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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
belonged to Dimitri." she added before exiting the gym. and guilt radiating from her in huge waves. Some said that I just couldn't deal with the aftermath of the battle and needed to get institutionalized for a while. Lissa blushed slightly feeling embarrassed to have jumped on me like that. I barely reached my seat when she spoke. I could feel it from Lissa. I haven't run into him again. "I know the situation is pretty messed up but he just needs some time…give it to him. 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.had the kidnapping and he was frantic. I knew he was doing it on purpose to avoid Lissa and he was doing one hell of a job. 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 did my best to swallow as fast as I could without chocking and took the opportunity to quickly glance around the room." I said even surprising myself. "I'll see you tomorrow. I didn't realize how hungry I was before sitting down at the table." she said with a rueful smile. "What can I do for you?" I asked before inhaling almost half of the donut. Some of the rumors were just crazy and some were funny. I was such a bad ass that I went in an infiltration mission as a spy for the secret service." I just looked at her not knowing what to say. 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. and still. I just bit my bottom lip looking at her trying my best to contain my tears." she simply said and I could feel the pain. 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. "It's Christian. 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. "Rose I need you to help me. I walked slowly back to the commons. "It's alright." I chuckled. Chapter 2 "Well good morning to you too sunshine!" I said reaching for a sugar coated donut that was on the table. With the exception of the little chat we had the day I came back. I was pretty sure he was coming to the commons very early or very late to avoid any of us. Lissa always knew I was a sucker for sweets and sugar in general. "Sorry." She said and I could feel the worry irradiating from her. "Awww Lissa come on. 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 said once my mouth was empty. I really did feel better when I was with her. sorrow. 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 was not sure I could even speak.
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. "Oh yeah that's good! I went twice myself to show them some movements you know. "I'll go meet him at his training session after class. "Well he needs someone to talk to and even if he never said it out loud he…" she smiled. I had to admit it. He seemed to seriously ponder my question. well mobster boss. "I was more concerned about the next few hours. "So what are you going to do now?" Asked Eddie as we exited our last class of the day. Calculus. that almost made me think we were going back in time…before Spokane." I said since he invited me anyways. also known as torture 101 for me. .help him get better. he was not close to Eddie and he certainly couldn't talk to one of his 'students'." She added going full force sad puppy on me." I said confused. However." she said shaking her head. Please Rose…. "Do you want me to walk you there?" I nodded grateful. My mother and him did their best to hide it to everyone maybe there was a reason. I could at least give him a very small and vague resume of where I went. He is a good person and I knew how badly it hurts when you have nobody to confide in. "No it's not that. "I mean if I could help by beating him up or something I would but I don't think it would work. "Thank you Rose." he said smiling. It was the secrets that almost destroyed our friendship and ultimately almost cost her life." she said and I could feel relief radiating from her. I did tell her almost everything else and she would know it all eventually." I said evasively. I just needed a little more time." she said biting her bottom lip trying her best not to cry.you won't help that's for sure. "Ok…." 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. And I certainly didn't help with that. "He is actually doing a pretty decent job I can even imagine him as a teacher. "Well Christian always had some trust issues. It was nice to be with him to do small talk. She knew I met a man. I looked at her for a little while in silence. "Well I wanted to go and see one of Fire boy training sessions." I chuckled. named Abe but at the time I related her the full adventure I didn't know Abe was my father. "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. the guy can be pretty stubborn" I added before taking a sip of my coffee." 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. Classes went pretty well. it was like before…sort of." he added and I could hear in his voice that he was as surprised as I was. I was the only one left and even if I would rather get stabbed than admit it out loud I wanted to help him. He thought Adrian was a useless alcoholic. "He trusts you and he loves you. 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. It was true that our little group were the only people Christian was talking to." He said nicely. I nodded still thoughtful. 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 said watching Eddie too. "Thanks" I said putting it in my rear pocket. I really didn't expect to get any marks." 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. She looked at me startled but didn't comment. 5 strigoi in St Petersburg and 2 near Baia are attributed to you." I said as an invitation to continue. "Well that and something else too." she said to me after acknowledging Eddie's presence with a nod. I really didn't care who I was training with really…it was not my Dimitri. I nodded not really knowing what I should say anyways. "So. "They told me about your kills and I needed to talk to you about getting your Molnija." I nodded.We were maybe half way to the junior gym when Alberta met with us. "He is going to be a good guardian. "Guardian Petrov.he saw it first hand. "He knows what to expect outside…. "I'll see you back in the dorm." She added and she was getting more uncomfortable by the second. "It is a huge advantage but also a weakness. "Oh I can walk you there!" She said jumping on the opportunity. I had the irrational fear that she would announce that Dimitri was on his way. "I've got your training schedule for the next two weeks here." Alberta said business like. "Thanks Eddie." he said with clear respect before walking away." She said slightly frowning when she saw the relief on my face. "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 really need to have a word with you." she said handling me the piece of paper as we were walking side by side. I stopped to face her. hell I didn't even expect to make it back. "Uh huh." I said resting my hand on Eddie's shoulder. "Well since you have been reintegrated the Alchemists did a report of your time in Russia. "Yeah see you later." . At least what they know about your time there. Alberta cleared her throat. it was stupid as she had no way to know that but I just couldn't help it. "I was looking for you. "Well Eddie was just walking me to one of Christian Ozera training sessions." Alberta commented while watching him retreat. "I see…" I said simply not really knowing how much they knew and what did they share with her." I simply added concentrating on Alberta again. "It's not necessary you know. based on their official report." I said smiling to him hoping it looked genuine enough. "Are you doing something important?" She asked but her voice was saying 'I need to talk to you alone'. she had a folded piece of paper in her hand. But you can only be marked for 7 and I'm sorry about that. "That's…That's what you wanted to tell me?" I asked honestly surprised as it could have been said in front of Eddie." I said patting his arms." She said with clear admiration in the voice." I said sincerely. "They added that semi-officially you probably took down around 15 strigoi." said Eddie squeezing my hand.
"Well not today. I just came as an observer. "I'll see you later. "Ok I can arrange it for tomorrow after class then?" She asked before quickly looking at her watch. "Yes that's fine by me. "Well fine you'll see how we can kick ass too. "Thank you." I added winking to Christian and sitting down. pretty hard but clear and fair. As soon as the students left I stood up and went to meet Christian. I chuckled. "Did you came to share some of your moves with us?" I heard some muffled 'wow' and 'awesome'." she said but it was not clear in her voice if it was a compliment or not. The others were looking at him in a awe." I said trying to show some interest." I said simply. I thought he was maybe 12 and one of the fire users like Christian turned around to face me. "Maybe next time. "Well well well if it isn't the great Rose Hathaway!!" Christian said but he seemed genuinely pleased to see me there. I would have 9 Molnija and the big battle one before graduating. it was clearly enough to impress any guardians but deep down I never felt lesser of a guardian than I felt today. ." I said before taking my hand from his mouth. Christian was a very good teacher. she seemed clearly saddened by that." 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. I told you I don't --" I stopped him by bringing my hand on his mouth. that pseudo strength could be your fatal weakness. she sent you to try to set things right. The lesson was pretty good actually and I had to recognize that Eddie was right. I didn't need to scare the kids. "Well…" I ran my hands through my hair. "Excuse me can I ask you a question?" He asked directly to my attention." said Christian before concentrating on them again." I added not really knowing what I felt thankful for." I said pointing to the bench. "Stop right there Christian that's not why I'm here. it's not the marks that make the quality of a guardian. When he dismissed the group one of the young boys. 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). "So buddy how are you doing?" I asked with a small smile. never be over confident because that confidence. I shook my head before entering the gym where Christian was talking to a little group of approximately 8 moroi." she said padding my arm before rushing away I guessed she was scheduled for security."I said it's no biggy. He looked at me and I could see his eyes widen as if he understood something. So many pieces of advise were crossing my mind. "You have grown so much Rose. "Of course you can!" I said trying to smile as warmly as I could. "No matter how ready. I thought for a little while. how strong you think you are. "Ah I get it.
"How can you…" I started to say. "How have you been doing?" I asked resting a hand on his shoulder. I know you enough to be sure you couldn't abandon her. Christian looked at me "I bet you know that already Rose. "And I'll prove that I trust you. "Yeah I still love them. He nodded. 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. I wanted to say how can you know that? but I realized that he was the only one able to understand me." I said barely louder than a whisper. "It's terrible isn't it?" He asked nicely." And I really did." And it was true he was my favorite smartass. not even to myself. Christian stared at me for a little while thoughtful and I could see no judgment in his eyes just understanding." I said to him. "There are no reasons for you to be ashamed." He nodded slowly."Oh?" He said simply. his voice breaking. I was about to say something I didn't say anyone. How could he understand? I thought a bit troubled." 'Avery is not Rose' I remembered him saying. "You've been so good at playing ninja and hiding that I didn't get a chance to even talk to you. "Well I'd like to think we're friends and even if I would never say it out loud in public I missed you." He smiled "Don't tell me you didn't slip in Lissa's head while you were away.. "So how have you been?" I asked again. I hate them for voluntary going strigoi and I hated myself for years because I couldn't stop loving them. How it warmed my heart to realize he was on my side. "To realize that strigoi or not you still love him? It's hard isn't it? You start to hate yourself for that. except for Dimitri. I looked at him as my eyes filled up with tears." He said. I just smiled. 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. "What is?" I asked confused. You are so brave and strong! Don't think you failed anything or anyone because you didn't. "Let's go to my room." He said in such a way I realized it was the first time he acknowledge that fact out loud." he said picking up his bag from the floor. "Why?" Asked Christian anxiously coming to kneel in front of me. "You still love them right?" I asked uncomfortable as even to Lissa he never openly mentioned his parents. he was the only person I had ever trusted with my life. 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." . His parents they were strigoi before being killed. I couldn't even understand myself. "I'm ashamed. "I guess trust is something that needs to be gained.
" Christian then did something I wouldn't have expected in a million year. "You know I came to check on you and you comforted me." he said still very calm. "I mean she let herself become influenced for whatever reason when she could have just confided in me. trying to keep his feeling in order. "Sorry. I don't blame her for trying to be part of the royal game. "Don't get me wrong." He said sitting back on the bed. I chuckled drying my tears. "And I've seen. "You know Lissa would never judge you right?" I tried. 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." "So you are fire boy. "You know that Avery controlled Lissa's mind pretty much the whole time right?" I asked rhetorically. 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."If he had given me the right answer I'm not sure I would be here today. "yeah I do." He said calmly. "What do you want me to explain?" He asked with a sigh of clear rendition. "It was nice to have just some you and me time." He said and I could see the deep hurt in his eyes. to see the disappointment in his eyes. "See that's the problem." I added resting my elbows on my knees. After a while we parted a bit embarrassed. "What do you mean?" he asked so caringly that I was scared to crush the friendship we were creating. maybe I would have joined him. "He begged me not to do it. what could I say when I knew he wasn't wrong. "Nah don't be. Christian nodded. very close friends." He sighed." He said as he was just stating a fact. I never did. I just looked at him not saying anything. he hugged me tightly and I hugged him back. "And you know that she probably kissed Aaron under influence." He said sincerely..." I said blushing." I said sincerely. I'm proud of who I am as you are proud of who you are Rose. "The 'probably' and 'pretty much' clearly states that it was still a bit her. I knew that from now on we would be friends. "It's nice to know that someone can understand that part of you that you thought you had to keep hidden. He sighed. "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.. you comforted me too." I looked up. I couldn't help but snort because it was also Christian's anti-social behavior that lead him to gain the 'strigoi-wannabe' nickname. and she only managed to control Lissa after making her drink. "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. I've seen that you and…Belikov were ready to sacrifice ." he said still in the hug. "Rose you promised." he said simply. if it's what she wants to do but you see I don't play their game." "Believe me." I whispered looking down at his hands on my knees. Things started to get messy even before Avery came into the picture. So you are. You are my favorite annoying smartass.
Life…. Spokane." he bit his bottom lip thinking. Before we make choices for the future that we can't take back. "Oh I finally found you. . It made me think of Abe and what he said to me.' "I just need some time to figure it out before it's too late and before we're only good to hurt each other. Victor. I liked his company. I was sure of that. I'll meet you there. who is to say we are made for each other?" His last words wouldn't have hurt me more if he actually slapped me. "You too." he said giving me a quick hug.sad. We were friends for life now. You left everything behind to find him but you see. "What's this?" I asked curiously. "Avoiding her won't help you decide you know. Please." He looked deep into my eyes before nodding." I said. Save me a seat. "You're right. just to make the other one happy. he was like me. because it would be a lie. "I'm not sure I could make all the compromises that need to be made for her. "I'm not saying that I don't love her more than I thought I could love." 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. he was always so carefree. even for myself to realize that. I needed to go." he said with his usually laid back grin. "It's just…." he said quickly. We have so much more in common than most people. the campus." I asked with the full force of my sad puppy eyes. His black eye had totally faded and he was as gorgeous as ever.." He said simply "I… it's--" I started taken aback. Everyone thinks their first love is the only one they'll ever have. "You too Rose. "I wanted to give you that.everything to be together." he said before kissing my cheek as I exited. "Sadly I do" I said in a breath. "He said awkwardly." He said handing be a black folder. 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." "I just need time to figure it out even if it will be hard.Life didn't spare us. "Hello Adrian. "Even if you decided not to get back together with Lissa. I need you to know that you'll always have a friend in me okay?" I said standing up. "Eat breakfast with us tomorrow. pretty much disabled when feelings were concerned. I could still hear him clearly in my head like as if he was beside me 'Oh Rose you are young. I was about to enter my dorm when I heard Adrian's voice behind me. Can you understand that?" He asked and I could see he was actually yearning for my comprehension." I said actually happy to see him. "Always stunning I see. curfew was getting closer and closer. 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. "But sometimes love is not enough and we're barely 18. You've barely lived. and now our shameful love for still 'living' or dead strigoi.
You also know that I'm not the kind to take things seriously. Yeah right. he never gave up on me as much as I pushed him away. I let my guard down around you and you've already gotten a very good look at the real me. "Just so you know I never worked as seriously or as hard on something in my whole life. =D I sighed closing my eyes. That was a true fact. I put on my PJs and quickly sank into bed. or in my dreams. I already know a lot about you.Not that you care but I'm a good catch. I could see through his pretenses. I really hoped he gave up on me. Part One was called 'Facts' and divided in small paragraphs: . Dimitri was still half alive somewhere probably organizing my assassination but a promise was a promise. When we were together. I could hear Abe in my head all over again. I know you think it's borderline stalkerish but I just think I'm being super cute. I'll never judge you or let you down ." 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. I had seen his goodness. I picked up the file chuckling as I saw the title. our little chat back in Baia." I looked at him mouth wide open probably looking like a complete idiot. it's true but you… I've always been serious about you Rose and I know that you can't deny that. You've barely lived. . For now I was still stuck. his longing.' I had said 'Oh Rose you are young.All in all to. his bravery and protectiveness. good name. I will always follow you. . "Shut up old man. telling him to let go he kept coming back supporting me. I care a lot about you. it did strike a sensitive cord. ." he said seriously. Adrian financed my crazy escape.And you know me. I looked at the folder stupidly. he wanted to make me laugh and that was something I desperately needed these days. He quickly kissed my forehead before rushing back toward the guest pavilion." He said seeing the matron approaching. He was playing the dandy shallow rich royal most of the time but I knew better and he knew that I did. I knew I would have more success deciphering hieroglyphs than his messy handwriting. He was humoring me. and a terrible reputation just as you like.You already know that even if you want to do something completely crazy.) . I took a deep breath before continuing to read. Everyone thinks their first love is the only one they'll ever have. that I was sure of. It was all very clearly typed on a computer which was good. I think way better than anyone else. Not after Dimitri. "I'll see you tomorrow.' He replied I groaned. I bet that my blood whore days would crush this respect if he ever found out. maybe now more than ever. I could see his seriousness. Why should you date me by Adrian 'Awesome' Ivashkov."The essay you asked for about why I'm dating material. . (Come on you know it's true. his fear of losing me. and there is nothing you could do or say that would make me care or respect you any less. 'I'm never going to be involved with anyone again. It was so right.
. whole. support.. "So. The fourth. just one date. was on what we could offer to each other.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 simply added. very good but I could hurt him so badly…he could hurt me so badly. a black tank top that was quite fitting.Plus when I'm near you I feel at peace. It has to mean something. He was dressed so differently than his usual self.) The second chart was on how compatible we were as far as sarcasm. making his emerald eyes even greener in this magical surrounding. I could even say that dressed as simply.I would never judge you or let you down and you know that I will never play with your emotions or your heart. humor etc…. he knew that it was possible I would not go in to deep with him. he was even more beautiful than I had ever seen him. .I can make a better case in person Rose. Adrian chuckled and sat on the grass patting the spot beside him." "So it seems. . I sighed putting the file on the floor and turning off the light. Adrian was a good man and I owed him that much at least I had to try. (Love. It will be on campus and you'll be free to call it quits whenever you like. Part two was 'Future & Conditional' . You couldn't wait for my answer?" I asked Adrian. comprehension. and last. The third chart was on how awesome we could be together. He was wearing a pair of faded blue jeans.. I can get a little impatient.Moreover I'm just asking for a chance. it could be good. I took my shoes off and sat beside him in the deliciously warm grass. showing that he did have a washboard stomach and he was barefoot. . sensitivity. not a promise. We were in a breathtaking garden with a beautiful little pond where some swans were wandering. strength. like I find the place where I need to be and I long for it each time you're away. with the sun playing in his dark brown hair. I said to myself deciding to agree with it." I said taking a good look at him. 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. just a small little date. It's just a date. There was a pie chart on which part of me he liked the most. (the biggest part which was 37 % was my brave.. "What do you want me to say little Dhampir. family. That was the scariest part. Apparently he knew what to expect. fierce & protective attitude. I laughed out loud when I saw the little charts he made just below that. just one date no strings attached ok? . Paper can't contain all the finer points of things. I promised him. right? . as crazy as it sounds.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. I'll support you all the way whatever you decide to do or not do. fun etc…) The third part: Practice. healing. 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.
" I said with eyes closed. I bet that Lionel. but Christian did his best to talk even with Lissa. one of my secret happy places. "And where are we?" I asked." He added and I knew he was sincere. "Ok Ivashkov. not tomorrow but the evening after that. You're very lucky. The day went by rather quick and went pretty well. "I couldn't disagree more. The training with Alberta was quite interesting with the experience she collected during the years she was able to show me some effective moves. Bartholomew church. never saw someone being so depressed to receive those badges of honor. "Do you like it?" He asked eagerly. "Do you agree to the practice part?" I stayed silent for a minute. the St. "You'll see there is no place like Bavaria." he said but I could hear the underlying hurt in his voice. "You can call it quits at any moment during the evening and go back to your dorm." "Why is that?" He asked lying down.. "Yeah?" He asked and he seemed incredibly surprised that I was giving in." He added before getting out of my head. the tattooist guardian. I didn't answer but it was painful because it reminded me so much of Dimitri's enthusiasm about Siberia." he said laying beside me. letting the sun warm my face. "That's beautiful. "My grandmothers' garden in the Bavarian Alps."Where are we?" I asked curiously because this was no place I'd seen before. "Because they would never accept me there. . "Uh huh…" I said opening one eye. seeing flowers of colors and shape I have never seen before." he said like it was a certitude." He added with enthusiasm. "I really do. I'll come pick you up an hour after the end of your classes so be ready. I guess it was because he didn't know how unworthy I felt each time his needle touched my skin. Breakfast was a bit more awkward. no hard feelings. the fortress Marienberg… you'll love it. I wanted to show you one of my favorite places on earth." he added with a wink. this time I was the one laying down. "Anyways. "See you tomorrow Rose." I said looking around once more." He said tenderly. "It could honestly be heaven but I know it's not. I went sullenly to get my 7 molnija marks. "No strings attached right?" I added in order to stop him from hoping too much. He shook his head. seeing him propped on one elbow looking down at me with what seemed pure joy on his face. "Yep. one date. 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." I said not really knowing if I was making a mistake or not. So close that I could feel his body heat. He sat up and looked at me. "I'll take you there one day." I said evasively." He leaned down to kiss my forehead. "So little dhampir was the presentation good enough?" He asked in all seriousness.
"Hey! Sorry I just spaced for a minute.. "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. "Oh Rose…I love you too. "I guess it's time to answer your questions. "Running away. I had never seen her that defenseless." "I know that Rose. she was probably surprised. or." I said stopping to face her. Then I realized it was better for her to know about it before hand so she wouldn't go full overprotective mom on me. "You think that's why I stayed?" "Well…" I shrugged slightly." she said with an embarrassed laugh. "My word is all I have. that 'human'. We stayed silent for a little while and I said the first thing that crossed my mind to break the silence." I added already surprised that she waited 5 days before starting to interrogate me. I hugged her." I said to her just before reaching the guardian living quarters. we can have some mother and daughter time. She seemed pretty confused by what I assumed she considered as a random comment. .." I blurted out wanting to slap myself. I nodded. I did the only thing I wanted." I was such a terrible parent. and I decided." She said sincerely. I swore to myself if I could have you back safely I would try to spend as much time as possible with you. to do. that I needed. I nodded expecting her to explode any second. "I decided to stay because. I got scared. My quest created so much unnecessary worry. it was not like it would be a first. "I was thinking. Because I never was so scared in my whole life. maybe if you don't have anything planned tonight. so scared. "I love you mom!" I said and I heard her sharp intake of air. friends. I felt guilty to have brought her these souvenirs and hurting her in the process. She sighed and opened her bedroom door. "Mom?" I said stopping in front of her." She confessed." She said hugging me tighter. "You…" she shook her head sadly.When he was done and applied the gauze on it I saw my mom waiting for me at the end of the room. She was propped against the door frame and she seemed completely lost in her thoughts once more. "Ivashkov?" She asked truly surprised but not mad…that was odd. I probably hadn't told her that since I was about 6 or 7." She asked nicely probably not wanting to be disturbed by one of my fellow students and." "That would be good. which of course was utterly idiotic. "I have a date with Adrian tomorrow. leaving Lissa behind was so not like you." I looked at her with shock. "Why don't you come to mine." she said mainly to herself. "Do you want to go back to my room?" I asked while we started to walk. "You know… I usually never go back on my word. I promised you I would graduate and that's exactly what I am going to do." I replied knowing I wouldn't be training with her before the week end.
"Well I was mainly surprised but I could see why you fell for each other." A date is just a date. but there was something in her eyes. "Disappointed? No. "You are not too disappointed?" I asked giving her a sidelong glance." She shrugged. that people were looking for you I never imagined. "Ah…That's some story." I smiled remembering her saying that Abe was a good man." she added with a small smile playing on her lips. lost so much… I wanted you to keep that innocence just a bit longer. "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." She sighed unexpectedly kissing my forehead." She gave me a small smile. "What do you want to know?" She asked." she said dismissively. "I phoned him to thank him because…" She sighed and sat beside me on the bed. "You know what? We'll do that some other time. I didn't need to cause her more worry and pain. I never wanted you to suffer and certainly not that young." I bit my bottom lip trying to contain my tears. "Can I ask you a question?" I asked uncomfortably. not even in a million years." She patted my knee." She chuckled. I nodded. "He told you!" I added wanting to shoot him in the kneecaps as the mobster kid I was. it can help you to move on. That's when I finally understood everything. he is one of the good Moroi. "I know you are honest enough to answer my questions. something I couldn't place. if you started to deal with Dimitri's loss. "I've seen how truly worried he was about you when you were away Rose." I said. "I guess you have questions about my trip. it's not like you care what people think of you. "You know when you went missing I called him for help but I thought he would just send messages to his many contacts. "I'm just sad for you really. The fear to lose me really changed her and I realized how much I missed her all these years." She said wanting to spare me and it was the most considerate I've ever seen her.She twisted her mouth slightly." she said quickly to reassure me." We stayed quiet for a little while. "Well I graduated and got assigned to Clarissa Voda. "Since when he is not a bad guy?" I couldn't help but ask. how much I was yearning for my mother." She said staring at the wall and I knew she was now lost in her thoughts. because clearly I wouldn't tell her more than necessary." she said in such a tone that I knew she was not talking about me only." she simply said. 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. "And considering Ivashkov I was wrong about him he really does care about you. "How did you meet?" I asked curiously. "Sometimes you don't fall for the most suitable person. "I think that a date is not that bad. "that's when he asked me how you were doing. "you already lived through so much." 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. that was private!! "I did but not to spy on you or anything. He shouldn't have mentioned my feelings for Dimitri. "Yeah why not he isn't a bad guy. how he tried to support and help Lissa." she said shaking her head. taking my hand in hers. 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. "She had been accepted to Kings college in London but she was pretty intrigued by Muslim .
"He was a student there?" I inquired in order for her to continue." I said. wicked." She replied. long. Like I said to you before. the face closed off from emotion. while looking at her. he just grinned and started to act all Mr. "When he noticed me. She chuckled. "Abe. it was almost unrealistic. "That's funny. wavy. "He didn't want me to leave at the end of the summer but I was not the kind to abandon my charge. I saw her as a guardian robot for so long. It was Abe alright! He was like that walking in the streets of Baia. He was just so intriguing moreover when Clarissa saw him she hissed that trouble was on the way. "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. He has a very big heart. his business is irrelevant and none of your concern. I was only a guardian for 3 weeks. At the time I didn't have the control I have now. "Aşkım?" I asked confused. "How old was he back then?" "He was 23 and I was 18." she added putting a string of my hair behind my ear. I'd never been out of the Academy much. That's when I crossed Aşkım's path for the first time. "Right! Aşkım and authority never really worked well together!" She said with so much fondness that it actually made my chest tighten. Later on he told me that's exactly when he fell for me. seeming farther away now. It was hard to acknowledge her as an actual person with feelings and weaknesses." My moms' voice dropped slowly like she was revealing something in confidence. He was a good man and I know he still his. I opened my mouth to say something but she shushed me by continuing. 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 specified still completely lost in her memories.architecture so her parents decided she should spend the summer as a student at the University of Istanbul. I sat beside her." "Total badass!!" I blurted out before cursing myself hoping she would continue. Anyways. a machine without emotion. She gave me an amused look before she continued. golden jewelry. "If by exuberant you mean flashy scarves. and earring so yeah he was. "But I was intrigued you know. 'Bigshot-I-own-the-place' with us." She shook her head but smiled brightly… brighter than I ever saw her smile before." she added. My mom nodded. "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. "I was a lot like you Rose. "He even had long hair at the time you know. "We became friends. "Was he already that…exuberant?" I asked curiously. ." She said. I never thought I would see him ever again." She said with nostalgia. "So I left and it broke my heart." She added and I could hear some longing in her voice even if she was doing one hell of a job to hide it. 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. I despised the man right on the spot. maybe she regretted her choice now. 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." She stopped and squeezed my hand." We both chuckled at that. I put him back in his place showing him I was not impressed that I was as 'badass' as he 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. hair going down to his shoulders…just like yours." She added and again it was possible to see that a part of her still loved him. it was not who I was. "Oh wow…'' I said imagining my mother going after a man like him.
. freed from his somehow harmful influence and he was a benefactor of this school. "What?! Why??" My mother asked sounding completely confused and wrapping her arms around me. "But that's when we started to talk about the future you see. "I guess you noticed that the man was pretty impressive and could get anything he wants. he never let me down. I felt guilty for all the hard times I gave her over the years. I told you he is a good man Rose. He sacrificed his time with her to assure me a good future. "I see a lot of him in you and before you go all offended it's a compliment." she sighed and kissed the top of my head. When I told him that he wasn't a role model he told me. you're in love. "long story. "I honestly don't know Rose. you couldn't help it when you're in love. I could have had a worse father. "Do you think I'll see him again?" I asked my mother." I said standing up." "Really?" I asked blowing my nose in a very unlady like way. Abe is the kind of man to do exactly what he wants to. I looked at her and my eyes filled up with tears. But he is a good man it's just…" I shook my head."Don't ask me how he pulled that one off because I honestly don't know and I never asked. I was not ready to let go of my guardian duties it was who I felt I was. He had to have loved my mother deeply for taking those inconsiderate risks 18 years later for a daughter he didn't even know. I laughed to myself he was such a hypocrite. "Because of me you've lost each other. "Yeah…I owe him one." she said pushing me back to look into my eyes. As I said before. "I swear my pregnancy didn't break us up." I said sobbing on her chest.' Abe also said something quite similar back in Baia. but I wouldn't rule it out. "Well let's go to the kitchen and grab something to eat. his activities were…'' She seemed to think for a minute. 'We both thought it'd be best if he wasn't in your life. That life was no place for a child Rose. "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 would bet that he was since I entered it as a student.' They wanted me to be raised well. as much as I loved the person he was. She said." I rolled my eyes." I remember what my mother had told me when I found out that Abe was my father. far from his shabby business but as my mother said before. I was 20 and he was 25 then." she replied and stood as well." We were the only one in the kitchen and that was good. It was my identity and well." She said with a playful smile. "Really!" She said looking deep into my eyes to show me that she was sincere." she said with a playful smile. We thought that it was better to call it quit. his activities were his own business and he didn't want to let go. "Anyways. "never mind." She laughed when I nodded. He wanted to assume you know. '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." I said concentrating on my pasta. "We dated for the next two years and then… then I got pregnant with you and things changed. "No no Rose don't even think that. since now part of me really wanted to know him. Some first loves lasted! His actions and my mothers' face were proof of it and I intended to let him know that. "I'm so sorry!" I said crashing on her chest. "I kinda like him you know.
"All right I'll tell that to my superiors but I can't promise anything." ( He kept asking me over and over again. "Nice you know me that well already." Sydney responded. "I will tell you very soon. not completely anyways but one day in a year." "Believe me Sydney he would get mad if he didn't get my message. "Unfortunately." I said chuckling. It was 6 am here so it meant that it was 4 pm in St Petersburg. any kind of healing is good to take." "Thank you Ma. "Have a good night Rose. She sighed. If you want we can go hunt strigoi together. "Anyways I know you need something come on tell me.) "Oooo that's tough Rose. The memories won't hurt so much anymore and you'll even smile. "The guy hates to be bothered. "Sydney? It's your favorite evil creature." I said hoping I was right. 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 wanted Zmey's number but I know you don't have it. "I need you to get him a message." She nodded and kissed my forehead." she added probably not wanting to add to my distress. 'why are you here?' he'll finally get his answer." She asked laughing. Not like it mattered." I said teasing. "Rose!! How are you doing?!" She asked sounding genuinely pleased. I just need to tell that to someone else first but then I'll tell you everything I promise. it won't be a burden to remember. apparently uncomfortable." I said before running to my room." "You too Mum. As for getting over it…'' She grimaced slightly. "Anytime Rose." "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. It was silly to even think that she was scared of me at first." she said teasing back. "Hello?" She said warily. five years." She said reaching for my hand from across the table. "I want to help. "You'll never get over it. I smiled at her." she said with concern." I said decided to play it honestly." . "I'm alright I wanted to give you my number you know for when you come back home. or maybe even ten years." "Right!" She snorted taking my number."No tell me. "This aching in my chest…Do you think I'll get over it? Over him?" "You will get better Rose. "Will you tell me why you left to go to Baia?" My mother finally asked." I said as it was exactly the kind of honesty I needed. "Maybe not today but one day." 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. I reached for my brand new cell phone I bought the day before and looked for Sydney's letter. My mom walked me back to the dorms since it was after curfew.
