. that you loved me and…and you moved on. "Let me guess…Not what I think? Complicated? What you had to do?" He said with a playful smile. guilty.
"You are just a waste of time. I give you a freebie" I winked. not to fuel the fire. "Let's fight. . "You want to play? Let's play!" "Is that what you said to your mom last night?" I had the time to ask before he launched at me. "Come on…it will be a secret I won't tell anyone." Stan laughed. "Tell me Stan. It hit home.I rolled my eyes with exasperation. It hurt bad!! Probably since Dimitri said exactly the same thing in my dream. for the first time in my life." I was pretty sure that pure fury crossed my face at this instant. "Say the guy who is 30 and only has 1 molnija! Was it a natural death? Did the Strigoi actually killed himself because he was tired to hear you talk? Well…You know what we say don't you? The one who can't do. I would have an ugly bruise in the morning. He tried a sidekick but I blocked it with my forearm. "What's your twig with me Alto? Bad time of the month?" I asked with my sarcastic grin meaning 'screw-you' in Rose Hathaway language. it's like fighting with a cripple " I said laughing. "Come on dude make it believable. Deal?" I asked with a teasing tone." He said taking an attacking stance. I could see incertitude on his face. teach. How does it feel to know that I'm better in my bad days than you in your best?" Stan snorted. I tried my best not to show him to what extent his words touched me but he was going to pay for it and I swore to myself that he was going to feel it. "Ok but don't go crying when I'll break bones novice" he said with an malicious smile. It was harder than I thought and I stumbled a bit. I forced a laugh. "Old habits die hard I see?" He added with clear reprobation in the voice. He didn't manage to avoid my next punch and he grimaced under the pain as I was pretty sure I partially dislocated his jaw." I saw the anger increase on his face and knew I touched his soft spot. really fight! No rules… no limits. "Unless… Unless you know I'm going to annihilate you and you're too chicken to have it proven fair and square. "Good morning to you too guardian Alto. "You know what. If one of us say 'enough' he loses." I said still circling him. I was very very touchy today already and Stan Alto would be a real challenge. "You had potential but you keep wasting it with your attitude…" He shook his head. I dodged him quite easily punching his left side making him wince. "So you're not drunk today?" He asked coming to stand in front of me. "I knew people like you couldn't change" he added so smug it took all the self control I had left not to jump on him. I knew he was tempted but he was not that hot to go against school policy. "I see…your problem is jealousy" I said as we started to circle each other. "They see you as a little hero now but they'll figure out you're phony soon enough. Belikov would be so disappointed in you. I decided." I said going to stand at the center of the training mat.
My shirt was ripped and covered in blood. "You hit like a girl!" I said as we started circle each other again. He maybe called quit I didn't know but I only stopped hitting him when a strong hand pulled me away.' Stan and I just looked at Pavel without a word. The blood started to flow and that's when I really lost it. Pavel looked at me with pursed lips. "He wants to see you now. Man we really went far didn't we? I asked myself silently walking outside." Stan launched again but I twirled on myself so I faced his back and pushed him like a kid in the sandbox. Well I could imagine the picture. I only had the time to see his fist connect with my nose and heard the sickening crack. I knew it was petty but I wanted to humiliate him since he was trying to humiliate me by denigrating my whole training with Dimitri. "It was my fault" I said trying to stand up. "I'm getting bored Alto. Stan was half undress. "You're a guardian for god sakes!" Said Pavel to Stan. and as he probably didn't expect me to continue fighting with a broken nose and blood all over me. he fell backward very easily when I jumped on him. "Mr.Seeing the shame you are to Belikov's training" he said obnoxiously." I groaned with both annoyance and pain. I started to punch him over and over again. "Say the guy that nobody want as a guardian so he sucks. "Let me just find Lissa then. a cut lip." I said with a light bow. she will heal that in no time…I hope I can just avoid the full interrogatory. I think I'll go fight with a preschooler. It was hard enough to take my breath away but I was too proud to let him see the pain. I nodded to him. my hair was half down and even if my nose was not bleeding that much I was pretty sure I could run for 'Miss Psycho. I already got beaten up a lot more than that in my life… unfortunately. threw a quick look at Stan who was still breathless on the floor. "Yeah well I'm giving what you can take…. a purple mark on the left side of his jaw and a brand new black eye. "Are you two crazy?!" Shouted Pavel astonished." Said Pavel matter of factly." He added reaching for my gym bag on the floor. He took the towel on the floor and threw it to me so i could wipe my face. I pushed him over the edge. I'll get more action. I ignored his outreached hand and winced standing up. Pavel sighed with exasperation letting his hand fall to his side. his brown hair a real mess.He automatically replicated with an uppercut in the stomach. I could see some blood dripping from the arch of his eyebrow. Mazur wants to see you" he said reaching for my hand to help me up. "We…We can't let your father see you like that. I probably didn't look much better. How could we justify ourselves? "I…" He shook his head. "He'll go crazy and believe me I wouldn't want to be Alto if he ever found out. I was too full of myself and didn't expect him to get his balance back that fast. I wanted us to fight." . I just blocked the pain. Stan was a dick yeah but a good teacher.
" Adrian narrowed his eyes in suspicion letting me in closely followed by Pavel. "I---" He started again. Even if I wanted to confide in someone Pavel would be at the bottom of the list. "I truly don't give a shit about what you think" I added walking my back at him hoping he wouldn't see through my pretense. "I don't hate you Hathaway" he finally let out. "You'll never guess who is the president of the club! Queen bitch herself yes sir!! Well wait it's Queen Tatiana for you I guess" I said with my wide sarcastic and sufficient smile. What the hell what she doing there so early? What the heck was Adrian up to? It was like a miracle to have him up by lunchtime so now? An hour before class? It was total science fiction and I didn't like that. "You have many members here on school ground but it would take hours to give you every name. swollen lip and dried blood all over my face and shirt. I think Adrian Ivashkov might join it very soon but wait for it" I said with an overplayed cheerful tone. I was sure I looked drop dead gorgeous with my broken nose. every word was true. I knocked at Adrian's door and when he opened he paled at least 2 shades on his already ultra white skin…Boy I surely looked hideous! I chuckled trying to ease the anxiety in his eyes. I just need a quick healing and…" I looked down at my shirt "and maybe you can lend me one of your shirt" I grimaced. I shrugged dismissively." I laughed hiding my discomfort. What did you say?" "I asked you if you wouldn't mind telling me what happened in there?" He asked walking by my side mostly following my lead. "Why did you guys fight?" I snorted. "Sorry I was trying to locate Lissa. "I guess I've got my answer" grumbled Pavel beside me. "Stan Alto is a pretty active member. "No I mean it! I don't hate you and what I said to you in the plane was out of line" he said with a tone that seemed sincere enough. and figured that his words touched me far more than I wanted them to. he has been for years!!" Pavel stopped to look at me. "Uh?" I asked coming back to reality. "Oh so they don't introduce you to each other once you joined the club?" I asked evasively. "Honestly dude whatever. I couldn't say what he was thinking staring down at me with his damn sunglasses." I said walking a bit faster to reach the guest building. "The club?" "Yeah I thought that each new member of the 'I-hate-Rose-Hathaway' club was introduced to the others. it looks worse than it is." I said reaching Adrian's floor. ." "It's not for that I'm apologizing. "I just…Well sometime I get a bit--" "It was totally right. I was just too foolish to see it" I said opening the door of the building. "It doesn't matter anyways. "I'll send it back to the Court no worries. "Let's drop it k? I swore Abe would never find out and he never will.I quickly scanned Lissa's mind and was startled to find her in Adrian's room. "Don't worry buddy." He insisted.
"Well thanks guys" I said to Lissa and Adrian still super curious on why she was there but I guessed I would find out later on. "There is a shirt for you in the bathroom" said Adrian still eyeing me suspiciously. "Are you leaving? Why so soon?" I asked him trying to sound as detached as I could. "Anytime" she said smiling apparently relieved to be useful to me which was totally insane if only she knew how useful she was every minute of every day for my broken heart. Adrian was now relocking his suitcase as he probably opened it to give me the shirt. Dimitri did have a point in my dream. I was getting uncomfortable as we got closer. They all had lives and it was just naïve to expect anything more. He was looking at him coldly like if he was investigating. Lissa looked at me shocked for a second. I smiled guiltily to her before locking eyes with Adrian. "Thanks" I said kissing her forehead. She was doing some figure on the bench she lost her concentration and fell flat on her face. "Yeah I came in the room without warning while they were training. "Life continues you know. "I have some business to attend" he said dismissively. But still it was only 3 days since he came. I hugged Lissa whispering to her ear that she needed to find Stan and heal him too. I just took a deep breath and walked to the bathroom. I almost snapped at him that he was not my mother but it was not worth it. I was losing my way. Pavel nodded to them before leading me out down to Abe's room." "Uh huh" said Adrian clearly not convinced but I couldn't comment as Lissa was healing my lip now. I washed my face to remove the dry blood. Are they all leaving me? I asked to myself stupidly. She chortled rolling her eyes. I really wondered why he wanted to see me that early in the day. I tried to put some order in my hair and tighten it in a ponytail. Well it was not like I didn't end up hurt before. As soon as I walked in I saw Abe fully dressed ready to go. not suspecting much more. not today not ever. "Training" I said with a little guilty smile. I removed my shirt and threw it in the bin."Lissa I need you !!" I said trying to sound as teasing as I could. "Is that so?" Asked Adrian to Pavel." . Lissa was done within minutes. I knew at this instant that if I asked him to stay he would and things would change but I wouldn't ask him to stay. "Stan did this to you?" she asked directly in my mind. put Adrian shirt that looked more like a summer dress on me than a shirt. Pavel looked at me for a second and nodded.
I hoped he would be a part of my life forever. "Do I even want to know?" Asked Abe pointing to the way I was dressed. I could see the worry cross his face. That brought tears in my eyes. I realized that now that I found him…or rather he found me. I never EVER imagined that Abe could be affectionate too. "Yeah I know. I won't look for trouble. I've been foolish and reckless enough for a lifetime. Afterward he did something that I never saw coming. "And you really need to take care of yourself Rose. Abe smile progressively swept away. We'll see each other again…soon" he added. follow the right path. He then gave me an half smile but frowned detailing my clothes. "I really do enjoy your candor you know that?" He shook his head still having a smile on his face. "I see…'' Said Abe raising an eyebrow. "But…'' I bite my bottom lip not sure on how to say things without sounding like a brat. Abe pursed his lips thoughtful probably trying to read my face. whatever small that part might be. "I'll do my best" I said with a small smile reaching up to squeeze the hand that what on my shoulder. "I'm not crazy you know" I said standing straighter "Maybe a little impaired right now but I will get back to how I used to be eventually. not really. the one that is set in front of you don't…don't sway. . just the beginning. All those things were changing me and I would never be the girl I used to be. Well it was nice to meet you" I said with a smile. It was far more a prayer than an order and it was the only thing that really stopped me from snapping at him." I was not sure it was a good thing myself and I knew well enough that I would never be the fearless Rose i once were. "No. "It's not the end of it. and that kiss brought some fatherly love in my life. whatever. "You take care ok?" "We'll see each other again Kazim" he smiled." "I guess" I said starting to look around his room as I was getting a bit uncomfortable with the building intimacy of the moment." I said sincerely. And being the damaged girl I was I only managed an 'ok cool'. "You have to be safe for me" he added in a whisper. "But don't worry about me. he bent down and kissed my forehead. Abe shot a quick gaze to Pavel who shrugged." He added walking to me resting his hands on my shoulders. You have to be prudent for them. I looked down and saw some faint drops of blood on my sweat pant and it was clear that the navy blue shirt I was wearing was not mine for many obvious reasons as it was a Ralph Lauren man polo stopping just above my knees which would be very hazardous for a fight. "Your friends…your mother as more fragile than they seem to be. "I wanted to tell you goodbye and tell you that I'm not abandoning your or anything.I give him a tired laugh. I looked up to meet his eyes that were the exact same shade than mine and nodded." I said doing my best not to add that trouble was stalking me anyways and that even if I stayed here my personal living nightmare was going to find me. "Why did you want to see me?" Abe jerked back a little before bursting into laugher." He said the voice urgent yet not commanding. And I needed it!! Needed it so much.
They are not freaky…they are beautiful. It was probably because everything was changing so much around me that I wanted so much to have some constancy in my life or maybe it was because I loved the way I could see myself through his eyes. I expected Pavel to snap at me. I was still waiting on Christian to comment on it. I still took a few minutes to talk to Pavel. "Call me if you need anything or if you… just want to talk" he said and I could see he was as uncomfortable in his new father role than I was in my daughter's one. it was much more relevant to my mom and father youth than anything else. change and grab something to eat. "This is my private cell number. His phone started to vibrate on the coffee table and as he reached for it I realized the moment was over.He nodded resigned and reached for a paper on the table. getting on his high horse. maybe because he realized that it hurt me to see both Abe and Adrian leave me. only few people have it. you shouldn't hide them. Adrian and now Abe…. My first class was bodyguard technique and after missing it yesterday I was sure to get my ass kicked if I showed up even 2 minutes late. I sighed and sat on my bed. Mason. "I'll see you soon. "Thank you" I said reaching up giving him an awkward hug. Well to be fair the two last ones told me they would be back eventually but. Chapter 10: It has been 5 days now that both Adrian and Abe left me and I couldn't help to see that had become a pattern in my life. . Maybe all the terrible memories and experiences we shared finally connected us on such a deep level that we could recognize the pain and anguish hidden in each other more than anyone else's could. "If anything happens to him I swear to God that I'll hunt you down and kill you with my bare hands" I said glaring trying to sound as threatening as I could. "You take care of him ok?" I asked in a hiss. I didn't know much myself and the details I gathered during my spying and close studying of my mother and him while they were talking was not something that needed to be shared with Lissa." I added and couldn't help but chuckle when I saw the shock cross his face." "Of course" he said with his trademark grin. It was better anyways because I only had 30 minutes left before class and I needed to shower. Looking at his eyes was as surprising the second time around but I tried to keep my face blank. "And for your eyes. "I swear on my life and honor that I'll do anything in my power to keep him safe Rose. I had a chat about Abe being my father with Lissa but honestly there were not much to be said about it. I was hurt because he didn't even visit my dreams…not even once!! So much for loving me. but he didn't yet. a lot more than he used to…actually a lot more than anybody else. it has been complete silence and even if it angered me to recognize it Adrian silence was hurting far more than expected. Christian seemed to be so receptive to me. "Bye" I said before running back to the dorm." He said seriously. Every man I cared about always left me in a way or another." He said giving it to me. "Good" I said surprised that he called me Rose. I walked to the door but turned around just before opening it. except a quick call from Abe three days ago to check on me. but he just smiled taking off his sunglasses to look me in the eyes. Dimitri.
Oksana had a little package for me. accepted Lissa's invitation to come to help her…us with the Spirit. I turned to leave when I heard a quick knock at my door. "No I mean whatever crazy plan you are putting together. "Fuck curfew!" I said jumped out of my jeans putting my sweats and tightening my trainers. You're not superman…. She arrived in the morning and. even if I was happy to see her and Mark." Said Christian with a sure voice walking into my room before I even invited him in. In addition to that unwanted trip down memory lane. So close to curfew it had to be a guardian." He said a smile playing on his lips "but I know that. you will not be able to do it on your own and well…" he pointed to his chest.You can't save anyone. I opened the door to someone I didn't expect. as charming as they were. run till I was too tired that I felt my brain was in a haze. "I'm in.well at least as far as my sanity was concerned. you can't even save yourself I said to myself now looking at the alarm clock. I had felt Lissa's pain for me. "I told you the pony club would accept you after all… you just needed to believe" I added with a grin. I quickly looked at the package again and shook my head.Moreover Lissa was very excited over the last two days because Oksana. I needed to get tired. very much to my surprise. "Please come in" I said sarcastically closing the door. "I've got a pretty good idea yeah.. I could see it would be one of those nights. I couldn't help but feel a little stabbing pain in my chest as they recalled me. We decided to meet again tomorrow since. "So…" "I'm in" he said turning around looking at me with a determined expression. It was only 40 minutes from curfew… Too late to go and run laps. I instinctively looked at my desk now where the package was resting unopened and kept my eyes on it like I had a super X ray vision. I knew that dealing with a 13 hours time difference was giving you one bitch of a jet lag. the one were I stayed awake thinking about things I shouldn't think about. reliving moments that was making my heart break every time. of my time in Russia. I was not ready to open it and I knew it. we could see that they were both dead tired…Well. "I see!" I said not really knowing where he was going. "Do you know how insane this sounds?" I asked looking deep into his eyes trying to figure out if he was drugged or drunk or even possessed…Yeah I watched Supernatural the night before. "I…what?!" I asked completely dumbfounded sitting beside him. I frowned and quickly glanced at the alarm clock again. a package from the Belikovs' and. as she handed it to me. Christian was standing by my desk looking down to the package thoughtful. . so tired I would fall to sleep and the best way I knew how was to run…run till my muscles hurt.. not that I forgot anyways. Even…even if it's helping the crazy psycho to escape" he added sitting on my bed. it really didn't help to deal with my own pain. and in some ways it was true. I'm in. whatever the plan might be. Christian rolled his eyes but couldn't help to smile too. Run… Run like my life was depending on it.
"Listen" he walked to me." I turned round and looked at the box too. "Don't be so proud Rose." He added not bitter. It was a letter written by Olena. . I threw him a reprobating glance but smiled. Dear Rose. "I'm not saying that you already have it all figured out but I know you will soon enough and you can't do it alone… whatever it is. I hope you'll liked the cardigan I knitted for you. "K I need to get out before the matron annoys me because I'll have the obligation to set her ass on fire well… it's probably the only way she has to get hot anyways. it was just like he was stating a fact. It's the exact same than the one Viktoria had and that you liked so much. He knew perfectly that he was the black sheep of the Moroi world and he couldn't care less. The time would come when I'd need someone and lets face it Christian was the only one that was more an asset than a weight. As soon as I opened it. I hope things are getting better for you back home. I know that nobody could appreciate it or take care of it the way that you will. I saw a grey knitted piece of fabric. Once he opened the door he turned around and pointed to my desk. not because of me. he was right…of course he was right.I shook my head and stood up. resting his hands on my shoulders. back to your friends…the people you always knew. Nobody ever chocked swallowing their pride. You need the constancy in your life now more than ever. humility can sometime be life saving. "that's not me! I'm the Strigoi wannabe remember? The doggy poop stuck under Lissa golden shoe. Christian was really becoming my best friend and that's something I would have never EVER imagined. I took it out and unfolded it carefully it was a nice cardigan. Everything came with a price right? "And even if I did…which I'm not" I specified again. "And what a great addition to my 'crazy black sheep' resume: Accomplice of baby mobster!!" He said with his goofy grin." I wanted to say something but he cover my mouth wit his hand. I nodded as he was right." He added with a grin. A piece of paper was folded in it. "I… I'm not working on any plans really" I said sincerely as I was so lost at the time being and I knew that whatever the decision I would take it would have its consequences. You'll need help and I'm offering it so please consider it. "I…" I bit my bottom lip. "No matter how long you are going to wait to open the box it will hurt just the same. I looked at him rolling my eyes but I couldn't laugh as I didn't want him to get hurt. I also sent you the black knitted scarf that was Dimka's favorite." He added urgently. "it would be insane to mix you up in that I mean…Come on it would be dangerous and it could ruin your future." "Yeah!! I mean my reputation in the Moroi world is so stellar already…oh no wait…" He said pretending to think. pride only bring disgrace. I sighed and opened the box with shaky hands.
How could I ever say those things to you? I'm so sorry Rose! Please forgive me. I was already pretty emotional after reading Olena's letter and I didn't know if I really wanted to know what Viktoria had to say since we didn't really ended things as BFFs. Oh by the way Sonya had the baby it's a little girl She was named after you and Dimitri. I folded the scarf and cardigan very carefully and looked what was left in the box. you were right all along! Rolland was just a filthy little … But I refused to see it and all you did was looking out for me. Yeva asked me to give you a message and I quote ( I don't get it myself but I wouldn't hear the end of it if I didn't do it) Here it goes: "Every tale has a part of truth in it.B. the old witch thought I had a big heart? Well I didn't see that one coming I really thought she was about to join the 'I-hate-rose' club. trying to protect me just like Dimka would have. My eyes filled up with tears as I took the very soft warm scarf out of the package. On the bottom left. clear writing but it was clear that Viktoria didn't inherit it. apparently I was wrong. "Wow…" I whispered looking at the letter. I sighed. don't let go of a path because the others think it won't lead you anywhere. Rose. I squinted my eyes trying to read it. Just know that we love you and that you'll always have a home here in Baia. I wrapped the scarf around my neck and breathed hard.N: Before you can say anything i know a Russian girl whose first name is Dimka. I looked up. apparently you really are one of a kind (not that I ever doubted that). I was not sure you ever wanted to hear from me again not after…not after the horrible things I said to you. I'm mortified just rethinking about it. (A. You were right. Olena. Sometime bravery is to take the . I would not blame you if you didn't want to have anything to do with me again but Yeva…Yeva told me I should write to you since you have a big heart and if anyone could understand words said out of anger it was you. You are welcome home whenever you want to. it's not that uncommon =D) Take care of you Love. I can't wait to start junior year to really get into bodyguard training I wish I could fight like you. and I said all these mean things I didn't even mean because of course I see you as a sister!! And how could I even say you were jealous?! After you told me what you and Dimka shared it's just…unforgivable I know that.' . It was not as bad as Adrian's hieroglyphic writing but it was pretty close. Dennis told everything to Nikolai.Yeva and Abe explained us that you had to leave and we understand believe me. I hesitated for a little while. her name is Dimka Roza Belikova. "Dimitri" I whispered in it. Anyways life at school is going fine. Olena had such a neat. 'Sorry' actually doesn't even beginning to express how bad I feel. eyes closed. there were little initials embroidered 'D. There was an envelope with my name and I could easily recognize Viktoria writing. Well I had to do it eventually.
It would have to wait till tomorrow to do the research." I said to him in a hush tone. It's…it's non sense!" I added shaking my head regretting to have said I wanted him in. try to come up with a viable plan then maybe. "Maybe we can try to research first. not 'killed' but 'destroy'.. shadow kissed. Eddie included.road to nowhere. And only maybe we would act. I couldn't stay mad at her. Xoxo Vik. Well I look forward to hear from you but as I said before I would totally understand If you didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore. I yawned loudly. Follow your intuition for the ultimate gift…his Soul" What did she mean? This message and my Dimitri dreams made things pretty clear. had. Rhonda did tell me that I was going to destroy what was undead." . "We're going to have so much fun together. I knew only too well what having a temper made you do or say sometime.It can destroy us. What did Victor say…His brother was in the land of kielland or something like that whatever that meant.. "Hey hey… chill Rose" he said tightening his grip on my hand causing some curious looks from the other students. "I'm glad you did" he said grinning. "I accept your offer.. maybe we didn't spend that much time together but you took a place in our hearts and in our lives. It was too late for me to write back. Yeva words replayed in my head over and over again 'Every tale has a part of truth in it. I hope you forgive me Rose because despite what I could have said you truly are a sister to me." "It's serious Chris. Sometime bravery is to take the road to nowhere. "You told me you got some hints on where that Robert dude might be well…" he shrugged. I was still a bit confused in the morning but thank god Lissa did almost all the talking as she was overly excited with Oksana being around. As we left the commons I caught Christian's hand. Follow your intuition for the ultimate gift…his Soul" Whatever that means. She gave me her email address. I was rather pleased too. If I did made the reversion of the Strigoi state real and widely known we could get back the people we love…make Strigoi number drop and increasing ours in the same time. there was a way to save his soul and I needed to find it. As I laid on top of the cover.. I got out of his grip and crossed my arms on my chest. I was tired but I would do it first thing in the morning. Maybe Mark could tell me a bit more about the abilities that us. We planned to meet in one of the guest lounge after class to discuss the whole bound issue just the four of us so Lissa left before the end of breakfast to make sure we could have a lounge in the afternoon. and to be honest. don't let go of a path because the others think it won't lead you anywhere. Maybe there was something I could use in my attempt to save Dimitri's soul maybe… maybe Mark did try to get in the black hole i saw in the plane. Tomorrow was going to be a long emotional day and I needed all the rest I could get.
. At the end of the day. "You can count on it Ozera" I said back. I pulled Christian aside against the wall. He perfectly knew that even with his clue I would not go anywhere…Evil son of a bitch! I wrote a quick email to Viktoria during my free period telling her that I wasn't mad anymore and I asked her to thank her mother for the sweet presents and Yeva for. we still had 10 minutes before classes started. "I'm sorry" I said quickly looking up my smile fading away." I said sincerely as we resumed to walk. "Kielland like in Alexander Kielland the author?" Asked Christian I gave him my best 'dude-what-the-fuck' face. "Good for him! but if that's true Robert would be in Norway and that sucks ass because it's a big country I mean like what …100." "Kielland…kiellan…" whispered Christian thoughtful. The day went fast and I actually was happy to meet with Oksana and Mark tonight even if it would stir that part of me I wanted to forget. when I literally ran into someone.. I quickly looked at the clock on the wall. "Well…148. I couldn't say anything." I said loosing hope. "He was a very famous Norwegian author" he specified.." "Thank you Chris. I had no right to be angry at him for not giving me any news in his 6 days away. I like when you and I collide. "See you later Hathaway" he added taking the corridor on the left. "You really are a brainiac aren't you?" I asked somehow impressed "or only an encyclopedia of random useless facts?" "A bit of both I think" he said sticking his tongue out.746 to be exact" said Christian dismissively. walking into my own personal hell…Calculus. "Why did you come back?" I asked and realized the answer while I was asking the question." He said with a wide grin. "That's alright my little dhampir.for being well.. "You are honestly asking me? I mean really?" Christian chuckled and shook his head. I was rushing to the guest pavilion. "That's what fighting partners are here for" he said elbowing me playfully.I was not entitled to.I wanted to hug him. I looked at him lips pursed. to thank him to be such a good friend but people would get the wrong idea and I really didn't need more things said about me.. only Victor could help me out.. "Victor told me that that his brother was in the land of kielland or kiellan or something like that. Christian did find out that the only Kielland that made sense was the author he thought of earlier and it made me slightly sullen as now I was sure. It would be impossible to find a man in such a big country.for being Yeva i guess. "I have a free period before lunch. I'll check if there is something else that come out with your Kielland or Kiellan that can be known of psycho Dashkov of course. "Lissa told you for Oksana?" ..000 square miles or something.
" "Of course!" I said jumping on the occasion. he was closing himself like an oyster. "Well…" I shrugged looking at Mark who was sat beside Oksana. "Nothing at all…" "I know you better than that" he said proudly." "I was not interrupting anything right?" Asked Mark giving me a sidelong glance. "Yeah…" I trailed off. I wanted him to want me. one of the building stone. dutifully avoiding Adrian. "I needed to talk to you actually." I said standing beside him. I knew I was being childish but I couldn't help it. He chuckled. "What…What did you say?" Asked Lissa still looking at me like I was an Alien. especially never getting alone with him. "See you" I added to Adrian's attention." "That's a great idea" I said actually rather pleased as there was so many things I needed to know." I twisted my mouth thinking "like a specialization in the specialization. "What's up with you Rose?" He asked moving quickly to stand in front of me again. "Lets go. "Not something I wasn't grateful for you to interrupt" I said sincerely. "Well see you around" I said trying to dodge him. "Rose?" a deep manly voice called. "You can maybe fool the others but you can't fool me. He narrowed his eyes slightly.He nodded and my heart sank." It would be a corner stone of my plan. seeing Auras and stuff but Lissa is really a master at healing even if you two . "You bet. He caught my arm. As for Mark he was pleased to share his knowledge with me but each time I tried to talk about spirits. "I was wondering…" Mark quickly look at Adrian. I was actually getting pretty good at dodging him and I could see it was getting on his last nerve. "Moroi/dhampir relationships can be hard… I know" he said with a smile. "Mark!!" I said with clear pleasure to get away from Adrian scrutinizing eyes." The three Spirit users looked at me with wide eyes. I was so selfish. "Nothing's wrong Adrian" I said wearily. Chapter 11: "Well maybe you all share the same basics but you have a special gift more developed than the others. to love me even if I couldn't give him as much love. It has been three days since Oksana arrived and I spent most of my alone time with Mark Christian and Eddie." I snorted "yea right! Well if you knew me that well you…" I sighed and shook my head. "You are all super good at compulsion. two shadow-kissed. "Maybe we could have a little talk just the two of us. "I was thinking we could give the Spirit users some alone time and spend some time together.
that I didn't need her as much as I used too when she needed me even more." I added on a humorous note. that Lissa still can't dream walk and maybe she will only be able to do it for short period or stuff like that. even after so many months of training. "That's completely possible. she was my Lissa. "It's actually very bright" said Mark ignoring the little teasing. Lissa clearly her throat to attract our attention. I didn't want to have too many lives." I simply said with an apologizing smile. for no ulterior evil motives. I decided to have a chat about that with her soon enough because even if Christian now occupied a place in my life and heart it could never compete with her. "And I think it's probably right. "Some women find that charming!" He said with a fake offended tone." "Go immolate yourself!" I said punching his shoulder playfully. "Maybe Lissa is supposed to be the super healer. The smell was so mouth watering that I immediately guessed it was not coming from the Academy kitchen. At this moment there was a knock at the lounge door and some waiting staff came in with some food. "Maybe that's why." "Look at you all brainiac!" Said Christian shrugging from his position against the wall walking to sit beside me. I was pretty sure that the food they were cooking here had for only goal to punish us I mean come on no food could be that tasteless. "I hope you didn't give yourself a brain hemorrhage figuring that one out.I started to think but stopped almost straight away. I added to myself. each Spirit user being more effective in certain aspect than other…it makes sense. . the probability of death being pretty high. "Not that you showed up in my dreams or anything recently" I added wanting to slap myself almost straight away as understanding lit up his face. I felt better exposing my crazy theory to him as he was probably as unstable as I was for following me in my crazy still undecided plan. Adrian was looking at us with sharp eyes and Lissa envied my friendship with Christian more and more. "I…yeah. "All I'm saying is that even if they work for years they probably won't get as good as she is or if they did." I said looking at him now. my best friend…my sister." said Christian casually leaning against the wall by the door. it would be far more energy consuming for them.can do it of course but she put way less effort than you into it. " Maybe we need to combine all these aspects to save--. Lissa seemed to like the idea that she couldn't dream walk not because she was too weak or not good enough but just because it was just the way it was." I said with a small smile looking at Lissa again. I refused to think about the way to save Dimitri that involved too many people. Oksana the super mind reader and Adrian the dream walker well the creepy stalker really. You Oksana you can visit people mind and do many cool trick but Lissa and Adrian can barely graze thoughts. "Yeah well sorry we're not Edward fans here… Stalker don't particularly give me the hots!" I said dismissively." And thank god for that. if things turned badly. "Oooo did you buy a dictionary?? Immolate?? Nice" he said with his goofy grin tousling my hair. A small part of her was scared that I was pulling away. "Not bad…not bad at all!" Said Mark approvingly. or death on my conscience. I had already too many. "Ok… but they are only working on it since like 3 days.
"It's getting late anyways. It was not being cocky or anything but I didn't think that a lot of persons. I knew I would pass my finals without any trouble. They arranged to meet tomorrow in the afternoon but I was to pleased to have a fighting study session with Eddie so I could zap the afternoon "Spirit training" . "Do you envy them as much as I do?" "I don't envy all the trouble they had to face to be together. "Nobody could ever take your place in my life Liss. "You know how sometime you can't control the way your power works right?" I asked Lissa as slowly walked to the feeders."You did that?" I asked Adrian pointing to the trays full of food. if not more. "Yeah it all depend who you're fighting for" he said a bit colder like if he was reading my mind. "Nevermind. "It depends if the person is worth fighting for" I retorted quickly glancing back to his puzzled look." "I'm going to the feeders" said Lissa almost at the door. the way he delicately brushed her hand." I simply said knowing I was an hypocrite because my relationship with Dimitri did face as many trouble than they did. "Who else?" He said with his cocky grin. guardians included." She looked up to me her jade eyes full of wonder and doubt." "Yeah better call it a night… I heard you youngsters have some exams to revise" added Oksana with a small smile. "I know I let you down before I'm not denying that but I love you so so much. I sighed. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn't even hear him come to stand behind me. As we started eating some Chinese food I couldn't help to look at Oksana and Mark and how they were with each other. could fight as well as I did but I needed Eddie to pass with flying colors too. I grimaced as Lisa confirmed." . "I never said it wasn't possible" I said still looking straight ahead finishing the chicken fried rice on my plate. I don't think I could. "Wait I'm coming with you!" I said jumping on the occasion. They were not touchy feely but the way they looked at each other. but I did fight for us. "I know that…" she trailed off warily. "Well I can't help it either and I can't feel how you feel" I said stopping in the path to face her. "Oh…'' she said embarrassed the red creeping to her cheeks. That deep love made my heart ache. We needed to stay all together so he had to be attributed either to Lissa or Christian. I nodded and caught her hand. "See a dhampir and a Moroi can be happy together" whispered Adrian to my ear.
"I love you too Rose" she whispered." Lissa looked at me without a word. "Well you know during my next adventure if I have to leave you on the side…safe for a little while it will not be because I love you or trust you less than anyone else." Lissa hugged me tightly and I could feel the relief coming from her.She gave me a small smile." Lissa froze and I looked down to meet Alice half gone gaze. She smiled looking at Lissa. "What?" I asked not able to hide my trouble." "What does he want?" I asked trying to sound detached but I could almost make her answer in my head 'you. "The danger is getting closer and closer." Lissa seemed to ponder that for an eternity." "Good good. "But who is keeping you safe?" I snorted. You are my Lissa. "Whenever you want princess. he wants you' But instead Alice eyes almost went blank. Crazy old Alice as a feeder today. my sister and nothing or nobody could ever change that ok?" Lissa nodded again." I said more urgently. "And please don't even think that anybody can take your place in my life or in my heart because…because that's never going to happen. "Always Alice. "Guardian or not. The army is being raised. Since the danger is getting closer." When Lissa was done with her feeding we stayed quiet for a little while lost in our thought. no questions but I'll make my way back too you always. . "Also you need to know that…'' I cleared my throat not really knowing how to say that. "Good" I said taking her hand leading her in the commons to the feeders. not to follow me. Silly girl! Then I thought of my future crazy plans and the smile I had vanished. "It's true that Christian and I share something. "He will always be the sarcastic smartass with an attitude. "So Rose keeping Lissa safe?" She asked me as Lissa sat beside her in the cubicle. "Please Lissa you have to trust me on that. We're friends and I care about him very much but…'' I smiled a goofy smile. "If one day I tell you to stay aside. I'll need you to step aside. Not now or in a million year. It will be because I love you more and that I'd need all my mind to do something and that if I worry about you well…I can be weakened. Christian always enjoyed having her and Lissa didn't mind that much either. she was wondering why I would ask her something like that and I had planned something too dangerous. you need to be ready…Keep her safe by keeping yourself alive. they won't leave without what he wants. "I can take care of myself. "I promise" she finally said realizing how much faith she had in me." I said scanning the room. Even closer than you think it is." I smiled. Blood was blood. Lissa got Alice. removing hair from her neck.
" I said uncomfortable. nodded to Stan and left. We were talking with the board and you know we wanted to know if you wouldn't mond be the last to take it because…well with all the training you had and the experience--" "I might discourage the others?" I tried. "But Alice is crazy right?" "Yeah she is but…" I shrugged." I said trying to sound far more confident than I actually felt." "Thank you. "Tomorrow? Training?" ." "Yeah?" "Of course!" I said trying to reassure her. it's almost curfew anyways I promise we'll figure something in the morning. "Go to your room Liss. Stan was not one to thank people and me in particular. Lissa did find him at the gym after our fight and healed him no question asked. She hugged me. "Anyways…." He said grimacing. Dimitri was as much as a badass alive or undead and if he wanted in I knew he could do it." "Don't mention it."Do you think she was talking about--" "I don't know Liss" but I knew deep down it was the only real danger in our near future. Maybe that fight did help ease some tension between us. If you guys think it's for the best. security around campus needed to be increased or I needed to leave campus and make it common knowledge…Yeah!! That could be the solution. I'll come out with a plan. I needed to warn the guardians soon enough that Dimitri was on his way. "What can I do for you guardian Alto?" I asked as politely as I could. I looked at her till she entered the Moroi dorms before concentrating on Stan. We were now a lot more cordial to each other. I wanted to wait till graduation before executing any crazing plan we would come up with but I never thought that it was possible for Dimitri to find me before that." "Yeah it's about your practice exams. "You know what let me just figure all it out. She seemed to calm down." "Soon?" "I'll keep you posted" I shrugged dismissively. "Is there something wrong?" He asked pointing to the Moroi dorm. "Honestly whatever. "Not yet…but maybe soon. "That's…. "Rose can I have a word with you please?" asked Stan pretty cordially seeing us leave the commons. Well we were far from being buddies or anything but we were not on each other throat anymore.that's the general idea yeah.
"Yeah you. well…under very high supervision but still. "I bet" he said shaking his head walking in the common." He winked." He said still calm. "One day you might decide to break him free and we couldn't let you become a traitor. "Oh Rose who do you think you are talking to? Ralph Sarcozy?!" He sighed. . "Yeah well I don't see why then!" I sighed. "I've been back three days and where is Rose? Everywhere I'm not. "None of us are crazy Rose. "Why are you avoiding me?" Asked Adrian coming to full view." I said confused."I wouldn't miss it for the world" I said not able to conceal the sarcasm in my voice any longer. "Okay let's go ." I nodded as now he got my full attention." "I'm not avoiding you" I said turning to face him. "Well I can't be weird out because of the bull you served me last week. "You promised to stay safe not to go into any crazy scheme but I…we know you and one day…" he walked to the seat opposite to mine. "You know you're the biggest hypocrite I have ever met. Him and Abe?? Together?! "My room?" He asked and for the first time it had no double meaning." "That's…" He started and I saw anger flash in his eyes." "Bull?!" He ask with incredulity. I know you well but she knows you better than anyone else. He laughed but it didn't reach his eyes." "I don't understand." As soon as we made it to the room Adrian turned toward me and he was still angry. "Lets go somewhere quiet. I just wanted her to tell me to what extend you could defy authority…pretty scary!!" I just sat silently trying to keep my feelings in check. "Do you really want to know what your dad and I did during the week?" He asked crossing his arms on his chest. That's…that's why Lissa was here that morning. "I was with your father we…" He looked around. I was walking back to the dhampir dorm when a voice came from beside the old oak tree. "Do you really think that's why I'm avoiding you?!" Adrian gave me is best 'duh' face. "Well we convinced the judicial board to let do the research by letting Victor Dashkov escape. "You told me that I should tell you how I feel and now that I did you are avoiding me!" "I…" I looked around. "If I left it was for you!" He hissed with anger. "Well you left for a week and didn't even give me a call so…" I shrugged "allow me to doubt your sincerity dude. I couldn't let you become one. "Do you really need to ask?" Adrian sighed." "Moi?!" I shrieked a bit louder than intended attracting the curious look from some of the students that were going back to their dorm.
I was glad to have all these people ready to help. "Well I did consider that but you see you told me Victor said his brother was a bit ummm… lets say impaired. to support you even if you go crazy on me and…" he shrugged." "Why? You promised to graduate Rose!" Started Adrian getting unnerved. "But why didn't you try to compel Victor I mean…." I said catching his hand intertwining our fingers. I would never forgive myself if anything would have happenned to him. "I promised to always be here for you Rose. But part of me loved him of course. I didn't care if I was crossing the line again. "I need to get out of here. "So my guess is that his brother is really too far gone to do magic and so…" he shrugged before taking a strand of lose hair from my face." "It's another way to say it. why did he need to kidnap Lissa to be healed?" He asked rhetorically. "Ivashkov or not… I shook my head. placing it behind my ear." He added letting his hand slide along my neck before resting it on my shoulder. "How did you that?" "I think you do know how I did that. He was so good." Said Adrian laughing." "Completely coocoo yeah." "You don't have to say anything I didn't do anything I didn't want to do." I jumped from my seat and hugged him tight. "I need to talk to someone" ." He smiled "well we'll have two secret service agents serving as guardians but you know…it won't ruin your whole life."I… what?!!!" "Yeah you heard well. "But you see I couldn't help to ponder that. "That's what I intend to do.the Academy I mean. he was always there for me and it actually hurt me to know that I could never love him as much as he deserved to be loved. You could have been accused of treason too!" "Don't you think I know that?" He said so calm I wanted to slap him. I knew it was bad to do that since it could lead him in but I just enjoyed being with him." "I don't…I don't know what to say. I…" he ran his hand through his hair and stood up. Victor will think it's an escape but it will be all organized. I didn't have to do it on my own and that was maybe what will make me win. hot strong hand in mine made me feel a bit better.." He said patiently keeping his eyes in mine." "You 'convinced' them?" I asked scared to realized what he meant.if he reveals the location of his brother…" I started but I was scared to sound ungrateful. safer…as silly as it seemed. "You compelled the judicial committee! Do you even know how risky that was?" I asked amazed by the insane risk he was taking for me. if Victor brother was a Spirit user powerful enough to bring back a Strigoi. his dried.it was very light compulsion don't worry the arguments were pretty valid. "I needed your father influence to organize the meeting then well…. "No sorry I mean I need to get out of the Academy as behind the protecting ward. I got out of Adrian arms and I could see he was reluctant to let me go. "Compulsion…" I whispered. "We need Victor to unlock the probable mess that is Robert's mind. but that part was just an insult to what he deserved or even to what I fell for Dimitri…Dimitri. I was glad that question didn't require an answer because I didn't think about that and I wasn't pleased about it.. I just needed one more ally now.
"Andre…Andre. My heart started to beat faster." I remembered that fear and agitation could help trigger the spirits. I really start to feel for the kid in the sixth sense you know" I said concentrating on Andre again. "Anytime my little dhampir…anytime" he said quickly kissing my forehead before pulling me out of the room. I knew I could have called any random ghost really but one I knew made me feel better…. his lips felt good on mine. Andre kept staring at me…. They were more 'staring-till-giving-you-the-creeps' type. up the path. "Hey" I said stupidly. Chapter 12: When we made it out of the academy I walked with Adrian to a shadowy spot as the sun was up now. "Wait for me I'll be back in a minute" I said taking off my healing ring." I whispered. I need a favor from him and ghost or not he will have to do it. in front of me. "I really need you buddy.safer in a weird way. . I shook my head but cannot stopped my smile. I felt self conscious as I could feel Adrian's eyes on my neck. I buried my hands deep in my jeans' pockets. With everything he had done he deserved that much and deep down I knew I wanted to kiss him. "Never mind. I was having a small panic attack. "Ok maybe I shouldn't have asked." "Ok… okay" said Adrian letting go of his grip around my waist but still keeping my hand in his. "Thank you" I said letting go of his shirt." He said pulling me to him still keeping my hand in his. "Is he here?" Asked Adrian looking at the spot I was looking at curiously. with a sad smile. It was quite passed curfew now but neither of us cared that much. "Nah I mean it. "Let's go talk to the ghost" he said like he was talking about a random subject." I opened my eyes slowly and sighed with relief. the danger. I forgot that ghost were not really what we could call talkative. the pain of facing him without a way to save him.. I closed my eyes thinking on how Dimitri was getting closer. Andre was standing there. "Andre. "Take care of that for me will you?" Adrian nodded. "I…ummm… I need your help"."Ooooo I see. please" I whispered again. "Andre please show your face.." I said simply. He wrapped his free arm around me. Andre smile widened slightly and he nodded his hello. May I ask you who you want to talk to?" "Yeah it's Andre Dragomir. "Yeah he is just--" I pointed ahead. "No actually I'm lost. "Come here" I said gripping his shirt with my free hand and pulled him to me giving him a chast kiss on the lips. I walked about 5 feet away from him. I started to have trouble breathing…yep it was official." I laughed.
" Andre looked at Adrian thoughtful. He was already deadly by himself. "Will you help me?" Andre nodded. "Is he coming alone?" I asked dreading the answer.Andre nodded apparently accepting the task without even thinking about it. while injured!! . I nodded giving him a quick smile. why didn't he move on to the other side like Mason did? What did he need to accomplish here? Andre pointed from Adrian to me and brought his hand to his heart. "Sorry dude but you know…Well it's ironic to find out that you are more helpful dead than alive" I shot him a death glare. "Love?" Andre nodded. "ANYWAYS" I said concentrating my attention on Andree again. when they all doubted of my ability to see ghosts he never questioned my mental health. Dimitri was raising an army to come." Adrian was only a year older than Andre. " 'No' you don't know? Or 'no' he is not here?" I asked losing my patience even if I knew it was not his fault. "Do you know if he is already here?" Andre shook his head negatively." I said feeling the blush on my cheeks. older than him. I let out an heavy breath of relief. no judgment. If Andre decided to leave because of him I'll kick his royal ass but Andre just shrugged it off dismissively with a look on his face that could easily be interpreted by a 'look-who-is-talking' face. There was only curiosity in his eyes. He believed me. "But he is getting closer right?" Andre nodded. Well it was not like he risked that much by accepting anyways. they probably met a lot during the officials parties and stuff. I was rather pleased now that Adrian couldn't see ghosts. There were not many things he had to afraid about since he was dead! "Dimitri is coming here and… and I need you to keep tab on his progression… Please. "Not here" he mouthed. "I need them to be safe. "Did he agree?" Asked Adrian inquisitively. "To some extent I guess. he fought an household full of Strigoi. I…" I turned around and looked at Adrian who was looking from me to the apparent empty spot in front of me. I couldn't help to wonder why he was still here. "That's not good" I whispered looking down at my feet. even before. Andre looked at me for a second and the look on his face gave me his answer before he even shook his head. He then seemed to realize that Andre could hear him. "Uh who would have thought that death would suit him…" Adrian chuckled "He was such an ass when he was alive.
"Well. "Okay we'll keep it to ourselves until he comes up with essential info. We would actually go as soon as we "broke" Victor out of jail before he could even get the chance to figure out that it was just a set up. "I know you are. I understood now that trying to talk was draining a lot of energy from the ghosts. Do you think she needs to know something like that in the present situation? She is still pretty weakened by the whole Avery mess. In another scenario. "I know you love her…I'll keep her safe I promise. "Oh by the way I would like to keep this little meeting a secret if you don't mind. And pointing to the Academy and to his heart." I put my ring back. "Thank you. it means that he is not at peace. Victor and me who would go retrieve Robert from Norway a few days before graduation.I looked up again and nodded. The next few days were pretty extreme. I would probably be dating Adrian or at least seriously considering the option so…If people wanted to think it was the case than so be it. We decided that it would be Pavel. one of the secret service agent (passing for one of Abe guardian). "Okay. so good to have someone who had faith in you. Abe phoned me a couple of time in order to find out how the plan was advancing." I kept my eyes on Andre now not wanting Adrian to see my distress. "OK I'll come back out in two days. "It's a war right? He is coming with an army?" "Yes…I'm sorry" whispered Andre sadly before he started to flicker.." Said Adrian and I just noticed now that he still had his arm wrapped possessively around my shoulders as we walked back in the Academy. It's not that good but…" I shrugged "at least he is not in the US…yet." I added but in fact I just didn't want Mark to open it and tell to everyone how dealing with the ghosts could be dangerous for someone like us or I would never hear the end of it. "So?" Asked Adrian and I walked back to him. "Honestly it will only confuse Lissa to know that Andre is still around.. "More secrets Rose? Really?" He clacked his tongue reprovingly. Thank you. That's okay we'll be ready." Andre gave me another small smile." Andre grimaced showing me that I was clearly underestimating this venue. ." Adrian narrowed his eyes suspiciously. the break up and the Dimitri's situation. as we had to organize everything while starting to take our final exams." I said sincerely. with the situation ahead." Andre nodded and disappeared. if I did manage to take down Dimitri." "Yeah I guess" he conceded. "Everything will be alright my little dhampir" he said wrapping an arm around my shoulder kissing my forehead. I knew what he said didn't stand on anything concrete but it was good to hear. "Plus there is no point to tell the others either as Andre didn't really say anything that we didn't already know. For once I didn't even bother to shrug it off as I didn't care of what people could think about him and me.