I had to be the pacifier. my favorite stalker but still it seemed more serious somehow. First the training with Stan turned pretty messy since it seemed we were both trying to take revenge on something.What was it. That was it.. He was probably the only man I could call the 'classy-casual' type. 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. "Actually I do…a little." 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. It meant that whatever he was wearing he always had this classy edge and this royal vibe. Lissa even lent me a black cashmere shawl to go with it. "you are very good looking yourself!" I said quickly assessing him. They were daisies with a single red rose in the middle. hopefully. 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. "Thank you.. I'd always seen Adrian as being a very picky. 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. it could help me with my Victor plan). simple yet still sort of classy. Even in my dreams when he was barefoot. I hoped that the day would end way better than it started because today sucked ass.. See I'm so alone that I'm missing an evil creature of the night. I didn't know if you could call a bright smile 'serious' but it was exactly the case here. but nice and not too revealing. So. Area 51?? Part of me was scared that Abe didn't actually want a relationship with me. a role I never liked nor excelled in. luxurious man and these flowers were different. I opened the door to a smiling Adrian but it was not the kind of smile I was used to. I really couldn't put a name on it but it seemed to run deeper."Thank you!" I said sincerely. 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. All in All. I was just finishing getting ready when I heard a light knock on the door. Maybe he helped me only because he felt that he owed something to my mother. It was pretty sober. "Rose you look stunning!" He said. Then Christian snapped at Eddie when he tried to mettle in his relationship with Lissa. It was such a simple yet gorgeous bouquet that it surprised me. "Talk to you soon. Chapter 4: I was getting ready for my date and as silly as it sounded.Do you miss me??" I asked teasing her again. I finally settled for a pair of low waist black jeans and a silky red tank top with thick straps. bowing slightly before handing me a big bunch of flowers. 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. "So…. I left my hair down and settled for some lip gloss." "Love you too Sydney. I was relieved that Lissa kept all my belongings after I left the Academy. I just hoped it would be better tonight. in memory of the past. it was a shitty day and nothing went my way. the old pair of faded . more like me." I said feeling sincerely pleased and taking the flowers. I knew it sounded juvenile and irrational but it would really crush me to be rejected by him." I said laughing. I felt slightly nervous about it. It was Adrian.
" he said teasing." he said taking what looked like a black tie from his jacket pocket." I said warily." he said chuckling as I put the flowers on the desk. I let the door open and invited him in while I tried to figure out where to put the flowers. "The flowers needed to convey the right sentiments. and black jacket." He said giving me an amused sidelong glance. "I…guess." He said barely louder than a whisper." "That has not been proven. he looked far more impressive and royal than most the guys I knew when they were in tuxedos." I said with a small smile before rushing to the small sink to fill the plastic box with water.blue jeans. It was probably one of the most beautiful compliments anyone ever gave me. so crazily original. ugliest vase in the history of the world but it would have to do. "Well that will be your job to figure out my little dhampir. . Right now he was wearing a pair of black dress pants. We were near the administration building when Adrian stopped me putting his hand on my shoulder." he said and I could hear the clear disapproval in his voice. "A little bit of work won't hurt you. I'll bring a vase too. It was probably the crappiest. I swirled around looking deep into his eyes trying to spot any kind of joke or teasing but there was none. and black tank top. "You said the first reason but what is the second one?" I asked. just like you. "I'm not used to getting flowers…except from you. "Please don't spoil the surprise. 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. "So what made you decide to get me daisies?" I asked curiously reaching for the big long box of smarties I had. It was not something I expected. "Firstly. "Thank you. I frowned and looked up at him. "Do you trust me Rose?" He asked mysteriously." I said with a slight pout making him laugh." I said grimacing. He smiled. I shrugged dismissively reaching for the shawl." he said softly leaning against the wall looking at me moving around. changing subject walking out of the room. I had been emptying the box when he said that and it almost slipped out of my hand. 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. "Well…Two reasons really. an emerald green button up shirt. "Yeah sorry. "Well the second reason is the meaning of course." "Which are?" I asked but I wasn't really sure I wanted the answer. "Note for next time." I added joking. He followed me out walking by my side. "And that's just a shame. It was true that Adrian was one of the people I trusted the most but he was so exuberant sometimes. The air was still a bit cold for end of May but the shawl made it very agreeable.
"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.
"So I heard you were eager to talk to me. "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. "It's Friday night I was out with friends." I said jumping up." I said sitting on my bed." He said the voice lower than usual probably under the emotions. "Finally reaching you little girl." I bit my bottom lip. "I was about to give up. "I just said that you would love again…eventually even if a part of you will always belong to someone else." "You…you're welcome." I said cursing myself. "So some first loves do last. "Abe? Are you still with me?" I asked frowning. I know for a fact that sometimes it does last for a lifetime!" I said with a sure voice. As soon as walked in my cell phone started to ring I hurried and answered without even checking the number." I smiled and I was sure he could hear it in my voice. quiet for so long that I thought he hung up on me." . "That would be a first so please little girl tell me where I was wrong." "Did you succeed?" He asked and I could hear no judgment in his voice. "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. for not giving too much away to my mother and for trying to get the information you know I'm longing for.He seemed completely dazed. "So thank you." he said and I'll be damned but there was emotion in his voice. "I thought I did. for helping me when I didn't realize I needed it." said Abe with some laughter in his voice. I had to keep my promise." I said with a small smile walking into my room. I can sleep in the morning." Abe was quiet. When he didn't say anything I took it as an invitation to continue." I said and I didn't realize how much emotion I had in my voice. "Oh just one more thing." I said without even thinking. He didn't give up on me after all. "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." "Wrong? Me?!" He asked chuckling. "I also wanted to thank you. "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." "Well old man I think you were wrong considering first love. "I think you were wrong. I…" I cleared my throat." he said seriously. "I could see it in someone's face recently that even after 20 years it was still there. Thank you so much. leaving him in the corridor. the lovestruck smile or even someone taking inconsiderate risks for someone he loved in another lifetime. "We agreed we would do that for each other. "It's a long story. "For trying to keep me safe. "What for?" He asked sounding taken aback. Why out so late?" "Zmey!!" I shouted too pleased to have him on the phone. "Sleep well. "You 'thought'?" he asked confused.
Even if it was getting better and better between us. . "Don't be like Don Quichotte Rose. or rather my lack of one. She said approvingly and taking an offensive stance and we did what we both did best…Fight. on what is good in your life. "Go to bed it's time. "He wouldn't give me any information and I offered him a lot of things. Not every story has its happy ending." he said warily. It would just be longer than what I expected. it's very good. "I just wanted to thank you so thanks…and have a nice life. "You know where Victor is in jail right?" I asked trying to do my best to sound neutral. With his help or not I was going to find out where Victor was incarcerated. a part of him still loved my mother and probably always would. "I'm sorry Rose but no I won't tell you and. she was just hoping that I would heal fast enough. She asked me about my date trying to sound as detached as she could. we'll just see where it leads' Friends it's good. Still. rightfully or not." "I…" I started. And I won't help you on this path. she would still look cold and detached to an outsider but to me she was totally different now. I was just getting out of training with my mother and I couldn't help but smile. with her. 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 said. his voice colder now. I knew it was only worry talking. I still couldn't comprehend that! I had some plans with Eddie and Lissa this afternoon. Fellow students that were even getting out of my way whenever I walked through the corridors. begging." I said and I couldn't help but to sound like a begger because it was exactly what I was doing." "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 added before hanging up and turning the phone off. I haven't given up on the idea of getting Christian to join us. maybe just beg him I was pretty sure he would enjoy that. What could you possibly offer that I couldn't?" I just wanted to talk to him. She was still the tough guardian." he said matter of factly."I see…" I said and I understood what he just said. I'd go to his room and drag his hardheaded ass if I had to. royal or not. Firstly. "Now you should just forget about these bedtime stories and grow up. Concentrate on the tangible. it still felt extremely awkward to talk about my love life. fighting some imaginary battle. She was my mother and I knew at this point that with everything that had happened between us. I could see the curiosity and hope in her eyes. So I stayed pretty evasive with a 'we're taking things slow' and a 'we're friends for now. having the power over me was worth something." he sounded even colder. "I can't offer more but… tell me please. It will not end well. "You can…I'm not saying I'll answer though. could be repaired. "Can I ask you a question?" I tried. Even the Moroi. "I…Do. Bless her heart." He sighed. it was Saturday so it meant no classes and no sidelong glances from my fellow students. all the mistakes that had been made. "Why?" "Can you tell me where please?" I asked really trying to hide my eagerness. Damn Zmey senior!! Chapter 5: Today did start a lot better than yesterday. were showing me respect when I walked by them and this included Jesse and Ralph. "There is no point in me telling you Rose. slow.
Surprise crossed Christian's face." "I…" Christian sighed and ran a shaky hand through his hair. I went towards the Moroi dorm to spend a bit of alone time with Lissa but I could feel that she wasn't there. "Please Lissa give…just give me some time to figure it out. I was just super curious and dying to know but the first excuse seemed far more commendable. guilt. . I would hold on to that hope till the end thinking 'Come what may!' I concentrated on Lissa and Christian again. I could feel a wave of uneasiness. 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. she chastised herself because she preferred he did confide in me rather than in anyone else.she was with Christian. Christian and I apparently owned the corner of the 'self-sacrificing' shit. "Don't be silly… you don't have to go because I'm here." he said with a small smile as he turned to leave.." "That's what Rose said. idiotic type. "You have as much of a right to be here as I do. "Avoiding each other. I was the masochistic. 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. their old love nest . and sorrow coming from her and it could mean only one thing. 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. it meant that he would be the one leaving… Idiot! I thought. Well actually. How far could we go before we break? That is the question she kept asking herself. Lissa was standing near the door of the chapel attic. Also. stood up looking pained. My fairy tale turned into a nightmare in just seconds. who was sitting in a corner. It hurt me to feel that with her because I felt just the same. pain. except that in my case the chances to get my prince back were close to absolutely zero." He added as she took two slow steps in." Lissa muttered. he was probably as shocked as I was myself when I defended him. not able to help but feel a bit jealous that Christian confided in me. Christian. Almost immediately. 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.. self-destructive. whispering about how everything would be ok. "I'll see you later. "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. "Will it always be like that?" Asked Lissa not able to hide the longing and pain in her voice any longer. I saw the pure anguish in Christian's eyes but I didn't think Lissa registered it. the princess was now dancing with the fine line between sanity and despair not really knowing how strong she really is.When we were done my mother went it the direction of the guardians building because she was scheduled for a morning shift. Abe did tell me that not every fairy tale gets its happy ending and of course I knew that. Those two needed help and I needed to know the material I was working with. The prince had been cursed. the one that swore to take revenge? Any normal 'princess' would give up this hope before it got her killed but not me. Lissa nodded thinking about how much she missed him.
" Lissa seemed to get more and more desperate by the second." "Sometime love just isn't enough. he turned around to face her. "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. Chill out Liss…Just breathe. So lets just take a step back on everything and think for a while." Lissa nodded. "We both need to consider the future seriously before it's too late and that irreparable mistakes are made. "I was just getting tired playing the Court and royal game. He looked thoughtful. I mean you are the last Dragomir and it's a terrible burden to carry and I'm genuinely sorry for you. "So what is the problem?" She asked almost plaintively. Lissa was so happy he decided to stay and she considered that as a small victory. it all sounded scarily reasonable and she hated the idea to lose the man she loved because it was the reasonable thing to do. "Love has never been our problem. "I understand."I just miss you so much." He replied. "So why aren't we together?" She asked him. unable to stop her own smile. She realized it was not only anger or her silly behaviors during my absence that made him break up with her. If you sacrificed that part of you. the problem is what we are and what we want to become." He finally said." "But I don't need to play the game." she said with a sigh. it's who you are and it's part of the girl I love. You would have never kissed that guy and…" He shrugged slightly. To some extent it was one. she was human enough to do it. It was a little eerie! "Would you mind developing?" Lissa asked and now I could even feel anger in her. "I miss you too Lissa. She didn't want to say it but she decided that her relationship with Christian was just more important than her pride. Christian smiled. the exact same moment than I said it to myself. . she also couldn't deny that. It ran deeper. She wanted to do honor to her name and it ran deep in her blood." He said softly and you could read the sincerity in his face." She said but part of her deep down knew that she was lying to herself. "Yes you have to Lissa. Love is not the problem. "Whatever it is I'm sure we can work on it. "I love you. "And I know you'll end up as our ruler one day." He admitted and sat down in front of her. "I understand your desire to live up to the name of your parents. I thought in a useless attempt to calm her down. Slowly. "It has nothing to do with Aaron or even Avery because lets face it. Christian froze with one hand on the door frame." "I love you too and you know that. As long as there is love. you wanted me to come with you when you went to the Court." said Christian. you know that right. the rest will follow. it was something he really thought about but she did her best to keep her face blank for him to continue." Lissa whispered. you'd end up resenting me." He smiled." he said with pride. "Why are you smiling?" Asked Lissa curiously. I mean…we don't have to.
and simplicity." he said chuckling at my name. "God forbid I ever do that!!" She said teasing him back. I thought and decided to drop the subject. "Says the guy who dream stalks people and I was just checking on her to see if she was alright." I said only half joking because even if the secret of the alchemist was very well kept he knew about it. "she was so right. "You know together or not we could at least try to be friends…" Lissa shrugged." He shook his head. "She could almost denounce us for child abuse. "We've go one hell of badass guardian angel don't we?" Christian asked with a grin. "No my question is more serious actually.how are you doing today?" I asked standing up. "Yea? Well she told me to grant you the space you asked for. that you just needed time to think and that it wasn't too much to ask. "Anyways." said Adrian teasingly while folding one of his long legs up and resting his chin on his knee. if only they saw what I could see. beauty. "I agree but if you ever rat me out I'll deny it with my life. "And I don't dream stalk everybody. "It's Rose. "Yep… She is the best." He said seriously before smiling. "my answer will be 'of course!'" "OK…good to know. She said avoiding you was just making the situation unnecessarily uncomfortable. which I know is not the case." Okay one for Ivashkov.What Christian said startled me." She smiled and I could feel all her love for me." "I agree. I did do some quick research last night on the meaning of the daisies. "I've been sitting here for the last 10 minutes so…" He winked. at least for the time being." I said laughing. patience. At this exact moment I could see it was still there the connivance. or you were spying. so much love that it actually hurt me to think how I let her down." He replied teasingly." Lissa added with exaggerated contrition. "Good now that I'm with you. "Anyways…. that you were smart and that you would understand." They both started to laugh and I exited her head with a smile on my face." "Yeah poor Rose. "either you are super slow to assess a situation." said Adrian chuckling. 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. "Well well well my little Dhampir. "She told me to talk to you ." Lissa actually laughed." He shook his head. "We could at least give it a try. and the love. "It would be better for the kid." Lissa said fondly." "Uh huh right. I probably wouldn't have my fairy tale ending but I could help them have theirs. share your feelings. the friendship. I decided to purposely forget about that. It said they mean loyal love. "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 wanted to ask you something since you seem to know everything." he said goofily. "If I didn't know you better I'd say you were spying on your best friend. fidelity. I just do it to you and I never denied it." I blushed slightly. "Uh huh!" I said rolling my eyes. I reached down with my hand to help him up." .
" "Sure I am. Almost immediately." "You are not just curious Rose I know you by now. Christian was starting to be more and more like himself. "So do you know?" I questioned. cursing myself for reacting so impulsively. He frowned slightly. "I honestly never thought you would be the one to be concerned about that Rose. He sighed. "I can try to find out if you want me to but I can't promise anything. He walked to the little wooden bench near the path and sat down. which could be seen as annoying for some but I just marveled to have some of my stability back. "I haven't heard anything about him since the trial. "Do you know where Victor Dashkov is incarcerated?" "Oh!" Said Adrian eyebrows arched with surprise. . "You are breaking my heart. I would try more often. pretty sure that Christian was going to join us today." I shrugged cocking my head to the side. The week end was very agreeable." He grimaced. "Yeah…" I said getting out of his grip." he had a smile playing on his lips. "Anyways what do you want to know?" I looked up meeting his eyes. We all spent just about every waking hour together. "I'm not sure a lot of people even have the answer. "I didn't mean it. so agreeable that I was actually sorry to see it end. dirtiest jail in the world. "You usually have ulterior motives for--" "Do you know or not?" I asked cutting him off. "Wow if I knew that trying to answer your question would lead to that kind of reaction." I replied and hugged him tightly burying my face in his chest. crappiest. I felt bad for snapping at him when I saw shock." "I'm sorry." I saw his features soften by the second. even if it sounded crazy or unusual. "And I don't care. sadness. "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. holding me even tighter against him." he said all teasing gone. my patience was wearing thin." I mumbled sarcastically. He really did mean what he said." he said teasingly and wrapped his arms around me. "No I don't know. "It's alright Rose. he would help me whatever the reason was. "Thank you. I joined him but just stood in front of him." He said bringing his hand to his chest. "Sometime it's true." he said resting his hand on my shoulder. He shook his head. I thought all that mattered to you was that he was locked away for life possibly in the shabbiest. the biggest traitor. and anger cross his face. he is the biggest royal treat you know. "That was honestly not something I saw coming." I looked up at him and emotion washed over me." I said in a breathe. "I'm just curious."Business…always business with you Rose." he said apparently dazed." I said. "Listen we're all going to hang out together." He said coldly standing up with his jaw locked. My friends were the one constant thing in my life and I had to hold on to that with dear life." I said trying to sound as disinterested as I could.
I was even impressed by Lissa's behavior. you owe me $20. "Dunno…" I shrugged quickly scanning the room . "Yeah there is this guy and--" "YES!!" Said Adrian cutting Eddie's off with his hiss of victory." said Adrian wiggling his eyebrows as he sat across from me." Adrian added." he grinned and winked at me. "Umm either he got laid or he has exciting news…not sure." said Christian shaking his head with defeat. "Anyways I got up there and there was this guy with flashy scarves and golden jewelry. "Or a boy…Let's keep an open mind." "You really are a pervert aren't you?" Asked Lissa elbowing him." Christian stated so matter of factly that I burst into laugher. At first I could feel the pain radiating from her even if she concealed it so well." "Shit. 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. "Oh you are so funny guys!!" Said Eddie with heavy sarcasm. About 5 minutes later we saw Eddie enter the common scanning the room probably looking for us. "Are you jealous I mean…I can help you with that. Told you he liked boys. "A mobster guy?!" I asked apparently the voice pretty appealing as Lissa eyed me warily and Eddie frowned. "Maybe he is getting a quickie somewhere.00 Ozera. "Dude!! You won't even guess why I'm late!!" He said coming to sit beside Lissa. I can't tell with him. By Sunday night she was still longing for him but she managed to be there and just enjoy his presence. now she could sit across from Christian without being sullen. He was with 3 guardians and talking to Kirova on how he would like to visit the school to see . Lissa rolled her eyes but couldn't help but chuckle too. "Does it involve a girl?" Asked Christian suggestively." I said just to piss him off. "I totally won." he added slightly pouting. I just rolled my eyes ignoring his comment but deep down I really liked his unwavering attention. "Yeah I had to go to the Administrative building to give the paperwork Alto forced me to collect during class you know. The mobster reference swept my smile away. Things were getting even better. I quickly nodded trying my best not to jump from my seat." he said to me. "Where is your fellow dhampir?" Christian asked curiously as I sat beside him for dinner. But it was nice nevertheless. waving her hand so Eddie could spot us. "Uh…?" Eddie shook his head. "well I hope mobster dude blows up your knees. He was slightly flushed and a light of excitement was in his eyes. "Only as far as my little dhampir is concerned. "Oh Rose I love when you talk dirty to me. "Stop it" I said slapping Christian's arm which was almost immediately imitated by Lissa on Adrian.
he dropped his voice." He frowned. Lissa was whispering in Eddie's ear probably helping him get up to speed. "Hello Little girl. All three of them were looking at me with wonder which was making me self conscious. "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. that I was different." "Oh that's good!!!" Said Adrian chuckling. I bet the others thought he would continue to the end of the room to join the guardian quarters but I knew better. I looked up and saw Abe looking right at me." "The knee blowing machine?" "The one and only. Well." he added and I could hear the real respect in his voice." Eddie looked up like he half expected for someone to be standing behind him. "What do you think he wants?" Asked Christian warily. it was true that he had a freakishly enormous charisma. then so be it. One of the guardians I met in Baia…Pavel I believe his name was. Lissa looked at me with wide eyes. He slowly walked to our table as people started to whisper. Vladimir!! It's going to get ugly. "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." said Christian chuckling and keeping his eyes on Abe. Oh you won't laugh long I thought seeing Abe approaching our table. sarcastic trade mark grin. "Yeah no wonder he scares people shitless. "I mean if his reputation is accurate I don't think he gives a shit about his donations. "Apparently the guy is like one of the biggest mafia bosses… Mazur I think was his name is. I could see why people just shut up when he was looking at them but he never impressed me. I did have the answer to that particular question." he said resting his hands on the back of Adrian's chair. He was only with one of his guardians. oh the man is something. "Oh. . I thought it was the time to come clean and if my mother got mad for me telling the truth to my friends. "Is that---" "Yep" "The one that help you when--" "Uh huh.how the generous donations he had been making for the part 15 years had been used. And as expected they stopped laughing when Abe stopped just behind Lissa and Adrian and looked at me with his cocky." I said almost wanting to laugh at the irony of the moment. "Was my mother around?" I asked imagining the effect it would have on her to see him after all these years. Eddie shook his head negatively." added Adrian laughing too. Maybe…Maybe I always knew deep down that it was different. "Abe Mazur at St.
"Help me. "How are you doing?" Lissa was completely astonished." 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. I was probably looking like I was having an attack of some sort." I answered to her unspoken thoughts. we probably were brother and sister in another life. I looked at him wide eyed and mouth half open probably just like Lissa and Eddie. I had a small glimpse of Mad Abe in Baia and that wasn't it. "Hi dad. "Well at least now we know where Rose got her 'psycho-criminal' side from. 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. Christian. "I missed you. He looked at Lissa raising an eyebrow about to talk but he was stopped by Christian. whoever she is. Adrian." I said under the incredulous eyes of my friends. "And he wants to sleep with your daughter!" Christian blurted out pointing at Adrian." He whispered to me./English dictionary I borrowed from the library. I bet they knew that not a lot of people could disrespect Abe Mazur and get away with it." he said nudging me playfully. The others were looking completely astonished. Baba was the Turkish translation of dad and I knew it would be enough to divert his attention." "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 said chuckling. She wasn't mad. I couldn't help but smile at his comment. You had to give it to him whatever the situation. "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. His eyes and voice were pretty cold but I knew he wasn't mad. I also knew that Kazim meant 'daughter' in Turkish that I randomly started to learn words from the Turkish. That was something I didn't expect. "I…" Started Christian the eyes widening slightly. Not such a smart mouth anymore I thought laughing. "Poor kid. It helped me to keep my mind occupied during my nightly alone time. He didn't look that smart now. They were used to our unusual way of conversing but Abe lost his natural smugness for just a second. he couldn't keep his witty mouth closed. you can call me Daddy.'? She said through the bond. "I couldn't have. "Hello old man. you know. "Anyway baba…" I said for Abe to concentrate on me.Adrian was looking at me and I could see he was tense. "And by the way you should stop calling me 'old man' it's not very polite. I didn't know that when I told you the whole story. "Nah." muttered Christian just loud enough so I was the only one able to hear him." He grinned. I came to check on my daughter!" He said still keeping his eyes locked on mine. "We should stop the pretenses. just vastly surprised. .
" I said standing beside Abe.'' He said his voice slightly threatening."Thanks Ozera. too long bi tanem. longing. his jaw was locked and his face somber. ''Aren't you happy to see me?'' He asked raising an eyebrow." I said standing up. I want to know the whole story Rose! Tomorrow. " As we turned around I saw the little red head walking in the room and.'' I said doing my best to sound teasing. my heart literally crushed in my chest…at least the little part I had left. as their eyes met. We slowly walked to the door where she was waiting for us. "Let's go. and above all else. Abe gave me a strange smile. "Smooth…really smooth. "I'll see you tomorrow guys. He was probably here to kick my butt about my childish attitude on the phone and my stupid wish to find Victor. 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 Christian actually making me laugh." He said quickly glancing at both Christian and Adrian causing me to smile. "Promise Liss. I was just guessed it was lovey dovey and gooey enough to make me puke. Want to go somewhere private?" I asked Abe. 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 has been long. It was pain. My mom nodded with a discreet sigh of relief. What I saw in my moms' eyes was just breath taking. ''So I think I'll go back to my room but I'll see you later'' I added to Abe's attention. even in 20 years. I could feel Abe tense up beside me and I dared a quick look to his face. "Please…that would be nice. "We're all going to keep our kneecaps. ''Well guys things are getting awkward for me right now. sorrow. She smiled at me probably to tell me that everything was alright but as she looked up at him again.'' Said Abe very softly to my mother. "Hello meleğim." said Adrian acerbically apparently doing his best not to look up and meet Abe's probable death glare. the longing was still there." "What? I want to keep my kneecaps. I didn't know what the Turkish words he just said meant and honestly I didn't want to know. Lissa warned me through the bond. 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. Damn!! He could do the sexy eyebrow thing too just like Dimitri! That was something I wished I had inherited from him. ''Oh you can count on it. there was love. 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.
The flight was really awkward and mainly silent. "Once we're in you have. not ashamed at all. ''Do what?'' I asked still slow. After opening the plane door Mishka and Pavel exchanged quick words." he quickly glanced at his watch. "60 minutes and 60 minutes only to . The grim brothers! But I guess you didn't choose your guardians on their smile or cheery attitude and these two really look lethal. tomorrow I'll have to respond to the Gestapo questions about for being the biggest Moroi mobsters' daughter.'' He said clearly proud. it was even more impatient this time. it was firm and still quite loud.'' ''Go? Go where?'' I asked looking from one to another. I managed to do it. "Ok here is the drill. and selfish but I just couldn't help it. Which was making me feel a bit uncomfortable.I sighed. It was silly. I could already hear Christian's witty remarks and couldn't help but smile. ''Dress quickly. "Fine.'' I mumbled. No one needs to know…your mother would kill me. ''What…Is everything ok?'' I asked worried. Chapter 6: The plane trip took about 90 minutes and the whole way I couldn't believe I was about to see Victor. stupid. ''Where you wanted to go Kazim.'' 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 still couldn't see his eyes because they were constantly hidden behind his very dark aviator sunglasses. ''I'm coming!'' I growled. Pavel turned to me and gestured me forward. Pavel looked grim and the other…Mishka. It brought me closer to my goal… my impossible fairy tale ending. I was just starting to drift into sleep when I heard a knock on my door. guardian Mishka is going to wait by the prison main door while you and I get inside. ''Arranged for you to see Victor Dashkov." I said ready to exit the plane but he gripped my arm. I opened the door and swore with surprise when I saw both Abe and Pavel standing in front of me. I was happy when the plane finally landed." He said with his very cold voice. "I'm not done Hathaway. As strange as it seemed I was not ashamed to be his daughter. I heard the knock again. The three of you have to go now so you make it back before morning. Pavel is going to take you to my private plane where Mishka (One of Abe's other guardians) is already waiting. he took risks to keep me safe. That man went out of his habits just for me. ''I'd like to see you try. Abe nodded quickly. I was excited but also disgusted to feel this way. well he didn't look any better. ''I hope it's important or god help you I'll kick your butt. From Abe's concerned face to Pavel's grim one.'' he said barely louder than a whisper. I looked at the alarm clock and frowned." He said so frostily that I could have been iced on the spot.
Victor narrowed his eyes slightly. "It's a human jail!!" I said completely shocked. "She…She is doing alright. "Go now. He quietly closed the door and rested his back against it. "I wish I could say the same. Are we clear?" He said keeping his firm grip on my arm." I barked getting out his grip.talk to him. happy or not we'll have to go since we'll have only 30 minutes before the change in the guards. and one of the people I needed the most as well… How ironic! When I finally saw him he had his back towards me. I needed him on my side. "It's the isolation ward. "What a nice surprise. "Let's go. the disease hadn't claimed his body just yet." he said walking briskly in front of me. 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." Victor replied with a nice smile as he started walking towards the glass wall. the douchebag was really getting on my nerves. "Of course…it's not like you worry about anyone but yourself anyways. I could feel his eyes on my back as I slowly walked to meet my living nemesis." I snorted. here we are." I retorted before cursing myself for not being able to keep my voice from shaking. You'll be separated by a plastic panel but don't worry it's absolutely indestructible. even if chatting with a freshly woken up grizzly bear seemed far more attractive. "I always enjoyed your agreeable company. "Rosemarie Hathaway?!" He asked not able to conceal the surprise in his voice." I said giving in. "How come?" I tried. "What's that supposed to mean? "I asked getting really angry now. "Crystal. "I'll stay beside the door. "So Dear Rose…How is Vasilisa doing?" He asked. He still had his silky black hair. "Who would ever think of looking for a Royal Moroi in a human jail?" He asked rhetorically." he said not even bothering to turn around. Done or not. "Anyways." he said clearly ignoring me. He was getting suspicious since he probably didn't expect me to answer. he was reading." I bet you did you jackass!! I thought but just gritted my teeth looking at him thoughtfully. "Yeah it is. casually resting a hand on the wall. The man I hated the most. "The one and only. "Well it's nice to have some visitors." He said pursing his lips. ." he said as we reached a corridor in the basement." I said standing up straight and crossing my arms on my chest." he pointed to the glass panel in the middle of the corridor." " Like I worry about Victor Dashkov." replied Pavel as we walked down the main corridor. Victor turned around quickly and started to laugh.
I had to be careful. making your own daughter turn Strigoi…you make me sick. I sighed with relief apparently he was still alive. I always had a soft spot for you…your protecting instinct." He said and seemed rather pleased about that. he was a fantastic mentalist." I said resting my hands on my knees. he clearly understood that he had the power." I said evasively. Are you managing the spirit effects alright?" He asked and I could see the malevolent light in his eyes. he wanted me in his army." He said sounding saddened by the fact." I added and I knew that even if I tried as hard as I possibly could." He said staring at me with his keen eyes probably trying to decipher my facial expression. "No it's true." "Is that so?" Asked Victor chuckling. His face lit up." He shook his head. I quickly took it and sat in front of him as he pulled his own chair closer to the glass." I snorted. I tried to help you and you just pushed me away as if I was evil personified. "I always liked your honesty Rose. "I need you to tell me where I can find your brother Robert. "I'm the one looking for your brother. "And you see well…Spirit does take a toll on people and my brother…my brother is not as sane as he once was. "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. you know that already." "I heard he is an expert on spirit and I really need his help. but I knew he didn't mean it at all."What can I do for you Rose? Are. He did ask Strigoi Natalie to do her best to spare my life. "Maybe my methods were not the best but the goal was right. But I just stared at him not trusting myself to speak. "It's just spectacular." I said standing straight. What is that saying?…" He said pretending to think while gently tapping his chin. I was sure he could hear the despair in my voice. but he didn't fool me. Dang!! "Is that so?" He said crossing his legs. you are an evil motherfucker!! Torturing Lissa. I nodded. "That's why I'm here." And I knew that it was true in a twisted way. "So why would you need my brother that much Rose? I mean…" He shrugged. "Now we're talking.. I knew him too well by now." I admitted. "I'm here to help…" He smiled. "He has some information that I need. "A rumor that says your brother knew the way to reverse the Strigoi state. " 'All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. "You see I heard this rumor. "I also know a lot about spirit." Said Victor and I could see his curiosity increasing by the second.' " I wanted to say Whatever freaking psycho. "it has to be big for you to come here and I don't even want to know what you promised Abe Mazur. that was already something. "May I ask who told you that?" ." "Robert? Why?! Everybody is looking for Robert these days. "Please take a seat." he said pointing at the folding chair that was against the corridor wall.