I even surprised myself to think of us like the team of Ocean's Eleven except that we were now 7 standing in that room and not specialists but I guessed that neither Brad nor George could control fire. "So we have the trip to Norway. "Plus that Moroi need to be close enough to me to risk his future and maybe get a lifetime in jail just to help me. I didn't want Lissa to get involved too much either. "What?!" Asked Oksana looking from one to another "Please don't tell me it was a secret I mean…it's so obvious to me!! You didn't know?" she asked with worry in her voice." I asked looking at Adrian for confirmation. Lissa wanted to hit her for mentioning that other option." "Well if it's a human prison almost any Moroi would do" said Eddie with a slight shrug. Firstly I'll need to trust someone greatly to tell him/her my plan and well… I do have some serious trust issue. maybe it would be possible to make him track me down somewhere else but right now we didn't know how that could be done. Well. the return to the academy" I said as we decided to keep Victor and Robert here since we had no way to stop Dimitri from attacking anyways. "You'll need someone very good at compulsion. and even if I could feel the huge disapproval coming from her. He was looking around in a 'yeah-what-else-is-new' kind of way. "So compulsion is needed isn't it?" Asked Lissa and I could feel her excitation increasing. Christian snorted again. I kept her involvement to a strict minimum." I said thoughtfully.I also asked Abe to see with the alchemist if they had any kind of potions that could help with the war ahead. She wanted first line…she was just as stupid as I was!! "Well the guy who is in love with her. He nodded. "That's actually not a bad idea" said Adrian raising an eyebrow. "It's almost as widely known as the fact that oxygen is essential for us to breath. "Well not really" I said reluctantly as I didn't want to give arguments toward Lissa's option." Answered Oksana matter-of-factly pointing to Adrian. I'm sort of cocky enough to think we can pull it off and…and well what she said" he added pointing to Oksana." Saying that made Christian snort with approval it was like a not so concealed 'no-shit?!!' and I shot him my death glare making the others laugh. . We were all confined in Adrian's bedroom where we had charts. and I quote. blue prints and photos. "Usually it's the people in love who are doing the stupidest most radical things. at least for now." "I know that…" I said biting my bottom lip looking at the big chart we had on the wall. "I'm a spirit user. compel people or talk to ghosts." "And that Christian is a sarcastic smart mouth that can't shut it. He didn't sound too pleased to involve the. I heard Lissa mutter a small cursed under her breath making me laugh." Said Christian looking at the prison blueprints. "Now we need to figure something out to keep up the pretense for the prison evasion. "Victor is very bright. Only the high judicial council and the Queen know about our plan right?." I added feeling embarrassed for Adrian but he actually didn't seem embarrassed at all." We all looked at Oksana agape. 'crazy religious bigots' in our plan but he agreed. "And who is better than your best friend?!" asked Lissa literally marveling now. "Believe me no secrets here" he said shaking his head. it was our plan. "Plus we need to pass the guardians anyways. "I mean… he is not an idiot.
"What if you could slightly persuade Kirova to let them go like even a week before that. How are you doing?" "Well…I've got my next mission" said Sydney darkly. if it get to this of course." "Yeah??" I asked curiously "and what is it?" "Assisting you and the other creatures with potions and other tricks" she said but I could hear she was only mildly displeased. "But maybe…maybe" I concentrate on Lissa and her excitation level increased again. "You missed me eh?" I asked and I saw jealousy in Adrian's eyes even if he was doing his best to hide it." "See you tomorrow" I said actually pleased to have an alchemist on our side "Bye Rose.who was it?" Asked Christian. She knew I was about to give her a mission. Adrian and me will go to the jail to retrieve Victor. "And then --" I was cut off by my ringing phone. "So you'll come pick me up or not?" she asked purposively avoiding the question. "Hello?" I said warily. and I will not be able to do that if you're not safe" "I know…I know" she said with resignation."You'll play your part Liss you know that right. "Well the youngsters are released about a week before graduation anyways right?" I asked rhetorically. "Hello evil creature of the night." I said like I was talking to a child." "I can try" said Lissa not really convinced but she was ready to everything. "Well we'll have fewer casualties to worry about. "Of course! What time?" "3pm at Missoula's airport. "Backup" I replied with a wink. "Eddie." "While we get ready here for whatever war is preparing" said Christian with his mischievous smile while showing the steady flame resting in the palm of his hand. I frowned answering it as I just talked to Abe about an hour before. "Then we split Adrian and Eddie go back to the academy as Victor. "You read my mind buddy. Chapter 13: . He was the only one brave enough to ask. "Ok good so let get over this again" I said taking a deep breath. I need to concentrate on the task ahead only." They nodded. "So. "I need you to pick me up from the airport tomorrow. "Yes?" tried Lissa encouraging." it will go to this I added to myself.." I said with a grin." I burst into laugher attracting 6 pairs of curious eyes on me. So…whenever he attacks. "Hey my favorite crazy bigot.. "You remember what we talked about? I need you to help but from a secure spot. Guard X and me jump into Abe jet where Pavel will be waiting and go straight to Norway." She said and hanged up before I even had a chance to say bye.
"Thank you for coming with me." I said to Adrian as we took off for our 3 hours drive to Missoula airport. "Spending 6 hours in a confined space with you? It's my pleasure." I rolled my eyes but smiled looking at the countryside I already knew by heart. Adrian was the one who managed to borrow a car. They probably figured that, with his bank account, he could easily repay it if we had an accident. So he was driving, but even if I was not going to acknowledge it out loud, he was driving very well and I felt very safe with him. "So the girl we are picking up… She can help you?" He asked more seriously shooting me a quick glance. "Maybe… I'm not sure." I slightly shrugged. "She is an alchemist and--" "An alchemist?" He asked but the surprise made him swerve a little. "Hey!" I said reaching for the steering wheel. "Sorry… Sorry" he said quickly "but…" he looked at me again probably to make sure it was not a joke. "You can understand that… I mean she is one of these bigots and she is about to enter the lair of darkness." I had to laugh at that. "Yeah well it would be good not to mention that to her" I said reaching up to pat his arm without thinking. He smiled "And why is that?" "Well Sydney is pretty decent really. She is a bigot yeah, she has a pretty bad opinion of us but she has a good heart." I smiled remembering how she felt bad for me after she discovered my relationship with Dimitri. "I see... So you say she is the less bigot in the bigotry group." "Something like that. So maybe… well you know how much I like your personality but maybe you could just ummmm…tame a bit the whole cocky, flirty attitude when you'll be around her. I mean, " I chuckled "we don't need to fuel her whole theory of us being creatures of darkness." Adrian stayed quiet for a minute probably pondering that. "Well if you don't want to scare the girl maybe she shouldn't meet Christian without supervision." I laughed out loud and it felt good to laugh. "Yeah you've got a point." "I mean even I, full creature of darkness, think Christian can be creepy at times." He added grimacing. "Yeah I know he doesn't make a very good first impression" I conceded. "Or a second, or a third…" Adrian added trailing off. "Yeah... But once you get through all this cockiness, snarkiness and sullen attitude Christian is…" What could I say really. "Christian is… a very good person." "Yeah… You guys grew a lot closer in the last 6 weeks, It's something that was impossible to miss." Said Adrian probably trying to sound nonchalant but failing miserably. I looked at his profile silently as he was driving. "Are...you're not jealous right?" I asked as it would be totally absurd.
"Should I be?" He asked quickly glancing at me. "No! Of course not!" I said almost shocked. He nodded silently. Here we go again I thought groaning silently. "If I ever were to date anyone it…" I took a deep breath "it would be you." I said simply looking away as I didn't want to see his reaction. After what seemed an eternity, but probably wasn't more than 2 or 3 minutes "It's…" Adrian clear his throat. "It's good to know." He said and I could hear the underlying emotions in his voice. "Uh huh…." I said still looking out the window. "I…" he started but never finished his sentence. I was pretty sure he was about to tell me he loved me and I was grateful he didn't because I couldn't reciprocate. The rest of the trip was pretty silent we only talked every so often about very trivial things like the weather forecast or the possible colors of the graduation gowns. When we finally made it to Missoula airport we both sighed with relief at the exact same time, making us laugh. "We are not good with all that are we?" I asked getting out of the car. "Well actually you are the one who's not good with all that my little dhampir" he said resting his hand lightly on the small of my back as we walked in the airport. "I'm just wary about what I'm saying as I'm scared you'll run off any minute if I say something I shouldn't" he added and it didn't seem to bother him more than that. He was just stating a fact. "And I really appreciate that." I said sincerely. He was giving me the time and space I needed. "I know you do" he said now looking at the big arrivals board. "Oh I got it," he pointed to the board. "Flight 2543 Gate 2. They should land in 10 minutes." I looked around and started to walked down toward Gate 2. As soon as we sat down, in front of the door, he took my hand mechanically and I didn't take it back. It was nice, and if it was what he wanted, I could at least concede that much. Adrian looked down at our intertwined fingers for a while and I couldn't help to look too. It was funny how our hands could reflect all the differences between us. His pale white skin clashed with my dark gold tanned skin that I acquired spending so much time in the sun. His fingers were long and delicate, his hands were wide but flawless. His skin was soft and no scars or burns were damaging them. My hands were petite but strong, my skin was covered with little scars and as much as I hydrated them my palms were slightly callous due to the number of hours I spent training and fighting. Yeah…we couldn't be more different I thought still looking down. I looked up but Adrian was still looking down, he was now tracing patterns on the back of my hand with his empty hand. "What are you thinking about?" I asked gently squeezing his hand. He looked up to meet my eyes, his emerald eyes darker than usual. "I was looking at our hands and thinking how we are completing each other. The light and the darkness, day and night." He smiled and shook his head. "Silly I know… What about you?"
"I…" I smiled. "I was thinking that we needed to have a video camera for when Sydney will meet Christian." I could see in Adrian's eyes that he didn't buy it but he was nice enough not to comment. I smiled again and leaned in to kiss the tip of his nose. It was not a romantic kiss per say, but it was a bit more intimate than a kiss on the cheek. It was actually exactly our 'status' right now: more than friends but far away from dating. As soon as my lips connected with his nose I heard a 'urgh' sound coming from my right than a little 'I'm going to puke' I laughed. "Hi Sydney" I said turning to see her. "It's nice to have you here." She was dressed with a pair of black dressing pants, a yellow button down shirt and her hair were tight in a very strict bun. That was Sydney alright. I stood up and hugged her. She hugged me back awkwardly. "I'm sorry for interrupting your…PDA." She said looking at Adrian through narrow eyes. She didn't like Moroi and didn't hide it. Adrian stood up and came to stand beside me. "Don't worry about it" he said with his usually cocky grin. "I'm your chauffeur Miss Daisy" he added with a small bow. "My name is Adrian Ivashkov" he said over politely "you can call me Lord of Darkness." He said winked at me. "It's how you youngsters are calling Dracula nowadays right?" I gave his a chastising look. I did warn him! Argh! Sydney threw him a dark look "Fine…Lestat." She said frostily. "Come on Sydney lets go." I said taking her bag on the floor. "How is the red hurricane doing by the way?" I asked and it was enough to make her speak for a good hour. We were about half an hour away from the Academy when the silence started to weight. I turned around to look at Sydney on the back seat and smiled. She smiled back. "So where will I sleep? With you right?" She asked hopeful. I opened my mouth to say that she will have her own room in the guest pavilion but I closed it again. She had trouble to sleep the first nights with me…She would never be able to rest in a building full of Moroi. "I... yeah. We can arrange that of course." I said trying to figure how I would manage to move in the guest building with her but I knew that I could sweet talk Alberta and I needed to tell the truth to my mother anyways… lots of shouting there I thought grimacing. Adrian probably noticed my discomfort because he raised one eyebrow and said " you are going to sleep together? Uh…. Can I watch?" and it did the trick, I burst into laugher. "In your dreams Lestat!" Snapped Sydney. "I wouldn't say that if I were you" I said still laughing, knowing Adrian ability to dream walk. Sydney looked at me puzzled, I just shook my head dismissively. "So except the super vanishing potion, do you have anything else Strigoi related that can help me?" I asked trying to change the subject. Sydney discreetly glanced at Adrian. "I'll tell you about that later ok?"
When we made it to the Academy I told Adrian that I was going to see Kirova with Sydney and to tell the other I'll see them as soon as I could." I simply stated. "Do. "Asshole!" I said looking away." "Stop it please. "I trust him with my life. they are all fantastic… in their own ways." "Christian?" She asked quizzically. "Thanks" I said deciding to ignore the coldness.. "Ooooo we wouldn't want to talk in front of the big evil Moroi" he said with laugher in his voice. Do you know why you're here?" "Well not really" she admitted. I sighed. "We never know maybe I can go sell those secrets to the KGB. Each player had to know it all." He said teasing. probably tomorrow. I knew Sydney well enough to know she was going to freak out when I'd mention the jail break because…organized or not. "But you love me just as I am.Adrian chuckled. "I'll be on my best behavior" she said lips pursed." "That's about right. "Oh just one thing you can be as rude as you want with Adrian and even Christian. "She is very sensitive and one of the nicest person I ever met. "You can talk in front of him you know" I said turning a bit more on my seat to have a better look at her. she won't see it with a good eye. "I'm sorry" mumbled Adrian quickly glancing at Sydney in the mirror. you are just going to love each other!" said Adrian marveling and I couldn't stop my playful smile. I really didn't need to encourage his behavior but he was always good at amusing me." Said Adrian keeping his eyes on the road. "Oh you were serious?…Of course you can!" He said trying to backtrack but it was too late." Said Adrian completely ignoring Sydney presence now and I thought she was grateful for that. "Yeah well…Just try to be nice with Lissa please" I said locking eyes with her. "It's going to be tough for Alberta to swallow that one. "Oh yeah. But I wasn't really mad and he knew it." She snorted but didn't comment. . "I'll tell you everything tonight" I said as I knew she would be far more comfortable with me explaining everything to her if it was just the two of us. I just grunted. I…I will not tolerate rudeness toward her. She'll have to talk in front of them. "But well you'll see. "Him and all my friends" I added quickly not to mislead her. "I mean why on earth would an alchemist show up to stay here?" "I can have friends outside of the Academy!" I tried. I nodded without a word." I said calmly reaching for his right hand on the steering wheel and brushed its back softly. That could change everything but that I won't end up in jail." I said sincerely. "They said that you needed me for something pretty big. "Right!!" He glanced at my face and probably saw the indignation. Adrian burst into laugher.
As expected Kirova was very curious on why I invited an alchemist to stay here and how we became friends in the first place but she accepted to bring a second bed in my room." I looked at her with confusion. "You're going to shout…a lot." I said laughing "Are you dating? I thought…." There were a light knock at my door. "I don't know what I thought" she added finally. It might turn out to be useful one day. "See you later Rose…" he turned to Sydney. "So?" I asked sinking on the sofa. "Well the one to attract strigoi is pretty stupid" she said emptying her small bag in my half empty dresser. "I know you are preparing something but…For a Alchemist to get involved it has to be big. I nodded "yeah. before I lost all my courage." She said simply I didn't know what she thought about it. "Rose come on." she ask nonchalantly as we walked to Kirova office. "Don't mind him.. "You're going to be mad. She locked the door behind us and came to sit beside me. I think you couldn't be suspicious with me…the little heroin. "See you later Jesus. My mom walked us quietly to an empty lounge upstairs. "We never know. "I'm the one who should ask that. I took a deep breath and told her everything in one go. Just after they brought the bed in the room Sydney started to tell about the Strigoi related potions." "I'm not going to get mad" she said patiently. and to my surprise. . "He is very important to me."Yep. I introduced Sydney to her. "Rose can I see you 5 minutes please?" She asked pointing at the door. "Don't worry about it" she said dismissively. I couldn't fool her and I knew that. It turned out to be my mother. "No we're not dating but…" I gave her a quick sideway glance." "I'm not going to shout…Come on tell me" she said and I could see she was doing her best to control herself..I'll be back in a few" I said to Sydney. very big.." "Right." She just glared at his retreating form. she was very cordial with her." She said with slight exasperation like I was underestimated her." I opened my mouth but said nothing." He kiss my forehead quickly.
" "Yeah I bet" I said actually astonished that she didn't made my ears bleed with her shouting. "But why?? You know it's not helping her and yourself to go in this crazy plan. but scanning her mind I could see she came up because she was curious about Sydney and our friendship." "Well" I shrugged slightly coking my head on the side. so long that Lissa was considering showing herself. She was not supposed to be there. "Even if you had proofs on tape. "Now? Well…We're going to get ready for the war ahead" I said trying to sound far more confident than I actually felt. "I'll see you tomorrow. but that was not the case. I was about to drift into sleep when I felt myself being pulled into Lissa's head." Adrian stayed quiet for a long time. "So what are we going to do now?" Asked Sydney when we got ready for the night. I could see she expected a lot. "I…" She sighed before looking at the forest painting on the wall." She padded my shoulder. "What is?" "Convincing the Judicial board to let Victor Dashkov out even under supervision. Adrian and her had just started to chat when my mother came in. "Rose told me everything" said my mother so calm it surprised me. I knew she was not really looking at it." She said standing up.When I was done she just stared at me. "It's impossible" she finally said quietly after 5 long minutes." Adrian stayed quiet. "Do you even know how dangerous it was for you to do that boy?" She asked but she was not mad just worried. "Tomorrow… yes. my mother never called anyone like that. she could now almost summon me on purpose. she was just uncomfortable. She was crouched behind Adrian's small kitchen counter but she was not afraid. I couldn't see them from where Lissa was hiding but I could hear them clearly enough. since it was way past curfew." My mom unlocked the door and I could see she was still lost in her thoughts. "We'll… talk about that another time I need time to absorb it all." She shook her head. "How on ---" She stopped her eyes widening with understanding. Both Lissa and him decided it was better for her to hide than to explain her presence in the room. "Told you what?" "About you convincing the High Judicial committee for Victor. "He did…that?" I nodded silently. Her powers were really increasing with Oksana's help. "Adrian did convince them" I said looking straight into her eyes. "It's…Go back to your friend Rose before she starts worrying. Boy?! Lissa and I thought simultaneously. "Don't you think I know that?" He asked sounding resigned. .
I could never choose anyone over Dimitri and the resignation in his voice hurt me. "But it's past curfew. you know how much Belikov means to her." She shrugged "Don't sweat it Rose. "I'll be back soon I promise. Funnily enough Christian was on his best behavior when Sydney was around even if I knew the very low opinion he had about alchemists but I guessed he didn't want to make the situation any more difficult and I really appreciated that." She said almost whining." Said Sydney and I knew she was just saying that because she was not comfortable to stay by herself. Christian even called her my 'creepy shadow' because she was always glued to me. I rolled my eyes but she didn't see it. "Never mind. But it was true that Lissa was very jealous of me having another girl friend. It has been a week now that she was at the Academy and she almost refused to leave the room and when she did it was to. He knew that it would never happen. "Are you ok?" She asked uncomfortably." "But have you considered the possibility that it might work and if it does. perfect and human" "Who?" I asked confused. "But we've spent the whole day with them…the whole week really." She sighed." I could hear the loud intake of air." I said evasively tightening my training shoes. Chapter 14: "Where are you going?" Asked Sydney already in bed. to stop her from doing something that would destroy everything…destroy her. "Lissa…Lissa is my best friend. I got out of Lissa's head and realized silent tears were falling down my cheeks." . "I can try to keep her safe." I simply said. I turned around and smiled at her. "You know Rose as well as I do." "Yeah with your friend Lissa following us everywhere" She said nonchalantly settling more comfortably in the bed while reaching for the book she was reading…The Hunger Games. I added to myself. She made him a promise and she was going to find someway to try to save him with or without me and I would rather be a part of it. "And night seems to be the only time. "I need to have a word with her in private" I said before Sydney did even get the chance to get out of bed. "Yeah… I'll be better in the morning. she will choose him and you--" "I'm irrelevant" he said quickly. there wasn't much I could say to convince her. pretty much." I just hate hurting the guy that owns only enough of my heart to hurt us both. that nobody could take her place in my heart. "I don't want her to settle for me… I want her to choose me" He said and I could hear the sadness in his voice. If she wasn't sure by now. Sydney was looking at me quietly with concern all over her face. I nodded quietly. yet again. "Peeta is loving. that she was my best friend. She was silly of course but it would have been pointless to tell her. "Pita? It's some kind of bread right."I had no choice" said Adrian in a hushed tone. "I…I need to talk with Oksana. reluctantly following me to Adrian's room. I've got company" she said nudging her book. "Since when do I follow rules?" I asked rhetorically. See you later.
Power always corrupted people. Mark opened the door almost immediately. and even if we parted about 4 hours ago. "I guess…" she said warily. "I know but it's important" I said head high locking eyes with her to show that I wasn't joking around. "So you see Andre told me today that Dimitri just arrived to Alaska right. "I'm intrigued now. "And you know the potion that help enhance psychic abilities is pretty efficient isn't it?" I tried perfectly knowing the answer to that one. I looked at both of them and decided to play it straight. They were a couple and…oh Hell." They nodded "and I was thinking…Magic does influence Strigoi to some level. . The healing ring. 'Private' included Mark as she was even more linked to him than Lissa and I were so. I was slightly above the rules. "Oh really?" she said raising an eyebrow. When I made it to Oksana and Marks' room I got a little uncomfortable to disturb them. the fire and all that. I jogged as discreetly as possible to the guest dorms because. I knocked quietly enough so they wouldn't hear it if they were sleeping. She wouldn't let me go without exactly knowing why." "Yeah…" said Oksana trailing off. "Okay I wanted to know if you could enter Dimitri's mind" I blurt out. Sydney had shared with us a potion that enhanced the psychic abilities of the spirit users making them two to three time stronger but we decided to keep it secret as it could corrupt. Plus. It smelled terrible and tasted even worse but it helped her channel her energy.I felt like I was their adopted kid or something. I didn't want to run into my mother. Adrian." I said simply walking out. We were right in the middle of the exams. spat it out after the first gulp saying that nothing tasting that bad could do any good and he rather turn crazy than drink something that tasted like ass and after tasting it myself…I had to agree with him. "Rose!" He said as a big smile spread on his face. She looked at me for a second and decided that fighting me was not worth it. "Hey Rose!!" Said Oksana with the same big smile as Mark. Oksana just drank 1/8th of the dose and she was powerful enough to take me into Christian mind without burning energy. and us novice. Lissa was happy enough to use it every once in a while. He was not even in PJs yet. as I already noticed earlier. It was funny how him and Oksana were always happy to see me . were almost seen as guardians now."Yeah." "I bet you are" said Mark sitting beside her. it was useless to try to have a secret. "I needed to talk to you in private" I said sitting in front of her. even if some of the guardians and Moroi on service were more easy on me. "Miss Hathaway…It's past curfew" said the matron as I reached the exit. "Make it fast" she simply said concentrating on her magazine again. I could see that his pleasure was genuine. "Please come in!" I walked in and found Oksana sat at the table with her usual herbal tea.
" "Maybe…" Said Oksana unconvinced. I nodded. "My point is that if he is coming only with 4 other Strigoi it's because he knows how to attack and the Academy is huge…We have too much ground to cover. "Dimitri won't take anyone to attack the Academy. "Ok let's just talk hypothetically here… if I could get in. "We'll have the advantage there." "Yeah…I thought about that too" Said Mark." I shook my head." "I don't see your point." I locked eyes with him. "Well I want you to take me in his mind as you took me in Christians' mind at the try out. What do you want me to do?" I bit my bottom lip. "Avery could influence mind and if the potion can make you more powerful maybe you could influence a Strigoi mind… it's not like they are not sensitive to magic. I mean imagine it doesn't work? He'll attack the Academy but none of us will be there to keep it safe. She sighed heavily. Oksana looked at me silently but I could see in her eyes that she was thinking at hundred miles per hour." I kept looking at them into the eyes to show them that I was sure." She opened her mouth to say something but I quickly continued to talk. "Well I wanted to go in his mind and just change one of his memory of us. "Andre can keep us posted on that and…" Oksana shook her head vigorously. Dimitri…Dimitri is not the kind to attack recklessly and I know he is the same alive or undead. He needs to trust them to some extent. Mark kept quiet and I was grateful for that. "I want him to attack somewhere else." He insisted. "Plus I was thinking about it and we're supposed to be criminals. "He only came with 4 other Strigoi and it's a very small group to attack the Academy which means he has a plan." "Why?" Tried Mark." Simply stated Oksana. "Maybe he is planning to recruit more 'soldiers' on his way over here. One day. to know what they can do. it will be our ground. I…I just want him to think I told him that Lissa and I planned to go and spend the week before graduation in the Lodge her parents had in Badlands National Park in North Dakota. he asked me what did Lissa and I had planned for graduations." "Why?" . which I doubt I could." "Yeah but it's very dangerous Rose. after training." "You want to attract him there. It was Oksana's decision to take and he respected that. "I want you to implant a memory in there. "If I was Victor I would have doubts if you brought me back here." I said feeling more and more idiotic. He knows something that we don't."What?!" They both said in total sync. traitors and we're going to bring Victor back at the Academy?" I grimaced." She said worried. "It's pretty moronic." "So what's your plan?" Asked Oksana. "it's crazy Rose it will never work.
And they'll transfer him to my cell. if he had this memory he would contact me."Why?!" She snorted." I sighed with relief. it was painful to remember our happy moments. He seemed to make a point of it. "Ok…We can try. I'm probably the only thing that could still affect him." "So…It's tomorrow!" Said Oksana. it will amuse him to torture me like that "I added not able to conceal the pain in my voice. He will want to keep this promise he made to me.worth the try. when he held me captive. "You'll have to guide me to his mind Rose. I looked at her hopeful." She said taking my hands. I didn't want to sound full of myself but I knew I was his only weakness now. I almost forgot he was here. Moreover. "It's like the most important of them all." She jugged her bottom lip and shrugged slightly.. Oksana reached for my hand and squeezed it. I don't know him. "Yeah it's the last physical exams for the dhampirs.yeah if it works." "Yeah and you see it happens on the same day every year depending on the Academy you are attending of course and here it's the Friday.. to tell me how he was keeping his promise. "If it worked he will yeah. "What do you want to do?" "Well I was thinking that we could go back to the day when we were both making snow angels." My voice became thicker. . The only thing that was still keeping him attached." Said Mark coming back to sit beside me." She finally conceded. it was a moment where connected…. I nodded. "I want him to think he promised to support me and wish me luck the morning of the Gladiators' day. "I… exactly. there is nothing to link me to him. two weeks before graduation." "So you want to see if we can temper with his memory?" She asked me wearily. "So he will call the Academy you think?" Mark asked. "Well you pick your favorite…I never tried to enter the mind of Strigoi before and you told me that Dimitri was very powerful. "As for a link to him well…I'm the best bet." Oksana took the little bottle containing the gold color potion and drank half of it. "And I know Dimitri. It's worth about 80% of your physical training. "Can you get me the little bottle with the rest of potion?" Mark nodded and squeezed my shoulder as he passed behind me. "Why not…. "Maybe. it's maybe better to get him away from the Academy. he is far and there is no way to be sure it worked!!" "Maybe we can just give it a try as for something to link to him." She looked at Mark." I pointed at myself. It was about 3 times more than what she drank for the Christian experiment." "Gladiators' day?" Asked Oksana confused. "So you want us to implant that memory and try to influence him into calling you?" She summarized. "And how do I do that?" I asked suddenly worried that I would fail.
I could bet he saw my memories as Oksana was seeing them. almost freezing my bones. I'm implanting the memory now and I'll try to give him the impulse to call you like…an encouragement." She said nicely. I nodded still feeling all the coldness in Dimitri but I couldn't help loving me. He considered that they had stolen me from him and he was coming here to claim me back. the first time I read through his pretense. spooning me as to keep me safe. "I sure hope so" I said in a whisper more for myself than anyone else really. but it was overshadowed by all the evil and darkness. He tried to fight that part of him but he couldn't. "It IS a love worth fighting for. Our time in the cabin. I was his and he was mine but he wanted to kill the others…my friends. happy moments." She quickly glanced at Mark probably trying to find the right words. "Why would you be sorry for?" I asked naively. a wacko when she realized all the love I still had for him." I chewed on my bottom lip. eyes closed. He hated them because they had that part of me I didn't give away willingly. For him. my family. "Even if it doesn't work. She managed to slip through his memories with almost no effort."I don't know" she shrugged slightly. "Think about moments you shared. We don't want him to figure it out and block his mind. He is not protecting his mind right now. After a couple more minutes Oksana's hands relaxed and she let go of mine. I opened my eyes slowly and met her concerned gaze. "Piece of cake" I said standing up trying to joke. I also thought on how he held me in bed when he was a Strigoi. probably as much as he did before. "Nobody can comprehend the love you had…still have." She said in a hush tone. Said Oksana directly in my mind. I saw the first time we kissed. undeniable. Even…while he held you captive. I could feel the pain and hatred and desire to revenge…. He doesn't think anyone could be powerful enough to do that.Gladiators' day?" She asked with a sad smile. I suddenly felt a cold breeze fill my body. He didn't want to kill me. I gasped keeping my eyes close. I chose them over him and he intended to make them pay. He wanted me by his side. "I'm sorry" she added in a breath. "Now we wait and see. the 'I love you's' after that. the first time he hint on the love he felt for me. how he defended me against Nathan and Galina. Mark quickly looked down at the table. I was a bit embarrassed knowing that Oksana could see them too but I knew she would never judge me. "I…I need to get back. I was ashamed of that of course but I just did. She probably thought I was a freak." "Yeah you need your sleep if you want to be ready for. He probably didn't acknowledge it himself but he did love me. ." She shook her head." She held my hands tightly. how he was about to make me his. Oksana was so powerful it amazed me.We were in. We knew you two were in love we just…. It was clear in his mind. That woman was good to the core. "We never even guessed the extent of that love. I closed my eyes starting to go over some of my moments with Dimitri. you tried!" "No I'm sorry for you two Rose. he actually never even intended to. He was thinking about me. I don't want to hit to strong. I could feel it deep down inside of him. what did you call it-. he knew everything.
"What's wrong is… You know how much I love Dimitri right?" Christian frowned slightly confused. But he had to understand that one day it might be too late and that he should enjoy being with Lissa while he could. Chapter 15: My phone beeped. "Really??" He nodded again. It was a bit awkward for me but it felt nice too. eyes still closed. "Nothing worth living come easy Christian and you know that. "Hello…" I answered sleepily. I hated hurting him. I hated to have snapped at Christian like that. That's what make me sick. They were good people. he is trying to get back what we had in his dark and twisted way. "Even him. you know how easily you can lose it and what do you guys do? Give up!! I…. I could see in his eyes that he didn't expect me to go there. evil as he is. "There is no need to deny it Chris I saw your mind remember. "What's wrong Rose?" He asked warily. "It's not that---" "Don't say 'easy' because I swear I hurt you!" I said and I realized I meant it." I threw my hands in the air in surrender. "Rose…" He started resignedly. "You want to know what's wrong?" He nodded. Seeing you waste what I'm working so hard to get back!" And without another word I swirled around and rushed into the building. he didn't deserve it. "I love him so much and even now I'm ready to do everything to have our love back even…" I gulped as a lump of tears had formed in my throat. "Call her Sydney! You're not helping you know." I shook my head "and when I see two people that love each other so much" I said pointing at him." I snapped "I…" Christian looked hurt it had been so long since I snapped at him. It needed to be said!! I thought as guilt started to creep in me. . "What are you doing here?" "I needed to ask you something but 'creepy shadow' told me you left for a while. I was positive that his love for me was still inside somewhere…how would I ever be able to plunge my stake into his heart now? I sighed heavily as I reached the building. "I just wanted to know if the potion to enhance power could work on me too…She said we'll give it a try tomorrow if you're ok with it." He said grinning. I'm so mad at you two I could just scream! You see me fighting to have my love back. Now it would be even harder to kill him if I had to.Both Oksana and Mark hugged me tight. I was walking back to my room still shaken by the little visit in Dimitri's mind." I nodded curtly. "Hey!" "Christian?" I asked dumbfounded seeing him exiting my dorm.
I turned to put the phone back on my nightstand when I crossed Sydney's eyes fixed on me. I always keep my promises." He said seriously. in that bed. I wish I could be beside you." He said cutting me off and the line went dead. in your head…in your soul" he said huskily. remember. "Do your best today. you'll always be mine and I'll always be yours and that can't ever change" He said emotionless like he was reading the news. "Where are you?" I asked even if I perfectly knew the answer." "Then." "Dimitri…" I whispered as my eyes shot open. "Dimitri…" I only repeated as I was scared to say too much and have him figure it all out. He chuckled. of course he was right! "But I presume you mean physically. "Do you remember the snow angels?" "Of course I do. I looked at my phone for a while. It worked!! I'll be damned! "Yes Roza it's me. "I'll see you Roza… Just so you know. "I'm too far from you Rose. The smile his Strigoi self bored most of the time… the one I hated to the core. but hearing his voice." That little remark made me blush furiously. . looking at the ceiling trying to swallow back the tears because he was right. "I'm with you in your heart. "That's right" he said and I could hear the smile in his voice. I wanted to know if he would play with me or if he was confident enough to tell me the truth. "I'll hurt anyone getting in our way. you promised to never hurt me…" I whispered stupidly. giving you what I know you are craving but I'll come eventually." He said and even if the words were nice they still managed to sound like a threat. willing or not. "What did I tell you in the snow that day?" he invited me to continue. his barely hidden threats… That was hard to bear." I said in a low voice keeping my eyes locked on Sydney who was still sleeping soundly." "I--" "Sleep well Roza." I said trying to sound as nonchalant than I could. "You told me that you would be there for me to support me during Gladiators' day. It was good I knew that. you're gifted in almost everything we tried together."I'm sorry to wake you up in the middle of the night Roza but I wanted to wish you good luck. I nodded. He knew it hurt me to revisit our rare but precious memories and I was sure he was doing it on purpose. "What does 'hurting' mean really? It's all subjective Roza. "I'm not worried. It meant that Oksana could tamper with his brain enough to probably make him change the place he wanted to target his attack. you wouldn't want to put your mentor to shame would you?" He said teasingly." He continued as I kept quiet. "Was that who I thought it was?" She asked calmly. I turned to lay on my back." He said with his velvety voice and I could imagine his cold smile. "I unfortunately can't be there with you but you need to know that you're in my mind… always.
she wanted to come. it will be impossible to fool him. "You have to understand that I can't lose you ok? I… I just can't allow that to happen…ever. "It will be dangerous…VERY dangerous" I said sitting on my own bed so we faced each other. "I'll be with some deadly guardians! Pavel and the guys from the Secret Services and most of the Moroi there will be more powerful than ever!" I said as we realized that Sydney's potion was also working on Christian making him one hell of a flamethrower. She was pretty poised so it made us all confident. "No I know you're not. "You know about tomorrow…" I said trailing off. "I'll come back mom. She didn't want to let me go alone. I promise. "You need to be careful Rose" she said sighing heavily. You would never willingly risk you career and mine for something that trivial. "Think again Rose!!" "I won't be in danger Ma" I said soothingly. "You can go home now" I said gently. "I got it Rose I'm not that stupid!" She said somehow offended that I mentioned something that evident. She sighed. from now on. I hugged her tightly. the odds are in our favor." "Good. Lissa probably did 'help' a bit there but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to ask. . "I… Yeah. She knew I was right but it didn't mean she had to like the idea and I could see that she hated it. "Earth to Rose." "But it's different this time I won't be alone and…and Victor knows how serious you are about the rules. meeting a deadly Strigoi while I stay here…safe at the Academy??" She shook her head angrily." Said Sydney as I was getting ready for what could be my last day at the Academy. Now win or lose…there were no turning back." She said trying to sound just very sure but her voice was huskier." "You better…or else" she said hugging me back fiercely. Oksana drank a full potion this time and made sure the memory was really well implanted in Dimitri's mind." I said sincerely. My mom had been a lot harder to convince." I said shaking my head as remembering this intimate moment with my mother brought tears in my eyes. "With you there." My mom pursed her lips with disapproval but I could see in her eyes that she was surrendering. The next week was really crazy as we were putting the final touches to our plan. she was probably trying to conceal her emotions. it's just…" I took a deep breath. "It means that. Kirova didn't mind letting us leave for a week since there were no exams left or anything like that."What does that mean Rose?" She asked with concerned." She said simply turning around to go back to sleep. "Do you really think I'll let you go there. "What about it?" She asked sitting on her bed. "You don't understand Rose but…but I realized all the mistakes I made as far as you are concerned and I won't make them all over again.
It was too late to do that anyways. I could feel that Lissa was doing her best to fight back her tears. for Sydney." She nodded "I know and it's all good. Sydney was on board now. you're my friend and I want to be there. "I see…" She said nodding. 'kind of ok to hang around' which was. I…" I sighed and went to sit beside her. probably not really sleeping getting ready for their own plane very early in the morning to go to Lissa's cabin. I'm just trying to protect you Syd. "You take care ok?" I asked locking eyes with Christian for him to understand I meant 'you take care of her'. I thought that telling her she would have to stay almost two days without me might make her change her mind but she told me that Lissa. I promise. one hell of a compliment! Today we were all tense on different levels. and once you knew our little group enough. The others would spend the night at the Academy. We needed the daylight as a weapon to get Victor out of Jail. She knew it was silly as we'd be apart for only two days and what I was doing was not that dangerous but she didn't like us being separated. I was stubborn but I was no match to Sydney and I knew that. "Now that you've gotten everything you needed from the alchemists you send me away…" she snorted "and I thought we were friends!" "But we are!" I said offended "that's why I'm trying to keep you safe. Sydney went to stay with Oksana and Mark that night since she couldn't stay in my dorm room with me but she was on her best behavior. They trusted my judgment but couldn't help being worried about what was about to happen. She even went there with a smile on her lips…scariest thing ever! That night just before I went to go meet Eddie and Adrian at the plane. Abe's plane would be here tonight to pick me up along with Adrian and Eddie. She didn't want me to change my mind and send her away." I sighed in capitulation.She looked at me silently for a minute and I could see anger and rejection in her face. "And you be safe ok? Nothing is worth you being . "I hate for the people I care about to get involved in what I'm about to do Sydney and I know you will not want to stay here without me and I hate the idea to have you there on the front line with no way to defend yourself. I quickly stopped by the Moroi dorm and took Christian over to Lissa's room in order to say goodbye to them. "Always" he said and I could hear the underlying emotion in his voice. even if none of us worded our fears and doubts out loud. Mark and Oksana were. and I quote. dangerous or not. "But you'll have to stay hidden you know that right? Not with me but with the Moroi and other dhampirs." She narrowed her eyes slightly with suspicion but relaxed almost immediately. He quickly glanced to Lissa to show me that he understood. "Ok guys I know I'll see you two in two days but…" I looked at them both sitting patiently on Lissa's bed looking at me with both concern and confidence. She had been raised with the idea that every single person in our world was evil and dangerous so of course she knew how dangerous it would be." "It's reckless and stupid you know that right?" I asked more rhetorically than anything else. you could see what the main concerns were. I sighed and rolled my eyes but didn't comment. She just smiled. "Yeah but that's the point. I just want to be there I mean…" she grinned "I went through like 2 weeks of super boring preparation putting on with Ivashkov's idiotic behavior… I want to share the spotlight. "Everything will be alright you know" I said with a sad smile. no matter what.
I could feel relief through the bond meaning that Lissa bought it but I could see in Christian's eyes that he didn't buy it for a second but he was kind enough not to word his doubts. "Come on Liss give me a---" My phoned beeped." I whispered stopping in front of her. I could see Pavel in the shadow of the plane door but he didn't say anything. "We're ready and waiting!" "I'll be right over. I couldn't say anything." She said barely louder than a whisper. she had tears in her eyes and it hurt me deep in my chest. I presumed it was the emotion that kept her from talking louder. I kissed Lissa's forehead." I said as I exited the room." I said letting go of her. You are so brave and fearless. I would never leave Adrian or Eddie behind. I ran to the runway where my mom was waiting for me. "I'll see you in two days. I still had trouble to express my feelings but I decided to work on that later…if I had a later. "Just come back to me Rose… Whatever happens. "Never!" Said Adrian who was sitting in the back of the plane. I frowned slightly with confusion but I knew I would find out eventually. "Don't forget what you told me Ivashkov" said my mother louder before Pavel could close the door." I smiled back and walked into the plane. She smiled at me and gently removed a strand of hair from my face. He just stood up hugging me fiercely. giving my mother and I the couple of minutes we needed. Just be safe and come back. I could see her eyes glint slightly. we have it all planned. we can work it out. "I'll see you soon. I was probably more of a masochist than I even thought I was because I did miss him. I…I love you guys. "Mom. Her face was grim and hard probably trying to keep her emotions in order." I said not able to conceal my smile. A real fighter! I couldn't have dreamed for a better daughter. everything that could have been said would have sounded all wrong and I knew that. "Hello?" "Come on! Hathaway where the hell are you?" barked Pavel. "I'm so proud of you Rose. "Please be careful. "It will be alright mom. "I'll do my best" I whispered back kissing him soundly on the cheek." he whispered to my ear. I just hugged her burying my face into her chest." I said taking her hand.hurt if anything…anything at all doesn't turn out right you just run as fast and as far as you can. . ok?" "Of course!" I said with a smile but I knew that it was probably one of the biggest lies I'd ever told. I would rather give my life saving them.
Eddie snorted and tried to hide it with a cough." This wit made him smile even wider. "Well I don't know what is more shocking really. I was ready to bet that he loved my teasing as much as I liked his. A real killing machine! I detailed him." "Really?" I grimaced. "What about you Papav? Ready?" I asked as I had to stay in front him till the pilot said it was ok to walk around. I decided to go sit beside him later. "Ready?" I asked. manly kind of way but he was scary."What took you so long?" Asked Pavel as I quickly sat down across from him as the plane took off. "Wow…you're some piece of a man!" I exclaimed without even thinking. My hand almost got lost in his enormous one. Pavel had a ghost of a smile playing on his lips but tried to keep his seriousness." he said with a small smile. "What's your first name anyways I mean…'Pavel' is a bit impersonal. "As ready as I can be. I could see the apprehension in his face. Nice to meet you" said Arch ignoring my comment." he said with a wink but he didn't fool me. He was at least 7 feet tall and 360 lbs. "It's nice to meet you too" I said as formal as he was. We're buddies now!" Pavel looked at me for a minute. "Gavrilovich?" He pursed his lips." I said snickering. "I'm sorry dude that sucks. "Hey Buddy!!" I said as cheerily as I could. "You are not going to beli---" He started but was cut off by Pavel." Adrian burst into laughter from the back. he was probably sitting beside the pilot and that man was… that man was huge!! He was the biggest man I had ever seen. "We can't all be naturally charming like you Papav. I turned around just in time to see the man exiting the cockpit. "I have to be ready don't I? And my name is Gavrilovich. I would have needed at least 3 Dimitri's to make one like him and my Dimitri was already broad shouldered. "Miss Hathaway. "My friends call me Gav. that you allow people to call you Gav or that you have friends. Eddie stood up too and I could see excitement in his eyes. mouth agape. Apparently he was not the kind of guy that you joked around with. He was beautiful in a rough. . "We can't say you particularly took care of your appearance" he said pointing to my clothing. He was so broad. "Rose let me introduce you to Guardian Arch from the Secret Services." He said formally. At this moment we heard the beeping sound releasing us and I almost jumped out of my seat. "That's shocking!" I said with fake surprise. He had black hair and gray eyes with olive skin.
"We're going to be alright. feeling his warmth made me feel safe." He added seriously. I'm pretty sure I can remember that. I couldn't help the small yawn." He said with a small smile." I said as a joke but his serious nod led me to think that he didn't get it. I squeezed his hand tightly after he intertwined our fingers. "Victor. I took a similar position and relaxed as we looked into each others' eyes. I needed the contact and hearing his quiet breathing. Adrian wrapped his right arm around my shoulders and rested his cheek on top of my head. "You seem tired. "Victor. I shrugged slightly. "That's all good. "No time to discuss it. "It's time to free the big bad wolf. "OK…." he repeated as a confirmation while tightening his arm around my shoulders as the plane started to descend. "Ummm?" I muttered still keeping my head on his shoulder." He whispered still keeping his eyes on mine." He added seeing I was about to argue. "I know." I said. smelling his wooden aftershave.Well I'll catch you later" I said going to sit beside Adrian. "Don't worry I'll sleep on my way to Norway. wake up" he whispered against my forehead. "What did you say to my mother?" I asked curiously. . "We're about to land" he said gently kissing my forehead." "Hello Rose" he said letting his head roll on his head rest so he was facing me." He nodded and reached for my hand wordlessly." Said Arch as we approached the prison discreetly. "We still have a bit more than one hour flight Rose you could take a small nap." he said with concern. "I'll tell you in due time." I nodded. I turned around and grinned when Adrian winked at me. "Rose…Angel. I inched closer and rested my head on his shoulder. "I'll do it" he whispered but I decided to ignore it as I had no clue what he meant and I was feeling so good right there… I just closed my eyes and tried to forget everything that was about to happen. I didn't even realized I fell asleep when felt Adrian's hand gently brushing my cheek. Chapter 16: "Ok here is the drill. "Hi there." He said nodding toward the back of the plane where Adrian was sitting." I said as my eyes shot open now wide awake."Just so we get our story straight my name is Sebastian Arch and the cover story will be that I'm Adrian Ivashkov's guardian. and without even thinking about it.