"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.
and THAT's unforgivable and terribly." he said now actually hurting me he was squeezing so hard. "Oh calling me a bitch ?" I said shaking my head."I added shoving him again. "No I won't 'go eat shit and die' but thanks." In a normal condition I would have said his eyes were not disturbing. 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!" . "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. 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." he said coldly because I kept staring at his one icy blue eye and one that was so deep brown it looked almost black. so much for wanting to keep my self control. inches from my face and I could see so much deception and anger in his eyes. He was all about safety." He shook his head with clear disgust. "I was so wrong. but when I finally met his eyes I couldn't help but huff. "You're a freak all the way aren't you?" I asked with a bitter smile. brave. "Don't you EVER talk about Dimitri do you understand!!" I said shoving him hard. I knew the Russian insults pretty well. "I don't wear my sunglasses to look badass like you probably think. "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. unique. 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. and protection. "What about you sooka??" He asked crossing his arms on his chest. "That's SOOO original Zhopa. "It's called Heterochromia. 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. I heard Mishka tsk with disapproval in the background but neither of us acknowledged him. terribly selfish!" He pointed at me. "But now." He snorted. Pavel grabbed my shoulders hard and nudged me. "Don't kid yourself. "And maybe I didn't know Belikov personally but I knew his reputation. Even when Mr. but I was mad and hurt. When we were in Baia. honor. "I used to think you were a good person. "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. risked another persons life or reputation for something he felt he had to do. "You don't know me!" I snapped. it's just that people can find it a little…disturbing.Pavel balled his hands into fits and I thought he was about to hit me." he snorted. you know that helping him escape will be considered as high treason punishable of life imprisonment. He was a lot stronger than I expected from his gangly frame. and of that I am positive. I intended to keep it shut and let him talk but I couldn't. He probably would have risked his life to keep a promise made to you but he would never. I would have said what I really thought being that they were beautiful. maybe because he was closer to the truth than I expected. "You don't know him!! Nobody knew him like I did!! Kooshite govno ee oomeeite. "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.
actually talking to me for the first time. William. Jack. and Jim. But deep down I felt like dying. and Jim Beam bottles . making me smile. Was it a good way to deal with my problems? Absolutely not because they would still be here tomorrow along with a killer headache. across from the toilet there were some metallic drawers and a fridge. it would be for at least two hours before the academy started to move around…3 hours before my training. "Behind the curtain. "Hello my dear old friends." he said walking passed me to retrieve his glasses from the floor. I drank the four bottles one after the other knowing that I had two more of each in my pockets. He put them back and went to sit beside Mishka again. "Just one more thing Hathaway."Are you done?" I said roughly getting out of his grip. When I came out I sat on the last seat pretending to look at the landscaping. That was a sign. a way to make me feel better. When we landed the sun was still up. Mishka sighed heavily throwing a reproving look to Pavel before concentrating on me. 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. 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…. in the place where my heart used to be. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.I sighed. "Feeling better?" I added trying my best to look only furious. But I wouldn't cry in front of him." "Monkey bars? Really??" I asked wanting to jump on him and punch him unconscious. Alleluia!! I took some of them and stuffed them in my pocket. "Johnnie. William Lawson's. make me numb for a little while. I took some more for my little trip to the toilet." He said with so much kindness that it actually aggravated the throbbing pain in my chest. I looked around curiously. Jack Daniel's." said Mishka pointing to the blue curtain at the end of the plane. "What my idiotic colleague means is that there are things that we never want to let go of. I set four little bottles on the lavabo. I opened the fridge and smiled widely. "Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. I wouldn't show him how badly it hurt…No! Never! "I do. Abe was maybe Muslim (I didn't know for sure yet) but that fridge was full of miniatures…. I started to suck on the mint as the alcohols warmth was filling me. But keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world. people we never want to leave behind. I really missed you guys!!" I said looking at the Johnnie Walker. As soon as I pulled back the curtain I let the tears fall quietly. I just hope you realize that before it's to late and you make mistakes that you will regret till your last breath." he said not even bothering to look at me. . it's the beginning of a new life. "Is there a bathroom on this plane?" I asked looking away." I said to the 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.
" he stuttered letting me in." He added keeping my hands in his. feeling both confused and hurt.. "Of… Of course. Very good. "You. "Well I'm not that drunk! It won't be like you're taking advantage of me I promise. opening my arms.." "I'm not drunk!" I said trying my best to sound offended. "it's going to be a long day. I started to laugh it was clear where I needed to go.. better than I thought it would. ." I nodded and as they took the direction to the lower campus where the guardian dorms were. "But you are clearly drunk enough to regret it when you wake up." "So?" I replied. He was my Moroi knight but deep down I would always be longing for my Dhampir prince." He shook his head. "You know you are just adorable when you wake up. He was only wearing black Pj bottoms. I didn't deal very well with rejection. "Rose? Is everything ok?" He asked worried. Chapter 7: At first Adrian kissed me back and it felt good. "There is not much that a French kiss can hide my little dhampir. "You don't want me?" I asked him." said Mishka." I said with a grin. "I never wanted anyone as much as I want you. I knocked at the door twice. "Not while you're like that. "I'm here to be claimed. "Of course I do Rose. I discreetly took off through the trees and drank three more bottles while sitting under a centennial tree.. Almost as soon as we deepened the kiss he gently pushed me away breaking it altogether." I blushed slightly." I said reaching for him. "Not like that…" He said breathlessly." I said smiling widely. his face full of sleep. Adrian opened it. "not when you're drunk. Adrian was still looking at me with a sad smile."You should go and sleep a bit. Adrian would help me feel good. the prince I needed to save. "What do you need?" He asked nicely while closing the door. "Maybe not. bare chest.Irresistible. His lips were warm and soft against mine. I walked close to the wall concentrating on the board to keep walking in a straight line. I drank a fourth bottle on my way to the guest dorms and sucked on a mint before entering it. I groaned with frustration." I said putting a hand at the back of his neck pulling him to me so I could kiss him passionately." he caught my hands before I could touch his torso." He retorted like he never heard something stupider in his entire life. "May I come in?" I asked turning my man eating smile on this time. his hard body radiating with want made me shiver. and his eyes widened when he saw me standing here.
"No." I saw Adrian recoil slightly and wince like I had just punched him." I said looking at him helplessly."So what? It will be my mistake. "Not so long ago I wouldn't have thought about it twice but things changed…you changed them. "Being a good guy sucks!" I said childishly walking into the room." I could feel the tears starting to fall down my cheeks. but he kept quiet and we continued our way to his bedroom. "I told you I'm not drunk!" I said as I raised my arms in exasperation. "It really does." I snorted still looking away. "Your prince?" Asked Adrian with a small smile playing on his lips. "You don't understand." he whispered against my forehead. let's get you to bed. "I…please understand." he said setting the bottle on the table. I could already see my head banging the side of the coffee table." I said in a tearless sob." "Who do you need to save Rose?" He asked with real concern. "My prince!" I stated like if it was evident. "I need to save Dimitri. "What don't I understand Rose?" He asked softly removing some rebellious hair from my face. "Wow… you are drunker than I thought you were. He even seemed to sound a little worried. renounce to everything I believe in. Adrian stopped walking keeping me against him. Consider me warned. He took my jacket off. "Sure you aren't." I got out of his arms feeling slightly angry. I felt slightly relieved. "no wait!" I pointed to the little bottle he was holding." he agreed. "I need to save him. "But to save him I have to become a traitor. keeping his hold around my waist. When I felt an arm wrap tightly around my waist to steady me." I said my voice cracking. "And who is that lucky bastard?" He asked teasingly. I only had time to get half way through it when Adrian ripped it away from me. "He is dead Rose. maybe as much as I liked being against him. Adrian gently help me to sit on his bed but his face was somber now." Adrian eyes were sad now." "9 bottles?" He asked rhetorically." I shrugged and looked up at his face that was torn with indecision. I presumed that he liked to have me against him." he said as he started leading me to his room. "8 and three quarters of that one. "Dimitri. "Ummmm 8?" I tapped my chin. "I don't want you to look back on something we did together and see it as a mistake. I shook my head. I stood on my toes trying to attain his lips but he just leaned down to kiss my forehead. "How many of those did you have?" Adrian asked seriously. "I have to save him. I took a small bottle from my pocket. you killed him remember?" . "Come on you drunk." Adrian responded. which was a stupid idea because I already had trouble keeping myself balanced.
" he said nicely yet his voice sounded so cold. not knowing where I was. so distant. "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. I closed my eyes. He slipped away from my touch and took the bottle of water on his night stand. Okay. "You're taking good care of her." "Rose…Rose focus for a minute. I failed and now he is coming here to take me or to kill me." Adrian replied. I heard voices coming from the other room." Said Adrian with urgency and for the first time since I met him I could see pure fear in his eyes. Cause you see…" I brought my hand to his cheek.Adrian kneeled down and took my shoes off. I woke up with a killer headache. not anymore. Abe? I thought. The worst feeling in the world is giving all the love you have and knowing it'll never be returned. "You saw Victor? Where??" "In jail! I went to a secret meeting. 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. I instinctively patted the other side. He helped me down on his bed and carefully tucked me in. like I was letting him down. "My heart is breaking because I realized that I have to let go the only person I ever loved. apparently angry. I could see pain and deception in his eyes. I nodded crying even harder now. "What's that supposed to mean?" Asked Abe a lot colder now." he whispered and there was pain both in his eyes and his voice. Victor knows how to save my prince he told me last night. Adrian put my shoes aside and looked at me with incredulity. "You know what forget it. that was already something. "She is still sleeping." Adrian pursed his lips so strongly that they turned white." Adrian said." I think he kissed my forehead and then I was asleep. "No he is not dead. I sure knew that this big comfy bed wasn't mine." I said like he was an idiot. "Drink please. it's none of my business. "Sleep now." I said in a hushed tone. "Belikov is alive?" He tried. "And now I even have to break Victor Dashkov out of jail to save him. "Can you believe that only the bad wizard knows the way to break the spell and give me back my prince. Well the headache attested to a hangover. I looked around slightly panicked. Adrian sighed heavily. Although." . "Why are you sad?" I mumbled already drifting into sleep. "Someone has to. it was empty and cold and I patted myself. breaking his heart." said a deep man voice. I closed my eyes again and sighed with relief trying to remember what the heck happened to me. I was in Adrian's bed…another clue. I still had my shirt and jeans on.
" "The drunken Rose?" Asked Abe and I could hear laugher in his voice." He sighed again "That is a part of her I really didn't need to meet. The pretenses are never good. Apparently whiskey is not her best friend. I could hear a underlying despair I couldn't understand. "Don't worry I'll take care of her and I'll give you a call as soon as she is ready to go. "Yeah but she is fine now. "Oh you're awake. "You'll figure out eventually that what Rose wants and what is good for her are sometime two totally opposite things. "What about us? Our friendship?" I asked trying the best to contain my tears. I almost chocked drinking when I saw him take his suitcase out of his wardrobe. "Please you really don't need to keep it up." Added Adrian matter of factly." Abe replied and I could hear the real gratitude in voice. Adrian sighed with exasperation as he reached to steady me. walking to me to check my temperature with the back of his hand. He didn't smile at me or anything he looked so…distant and oddly enough it made my heart ache. "Adrian please talk to me. and that she spent the night vomiting which is actually not so wrong. What the heck did I say to him? I wondered but my brain was still slow." "She's been sick?" Abe asked with concern. "Hey…" I said with a sleepy voice. "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. go back to Court." he said dismissively and started to load his suitcase." he said opening the drawer of his night stand." Said Adrian and for once there was no humor in his voice. "She will be moving to the Court in 2 months…We'll restart our work then." He added putting two Tylenol in my hand. Adrian looked at me and sighed.Not anymore? What is happening?? I thought my heart pounding in my chest. I meant vomiting 'like-in-the-exorcist' Rose. . "What's going on?" I asked jumping out of bed and apparently my equilibrium sucked because I almost fell." He said continuing to pack his things into his suitcase. she is sleeping soundly." he commented. "Thank you. "What time is it?" "Classes are about to end. "Here take that with this full glass of water." Said Adrian and he seemed annoyed and that shocked me. "No I knew drunken Rose. About two minutes later the bedroom door opened slightly and Adrian peeked in. He snorted and it sounded so bitter coming from him. "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. "Are you alright?" I asked sitting up taking the tablets." I said reaching for his hand as he let go of me. I frowned slightly but decided to ignore his attitude.
He looked at me silently for minute before sighing in resignation." I said sincerely taking a step toward him but he instinctively took a step back." "Don't try to put that one on me!" He shouted. I was not even sure he realized that he told me that he loved me. 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. "But what are you talking about?!" I asked annoyed now. "I won't make the same mistake Rose… I won't insist on a road that will end up hurting me…hurting us. "You wouldn't like the real Rose anyways. "You seem to ponder that. I was sure he wouldn't 'love' me anymore after that." He added flush with anger." He shook his head "I know you didn't do it voluntarily but it hurt just the same." If you knew all my dark secrets. ever. Yeah. "Oh yea you talk when you're drunk and every word you said last night hurt me. almost begging him to bite me." Ok he knows everything I thought ." He said threateningly. closed it.wanting to kick myself. "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. "I don't want to hurt you." He said with his voice full of sorrow. "I can't do that. "If he is coming for you and if you're going to become an outlaw they have the right to know. "Oh come on Rose. "I just don't think you know my darker secret. and sat on it. "Talk to me please. I could see my bruised neck in the mirror again. I turned around briskly looking at him completely surprised because I really didn't expect such a radical switch in his emotions. Did I say all that? I thought astonished." he said putting the pile of clothes beside his suitcase. "No I do believe you. shaky. "Much more than I wanted to know but if you don't talk to the others about it I will." he replied and the pain in his voice made me wince. breath." Adrian stopped in front of me with a pile of clothes. "I said I'll stand by you but not while you destroy yourself I can't do that!" . "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." "How much did I say?" I asked still sitting on the suitcase." I said softly." I got off the suitcase in defeat. "I know all your dark secrets and I still love you just the same. it's maybe better this way. "You don't believe me?" He asked crossing his arms over his chest. "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. I thought about how I degraded myself being Dimitri's blood whore." He closed his eyes. "Doomed?" I asked because it was the only word that lingered in my mind." ." said Adrian as he stopped packing his suitcase.I walked briskly to it.
" I said in a breathe. I groaned. "I just don't know what got into her. I was rather pleased I didn't remember the vomiting part since I'm sure it was pretty embarrassing. I was on my way to the second floor when I froze midcourse. maybe I could learn to love him. He was honest. "And then I'll take the plane back to Court. There was a very quiet conversation going on. and that sapphire necklace… your aura was all wrong then. almost whispering but the voices were unmistakable. "She is fine." He shrugged slightly. maybe if I tried harder. I had the childish impulse to hide it somewhere but I knew it would not be enough to make him stay. I took a the quickest cold shower in history just to try and put my brain in the right place." said Abe soothingly. I smelled my shirt and it did have the faint odor of vomit and alcohol. I could see that in his eyes. He cared about me enough to disregard that. Adrian was residing on the fourth floor of the guest area and I decided to take the stairs down. Take a shower and chill out a bit. I knew it was wrong to listen but I just couldn't help myself." . "Certainly not as much as I'll miss you. I replied in a low voice and I realized how much I would actually miss him. "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. It was clearly a part of me I didn't want him to see. I'm going to arrange a little meeting with the others so you can tell them. "I…" My mother sighed. I wanted him to stay…I needed him to stay." He gave me a sad smile. 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. "Please don't. "I know what you are ashamed of Rose and there is no reason to be. In the process removing the not so nice odor. It was my mother and Abe. the one when you were wearing that little blue summer dress. She was getting better." I closed my eyes… He knew. my voice hoarse. "I'm going to miss you".He bit his bottom lip for a little while like he was trying to decide what to add. "you don't have to tell them everything but you need to tell them the basics. You know when I walked into your dreams. resigned. "I've seen what holding on to the wrong person could do." I nodded." He said before leaving the room and closing the door quietly behind him. "I can't let history repeat itself... But sometime it's letting go." He added looking away. "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. Adrian walked in the small living area and set his suitcase down. because as crazy as it sounded. as far as Adrian was concerned that is. Lissa brought you some clothes. at least I thought so. I was up there maybe half an hour ago. I walked to the fresh pile of clothes and almost stumbled on his suitcase. He closed his suitcases and took it off the bed. "I saw your neck Rose." he said pointing to me. I.
nothing to worry about. I was getting uncomfortable and decided I needed to go now. She stopped talking for a minute. I helped you get her back." "What are you doing here?" "I told you I came to see Rose. about being his only child. "That was uncalled for. We didn't have the lives for that and you know it." I had barely closed the door behind me when my phoned beeped in my pocket. I didn't really realize it before but I felt relieved. "It's because I never really tried to fool you. . "Indigestion? Right! I know my daughter and she has a strong stomach! And I know you well. "Rose is…" I could hear my mother sharp intake of breath. "I'm sorry I didn't mean that. I mean it was almost two decades ago and a Dhampir/Moroi marriage would have been such a scandal. "You knew as well as I did that it was better for Rose. well as angrily as a whisper could convey." They stayed silent for a minute or two. "I didn't leave because I didn't love you anymore. Be careful Abe…Angry Janine can be dangerous." "But I'm her father!" Abe snapped angrily. I thought wincing quietly going down two more steps as they dropped their already barely audible voices. "Well you don't know her Abe. "Well you came here yesterday unannounced and today she is so drunk she passed out in Ivashkov's room. She looks all tough and brave but she is much more sensitive than she lets people see. Talk about timing! It was a brief text from Adrian saying that they were all waiting for me in Christian's room. "You are her genitor! It doesn't make you her father." He said his voice cold too."It's just an indigestion meleğim." "Are you blaming me?" He asked and I could hear the hurt in his voice. now I was the cause of a fight between my mom and dad…I really was bad luck. especially ours. "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. I felt bad. she is my daughter after all…My only child. I deserve a place in her life. Letting you go was my way of saying I love you. The last thing I heard was my mother saying. My mom was not kidding when she said that Abe wanted to assume. you are an astonishing liar but you never fooled me." "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 started to go up the stairs. "And you agreed with me then." added my mother finally." He added and I could hear the love in his voice." I could hear the sincerity in her voice." She said and her tone was getting cold. slightly pleased." My mother whispered harshly." I was shocked. It made me special. I'm sorry but I can't help to connect the events. very well.'' My mother snorted.
There was no turning back now. 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 . I was probably trying to convince them as much as I was trying to convince myself. "No I'm not talking about silver stakes. I shook my head trying to get rid of the stupid flashes in my head. filled with love and mutual trust. Lissa looked more and more incredulous." He snorted. "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. 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. the stake and Dimitri's note. They were hard with a small 'I-told-you-so' in depth of them. "What do you mean?" asked Lissa finally getting out of her torpor. She thought deep down that she could not survive me becoming one of them…her enemy. I bit my bottom lip thinking on how I could mention the ring without sounding completely mental or cheap. 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'd rather kept the memory of our perfect first time burned in my mind forever. It would have been based on his basic need and want. "Rose come on you can't honestly consider that!" Said Christian coming to sit beside me on the desk." I met Adrian's eyes. 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." He sighed and squeezed my hand. I just told them everything about what Oksana told me. "You know how much I want to believe it's possible…but it's just folklore. the whole Victor issue. I knew she was the only one who would never judge me." Tried Eddie grimacing. There were so many emotions coming out of her. "But I witnessed it first hand!" I said in a last plea. "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. at least I hoped so. "What then?" Tried Christian as he probably realized I was lost in my thought. "I know" I whispered mostly keeping my eyes on Lissa who seemed to be frozen on the spot. "If it ever happened don't you think it would have been at least heard of? In like centuries. I just hoped I'd have some friends left when I get done. Strigoi Dimitri was unable to love and I would have seen the difference. it was almost overwhelming." I said concentrating my attention on Lissa. 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. Christian instinctively reached for my hand and held it tightly between his. She felt bad I failed once more. It startled me and I could feel a faint wave of jealousy coming from Lissa. "I guess there is silver stakes but you know…that's pretty slim though. "I know how bad you want it to be true but it's not. Chapter 8: "I'm sorry Rose but do you know how crazy that sounds?!" Asked Christian after a silence that seemed to last forever.
Christian let go of my hand and Eddie stood up and started to talk to him about Christian's training sessions. . I just decided to ignore their assumptions as I effectively did far worse than that. a feeling that she would never understand. No. But she felt terrible guilty to feel jealous of a connection that had been created over loss and pain. "But you see as we were chatting once. How strange was that? "Maybe…Maybe I was the subject matter." "I know…We know" said Lissa smiling but I could feel her heart break for me she desperately wanted to change subject. "I'll see you soon. my future was one thing…I could live with that but destroying theirs? Putting their lives in danger? No that I couldn't. heard it in his voice. things I thought I'd never do. I mean…It's possible that the topic triggered a part of him that was. She wanted to believe it. I was the only one able to read through his pretence and that smile didn't reach his eyes. Destroying my life. He was not my Dimitri exactly but he was close to it…so close it hurt." I started to say but I stopped when I saw a flash of pure fury in Adrian's eyes. I shook my head. I didn't know why but I was on the brink of crying. what was the reason of his hasty departure but she didn't seem to think much of it." She said to him.us. I couldn't lose anymore of my friends. "I just…I just wanted to believe it so much. kept it in his hand well…I swear I saw the longing and warmth in his eyes. I already lost Adrian now and it hurt bad. she was somehow shamefully jealous that we were sharing something special. 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. I could not bare it and as mad as I was against Pavel he was right too." He said with a small smile full of sorrow. believe it with all her heart as she wanted nothing more than see me happy and it almost made me cry. is still in him." Lissa shrugged slightly. They probably thought I slept with Strigoi Dimitri. I forced a small smile "yeah you're probably right" I finally conceded. he idly reached for my ring on the night stand. "Ditto. I could never take one of them down in my fall. "You bet" he said with his usual playful grin but he couldn't fool me. "You take care ok?" I asked looking deep into his eyes trying to show him how much I'd miss him. maybe I needed to let that story in fairy tale land and concentrate on what was good in my life. I looked at the four of them and sighed in defeat. uneasiness on Eddies' face and Lissa's wonder." I said quickly glancing at Adrian and I felt guilty. 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. Lissa nodded I didn't know what he told them. It never happened but it was not for lack of trying on my part. "Well as soon as he touched that ring. as he said I knew him better than anyone else. Maybe Abe was right. "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. "Oh you know the ring" said Lissa bringing me back to reality. "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.
"What had happened between you and Adrian?" Asked Christian finally. it helped her deal with the whole Christian issue and that was good to take." "Eddie can you go meet them first and show them some moves I'll be over in 5 minutes. They were my brothers and sister. "Ummmm no thanks" He said grimacing. . I did my best to hide my smile. let it out. "Come on you could do worse!! I'm a good catch. How could I even go on without them? They were my family as much as my mother and father. Christian and I walked out slowly." Said Eddie pretending to be offended. "Good" said Christian quickly glancing at the clock." Lissa burst into laugher taking the piece of paper from my hand. "Well not that I want to kick you out Rose but…my students are waiting for me. "I'll see you later Hathaway. "What's up with her?" Asked Christian apparently quite pleased to see her that enthusiastic. I was actually happy that Lissa concentrated on her magic for now. you can make a pass on Eddie. I knew he wanted to say something but he just didn't know how to approach the subject. 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." I said with a smile but it was slightly forced as I didn't know what to except. "Yeah we wouldn't me turning into a whimper would we?" I asked teasing. I love torturing kids…" he said with an evil laugh. Note to self. he was always brutally honest. "Come on buddy. "I give you a free card. "I'll see you for dinner guys" she said almost running out making me laugh." "Really?" She asked and her exhilaration increased by the second.I chuckled. "You can call her now you know it's early afternoon there. "You go girl!" I said feeling like a full force dork to have said something like that. not taking gloves. "Yep. "Long story but I'm pretty sure we'll hear it at dinner. I'm already so close to it I added to myself. "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. "When do you think I could call her?" Asked Lissa and I could feel her excitation. 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. never used the 'you-go-girl' expression ever again." Asked Christian. Christian Ozera could be mysterious but the small sidelong glances every 5 seconds kind of gave him away. "Fine!" I said with overplayed exasperation." "Uh? Oh!! Yeah sorry!" I chuckled "I forgot." I replied mimicking his tone." I said winking. That was what I liked about him. I shook my head genuinely smiling now.
"No you still have 10 minutes and the runway is this way" he said pointing ahead." He give me a small smile. opening it fully again. my crazy side always made him laugh. "He decided to let go. "Go now." I said knowing how Christian loved to pick on Adrian. Christian looked at his watch. Christian shrugged again." Said Christian pursing his lips. I raised my finger asking a second trying to catch my breath." "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."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." "He is gone now… It's too late anyways." I said dismissively. "It will be better for your peace of mind and his too. "Uh? I thought you would lynch him. "I see…. . I barely made it and jumped to catch the door." I said starting to regret the fact that I let him walk away without a word. The Moroi woman saw me but decided to ignore me. 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. "Wait!!" I shouted running even faster or at least trying to. "I…" I started. "Hey Idiot what part of 'wait' don't you understand?!" I said breathless glaring at her while getting on the plane. to move on and I think it's better for him. explain yourself or you'll regret it." I looked at him astonished. "You think he actually loves me?" "Don't you?" Asked Christian raising one eyebrow. "We'll talk later" said Christian nudging me. believe me. 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. He just nodded her out. I could see that as hard as he tried he couldn't help to smile. love someone else. "The hardest thing to do is watch the one you love. what you think exactly . He has every right to move on and he is right we shouldn't let the past repeat itself. Adrian couldn't stop his smile to grow bigger." "Thank you" I said starting to run as fast as I could to the runway hoping that his plane would not leave early. "I owe him that much. "Rose?!" Asked Adrian incredulous getting off his seat looking at me as if I had 2 heads. You should tell him how you feel. She glared at me while leaving the room. "Can you asked the mentally challenged deaf chica to give us 5 minutes?" I asked finally once I could breath more or less normally. "Well who can blame him?" He added shrugging.
"No it's ok! I swear I'm almost done now. truly happy. of course you are right. I couldn't help to grin. You are doing what is best. a lot more than I want to but I know it's not enough. "And I'll be happy for you. "Because you are right. "I see" said Adrian playing with his glass of scotch. "You said it all but I didn't get the chance to speak. like you are breaking a promise" I said cocking my head to the side. Adrian threw me a small bottle of water rolling his eyes. .." I said serious now. 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. 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. 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. emptying it. "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. Maybe. "I know you…I know you feel bad for leaving. I knew Adrian inside out and he was always keeping his word. "I think everything has been said" he replied sitting back. "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 realized I meant every word. She quickly looked down rushing out in the other room." "What are you going to do now?" he asked with clear worry in his voice. what you should do… what I should have done…What…What he should have done" I finally admitted out loud." I meant it. "I know I didn't have time to cause irreparable damage to you and I feel grateful for that. Adrian head shot up looking at me surprised. I gave him a sad smile again. that's all. "What do you want Rose?" He asked so distant that it wiped my smile away. "I needed to talk to you before you left. "But you are not doing anything wrong. looking at the ice cubes rolling in his glass." I said with a humorless laugh. Adrian shrugged slightly concentrating on his glass again. "I'm sorry… truly sorry" I said looking away too now. "Avery was not---" I stopped him raising my hand. I looked at him while he poured himself another one.. they were darker now and he was trying to read through me. Don't worry I'll make it quick" I said playing with the bottle as I was nervous."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. 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 drank eagerly. "I guess that's. "I think you letting go is the best decision you could have taken." 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." I looked up and met his sharp eyes. 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.
"Oh here!" she said giving me the ring. so I ran there to meet with her. Lissa eyes widened with surprised but she didn't say anything. "Rose!" I heard Adrian call just before entering the commons. I could see he was scared for me. "You see well she is married with a dhampir. "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. I did find another candy bar and almost squealed with happiness." Adrian looked at me with begging eyes. I quickly scanned Lissa's mind and located her in her room. mine or maybe both. "Like she really wanted to come but also was slightly reluctant." I said before rushing out of the plane not waiting for his reaction. I leaned down even more and kissed him softly. healing my body and marks of shame without judging. "That was my goodbye." "Yeah. "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. "I invited her to come here for a little while you know. for the spirit study. I was pretty sure I heard him shout my name but I was already far. "They can be so old fashioned sometimes" she said and I understood she talked about me and Dimitri as well as her and Christian. Take care and be happy.. She is so sweet by the way. "See I'm not drunk and I still enjoyed it" I whispered against his lips. I ate it in 3 bites and started to roam around the room for some more treats to eat. She only had kindness in her eyes." "Yeah I really do" said Lissa with a small laugh. "Uh huh…" she shook her head. "I talked with Oksana." She said chuckling. a dhampir 12 years older than her" I added uncomfortable to talk about someone else's love life especially where age difference was involved. She seemed…I don't know" Lissa shrugged.Yes she is" I said remembering how she took care of me back in Novosibirsk. "I thought you left?" Asked Lissa surprised. "So you see… They settled in the middle of nowhere. 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. in a town where nobody would judge them. I looked deep into his eyes and did something I didn't plan to do. . "Really Rose? Dinner is in 15 minutes. I was chewing on half of it when Lissa hanged up. Lissa and I turned around simultaneously." I grimaced slightly..I shrugged dismissively. I walked to him and leaned down resting my shaking hands on each side of his face. almost carefully as if he was breakable. I'm confusing you right?" "No not really" I said as we left her room to go to the commons. He kissed me back just as softly as I did. "You surely can understand why she is reluctant to come here.
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. I will get my redemption by granting Dimitri with his. he made me who I am. 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. I owe him that much. I thought I did a good thing by letting him go without guilt and he seemed mad. It was not right." "Okay I'll see you guys later. "But you also have to understand that." Said Lissa almost running away. "When he brought us back from Portland I thought I knew it all…" I shook my head and let out a humorless laugh. honor and duty." I said simply." . Adrian looked at me thoughtful for a long moment. only wonder. "I didn't want us to part like that. at the end of the day." Was it really? I couldn't help to add to myself."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. "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. She could feel the tension and wanted to escape…Traitor. 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. and I'm the one who has to do it. not after everything we've been through". "I mean really you thought you could come in the plane kiss me. he then ran his hands in his hair as he did every time he was upset. "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. nobody is invulnerable.' "Rose I need to have a word with you. It hurt me much more than I would have expected or wanted it to. And if you can't understand that well…you are not the man I thought you were. to some level. "And throwing Avery to the face?!" He continued." I smiled fondly remembering. "What a stupid fool! He taught me about life. 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. mad or worried. "He taught me everything. "There is a difference between dying for something you consider right or dying by pure stupidity. "What?! Do what?!" I asked completely lost. "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. And…" I took a deep breath leaning against a tree. "But you said I was right. What did you mean by that?" He asked calmer apparently deciding to drop the Avery subject for now. And that as tough as you seem to be. "He taught me that perfection didn't exist and that we just needed to be the best we could. He…He showed me what real bravery was. "You had NO right to do that!" He said harshly pointing at me. how courage was not the absence of fear." I shook my head. almost impossible plan with so many variables." I added quietly. By healing him or killing him but something has to be done. how I couldn't always be right. "It was completely insane to rush into that. love.