"I'll keep an eye on the cameras. Do you copy that?" I snapped. I knew he loved me but he was still here. "I'll stay by the main gates. I knew it was more like a temporary freedom but it was crazy nevertheless. We were not faking the urgency." I looked at him and smiled. I pursed my lips and Adrian squeezed my hand to show me his support. "I'm here to get you out. "So… have you made up your mind?" He asked with a big smile. "You go first" said Adrian barely louder than a whisper. We didn't need to raise their suspicion. I was sure people didn't snap at him that often. "They'll do everything you ask them to do" he said to Arch pointing to the guards sitting in complete daze. . Arch nodded entering the small office looking at the screens. After talking with the guards for about 2 minutes Adrian gestured us forward. after you'd have done your voodoo crap to the guard" Arch said to Adrian. "Lets go" said Adrian gripping my hand. I could see Adrian jaw muscles bulged but he didn't say anything. "Rose you're back!" he said standing from the bed where he was lying. Adrian put the first guard to sleep and forced the second one to open the door to the corridor where Victor was held. I was about to ask him who elected him big boss but I kept it shut as we had much more important things to deal with. I nodded and walked briskly to Victor's cell. to save Dimitri even if it meant we wouldn't be together. every step of the way. As far as they were concerned.Nobody at the Prison was aware of what we were about to do." I said through clenched teeth. hidden. I knew how much all of this cost him. "How could--" He started but stopped when he saw Adrian approaching with the guard. it was a real escape which was a good thing as it added to the pretends. Victor eyes narrowed with suspicion. "Don't insult me with stupid questions" he said not even bothering to look at me anymore. Adrian and I as Pavel stayed in the plane waiting for us. He looked at me with what seemed to be approval. Adrian reached the guards at the entrance first as we stayed a couple of meters behind. "It's now or never. "You" he pointed to Adrian Eddie and I "you go in I'll stay by the door and keep contact with you if there is a move" he added taping the little ear piece he was wearing. I stopped breathing with apprehension. It still killed me to let him out. "How will--" I started but didn't bother finishing when he handed me a small ear piece. "Hey! Being a 'super agent' is not a free pass for being an ass. while you get him" he added looking to Eddie.
I almost snapped at him telling him I was not as stupid as he thought I was but it was Christian who figured it out. "Yes… open the door" said the guard with a sleepy voice. Rumors that the nephew of the Queen got involved with my favorite rebel." Said Adrian as the guard yawned and fell on the floor. Now you are going to open this door" he said with a very calm voice. Every time I asked him something he told me what he believed was true. "And where are we going?" Asked Victor as we exited the corridor.." "It was 3 Moroi" repeated the guard. . a Spirit user." He said literally marveling.. "Who would have thought the rumors were real?" Said Victor shaking his head. I NEVER lied to you" he said locking his jade eyes with mine. "It was 3 men who attacked you." Said Adrian with an hypnotic voice." "You gave me your word" I said cutting them off. but you know. "Yeah well… it was not enough" I simply said. 3 Moroi in their 40's. "To Norway" "So you figured it out?" He asked somehow impressed. "What are you talking about?" I asked briskly. I nodded grateful. "You said you'd help me." He looked at Adrian who was looking at him with sharp eyes. good or bad." I pursed my lips but didn't comment because it was true." He added pointing to Adrian "So what?" Asked Adrian. He seemed to like what he was seeing. "Sleep now. "He is a dhampir…You are one of them. "When I was at the Court awaiting my trial I heard rumors. I kept my eyes on Victor whose eyes widen with understanding. "That's good. Victor only told me the truth. "Nothing…I just find that rather ummm amusing. "Awesome!" said Eddie still not as used as I was to see compulsion. "Well at least it was true as far as YOU are concerned. "You are very tired…you are going to sleep now and when you wake up you'll see it clearly in your head. I knew you were involved with the dhampir.Adrian locked eyes with the guard. Adrian ignored him. The guard opened the door and as soon as Victor walked into the corridor he burst into laugher." "And I intend to keep my promise. "Maybe it was" he said evasively concentrating on Adrian who was working on the guard. "And I'm probably the only one. "We need to move" said Eddie who was standing beside the door. Hate me as much as you want Rose but there is something you can't deny.
Adrian winked at him and grabbed my hand. Eddie was closing the cortege. I had a foot on the first step when I felt someone pulling me back hugging me tight." Arch pursed his lips and nodded." Victor walked beside Arch to the plane." He said pulling me away. "Hathaway!" Barked Pavel from the plane making me laugh. "I go with Eddie and I'll met you there" he said to me. "It's your job remember. "You're going to go with them" said Adrian coldly to Arch. Yeah they should make it before sunset. Pavel probably did see us coming. "But I'm your Guardian I'm--" "Yeah you have to do as I say!" Snapped Adrian." "I'll see you soon" I replied. I did believe that Victor was really going to help me. just in case. "Oh joy! Your number one fan is here too. I was behind them. whatever his ulterior motive was. . I could see he was thinking. I walked into the plane without a look back. "Be careful" whispered Adrian in my hair. We rushed to the runway where the plane was waiting. "Meet you where?" Asked Victor curiously. "If that's not love" said Victor with a small laugh. but I was not idiotic enough to trust him blindly either. I looked into his eyes for a minute and maybe he saw something he liked because he bent down to kiss me hard and I kissed him back. As soon as we reached it. Victor was following us with a little smile on his lips. Adrian worked on the guards in the entrance compelling them to believe the same description of the attackers than the guards inside the prison. "Ok lets meet Arch. "Same to you. "I love you Rose. and right at this instant. "I'll tell you in the plane we really need to go now" I said dismissively keeping my eyes on Adrian." "Abe Mazur again" Said Victor trailing off. "I'll tell you everything in the plane" I said more or less sincere." Said Victor with incredulity. I knew they would just take the car and drive to the Dragomir Cabin which should take about 9 hours. "Please move. the motors of the planes started to roam. be safe" I said reluctantly getting out of his embrace but I didn't want Pavel to burst a vein. "Why would he even agree to help you?" he asked suspiciously and I could see I had to find an answer fast or Victor would not move. I hated myself for not reciprocating. "He has to… he is one of Abe Mazur guardian and an order is an order.
Victor quickly glanced at him with a smile playing in his lips." "Non taken" I said quickly glancing at Pavel who was doing his best not to smile. what do you have on Ibrahim Mazur?" I shot a glance at Pavel who just shrugged probably meaning it was my call. "So you are his heiress? That's…something. I never thought you would do that. "Which lead me to ask what I'm dying to know…What did you promise to Abe Mazur to get his help?" "What are you talking about?" I asked crossing my arms on my chest in a subconsciously defensive position. "Well I know you are going to be an exceptional guardian but you are clearly not worth that much…no offence. I got curious and I thought that maybe he wanted you as a guardian I mean…" he grinned "I can't judge I wanted you to guard me too." Said Victor with a slight shrug." Said Victor scrutinizing my face. Pavel took his glasses off and shot me a warning 'be-careful' glance. "Look at me Victor…really look at me. "Well at first I thought he contacted me as a freebee. "You just never thought I would succeed." I pursed my lips but kept my mouth shut. Tell me now…Who does all that recall you of?" Victor looked at me quizzically for a minute or two before bursting into laugher. when you came to visit." "Possible" he said with a glint of humor in his eyes. Then. come sit here" said Victor with an inviting tone but I knew I didn't have much choice. "You are one sick bastard!" I gasped quite happy that Arch was not here to hear those accusations as he resumed to take his seat beside the pilot." I smile slightly "my attitude that you described as. my ability to bend the fine line between right and wrong as long as it meet my interest. You and I both I thought but kept this remark to myself." "What do you think?" I asked coldly. my eyes…my skin tone. I knew Victor well enough to know he was playing me. "So I can't help to wonder what on earth did you promise him or gave him for him to do that. "So I can't help but think about something else and that…" he shuddered "that would be just shocking and disturbing coming from you but I guess you are maybe really ready to ANYTHING to save your dhampir. "So Dear Rose. "But now…now it's different." I said locking eyes with him "Look at my hair. if I remember correctly." "How is that---" my eyes widened with understanding as Pavel jaw locked with anger. "Well what is it then? Tell me Rose." "You knew I would try" I said with a bitter smile. "You know for you to trust him."Please Rose." . "Of course!! It's so evident!! But I would have never thought that Janine Hathaway could…" he stop shaking his head still laughing. He is far from being honest but Abe Mazur going into a criminal venture for someone else? Not likely. Pavel sat across from us probably to show Victor that he would be listening.
"We're going to Stavanger" he said still smiling. I couldn't help but yawn. Robert Duros brain was fried and Victor was the only one able to interpret it. "Give me a break" I snapped. "So we're going to Norway? Where exactly??" "That's what you are supposed to tell me. "So why?" "Why what?" "Why did you tell me that if it was that evident?" I asked challenging him. Once we'll get there there is a park called Breiavatnet where there is a statue of Kielland in the center. "Even if he is probably barely more intelligent than a plankton. "I'm sure anyone could have figured it out even the guy in there" He said pointing to the cockpit door where Arch was as Pavel already resumed his seat across the aisle. "I gave you the 'Alexander Kielland' part and actually it's all you needed to know. "By the way the monastery is called St Vladimir" he added with humor. except the hour I slept on Adrian's shoulder it had been more than 24 hours since I slept. "And I gave you all the answers Rose… Know that much. Norway." I was about to say 'How in earth was I supposed to figure that one out?' But I was glad I kept my mouth shut." He cocked his head to the side. . "Next well there is a street parallel to the park where you can find a monastery." Pavel stood up to go to the cockpit probably to tell them where we were going. "You better sleep for a little while Rose. You knew your hint wouldn't be enough to lead me to your brother"." I couldn't help but smile."I'm proud of being his daughter" I said defensively." I just nodded. I said not able to conceal the anger in my voice as well as I wanted to." My eyes narrowed with suspicion did he really mean that? Was it really THAT simple. "No it's true. He smiled "Because I knew that even if you did manage to find him it would be useless. She was making the bed in one of the main bedroom in the cabin. "And what next?" He chuckled. I closed my eyes and decided to pay a little visit to Lissa in order change my mind a little. head high. Alexander Kielland was born in Stavanger." Said Victor crossing his legs. It would like he is talking a different language and I'm the only translator around." "I--" He raised his hand to shush me. It actually took all my will power not to smack his smile away. Adrian was right then. it's not like I can go anywhere" said Victor matter of factly gesturing to our surrounding. "As long as it's fine by you it's fine by me. "I knew you needed me. no matter what.
"Lissa you can fool them but you can't fool me.if someone I loved was Strigoi. She realized I was mainly an overprotective best friend. "I doing fine. "I know you way better than that. "Rose is going to freak!" Freak? Why would I freak?? Who was helping? I thought trying to search Lissa's mind but she was all over the place I couldn't get anything that made sense. Lissa shrugged dismissively." he said before crashing his lips on hers. Eddie and Adrian are on their way…The house will be ready for the Strigoi. She didn't want him to be near her because he felt bad for her. I think she is waiting for the first chance to send you back to the academy. Christian trapped Lissa's face in his hands. and without breaking eye contact. "I want to be strong. He didn't kiss her but he was so closed. I would do exactly the same thing but…but I'm just terrified. "It's all good. Christian went to sit beside her taking her hand in his. "Oh…" Apparently Christian was not expecting that. "Yeah we even have more help than we asked for. everything went according to plan. you will be safe because…because I love you and probably always will. because lets face it. "I'll be here with you. Lissa sighed and sat on the freshly made bed."Are you ok?" Asked Christian leaning against the doorframe." He said nicely. "I'm worried" she said looking down. I know Rose will be more than happy not to have you involved in all that. We can work it out. "I mean we are the best of the best here with all our powers overly enhanced. all of it. Rose is on her way to Norway." She said looking up to meet his eyes. and if there was only the slimmest chance for that state to be reversed. because he pitied her. their noses almost touching that she could feel his warm breath caressing her face." "Look at you all bad ass. if the situation were reversed if yo-. All that only to try to save Dimitri. Are you ok?" He repeated again." She didn't want to show her weaknesses to him. She was not questioning our friendship anymore. I don't want Rose to feel bad for bringing him into our lives again. Lissa started to kiss him back with hunger and passion and I decided it was my time to exit her head before clothes started to fall. "No that's not the problem" she said confidently. closed the distance between their faces. She loved the contact. ." "You bet!!" Christian ran his hand through his hair. Christian closed the door and leaned on it. I was so selfish but the problem was that I just didn't feel bad enough to stop it all." I felt like a knife plucking deep into my chest." Said Christian chuckling. I was making Lissa face the person she hated the most. "No my problem is… facing him again" she said and I could see Victor clearly in her mind." "I know it's just…I'm not sure I can do it. she was craving for his touch but she thought that he didn't love her anymore…what a fool! "Adrian phoned." Lissa couldn't help her little smile. I'm not scared about that.
trying to open my eyes. it wasn't the case. It seemed I was barely asleep when the alarm clock beeped. "I bet you can find something to eat in there. I was probably dreaming about him but that was just…strange. I looked around. Rose Angel wake up I heard Adrian call me and my eyes shot up with surprise. Things were starting to get back to the way they were supposed to be. Adrian? Is that you? I thought feeling idiotic but with everything that was going on maybe telepathy was possible but no. Chapter 17: After we landed we decided to check into a hotel for the night since the pilot needed as much rest as the rest of us. "You know I thought we were on a Rose-Gav level now but no…" I closed the door "You insist on keeping it on a surname level? Fine Pavel!" "It's easier that way.' "Whatever…" I said stupidly hurt. sleeping is an overstatement as I spend most of the night staring at the ceiling. "I was about to wake you" said Pavel. "Hathaway time to go. "Where are we?" I asked the voice still full of sleep. I started to imagine how things would happen from now on. It couldn't…wouldn't fail. I was replaying the plan in my head over and over again.I smiled settling more comfortably on my seat." he barked." He pointed to the back of the plane. Maybe I would get mine too I thought before falling asleep. I just got dressed when Pavel knocked at my door. I felt better after phoning Lissa at the cabin and she announced that Eddie and Adrian made it back safely. insane hopes and great despair I would get my answer in three tiny days and then what?? The unknown was more terrifying that anything I faced to this day. After months and months of speculations. "We should land in about 30 minutes. Based on Andre calculation. since nobody replied. Victor shared a room with Arch and Pavel and I got to sleep in a room by myself. Well. We settled for a hotel close to the Monastery to go to pick up Robert very early in order to make our way back to America still under the protection of the sun. I felt like a kid who wanted to make friends with someone who didn't want to. The golden couple was finally back together having their happy ending. I looked around but only saw Victor reading a magazine and Pavel who was keeping a sharp eye on him. and it will all end then. in three days I would be face to face with Dimitri. I realized that we crossed more steps now. if I make it. As I started to nibble on the crackers I found. It was like my eyes lids weighted 200 pounds." "Thank you" I said and nodded a cordial 'hello' to Victor going to the back of the plane as my stomach was starting to rumble very loudly. "Promiscuity is never good. When it's done. "Where are Victor and GI Joe?" . I groaned." He said evasively. I'll sleep for at least a week! I thought stumbling to the bathroom hoping that a cold water would put my brain in the right way.
Pavel had a ghost of a smile. to go back to the plane. as a woman. Once in the plane." I nodded understanding how he was feeling." I said with a small smile. had to stay in the main entrance while Pavel. it was not like I cared if Victor Dashkov was feeling good but it would be a pain if he passed out because of the sun. "Yeah it's her…It's Rose" said Victor with the nicest voice I ever heard of him. ." I nodded. "I just couldn't handle that without at least a coffee in me. "You are the wild flower aren't you?" He asked me as he hugged me. Ok he was coo coo in the was he was talking in metaphor…that's going to be bitchy! "A flower that grows in adversity is the most beautiful of all…but you have to be careful that the shadows don't swallow you. It felt awkward and I had to go against all my instinct to not push him away. He had blond shaggy hair. I knew he liked my witty self but he was not ready to admit it. Wild Flower…Rose! I finally understood. be nice I repeated to myself awkwardly hugging him back. I didn't really know what I expected. "You bet" he said gesturing me to the elevator. He nodded sadly before getting in the dark SUV with a chauffeur. The walk to the monastery took about 5 minutes and it was a good thing because even if it was cloudy Victor was not comfortable outside. Victor sat Robert beside him and I sat across from them. When I met Robert I had a shock. that the monks graciously lent us. When he saw me he looked at me curiously and flashed me a million dollar smile and I couldn't help but smile back. "Coffee?" I asked tentatively. We stocked the plane with 5 bags of blood for him and Robert. He had the same jade eyes as Victor but the resemblance stopped there. and Victor went to pick up Robert. The shower did half the job but I was sure that one or two big cups of strong. was barely 40 and he seemed so nice. "Victor is having his…'breakfast' in the room" he said grimacing slightly. All the way back to the airport Robert kept his eyes locked on me. I. Actually he looked like the sanest of all of us. Arch. I was actually glad Victor was with us because the monks were refusing to let us in but once they saw Victor and he introduced himself they let us in. You need him. "Why?" Asked Robert looking at Victor. maybe a face that said 'beware I'm totally crazy' but it was the total contrary. To be honest. "I'll do my best. Arch went to sit beside the pilot. grateful. like he was trying to read my soul and it was making me very uncomfortable. kind…almost safe. he is mentally unstable. black coffee would finish it. I started to suspect that he was not that hot for our company. Well." He said so seriously that I felt I had to reassure him. "I told them we'll be waiting in the lobby.
too long in there and there will be no present and no future…your soul…will be lost. Robert looked at Victor and. being Victor's brother was not making him an evil psycho." I said smiling to Robert. "A pure soul has more chance to fight the shadows but even the toughest flower needs light to survive. I knew only too well the black hole. I quickly glanced at Victor. "You…really??" He asked apparently happily surprised. "The more healing hands the better. "A black hole?" Victor asked rhetorically but he probably understood I knew what he was talking about when all the blood drained from my face.. "Someone I love with all my heart and soul.Why what? I thought but kept it shut. You need to put the light back in the dark one." I threw a quick glance to Pavel as I was uncomfortable to talk with him so close. I decided to ignore him. I nodded." "Of course I do. "You need to find your way through the darkness. It was the place that Andre showed me in the plane." He specified for me. "Well yeah. "Yes. "I need to go in the shadows? Why?" "It's where his light is. . I fidgeted on my seat he seemed to be reading me and I seriously didn't like that." Said Victor looking at me." I shrugged dismissively. with the way he looked at him." "You have healing hands?" He asked curiously. I looked at him quizzically. sometimes he doesn't realize that he is not wording his whole question but I get it fully. as he is mentally connected to me. I looked at him confused. There was a blank in his sentence and I knew it." "What--" I tried confused. "She wants to bring the light back in a dark one. "Spirit users. "Maybe. "He wants to know if it's someone you loved?" Asked Victor. I could see that he was communicating with him." I said with the full force of my puppy eyes on him. He looked at me through narrow eyes. I kept repeating myself that he was a nice guy." I muttered. "3??" Said Victor literally marveling. it's someone I love. "You know what he is talking about don't you?" Asked Victor with his evil grin. "I need your help." Said Robert nodding approvingly. "Is----loved?" Robert asked me. "I have some…3 to be exact. that I should be nice with him." Victor frowned as he seemed to read something in Roberts' head that confused him." I nodded.
"What?" He asked completely stunned taking off his glasses to lock eyes with me. "I need some privacy with them please." "OK let me summarize. "I'm going to go in the soundproof cockpit to see where we are." "So…what didn't you want mister 'big shot' to hear?" asked Victor with humor. I shrugged "I know it's dangerous." I said as calmly as I could even if my heart was beating so hard in my chest it hurt." Victor nodded "and if I can't make it back before some time my body will just die and I'll wander in the 'land of death' forever…Am I right?" I ask trying to sound like my usual brave smartass self but it was hard to pretend since I was scared and worried beyond words." he said trying to sound detached but I could see that what he meant was." He took a deep breath. if I don't find the exit?" I asked trying to hide my fear and apprehension. "What if I have a guide?" I asked remembering how Andre pointed the entrance of the hole to me. in a strange and twisted way. Robert gave me a sad smile. the more it will turn dark till the day it won't even remember it wanted to get back. in fact I like that honesty. "I don't really think it's a good idea Hathaway. "Uh…" said Victor and I'll be damned I saw a flash of worries in his eyes. ." I said like it wasn't a big deal. I could see it was one of his silent conversation and of course I didn't receive anything. I didn't think I fooled him. "Please. He sighed." I repeated as coolly as I could. 'I will so kick your butt if you make me leave now' "I think it is. The more it will stay there. "I understand why you wanted him out" he said pointing to the seat where Pavel was before." Said Victor coolly. It seemed like he didn't care what would happen to me and. could you give us a moment?" I asked looking at Pavel. I send my soul in so my body is in a sort of coma. "Your light will be in the darkness. "That's an understatement Rose! Robert witnessed two reversions and each time the soul of the shadow kissed that visited the limbo didn't make it back. "On the other side your vessel--" I quickly glanced at Victor who mouthed 'your body' "Will shut off lightly while you are in this deep soulless sleep till the day…till the day it will just shut down for good. "The land of dead…" Victor nodded. "But once she is in…she has to get out." "What if I don't make it back. "The hole your brother talked about is the land of dead. "That's the general idea. "And you can get in?" "The brave soul she has will have to" said Robert answering the question. An eternity of wandering…that was an heavy price to pay. I mean…it's not like they can go anywhere" I added keeping my eyes on him to show I wouldn't back away. "Fine" he said through clenched teeth. You know--" he started and then stopped looking from Victor to me."You know about the hole…you need to go inside to---" Started Victor but I raised my hand to stop him.
What if I have another spirit to guide me. They were both surprised and I guessed it took a lot to surprise crazy Rob. I knew she was the other Secret service agent and boy. because anything else would have just been impossible for her to impersonate. so nothing special about her on that level. I sighed then and the rest of the flight was in silence. "He said it would be impossible to convince a dead spirit to join you on your quest. If she ever infiltrated something she had to have done it as a guardian." I mumbled as Pavel came back. he was just…'out' but it was my life that was at stake here and I felt legitimate to be uncomfortable to risk my soul on a totally fried individual. After everything my friends sacrificed and risked. "You are far too brave for your own good.dead…. "Another question though…" I said quickly glancing at the cockpit door behind me to be sure Pavel was not back. I knew that Andre would go in with me. he knew that I was an important part of Lissa's well-being and happiness. maybe mid thirties. "My lips are sealed Rose. Victor sighed before concentrating on me. He would help me make it back even if he couldn't. She wasn't old. She was about my height. Chapter 18: Once we landed I had made my decision. "Another spirit…a spirit that managed to get out of the limbs in the first place. He wanted Lissa to be happy and safe. and as terrible and presumptuous as it sounded. not really dead but certainly not alive." said Victor with his evil smile. I was going to go and look for Dimitri's soul. we will most likely be locked in the limbo. as a dead soul." Said Robert somehow reluctantly." "I bet you do.agree…. did she made it obvious. Even if you two find the exit again he will most likely not be able to cross it once more.. I felt bad to feel annoyance as it was not Robert's fault. Could I really do that? Risk wandering for eternity in the limbo. or something. That was a terrible choice to make. "Should I worry about that? Are you going to tell??" I asked trying to keep my cool." Here we go. "I will have the guide." "You don't want them to know how risky it is for you right? You're scared they'll stop you." Robert shook his head."A guide?" Asked Victor and Robert simultaneously. "Is it possible to send the other soul back even if I'm stuck?" "It happened yes. There was no way I would've forgiven myself. I was sure that woman could never go unnoticed in a crowd." I stayed silent for a little moment. "…impossible…." I said with certainty. knowing that Dimitri's redemption was within my reach yet I didn't seize it? Did I even have to ask? I knew the answer in my heart. It was everything else! Her face .sure…stuck. a cop. When we stepped out of the plane. I couldn't just turn away at the last moment and I had to ask myself: Could I ever live with myself." "Why?" "Because. there was a black sedan car parked a bit further down with a woman standing by the hood. with pale brown hair cut short like a pixie. I want to see what happens way more than that. the half conversation yet again! I thought slightly annoyed. chewing on my bottom lip. How he made it out in the first place is like a glitch in the 'door'. I never thought I had to risk my soul to save Dimitri's.
From her glance at me. Arch went down first to talk with her and I stood under the plane threshold looking down at them. probably to arrange every aspect of the security. . Victor may be an earth user but he had the very annoying ability to read me way too thoroughly." I snorted. you'll keep fighting the impossible till you fall in the heart of a battle. "No. Arch and the woman. Pavel and I took the back entrance as I wanted some alone time with Lissa before she would have to face Victor. with the way you are living your life…" he shook his head." It's not that dangerous remember? You keep saying that you are all overly prepared. When we arrived at the cabin. "You don't think we're going to succeed do you?" Victor look down at me silently for a minute. He said that he would gesture to us to come down when we were ready to go. I really hope we do. from the shadowy spot beside the door. "Plus I brought my other two guardians" he said. you have to go." He said." I sighed. took Victor and Robert in the main room." Said my father approaching me. walking me toward the main room. no! You can't be here! You have to go!" I said taking a step back bumping on Pavel's chest. the Dragomir cabin. "Calm down Rose." I took a deep breath and took the bait like he knew I would. shaking my head in defeat. right?" "But baba I---" I started." he said with a wide smile. you will never be like her. apparently named Smith." He smiled and rested his hands on my shoulders. I won't budge anyway. if you fail. no. "Like father like daughter. "Think again Kazim." I muttered. "I bet you did." said Victor as we reached the car.was hard and her grey eyes were expressionless. "It's a state of mind Rose. and that fact alone made her seem invincible. because I know you well enough to know that. As soon as I walked in the kitchen I froze on the spot. It was as if she'd seen far too much. "The more the better. I felt like she no longer expected anything good out of the human race. "Like you care!" I said. getting in the car beside him. "And look at the bright side. stopping the possibility the discussion continuing. and I was relieved when Arch gestured us down. "You probably won't reach her age anyways. "No!" I gasped. still not looking at him. "For your sake." I simply said." "I---" I gave him my best death glare. "Ahhh. "We're all good and it's pointless for you to say anything. that it's safe. "You…" I shook my head "you weren't supposed to be here. It's dangerous. "But did you really think I would let you risk your life without being here?" He asked rhetorically. I stayed silent. "THAT was a low blow. I missed this place." said Victor looking down at them. wrapping an arm around my shoulders.
"It's all going to be alright. "I know we're going to make him wear some healing rings and stuff but it's barely enough to glitch his conscience." Said Robert keeping his eyes on me only. When I walked in. I felt her joy of having me back radiating through the bond. "But that's exactly what we need. he's really not scary anymore. "The healing hands have to keep the dark one in the shadow. I related what Robert already told me in the plane concerning my need. Christian shot me such a 'dude-what-the-fuck?!' look and I had to use all my will power to keep from laughing. "What my brother means is that you have to weaken the strigoi in Belikov. but surprisingly. 'It's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be' she said directly in my mind. Even if one power breaks. "You see that's why the spirit users are so important. . because anyways as she was already in the living room. I looked at him with horror. "I'm surrounded by all the people that love me and six killer guardians. It was lucky I remembered how much I needed him and that his mental health was not the best. "Three spirit users are more than enough. that wasn't overshadowed by fear." Lissa nodded and I could feel her relax slightly. that her power would fail her somehow. much less considerably weaken the Strigoi side of him" "We'll have to stake him. I of course left out the whole 'I-might-not-make-it-back' part and Victor kept it his mouth shut. Lissa was sitting between Adrian and Christian. "will have to maintain just a thread of life. The dark will be weak enough for the light to claim back its place. she would probably heal and move on with time if I didn't get out of this one alive. Lissa and Adrian." Said Victor looking at Adrian approvingly. Besides. two should be enough. as a shadow kissed dhampir. Once the artificial life escape him you--" he said pointing at Oksana. there was almost no fear there. Just enough for his body to stay intact while 'little miss hero'"he said pointing at me "retrieves his 'real' life and puts it back in his body. With all these people." I said looking only at her. you're here now. After that we all went in the dining room and sat around the big oak table as the six guardians stood against the wall. "But that's going to kill him!" Gasped Lissa before I even got a chance to say it myself." "But…how can we weaken a strigoi enough to do that?" Asked Oksana with concern. I looked at her quizzically and she smiled. He patted my knee from under the table." Said Adrian from beside me. who held her hand tightly. so that when Rose comes back with the soul. between the worlds. But it didn't matter." I nodded smiling. she was scared that she wouldn't be good enough. to go and retrieve Dimitri's soul from the 'Land of the dead'. completely forgetting that I wanted to see Lissa.I followed him there." I could feel panic coming from Lissa. because I was one step away from telling him to take a picture because it would last longer. the Strigoi in him won't be able to fight or reject the soul. He just looked at me with a mocking smile. In fact. My Lissa was becoming tougher and it was a relief to figure that one out.
"Don't need to get worked up." he said. you want to get rid of the traitor while you are going over your strategy one more time. "Thank you. Robert is hungry and tired anyways." said Victor raising his hands in surrender." Victor chuckled "Oooo I see. now we need to wait for the practice." she said in defeat." I said trying to sound serious although I couldn't help but smile. "So. diverting the conversation for the whole. "So what?!" Snapped Sydney. I just wanted to annoy him. "You don't really need to hear the fighting strategy." He said raising his hand stopping Sydney in midsentence."We decided to put a weak ward around the cabin. Victor just smiled. "Yeah I can do that if it can help." I added locking eyes with my father. "Nah nothing changed we just had an…addition" Said Adrian from beside me. "It was no secret. I know a lot. Only the end result matters to me. 'we need to kill Dimitri to give him his life back' chat. "So what did you decide while I was away?" I asked looking at Lissa "apparently the plan has… evolved. he didn't seem offended by Christian. As soon as they were out I concentrated on Christian again. "Why are you in such an hurry little fire user? But yes. "You should make one. am I right?" "Can you blame me?" Asked Christian coolly." "How do--" "How I know things is irrelevant. Everyone looked up at him apprehensively." When Victor stood up both Arch and Smith took a step forward. "That's enough!" my father snapped. "I know you have a potion that helps the spirit to leave its body. "Two guardians for me alone?? I'm so blessed." "Are we done here? At least as far as you are concerned?" Asked Christian pointing from Robert to Victor." Victor pointed at me. I think my father IS the only person who could actually manage to wipe the smug/cocky smile from Christian's face. Sydney looked at me. who'd stayed silent till now. and I don't really care about your tactics little boy." "Yeah without a ward…" Abe shook his head "no guardian could have bought it and Strigoi or not Belikov used to be one. I just never tell how I know." "Very mature." he shrugged." I pursed my lips but didn't reply because it was true."I still can't believe you managed to get a little alchemist into your rank Rose…I'm impressed." "We need to speak offensive now and since you guys will be in the safe room with the spirit users and three guardians. we're done as far as the healing is concerned. it would help Rose travel faster." said Victor." . 007 what's the big secret?" Christian chuckled and stuck his tongue out. keeping his hold on Lissa's hand. shaking his head to gesture Robert to follow him. "It's alright. At lease in theory. "Ask Rose.
Yeah. "You're one of the best option for me to find my way back to this world. "I took only half a potion and I managed to completely burn three dummies at more than 150 yards!" He said literally beaming. Andre showed up as soon as I called him. Pavel and Eddie would do some fake rounds. but really. now grateful that my father was there. She knew he was almost unbeatable as the Strigoi wouldn't except that much power. "Oh and believe me or not but you can totally call me 'captain awesome'" Said Christian with a wide grin. good or bad. . I would have to somehow put healing jewelry on him just for him to have enough of a conscience to let me lead him in the safe room and then…and then it will be the end. Every Moroi except Christian would be in the safe room with the two secret agents and one of Abe's guardians. I was positive he would help me to get to the other side. Once I face Dimitri. the presence of the most famous Moroi traitor. Once we were all set I went outside to have a little word with Andre. she just loved him so much . to tell him it wasn't that impressive. "Are you really sure? You…you know that you won't come back afterward.I nodded. the secret I was hiding… Everything! We all decided to go to bed early but I kept staring at the ceiling rethinking the plan. but with Christian high in a tree they probably wouldn't have to fight any Strigoi as Christian would strike the Strigoi as soon as they passed the ward. The rest of the plan remained mostly unchanged. although they would still be alert. except for Dimitri. No one would ever expect a Moroi to be waiting first line. it was so impressive. He nodded. I guessed the answer was Rose Hathaway. The evening was pretty tense for obvious reasons.First line Ozera. I couldn't believe that none of us thought about the ward before. apparently the Strigoi version of the love of my life had a temper and rather enjoyed decapitating any other being that questioned him with his bare hands…How nice! Andre also agreed to come with me to the other side. I remembered Sydney asking me who would be idiotic enough to want to wear that. We had the element of surprise. but she couldn't help it." I know he mouthed then he just shrugged and disappeared. Christian was now the deadliest weapon against Strigoi around. "And why is that?" I asked teasing. the Strigoi would be attuned to my sent only…how charming!." He said as a joke Lissa smiled to that but I could feel the uneasiness to that statement. imagining how my face to face with Dimitri would turn out. For position I had to fake the surveillance of the back balcony while wearing the 'Attractstrigoi' potion. He informed me that Dimitri was on his way and he only had three other Strigoi with him. the risky mission we'd face in less than a day. I wanted to tease him." "Yep…. "Well the four Strigoi are going to be a piece of cake for you. Will you guide me through the limbo? " I asked him uncomfortably knowing it was like a death sentence.
"And I need you to stay alive. The planes are heavily warded and you'll be safe there. your mom came to see me just before we left. I turned my head and smiled to a sleepy Adrian." I nodded and looked back at the trees' shadows." "I'm all ears. Adrian was not a fool and I wouldn't insult him by lying. anything at all goes wrong. knowing that I would face Dimitri tonight? I looked at Sydney who was snoring soundly." "I need you to be safe. How could I. Rose. which made him both beautiful and vulnerable. Rose?" "As okay as I can be. "Everything will be just fine. "You see." He said with concern. "Anything. wrapping myself tightly into the blanket." He said almost immediately. protected from the sun by the balcony shade ." I said crossing my hands on my lap. "I want you to promise me something Adrian. I sighed. I swear you guys are safe. "I think the time has come. getting more and more intrigued." I said stubbornly. Rose. I want you to run." I nodded. He was still sleeping. your mother told me not to forget something?" "Yeah…" I said warily. because she knew I wouldn't lie." "I---Please?" I tried.After about 2 hours. "Run to the plane without looking back. "Do you remember when we left the Academy. "Well I expect things to go smoothly but we never know right? If something. "Are you ok. but I guess that's the only thing I can't promise. "You know how much I like pleasing you." I said not able to hide the urgency in my voice." he smiled at me but he stayed against the banister. "I could ask you the same question. "You asked me what she was talking about and I told you that I would tell you in due time." I said truthfully with a small smile. I walked quietly to the back balcony and sat on the wooden bench watching the sun finish raising through the high trees." ." "It's not really my safety I'm worried about. She asked me if it was really safe enough for you. I realized… I realized that I couldn't bear the thought of him being hurt. "I'm hiding something but it's not that important. even…" he looked at me through narrowed eyes. "Even if I know you are hiding something from us. I gave up trying to sleep. I was glad that I was the only one worried enough to stay awake. I was sure that a little moment in the fresh air of an early morning in the Dakota mountains would help me sleep." "Awww. "Can't sleep?" Asked a husky voice from the threshold." I suddenly said with urgency. Your aura's told me that much." He shrugged slightly and came to stand across from me resting against the banister. Adrian chuckled.
It was far from being Rose worthy. I love you enough that if you are happy." "I love you. Adrian captured my hand and leaned down to give me a chaste kiss. I raised my hand to his cheek and he leaned into my touch." I could see the utter sincerity in his eyes. mouth agape. He turned back to face me just before reaching the threshold. I was confused. "I saw you with him." He continued before I could comment that I was still loved Dimitri with all my heart and soul." I stood up and walked to meet him.I bit my bottom lip so hard I could taste blood in my mouth. "Not enough?" I tried. I knew that the feelings you may have for me are irrelevant even if it is love. and I could hear that it was to hide his embarrassment. he'd proved it to me over and over again. "It was full force red…I actually never saw an aura like that not even with Lissa and Christian. "I said that I didn't know if it would change anything but that I would fight till my last breath to keep you safe. "Your aura…has plenty of pinkish spots when you are with me. I pray every night hoping that things will work out and that you get Dimitri's soul back. you'll always have a very special place in my heart and that I do love you. and since you came back the pink has increased. and I didn't want him to see that I was on the verge of tears. I saw your aura. "Well. If he loved him that much…why would he help me get someone else? "Why?" I was brave enough to ask. "You know. "I just want you to know that whether it works or not. then I am too. I thought he would value his survival over mine and I didn't blame him for that. "In any other circumstances I would have taken that love. But of course it was not enough…far from being enough. Adrian stayed quiet for a minute and gave me a sad smile. but—" he chuckled." he whispered against my lips." He took a deep breath and I could tell what he was going to say next hurt him deeply. His words had made me happy yet sad at the same time. "Because I love you enough to want your happiness over my own. cocky much!?" He shook his head. "I think I loved you since the moment I saw you. whatever will happen from now on. This love is… after seeing that. "I know you do. He was touching on the thing I was feeling the worst about. He let go and turned to walk back in. I knew Adrian loved me. I realized you need someone to fight for you and I know that I love you more than you love yourself." He looked at me with so much tenderness that my heart tightened in my chest." I blurted out and right at that instant I knew it was true." "But I know it's not enough. I just never thought he loved me to THAT point. "I told her that you were safe enough. "You always choose everyone else over yourself but I just can't choose anyone over you…not even myself and I wish I could say I'm sorry but I can't because I'd choose you over anyone and everything else over and over again. but I never thought it was to the point of risking his own life for me. "Rose…" he whispered closing his eyes. I would have thought you could love me but…" he shook his head." I had to laugh." I said in his ear fiercely. "And just so you know." I looked up at him. especially when I was ready to die for another man. .
hugging me tight. "Good night. "Wow girl you stink!" Christian said. "You be careful Rose. it was worth it." He wiggled his eyebrows. but if it could drive Dimitri directly to me. I sighed and took his hand to help him up."You know what we talked about yesterday don't you?" "Of course! How could I forget when you said that--" . It was a good thing the others were already in the secured room or there just might have been some sort of mix up and death wishes and threats would've flown. sitting stubbornly on the kitchen chair. "Well it's a nice change…Usually you are the stinky one. They all went in the room more or less happily to finish setting everything up for the reversion and Dimitri's captivity. Would he want to change here." I said. or would he take me away again and lock me up in order to taunt me more? I sighed and stroked my stake idly. "That's not very reassuring. Chapter 19: We all set up the alarm for an hour before sunset. trying to sound relaxed but I could see from the way he stood that he was stressed. right on the balcony." "Yeah well---" "Rose it's time. playfully punching his shoulder. Lissa needs you… I need you. Adrian had been the hardest to convince. I know you are brave enough. But Adrian…Adrian was a different story. "I'm not going anywhere! I said to your mother I would help to keep you safe. "Oh really? I didn't know you were smelling me." He shrugged "It's as simple as that. I nodded." I said with a smile before letting go of him. "I'll be right over." I intertwined our fingers and looked into his intense emerald eyes. "Same to you fire boy." I didn't know what to say and just did my best to fight the tears. Believe me. It had a sickening sweet scent. I put some 'attract strigoi' potion on my neck." he said. "Always." I said. It's just." He said. I'd decided to take the one Dimitri sent to me at the Academy. ok? No kamikaze trick.And I know that he is what you need…what you want. "Goodnight…" I whispered back. "That's nice info Miss Hathaway. sniffing my neck. I chuckled. Adrian. pulling him into a hug." he whispered before walking quietly back in the house." I said before pulling Christian into a bear hug." Said Pavel. just to be sure THAT we were ready for Dimitri when he came to attack…or to take me away. "I know that. Rose." He grimaced.
I watched his retreating form. "Whatever happens. cutting him off. bringing me back to reality." he said with a sharp nod before leaving the room. out of harm's way. I let my eyes roam on the dark forest around me. "And do you think I would let you get hurt even a little?" "I guess not. forcing a smile. squeezing his hand once more." "Do you need help thinking?" He asked." I took a deep breath and squeezed his hand." I said. Maybe we were alone in the kitchen but the house was full of Moroi and dhampirs so…super hearing all around. gripping the banister. Here we go. "And you also know that I would risk myself to keep you safe. I could see he didn't like where I was going because he knew I was right. "Anytime. tightened my hair into a high ponytail and went to wait on the rear deck. . "It's not a game. I lose in some ways. shaking my head. "It's ok…it's all thought out. my heart slowed down. I really hoped I'd made the right decision in following the divagations of a mad man. Adrian walked into the room and one of my father's guardians guarded it "You ok?" Asked Pavel. "Roza. If Dimitri picked up on my heart rate it would be a disaster.I thought. I kept repeating to myself. the love…Soon after." I pulled him toward the safe room where the others were already setting things up." I replied. Calm down Rose…Just breathe."Good." I said darkly." he whispered as he went into the room. "Me too." I hear a voice breathe in my ear. thinking that he would've been an awesome friend if he'd just remove the stick in his ass. He would know I was waiting for him and be even more weary. "You win. Christian is fighting." I said. the tenderness. "I love you." Adrian groaned and grimaced. I could hear the caution in his voice. "Uh? Yeah." Adrian frowned suspiciously." I whispered to myself. My heart was going a thousand miles an hour and I fought to breath normally so I could regulate it." he said. After a little moment I saw a blinding light coming from a tree on my left. "Alright. I hid my stake under my hoodie. I took deep breaths and forced myself to think of those moments right after we would bring Dimitri back. "Ok." he said grudgingly." I replied. The human look back in his eyes. But thanks. trying to sound lighthearted but I could see the honest concern in his eyes. and do you think I could be totally focused on the goal if I knew you were roaming somewhere in the house unprotected? Of course not. "I was just…thinking. "The best way to keep me safe is to do what is planned and to keep yourself safe so I don't worry unnecessarily and keep my mind sharp and focused.
I looked down. The others were waiting in the room and I just hoped they wouldn't get impatient and start moving around. Just that he wanted me." he said. don't you dare ignore me! Don't get me mad!" He took the ring from me violently." His smile grew wider. "Ask me again. "Good. cheer up. "That's what you always wanted." he said. Dimitri stood before me." He said. my stake lying at the ground at his feet. "What I--" I froze as I remembered now. I had to move now. doing my best to hide my smile. "You know." He brought his hand to my cheek and gently brushed my cheekbone with the pad of his thumb. but he didn't seem to realize that it was coming from the rings. I thought I could see the light flickering in his eyes. I didn't even have to fake my surprise. The healing was working. I took off the healing ring I was wearing on my thumb and pretended to play with it. looking down at my hand. always will. "You know you don't like me when I'm mad. Roza! We're finally reunited!" He walked closer to me." You know I wouldn't mind killing them. "What you asked me on the bridge. I heard Pavel shout something but he was too far for me to make out his words. "You wouldn't want your friends to worry and come out right?" He shook his head. "I…" I kept looking down. coldly sliding the ring on him index. I had asked him why he'd wanted me to join him." He chuckled.I whirled around. "Dimitri how--It's---" I looked around." . so close I could feel his breath on my face. I had to move along now. Dimitri placed my stake on his belt. "Would you just stop doing that?!" He growled. I shuddered at his touch as he slowly lifted my face to look up into his eyes. and he'd said that he wanted me. again playing with the ring I was wearing on my other thumb. a gasp escaping my lips. "You don't deserve much more! You staked me…Twice!" He said. I couldn't believe he's managed to get to me so quickly and silently. don't you?" "I know. but I tried to keep my emotions in check and my expression blank. "I can't kill you Roza. trying to keep my voice from shaking." "Yeah… " I said. "Shush Roza. "Because I love you. Should I just kill you? I mean--" he kissed my lips forcefully. Roza. "W-why do you want me to join you?" I asked to humor him. "Come on." I whispered. "I changed my mind so many times. His smile was warmer now. showing me two fingers. along with a hint of confusion. "How I made my way back to you is not important." He said. "So kill me." He said." "Ask you what?" I asked." I said. "Always have. on my way here I was still unsure of what I should do with you. still dazed that he made it to me so fast. and nothing more. Seeing the ring of red around his irises made me sick. remember? For us to be together. placing his icy cold fingers to my chin. honestly confused. I knew Dimitri would hate the distraction. taking my other ring and sliding it onto the forefinger of his other hand. his cold gaze and heartless smile sending shivers down my spine. "I'm talking Roza.
fear and the most painful…love. "Nobody will get hurt. I'm coming with you. " "I'm not letting you out of my sight Rose.I nodded. Once he could feel I was breathless." I brought his hand to my lips and kissed it. but a bigger part of me loved you and I know that I won't be able to get rid of that part. As long as they don't try to stop me. going to Dimitri's left side to help Pavel drag him into the room. Arch took over for me and helped Pavel set Dimitri down in the cot. I dodged as Pavel. still suspicious. "It's just like heaven. he bit my bottom lip. As soon as we walked in. who was leaning against the far wall. Dimitri's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "I'm tired of fighting you because. I trust you(. trying to look worried. I kept my grip on his hand as I pulled him silently in the house with me." he shrugged. "I have no quarrel with them." "But…" I started. I had to remind myself I was doing what was best for him. The three Spirit users almost immediately knelt down beside him and started to send a small stream of healing magic into him while the two guardians tied Dimitri's almost dead body to the cot just in case. and that's you. Think Rose think! I thought. betrayal. squeezing my hand. Dimitri gasped and let go of my hand. his hand resting on Roberts' shoulder." he said. anger. I told you already. He was still for a few seconds before he pulled me up and crushed his lips onto mine with so much passion I nearly forgot all of this was an act. Pain. "I missed your blood Roza." I said. plunged his stake hard into Dimitri's chest. Strigoi or not. and I'm still a dhampir for now so I don't want to take the risk and end up hurting them. I came here to claim what's mine. taking his hand and intertwining our fingers. who was as fast as lightening.yeah a part of me hated you. trying to sound wary. I did my best to kiss him back just as fiercely. . "You love me…That's all I need and…" I sighed." said Victor. "Open the door!" I shouted. I mean . "Leave the stake. but it was exactly what I was hoping for.) but I'm not an idiot." "Why would you join me after… after refusing for so long?" He asked." I said. it tastes just…" he sighed with content. "I…I can't risk my friends. "I'll be out in a minute." "Ok…" I said. keeping my eyes on his because it was the truth and I knew it was the only thing that could convince him. I just couldn't. I could see so many emotions in his eyes beside the life escaping him. "I'll join you but… but not here." I said." "Let me just say goodbye to Lissa. "Okay then. piercing the skin with one fang before sucking slowly the small amount of blood. I will love you forever Dimitri. pointing to the door. surprised. "As much as I tried hating you. "Why?…" He whispered crashing as he fell to the floor but Pavel caught him before he completely crumbled. for us. allowing me to turn around. I promise you. "I won't hurt them." "Okay?!" He asked. As soon as I crossed the door from the kitchen to the living room.
myself included. Andre pointed to a point behind me and when I turned I saw myself! Or. I sat on the chair and drank the potion in one gulp." Said Andre. "What?" I asked. . He looked tired but unarmed. "Yeah… I'm not done here. "Syd! I'm talking to you!" Still. my body that my worried father was cradling. You and him both. Andre appeared." "Same goes to you. "Your potion didn't work!" I shouted to Sydney. Holy shit. "Holly shit!" I looked at my hands. "Glad to have you back. I growled with exasperation. the laws of the whole spirit thing were all getting screwed didn't really apply to us anymore. I closed my eyes as the taste faded and opened my eyes to find that nothing had changed. "She can't hear you. surprised. she didn't move. squeezing my hand reassuringly as the black hole sucked us in." I whispered to myself. God help me! I thought as everything went black." he said from behind me. trying to reassure her…well everyone actually. at least. wincing as the fluid burned down my throat. "Here. It was like I would imagine the world after a nuclear attack." Andre said loud and clear. Well." I said to Sydney. So many layers of dust in the air that you could not even see the sun anymore. trying to sound far more confident than I actually felt. "It's my call. "Creepy?" Tried Andre taking my hand. to feel his soft skin."Christian?" I asked worriedly." he said. "I'm here for you. but kept looking at the healing team working on Dimitri. materializing with the black hole. I'll help you make it back. She didn't even turn around to look at me. I guess since we were both spirits. It was so odd to actually grip his hand. Chapter 20: "That's…" I looked around and it was like a parallel world except that everything was in shades of grey. and I could see that she handed me the potion with reluctance. I looked like crap. extending his hand toward me. "I'm a spirit!" "No shit. I almost forgot how his voice sounded like. "Come on. let's go" he said. At this instant. looking around. I turned around and sighed with relief. I shook my head." I said." he said hugging me before rushing beside Lissa. not able to conceal the sarcasm. I jumped from the chair. "It'll be alright. Sherlock. "Yeah…" I said.