" Adrian nodded looking down putting his hands in his pockets. I know how irrational you become when you're hungry. even if it is to the price of my life because it was not a real life before I met him." He replied not even turning back taking the way of the guest pavilion. "But please while I'm away don't do anything stupid ok? Don't rush into anything. 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. my 'Dimitri'." I added getting embarrassed. always thinking about fun and partying until I met you. I looked at him mouth wide open. and still is. 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.for me. "You take care too ok?" I said to his retreating form. reach this part of me that nobody else ever could. 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. He understood that part of me that I'm not sure I even understood myself. "So yeah I'll save his soul. "Dimitri…Dimitri lent me his strength when I needed it and I lent him mine. along with me. He saw some part of me that nobody else's ever did. Adrian detailed me apparently chagrined but I was not sure what it was about. He was…he just was. "To help you understand I guess you can say that you are. "I promise" I said looking up. You taught me so much about love and life. I just nodded. "No…No it's all good" I said trying to sound at ease." He said with a small smile.I looked at Adrian and I could see the pain in his eyes even if he was trying his best to hide it. "So you have to understand me too Rose." He said with so much urgency that it tightened my chest. "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. to some extent. I am older than you. 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. I always took life lightly. He gave me a small smile and kissed my forehead. Be safe…. "Always. My stomach rumbled again very loudly easing the tension. You are the only person that can read through my pretense. "I'm going away tomorrow but I'll be back. "You should go and eat Rose. "You should always tell me how you feel and …" I started to move from one foot to the other as I was uncomfortable. 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. . like he knew I would take it badly." Adrian chuckled. the first time that someone became more important than my fun. but in the 6 months I've known you. letting his lips on it a bit longer than necessary. Maybe by the fact that I didn't love him as much as he seemed to love me. It was what he valued the most. It was." he said finally looking at me again. I told him to leave with Tasha for that reason.
even if it was just an echo of the love I had been able to give. if it was up to me we would never leave that bed but Lissa is graduating today…She needs you there. I slightly turned in his embrace to face him." He said standing straight about 10 feet from me. "No no my lil'dhampir we don't have time to go back to sleep" said Adrian with a small laugh. As I started to emerge. 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. but last night was completely different.. I moved slightly to snuggle closer in the warm body beside me. I was lying in bed. "I'm taking care of the coffee" I said to him before getting out of the room leading into a very massive.Dimitri? I…How…" I looked around but Adrian was nowhere to be found. "But why?" I let out in a cry. I brought my hand to his cheek brushing it lovingly. Those words hurt me so deep. 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. I was about to reach for the kitchen door when a voice behind me startled me. The man beside me started to kiss my neck making me moan. how he healed my heart and that. I stayed in bed for a little while looking at the ceiling. I felt a manly arm tighten around my waist and I couldn't help but smile. No. "You know I do. much more than anything else. . a new type of dream that I hope I never have again. In that dream. threatening…a Strigoi. I looked back into his deep chocolate eyes. luxury living room. "Hello beautiful" he said against my neck and it was not Dimitri like it had been so many time before. 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. I nodded giving up. I opened my eyes. it was the real him! "Dim. "Hey" I said with a sleepy voice. kissed him hard before getting out of bed. "Really Rose…That's the life you want to lead?" Said a deep voice that I would probably recognize till my last breath. when the alarm clock started to beep annoyingly. "I thought you liked being in bed with me" I said eyes still closed. it was Adrian.. It was the kind of feelings that only a good cry or a good fight could ease. I was still in love with him and in his eyes there was only joy and love. It was really him." He added kissing the tip of my nose. It's not everyday you graduate from University. I was thinking on how much I loved him. "Honestly Rose I'm really disappointed in you. Usually Dimitri was frightening. 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.Chapter 9: When I woke up that morning. his perfectly tanned skin.
sad. He was leaning down resting his chin on my shoulder. I'm. I was standing in my graduation gown."Is that the life you want to lead? Really?" He said gesturing around.I'm just dreaming". ashamed and most of all I felt like I was betraying my one love. A sadness that was probably still there now. alive but the one in the mirror was sickeningly white. and all the pictures of Adrian and I in different places. I quickly jumped out of bed. warm. "I mean…." "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 said as an excuse. "I love you Rose please…please save me. I need to find peace. Don't you see it? It already started. splashed some cold water on my face to wash off the reminder of that torturing dream and rushed to the gym. Today I literally considered training as a blessing since I needed it more than ever before. "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. changed into my sweats and training shirt. "Your will is already wavering isn't it? I thought you were brave…" He took a deep breath.. "Let me guess…Not what I think? Complicated? What you had to do?" He said with a playful smile. The Dimitri beside me was the real one. I'd still be here. I looked to us and couldn't help but gasp when I locked eyes with his reflection." Tears started to fall down my cheeks. I was always happy to train so it was the one hour when I truly felt in peace with myself. the eyes cold and ringed with red…it was the Strigoi version of Dimitri. "It's---" I started. "Well how lucky I am!! Miss Hathaway honored me with her presence today" said Stan with a snort as I walked into the gym. "That's already better than yesterday!" . "No it didn't happen yet but it will…Sooner than you think. On the picture. "Do you think I wanted to be like that?" He asked still facing the mirror. guilty. "Honestly Rose you promised me! And now you're letting me wander the world like that!" He said pointing to his reflection. I was tough." He added and there was pure pain in his eyes. I cried enough and it was not me. "I thought we were special. "It's not happening. diploma in hand.. tightened my hair into a high ponytail. I didn't think while fighting and it was good. that you loved me and…and you moved on. 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 looked down and saw the completely insanely huge diamond on my ring finger. "That's precious!" he said sarcastically. "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. not a wimp. He was smiling brightly and his eyes were full of pride. his cheek brushing mine. Yeah I needed a good fight as I didn't want to cry anymore. feeling angry. to have my redemption. my silk pajamas. "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. Adrian was behind me with his arms wrapped around me possessively." He took a picture frame on the coffee table and showed it to me." He said this time turning me around so I could face the 'real' Dimitri. That was when I woke up. tanned.
"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. "They see you as a little hero now but they'll figure out you're phony soon enough." I saw the anger increase on his face and knew I touched his soft spot. for the first time in my life. "I see…your problem is jealousy" I said as we started to circle each other. "You had potential but you keep wasting it with your attitude…" He shook his head. "You are just a waste of time. . Deal?" I asked with a teasing tone. "So you're not drunk today?" He asked coming to stand in front of me." I said still circling him. If one of us say 'enough' he loses. I was very very touchy today already and Stan Alto would be a real challenge. not to fuel the fire.I rolled my eyes with exasperation. "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. It hit home. "Come on dude make it believable. I forced a laugh. "Come on…it will be a secret I won't tell anyone. It hurt bad!! Probably since Dimitri said exactly the same thing in my dream. "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. teach. I decided. "Tell me Stan." Stan laughed. 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. I dodged him quite easily punching his left side making him wince. "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. It was harder than I thought and I stumbled a bit." I was pretty sure that pure fury crossed my face at this instant. it's like fighting with a cripple " I said laughing." I said going to stand at the center of the training mat. "Ok but don't go crying when I'll break bones novice" he said with an malicious smile. He tried a sidekick but I blocked it with my forearm. "You know what. I could see incertitude on his face. I give you a freebie" I winked. "Good morning to you too guardian Alto." He said taking an attacking stance. How does it feel to know that I'm better in my bad days than you in your best?" Stan snorted. I knew he was tempted but he was not that hot to go against school policy. "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. "Unless… Unless you know I'm going to annihilate you and you're too chicken to have it proven fair and square. Belikov would be so disappointed in you. really fight! No rules… no limits. "Let's fight.
' Stan and I just looked at Pavel without a word. "Say the guy that nobody want as a guardian so he sucks.He automatically replicated with an uppercut in the stomach." I groaned with both annoyance and pain. I just blocked the pain. a purple mark on the left side of his jaw and a brand new black eye. I wanted us to fight. he fell backward very easily when I jumped on him. Mazur wants to see you" he said reaching for my hand to help me up." He added reaching for my gym bag on the floor. I could see some blood dripping from the arch of his eyebrow. I think I'll go fight with a preschooler. Stan was half undress. threw a quick look at Stan who was still breathless on the floor. "You're a guardian for god sakes!" Said Pavel to Stan. Man we really went far didn't we? I asked myself silently walking outside. I probably didn't look much better. How could we justify ourselves? "I…" He shook his head. "He wants to see you now. "I'm getting bored Alto. "Mr. a cut lip. 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'll get more action. and as he probably didn't expect me to continue fighting with a broken nose and blood all over me. I already got beaten up a lot more than that in my life… unfortunately. 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. Pavel sighed with exasperation letting his hand fall to his side. Well I could imagine the picture. his brown hair a real mess." Stan launched again but I twirled on myself so I faced his back and pushed him like a kid in the sandbox. Stan was a dick yeah but a good teacher. "It was my fault" I said trying to stand up. she will heal that in no time…I hope I can just avoid the full interrogatory. He took the towel on the floor and threw it to me so i could wipe my face. The blood started to flow and that's when I really lost it." . I nodded to him. "He'll go crazy and believe me I wouldn't want to be Alto if he ever found out. My shirt was ripped and covered in blood. "Yeah well I'm giving what you can take….Seeing the shame you are to Belikov's training" he said obnoxiously." Said Pavel matter of factly. I was too full of myself and didn't expect him to get his balance back that fast. "Are you two crazy?!" Shouted Pavel astonished. Pavel looked at me with pursed lips. I started to punch him over and over again. "We…We can't let your father see you like that." I said with a light bow. I only had the time to see his fist connect with my nose and heard the sickening crack. I pushed him over the edge. "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. "Let me just find Lissa then. It was hard enough to take my breath away but I was too proud to let him see the pain. I ignored his outreached hand and winced standing up.
"Let's drop it k? I swore Abe would never find out and he never will. "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. 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 guess I've got my answer" grumbled Pavel beside me." Adrian narrowed his eyes in suspicion letting me in closely followed by Pavel. I couldn't say what he was thinking staring down at me with his damn sunglasses. I was sure I looked drop dead gorgeous with my broken nose. swollen lip and dried blood all over my face and shirt. "I just…Well sometime I get a bit--" "It was totally right. "Stan Alto is a pretty active member. I was just too foolish to see it" I said opening the door of the building. "Don't worry buddy." I said walking a bit faster to reach the guest building." I laughed hiding my discomfort. "I---" He started again. he has been for years!!" Pavel stopped to look at me. I think Adrian Ivashkov might join it very soon but wait for it" I said with an overplayed cheerful tone. "Why did you guys fight?" I snorted. . Even if I wanted to confide in someone Pavel would be at the bottom of the list. "Honestly dude whatever. "Oh so they don't introduce you to each other once you joined the club?" I asked evasively." "It's not for that I'm apologizing. "Sorry I was trying to locate Lissa. "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 said reaching Adrian's floor. every word was true. "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. I shrugged dismissively. "You have many members here on school ground but it would take hours to give you every name. and figured that his words touched me far more than I wanted them to. "It doesn't matter anyways. "I don't hate you Hathaway" he finally let out.I quickly scanned Lissa's mind and was startled to find her in Adrian's room. it looks worse than it is." He insisted. "The club?" "Yeah I thought that each new member of the 'I-hate-Rose-Hathaway' club was introduced to the others. "I'll send it back to the Court no worries. "Uh?" I asked coming back to reality. 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. 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. 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.
put Adrian shirt that looked more like a summer dress on me than a shirt. Well it was not like I didn't end up hurt before. I was losing my way. "I have some business to attend" he said dismissively. She was doing some figure on the bench she lost her concentration and fell flat on her face. "Training" I said with a little guilty smile. "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. Pavel nodded to them before leading me out down to Abe's room. But still it was only 3 days since he came. Dimitri did have a point in my dream." "Uh huh" said Adrian clearly not convinced but I couldn't comment as Lissa was healing my lip now. I removed my shirt and threw it in the bin. I really wondered why he wanted to see me that early in the day. Lissa looked at me shocked for a second. Lissa was done within minutes. Pavel looked at me for a second and nodded. As soon as I walked in I saw Abe fully dressed ready to go. I smiled guiltily to her before locking eyes with Adrian. Are they all leaving me? I asked to myself stupidly. They all had lives and it was just naïve to expect anything more. "Is that so?" Asked Adrian to Pavel. "Yeah I came in the room without warning while they were training. 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. "Life continues you know." . "There is a shirt for you in the bathroom" said Adrian still eyeing me suspiciously. I hugged Lissa whispering to her ear that she needed to find Stan and heal him too. I almost snapped at him that he was not my mother but it was not worth it. not suspecting much more. "Thanks" I said kissing her forehead. I tried to put some order in my hair and tighten it in a ponytail. I just took a deep breath and walked to the bathroom. "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. "Are you leaving? Why so soon?" I asked him trying to sound as detached as I could."Lissa I need you !!" I said trying to sound as teasing as I could. He was looking at him coldly like if he was investigating. Adrian was now relocking his suitcase as he probably opened it to give me the shirt. "Stan did this to you?" she asked directly in my mind. not today not ever. She chortled rolling her eyes. I was getting uncomfortable as we got closer. I washed my face to remove the dry blood.
" "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'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. "It's not the end of it. "And you really need to take care of yourself Rose. I looked up to meet his eyes that were the exact same shade than mine and nodded. "I'll do my best" I said with a small smile reaching up to squeeze the hand that what on my shoulder. I hoped he would be a part of my life forever. whatever. "Why did you want to see me?" Abe jerked back a little before bursting into laugher. "I really do enjoy your candor you know that?" He shook his head still having a smile on his face. I realized that now that I found him…or rather he found me. "I wanted to tell you goodbye and tell you that I'm not abandoning your or anything." 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. Afterward he did something that I never saw coming. follow the right path.I give him a tired laugh. I won't look for trouble. I've been foolish and reckless enough for a lifetime. Abe smile progressively swept away. not really. "You have to be safe for me" he added in a whisper. just the beginning. ." He added walking to me resting his hands on my shoulders. Abe shot a quick gaze to Pavel who shrugged. "But…'' I bite my bottom lip not sure on how to say things without sounding like a brat. All those things were changing me and I would never be the girl I used to be." I said sincerely. whatever small that part might be. It was far more a prayer than an order and it was the only thing that really stopped me from snapping at him. "You take care ok?" "We'll see each other again Kazim" he smiled. and that kiss brought some fatherly love in my life. the one that is set in front of you don't…don't sway. He then gave me an half smile but frowned detailing my clothes. "I see…'' Said Abe raising an eyebrow. "Do I even want to know?" Asked Abe pointing to the way I was dressed. Well it was nice to meet you" I said with a smile. And I needed it!! Needed it so much. You have to be prudent for them. he bent down and kissed my forehead. That brought tears in my eyes. "Yeah I know. "But don't worry about me. I could see the worry cross his face. I never EVER imagined that Abe could be affectionate too." He said the voice urgent yet not commanding. 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. Abe pursed his lips thoughtful probably trying to read my face. We'll see each other again…soon" he added. And being the damaged girl I was I only managed an 'ok cool'." 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.
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 still took a few minutes to talk to Pavel. I sighed and sat on my bed. except a quick call from Abe three days ago to check on me. "Thank you" I said reaching up giving him an awkward hug. Dimitri. It was better anyways because I only had 30 minutes left before class and I needed to shower. I was still waiting on Christian to comment on it. only few people have it. Looking at his eyes was as surprising the second time around but I tried to keep my face blank. "You take care of him ok?" I asked in a hiss. I had a chat about Abe being my father with Lissa but honestly there were not much to be said about it. but he didn't yet. "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. "I swear on my life and honor that I'll do anything in my power to keep him safe Rose." "Of course" he said with his trademark grin. 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 added and couldn't help but chuckle when I saw the shock cross his face. Mason. you shouldn't hide them. Christian seemed to be so receptive to me. They are not freaky…they are beautiful. getting on his high horse. I expected Pavel to snap at me. Adrian and now Abe…. "And for your eyes." He said giving it to me. "This is my private cell number.He nodded resigned and reached for a paper on the table. I walked to the door but turned around just before opening it. "I'll see you soon. a lot more than he used to…actually a lot more than anybody else. 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. Well to be fair the two last ones told me they would be back eventually but. maybe because he realized that it hurt me to see both Abe and Adrian leave me. . "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. "Bye" I said before running back to the dorm. it was much more relevant to my mom and father youth than anything else. His phone started to vibrate on the coffee table and as he reached for it I realized the moment was over. but he just smiled taking off his sunglasses to look me in the eyes." He said seriously. Every man I cared about always left me in a way or another. it has been complete silence and even if it angered me to recognize it Adrian silence was hurting far more than expected. change and grab something to eat. I was hurt because he didn't even visit my dreams…not even once!! So much for loving me. "Good" I said surprised that he called me Rose. 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.
"Please come in" I said sarcastically closing the door. I couldn't help but feel a little stabbing pain in my chest as they recalled me. I'm in. I needed to get tired. I opened the door to someone I didn't expect. Christian was standing by my desk looking down to the package thoughtful. "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. You're not superman….. very much to my surprise.Moreover Lissa was very excited over the last two days because Oksana." Said Christian with a sure voice walking into my room before I even invited him in. I could see it would be one of those nights. "I'm in. not that I forgot anyways. I quickly looked at the package again and shook my head. "I…what?!" I asked completely dumbfounded sitting beside him. as she handed it to me. 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. so tired I would fall to sleep and the best way I knew how was to run…run till my muscles hurt. She arrived in the morning and. Oksana had a little package for me.. "I've got a pretty good idea yeah. whatever the plan might be. of my time in Russia.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. So close to curfew it had to be a guardian. In addition to that unwanted trip down memory lane. It was only 40 minutes from curfew… Too late to go and run laps. run till I was too tired that I felt my brain was in a haze. reliving moments that was making my heart break every time. a package from the Belikovs' and. "No I mean whatever crazy plan you are putting together.You can't save anyone. I knew that dealing with a 13 hours time difference was giving you one bitch of a jet lag. accepted Lissa's invitation to come to help her…us with the Spirit. "So…" "I'm in" he said turning around looking at me with a determined expression. we could see that they were both dead tired…Well. I was not ready to open it and I knew it. "I told you the pony club would accept you after all… you just needed to believe" I added with a grin. We decided to meet again tomorrow since. I turned to leave when I heard a quick knock at my door. the one were I stayed awake thinking about things I shouldn't think about." He said a smile playing on his lips "but I know that. . I frowned and quickly glanced at the alarm clock again. and in some ways it was true. "I see!" I said not really knowing where he was going. 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. Run… Run like my life was depending on it. you will not be able to do it on your own and well…" he pointed to his chest. Christian rolled his eyes but couldn't help to smile too. even if I was happy to see her and Mark. as charming as they were. I had felt Lissa's pain for me. "Fuck curfew!" I said jumped out of my jeans putting my sweats and tightening my trainers.
As soon as I opened it. It's the exact same than the one Viktoria had and that you liked so much." "Yeah!! I mean my reputation in the Moroi world is so stellar already…oh no wait…" He said pretending to think. I looked at him rolling my eyes but I couldn't laugh as I didn't want him to get hurt. "it would be insane to mix you up in that I mean…Come on it would be dangerous and it could ruin your future. 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. "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. "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. "No matter how long you are going to wait to open the box it will hurt just the same." He added with a grin." He added not bitter. Christian was really becoming my best friend and that's something I would have never EVER imagined. "Listen" he walked to me." He added urgently. A piece of paper was folded in it." I turned round and looked at the box too. You'll need help and I'm offering it so please consider it. He knew perfectly that he was the black sheep of the Moroi world and he couldn't care less. Everything came with a price right? "And even if I did…which I'm not" I specified again. it was just like he was stating a fact. I sighed and opened the box with shaky hands. Once he opened the door he turned around and pointed to my desk. I hope things are getting better for you back home. "I…" I bit my bottom lip. I also sent you the black knitted scarf that was Dimka's favorite. back to your friends…the people you always knew. I saw a grey knitted piece of fabric. . not because of me. "that's not me! I'm the Strigoi wannabe remember? The doggy poop stuck under Lissa golden shoe. humility can sometime be life saving. Dear Rose." I wanted to say something but he cover my mouth wit his hand. resting his hands on my shoulders. Nobody ever chocked swallowing their pride. I hope you'll liked the cardigan I knitted for you. "And what a great addition to my 'crazy black sheep' resume: Accomplice of baby mobster!!" He said with his goofy grin. I nodded as he was right. I threw him a reprobating glance but smiled. It was a letter written by Olena. he was right…of course he was right. I know that nobody could appreciate it or take care of it the way that you will. pride only bring disgrace. "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 took it out and unfolded it carefully it was a nice cardigan.I shook my head and stood up. "Don't be so proud Rose. You need the constancy in your life now more than ever.
On the bottom left. I hesitated for a little while. I sighed. 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.Yeva and Abe explained us that you had to leave and we understand believe me. "Dimitri" I whispered in it. eyes closed. I squinted my eyes trying to read it. There was an envelope with my name and I could easily recognize Viktoria writing. her name is Dimka Roza Belikova. My eyes filled up with tears as I took the very soft warm scarf out of the package. apparently I was wrong. I can't wait to start junior year to really get into bodyguard training I wish I could fight like you. Oh by the way Sonya had the baby it's a little girl She was named after you and Dimitri. You were right. "Wow…" I whispered looking at the letter. clear writing but it was clear that Viktoria didn't inherit it. 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. You are welcome home whenever you want to. Olena. Just know that we love you and that you'll always have a home here in Baia. Olena had such a neat. Rose.N: Before you can say anything i know a Russian girl whose first name is Dimka. How could I ever say those things to you? I'm so sorry Rose! Please forgive me. 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.' . it's not that uncommon =D) Take care of you Love. It was not as bad as Adrian's hieroglyphic writing but it was pretty close. Anyways life at school is going fine. I was not sure you ever wanted to hear from me again not after…not after the horrible things I said to you. Sometime bravery is to take the . 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.B. Dennis told everything to Nikolai. I looked up. Well I had to do it eventually. 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. don't let go of a path because the others think it won't lead you anywhere. (A. apparently you really are one of a kind (not that I ever doubted that). 'Sorry' actually doesn't even beginning to express how bad I feel. trying to protect me just like Dimka would have. 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. I wrapped the scarf around my neck and breathed hard. I'm mortified just rethinking about it. there were little initials embroidered 'D. I folded the scarf and cardigan very carefully and looked what was left in the box.
Yeva words replayed in my head over and over again 'Every tale has a part of truth in it. Rhonda did tell me that I was going to destroy what was undead. As we left the commons I caught Christian's hand. Follow your intuition for the ultimate gift…his Soul" What did she mean? This message and my Dimitri dreams made things pretty clear. It was too late for me to write back. and to be honest. I couldn't stay mad at her. I got out of his grip and crossed my arms on my chest. I hope you forgive me Rose because despite what I could have said you truly are a sister to me. try to come up with a viable plan then maybe. 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. "We're going to have so much fun together. Sometime bravery is to take the road to nowhere. Tomorrow was going to be a long emotional day and I needed all the rest I could get. She gave me her email address. Maybe Mark could tell me a bit more about the abilities that us. don't let go of a path because the others think it won't lead you anywhere. 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. And only maybe we would act.. there was a way to save his soul and I needed to find it. I was rather pleased too." "It's serious Chris.It can destroy us. What did Victor say…His brother was in the land of kielland or something like that whatever that meant. 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." . It's…it's non sense!" I added shaking my head regretting to have said I wanted him in.. "Maybe we can try to research first.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. Xoxo Vik. As I laid on top of the cover. "Hey hey… chill Rose" he said tightening his grip on my hand causing some curious looks from the other students. I yawned loudly." I said to him in a hush tone.. It would have to wait till tomorrow to do the research. had. shadow kissed. "I accept your offer. Follow your intuition for the ultimate gift…his Soul" Whatever that means. 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.. not 'killed' but 'destroy'. maybe we didn't spend that much time together but you took a place in our hearts and in our lives. I knew only too well what having a temper made you do or say sometime. Eddie included. "I'm glad you did" he said grinning. I was tired but I would do it first thing in the morning.
.for being well. "Lissa told you for Oksana?" . walking into my own personal hell…Calculus. "You are honestly asking me? I mean really?" Christian chuckled and shook his head. "You can count on it Ozera" I said back. 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. we still had 10 minutes before classes started." He said with a wide grin. "That's alright my little dhampir. "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. only Victor could help me out. I looked at him lips pursed.. "Kielland like in Alexander Kielland the author?" Asked Christian I gave him my best 'dude-what-the-fuck' face. "He was a very famous Norwegian author" he specified. 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.. "Well…148.746 to be exact" said Christian dismissively. I couldn't say anything.000 square miles or something. I like when you and I collide. It would be impossible to find a man in such a big country. At the end of the day. 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..I was not entitled to. 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.. I was rushing to the guest pavilion. "I'm sorry" I said quickly looking up my smile fading away. I pulled Christian aside against the wall. "See you later Hathaway" he added taking the corridor on the left.for being Yeva i guess." I said loosing hope.I wanted to hug him. I quickly looked at the clock on the wall. "That's what fighting partners are here for" he said elbowing me playfully." "Thank you Chris. "Why did you come back?" I asked and realized the answer while I was asking the question. 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. "Victor told me that that his brother was in the land of kielland or kiellan or something like that. I had no right to be angry at him for not giving me any news in his 6 days away.. "I have a free period before lunch." "Kielland…kiellan…" whispered Christian thoughtful.." I said sincerely as we resumed to walk. when I literally ran into someone. "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.
"You bet. I knew I was being childish but I couldn't help it. "Well see you around" I said trying to dodge him." "Of course!" I said jumping on the occasion. He caught my arm. "Well…" I shrugged looking at Mark who was sat beside Oksana. he was closing himself like an oyster. "See you" I added to Adrian's attention. "I was wondering…" Mark quickly look at Adrian. "Not something I wasn't grateful for you to interrupt" I said sincerely. "Nothing at all…" "I know you better than that" he said proudly. I was so selfish. "Yeah…" I trailed off." I said standing beside him. "Lets go. "I needed to talk to you actually. "You are all super good at compulsion. "What's up with you Rose?" He asked moving quickly to stand in front of me again." "I was not interrupting anything right?" Asked Mark giving me a sidelong glance. dutifully avoiding Adrian. to love me even if I couldn't give him as much love. As for Mark he was pleased to share his knowledge with me but each time I tried to talk about spirits." I twisted my mouth thinking "like a specialization in the specialization." I snorted "yea right! Well if you knew me that well you…" I sighed and shook my head. He chuckled. "What…What did you say?" Asked Lissa still looking at me like I was an Alien. "Mark!!" I said with clear pleasure to get away from Adrian scrutinizing eyes. "Moroi/dhampir relationships can be hard… I know" he said with a smile.He nodded and my heart sank. seeing Auras and stuff but Lissa is really a master at healing even if you two . especially never getting alone with him." The three Spirit users looked at me with wide eyes." "That's a great idea" I said actually rather pleased as there was so many things I needed to know. Chapter 11: "Well maybe you all share the same basics but you have a special gift more developed than the others. two shadow-kissed. "You can maybe fool the others but you can't fool me. I was actually getting pretty good at dodging him and I could see it was getting on his last nerve. one of the building stone. I wanted him to want me. It has been three days since Oksana arrived and I spent most of my alone time with Mark Christian and Eddie. "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. "Nothing's wrong Adrian" I said wearily." It would be a corner stone of my plan. He narrowed his eyes slightly. "Rose?" a deep manly voice called.
Adrian was looking at us with sharp eyes and Lissa envied my friendship with Christian more and more. "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 hope you didn't give yourself a brain hemorrhage figuring that one out. each Spirit user being more effective in certain aspect than other…it makes sense. "Not bad…not bad at all!" Said Mark approvingly." said Christian casually leaning against the wall by the door. "Yeah well sorry we're not Edward fans here… Stalker don't particularly give me the hots!" I said dismissively. The smell was so mouth watering that I immediately guessed it was not coming from the Academy kitchen. 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 simply said with an apologizing smile. even after so many months of training. I added to myself. "I…yeah. A small part of her was scared that I was pulling away." And thank god for that. I had already too many. 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. "Ok… but they are only working on it since like 3 days. "Some women find that charming!" He said with a fake offended tone.I started to think but stopped almost straight away." I added on a humorous note. "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. "Oooo did you buy a dictionary?? Immolate?? Nice" he said with his goofy grin tousling my hair. or death on my conscience. if things turned badly." "Look at you all brainiac!" Said Christian shrugging from his position against the wall walking to sit beside me." I said looking at him now. the probability of death being pretty high. Oksana the super mind reader and Adrian the dream walker well the creepy stalker really. "That's completely possible." "Go immolate yourself!" I said punching his shoulder playfully. I didn't want to have too many lives. it would be far more energy consuming for them. You Oksana you can visit people mind and do many cool trick but Lissa and Adrian can barely graze thoughts. "It's actually very bright" said Mark ignoring the little teasing. my best friend…my sister. " Maybe we need to combine all these aspects to save--. that Lissa still can't dream walk and maybe she will only be able to do it for short period or stuff like that. she was my Lissa. "Maybe that's why. At this moment there was a knock at the lounge door and some waiting staff came in with some food. "And I think it's probably right. Lissa clearly her throat to attract our attention. . that I didn't need her as much as I used too when she needed me even more." I said with a small smile looking at Lissa again. 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.can do it of course but she put way less effort than you into it. 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. I refused to think about the way to save Dimitri that involved too many people. for no ulterior evil motives. "Maybe Lissa is supposed to be the super healer.
I grimaced as Lisa confirmed. "Nevermind. "I never said it wasn't possible" I said still looking straight ahead finishing the chicken fried rice on my plate." I simply said knowing I was an hypocrite because my relationship with Dimitri did face as many trouble than they did. "See a dhampir and a Moroi can be happy together" whispered Adrian to my ear. I don't think I could. guardians included. "Yeah it all depend who you're fighting for" he said a bit colder like if he was reading my mind. As we started eating some Chinese food I couldn't help to look at Oksana and Mark and how they were with each other. "I know that…" she trailed off warily. the way he delicately brushed her hand. could fight as well as I did but I needed Eddie to pass with flying colors too. "Nobody could ever take your place in my life Liss."You did that?" I asked Adrian pointing to the trays full of food. if not more. but I did fight for us. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn't even hear him come to stand behind me. "Oh…'' she said embarrassed the red creeping to her cheeks. "It's getting late anyways." She looked up to me her jade eyes full of wonder and doubt. They were not touchy feely but the way they looked at each other. 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" ." "Yeah better call it a night… I heard you youngsters have some exams to revise" added Oksana with a small smile. It was not being cocky or anything but I didn't think that a lot of persons. "Wait I'm coming with you!" I said jumping on the occasion. "I know I let you down before I'm not denying that but I love you so so much." . I nodded and caught her hand." "I'm going to the feeders" said Lissa almost at the door. "Well I can't help it either and I can't feel how you feel" I said stopping in the path to face her. "You know how sometime you can't control the way your power works right?" I asked Lissa as slowly walked to the feeders. "Do you envy them as much as I do?" "I don't envy all the trouble they had to face to be together. "It depends if the person is worth fighting for" I retorted quickly glancing back to his puzzled look. "Who else?" He said with his cocky grin. We needed to stay all together so he had to be attributed either to Lissa or Christian. I sighed. That deep love made my heart ache.
they won't leave without what he wants. 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. "Also you need to know that…'' I cleared my throat not really knowing how to say that. The army is being raised. Lissa got Alice. my sister and nothing or nobody could ever change that ok?" Lissa nodded again. "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. "What?" I asked not able to hide my trouble. she was wondering why I would ask her something like that and I had planned something too dangerous." I smiled. removing hair from her neck. "I love you too Rose" she whispered. no questions but I'll make my way back too you always." When Lissa was done with her feeding we stayed quiet for a little while lost in our thought." "What does he want?" I asked trying to sound detached but I could almost make her answer in my head 'you. you need to be ready…Keep her safe by keeping yourself alive." Lissa hugged me tightly and I could feel the relief coming from her. "He will always be the sarcastic smartass with an attitude. She smiled looking at Lissa." Lissa froze and I looked down to meet Alice half gone gaze. "If one day I tell you to stay aside. "It's true that Christian and I share something. Crazy old Alice as a feeder today. "Good" I said taking her hand leading her in the commons to the feeders." Lissa looked at me without a word. Since the danger is getting closer. . Blood was blood. Even closer than you think it is. he wants you' But instead Alice eyes almost went blank." Lissa seemed to ponder that for an eternity." I said more urgently. "I can take care of myself. "I promise" she finally said realizing how much faith she had in me. Christian always enjoyed having her and Lissa didn't mind that much either. not to follow me. "Always Alice.She gave me a small smile. You are my Lissa. We're friends and I care about him very much but…'' I smiled a goofy smile. "Please Lissa you have to trust me on that. "Whenever you want princess. Not now or in a million year. "Guardian or not. I'll need you to step aside. "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. "But who is keeping you safe?" I snorted." "Good good." I said scanning the room. "The danger is getting closer and closer. Silly girl! Then I thought of my future crazy plans and the smile I had vanished. "So Rose keeping Lissa safe?" She asked me as Lissa sat beside her in the cubicle.