I guess you can say that. "That's how I know time doesn't work the same because I thought I spent at least a year or two here. who would ever want to see such a lame place?" I grimaced. I looked for a way to exit this purgatory for months afterwards. I said jadedly." "Uh…" I grunted." I looked at him." He took a deep breath." I said a bit harsher than I intended. Andre was right. we still have time Rose." He said still keeping my hand in his and it felt good to have an ally here. "Spirits…Spirits only see what they want to see. "Ok then close your eyes and visualize yourself there." "Don't worry I'm sure that when you'll find his soul you'll know it. "Lost souls" said Andre sadly. An hour here…" he shrugged "it's merely minutes there. if anyone could find his soul. "You're the only one able to find it Rose. "How…how do you know all that?!" He shrugged burying his free hand deep in his pocket. Dimitri and I were very similar. As for the time well it goes a lot faster here than there. where you see only what you want to. "Well let's not take the chance anyways. "How would I know?" He smiled guiltily "I sound far more sure than I am really but…well I think that is the reality because let's face it. I saw my parents once but I didn't see Lissa. "After the accident I…I was lost." "But we're not lights!" "Well that you know of. that you were both alive." "I guess…". After a while I realized that you probably made it. I… you're the one who knows him best. both of you. I didn't know she survived so I started to look for her…and for you for what seemed like months. "I can't stay too long. "Just like us. it was me. we completed each other. "Point taken." He said keeping his grip on my hand. where would his soul be?" "I…" I looked around trying to think. "Well I can think about 2 or 3 places" I said unsure. But how am I supposed to find Dimitri? They all look the same!" I almost shouted as the panic increased." . I could read his heart as easily as he could read mine. "Ok. in a world like that.I chuckled still looking around. "Where are we?" Andre shrugged slightly. not that I thought I had fooled him for even a minute. "Don't panic. We need to find his soul as soon as possible. It looked a lot like an abandoned city that would be shown in horror movies. but it was a way to hide my fear." "Purgatory uh? And the lights… what are the lights?" I asked pointing to the weird looking stars flying around. "I don't really know but I think I would call it 'purgatory' I guess. but when I came back to the 'real' world only a couple of months had past." "So what I'm seeing is just an illusion?" I wondered gesturing around. It should take us in this part of that world. but I couldn't move on until I was sure you would be ok.
." He shook his head. I swore so much when I tried to find my way out that I should have been stricken by lighting at least a thousand times. When I opened my eyes this time. "Yeah well… that's better than nothing" I said already grateful he was there to guide me knowing that he was costing him the small freedom he had left." "And yet here you are. I was in the middle of the small living room. Trying to understand the mime was tiring. didn't want to leave."But why didn't you move on?" I asked curiously." I said closing my eyes and tightening my grip on Andre's hand." I said truly impressed. "After a while I just noticed that I couldn't. I closed my eyes tightly and envisioned the Chapel." There and in my arms I added to myself. "Well I couldn't move on before making sure that you guys handled it then…then I got worried as Lissa grew. "The ultimate help. As I told you in that reality spirits only see what they want to see but I'm pretty sure that..In a chapel in the freaking Purgatory. Now that he was a talking ghost I rather liked asking the questions. you'll see each other. he found peace there. unstable." "But is the chapel." "Dimitri…" I whispered. "Where next?" "Baia…His mothers' house. but seeing it in different shades of grey made it cold and impersonal…maybe that's what 'purgatory' was all about. "Very pretty sure?" He tried with a wink." He smile "Maybe I will be able to move on now. Everything was in black and white but there were no spirit…no Dimitri at least." He sighed." Andre grimaced. Everything was there. "Ok…close your eyes and visualize it." " 'Pretty sure'?" I groaned. eyes wide. remembering where I was." Said Andre securing his grip to my hand. "Damn!" I shouted before pursing my lips. I even saw Dimitri. like. real in that world?" Andre shrugged "I don't think so. on the back pews. "Religious dude?" I smile sadly. head down. When I opened my eyes. "Well I was thinking about the Academy chapel first. "It's ok" Andre chuckled 'believe me. hearing his voice was like a vacation. "Anyways let's concentrate on the problem ahead. lets say. if you both want to see the same thing. "Siberia it is" said Andre squeezing my hand. . "No he is not really religious it's just…he liked to go there. standing in front of the altar." "So every soul that is here has--" "Yeah something to accomplished or feel like it. we were in the chapel.
" "Oh yeah?" I snorted. so much that it actually hurt me to see the sofa empty. making it harder and harder to find a way out." "Maybe he is somewhere that means something to you both. what's the third one?" I nodded. "Hey hey!! What's this kind of talk? Where is the bubbly. "Yeah…" I whispered mostly to humor him because I was completely unconvinced by that." I mumbled." Andre stayed quiet. "Well just try to focus on your next step. he was right. "Rough life. I envisioned it but this time I included the fighting session with Dimitri. the more I'll start to blend in." Andre said probably noticing the hurt on my face. the more I stayed in the spirits world." I said closing my eyes. "So…" "The gym. the one when we shared our kiss. I sat on a bench with my head between my hands." "For you maybe. I thought of the main places that he could be." I shrugged slightly. "Rough year eh?" I snorted. the finish line is irrelevant for now. The first time I kissed him after the lust spell.I hoped to find Dimitri's spirit sitting on the sofa. "Please enlighten me. the one that Viktoria had when I stayed in Baia." "I…." I locked eyes with Andre and did my best to contain my tears. St Vladimir. "Panic is not helping is it?" He asked rhetorically. "She grew up…and lost her illusions." I said defeated. I was scared of failing so close to my goal. his hand on my shoulder. Robert told me. slightly crazy Rose that believed everything was possible once she set her mind?" Asked Andre sitting beside me." I took a deep breath and threw my hands up in defeat. "Dimitri?" I called and felt completely silly. "I'm getting low on options here. It was annoying to admit it. reading one of his mother's precious books. at the Academy in Siberia or--" "Maybe we don't take the problem from the right angle." . I walked up the narrow stairs trailing Andre behind and went straight to his old room. "Dimitri?" I called again from the top of the stairs before opening the bedroom door and it was empty but the little pinch in my chest made me realize that I had hoped to find him in there. "He could be anywhere. It was all up to me now and I was also scared of being stuck in this place for the rest of eternity. "Maybe he is in another room. When I opened my eyes and saw the gym empty. "I'll never find him. I don't know. I mean right now you are looking for places that meant something to him." I said getting worried and scared at the same time.don't know. "So you said 2 or 3 places. "I don't know where to find him now. but my soul was at stake here…I had the right to panic a bit. "In his room.
like you knew each other better than anyone else. Rose deserves it. "Roza!" He shouted jumping from the bed and pulling me into a bear hug. it had to be an eternity here. So tell me Rose. of our naked bodies tangled together. " The last time I saw you." Said Oksana apparently worried. "I don't care I have to do it." I added reaching for Andre's hand. at least not yet. "No. I spent years and years looking for you my Roza. I was following you and I felt a sharp pain on my neck. When I opened my eyes I let out a sigh of relief. "Now we're talking" Said Andre with a grin. I think I passed out because…because I woke up I was here. . "What do we do?!" Asked Oksana. "So Rose…Where is it this wicked place would be?" "A Cabin… in the woods just behind the Academy. "What did you do?" "Well it's a bit more complicated but---" I took his hand. "Roza?" He looked at me like I was an apparition which was rather ironic since I was a spirit." It had been 4 months since I lost him. "Do you hear that?" I asked jumping from my seat looking around. "I wanted you to know that I loved you. "He is going to be shadow-kissed" Said Victor. what?" "I'll do it!" said Adrian "We'll have to stop soon."Each time I heard people talk about you two it was like you were meant to be." "We need to find his soul now!" I said taking Andre's hand. It will drain you Adrian. if it were you. but you were nowhere to be found." I gasped as I saw him sitting on the bed." "One of those old slums?!" Andre grimaced. his eyes boring into mine. "Dimitri. "we're not dead. Since Lissa and I can't risk it." "Oh shut it! I heard you did much worse esp--" "He is falling over the edge!" Lissa shouted. Apparently even if we were in shades of grey he could notice a blush. we were in the caves. "Are we…are we dead? Oh Rose. "What happened?" He asked letting go of me and resting his hands on my shoulders. where would you go?" "I…" I could feel my cheeks starting to burn as I had flashes of Dimitri's long strong hands on my bare hips." his voice broke. and I saw you by the exit." "I…How do you know?" "Trust me. "Dimitri's is dying. even if we weren't together it was fine and…" he stopped dead looking at Andre." I closed my eyes envisioning the cabin. "Not cool dude. but we need to move. it's not safe.
He will have an aura again" Said Robert flatly. where my body was." The closer we got." I said trying to concentrate on the people on the other side. you are linked to this place. I said to myself and feeling his spirit hand in mine. I was still connected to them…to my body. "How can we even know if his soul is back?" Asked my father and I could hear both worry and anger mixed in his voice. Save his soul…it's in your hands. There were no lights in this world. I…It can be dangerous." Said Andre squeezing my hand. it's good a good sign. 'You are part of the rare one who went to the land of the dead and made it back alive. "When the light reenters the body the healing hands will know." Adrian's voice was strained. We were almost at the end of the forest behind the Academy. "I really don't know how much more you can take. The dude was really out of it. I heard them before. I frowned seeing a faint light coming from our left.I pulled them out starting wander in the woods. "Well it better be fast I can't even think straight anymore. Only you can find and materialize the exit' "Roza I--" "Shush. "Precious!" Said Adrian through clench teeth. almost at the road and the voices were so clear it was like they were beside me. I tried to visualize the faces of all the people I loved back with the living. . but still holding Dimitri's and Andre's hand. "Do you see anything?" "No nothing…why?" Asked Dimitri. you'll need to guide him in it. that was our best bet. It was silly. The exit "This way" I said jerking my head on the direction I was seeing the light. I…We'll talk later okay. I could remember Victor translating Roberts' thoughts to me. "We probably won't see it. the brighter the light became and there it was. I knew it was not an illusion. a huge and beautiful hole of light. "Well if you don't see it. I bet that to an outsider we looked like three little kids holding hands. I decided to follow the flow of voices. it had to be it. I need to find an exit. You are special. "I know…" I whispered scrutinizing the place around me." I shook my head and started to look for an exit even more frantically. "I…don't know how much longer I'll be able to do it by myself. I tried to concentrate only on the voices and not on the meaning of the conversation because the worry and stress wouldn't help me and I knew it. I'd never been closer to the truth." "Your aura is all over the place" Said Lissa with worry in her voice. "It has to be here somewhere…Very close" I said stopping.
"Don't worry. I felt so relieved that I couldn't contain my laugher. It means 'it's-okay-I-found-it' in exhausted Rose language. I realized now why I missed Andre and it would be like… it would be like losing him a second time around. "I'll meet you there. I looked at him and reached for his hand." I quickly looked up at Andre and couldn't help the little twinge of pain in my heart." "Sure?" Andre nodded." Said Andre with a smile. "No I think I'm done here. For once." Andre smiled and shook his head negatively." Dimitri nodded." I smiled widely." "I will. everything would be right from now on. "You won't." He said with urgency standing straight looking at me like he did so many times when he had set his mind to something and wasn't ready to budge. "It's just there!" I said letting go of Andre's hand pointing right ahead. keeping it open. "Are you sure you don't want to try too? I mean…Maybe if we go together it might work. "Can't you see it at all? Not even a tiny glitch of light I mean wow…it's literally blinding me. "I don't want to lose you again" he said in a breath. I smiled and reached up to cup his cheek." "Of course…I'm Awesome!" .It made sense." I couldn't help but chuckle. He finally nodded reluctantly. trust me. "Roza…Stay with me." "Nothing." Dimitri looked at me. "No surprises there. but after all I'm dead meat so…" Andre shrugged. "Dimitri you--" "No Roza you go first. "I'll miss you." I said smiling. "That's very noble of you comrade but I'm the only one seeing the door." Dimitri walked a straight line and entered the light. Come on. I'll see you on the other side." I let go of his hand and went to stand beside the hole. "Roza are you ok?" "She is fine. "Nada. do as I say and go first. a black hole to go to the land of dead." Said Dimitri narrowing his eyes. just this once. lips pursed. "Wow he disappeared! That's awesome. You're both going to be alright. a bright hole to go back to the land of the living. "Okay now you take five steps to your side…Okay and walk toward me in a straight line.
"Are you sure you want to go back?" "What?! Of course!!" I said containing the urge to hit him. "Yes?" Andre encouraged. "You're a fuc--" "She knew the risks. "Do you think I fucking care?! Give it to me!" Shouted Adrian. "I have to go back" I said straightening up." Said Victor coldly." "Right. almost sad and that was a first with Andre Dragomir. "Give me that fucking potion or so help me god---" "Adrian! Do you think Rose would want you to put yourself in danger like that?!" "I need to find her! I'll go and look for her there. "What's happening?" Asked Andre dumbfounded. "He is back!" Said Lissa from the other side. "I don't know but it's not good. . you won't exit this house alive. "The hole is still here. If she doesn't make it back." Said Adrian and I could hear the increasing anxiety in his voice. "I swear to you Dashkov. "Damn it!!" I shouted. "What?!" Roared Adrian and my father simultaneously." I didn't even bother to try and hide my panic. Mark my words! I--" "Andre help me!" I said with despair. I---" "You are just as stupid as she is!" Said Victor emotionless. "Are you sure? There is not a little tiny part of you that -" "No! I would never even consid--" I stopped frozen." Andre looked thoughtful. "No!" Said Sydney stubbornly. "She knew she might not make it back" "Of course she did!! Rose is Rose.I chuckled and when I stepped in the bright light it was like colliding with a force field that sent me backward into Andre. you are not the one getting electrocuted!" I mumbled approaching the hole warily." "She possibly won't make it back" said Robert." Robert said. I reached for it with my hand and was rejected. "Oh really? And of course you…" Adrian literally growled. "Things are getting out of hands there. "I can't cross again!" "Try once more. Idiot!" Adrian added but I knew it was only fear and anger talking. "Holly jolly it worked!" "Why isn't she back then…she has no aura. "What the--" I looked at Andre who shrugged loosing all his smugness. "Her light might be stuck on the other side.
"You were out Rose. but gave up after seeing me struggling against him. "Why isn't she waking up?! She is back in! I can see her aura. panic evident in my voice. He rested his cool hand on my forehead and it felt good. The doc said you were out because of exhaustion and that you'd wake up when you felt like it so she wouldn't keep you at the clinic. I grunted while I shifted to my side and heard movement as someone rushed by my side." "I won't…" I said concentrating on his voice only." Adrian said almost begging. I was trying to open my eyes but my eyelids were just too heavy. I will never take life for granted ever again. You can't give up now. "I…Why am I here?" He shrugged. "Rose?" Asked a voice as I recognized as Adrian. "Dimitri!" I called looking around." I heard Adrian say frantically from beside me. "I brought him back." Adrian said soothingly trying to push me back on the bed." I heard Andre whisper as everything faded to black." I took a shaky breath. Rose come back." "How long was I out?" "Three days." I was in the purgatory after all. "I need to see Dimitri!" I jumped out of bed so fast he didn't even get a chance to try to stop me."Well I was thinking that maybe…maybe it wouldn't be so terrible if I fell but it was before all that…Before I succeeded. " Please. "I need to get back to them. ." I ignored his comment and looked around frantically." My eyes shot open and I jump into a sitting position. please let me go back. "He's okay Rose calm down. Was he trying to heal me? "Adrian?" "Yes I'm here Rose. I saw a make shift on the sofa in the bedroom where he was probably sleeping. That was when I really passed out. we couldn't leave you like that in your room. I closed my eyes and tried to get through the portal once more and this time…this time it worked! "Be happy Rose. it was the best place to pray. you should sleep. "I don't-" "Roza!" I heard Dimitri shout with a voice I barely recognized. "It's the middle of the night. my room was the only option. Chapter 21: I moved around and realized I was far too comfortable to still be on the floor. My room. "Somebody restrain him!" My dad shouted." "Rose please." "Three days?" I shrieked. We made it. I was in Adrian's room at the Academy.
but…" "But?" I encouraged gripping his hand and I was sure I was hurting him. "You see Dimitri and I are shadow-kissed." I couldn't help but notice the hurt reflecting in his eyes. "What's happening Adrian?" "Well Dimitri…" He swallowed loudly. well the body changed to the closest form of Strigoi. It means a lot to me. "My Dimitri is a Moroi?" I shrugged "I don't care." "I always knew that. "Different?" I gave him a narrow glare." He added uncomfortably. Was he blind or deaf or even mute? "Why on earth would he be mute?" I muttered to myself. "I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't done it you know. I had to admit that even if I was overly excited to see my Dimitri I was scared to hear what Adrian had to say to me." "Oh…" I said relieved that all he wanted to tell me was that. he's probably sleeping. I closed my eyes. "I bet you are hungry or thirsty. well Lissa and I have a theory. "or I'm sure I can have some food del–" "Adrian Please!" I snapped with begging eyes." I told him honestly "Yeah…" He grimaced slightly. "Tell me what you have to tell me. As I let the hot water run on my painful muscles I tried to figure out how Dimitri could be different. there is fresh clothes for you in the bathroom and nobody is going anywhere I promise. "He's…he's different too. "Different how?" "Why don't you just go take a quick shower. and right now a shower did sound pretty good. Just tell me where he is staying I need to see him. but he didn't say anything. Do you want some coffee?" He said pointing at his cup. "So…'' I said standing a couple of feet away from him. "Apparently… okay you see the reversion brought him back." I looked at him for a minute and figured that he just needed a little time to get ready to tell me whatever he had to." He smiled probably detecting my guilt over linking him with Dimitri forever. "See. Just…Just go. The water was starting to get cold. quickly putting on the pair of faded blue jeans and red sweatshirt that were waiting for me in the bathroom. I nodded." He shrugged dismissively." I couldn't stand not knowing what was different about Dimitri. "Well…" Adrian cleared his throat loudly. we think that once we reversed the state. I sat beside him on a stool." "Well he…he sort of is a Moroi but--" ."It's night Rose. I rested my forehead against the tiled wall. I sighed and got out of the shower." "I d--" I stopped and looked at him with wide eyes. "Thank you for doing that. When I walked in the living room Adrian was sitting on a bar stool with a steaming cup in front of him. "I'm capable of far more than it seems.
" "They escaped. they were gone! It was too perfect. I'll heal him.We are linked you know. in the last three days he didn't take blood at all and it appears that he doesn't need any…yet. "Of course" he said and I could see his smile was forced." "You know Dimitri is having a hard time dealing…dealing with what he did ." I nodded.I couldn't hold my exasperation any longer and even if I knew I would feel bad for that in the morning I threw a small fit. "We were worried you weren't waking up and Dimitri was well…let's just say he didn't take all the Strigoi memories that well and you know how lethal he was right? Well he kept his strigoi strength so imagine how hard he was to restrain. super vision and super smelling is concerned." "We'll talk tomorrow. "not that it matters really.." I shook my head and couldn't help but be impressed. to feel his body against mine. He let me borrow his strength. "Well excuse me Miss 'I'm-perfect' !" Adrian snapped. "We thought we were playing him. "We don't know where they are. "For god sakes Adrian spit it out already!" Adrian straightened up and I saw the hurt in his eyes." I let out a humorless laugh." "But?" "But he is also sort of a dhampir and he is as strong as he was before. "Well he is a Moroi as far as pale complexion. "Sorry what? I think I didn't hear you right. I'm the only one that can heal him" Adrian stayed quiet for a minute thoughtful.I'll have a word with him in the morning now tell--" I stopped seeing Adrian's face whiten even more.. I thought crossing my arms on my chest. I could see pain on his face along with resignation. I'll apologize later." I nodded but I was hopeful." "They esc--" I choked on the word. He is my strength as I'm his. "That's something Victor could have told us…" I shook my head. So our attention was otherwise occupied. but. but he was playing us. and apparently the sun doesn't bother him at all and well. He's healed me so many times before. I can't see in his head." I said and I couldn't help feeling guilty. his lips on mine that I couldn't concentrate on anything else…what kind of friend was I? . fangs and super hearing. you should go to him. but for not more than 10 minutes and when we realized. it's time for me to give him mine. but I needed to be with Dimitri so much. "They were in the room with 4 guardians! How --It's--" I shook my head. "You are right Rose." He said sheepishly. "He knew… He knew all along. but I feel the core of his emotions and…well it's hard. "What aren't you telling me?" "Well Victor and Robert aren't here and--" "Wow Victor is back in jail already? That was fast!!" I said amazed. I sighed with despair. He's staying in the last room at the end of the corridor. "It's ok.
" I said stopping him from talking as I pulled his shirt up and started to kiss his chest while letting my tongue play on his skin between each kiss. . I found the door with my foot and kicked it shut. Dimitri was frozen for a moment. playing with the top of his Pj pants. maybe it was because he was undead that he smelt differently. now he smelt just like I remembered." he whispered with clear relief burying his face in my hair and hugging me back fiercely. "Why? Don't you want to be with me?" I asked finally looking up. but I didn't care. The love of my life is back I thought before crashing into his chest taking in his familiar sent. I put my hands in the waistband of his pants and pulled him to the bedroom. "I love you so much" I whispered against his lips. his cool skin against my burning one. it was like the light at the end of the tunnel. that intoxicating sent. "Roza…You're awake. "I love you too. "Oh my Roza…" He whispered again kissing the top of my head. When he was a Strigoi Dimitri smelled divinely good of course. with every fiber of my being" he said before crashing his lips on mine and kissing me almost painfully. and as Dimitri was still leaning down. like they could recognize each other. pulling me in the room. needing him to know. but it was not the sent I was longing for. But now. like we never stopped. vulnerability in my voice. that was all that mattered to me. There was no red in his eyes. I slid my hands under his shirt and started to let my fingers trail on Dimitri's perfect stomach. I removed mine too and it was like living again to feel his hands on me. I knew I was acting like a kid. Dimitri groaned. The only thing I saw was his warm brown eyes. I started to kiss him feverously locking my arms around his neck to keep him to me. The room was silent except for our passionate kissing and ragged breathing. Dimitri laid me delicately on the bed and came towering on top of me. "Roza wait --" "No. Dimitri just nodded helping me to get his shirt out of the way. I found his lips with mine. He took a couple of steps back.I ran to Dimitri's room and almost took down the door by knocking so hard. we'll talk tomorrow I just want to be with you. stood on my tip toes. but he was kissing me back almost immediately afterward. probably surprised by the intensity of my kiss. I smiled against his skin. Dimitri opened the door and I didn't notice his skin complexion or his fangs or any other changes. Our lips were moving in totally sync. I delicately moved my head.
Dimitri was a very attentive and gentle lover. Dimitri kissed me up the neck to my mouth again. not holding me into your arms. he could try as hard as he wanted. I leaned in his touch and closed my eyes. I knew him better than anyone else. I was as much his redemption as he was mine. sitting at the foot of the bed completely naked looking at the wall. it's unforgivable. I let my hand roam on the other side of the bed and my heart skipped a beat when I found it empty. Was it all a dream? I thought as a terrible pain clutched my chest." I turned my head slightly and kissed his palm. . but my dhampir vision helped me to see that he was lost in his thoughts and whatever he was thinking hurt him." Recognition filled his eyes. "Dimitri?" He turned his face briskly and he had to be really lost in his thoughts." I said before kissing his chest. I woke up later than night feeling content and whole for the first time it what seemed an eternity. "I'm here for you. I finally thought that everything would be alright. "Dimitri? Are you alright?" I asked sitting up. "Talk to me Dimitri…please. I realized feeling his strong shaky hands on my bare hips. He was still looking in front of him like he didn't hear me. As soon as he was back in the bed I closed the small distance between our bodies and cuddled with him. I looked at his perfect profile for a minute. We were just meant to be. clinging the bed sheet on my bare breasts. "I missed you so much. He smiled. I can hear it all. I could feel his fangs but I didn't care. my ear on his chest to listen to his slow heartbeat. He was only slightly illuminated by the alarm clock. I'll go begging in the rain. as our bodies connected in every possible ways that he needed me as much as I needed him. I inched closer and touched his arm. "I slept for three days. That pain faded the instant I opened my eyes as I saw Dimitri.I looked at his beautiful face. hurt him in his flesh." I said as he started to kiss my collarbone sensually. "Roza?. Dimitri started to caress my hair gently. We finished taking off our clothes in less than five minutes. "That's true. "Move" he said standing up before joining me under the covers." His smile was brighter now but I could see the underlying sadness and distress behind it. "You should sleep Roza" he said finally bringing his hand to my cheek gently brushing my cheekbone with his thumb pad. Here. I knew him enough to see that even if I gained my redemption Dimitri needed to get his salvation. it literally made my chest ache with love. you didn't have much inhibition when you loved and missed someone as much as we did. His eyes were lit with the same desire than I felt.. it was as simple as that. That night was everything I hoped for and more." I said with a mock scowl." I added wrapping my arm around his strong waist. with his hair falling around his face like a halo. if I can spare you any pain. "I'll never lose you again" I said closing my eyes. When it comes to you I have no shame. "Plus I can't sleep knowing you are a couple of feet away from me. flushed with lust.
"Good morning Roza" he said tightening his hold around my waist. "They were going crazy worrying about you. to engrave it in our memory. "Come on Roza" he said loosening his hold around my waist. lets enjoy what is right. "A very good morning indeed. "I love you" I said moving up slowly to gently brush his lips with mine. I'll be here when you're done I swear. "But you were right we have tomorrow so lets enjoy each other's presence tonight. almost animalistic filled with lust. As soon as Dmitri left the room I jumped out of bed." I smiled. hopped in the shower and dressed quickly." He said after a little while holding his cup. looking at me with a small smile.Dimitri stayed quiet for a little bit still caressing my hair. Dimitri chuckled. My stomach growled embarrassingly loudly. softer." He said probably understanding my reluctance to leave him. Whatever happens from now on it will never change. but this one was even faster. as if we were taking time to rediscover each others bodies. I know you do. When I walked into the living room Dimitri was just setting a steaming cup of coffee and some buttered toasts. "I'm not going anywhere Roza. "That's why we are here" he said with a small smile. Dhampir Dimitri had been fast. actually I could even say that he was as fast as his Strigoi self. He brought his hand that was on my back to the back of my head to keep me in place. "I need to feed you." And oddly enough he sounded almost pained by the idea. ." He said before deepening our kiss. need and desire. Adrian didn't kid when he told me that his reflexes where different. He probably saw the confusion on my face. "Roza?" "Yeah. the only change came from his faster heartbeat." I said in a sleepy voice snuggling even more against him. We made love again. "I'll be over in two minutes" I said scanning the room for my clothes." He got out of bed so fast that I would have missed it if I blinked. "You should go check on your friends Roza." I nodded reluctantly. "I love you more than I can say. I shivered with anticipation and looked up to meet his troubled yet loving eyes. I couldn't help to wonder how long he had been awake for because he sounded so wide awake. Dimitri sat across. When I woke up that morning Dimitri was holding me tightly and I had my face buried in his neck." He added as his hand left my hair and started to roam slowly down my spine. but contrary to the first time that night when it was sometimes rough. I kissed his neck. This time was a lot slower. He looked at me with my brows furrowed. "I know you are here Roza.
" I pointed to her shirt. so mechanical. "I…" She blushed looking quickly around her. now I could! I really would need therapy.. Dimitri walked me to the door holding my hand." I shook my head. "I'll be waiting for you" he said before giving me a quick chaste kiss. I was informed that the two Secret Service agents had somehow been held responsible for Victor's disappearance and that they were both on the mission to bring him back. She decided to ignore the situation. "I'll see you in a bit" I told him standing up. I felt bad for them. I quickly got up to my father's floor and stopped frozen when I saw the person doing the walk of shame from his room. but even if I wanted I couldn't help. . "Why couldn't you?" She asked dismissively. I couldn't picture her doing what I just did in between the sheets…. "Mom!" I said as my mouth popped open. we were worried sick". head high. still having pillow creases on her face.. Dimitri and I hadn't been intimate since that first night and knowing he was so close to me. maybe trying to find an exit. "Uh huh…" I said not able to conceal my smile. "I'll see you later. " I knew it sounded childish.Dang. As expected my father and friends were just ecstatic to have me back and well. I knew him well enough to know it was the way he was. "I see you are awake. "I…" She straightened up. you better. Dimitri was a bit distant." I pointed to her shirt again "See you later" she said giving me a quick hug before rushing to the lift. I quickly finished my cup. They were my only priorities. so I would do the same. I thought that you just spent the night in my fathers' room. well you know. "Awww Mom. but I couldn't imagine my mother as a sexual being even if she had to do it at least once in her life to have me. By the way. made me long for his touch even more. I'm so happy. "I was just coming to tell Abe that I was better can I go in or…" I pointed to his door. Most of the youngsters wouldn't understand and it would be more polemical than anything else. it was still very early but I was sure that my father would be awake."Yeah…" I quickly glanced at the clock on the wall. Over the next few days I helped get ready for our move to Court and get ready for graduation the following week. But Janine Hathaway was just…she was just so serious. "It's not what you think!" "Oh cool. I had to help Dimitri and keep Lissa safe. "You better" I said teasing but I still had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I just couldn't put a name on it. like something wasn't right. Dimitri spent most of the time in his room and I knew it was not good for his peace of mind but we decided that it would be a terrible idea to make him reappear at the academy now as we were about to leave. "You're wearing it the wrong way. "That was…awkward" I muttered once the door closed on her. but I figured that he needed time before confiding in me.
how you are suffering to see her loving someone else. His eyes was full of sorrow. softened almost immediately when he locked eyes with me. "I did it for Rose. she wants YOU! She LOVES YOU" "I---" "I shouldn't have saved you" Adrian spat. "I need to talk to you." "At least we agree on that. I wanted to surprise him. maybe he was waiting for me after all." He walked away but stopped just beside me." "It's not that Ivashkov and you know it. but it was clearly an argument and I knew both voices so well I couldn't make a mistake. "Adrian? Dimitri? What's going on here?" I asked with a shaky voice realizing I had some fresh tears running down my cheeks. "It's alright Roza. I could hear some hush voices coming from the living room. that was contorted with fury. You love her enough to die for her. Adrian and Dimitri were fighting and I was only too scared to discover the reason of it. I decided to sneak into the guest pavilion that afternoon as I really wanted to be with him. "I saw it in your head. I walked into the room. I wanted to know more. It's--" Started Dimitri he sounded tired. Adrian face. like each word was costing him. you don't deserve her and she would have been better without you. strained. but I should have let you die. "Do you even know Rose? I thought you knew her better than anyone else did. I wanted to move from my hidden spot I just couldn't. She doesn't want me. "How are you going to break that to her?" "I don't know" Said Dimitri with defeat. I--" "And do you think it makes things alright?!" Asked Adrian with disbelief getting even angrier." Said Dimitri quietly. I tried the door knob silently to check if the door was open. "Why on earth did you tell me all that? I don't even like you! Hell right now I think I even loathe you!" Dimitri stayed quiet for a couple of seconds and I couldn't help the increasing panic to fill me. . "That's why you made me come?" Asked Adrian in a cold harsh tone. Dimitri stayed silent for a little while after Adrian left. It was quiet. "I'll always be here" he said before gently kissing my cheek. "Yeah you do that. Well… it was a bit of a lost cause since. However. with his freakishly acute hearing. "I don't know but maybe you've mistaken Rose with some kind of perishable goods. The silence made everything so much worse. as soon as I entered the room. Maybe he was ready to share with me now." Said Dimitri with so much pain that he got me out of my stupor. I didn't think that anyone could sneak up on Dimitri ever again." Adrian snorted. we just…" He quickly glanced at Adrian. A hurt deep in my chest. "Because you love her.So. I grinned opening the door. the love you feel for her.
" "When will you come back?" "I don't know. I have to deal with that by myself. except maybe trying to hide how much it hurt. Let me be here for you.. The begging eyes of the victims when they realized they were going to die." He said and it had the effect of a slap. "I need to go Rose. all the risks I took to have him back and he wanted to leave anyways." "I didn't remember then. I didn't know what I did as a Strigoi and I need to forgive myself for--" "But it wasn't you!" I said rushing toward him and taking his hand. he was rejecting me." "You don't understand Roza. "Take my strength and let me heal you. I need to deal with my past to construct a future with you. "I can't deal with that. he knew all the sacrifices. "That's a given. I'll be back I…I couldn't give up on us." I smiled "I'm leaving too. You can be open with me…Vulnerable" I said remembering the chat we had in the gym just after Mason's death when he recognized how hard it was for him to admit that I could read him. "Please comrade enlighten me. that you needed to be with me." I said deciding to break the silence before it could drive me mad. Talking about that Lissa is--" "No you don't understand I'm leaving…alone. you helped me so many times. You said you'll never let go. "I don't know. "But you said you wouldn't let go when I found you on the other side. "Please tell me you are not taking back every promise you ever made me. What could I say? He knew how I felt. betrayal and pain were filling me gradually. maybe I'll visit my family in Baia for a while may. " Dimitri looked down at me. "Please. I quickly took a step back. "Please tell me you are joking" I repeated as anger.. we all are." "I. "I…no" he said taking a step toward me." I took his other hand. "You were not inside anymore. please tell me you are joking" I added fighting the tears with all the strength I had. "Where will you go?" I asked barely louder than a whisper looking down at our intertwined hands. I was the face of death Rose and inside or not…" He shook his head. "I'm leaving" he said softly. leaving or even surrendering."Talk to me Dimitri please." He said and I could hear the guilt in his voice." he sighed and ran his hands through his hair. "I need to heal Rose. "Oh…" I let out in a wheezing sound like someone just punched me in the stomach. but just talk" I added trying to sound much stronger than I felt." "Like hell I don't!" I shouted having more and more trouble containing my tears. "I remember it just the same." . "I can hear it all." I knew he was tortured and discovering that he didn't intend to leave me forever calmed me slightly. staying. There wasn't much I could have done except. for a while at least.." "But I'm here.maybe I'll…I don't know.. his eyes were even sadder. You lent me your strength.
But I knew I had to go now. "I need to go and meet Alberta about graduation. but once you entered my life you were far more important than all my stupid fears and my stupid pride. your family needs you." I said and I was pleased that I didn't sound nearly as hurt as I felt. at least not enough. I looked at my watch. it beats But inside I'm freezing My hands shake They've lost all their feeling Nowhere to take You say that you're leaving And there's no turning back this time Gotta stay alive . That was what I should have said. "You can't jeopardize everything. I need to do this alone and I know that you of all people can understand that. I was not lying except that I still had two hours before meeting her. taking two steps back silently. It hurt so bad.I nodded slightly." I was like that before I met you. I thought. go before I'd beg him again to stay or to take me with him. but I just kept staring at him without a word." I said looking up. "Of course I do!" He said sounding offended. "You have to understand Roza I--" "I do Dimitri" I said cutting him off. I could feel physical pain. "You know how much I need you Roza. I have to do that Roza. "No Roza. but I'll see you later" I said walking backward toward the door. I hear But I don't believe it My heart. still looking down while blinking my tears away. Dimitri had a sad smile. "Roza--" "I'll see you later" I said rushing out of the room almost running back to my room. you just need to go on with your life while I try to make peace with myself and forgive what I did. I thought but I kept it to myself simply letting go of his hands." "But you don't" I said trying to sound as neutral as I could. I breathe. Your friends need you." Apparently you don't Comrade. consciously or not. how can I build a future if I can't deal with my past? How can I create memories when I only want to destroy the ones I have?" "You've got to do what you've got to do. On my way there I couldn't help but hear the lyrics of Alive by Leona Lewis. "I want to come with you. "And I don't know when I'll be back" he said and I felt liked I was being slapped yet again. "And I'll be back I swear. I could even taste the bile in the back of my throat.
Finally. I talked about the great future ahead of us. "You bet" I said with a wide smile. with his brand new vision and hearing. just to have him abandon me? Epilogue 1 week later: Here I was standing before the crowd coming to congratulate us on our achievement. it would be like standing in front of me for him. even Christian looked proud! Mark and Oksana stayed too for my graduation and the Moroi's one tomorrow. it would have meant the world to me not more than 6 months ago. "It's time to partyyyy!!" said Eddie swinging his hips shoving me. We were now full grown dhampirs ready to die for the Moroi we were trained to protect. I'll survive I'm alive Yes I was alive but would this new pain inside fade? Would he really come back to me? Why did I have to fight so hard to get him back." I winked at them trying to sound as cheery as I could before entering the dhampirs' dorm and rushing to the window where I saw Dimitri.Where do I go when I'm so alone? Where do I turn when you are so close? We try not to crash but we still collide Tears I've cried. I took off my ugly graduation gown and threw it on the pile with the others. I looked on the left and saw Adrian standing at the back of the crowd and even if he was far I could read so many things in his face." . I didn't forget to mention the friends we lost during the battles and all those generic things they wanted to hear. When I walked up I found him still staring out the window. After the congratulations. "I'll meet you in a little bit. I would be lying if I didn't recognized that it made me proud but it actually made me proud BECAUSE it made my friends and family so proud." he said not turning around. I found him on the far right corner. I was graduating top of the class. I looked up to the top floor of the dhampir dorm as I knew Dimitri would be watching the ceremony from there. "You were perfect my Roza. I cleared my throat and did what they were all expecting from me. things that made my heart ache. I could feel that same pride coming from Lissa. I looked at the people before me and I could see the pride in my father's and mother's eyes. "You guys go ahead" I said to my family and friends. I would have jubilated thinking about sticking it up high in the butt of my detractors but now…it didn't mean that much anymore. He was just a shadow for us but I knew that. "You didn't put much of yourself in the speech but I guess I can understand why. I didn't want to go too personal as I barely held it together as it was.
I said to myself. No shit Sherlock! I thought bitterly. it was not like I could change anything anyways. almost painfully like it was probably the last kiss we'll ever have. It was like saying 'I will probably not come back so don't hold your breath and just move on' . I wanted to kick him like each time he was saying that." "As I love you" he whispered in my hair. you know that" he said and I could hear the profound sadness in his voice." I said instead. "You know that it's not because I don't love you right? I love you more than I thought was possible. "I'm going to miss you." . "I'm leaving now. don't put your life on hold because I'm not here." He kissed the top of my head. He kissed my lips slowly. I kissed his chest. He nodded slowly. "I'll come back. "It just not enough right now. I didn't even notice the quiet tear that escape my eyes before he softly dried it with the pad of his thumb. for neither of us. "I just needed to see you graduate Roza. He sighed again reaching for his bag. remorse and haunting memories." And what about what is important to me uh? Like you being beside me? I thought yet again stopping myself from expressing my thoughts but I was not sure I fooled him as I saw a shadow in his eyes. you'll always be in my mind. I kept my eyes on it silently like if I stared to it long enough it would just disappear. My eyes locked on the beige duffle bag on the floor." I said hurt. "Your friends are probably looking for you" said Dimitri tightening his grip around me. I didn't look up. It was hard to be rational when you felt abandoned. "Already?" I asked trying to keep my voice from shaking as a lump formed in my throat. but I needed to keep the appearances. I sighed closing the distance between our two bodies resting my forehead on his chest.Because I'm heartbroken and on the verve of breaking down every minutes of every day since you told me that you were leaving me. "I…" I looked at him confused before looking around. "Yeah you're right you better go. I could see the love and hurt in his eyes but I could also see his guilt. He brought his cool hand on my neck making me shiver like every time his skin touched mine. You did that enough. "Rose…" He took two quick strides to stand just in front of me. keeping my eyes leveled on his chest. "But you should continue to live your life Rose." He said locking his eyes on the bag too. they love you. it's---Never doubt of my love Rose it's the only thing in this world that is unchangeable and deeply anchored in every fiber of my being. "It is indeed" he said finally turning around." He said now resting his cheek on the top of my head. "I love you. I stiffened in his arms. It was the first time that kissing Dimitri was actually hurting me." He too a deep breath and lift my face with his forefinger. it was…It was important for me." "I know…" I said in a breath. "Yeah well I needed to reach the majority and my experience with life today is a bit peculiar. I knew it was what he felt he had to do but it still hurt me. "Go to your friends Rose.
in one of the abandoned lounge facing the parking lot and I stayed in front of the window watching Dimitri soft steps as he was leaving my life once again. "but you can't fool me. maybe you can fool the others" he shrugged his left shoulder cocking his head to the side. I know you are not fine.I nodded hoping that the feeling of his lips against mine would linger for the length of his absence. it gets more credible every time you say it. "No. I won't say it's not a bit hard to watch him go but I understand why he has to do it. I repeated that speech so many times in my head that I even started to believe it myself. "Rose?" Asked Adrian walking slowly in the room. I was just not enough." I turned slowly and locked eyes with him silently. When he stepped put the little door beside the huge iron gates and turned right after the guard post. I walked to the other side of the building.. "I'll miss you more" I whispered once the door closed behind him. it was half way from a groan and a cry. "We're all expecting you downstairs. Each of his step toward the iron gates were breaking my heart but I knew I couldn't do anything to keep him back. However. "But you knew that already. I let out a sound that surprised me. I was about to serve him the well prepared speech that I had been giving them for the past two weeks. "I'm doing fine." I nodded still looking out. ""He left" I said keeping my voice as steady and void of emotion that I could. I forced a smiled and eyed him quickly before returning my attention on the window again. I can see it in your eyes. instead of going down to the party." "I did" he said simply. We stayed silent a bit longer. "You are not fine Rose. Did a part of me hoped he would come back? Love never was and never would be rational. I could hear from his voice that he was closer to me than before. "Yeah I heard that speech a couple of times before but I have to give it to you. Adrian stayed silent. "I'll miss you" he said before turning around walking slowly to the back building staircase. I kept my eyes locked on the gates even if he was gone now. since Dimitri and I announced them he would be going away for a while." I looked at him agape. I appreciated him just being here silently.. "How are you doing Rose?" He asked and the solicitude in his voice made my heart tighten. After was could have been mere minutes or an hour I heard light footsteps coming my way but I didn't move. the remaining part of my heart broke in a million pieces." I shrugged. "How? If the other can't…how can you?" . "He'll be back soon anyways. too silent. without even a look behind.for now." "Oh yeah I forgot… you could see it in my aura" I said not able to contain the cold edge in my voice." I added as I had a little stabbing pain in my chest.
and I know. I took a deep breath and looked away again." "I want to come with you. My father and even Pavel himself wanted to come to help me out. "I said okay. "Lissa told you?" I asked surprised that she would spill something like that. "I…Really?" He asked narrowing his eyes slightly thinking it was a trick. She went ballistic at first of course but I told her it was just for the summer and that she could join me when everything would be settled for her at the Court and with her next semester at Lehigh." "I'm not" He said keeping his eyes locked with mine." I looked at him silently a minute. you can come with us." How could he know me so well? I thought really impressed. "You don't seem surprised. lips pursed." "I…Pavel is coming with me." "It will get better Rose and as far as I could feel he really do love you. He was one of the person that I trusted the most." He said with a sad smile. . "I know you don't need my money this time or even my friendly pre--" "Okay" I blurted out stopping his ranting. It calmed her down quite a bit even if I knew that the Queen would keep her occupied for the whole summer."I think they can. "No she didn't but I know you Rose. "I'm going away for the summer" I finally let out. He chuckled but it was not an happy laugh." I quickly glanced at Adrian but his face didn't give anything away." I said not really knowing why but it was true. "I'm going to go and try to find Victor. just…anything as long as you mean it. "Sorry what?" He asked wide eyes." He was still looking at me like I had two heads and if I wasn't so broken right now I would have laughed. "I'm just so mad and sad and betrayed and…everything in between. I know it's terrible to say that. "You knew?" He nodded. "What do you want me to say Adrian?" "Anything. I couldn't talk to Lissa as she had enough to deal with. "Good to know but I'm still coming with you. like he is spitting on everything we did to bring him back. Adrian didn't even seem surprise about it. "Doesn't make me feel better" I muttered to myself. I decided to talk to her about me going hunt Victor." He said crossing his arms on his chest to show me his determination. they are just denying it." "I know it's terrible but part of me feels like he betrayed me by leaving. when you are feeling bad you have to go and fight some random crusade to make you feel better. You need to talk to someone Rose and I would love to be that someone. The new appointed guardians had the summer after graduation off and since Dimitri left I planned to use it. actually considering that.
"Wish granted" I replied finally turning my back to the window accepting that Dimitri would not be coming back today. But it was true. "Yeah really. "When are we leaving?" He asked once his surprise faded. I promised Dimitri I would let him be. no matter what" he said taking my hand. "I know" I said knowing deep in my heart that it was the truth. Firstly I did enjoy his company and he was very good at annoying me which would probably help me to keep my mind off Dimitri. we'll move to the Court during the week end and once I get my room assigned we should go. I did have some ulterior motives to bring him along. I wanted Adrian around so Dimitri could find me. Moreover. I gave him a small smile. Who would have thought even 6 months ago that I would have these kind of feelings toward my father? "Everything is ready." "Everything is organized already?" I nodded. I was bringing him along for a selfish and shameful reason…his link with Dimitri. if Lissa knew I was bringing Adrian along it would ease her mind knowing that I would never put one of my friend at risk willingly…at least not really. intertwining our fingers. Pavel included. "Come on let's go." "I always dreamed to go on a road trip" he said teasing.I nodded. that faith that it would be as hard for him to consciously live without me as it was for me to be without him. go on with my life and let him heal at his own pace but if he was feeling too low. "Well I guess there is a first for everything" I said shrugging slightly. too depressed I knew that Adrian would tell me and I would go to him wherever he liked it or not. come back to me if he wanted too." He said still suspicious. "my father is very efficient" I said not able to conceal the fondness in my voice. the others are waiting. "In a week time. Finally." I said walking to the door not really knowing of what tomorrow will be made of. "I'm here Rose. I knew it was more than unlikely for him to come back before the end of the summer of course. Why? Don't really want to come?" I asked with the ghost of a smile this time. Secondly. probably Monday or Tuesday at the latest. will be expecting me on the Court Runway. "Of course I want to!! I just never thought you would give in so easily. but I still needed that hope. . he just needs the specific date and the plane.
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