"Honestly whatever. Dimitri was as much as a badass alive or undead and if he wanted in I knew he could do it.that's the general idea yeah. We were now a lot more cordial to each other. "Go to your room Liss. "What can I do for you guardian Alto?" I asked as politely as I could. it's almost curfew anyways I promise we'll figure something in the morning. 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." I said trying to sound far more confident than I actually felt. "But Alice is crazy right?" "Yeah she is but…" I shrugged. Stan was not one to thank people and me in particular. Well we were far from being buddies or anything but we were not on each other throat anymore. nodded to Stan and left. She hugged me. I looked at her till she entered the Moroi dorms before concentrating on Stan. 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. "Tomorrow? Training?" ." "Yeah?" "Of course!" I said trying to reassure her." "Yeah it's about your practice exams. "Not yet…but maybe soon. Lissa did find him at the gym after our fight and healed him no question asked. "You know what let me just figure all it out. She seemed to calm down."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. security around campus needed to be increased or I needed to leave campus and make it common knowledge…Yeah!! That could be the solution." "Don't mention it. If you guys think it's for the best. "Anyways…. Maybe that fight did help ease some tension between us." He said grimacing. I needed to warn the guardians soon enough that Dimitri was on his way." "Thank you. "Is there something wrong?" He asked pointing to the Moroi dorm. I'll come out with a plan." I said uncomfortable. "Rose can I have a word with you please?" asked Stan pretty cordially seeing us leave the commons." "Soon?" "I'll keep you posted" I shrugged dismissively. "That's….
" "That's…" He started and I saw anger flash in his eyes." He winked. He laughed but it didn't reach his eyes. I was walking back to the dhampir dorm when a voice came from beside the old oak tree. "Yeah well I don't see why then!" I sighed. "Well I can't be weird out because of the bull you served me last week. "You told me that I should tell you how I feel and now that I did you are avoiding me!" "I…" I looked around." "I don't understand." As soon as we made it to the room Adrian turned toward me and he was still angry. "Do you really need to ask?" Adrian sighed. 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. . "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." "I'm not avoiding you" I said turning to face him. "You know you're the biggest hypocrite I have ever met. I couldn't let you become one. "One day you might decide to break him free and we couldn't let you become a traitor." He said still calm. "I bet" he said shaking his head walking in the common. "Do you really think that's why I'm avoiding you?!" Adrian gave me is best 'duh' face."I wouldn't miss it for the world" I said not able to conceal the sarcasm in my voice any longer. "Well you left for a week and didn't even give me a call so…" I shrugged "allow me to doubt your sincerity dude. Him and Abe?? Together?! "My room?" He asked and for the first time it had no double meaning. "None of us are crazy Rose. "Okay let's go . "Why are you avoiding me?" Asked Adrian coming to full view. "I was with your father we…" He looked around. "Lets go somewhere quiet. "Oh Rose who do you think you are talking to? Ralph Sarcozy?!" He sighed. "I've been back three days and where is Rose? Everywhere I'm not." I said confused. "Do you really want to know what your dad and I did during the week?" He asked crossing his arms on his chest. "Yeah you." I nodded as now he got my full attention. well…under very high supervision but still." "Bull?!" He ask with incredulity. "Well we convinced the judicial board to let do the research by letting Victor Dashkov escape. That's…that's why Lissa was here that morning." "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 know you well but she knows you better than anyone else. "If I left it was for you!" He hissed with anger.
" He said patiently keeping his eyes in mine. safer…as silly as it seemed. if Victor brother was a Spirit user powerful enough to bring back a Strigoi. "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." I jumped from my seat and hugged him tight. to support you even if you go crazy on me and…" he shrugged." "I don't…I don't know what to say.the Academy I mean. "But you see I couldn't help to ponder that. I…" he ran his hand through his hair and stood up. But part of me loved him of course. "That's what I intend to do. You could have been accused of treason too!" "Don't you think I know that?" He said so calm I wanted to slap him. "How did you that?" "I think you do know how I did that.it was very light compulsion don't worry the arguments were pretty valid. hot strong hand in mine made me feel a bit better. I just needed one more ally now. He was so good." Said Adrian laughing. "We need Victor to unlock the probable mess that is Robert's mind. placing it behind my ear. "Ivashkov or not… I shook my head. I didn't have to do it on my own and that was maybe what will make me win." "Why? You promised to graduate Rose!" Started Adrian getting unnerved. "But why didn't you try to compel Victor I mean…. "Compulsion…" I whispered. I knew it was bad to do that since it could lead him in but I just enjoyed being with him."I… what?!!!" "Yeah you heard well.." "You 'convinced' them?" I asked scared to realized what he meant. I didn't care if I was crossing the line again. "I needed your father influence to organize the meeting then well…. "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. "I need to get out of here. Victor will think it's an escape but it will be all organized. "Well I did consider that but you see you told me Victor said his brother was a bit ummm… lets say impaired. his dried. "No sorry I mean I need to get out of the Academy as behind the protecting ward." He added letting his hand slide along my neck before resting it on my shoulder. 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 would never forgive myself if anything would have happenned to him." "You don't have to say anything I didn't do anything I didn't want to do.if he reveals the location of his brother…" I started but I was scared to sound ungrateful. I was glad to have all these people ready to help. I got out of Adrian arms and I could see he was reluctant to let me go." "Completely coocoo yeah.. "I need to talk to someone" ." I said catching his hand intertwining our fingers. 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. but that part was just an insult to what he deserved or even to what I fell for Dimitri…Dimitri. "I promised to always be here for you Rose." He smiled "well we'll have two secret service agents serving as guardians but you know…it won't ruin your whole life.
"Hey" I said stupidly. I knew I could have called any random ghost really but one I knew made me feel better…. "Never mind. "Andre please show your face.. "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 was having a small panic attack. My heart started to beat faster. "Anytime my little dhampir…anytime" he said quickly kissing my forehead before pulling me out of the room.. his lips felt good on mine. He wrapped his free arm around me. "Thank you" I said letting go of his shirt. May I ask you who you want to talk to?" "Yeah it's Andre Dragomir. They were more 'staring-till-giving-you-the-creeps' type. I felt self conscious as I could feel Adrian's eyes on my neck. "Nah I mean it. I really start to feel for the kid in the sixth sense you know" I said concentrating on Andre again. I forgot that ghost were not really what we could call talkative. I buried my hands deep in my jeans' pockets. "Ok maybe I shouldn't have asked. "Wait for me I'll be back in a minute" I said taking off my healing ring."Ooooo I see." I laughed. I walked about 5 feet away from him. Chapter 12: When we made it out of the academy I walked with Adrian to a shadowy spot as the sun was up now. "Andre…Andre. Andre kept staring at me…." "Ok… okay" said Adrian letting go of his grip around my waist but still keeping my hand in his. "Let's go talk to the ghost" he said like he was talking about a random subject. "Andre. I shook my head but cannot stopped my smile. I closed my eyes thinking on how Dimitri was getting closer. It was quite passed curfew now but neither of us cared that much. please" I whispered again. "Is he here?" Asked Adrian looking at the spot I was looking at curiously. With everything he had done he deserved that much and deep down I knew I wanted to kiss him. "No actually I'm lost." I whispered." I opened my eyes slowly and sighed with relief." I said simply. "I really need you buddy." He said pulling me to him still keeping my hand in his. I started to have trouble breathing…yep it was official. the danger. I need a favor from him and ghost or not he will have to do it." I remembered that fear and agitation could help trigger the spirits. Andre smile widened slightly and he nodded his hello. . "Take care of that for me will you?" Adrian nodded. in front of me. the pain of facing him without a way to save him. "Yeah he is just--" I pointed ahead. Andre was standing there. up the path.safer in a weird way. with a sad smile. "I…ummm… I need your help".
" Andre looked at Adrian thoughtful. "Love?" Andre nodded. "ANYWAYS" I said concentrating my attention on Andree again. older than him. 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. "That's not good" I whispered looking down at my feet. He believed me. I nodded giving him a quick smile. they probably met a lot during the officials parties and stuff. 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. "Is he coming alone?" I asked dreading the answer. I let out an heavy breath of relief." I said feeling the blush on my cheeks. "To some extent I guess. "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. I couldn't help to wonder why he was still here. "Not here" he mouthed. while injured!! . "But he is getting closer right?" Andre nodded. he fought an household full of Strigoi. " '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. even before. "Uh who would have thought that death would suit him…" Adrian chuckled "He was such an ass when he was alive. 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. no judgment. Andre looked at me for a second and the look on his face gave me his answer before he even shook his head. "Did he agree?" Asked Adrian inquisitively. He then seemed to realize that Andre could hear him. "Do you know if he is already here?" Andre shook his head negatively. I…" I turned around and looked at Adrian who was looking from me to the apparent empty spot in front of me." Adrian was only a year older than Andre. "I need them to be safe. Well it was not like he risked that much by accepting anyways. Dimitri was raising an army to come. when they all doubted of my ability to see ghosts he never questioned my mental health. There was only curiosity in his eyes. "Will you help me?" Andre nodded.Andre nodded apparently accepting the task without even thinking about it. I was rather pleased now that Adrian couldn't see ghosts. He was already deadly by himself.
so good to have someone who had faith in you. 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 looked up again and nodded. it means that he is not at peace. "Okay we'll keep it to ourselves until he comes up with essential info. It's not that good but…" I shrugged "at least he is not in the US…yet. The next few days were pretty extreme. one of the secret service agent (passing for one of Abe guardian). Do you think she needs to know something like that in the present situation? She is still pretty weakened by the whole Avery mess. if I did manage to take down Dimitri. "Well." 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. I knew what he said didn't stand on anything concrete but it was good to hear." I kept my eyes on Andre now not wanting Adrian to see my distress. as we had to organize everything while starting to take our final exams. "Okay." I said sincerely. I understood now that trying to talk was draining a lot of energy from the ghosts." I put my ring back.. with the situation ahead." 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. "So?" Asked Adrian and I walked back to him. "I know you love her…I'll keep her safe I promise." Andre grimaced showing me that I was clearly underestimating this venue. the break up and the Dimitri's situation. 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 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." Adrian narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "Thank you. . In another scenario. "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. We decided that it would be Pavel." Andre nodded and disappeared.." "Yeah I guess" he conceded." Andre gave me another small smile. Abe phoned me a couple of time in order to find out how the plan was advancing. "I know you are. That's okay we'll be ready. "It's a war right? He is coming with an army?" "Yes…I'm sorry" whispered Andre sadly before he started to flicker. "Everything will be alright my little dhampir" he said wrapping an arm around my shoulder kissing my forehead. Thank you. "OK I'll come back out in two days. Victor and me who would go retrieve Robert from Norway a few days before graduation. "Plus there is no point to tell the others either as Andre didn't really say anything that we didn't already know. "Honestly it will only confuse Lissa to know that Andre is still around. "More secrets Rose? Really?" He clacked his tongue reprovingly.
"Well not really" I said reluctantly as I didn't want to give arguments toward Lissa's option. 'crazy religious bigots' in our plan but he agreed. "It's almost as widely known as the fact that oxygen is essential for us to breath. "Victor is very bright. "You'll need someone very good at compulsion." 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. I kept her involvement to a strict minimum. I heard Lissa mutter a small cursed under her breath making me laugh. and I quote. "Now we need to figure something out to keep up the pretense for the prison evasion. 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. "I'm a spirit user. blue prints and photos. "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." We all looked at Oksana agape." I asked looking at Adrian for confirmation." "Well if it's a human prison almost any Moroi would do" said Eddie with a slight shrug. He nodded. "Plus we need to pass the guardians anyways. 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. compel people or talk to ghosts." Said Christian looking at the prison blueprints. "So we have the trip to Norway." 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. and even if I could feel the huge disapproval coming from her. it was our plan. He was looking around in a 'yeah-what-else-is-new' kind of way. "Usually it's the people in love who are doing the stupidest most radical things. Lissa wanted to hit her for mentioning that other option. He didn't sound too pleased to involve the. We were all confined in Adrian's bedroom where we had charts. at least for now. Only the high judicial council and the Queen know about our plan right?. "That's actually not a bad idea" said Adrian raising an eyebrow. "And who is better than your best friend?!" asked Lissa literally marveling now. "I mean… he is not an idiot. Firstly I'll need to trust someone greatly to tell him/her my plan and well… I do have some serious trust issue. "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'm sort of cocky enough to think we can pull it off and…and well what she said" he added pointing to Oksana." I added feeling embarrassed for Adrian but he actually didn't seem embarrassed at all." "I know that…" I said biting my bottom lip looking at the big chart we had on the wall. She wanted first line…she was just as stupid as I was!! "Well the guy who is in love with her. Christian snorted again." "And that Christian is a sarcastic smart mouth that can't shut it." Answered Oksana matter-of-factly pointing to Adrian. "So compulsion is needed isn't it?" Asked Lissa and I could feel her excitation increasing. I didn't want Lissa to get involved too much either. "Believe me no secrets here" he said shaking his head. 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. Well. .
" "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. "Then we split Adrian and Eddie go back to the academy as Victor." it will go to this I added to myself." I said like I was talking to a child. "Eddie.. Guard X and me jump into Abe jet where Pavel will be waiting and go straight to Norway. Adrian and me will go to the jail to retrieve Victor. So…whenever he attacks." I said with a grin. I frowned answering it as I just talked to Abe about an hour before.. "You missed me eh?" I asked and I saw jealousy in Adrian's eyes even if he was doing his best to hide it." "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. "So. "Hey my favorite crazy bigot. if it get to this of course. "I need you to pick me up from the airport tomorrow. She knew I was about to give her a mission. "Backup" I replied with a wink. He was the only one brave enough to ask. "So you'll come pick me up or not?" she asked purposively avoiding the question. "Well the youngsters are released about a week before graduation anyways right?" I asked rhetorically. "Hello?" I said warily. "But maybe…maybe" I concentrate on Lissa and her excitation level increased again. I need to concentrate on the task ahead only. "Well we'll have fewer casualties to worry about. "Yes?" tried Lissa encouraging." I burst into laugher attracting 6 pairs of curious eyes on me. "Ok good so let get over this again" I said taking a deep breath. "You read my mind buddy. "Hello evil creature of the night. and I will not be able to do that if you're not safe" "I know…I know" she said with resignation.who was it?" Asked Christian." "See you tomorrow" I said actually pleased to have an alchemist on our side "Bye Rose."You'll play your part Liss you know that right. "Of course! What time?" "3pm at Missoula's airport." She said and hanged up before I even had a chance to say bye. "And then --" I was cut off by my ringing phone. "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." "I can try" said Lissa not really convinced but she was ready to everything. "You remember what we talked about? I need you to help but from a secure spot. Chapter 13: ." They nodded.
"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?"
" "Christian?" She asked quizzically. I…I will not tolerate rudeness toward her. she won't see it with a good eye. I nodded without a word. "Thanks" I said deciding to ignore the coldness." He said teasing. Do you know why you're here?" "Well not really" she admitted. "We never know maybe I can go sell those secrets to the KGB. I really didn't need to encourage his behavior but he was always good at amusing me. "She is very sensitive and one of the nicest person I ever met. Adrian burst into laugher.. "Do." "Stop it please." Said Adrian keeping his eyes on the road." I said sincerely. "Oh you were serious?…Of course you can!" He said trying to backtrack but it was too late. "They said that you needed me for something pretty big. But I wasn't really mad and he knew it. I sighed. "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. That could change everything but that I won't end up in jail. "Yeah well…Just try to be nice with Lissa please" I said locking eyes with her. "I'm sorry" mumbled Adrian quickly glancing at Sydney in the mirror. "I mean why on earth would an alchemist show up to stay here?" "I can have friends outside of the Academy!" I tried. "Asshole!" I said looking away. "It's going to be tough for Alberta to swallow that one. probably tomorrow. "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. "Right!!" He glanced at my face and probably saw the indignation. "I'll be on my best behavior" she said lips pursed. I knew Sydney well enough to know she was going to freak out when I'd mention the jail break because…organized or not. you are just going to love each other!" said Adrian marveling and I couldn't stop my playful smile." I said calmly reaching for his right hand on the steering wheel and brushed its back softly. "But well you'll see." "That's about right. 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. Each player had to know it all. "But you love me just as I am. "I trust him with my life. I just grunted. "Ooooo we wouldn't want to talk in front of the big evil Moroi" he said with laugher in his voice.Adrian chuckled. they are all fantastic… in their own ways. She'll have to talk in front of them. "Oh yeah. "Oh just one thing you can be as rude as you want with Adrian and even Christian." I simply stated. ." Said Adrian completely ignoring Sydney presence now and I thought she was grateful for that." She snorted but didn't comment. "Him and all my friends" I added quickly not to mislead her.
" There were a light knock at my door. I introduced Sydney to her." She said simply I didn't know what she thought about it. "You're going to shout…a lot.I'll be back in a few" I said to Sydney. she was very cordial with her. Just after they brought the bed in the room Sydney started to tell about the Strigoi related potions. ." I looked at her with confusion. 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. "You're going to be mad. "So?" I asked sinking on the sofa.. I think you couldn't be suspicious with me…the little heroin." she ask nonchalantly as we walked to Kirova office. "See you later Jesus." I opened my mouth but said nothing. I nodded "yeah. "Don't worry about it" she said dismissively. very big. "No we're not dating but…" I gave her a quick sideway glance. "I'm the one who should ask that. I took a deep breath and told her everything in one go." "Right. I couldn't fool her and I knew that. before I lost all my courage." "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 said laughing "Are you dating? I thought…. "Don't mind him." He kiss my forehead quickly. "Well the one to attract strigoi is pretty stupid" she said emptying her small bag in my half empty dresser." She just glared at his retreating form. "I don't know what I thought" she added finally. It turned out to be my mother. and to my surprise... She locked the door behind us and came to sit beside me. "See you later Rose…" he turned to Sydney." "I'm not going to get mad" she said patiently. "Rose come on. "He is very important to me. My mom walked us quietly to an empty lounge upstairs. "Rose can I see you 5 minutes please?" She asked pointing at the door. It might turn out to be useful one day." She said with slight exasperation like I was underestimated her. "I know you are preparing something but…For a Alchemist to get involved it has to be big."Yep. "We never know.
"I…" She sighed before looking at the forest painting on the wall.When I was done she just stared at me. "Do you even know how dangerous it was for you to do that boy?" She asked but she was not mad just worried. she was just uncomfortable. "What is?" "Convincing the Judicial board to let Victor Dashkov out even under supervision. I could see she expected a lot. "So what are we going to do now?" Asked Sydney when we got ready for the night. so long that Lissa was considering showing herself. "But why?? You know it's not helping her and yourself to go in this crazy plan. "I'll see you tomorrow. but that was not the case." She padded my shoulder. Both Lissa and him decided it was better for her to hide than to explain her presence in the room. Her powers were really increasing with Oksana's help. I knew she was not really looking at it. "Even if you had proofs on tape. She was not supposed to be there. but scanning her mind I could see she came up because she was curious about Sydney and our friendship. "It's…Go back to your friend Rose before she starts worrying. . Adrian and her had just started to chat when my mother came in. "Adrian did convince them" I said looking straight into her eyes." "Yeah I bet" I said actually astonished that she didn't made my ears bleed with her shouting. "Tomorrow… yes. Boy?! Lissa and I thought simultaneously. I couldn't see them from where Lissa was hiding but I could hear them clearly enough. I was about to drift into sleep when I felt myself being pulled into Lissa's head. "Rose told me everything" said my mother so calm it surprised me. "How on ---" She stopped her eyes widening with understanding. my mother never called anyone like that." She shook her head." "Well" I shrugged slightly coking my head on the side." Adrian stayed quiet. She was crouched behind Adrian's small kitchen counter but she was not afraid." She said standing up. she could now almost summon me on purpose." My mom unlocked the door and I could see she was still lost in her thoughts. "Now? Well…We're going to get ready for the war ahead" I said trying to sound far more confident than I actually felt. "We'll… talk about that another time I need time to absorb it all. "It's impossible" she finally said quietly after 5 long minutes. "Don't you think I know that?" He asked sounding resigned. since it was way past curfew. "He did…that?" I nodded silently. "Told you what?" "About you convincing the High Judicial committee for Victor." Adrian stayed quiet for a long time.
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. to stop her from doing something that would destroy everything…destroy her. "I…I need to talk with Oksana. "But it's past curfew. But it was true that Lissa was very jealous of me having another girl friend. pretty much. "I can try to keep her safe." "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 could never choose anyone over Dimitri and the resignation in his voice hurt me. I got out of Lissa's head and realized silent tears were falling down my cheeks." I simply said. See you later. reluctantly following me to Adrian's room. I added to myself. "Lissa…Lissa is my best friend. If she wasn't sure by now." She sighed." I said evasively tightening my training shoes." She shrugged "Don't sweat it Rose. He knew that it would never happen." . She was silly of course but it would have been pointless to tell her. there wasn't much I could say to convince her. "I'll be back soon I promise. she will choose him and you--" "I'm irrelevant" he said quickly. Chapter 14: "Where are you going?" Asked Sydney already in bed. "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. "But we've spent the whole day with them…the whole week really." I could hear the loud intake of air. "Peeta is loving. "Never mind. "Since when do I follow rules?" I asked rhetorically. I've got company" she said nudging her book. Christian even called her my 'creepy shadow' because she was always glued to me. that nobody could take her place in my heart." "But have you considered the possibility that it might work and if it does. 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. I turned around and smiled at her. I rolled my eyes but she didn't see it. you know how much Belikov means to her. "Are you ok?" She asked uncomfortably. I nodded quietly. perfect and human" "Who?" I asked confused." I just hate hurting the guy that owns only enough of my heart to hurt us both. "Yeah… I'll be better in the morning. that she was my best friend."I had no choice" said Adrian in a hushed tone. yet again." Said Sydney and I knew she was just saying that because she was not comfortable to stay by herself. "I need to have a word with her in private" I said before Sydney did even get the chance to get out of bed. "And night seems to be the only time. "Pita? It's some kind of bread right. 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. "You know Rose as well as I do." She said almost whining. Sydney was looking at me quietly with concern all over her face.
I was slightly above the rules. He was not even in PJs yet. I could see that his pleasure was genuine. They were a couple and…oh Hell. "I guess…" she said warily." "I bet you are" said Mark sitting beside her. It was funny how him and Oksana were always happy to see me . and us novice. We were right in the middle of the exams. The healing ring. "Hey Rose!!" Said Oksana with the same big smile as Mark. and even if we parted about 4 hours ago. She looked at me for a second and decided that fighting me was not worth it." I said simply walking out. it was useless to try to have a secret. Lissa was happy enough to use it every once in a while. 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. When I made it to Oksana and Marks' room I got a little uncomfortable to disturb them. "I needed to talk to you in private" I said sitting in front of her. Adrian. Power always corrupted people. were almost seen as guardians now. as I already noticed earlier.I felt like I was their adopted kid or something. 'Private' included Mark as she was even more linked to him than Lissa and I were so. "I'm intrigued now. I knocked quietly enough so they wouldn't hear it if they were sleeping. . Oksana just drank 1/8th of the dose and she was powerful enough to take me into Christian mind without burning energy. She wouldn't let me go without exactly knowing why." "Yeah…" said Oksana trailing off."Yeah. "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. "So you see Andre told me today that Dimitri just arrived to Alaska right. "Miss Hathaway…It's past curfew" said the matron as I reached the exit. "Okay I wanted to know if you could enter Dimitri's mind" I blurt out. "Please come in!" I walked in and found Oksana sat at the table with her usual herbal tea. "I know but it's important" I said head high locking eyes with her to show that I wasn't joking around." They nodded "and I was thinking…Magic does influence Strigoi to some level. "Rose!" He said as a big smile spread on his face. Plus. even if some of the guardians and Moroi on service were more easy on me. I didn't want to run into my mother. "Oh really?" she said raising an eyebrow. the fire and all that. "Make it fast" she simply said concentrating on her magazine again. I looked at both of them and decided to play it straight. It smelled terrible and tasted even worse but it helped her channel her energy. 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. I jogged as discreetly as possible to the guest dorms because. Mark opened the door almost immediately.
he asked me what did Lissa and I had planned for graduations. "Maybe he is planning to recruit more 'soldiers' on his way over here. I nodded. "Well I wanted to go in his mind and just change one of his memory of us. "I want you to implant a memory in there. to know what they can do. 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." "Maybe…" Said Oksana unconvinced." "Yeah…I thought about that too" Said Mark."What?!" They both said in total sync. Dimitri…Dimitri is not the kind to attack recklessly and I know he is the same alive or undead." "You want to attract him there. "He only came with 4 other Strigoi and it's a very small group to attack the Academy which means he has a plan. "I want him to attack somewhere else. It was Oksana's decision to take and he respected that. it will be our ground." "I don't see your point." She said worried. traitors and we're going to bring Victor back at the Academy?" I grimaced. "Andre can keep us posted on that and…" Oksana shook her head vigorously. "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. Mark kept quiet and I was grateful for that. which I doubt I could. "Plus I was thinking about it and we're supposed to be criminals. "If I was Victor I would have doubts if you brought me back here. after training. Oksana looked at me silently but I could see in her eyes that she was thinking at hundred miles per hour. "Well I want you to take me in his mind as you took me in Christians' mind at the try out." I kept looking at them into the eyes to show them that I was sure. "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." She opened her mouth to say something but I quickly continued to talk." "Why?" ." "So what's your plan?" Asked Oksana. "Dimitri won't take anyone to attack the Academy." I locked eyes with him." He insisted." I shook my head. She sighed heavily. I mean imagine it doesn't work? He'll attack the Academy but none of us will be there to keep it safe. He needs to trust them to some extent." I said feeling more and more idiotic. "We'll have the advantage there." "Yeah but it's very dangerous Rose. "It's pretty moronic. He knows something that we don't. One day." "Why?" Tried Mark. What do you want me to do?" I bit my bottom lip." Simply stated Oksana. "it's crazy Rose it will never work. "Ok let's just talk hypothetically here… if I could get in.
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." I pointed at myself. if he had this memory he would contact me. I didn't want to sound full of myself but I knew I was his only weakness now. "I… exactly.." I sighed with relief." Oksana took the little bottle containing the gold color potion and drank half of it. "If it worked he will yeah. "Yeah it's the last physical exams for the dhampirs. "As for a link to him well…I'm the best bet."Why?!" She snorted." Said Mark coming back to sit beside me. ." "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." She said taking my hands. "Can you get me the little bottle with the rest of potion?" Mark nodded and squeezed my shoulder as he passed behind me. He will want to keep this promise he made to me..yeah if it works. It was about 3 times more than what she drank for the Christian experiment." She finally conceded." My voice became thicker. I looked at her hopeful. there is nothing to link me to him. Oksana reached for my hand and squeezed it. "You'll have to guide me to his mind Rose.worth the try. I almost forgot he was here. "It's like the most important of them all. "Ok…We can try. I don't know him. "Why not…. "So he will call the Academy you think?" Mark asked. it was a moment where connected…. The only thing that was still keeping him attached." She looked at Mark." "So…It's tomorrow!" Said Oksana. "I want him to think he promised to support me and wish me luck the morning of the Gladiators' day. "So you want us to implant that memory and try to influence him into calling you?" She summarized. Moreover. it's maybe better to get him away from the Academy. "Maybe. "And I know Dimitri." "So you want to see if we can temper with his memory?" She asked me wearily. I'm probably the only thing that could still affect him." "Gladiators' day?" Asked Oksana confused. I nodded. it will amuse him to torture me like that "I added not able to conceal the pain in my voice. two weeks before graduation." She jugged her bottom lip and shrugged slightly. "And how do I do that?" I asked suddenly worried that I would fail. It's worth about 80% of your physical training. "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. "Well you pick your favorite…I never tried to enter the mind of Strigoi before and you told me that Dimitri was very powerful. it was painful to remember our happy moments. And they'll transfer him to my cell. when he held me captive. He seemed to make a point of it.
"Even if it doesn't work. Even…while he held you captive. he actually never even intended to. He was thinking about me. I suddenly felt a cold breeze fill my body. "I sure hope so" I said in a whisper more for myself than anyone else really. "Now we wait and see. what did you call it-. "It IS a love worth fighting for. a wacko when she realized all the love I still had for him. That woman was good to the core. undeniable. "Piece of cake" I said standing up trying to joke." She shook her head. I don't want to hit to strong."I don't know" she shrugged slightly. I'm implanting the memory now and I'll try to give him the impulse to call you like…an encouragement." She held my hands tightly. I nodded still feeling all the coldness in Dimitri but I couldn't help loving me. Our time in the cabin. the first time he hint on the love he felt for me." She said in a hush tone. almost freezing my bones. "Think about moments you shared. He didn't want to kill me. He considered that they had stolen me from him and he was coming here to claim me back.Gladiators' day?" She asked with a sad smile. but it was overshadowed by all the evil and darkness. We don't want him to figure it out and block his mind. probably as much as he did before. happy moments. Said Oksana directly in my mind. "I'm sorry" she added in a breath. I was his and he was mine but he wanted to kill the others…my friends. . I gasped keeping my eyes close. Mark quickly looked down at the table.We were in. the first time I read through his pretense. how he defended me against Nathan and Galina." I chewed on my bottom lip. I could feel the pain and hatred and desire to revenge…. eyes closed. It was clear in his mind. I also thought on how he held me in bed when he was a Strigoi. I saw the first time we kissed. he knew everything." She quickly glanced at Mark probably trying to find the right words. She probably thought I was a freak. He tried to fight that part of him but he couldn't. I could feel it deep down inside of him. how he was about to make me his." "Yeah you need your sleep if you want to be ready for. "We never even guessed the extent of that love. I opened my eyes slowly and met her concerned gaze. He doesn't think anyone could be powerful enough to do that. He wanted me by his side. I could bet he saw my memories as Oksana was seeing them. "Nobody can comprehend the love you had…still have. I closed my eyes starting to go over some of my moments with Dimitri. I was a bit embarrassed knowing that Oksana could see them too but I knew she would never judge me. She managed to slip through his memories with almost no effort. the 'I love you's' after that. After a couple more minutes Oksana's hands relaxed and she let go of mine. He is not protecting his mind right now. I was ashamed of that of course but I just did. my family. We knew you two were in love we just…." She said nicely. "Why would you be sorry for?" I asked naively. I chose them over him and he intended to make them pay. you tried!" "No I'm sorry for you two Rose. Oksana was so powerful it amazed me. "I…I need to get back. For him. He hated them because they had that part of me I didn't give away willingly. He probably didn't acknowledge it himself but he did love me. spooning me as to keep me safe.
"What's wrong is… You know how much I love Dimitri right?" Christian frowned slightly confused. I hated hurting him. "Rose…" He started resignedly. he didn't deserve it. "Nothing worth living come easy Christian and you know that." I snapped "I…" Christian looked hurt it had been so long since I snapped at him. Now it would be even harder to kill him if I had to. 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. "Hey!" "Christian?" I asked dumbfounded seeing him exiting my dorm." I threw my hands in the air in surrender. he is trying to get back what we had in his dark and twisted way. "What's wrong Rose?" He asked warily. It needed to be said!! I thought as guilt started to creep in me. But he had to understand that one day it might be too late and that he should enjoy being with Lissa while he could." I shook my head "and when I see two people that love each other so much" I said pointing at him. "Even him. Seeing you waste what I'm working so hard to get back!" And without another word I swirled around and rushed into the building. I could see in his eyes that he didn't expect me to go there. evil as he is. I hated to have snapped at Christian like that. Chapter 15: My phone beeped. That's what make me sick. you know how easily you can lose it and what do you guys do? Give up!! I…. eyes still closed. "Really??" He nodded again. "There is no need to deny it Chris I saw your mind remember. They were good people. "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 was walking back to my room still shaken by the little visit in Dimitri's mind." I nodded curtly." He said grinning.Both Oksana and Mark hugged me tight. . It was a bit awkward for me but it felt nice too. "You want to know what's wrong?" He nodded. I'm so mad at you two I could just scream! You see me fighting to have my love back. "It's not that---" "Don't say 'easy' because I swear I hurt you!" I said and I realized I meant it. "Hello…" I answered sleepily. "What are you doing here?" "I needed to ask you something but 'creepy shadow' told me you left for a while.
" I said in a low voice keeping my eyes locked on Sydney who was still sleeping soundly. "Dimitri…" I only repeated as I was scared to say too much and have him figure it all out. 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 looked at my phone for a while."I'm sorry to wake you up in the middle of the night Roza but I wanted to wish you good luck." I said trying to sound as nonchalant than I could. in your head…in your soul" he said huskily. "You told me that you would be there for me to support me during Gladiators' day. "That's right" he said and I could hear the smile in his voice." He continued as I kept quiet. willing or not. in that bed. I turned to lay on my back. I wish I could be beside you. The smile his Strigoi self bored most of the time… the one I hated to the core. 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. It was good I knew that." He said seriously. of course he was right! "But I presume you mean physically." "Then. "Do your best today." He said with his velvety voice and I could imagine his cold smile. It meant that Oksana could tamper with his brain enough to probably make him change the place he wanted to target his attack. "Where are you?" I asked even if I perfectly knew the answer." That little remark made me blush furiously. his barely hidden threats… That was hard to bear. but hearing his voice. "I'm not worried. "What did I tell you in the snow that day?" he invited me to continue. "I'll hurt anyone getting in our way. I wanted to know if he would play with me or if he was confident enough to tell me the truth. you're gifted in almost everything we tried together. looking at the ceiling trying to swallow back the tears because he was right. It worked!! I'll be damned! "Yes Roza it's me. you promised to never hurt me…" I whispered stupidly. "I'm too far from you Rose." "Dimitri…" I whispered as my eyes shot open. "I unfortunately can't be there with you but you need to know that you're in my mind… always. "Do you remember the snow angels?" "Of course I do." He said and even if the words were nice they still managed to sound like a threat. "Was that who I thought it was?" She asked calmly. "I'm with you in your heart. giving you what I know you are craving but I'll come eventually." "I--" "Sleep well Roza. "I'll see you Roza… Just so you know. I nodded. . you wouldn't want to put your mentor to shame would you?" He said teasingly." He said cutting me off and the line went dead. I always keep my promises. He chuckled. remember. I turned to put the phone back on my nightstand when I crossed Sydney's eyes fixed on me.
she wanted to come. "You need to be careful Rose" she said sighing heavily. she was probably trying to conceal her emotions." "Good. I hugged her tightly. I promise. You would never willingly risk you career and mine for something that trivial." "You better…or else" she said hugging me back fiercely. the odds are in our favor. "You can go home now" I said gently." She said trying to sound just very sure but her voice was huskier. She didn't want to let me go alone. "Do you really think I'll let you go there. it's just…" I took a deep breath. from now on. "Think again Rose!!" "I won't be in danger Ma" I said soothingly. "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. "You know about tomorrow…" I said trailing off. "I got it Rose I'm not that stupid!" She said somehow offended that I mentioned something that evident. My mom had been a lot harder to convince. Now win or lose…there were no turning back. meeting a deadly Strigoi while I stay here…safe at the Academy??" She shook her head angrily." 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. Oksana drank a full potion this time and made sure the memory was really well implanted in Dimitri's mind. Lissa probably did 'help' a bit there but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to ask." She said simply turning around to go back to sleep. "It will be dangerous…VERY dangerous" I said sitting on my own bed so we faced each other. "You have to understand that I can't lose you ok? I… I just can't allow that to happen…ever." I said shaking my head as remembering this intimate moment with my mother brought tears in my eyes. "With you there. "No I know you're not. Kirova didn't mind letting us leave for a week since there were no exams left or anything like that." "But it's different this time I won't be alone and…and Victor knows how serious you are about the rules." Said Sydney as I was getting ready for what could be my last day at the Academy. . it will be impossible to fool him. "I… Yeah. She was pretty poised so it made us all confident. "Earth to Rose."What does that mean Rose?" She asked with concerned. "It means that. "I'll come back mom." I said sincerely. She sighed. She knew I was right but it didn't mean she had to like the idea and I could see that she hated it. "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. "What about it?" She asked sitting on her bed.
She just smiled. I'm just trying to protect you Syd. dangerous or not. I quickly stopped by the Moroi dorm and took Christian over to Lissa's room in order to say goodbye to them. "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. They trusted my judgment but couldn't help being worried about what was about to happen. one hell of a compliment! Today we were all tense on different levels. He quickly glanced to Lissa to show me that he understood. 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. "Yeah but that's the point. and once you knew our little group enough.She looked at me silently for a minute and I could see anger and rejection in her face. "I see…" She said nodding. 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." She narrowed her eyes slightly with suspicion but relaxed almost immediately." I sighed in capitulation. She didn't want me to change my mind and send her away. The others would spend the night at the Academy. you could see what the main concerns were. you're my friend and I want to be there. "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. It was too late to do that anyways. "And you be safe ok? Nothing is worth you being . no matter what. and I quote. Abe's plane would be here tonight to pick me up along with Adrian and Eddie. "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. probably not really sleeping getting ready for their own plane very early in the morning to go to Lissa's cabin. I…" I sighed and went to sit beside her. I promise. Sydney was on board now. "Always" he said and I could hear the underlying emotion in his voice. 'kind of ok to hang around' which was. "But you'll have to stay hidden you know that right? Not with me but with the Moroi and other dhampirs. for Sydney." "It's reckless and stupid you know that right?" I asked more rhetorically than anything else. I could feel that Lissa was doing her best to fight back her tears. I sighed and rolled my eyes but didn't comment. "You take care ok?" I asked locking eyes with Christian for him to understand I meant 'you take care of her'. 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. 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. "Everything will be alright you know" I said with a sad smile. 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." She nodded "I know and it's all good. Mark and Oksana were. 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 was stubborn but I was no match to Sydney and I knew that. even if none of us worded our fears and doubts out loud.
I ran to the runway where my mom was waiting for me. I just hugged her burying my face into her chest. A real fighter! I couldn't have dreamed for a better daughter. I was probably more of a masochist than I even thought I was because I did miss him. Her face was grim and hard probably trying to keep her emotions in order. I kissed Lissa's forehead. I presumed it was the emotion that kept her from talking louder." I whispered stopping in front of her. "Hello?" "Come on! Hathaway where the hell are you?" barked Pavel. I would never leave Adrian or Eddie behind. . You are so brave and fearless. 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." I said as I exited the room. "Mom. giving my mother and I the couple of minutes we needed. I could see her eyes glint slightly. "I'll see you in two days." I said letting go of her." I smiled back and walked into the plane. She smiled at me and gently removed a strand of hair from my face." I said not able to conceal my smile. "I'm so proud of you Rose. "Come on Liss give me a---" My phoned beeped. "Just come back to me Rose… Whatever happens. we can work it out. 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. "I'll see you soon. "Don't forget what you told me Ivashkov" said my mother louder before Pavel could close the door. I…I love you guys. I could see Pavel in the shadow of the plane door but he didn't say anything. He just stood up hugging me fiercely. I frowned slightly with confusion but I knew I would find out eventually. "Please be careful. we have it all planned." I said taking her hand. she had tears in her eyes and it hurt me deep in my chest. I still had trouble to express my feelings but I decided to work on that later…if I had a later." She said barely louder than a whisper. I couldn't say anything. "We're ready and waiting!" "I'll be right over.hurt if anything…anything at all doesn't turn out right you just run as fast and as far as you can. "Never!" Said Adrian who was sitting in the back of the plane." he whispered to my ear. "It will be alright mom. everything that could have been said would have sounded all wrong and I knew that. Just be safe and come back. "I'll do my best" I whispered back kissing him soundly on the cheek.
"Miss Hathaway. I was ready to bet that he loved my teasing as much as I liked his. At this moment we heard the beeping sound releasing us and I almost jumped out of my seat. He was at least 7 feet tall and 360 lbs. "I'm sorry dude that sucks." I said snickering. "Hey Buddy!!" I said as cheerily as I could. A real killing machine! I detailed him. We're buddies now!" Pavel looked at me for a minute. he was probably sitting beside the pilot and that man was… that man was huge!! He was the biggest man I had ever seen. "I have to be ready don't I? And my name is Gavrilovich. My hand almost got lost in his enormous one. "That's shocking!" I said with fake surprise." he said with a small smile. "Wow…you're some piece of a man!" I exclaimed without even thinking. that you allow people to call you Gav or that you have friends. I decided to go sit beside him later." This wit made him smile even wider. He was so broad. Apparently he was not the kind of guy that you joked around with. "You are not going to beli---" He started but was cut off by Pavel. "My friends call me Gav. He was beautiful in a rough." He said formally. "Ready?" I asked. Pavel had a ghost of a smile playing on his lips but tried to keep his seriousness. mouth agape. "Gavrilovich?" He pursed his lips. I turned around just in time to see the man exiting the cockpit. "As ready as I can be. manly kind of way but he was scary. Nice to meet you" said Arch ignoring my comment. Eddie stood up too and I could see excitement in his eyes. I would have needed at least 3 Dimitri's to make one like him and my Dimitri was already broad shouldered."What took you so long?" Asked Pavel as I quickly sat down across from him as the plane took off. "What's your first name anyways I mean…'Pavel' is a bit impersonal. "It's nice to meet you too" I said as formal as he was. "We can't say you particularly took care of your appearance" he said pointing to my clothing." Adrian burst into laughter from the back. "Rose let me introduce you to Guardian Arch from the Secret Services." he said with a wink but he didn't fool me. "Well I don't know what is more shocking really. He had black hair and gray eyes with olive skin. I could see the apprehension in his face." "Really?" I grimaced. . Eddie snorted and tried to hide it with a cough. "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. "We can't all be naturally charming like you Papav.
"We still have a bit more than one hour flight Rose you could take a small nap. "We're going to be alright. "You seem tired. smelling his wooden aftershave. "What did you say to my mother?" I asked curiously." He added seeing I was about to argue. I squeezed his hand tightly after he intertwined our fingers. "Victor. "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 couldn't help the small yawn. I took a similar position and relaxed as we looked into each others' eyes. I needed the contact and hearing his quiet breathing." he repeated as a confirmation while tightening his arm around my shoulders as the plane started to descend. "Victor." He said nodding toward the back of the plane where Adrian was sitting. I didn't even realized I fell asleep when felt Adrian's hand gently brushing my cheek. "We're about to land" he said gently kissing my forehead." I nodded. I inched closer and rested my head on his shoulder." He whispered still keeping his eyes on mine. feeling his warmth made me feel safe. Adrian wrapped his right arm around my shoulders and rested his cheek on top of my head." I said as a joke but his serious nod led me to think that he didn't get it. I shrugged slightly. ." "Hello Rose" he said letting his head roll on his head rest so he was facing me." He said with a small smile. "Ummm?" I muttered still keeping my head on his shoulder. "That's all good." He added seriously." he said with concern. "Hi there. "Rose…Angel. "No time to discuss it. Chapter 16: "Ok here is the drill. "OK…." I said as my eyes shot open now wide awake. I turned around and grinned when Adrian winked at me.Well I'll catch you later" I said going to sit beside Adrian. "I know." He nodded and reached for my hand wordlessly. "Don't worry I'll sleep on my way to Norway."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." I said. "It's time to free the big bad wolf. "I'll tell you in due time. and without even thinking about it. I'm pretty sure I can remember that. wake up" he whispered against my forehead." Said Arch as we approached the prison discreetly.
Adrian put the first guard to sleep and forced the second one to open the door to the corridor where Victor was held. . "You go first" said Adrian barely louder than a whisper." I looked at him and smiled. Adrian and I as Pavel stayed in the plane waiting for us. I knew it was more like a temporary freedom but it was crazy nevertheless. while you get him" he added looking to Eddie. hidden. "How will--" I started but didn't bother finishing when he handed me a small ear piece. Victor eyes narrowed with suspicion. Arch nodded entering the small office looking at the screens. It still killed me to let him out. After talking with the guards for about 2 minutes Adrian gestured us forward. it was a real escape which was a good thing as it added to the pretends. I could see Adrian jaw muscles bulged but he didn't say anything. 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. "How could--" He started but stopped when he saw Adrian approaching with the guard. "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. "So… have you made up your mind?" He asked with a big smile. "Don't insult me with stupid questions" he said not even bothering to look at me anymore. "I'm here to get you out. We were not faking the urgency. "Rose you're back!" he said standing from the bed where he was lying. Adrian reached the guards at the entrance first as we stayed a couple of meters behind. "It's now or never. after you'd have done your voodoo crap to the guard" Arch said to Adrian. We didn't need to raise their suspicion. I pursed my lips and Adrian squeezed my hand to show me his support. As far as they were concerned. "They'll do everything you ask them to do" he said to Arch pointing to the guards sitting in complete daze. I knew he loved me but he was still here." I said through clenched teeth. "I'll keep an eye on the cameras. to save Dimitri even if it meant we wouldn't be together. "Hey! Being a 'super agent' is not a free pass for being an ass. "Lets go" said Adrian gripping my hand. I was sure people didn't snap at him that often. I stopped breathing with apprehension. "I'll stay by the main gates. I knew how much all of this cost him. He looked at me with what seemed to be approval. Do you copy that?" I snapped. every step of the way.Nobody at the Prison was aware of what we were about to do. I nodded and walked briskly to Victor's cell.
"He is a dhampir…You are one of them. but you know. "Yes… open the door" said the guard with a sleepy voice." I pursed my lips but didn't comment because it was true." "And I intend to keep my promise. 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. "What are you talking about?" I asked briskly. Now you are going to open this door" he said with a very calm voice." Said Adrian as the guard yawned and fell on the floor. I nodded grateful. "You are very tired…you are going to sleep now and when you wake up you'll see it clearly in your head. "That's good. I knew you were involved with the dhampir. He seemed to like what he was seeing." He looked at Adrian who was looking at him with sharp eyes." "You gave me your word" I said cutting them off. "And where are we going?" Asked Victor as we exited the corridor. "Sleep now.. "And I'm probably the only one. Victor only told me the truth." He added pointing to Adrian "So what?" Asked Adrian." He said literally marveling." "It was 3 Moroi" repeated the guard. The guard opened the door and as soon as Victor walked into the corridor he burst into laugher. "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. "Yeah well… it was not enough" I simply said. "Who would have thought the rumors were real?" Said Victor shaking his head. "It was 3 men who attacked you. 3 Moroi in their 40's. good or bad. "When I was at the Court awaiting my trial I heard rumors.Adrian locked eyes with the guard. "To Norway" "So you figured it out?" He asked somehow impressed. "You said you'd help me.. a Spirit user. Rumors that the nephew of the Queen got involved with my favorite rebel. I kept my eyes on Victor whose eyes widen with understanding. "Maybe it was" he said evasively concentrating on Adrian who was working on the guard. "Awesome!" said Eddie still not as used as I was to see compulsion. Adrian ignored him." Said Adrian with an hypnotic voice. I NEVER lied to you" he said locking his jade eyes with mine. "Nothing…I just find that rather ummm amusing. Every time I asked him something he told me what he believed was true. "Well at least it was true as far as YOU are concerned. .
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. "I'll tell you in the plane we really need to go now" I said dismissively keeping my eyes on Adrian. I was behind them. Victor was following us with a little smile on his lips. "Be careful" whispered Adrian in my hair." Victor walked beside Arch to the plane. Yeah they should make it before sunset. just in case. "I go with Eddie and I'll met you there" he said to me. "He has to… he is one of Abe Mazur guardian and an order is an order. "Meet you where?" Asked Victor curiously. Eddie was closing the cortege. Adrian worked on the guards in the entrance compelling them to believe the same description of the attackers than the guards inside the prison. "Same to you. "Please move. "If that's not love" said Victor with a small laugh. but I was not idiotic enough to trust him blindly either. "Oh joy! Your number one fan is here too." "Abe Mazur again" Said Victor trailing off." "I'll see you soon" I replied. be safe" I said reluctantly getting out of his embrace but I didn't want Pavel to burst a vein." Arch pursed his lips and nodded. I did believe that Victor was really going to help me.Adrian winked at him and grabbed my hand. We rushed to the runway where the plane was waiting. I had a foot on the first step when I felt someone pulling me back hugging me tight. "Hathaway!" Barked Pavel from the plane making me laugh. "Ok lets meet Arch. "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. "It's your job remember. I knew they would just take the car and drive to the Dragomir Cabin which should take about 9 hours. Pavel probably did see us coming. "I'll tell you everything in the plane" I said more or less sincere. I could see he was thinking. I hated myself for not reciprocating. "But I'm your Guardian I'm--" "Yeah you have to do as I say!" Snapped Adrian. the motors of the planes started to roam. I walked into the plane without a look back." He said pulling me away." Said Victor with incredulity. "I love you Rose. whatever his ulterior motive was. "You're going to go with them" said Adrian coldly to Arch. As soon as we reached it. and right at this instant. .
"Of course!! It's so evident!! But I would have never thought that Janine Hathaway could…" he stop shaking his head still laughing. "Well what is it then? Tell me Rose. my ability to bend the fine line between right and wrong as long as it meet my interest. Pavel sat across from us probably to show Victor that he would be listening. "Well at first I thought he contacted me as a freebee. come sit here" said Victor with an inviting tone but I knew I didn't have much choice."Please Rose." "What do you think?" I asked coldly. "But now…now it's different. "Well I know you are going to be an exceptional guardian but you are clearly not worth that much…no offence." "You knew I would try" I said with a bitter smile." "How is that---" my eyes widened with understanding as Pavel jaw locked with anger. "You just never thought I would succeed. He is far from being honest but Abe Mazur going into a criminal venture for someone else? Not likely. Tell me now…Who does all that recall you of?" Victor looked at me quizzically for a minute or two before bursting into laugher. Then." Said Victor scrutinizing my face." I pursed my lips but kept my mouth shut. You and I both I thought but kept this remark to myself. 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." Said Victor with a slight shrug." I said locking eyes with him "Look at my hair." "Non taken" I said quickly glancing at Pavel who was doing his best not to smile. my eyes…my skin tone. "So I can't help to wonder what on earth did you promise him or gave him for him to do that. "So Dear Rose." I smile slightly "my attitude that you described as. I knew Victor well enough to know he was playing me. "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. "You know for you to trust him. "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. "Look at me Victor…really look at me. what do you have on Ibrahim Mazur?" I shot a glance at Pavel who just shrugged probably meaning it was my call. if I remember correctly. Victor quickly glanced at him with a smile playing in his lips." "Possible" he said with a glint of humor in his eyes. 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. when you came to visit. "So you are his heiress? That's…something. Pavel took his glasses off and shot me a warning 'be-careful' glance." .
"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. Norway. except the hour I slept on Adrian's shoulder it had been more than 24 hours since I slept."I'm proud of being his daughter" I said defensively." He cocked his head to the side. Robert Duros brain was fried and Victor was the only one able to interpret it." "I--" He raised his hand to shush me. . "Even if he is probably barely more intelligent than a plankton. "So we're going to Norway? Where exactly??" "That's what you are supposed to tell me." I just nodded. "I knew you needed me. It actually took all my will power not to smack his smile away. Once we'll get there there is a park called Breiavatnet where there is a statue of Kielland in the center. "By the way the monastery is called St Vladimir" he added with humor. "And what next?" He chuckled. "Give me a break" I snapped. I couldn't help but yawn. "And I gave you all the answers Rose… Know that much. "Next well there is a street parallel to the park where you can find a monastery. no matter what." 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. "No it's true. I said not able to conceal the anger in my voice as well as I wanted to. I closed my eyes and decided to pay a little visit to Lissa in order change my mind a little. "So why?" "Why what?" "Why did you tell me that if it was that evident?" I asked challenging him. "As long as it's fine by you it's fine by me. "I gave you the 'Alexander Kielland' part and actually it's all you needed to know." I couldn't help but smile. It would like he is talking a different language and I'm the only translator around. He smiled "Because I knew that even if you did manage to find him it would be useless. it's not like I can go anywhere" said Victor matter of factly gesturing to our surrounding." Said Victor crossing his legs." My eyes narrowed with suspicion did he really mean that? Was it really THAT simple. "We're going to Stavanger" he said still smiling. "You better sleep for a little while Rose. Adrian was right then. You knew your hint wouldn't be enough to lead me to your brother"." Pavel stood up to go to the cockpit probably to tell them where we were going. Alexander Kielland was born in Stavanger. head high. She was making the bed in one of the main bedroom in the cabin.
She was not questioning our friendship anymore. "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. closed the distance between their faces. "Lissa you can fool them but you can't fool me. She loved the contact. because he pitied her. 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." I felt like a knife plucking deep into my chest. "I mean we are the best of the best here with all our powers overly enhanced. "I'll be here with you. I think she is waiting for the first chance to send you back to the academy. their noses almost touching that she could feel his warm breath caressing her face. Eddie and Adrian are on their way…The house will be ready for the Strigoi. . All that only to try to save Dimitri. I was so selfish but the problem was that I just didn't feel bad enough to stop it all. because lets face it. "Yeah we even have more help than we asked for. Rose is on her way to Norway. and if there was only the slimmest chance for that state to be reversed. I know Rose will be more than happy not to have you involved in all that." he said before crashing his lips on hers. "No my problem is… facing him again" she said and I could see Victor clearly in her mind. "No that's not the problem" she said confidently." "I know it's just…I'm not sure I can do it. Christian trapped Lissa's face in his hands. Christian went to sit beside her taking her hand in his." Said Christian chuckling. We can work it out. "I'm worried" she said looking down." "You bet!!" Christian ran his hand through his hair. all of it." He said nicely.if someone I loved was Strigoi. "Oh…" Apparently Christian was not expecting that." She didn't want to show her weaknesses to him. and without breaking eye contact. she was craving for his touch but she thought that he didn't love her anymore…what a fool! "Adrian phoned." She said looking up to meet his eyes. "I know you way better than that. Christian closed the door and leaned on it. Lissa sighed and sat on the freshly made bed." "Look at you all bad ass. I would do exactly the same thing but…but I'm just terrified. I don't want Rose to feel bad for bringing him into our lives again. everything went according to plan. She didn't want him to be near her because he felt bad for her. I'm not scared about that. you will be safe because…because I love you and probably always will. I was making Lissa face the person she hated the most. "I doing fine." Lissa couldn't help her little smile. Lissa shrugged dismissively. He didn't kiss her but he was so closed. "It's all good. Are you ok?" He repeated again. She realized I was mainly an overprotective best friend. "I want to be strong. if the situation were reversed if yo-."Are you ok?" Asked Christian leaning against the doorframe.
"I was about to wake you" said Pavel. I just got dressed when Pavel knocked at my door. I realized that we crossed more steps now. After months and months of speculations. I groaned. It seemed I was barely asleep when the alarm clock beeped. "Where are Victor and GI Joe?" . since nobody replied." He said evasively. Victor shared a room with Arch and Pavel and I got to sleep in a room by myself." he barked. sleeping is an overstatement as I spend most of the night staring at the ceiling. When it's done. "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. Things were starting to get back to the way they were supposed to be. "Where are we?" I asked the voice still full of sleep. I started to imagine how things would happen from now on. in three days I would be face to face with Dimitri. 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. it wasn't the case. and it will all end then. 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. Maybe I would get mine too I thought before falling asleep. The golden couple was finally back together having their happy ending. 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. Based on Andre calculation. "We should land in about 30 minutes. I felt better after phoning Lissa at the cabin and she announced that Eddie and Adrian made it back safely. As I started to nibble on the crackers I found." "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. I was probably dreaming about him but that was just…strange." He pointed to the back of the plane. It was like my eyes lids weighted 200 pounds. "Promiscuity is never good. if I make it.' "Whatever…" I said stupidly hurt. Adrian? Is that you? I thought feeling idiotic but with everything that was going on maybe telepathy was possible but no. "I bet you can find something to eat in there. Well. 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. I looked around but only saw Victor reading a magazine and Pavel who was keeping a sharp eye on him. I felt like a kid who wanted to make friends with someone who didn't want to. trying to open my eyes.I smiled settling more comfortably on my seat. I looked around. "Hathaway time to go. It couldn't…wouldn't fail. I was replaying the plan in my head over and over again. Rose Angel wake up I heard Adrian call me and my eyes shot up with surprise.
Arch went to sit beside the pilot. grateful. 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." I nodded. kind…almost safe. He had blond shaggy hair. "I just couldn't handle that without at least a coffee in me. Arch." He said so seriously that I felt I had to reassure him. He nodded sadly before getting in the dark SUV with a chauffeur. To be honest. I knew he liked my witty self but he was not ready to admit it." I said with a small smile. The shower did half the job but I was sure that one or two big cups of strong. "Why?" Asked Robert looking at Victor. Wild Flower…Rose! I finally understood. had to stay in the main entrance while Pavel. black coffee would finish it. I didn't really know what I expected. I. He had the same jade eyes as Victor but the resemblance stopped there. Actually he looked like the sanest of all of us. It felt awkward and I had to go against all my instinct to not push him away.Pavel had a ghost of a smile. Well. When I met Robert I had a shock. be nice I repeated to myself awkwardly hugging him back. 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. as a woman. "Yeah it's her…It's Rose" said Victor with the nicest voice I ever heard of him. he is mentally unstable. All the way back to the airport Robert kept his eyes locked on me. that the monks graciously lent us. "I told them we'll be waiting in the lobby. Victor sat Robert beside him and I sat across from them. I started to suspect that he was not that hot for our company. 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 are the wild flower aren't you?" He asked me as he hugged me. You need him. and Victor went to pick up Robert. to go back to the plane. "You bet" he said gesturing me to the elevator." I nodded understanding how he was feeling. "Victor is having his…'breakfast' in the room" he said grimacing slightly. maybe a face that said 'beware I'm totally crazy' but it was the total contrary. was barely 40 and he seemed so nice. "I'll do my best. 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. . like he was trying to read my soul and it was making me very uncomfortable. We stocked the plane with 5 bags of blood for him and Robert. 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. Once in the plane.
"Yes. I looked at him quizzically. You need to put the light back in the dark one. Robert looked at Victor and. I nodded. I decided to ignore him. being Victor's brother was not making him an evil psycho. I quickly glanced at Victor." I nodded. too long in there and there will be no present and no future…your soul…will be lost." I said smiling to Robert." I said with the full force of my puppy eyes on him. as he is mentally connected to me. "The more healing hands the better. "You…really??" He asked apparently happily surprised. It was the place that Andre showed me in the plane." He specified for me. "I need your help. I could see that he was communicating with him. "She wants to bring the light back in a dark one. sometimes he doesn't realize that he is not wording his whole question but I get it fully. "You need to find your way through the darkness. it's someone I love. "Spirit users. with the way he looked at him.Why what? I thought but kept it shut. There was a blank in his sentence and I knew it. "You know what he is talking about don't you?" Asked Victor with his evil grin. . "I have some…3 to be exact." Said Victor looking at me." "Of course I do. "He wants to know if it's someone you loved?" Asked Victor." "What--" I tried confused." I muttered. I fidgeted on my seat he seemed to be reading me and I seriously didn't like that. "Is----loved?" Robert asked me. "3??" Said Victor literally marveling. I looked at him confused. that I should be nice with him." Said Robert nodding approvingly. "Well yeah." "You have healing hands?" He asked curiously." I threw a quick glance to Pavel as I was uncomfortable to talk with him so close. He looked at me through narrow eyes. "A pure soul has more chance to fight the shadows but even the toughest flower needs light to survive. "Maybe. "I need to go in the shadows? Why?" "It's where his light is." I shrugged dismissively.. "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. I knew only too well the black hole." Victor frowned as he seemed to read something in Roberts' head that confused him. I kept repeating myself that he was a nice guy.
"Uh…" said Victor and I'll be damned I saw a flash of worries in his eyes. "The land of dead…" Victor nodded. if I don't find the exit?" I asked trying to hide my fear and apprehension. "Fine" he said through clenched teeth." 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. "Your light will be in the darkness." He took a deep breath. I send my soul in so my body is in a sort of coma. He sighed. The more it will stay there. in fact I like that honesty." Said Victor coolly. in a strange and twisted way. It seemed like he didn't care what would happen to me and."You know about the hole…you need to go inside to---" Started Victor but I raised my hand to stop him. "I don't really think it's a good idea Hathaway. "I'm going to go in the soundproof cockpit to see where we are. . "But once she is in…she has to get out. "I need some privacy with them please. Robert gave me a sad smile. "And you can get in?" "The brave soul she has will have to" said Robert answering the question. "What if I have a guide?" I asked remembering how Andre pointed the entrance of the hole to me. "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." "So…what didn't you want mister 'big shot' to hear?" asked Victor with humor. I shrugged "I know it's dangerous. I mean…it's not like they can go anywhere" I added keeping my eyes on him to show I wouldn't back away. "The hole your brother talked about is the land of dead. "What?" He asked completely stunned taking off his glasses to lock eyes with me. "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. "I understand why you wanted him out" he said pointing to the seat where Pavel was before." I repeated as coolly as I could." I said as calmly as I could even if my heart was beating so hard in my chest it hurt." I said like it wasn't a big deal." "OK let me summarize. "Please. An eternity of wandering…that was an heavy price to pay." he said trying to sound detached but I could see that what he meant was. 'I will so kick your butt if you make me leave now' "I think it is." "What if I don't make it back. could you give us a moment?" I asked looking at Pavel. I didn't think I fooled him. "That's the general idea. the more it will turn dark till the day it won't even remember it wanted to get back. I could see it was one of his silent conversation and of course I didn't receive anything. You know--" he started and then stopped looking from Victor to me.
I want to see what happens way more than that. 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. When we stepped out of the plane. I was going to go and look for Dimitri's soul. Chapter 18: Once we landed I had made my decision. I was sure that woman could never go unnoticed in a crowd. Could I really do that? Risk wandering for eternity in the limbo.agree…. I never thought I had to risk my soul to save Dimitri's." I stayed silent for a little moment. Even if you two find the exit again he will most likely not be able to cross it once more. because anything else would have just been impossible for her to impersonate. I knew that Andre would go in with me. "Another spirit…a spirit that managed to get out of the limbs in the first place. He would help me make it back even if he couldn't." "I bet you do. 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. "Should I worry about that? Are you going to tell??" I asked trying to keep my cool. Victor sighed before concentrating on me." Said Robert somehow reluctantly. What if I have another spirit to guide me. as a dead soul. and as terrible and presumptuous as it sounded." said Victor with his evil smile. How he made it out in the first place is like a glitch in the 'door'. "I will have the guide. She was about my height. or something. There was no way I would've forgiven myself." "Why?" "Because. maybe mid thirties. we will most likely be locked in the limbo. "…impossible…." Here we go. I sighed then and the rest of the flight was in silence. That was a terrible choice to make.sure…stuck. "Is it possible to send the other soul back even if I'm stuck?" "It happened yes. there was a black sedan car parked a bit further down with a woman standing by the hood. I knew she was the other Secret service agent and boy."A guide?" Asked Victor and Robert simultaneously." "You don't want them to know how risky it is for you right? You're scared they'll stop you.. so nothing special about her on that level. a cop." Robert shook his head. If she ever infiltrated something she had to have done it as a guardian. with pale brown hair cut short like a pixie. "He said it would be impossible to convince a dead spirit to join you on your quest. chewing on my bottom lip.dead…. It was everything else! Her face ." I mumbled as Pavel came back. he knew that I was an important part of Lissa's well-being and happiness. "Another question though…" I said quickly glancing at the cockpit door behind me to be sure Pavel was not back. I felt bad to feel annoyance as it was not Robert's fault. did she made it obvious. He wanted Lissa to be happy and safe. They were both surprised and I guessed it took a lot to surprise crazy Rob." I said with certainty. the half conversation yet again! I thought slightly annoyed. She wasn't old. After everything my friends sacrificed and risked. not really dead but certainly not alive. I couldn't just turn away at the last moment and I had to ask myself: Could I ever live with myself. "My lips are sealed Rose. "You are far too brave for your own good.
wrapping an arm around my shoulders." said Victor as we reached the car." Said my father approaching me. if you fail. I won't budge anyway. the Dragomir cabin. with the way you are living your life…" he shook his head. probably to arrange every aspect of the security." I simply said. "Like you care!" I said. I felt like she no longer expected anything good out of the human race. "The more the better. apparently named Smith. no! You can't be here! You have to go!" I said taking a step back bumping on Pavel's chest. "You probably won't reach her age anyways. "No!" I gasped. because I know you well enough to know that. shaking my head in defeat. "No. "Ahhh. walking me toward the main room. He said that he would gesture to us to come down when we were ready to go. "I bet you did. "Like father like daughter." I snorted. getting in the car beside him. Arch and the woman." I muttered. "Calm down Rose. you'll keep fighting the impossible till you fall in the heart of a battle." he said with a wide smile. "And look at the bright side. As soon as I walked in the kitchen I froze on the spot." "I---" I gave him my best death glare. "But did you really think I would let you risk your life without being here?" He asked rhetorically." I took a deep breath and took the bait like he knew I would. took Victor and Robert in the main room." He smiled and rested his hands on my shoulders. . I stayed silent. and I was relieved when Arch gestured us down. still not looking at him. no. "It's a state of mind Rose. "THAT was a low blow." It's not that dangerous remember? You keep saying that you are all overly prepared. right?" "But baba I---" I started. "You…" I shook my head "you weren't supposed to be here. "For your sake. from the shadowy spot beside the door. "You don't think we're going to succeed do you?" Victor look down at me silently for a minute. stopping the possibility the discussion continuing. "Think again Kazim. It was as if she'd seen far too much. I missed this place. It's dangerous. Arch went down first to talk with her and I stood under the plane threshold looking down at them. I really hope we do." said Victor looking down at them." I sighed. When we arrived at the cabin. From her glance at me.was hard and her grey eyes were expressionless. you have to go. Victor may be an earth user but he had the very annoying ability to read me way too thoroughly. Pavel and I took the back entrance as I wanted some alone time with Lissa before she would have to face Victor. "We're all good and it's pointless for you to say anything." He said. and that fact alone made her seem invincible. you will never be like her. that it's safe. "Plus I brought my other two guardians" he said.
between the worlds. that her power would fail her somehow. With all these people." I said looking only at her. Lissa and Adrian. "The healing hands have to keep the dark one in the shadow. My Lissa was becoming tougher and it was a relief to figure that one out. I looked at her quizzically and she smiled." "But…how can we weaken a strigoi enough to do that?" Asked Oksana with concern. I related what Robert already told me in the plane concerning my need. two should be enough. but surprisingly. 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. I of course left out the whole 'I-might-not-make-it-back' part and Victor kept it his mouth shut. you're here now. "But that's going to kill him!" Gasped Lissa before I even got a chance to say it myself. "Three spirit users are more than enough. "What my brother means is that you have to weaken the strigoi in Belikov. the Strigoi in him won't be able to fight or reject the soul." I could feel panic coming from Lissa. she would probably heal and move on with time if I didn't get out of this one alive. In fact. that wasn't overshadowed by fear. I looked at him with horror. Christian shot me such a 'dude-what-the-fuck?!' look and I had to use all my will power to keep from laughing. Once the artificial life escape him you--" he said pointing at Oksana. . much less considerably weaken the Strigoi side of him" "We'll have to stake him. who held her hand tightly. It was lucky I remembered how much I needed him and that his mental health was not the best. The dark will be weak enough for the light to claim back its place. "You see that's why the spirit users are so important. "It's all going to be alright. so that when Rose comes back with the soul." I nodded smiling. "will have to maintain just a thread of life. But it didn't matter. Besides. He just looked at me with a mocking smile. because anyways as she was already in the living room. to go and retrieve Dimitri's soul from the 'Land of the dead'. When I walked in. He patted my knee from under the table.I followed him there. she was scared that she wouldn't be good enough. "I'm surrounded by all the people that love me and six killer guardians. "But that's exactly what we need. "I know we're going to make him wear some healing rings and stuff but it's barely enough to glitch his conscience." Lissa nodded and I could feel her relax slightly. as a shadow kissed dhampir. completely forgetting that I wanted to see Lissa. because I was one step away from telling him to take a picture because it would last longer. he's really not scary anymore." Said Adrian from beside me. there was almost no fear there. I felt her joy of having me back radiating through the bond. 'It's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be' she said directly in my mind." Said Victor looking at Adrian approvingly. Lissa was sitting between Adrian and Christian. Even if one power breaks. After that we all went in the dining room and sat around the big oak table as the six guardians stood against the wall." Said Robert keeping his eyes on me only.
who'd stayed silent till now." . "I know you have a potion that helps the spirit to leave its body. "Don't need to get worked up." I pursed my lips but didn't reply because it was true. Victor just smiled. As soon as they were out I concentrated on Christian again. it would help Rose travel faster. he didn't seem offended by Christian. shaking his head to gesture Robert to follow him. I think my father IS the only person who could actually manage to wipe the smug/cocky smile from Christian's face." "How do--" "How I know things is irrelevant. "So what did you decide while I was away?" I asked looking at Lissa "apparently the plan has… evolved. I know a lot." she said in defeat. am I right?" "Can you blame me?" Asked Christian coolly." said Victor raising his hands in surrender. "Thank you. "Yeah I can do that if it can help." I said trying to sound serious although I couldn't help but smile. "That's enough!" my father snapped." "Yeah without a ward…" Abe shook his head "no guardian could have bought it and Strigoi or not Belikov used to be one. Everyone looked up at him apprehensively. "You don't really need to hear the fighting strategy. "Why are you in such an hurry little fire user? But yes. "So what?!" Snapped Sydney. diverting the conversation for the whole. 'we need to kill Dimitri to give him his life back' chat." "Are we done here? At least as far as you are concerned?" Asked Christian pointing from Robert to Victor." "Very mature. "Two guardians for me alone?? I'm so blessed. now we need to wait for the practice. "Nah nothing changed we just had an…addition" Said Adrian from beside me. 007 what's the big secret?" Christian chuckled and stuck his tongue out. "You should make one. "It was no secret." he shrugged. At lease in theory. and I don't really care about your tactics little boy. you want to get rid of the traitor while you are going over your strategy one more time." When Victor stood up both Arch and Smith took a step forward. "Ask Rose. keeping his hold on Lissa's hand." He said raising his hand stopping Sydney in midsentence. I just never tell how I know." he said. I just wanted to annoy him. "It's alright. Sydney looked at me." "We need to speak offensive now and since you guys will be in the safe room with the spirit users and three guardians."We decided to put a weak ward around the cabin." Victor chuckled "Oooo I see." said Victor." Victor pointed at me. we're done as far as the healing is concerned. Robert is hungry and tired anyways. "So."I still can't believe you managed to get a little alchemist into your rank Rose…I'm impressed. Only the end result matters to me." I added locking eyes with my father.
No one would ever expect a Moroi to be waiting first line. I wanted to tease him. I couldn't believe that none of us thought about the ward before. now grateful that my father was there. She knew he was almost unbeatable as the Strigoi wouldn't except that much power. 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. the secret I was hiding… Everything! We all decided to go to bed early but I kept staring at the ceiling rethinking the plan. "Well the four Strigoi are going to be a piece of cake for you. "Are you really sure? You…you know that you won't come back afterward. she just loved him so much . He informed me that Dimitri was on his way and he only had three other Strigoi with him. except for Dimitri. "Oh and believe me or not but you can totally call me 'captain awesome'" Said Christian with a wide grin. the Strigoi would be attuned to my sent only…how charming!. I guessed the answer was Rose Hathaway. Will you guide me through the limbo? " I asked him uncomfortably knowing it was like a death sentence.I nodded. He nodded. 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 presence of the most famous Moroi traitor. We had the element of surprise. but really. "I took only half a potion and I managed to completely burn three dummies at more than 150 yards!" He said literally beaming. Every Moroi except Christian would be in the safe room with the two secret agents and one of Abe's guardians. The evening was pretty tense for obvious reasons. Andre showed up as soon as I called him. I remembered Sydney asking me who would be idiotic enough to want to wear that." I know he mouthed then he just shrugged and disappeared. although they would still be alert. For position I had to fake the surveillance of the back balcony while wearing the 'Attractstrigoi' potion. "You're one of the best option for me to find my way back to this world. the risky mission we'd face in less than a day. ." He said as a joke Lissa smiled to that but I could feel the uneasiness to that statement. good or bad. Once we were all set I went outside to have a little word with Andre. "And why is that?" I asked teasing. Once I face Dimitri. imagining how my face to face with Dimitri would turn out. Yeah. I was positive he would help me to get to the other side. Pavel and Eddie would do some fake rounds. to tell him it wasn't that impressive." "Yep…. Christian was now the deadliest weapon against Strigoi around.First line Ozera. The rest of the plan remained mostly unchanged. 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. but she couldn't help it. it was so impressive.
"You know how much I like pleasing you. I was sure that a little moment in the fresh air of an early morning in the Dakota mountains would help me sleep. I sighed. "Well I expect things to go smoothly but we never know right? If something. Rose. How could I. even…" he looked at me through narrowed eyes. "I'm hiding something but it's not that important. getting more and more intrigued. "Are you ok. which made him both beautiful and vulnerable. The planes are heavily warded and you'll be safe there. I realized… I realized that I couldn't bear the thought of him being hurt." . "Even if I know you are hiding something from us. She asked me if it was really safe enough for you. because she knew I wouldn't lie. I was glad that I was the only one worried enough to stay awake. your mom came to see me just before we left. but I guess that's the only thing I can't promise. "And I need you to stay alive. Adrian chuckled. "Do you remember when we left the Academy. "Run to the plane without looking back. wrapping myself tightly into the blanket." I said not able to hide the urgency in my voice." I suddenly said with urgency. "I think the time has come. "Can't sleep?" Asked a husky voice from the threshold. "Everything will be just fine. He was still sleeping. I walked quietly to the back balcony and sat on the wooden bench watching the sun finish raising through the high trees. Rose?" "As okay as I can be." He said with concern." "I'm all ears." "I---Please?" I tried. I gave up trying to sleep. "Anything. knowing that I would face Dimitri tonight? I looked at Sydney who was snoring soundly. I turned my head and smiled to a sleepy Adrian." He said almost immediately." I said truthfully with a small smile. "I want you to promise me something Adrian. anything at all goes wrong. I want you to run." "Awww. Adrian was not a fool and I wouldn't insult him by lying. "You asked me what she was talking about and I told you that I would tell you in due time. "I could ask you the same question. Rose." I said stubbornly." I nodded." "It's not really my safety I'm worried about." I said crossing my hands on my lap.After about 2 hours." I nodded and looked back at the trees' shadows." he smiled at me but he stayed against the banister. your mother told me not to forget something?" "Yeah…" I said warily." He shrugged slightly and came to stand across from me resting against the banister." "I need you to be safe. Your aura's told me that much. "You see. I swear you guys are safe. protected from the sun by the balcony shade .
"I saw you with him." "I love you. "I think I loved you since the moment I saw you." I stood up and walked to meet him. He was touching on the thing I was feeling the worst about. "Well. It was far from being Rose worthy. I raised my hand to his cheek and he leaned into my touch." I said in his ear fiercely. cocky much!?" He shook his head. . "You know. If he loved him that much…why would he help me get someone else? "Why?" I was brave enough to ask. I just never thought he loved me to THAT point." he whispered against my lips. "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. especially when I was ready to die for another man. "I just want you to know that whether it works or not. I would have thought you could love me but…" he shook his head." He looked at me with so much tenderness that my heart tightened in my chest." I looked up at him. I realized you need someone to fight for you and I know that I love you more than you love yourself. and since you came back the pink has increased. Adrian captured my hand and leaned down to give me a chaste kiss." I had to laugh." I blurted out and right at that instant I knew it was true. I thought he would value his survival over mine and I didn't blame him for that. I pray every night hoping that things will work out and that you get Dimitri's soul back. He let go and turned to walk back in." He continued before I could comment that I was still loved Dimitri with all my heart and soul. mouth agape." He took a deep breath and I could tell what he was going to say next hurt him deeply. "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. "It was full force red…I actually never saw an aura like that not even with Lissa and Christian. whatever will happen from now on. "Your aura…has plenty of pinkish spots when you are with me. and I could hear that it was to hide his embarrassment. Adrian stayed quiet for a minute and gave me a sad smile. but—" he chuckled. "I told her that you were safe enough. then I am too. "And just so you know. I was confused. "In any other circumstances I would have taken that love. but I never thought it was to the point of risking his own life for me.I bit my bottom lip so hard I could taste blood in my mouth. I knew Adrian loved me. But of course it was not enough…far from being enough. I knew that the feelings you may have for me are irrelevant even if it is love. I love you enough that if you are happy. His words had made me happy yet sad at the same time." I could see the utter sincerity in his eyes." "But I know it's not enough. "Because I love you enough to want your happiness over my own. you'll always have a very special place in my heart and that I do love you. This love is… after seeing that. and I didn't want him to see that I was on the verge of tears. He turned back to face me just before reaching the threshold. I saw your aura. he'd proved it to me over and over again. "Not enough?" I tried. "Rose…" he whispered closing his eyes. "I know you do.
" I said." I didn't know what to say and just did my best to fight the tears. trying to sound relaxed but I could see from the way he stood that he was stressed. But Adrian…Adrian was a different story." "Yeah well---" "Rose it's time. "I'll be right over. Adrian had been the hardest to convince." he said. just to be sure THAT we were ready for Dimitri when he came to attack…or to take me away. Lissa needs you… I need you. Adrian. I nodded." I said. right on the balcony. "Oh really? I didn't know you were smelling me."You know what we talked about yesterday don't you?" "Of course! How could I forget when you said that--" ." I said with a smile before letting go of him. sitting stubbornly on the kitchen chair." I intertwined our fingers and looked into his intense emerald eyes. it was worth it. "That's nice info Miss Hathaway. Believe me." Said Pavel. "You be careful Rose. or would he take me away again and lock me up in order to taunt me more? I sighed and stroked my stake idly. "I'm not going anywhere! I said to your mother I would help to keep you safe. playfully punching his shoulder." He said. Rose. It's just. 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." He shrugged "It's as simple as that. ok? No kamikaze trick. "Always. "Same to you fire boy. I chuckled. sniffing my neck. They all went in the room more or less happily to finish setting everything up for the reversion and Dimitri's captivity.And I know that he is what you need…what you want. "Wow girl you stink!" Christian said. I know you are brave enough." He wiggled his eyebrows." He grimaced. "I know that. Would he want to change here. "Goodnight…" I whispered back. Chapter 19: We all set up the alarm for an hour before sunset." he whispered before walking quietly back in the house. It had a sickening sweet scent. hugging me tight. "Good night. pulling him into a hug. "Well it's a nice change…Usually you are the stinky one. I put some 'attract strigoi' potion on my neck. I'd decided to take the one Dimitri sent to me at the Academy." I said before pulling Christian into a bear hug. I sighed and took his hand to help him up. "That's not very reassuring. but if it could drive Dimitri directly to me.
"Whatever happens. cutting him off." Adrian frowned suspiciously. . shaking my head." I said." Adrian groaned and grimaced. thinking that he would've been an awesome friend if he'd just remove the stick in his ass. Maybe we were alone in the kitchen but the house was full of Moroi and dhampirs so…super hearing all around. I let my eyes roam on the dark forest around me. He would know I was waiting for him and be even more weary. the tenderness. I could see he didn't like where I was going because he knew I was right. "Ok."Good. If Dimitri picked up on my heart rate it would be a disaster. Calm down Rose…Just breathe. I watched his retreating form. "It's not a game." I replied. But thanks. I lose in some ways. out of harm's way." I said darkly. gripping the banister." I hear a voice breathe in my ear. The human look back in his eyes." I pulled him toward the safe room where the others were already setting things up. "Anytime. Here we go. 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. After a little moment I saw a blinding light coming from a tree on my left. bringing me back to reality." I replied. "I love you. 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. "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. tightened my hair into a high ponytail and went to wait on the rear deck. "You win. I hid my stake under my hoodie." "Do you need help thinking?" He asked." I said. "Roza." he said." I whispered to myself." I took a deep breath and squeezed his hand. My heart was going a thousand miles an hour and I fought to breath normally so I could regulate it. the love…Soon after. forcing a smile. my heart slowed down. "It's ok…it's all thought out. "And do you think I would let you get hurt even a little?" "I guess not." he whispered as he went into the room." he said grudgingly. "And you also know that I would risk myself to keep you safe. "Alright. squeezing his hand once more. "Me too." he said with a sharp nod before leaving the room. I took deep breaths and forced myself to think of those moments right after we would bring Dimitri back. "Uh? Yeah. Christian is fighting.I thought. trying to sound lighthearted but I could see the honest concern in his eyes. "I was just…thinking. I kept repeating to myself. I could hear the caution in his voice.
again playing with the ring I was wearing on my other thumb. "Because I love you. still dazed that he made it to me so fast. Just that he wanted me. and he'd said that he wanted me." "Yeah… " I said.I whirled around. honestly confused. I had to move along now." His smile grew wider. "Always have. don't you?" "I know. "You know." he said. The others were waiting in the room and I just hoped they wouldn't get impatient and start moving around. looking down at my hand. "You know you don't like me when I'm mad. don't you dare ignore me! Don't get me mad!" He took the ring from me violently. I had to move now. I knew Dimitri would hate the distraction. The healing was working. remember? For us to be together. "I…" I kept looking down. doing my best to hide my smile. so close I could feel his breath on my face. "Come on. his cold gaze and heartless smile sending shivers down my spine." He said. "What I--" I froze as I remembered now." He said. and nothing more. "That's what you always wanted. cheer up. "Would you just stop doing that?!" He growled. coldly sliding the ring on him index. trying to keep my voice from shaking. placing his icy cold fingers to my chin. "I can't kill you Roza. I looked down. Dimitri placed my stake on his belt. I heard Pavel shout something but he was too far for me to make out his words. I took off the healing ring I was wearing on my thumb and pretended to play with it. "W-why do you want me to join you?" I asked to humor him. taking my other ring and sliding it onto the forefinger of his other hand." I said. "How I made my way back to you is not important. "You wouldn't want your friends to worry and come out right?" He shook his head. I didn't even have to fake my surprise. "So kill me. along with a hint of confusion. showing me two fingers." I whispered. I couldn't believe he's managed to get to me so quickly and silently." He brought his hand to my cheek and gently brushed my cheekbone with the pad of his thumb. I had asked him why he'd wanted me to join him. "Shush Roza. my stake lying at the ground at his feet." . "Good. "You don't deserve much more! You staked me…Twice!" He said." "Ask you what?" I asked. "What you asked me on the bridge. "I changed my mind so many times. Dimitri stood before me." He chuckled. Roza. "Ask me again. Seeing the ring of red around his irises made me sick. Should I just kill you? I mean--" he kissed my lips forcefully." he said. I shuddered at his touch as he slowly lifted my face to look up into his eyes. I thought I could see the light flickering in his eyes. Roza! We're finally reunited!" He walked closer to me. but I tried to keep my emotions in check and my expression blank." He said. His smile was warmer now. "Dimitri how--It's---" I looked around. but he didn't seem to realize that it was coming from the rings. a gasp escaping my lips. always will." You know I wouldn't mind killing them. on my way here I was still unsure of what I should do with you. "I'm talking Roza.
" "Okay?!" He asked. "I won't hurt them. plunged his stake hard into Dimitri's chest. but a bigger part of me loved you and I know that I won't be able to get rid of that part. "Nobody will get hurt. piercing the skin with one fang before sucking slowly the small amount of blood. but it was exactly what I was hoping for. I'm coming with you." I said. "Why?…" He whispered crashing as he fell to the floor but Pavel caught him before he completely crumbled. he bit my bottom lip. I could see so many emotions in his eyes beside the life escaping him. As soon as we walked in." I said. I dodged as Pavel. . As long as they don't try to stop me. "You love me…That's all I need and…" I sighed. surprised. fear and the most painful…love." I said. 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. " "I'm not letting you out of my sight Rose. "Open the door!" I shouted. Think Rose think! I thought. Once he could feel I was breathless. Pain.) but I'm not an idiot. going to Dimitri's left side to help Pavel drag him into the room. anger. "I'm tired of fighting you because. I just couldn't. I mean . "I missed your blood Roza. "I'll join you but… but not here. it tastes just…" he sighed with content. trying to look worried. pointing to the door. keeping my eyes on his because it was the truth and I knew it was the only thing that could convince him. "It's just like heaven. 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. his hand resting on Roberts' shoulder." he said." "Ok…" I said. As soon as I crossed the door from the kitchen to the living room. "As much as I tried hating you. I came here to claim what's mine. I had to remind myself I was doing what was best for him. for us. who was as fast as lightening." "Let me just say goodbye to Lissa. and that's you. I will love you forever Dimitri. squeezing my hand." he shrugged.yeah a part of me hated you. "Okay then. Arch took over for me and helped Pavel set Dimitri down in the cot. taking his hand and intertwining our fingers. Dimitri gasped and let go of my hand. and I'm still a dhampir for now so I don't want to take the risk and end up hurting them. Dimitri's eyes narrowed in suspicion. I did my best to kiss him back just as fiercely." "Why would you join me after… after refusing for so long?" He asked." "But…" I started. "Leave the stake. "I'll be out in a minute.I nodded." said Victor. I told you already. "I…I can't risk my friends. I trust you(. "I have no quarrel with them. I promise you. betrayal. allowing me to turn around. I kept my grip on his hand as I pulled him silently in the house with me. who was leaning against the far wall." I brought his hand to my lips and kissed it. Strigoi or not. trying to sound wary. still suspicious.
Andre pointed to a point behind me and when I turned I saw myself! Or. trying to reassure her…well everyone actually. "She can't hear you. Chapter 20: "That's…" I looked around and it was like a parallel world except that everything was in shades of grey. "Yeah…" I said. I growled with exasperation. Sherlock. I'll help you make it back. extending his hand toward me. "Yeah… I'm not done here. At this instant. materializing with the black hole. Andre appeared. "Here. I sat on the chair and drank the potion in one gulp." he said." Andre said loud and clear. I looked like crap. wincing as the fluid burned down my throat." he said from behind me. "It'll be alright. myself included." I said to Sydney. "I'm a spirit!" "No shit. looking around. Well. "Syd! I'm talking to you!" Still." "Same goes to you. let's go" he said. So many layers of dust in the air that you could not even see the sun anymore. but kept looking at the healing team working on Dimitri. It was so odd to actually grip his hand. God help me! I thought as everything went black. It was like I would imagine the world after a nuclear attack. "Glad to have you back. "I'm here for you. trying to sound far more confident than I actually felt." he said hugging me before rushing beside Lissa. squeezing my hand reassuringly as the black hole sucked us in. I jumped from the chair. I almost forgot how his voice sounded like. "Your potion didn't work!" I shouted to Sydney. "Creepy?" Tried Andre taking my hand. "Come on. You and him both. surprised. the laws of the whole spirit thing were all getting screwed didn't really apply to us anymore." Said Andre. she didn't move. to feel his soft skin. "It's my call. and I could see that she handed me the potion with reluctance. He looked tired but unarmed. my body that my worried father was cradling. I guess since we were both spirits." I said. She didn't even turn around to look at me. at least. I shook my head. ."Christian?" I asked worriedly. "Holly shit!" I looked at my hands. Holy shit. not able to conceal the sarcasm." I whispered to myself. I turned around and sighed with relief. "What?" I asked. I closed my eyes as the taste faded and opened my eyes to find that nothing had changed.
"After the accident I…I was lost. "Lost souls" said Andre sadly. it was me." I looked at him.I chuckled still looking around. "Well let's not take the chance anyways. After a while I realized that you probably made it. "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. not that I thought I had fooled him for even a minute." He said still keeping my hand in his and it felt good to have an ally here. we completed each other. "I don't really know but I think I would call it 'purgatory' I guess." "But we're not lights!" "Well that you know of. "Where are we?" Andre shrugged slightly." "Purgatory uh? And the lights… what are the lights?" I asked pointing to the weird looking stars flying around." "Don't worry I'm sure that when you'll find his soul you'll know it." "Uh…" I grunted. we still have time Rose. where would his soul be?" "I…" I looked around trying to think. I guess you can say that. We need to find his soul as soon as possible. Andre was right. "Don't panic. I said jadedly. I could read his heart as easily as he could read mine." He took a deep breath. It looked a lot like an abandoned city that would be shown in horror movies. "How…how do you know all that?!" He shrugged burying his free hand deep in his pocket. both of you." He said keeping his grip on my hand." "I guess…". "Just like us. where you see only what you want to." . in a world like that. It should take us in this part of that world. "Ok then close your eyes and visualize yourself there. I didn't know she survived so I started to look for her…and for you for what seemed like months. I… you're the one who knows him best. But how am I supposed to find Dimitri? They all look the same!" I almost shouted as the panic increased. An hour here…" he shrugged "it's merely minutes there. I looked for a way to exit this purgatory for months afterwards. "Point taken. that you were both alive. "You're the only one able to find it Rose." I said a bit harsher than I intended. if anyone could find his soul. I saw my parents once but I didn't see Lissa. "Well I can think about 2 or 3 places" I said unsure. "Spirits…Spirits only see what they want to see. "That's how I know time doesn't work the same because I thought I spent at least a year or two here. but it was a way to hide my fear." "So what I'm seeing is just an illusion?" I wondered gesturing around. who would ever want to see such a lame place?" I grimaced. but I couldn't move on until I was sure you would be ok. "I can't stay too long. "Ok. but when I came back to the 'real' world only a couple of months had past. Dimitri and I were very similar. As for the time well it goes a lot faster here than there.
"Siberia it is" said Andre squeezing my hand. you'll see each other. "It's ok" Andre chuckled 'believe me." "And yet here you are. I even saw Dimitri. I closed my eyes tightly and envisioned the Chapel. eyes wide. if you both want to see the same thing." "Dimitri…" I whispered. "Religious dude?" I smile sadly. "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." Said Andre securing his grip to my hand. "Very pretty sure?" He tried with a wink. ." Andre grimaced." "But is the chapel." He smile "Maybe I will be able to move on now. he found peace there. "After a while I just noticed that I couldn't. Trying to understand the mime was tiring. Now that he was a talking ghost I rather liked asking the questions. unstable." There and in my arms I added to myself." He shook his head. remembering where I was.. standing in front of the altar. "Well I couldn't move on before making sure that you guys handled it then…then I got worried as Lissa grew." I said truly impressed.In a chapel in the freaking Purgatory." I said closing my eyes and tightening my grip on Andre's hand. 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. on the back pews. "Well I was thinking about the Academy chapel first. "The ultimate help." "So every soul that is here has--" "Yeah something to accomplished or feel like it.. didn't want to leave. like. "Ok…close your eyes and visualize it. we were in the chapel. "Damn!" I shouted before pursing my lips. As I told you in that reality spirits only see what they want to see but I'm pretty sure that. "Anyways let's concentrate on the problem ahead. "No he is not really religious it's just…he liked to go there. When I opened my eyes." He sighed. Everything was in black and white but there were no spirit…no Dimitri at least. but seeing it in different shades of grey made it cold and impersonal…maybe that's what 'purgatory' was all about. When I opened my eyes this time. hearing his voice was like a vacation. Everything was there. I was in the middle of the small living room. "Where next?" "Baia…His mothers' house."But why didn't you move on?" I asked curiously. lets say. head down. real in that world?" Andre shrugged "I don't think so." " 'Pretty sure'?" I groaned.
"In his room. I walked up the narrow stairs trailing Andre behind and went straight to his old room. "Maybe he is in another room.I hoped to find Dimitri's spirit sitting on the sofa. It was annoying to admit it. "So you said 2 or 3 places. what's the third one?" I nodded. I don't know. making it harder and harder to find a way out. the more I'll start to blend in. When I opened my eyes and saw the gym empty. "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. "Rough life. Robert told me. "So…" "The gym. slightly crazy Rose that believed everything was possible once she set her mind?" Asked Andre sitting beside me. I envisioned it but this time I included the fighting session with Dimitri. but my soul was at stake here…I had the right to panic a bit." Andre stayed quiet." "For you maybe. the one when we shared our kiss. so much that it actually hurt me to see the sofa empty." I locked eyes with Andre and did my best to contain my tears." I said getting worried and scared at the same time. The first time I kissed him after the lust spell. It was all up to me now and I was also scared of being stuck in this place for the rest of eternity. "Please enlighten me. "I don't know where to find him now. I thought of the main places that he could be. "Yeah…" I whispered mostly to humor him because I was completely unconvinced by that." . St Vladimir.don't know." I shrugged slightly." "Maybe he is somewhere that means something to you both." I said closing my eyes. I was scared of failing so close to my goal. I sat on a bench with my head between my hands. his hand on my shoulder." "I…. "She grew up…and lost her illusions. the one that Viktoria had when I stayed in Baia." Andre said probably noticing the hurt on my face. "Well just try to focus on your next step. at the Academy in Siberia or--" "Maybe we don't take the problem from the right angle. "Hey hey!! What's this kind of talk? Where is the bubbly. I mean right now you are looking for places that meant something to him. the finish line is irrelevant for now. "Panic is not helping is it?" He asked rhetorically. "Rough year eh?" I snorted. the more I stayed in the spirits world." I mumbled. reading one of his mother's precious books. "He could be anywhere. he was right." "Oh yeah?" I snorted." I said defeated. "I'm getting low on options here." I took a deep breath and threw my hands up in defeat. "Dimitri?" I called and felt completely silly. "I'll never find him.
" The last time I saw you. "Roza?" He looked at me like I was an apparition which was rather ironic since I was a spirit." "We need to find his soul now!" I said taking Andre's hand. . what?" "I'll do it!" said Adrian "We'll have to stop soon. of our naked bodies tangled together." I added reaching for Andre's hand." "One of those old slums?!" Andre grimaced. and I saw you by the exit. "He is going to be shadow-kissed" Said Victor. It will drain you Adrian. Rose deserves it. "What happened?" He asked letting go of me and resting his hands on my shoulders. but you were nowhere to be found." "I…How do you know?" "Trust me. When I opened my eyes I let out a sigh of relief. "Are we…are we dead? Oh Rose. if it were you."Each time I heard people talk about you two it was like you were meant to be." I gasped as I saw him sitting on the bed. I was following you and I felt a sharp pain on my neck. So tell me Rose. "What do we do?!" Asked Oksana. his eyes boring into mine. "Dimitri's is dying. "Roza!" He shouted jumping from the bed and pulling me into a bear hug." "Oh shut it! I heard you did much worse esp--" "He is falling over the edge!" Lissa shouted. at least not yet." It had been 4 months since I lost him." I closed my eyes envisioning the cabin. "Now we're talking" Said Andre with a grin. even if we weren't together it was fine and…" he stopped dead looking at Andre. it had to be an eternity here. "What did you do?" "Well it's a bit more complicated but---" I took his hand. "No. but we need to move. "Do you hear that?" I asked jumping from my seat looking around. we were in the caves." his voice broke. "Not cool dude. I spent years and years looking for you my Roza. "So Rose…Where is it this wicked place would be?" "A Cabin… in the woods just behind the Academy. Since Lissa and I can't risk it. "we're not dead. it's not safe. "I wanted you to know that I loved you. like you knew each other better than anyone else. "Dimitri. "I don't care I have to do it. I think I passed out because…because I woke up I was here. Apparently even if we were in shades of grey he could notice a blush." Said Oksana apparently worried. 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.
Only you can find and materialize the exit' "Roza I--" "Shush." The closer we got. "It has to be here somewhere…Very close" I said stopping. "Well it better be fast I can't even think straight anymore. it's good a good sign. "I…don't know how much longer I'll be able to do it by myself. I…We'll talk later okay. "We probably won't see it. 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. You are special. He will have an aura again" Said Robert flatly. but still holding Dimitri's and Andre's hand. I knew it was not an illusion. I decided to follow the flow of voices. I could remember Victor translating Roberts' thoughts to me. you are linked to this place. where my body was. It was silly." "Your aura is all over the place" Said Lissa with worry in her voice. "Precious!" Said Adrian through clench teeth. almost at the road and the voices were so clear it was like they were beside me. "I know…" I whispered scrutinizing the place around me. Save his soul…it's in your hands.I pulled them out starting wander in the woods. I was still connected to them…to my body." Adrian's voice was strained. "Do you see anything?" "No nothing…why?" Asked Dimitri. "Well if you don't see it. you'll need to guide him in it. a huge and beautiful hole of light. the brighter the light became and there it was." I said trying to concentrate on the people on the other side. The exit "This way" I said jerking my head on the direction I was seeing the light. The dude was really out of it. I tried to visualize the faces of all the people I loved back with the living. We were almost at the end of the forest behind the Academy. I frowned seeing a faint light coming from our left. I need to find an exit." I shook my head and started to look for an exit even more frantically. . it had to be it. that was our best bet. "When the light reenters the body the healing hands will know. I'd never been closer to the truth. "I really don't know how much more you can take. I bet that to an outsider we looked like three little kids holding hands. There were no lights in this world. I said to myself and feeling his spirit hand in mine. I heard them before. I…It can be dangerous. 'You are part of the rare one who went to the land of the dead and made it back alive. "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." Said Andre squeezing my hand.
" I quickly looked up at Andre and couldn't help the little twinge of pain in my heart. For once. "I don't want to lose you again" he said in a breath. "I'll meet you there. I'll see you on the other side. lips pursed. "Roza are you ok?" "She is fine. "Wow he disappeared! That's awesome.It made sense." Dimitri looked at me. but after all I'm dead meat so…" Andre shrugged." "Sure?" Andre nodded. It means 'it's-okay-I-found-it' in exhausted Rose language." 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. "Can't you see it at all? Not even a tiny glitch of light I mean wow…it's literally blinding me. do as I say and go first." Andre smiled and shook his head negatively. I realized now why I missed Andre and it would be like… it would be like losing him a second time around. Come on." "I will. everything would be right from now on." I couldn't help but chuckle. I looked at him and reached for his hand." Dimitri nodded. He finally nodded reluctantly." "Of course…I'm Awesome!" ." I said smiling. "You won't. "That's very noble of you comrade but I'm the only one seeing the door. "Don't worry." I let go of his hand and went to stand beside the hole. "Roza…Stay with me." "Nothing. trust me. You're both going to be alright. "Nada." Said Andre with a smile. "Dimitri you--" "No Roza you go first. a black hole to go to the land of dead. I felt so relieved that I couldn't contain my laugher." I smiled widely. "No I think I'm done here." Dimitri walked a straight line and entered the light. a bright hole to go back to the land of the living. I smiled and reached up to cup his cheek. "No surprises there. "Are you sure you don't want to try too? I mean…Maybe if we go together it might work. just this once. keeping it open. "It's just there!" I said letting go of Andre's hand pointing right ahead. "I'll miss you. "Okay now you take five steps to your side…Okay and walk toward me in a straight line." Said Dimitri narrowing his eyes.
"Yes?" Andre encouraged." Said Adrian and I could hear the increasing anxiety in his voice. I reached for it with my hand and was rejected. "I don't know but it's not good. "I can't cross again!" "Try once more. Idiot!" Adrian added but I knew it was only fear and anger talking." I didn't even bother to try and hide my panic. "I have to go back" I said straightening up. Mark my words! I--" "Andre help me!" I said with despair. "Do you think I fucking care?! Give it to me!" Shouted Adrian." "Right." Andre looked thoughtful. "The hole is still here. "What's happening?" Asked Andre dumbfounded. you are not the one getting electrocuted!" I mumbled approaching the hole warily. "Her light might be stuck on the other side.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 won't exit this house alive. "What the--" I looked at Andre who shrugged loosing all his smugness. "No!" Said Sydney stubbornly. "He is back!" Said Lissa from the other side. . "Holly jolly it worked!" "Why isn't she back then…she has no aura." "She possibly won't make it back" said Robert." Robert said. "Are you sure? There is not a little tiny part of you that -" "No! I would never even consid--" I stopped frozen. "Things are getting out of hands there. "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?!" Roared Adrian and my father simultaneously. "Damn it!!" I shouted. "Are you sure you want to go back?" "What?! Of course!!" I said containing the urge to hit him. "I swear to you Dashkov. "She knew she might not make it back" "Of course she did!! Rose is Rose. almost sad and that was a first with Andre Dragomir. I---" "You are just as stupid as she is!" Said Victor emotionless. "You're a fuc--" "She knew the risks. "Oh really? And of course you…" Adrian literally growled. If she doesn't make it back." Said Victor coldly.
" "Rose please. I grunted while I shifted to my side and heard movement as someone rushed by my side. "You were out Rose. I was in Adrian's room at the Academy. ." My eyes shot open and I jump into a sitting position. but gave up after seeing me struggling against him. That was when I really passed out. "Rose?" Asked a voice as I recognized as Adrian." I took a shaky breath. please let me go back. "It's the middle of the night. "He's okay Rose calm down. we couldn't leave you like that in your room. "Why isn't she waking up?! She is back in! I can see her aura." I heard Adrian say frantically from beside me. my room was the only option. panic evident in my voice. "I…Why am I here?" He shrugged." I ignored his comment and looked around frantically." I heard Andre whisper as everything faded to black. it was the best place to pray." "I won't…" I said concentrating on his voice only. I will never take life for granted ever again. " Please. I saw a make shift on the sofa in the bedroom where he was probably sleeping. you should sleep."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. We made it." Adrian said almost begging. "I don't-" "Roza!" I heard Dimitri shout with a voice I barely recognized. "Somebody restrain him!" My dad shouted. Chapter 21: I moved around and realized I was far too comfortable to still be on the floor. "I need to get back to them." "How long was I out?" "Three days. "I need to see Dimitri!" I jumped out of bed so fast he didn't even get a chance to try to stop me. Was he trying to heal me? "Adrian?" "Yes I'm here Rose. Rose come back. You can't give up now." "Three days?" I shrieked. I was trying to open my eyes but my eyelids were just too heavy." Adrian said soothingly trying to push me back on the bed. My room." I was in the purgatory after all. He rested his cool hand on my forehead and it felt good. "I brought him back. 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. "Dimitri!" I called looking around. I closed my eyes and tried to get through the portal once more and this time…this time it worked! "Be happy Rose.
" "I d--" I stopped and looked at him with wide eyes." He added uncomfortably." I couldn't help but notice the hurt reflecting in his eyes. "Well…" Adrian cleared his throat loudly." He shrugged dismissively. and right now a shower did sound pretty good. "Thank you for doing that." 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." "Well he…he sort of is a Moroi but--" . I sat beside him on a stool. "My Dimitri is a Moroi?" I shrugged "I don't care. I rested my forehead against the tiled wall. I sighed and got out of the shower. but he didn't say anything. "What's happening Adrian?" "Well Dimitri…" He swallowed loudly. I nodded. "I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't done it you know. "So…'' I said standing a couple of feet away from him. The water was starting to get cold." "I always knew that. well the body changed to the closest form of Strigoi. quickly putting on the pair of faded blue jeans and red sweatshirt that were waiting for me in the bathroom. well Lissa and I have a theory." He smiled probably detecting my guilt over linking him with Dimitri forever. "Different how?" "Why don't you just go take a quick shower. As I let the hot water run on my painful muscles I tried to figure out how Dimitri could be different. I closed my eyes. Was he blind or deaf or even mute? "Why on earth would he be mute?" I muttered to myself." I couldn't stand not knowing what was different about Dimitri. "Tell me what you have to tell me. It means a lot to me."It's night Rose. "I'm capable of far more than it seems. Just…Just go. When I walked in the living room Adrian was sitting on a bar stool with a steaming cup in front of him. "See. "I bet you are hungry or thirsty." I told him honestly "Yeah…" He grimaced slightly. "He's…he's different too. but…" "But?" I encouraged gripping his hand and I was sure I was hurting him. Just tell me where he is staying I need to see him. 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. "or I'm sure I can have some food del–" "Adrian Please!" I snapped with begging eyes. Do you want some coffee?" He said pointing at his cup." "Oh…" I said relieved that all he wanted to tell me was that. "You see Dimitri and I are shadow-kissed. "Apparently… okay you see the reversion brought him back. he's probably sleeping. we think that once we reversed the state. "Different?" I gave him a narrow glare. there is fresh clothes for you in the bathroom and nobody is going anywhere I promise.
I sighed with despair." I let out a humorless laugh." "But?" "But he is also sort of a dhampir and he is as strong as he was before. but I feel the core of his emotions and…well it's hard. "He knew… He knew all along." I nodded. "We thought we were playing him. He's healed me so many times before..I'll have a word with him in the morning now tell--" I stopped seeing Adrian's face whiten even more. I'll heal him. "For god sakes Adrian spit it out already!" Adrian straightened up and I saw the hurt in his eyes. "not that it matters really. but for not more than 10 minutes and when we realized. his lips on mine that I couldn't concentrate on anything else…what kind of friend was I? . "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. it's time for me to give him mine. He is my strength as I'm his." He said sheepishly. "You are right Rose. super vision and super smelling is concerned. "We don't know where they are. I could see pain on his face along with resignation. "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. So our attention was otherwise occupied." "You know Dimitri is having a hard time dealing…dealing with what he did . "Well he is a Moroi as far as pale complexion. but he was playing us." I shook my head and couldn't help but be impressed. fangs and super hearing.. and apparently the sun doesn't bother him at all and well." I nodded but I was hopeful." "They escaped. "It's ok. but I needed to be with Dimitri so much. "That's something Victor could have told us…" I shook my head. in the last three days he didn't take blood at all and it appears that he doesn't need any…yet. I can't see in his head. I thought crossing my arms on my chest.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. you should go to him. but. "Of course" he said and I could see his smile was forced." I said and I couldn't help feeling guilty. He let me borrow his strength. "They were in the room with 4 guardians! How --It's--" I shook my head." "They esc--" I choked on the word. "Well excuse me Miss 'I'm-perfect' !" Adrian snapped. they were gone! It was too perfect. He's staying in the last room at the end of the corridor. "Sorry what? I think I didn't hear you right." "We'll talk tomorrow. to feel his body against mine.We are linked you know. I'm the only one that can heal him" Adrian stayed quiet for a minute thoughtful. I'll apologize later.
his cool skin against my burning one. but he was kissing me back almost immediately afterward. The room was silent except for our passionate kissing and ragged breathing. There was no red in his eyes. "I love you too. He took a couple of steps back. I delicately moved my head. Dimitri groaned. "I love you so much" I whispered against his lips. Dimitri opened the door and I didn't notice his skin complexion or his fangs or any other changes. vulnerability in my voice. Dimitri laid me delicately on the bed and came towering on top of me. like we never stopped. But now. like they could recognize each other. that intoxicating sent. that was all that mattered to me. The love of my life is back I thought before crashing into his chest taking in his familiar sent. When he was a Strigoi Dimitri smelled divinely good of course. I smiled against his skin. maybe it was because he was undead that he smelt differently. but it was not the sent I was longing for. I knew I was acting like a kid. needing him to know. The only thing I saw was his warm brown eyes. we'll talk tomorrow I just want to be with you. . and as Dimitri was still leaning down." he whispered with clear relief burying his face in my hair and hugging me back fiercely. playing with the top of his Pj pants. "Roza wait --" "No. I found his lips with mine. now he smelt just like I remembered. I slid my hands under his shirt and started to let my fingers trail on Dimitri's perfect stomach.I ran to Dimitri's room and almost took down the door by knocking so hard. I started to kiss him feverously locking my arms around his neck to keep him to me." 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. Dimitri just nodded helping me to get his shirt out of the way. "Why? Don't you want to be with me?" I asked finally looking up. it was like the light at the end of the tunnel. probably surprised by the intensity of my kiss. but I didn't care. "Roza…You're awake. Dimitri was frozen for a moment. "Oh my Roza…" He whispered again kissing the top of my head. pulling me in the room. stood on my tip toes. with every fiber of my being" he said before crashing his lips on mine and kissing me almost painfully. I found the door with my foot and kicked it shut. Our lips were moving in totally sync. I put my hands in the waistband of his pants and pulled him to the bedroom. I removed mine too and it was like living again to feel his hands on me.
I inched closer and touched his arm. Dimitri kissed me up the neck to my mouth again. Dimitri started to caress my hair gently." Recognition filled his eyes. When it comes to you I have no shame." I turned my head slightly and kissed his palm. I can hear it all. he could try as hard as he wanted. "Move" he said standing up before joining me under the covers. I was as much his redemption as he was mine. clinging the bed sheet on my bare breasts. "I slept for three days.I looked at his beautiful face. "I'm here for you. my ear on his chest to listen to his slow heartbeat.. I could feel his fangs but I didn't care. "I'll never lose you again" I said closing my eyes. as our bodies connected in every possible ways that he needed me as much as I needed him. if I can spare you any pain." I added wrapping my arm around his strong waist. Dimitri was a very attentive and gentle lover. He was only slightly illuminated by the alarm clock. As soon as he was back in the bed I closed the small distance between our bodies and cuddled with him. "Plus I can't sleep knowing you are a couple of feet away from me." I said before kissing his chest. I leaned in his touch and closed my eyes. it was as simple as that. "Dimitri? Are you alright?" I asked sitting up. with his hair falling around his face like a halo. We were just meant to be. "I missed you so much. His eyes were lit with the same desire than I felt." I said with a mock scowl. you didn't have much inhibition when you loved and missed someone as much as we did. . I woke up later than night feeling content and whole for the first time it what seemed an eternity. but my dhampir vision helped me to see that he was lost in his thoughts and whatever he was thinking hurt him. I let my hand roam on the other side of the bed and my heart skipped a beat when I found it empty. I knew him better than anyone else. I'll go begging in the rain. I realized feeling his strong shaky hands on my bare hips. it's unforgivable. "Dimitri?" He turned his face briskly and he had to be really lost in his thoughts. "That's true." His smile was brighter now but I could see the underlying sadness and distress behind it. "Talk to me Dimitri…please. it literally made my chest ache with love." I said as he started to kiss my collarbone sensually. flushed with lust. Was it all a dream? I thought as a terrible pain clutched my chest. Here. He was still looking in front of him like he didn't hear me. not holding me into your arms. sitting at the foot of the bed completely naked looking at the wall. We finished taking off our clothes in less than five minutes. I knew him enough to see that even if I gained my redemption Dimitri needed to get his salvation. I looked at his perfect profile for a minute. That pain faded the instant I opened my eyes as I saw Dimitri. I finally thought that everything would be alright. That night was everything I hoped for and more. "You should sleep Roza" he said finally bringing his hand to my cheek gently brushing my cheekbone with his thumb pad. hurt him in his flesh. "Roza?. He smiled.
" I said in a sleepy voice snuggling even more against him. need and desire." He said before deepening our kiss. "I know you are here Roza. "That's why we are here" he said with a small smile. He brought his hand that was on my back to the back of my head to keep me in place. "But you were right we have tomorrow so lets enjoy each other's presence tonight.Dimitri stayed quiet for a little bit still caressing my hair." He said after a little while holding his cup. Adrian didn't kid when he told me that his reflexes where different. "Good morning Roza" he said tightening his hold around my waist. I shivered with anticipation and looked up to meet his troubled yet loving eyes. My stomach growled embarrassingly loudly. I'll be here when you're done I swear. Dimitri chuckled." I smiled." And oddly enough he sounded almost pained by the idea. as if we were taking time to rediscover each others bodies. "Come on Roza" he said loosening his hold around my waist. actually I could even say that he was as fast as his Strigoi self. "You should go check on your friends Roza. I kissed his neck. I know you do. "I love you more than I can say. When I woke up that morning Dimitri was holding me tightly and I had my face buried in his neck. but this one was even faster. As soon as Dmitri left the room I jumped out of bed. to engrave it in our memory. "I love you" I said moving up slowly to gently brush his lips with mine. "I need to feed you. "Roza?" "Yeah. "I'll be over in two minutes" I said scanning the room for my clothes. "I'm not going anywhere Roza. "They were going crazy worrying about you. We made love again. . looking at me with a small smile. hopped in the shower and dressed quickly. "A very good morning indeed." He got out of bed so fast that I would have missed it if I blinked. lets enjoy what is right. almost animalistic filled with lust. softer. Dhampir Dimitri had been fast. When I walked into the living room Dimitri was just setting a steaming cup of coffee and some buttered toasts. He probably saw the confusion on my face. This time was a lot slower." I nodded reluctantly. He looked at me with my brows furrowed." He said probably understanding my reluctance to leave him. the only change came from his faster heartbeat. Whatever happens from now on it will never change. Dimitri sat across. I couldn't help to wonder how long he had been awake for because he sounded so wide awake." 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'll see you later. . it was still very early but I was sure that my father would be awake. "I see you are awake. I couldn't picture her doing what I just did in between the sheets….Dang. I quickly finished my cup. 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. " I knew it sounded childish." I pointed to her shirt again "See you later" she said giving me a quick hug before rushing to the lift. "I'll see you in a bit" I told him standing up. They were my only priorities. so mechanical. She decided to ignore the situation. "I'll be waiting for you" he said before giving me a quick chaste kiss. 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. but even if I wanted I couldn't help. But Janine Hathaway was just…she was just so serious. "I…" She blushed looking quickly around her. like something wasn't right. maybe trying to find an exit. head high. "I…" She straightened up. Dimitri walked me to the door holding my hand. "That was…awkward" I muttered once the door closed on her. but I figured that he needed time before confiding in me." I shook my head. still having pillow creases on her face. Over the next few days I helped get ready for our move to Court and get ready for graduation the following week. Dimitri was a bit distant."Yeah…" I quickly glanced at the clock on the wall. made me long for his touch even more. "It's not what you think!" "Oh cool. 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. I thought that you just spent the night in my fathers' room. we were worried sick". By the way.. you better. "You better" I said teasing but I still had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. "Awww Mom. "You're wearing it the wrong way. I'm so happy. well you know. I just couldn't put a name on it. now I could! I really would need therapy.. As expected my father and friends were just ecstatic to have me back and well. Dimitri and I hadn't been intimate since that first night and knowing he was so close to me. Most of the youngsters wouldn't understand and it would be more polemical than anything else. I felt bad for them. "Why couldn't you?" She asked dismissively. 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. "Uh huh…" I said not able to conceal my smile. so I would do the same. "I was just coming to tell Abe that I was better can I go in or…" I pointed to his door. "Mom!" I said as my mouth popped open. I knew him well enough to know it was the way he was." I pointed to her shirt. I had to help Dimitri and keep Lissa safe.
I grinned opening the door." He walked away but stopped just beside me. you don't deserve her and she would have been better without you." "At least we agree on that. The silence made everything so much worse." Adrian snorted. "I need to talk to you. It was quiet. "It's alright Roza. . like each word was costing him. with his freakishly acute hearing. She doesn't want me. "That's why you made me come?" Asked Adrian in a cold harsh tone. I wanted to know more. I didn't think that anyone could sneak up on Dimitri ever again. His eyes was full of sorrow. "I'll always be here" he said before gently kissing my cheek. It's--" Started Dimitri he sounded tired. I tried the door knob silently to check if the door was open. but I should have let you die. Adrian and Dimitri were fighting and I was only too scared to discover the reason of it. "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 was contorted with fury. You love her enough to die for her. I walked into the room." "It's not that Ivashkov and you know it." Said Dimitri quietly. "I did it for Rose. I wanted to move from my hidden spot I just couldn't. Maybe he was ready to share with me now. maybe he was waiting for me after all. I could hear some hush voices coming from the living room. Adrian face. Dimitri stayed silent for a little while after Adrian left. as soon as I entered the room. strained. I decided to sneak into the guest pavilion that afternoon as I really wanted to be with him. A hurt deep in my chest. Well… it was a bit of a lost cause since. I wanted to surprise him. "I saw it in your head. we just…" He quickly glanced at Adrian. softened almost immediately when he locked eyes with me. However. "I don't know but maybe you've mistaken Rose with some kind of perishable goods. but it was clearly an argument and I knew both voices so well I couldn't make a mistake. "Because you love her. I--" "And do you think it makes things alright?!" Asked Adrian with disbelief getting even angrier. "Do you even know Rose? I thought you knew her better than anyone else did. "Adrian? Dimitri? What's going on here?" I asked with a shaky voice realizing I had some fresh tears running down my cheeks. "Yeah you do that." Said Dimitri with so much pain that he got me out of my stupor. "How are you going to break that to her?" "I don't know" Said Dimitri with defeat. the love you feel for her.So. she wants YOU! She LOVES YOU" "I---" "I shouldn't have saved you" Adrian spat. how you are suffering to see her loving someone else.
he was rejecting me. please tell me you are joking" I added fighting the tears with all the strength I had. all the risks I took to have him back and he wanted to leave anyways. 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. "Take my strength and let me heal you. What could I say? He knew how I felt."Talk to me Dimitri please.." he sighed and ran his hands through his hair. I was the face of death Rose and inside or not…" He shook his head." He said and it had the effect of a slap. that you needed to be with me. leaving or even surrendering." "But I'm here. "Please tell me you are not taking back every promise you ever made me. There wasn't much I could have done except. " Dimitri looked down at me. "I'm leaving" he said softly. I have to deal with that by myself.. he knew all the sacrifices." . maybe I'll visit my family in Baia for a while may." I took his other hand. Talking about that Lissa is--" "No you don't understand I'm leaving…alone. you helped me so many times. The begging eyes of the victims when they realized they were going to die. You said you'll never let go. 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." "You don't understand Roza. "I don't know. "I need to go Rose. "I need to heal Rose. but just talk" I added trying to sound much stronger than I felt. Let me be here for you. his eyes were even sadder." "When will you come back?" "I don't know." "I." I smiled "I'm leaving too. I quickly took a step back." "Like hell I don't!" I shouted having more and more trouble containing my tears.maybe I'll…I don't know. staying. "Oh…" I let out in a wheezing sound like someone just punched me in the stomach. "I remember it just the same." I knew he was tortured and discovering that he didn't intend to leave me forever calmed me slightly. "Please tell me you are joking" I repeated as anger. betrayal and pain were filling me gradually. "Please comrade enlighten me. "I…no" he said taking a step toward me. "I can hear it all. "Where will you go?" I asked barely louder than a whisper looking down at our intertwined hands. "That's a given.. "You were not inside anymore. "Please. for a while at least. You lent me your strength. we all are. "But you said you wouldn't let go when I found you on the other side.." I said deciding to break the silence before it could drive me mad. I need to deal with my past to construct a future with you." He said and I could hear the guilt in his voice. "I can't deal with that. except maybe trying to hide how much it hurt." "I didn't remember then. I'll be back I…I couldn't give up on us.
"You have to understand Roza I--" "I do Dimitri" I said cutting him off. "No Roza. but I just kept staring at him without a word." "But you don't" I said trying to sound as neutral as I could. But I knew I had to go now. I need to do this alone and I know that you of all people can understand that. I have to do that Roza. go before I'd beg him again to stay or to take me with him. I hear But I don't believe it My heart. That was what I should have said.I nodded slightly. I thought but I kept it to myself simply letting go of his hands. I looked at my watch. I breathe. I could even taste the bile in the back of my throat. "Roza--" "I'll see you later" I said rushing out of the room almost running back to my room. 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 . Your friends need you. but I'll see you later" I said walking backward toward the door. "I need to go and meet Alberta about graduation." I said and I was pleased that I didn't sound nearly as hurt as I felt. On my way there I couldn't help but hear the lyrics of Alive by Leona Lewis. at least not enough. "You can't jeopardize everything. still looking down while blinking my tears away." I said looking up. taking two steps back silently. but once you entered my life you were far more important than all my stupid fears and my stupid pride. "Of course I do!" He said sounding offended. I could feel physical pain. I thought. It hurt so bad. you just need to go on with your life while I try to make peace with myself and forgive what I did." I was like that before I met you. Dimitri had a sad smile. your family needs you. "And I'll be back I swear." Apparently you don't Comrade. "And I don't know when I'll be back" he said and I felt liked I was being slapped yet again. 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. I was not lying except that I still had two hours before meeting her. "You know how much I need you Roza. "I want to come with you.
just to have him abandon me? Epilogue 1 week later: Here I was standing before the crowd coming to congratulate us on our achievement. I cleared my throat and did what they were all expecting from me. I took off my ugly graduation gown and threw it on the pile with the others. I didn't forget to mention the friends we lost during the battles and all those generic things they wanted to hear. "You were perfect my Roza. I didn't want to go too personal as I barely held it together as it was. He was just a shadow for us but I knew that. I looked up to the top floor of the dhampir dorm as I knew Dimitri would be watching the ceremony from there. "It's time to partyyyy!!" said Eddie swinging his hips shoving me. After the congratulations. 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. 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. "You guys go ahead" I said to my family and friends. it would have meant the world to me not more than 6 months ago. 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. We were now full grown dhampirs ready to die for the Moroi we were trained to protect." . 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. I was graduating top of the class. "You didn't put much of yourself in the speech but I guess I can understand why. 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 talked about the great future ahead of us. When I walked up I found him still staring out the window. I found him on the far right corner. even Christian looked proud! Mark and Oksana stayed too for my graduation and the Moroi's one tomorrow. Finally.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 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. it would be like standing in front of me for him. with his brand new vision and hearing." he said not turning around. "You bet" I said with a wide smile. things that made my heart ache. "I'll meet you in a little bit.
I kissed his chest. "It just not enough right now. "I…" I looked at him confused before looking around. "Rose…" He took two quick strides to stand just in front of me. He brought his cool hand on my neck making me shiver like every time his skin touched mine." 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." "I know…" I said in a breath. it was not like I could change anything anyways." . for neither of us. I knew it was what he felt he had to do but it still hurt me. "Go to your friends Rose. "It is indeed" he said finally turning around." He too a deep breath and lift my face with his forefinger." I said hurt. I kept my eyes on it silently like if I stared to it long enough it would just disappear. You did that enough. No shit Sherlock! I thought bitterly. I said to myself. "Your friends are probably looking for you" said Dimitri tightening his grip around me. keeping my eyes leveled on his chest. I stiffened in his arms.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. He sighed again reaching for his bag. "I love you. "I'll come back. I could see the love and hurt in his eyes but I could also see his guilt. It was the first time that kissing Dimitri was actually hurting me. "I just needed to see you graduate Roza. He nodded slowly. I didn't even notice the quiet tear that escape my eyes before he softly dried it with the pad of his thumb. "Yeah well I needed to reach the majority and my experience with life today is a bit peculiar. don't put your life on hold because I'm not here. but I needed to keep the appearances." "As I love you" he whispered in my hair. almost painfully like it was probably the last kiss we'll ever have. I sighed closing the distance between our two bodies resting my forehead on his chest." I said instead. "I'm leaving now. you know that" he said and I could hear the profound sadness in his voice. It was hard to be rational when you felt abandoned." He said now resting his cheek on the top of my head. I wanted to kick him like each time he was saying that." He kissed the top of my head. "Already?" I asked trying to keep my voice from shaking as a lump formed in my throat. you'll always be in my mind. My eyes locked on the beige duffle bag on the floor. "Yeah you're right you better go. "You know that it's not because I don't love you right? I love you more than I thought was possible. "But you should continue to live your life Rose. He kissed my lips slowly. it was…It was important for me. remorse and haunting memories. 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." He said locking his eyes on the bag too. I didn't look up. "I'm going to miss you. they love you. It was like saying 'I will probably not come back so don't hold your breath and just move on' .
I kept my eyes locked on the gates even if he was gone now. the remaining part of my heart broke in a million pieces." I nodded still looking out.. instead of going down to the party. However. "I'm doing fine." I added as I had a little stabbing pain in my chest. I walked to the other side of the building. When he stepped put the little door beside the huge iron gates and turned right after the guard post. I won't say it's not a bit hard to watch him go but I understand why he has to do it. "but you can't fool me. "How? If the other can't…how can you?" . since Dimitri and I announced them he would be going away for a while." I shrugged. "Yeah I heard that speech a couple of times before but I have to give it to you." "I did" he said simply.. Did a part of me hoped he would come back? Love never was and never would be rational. maybe you can fool the others" he shrugged his left shoulder cocking his head to the side. 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. I repeated that speech so many times in my head that I even started to believe it myself. "He'll be back soon anyways." "Oh yeah I forgot… you could see it in my aura" I said not able to contain the cold edge in my voice. ""He left" I said keeping my voice as steady and void of emotion that I could. it gets more credible every time you say it. Adrian stayed silent." I looked at him agape. "I'll miss you" he said before turning around walking slowly to the back building staircase. "We're all expecting you downstairs. "No. without even a look behind. I could hear from his voice that he was closer to me than before. After was could have been mere minutes or an hour I heard light footsteps coming my way but I didn't move. I forced a smiled and eyed him quickly before returning my attention on the window again. "How are you doing Rose?" He asked and the solicitude in his voice made my heart tighten.for now. I know you are not fine. I can see it in your eyes. "You are not fine Rose. "Rose?" Asked Adrian walking slowly in the room. I appreciated him just being here silently. "I'll miss you more" I whispered once the door closed behind him.I nodded hoping that the feeling of his lips against mine would linger for the length of his absence." I turned slowly and locked eyes with him silently. I was just not enough. 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. too silent. We stayed silent a bit longer. "But you knew that already. it was half way from a groan and a cry. Each of his step toward the iron gates were breaking my heart but I knew I couldn't do anything to keep him back.
"No she didn't but I know you Rose. "Good to know but I'm still coming with you. 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. Adrian didn't even seem surprise about it. It calmed her down quite a bit even if I knew that the Queen would keep her occupied for the whole summer. like he is spitting on everything we did to bring him back. "You don't seem surprised. You need to talk to someone Rose and I would love to be that someone. just…anything as long as you mean it. I decided to talk to her about me going hunt Victor."I think they can." "I want to come with you. when you are feeling bad you have to go and fight some random crusade to make you feel better." "I'm not" He said keeping his eyes locked with mine. I know it's terrible to say that. I took a deep breath and looked away again. and I know." "I know it's terrible but part of me feels like he betrayed me by leaving." How could he know me so well? I thought really impressed." "It will get better Rose and as far as I could feel he really do love you." 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 quickly glanced at Adrian but his face didn't give anything away. The new appointed guardians had the summer after graduation off and since Dimitri left I planned to use it." "I…Pavel is coming with me. "I'm going to go and try to find Victor. "Doesn't make me feel better" I muttered to myself. "Lissa told you?" I asked surprised that she would spill something like that. you can come with us." I looked at him silently a minute. "I said okay." He said with a sad smile. "What do you want me to say Adrian?" "Anything. . they are just denying it." I said not really knowing why but it was true. "You knew?" He nodded. He chuckled but it was not an happy laugh. I couldn't talk to Lissa as she had enough to deal with. actually considering that." He said crossing his arms on his chest to show me his determination. "I'm just so mad and sad and betrayed and…everything in between. He was one of the person that I trusted the most. "I know you don't need my money this time or even my friendly pre--" "Okay" I blurted out stopping his ranting. "I'm going away for the summer" I finally let out. My father and even Pavel himself wanted to come to help me out. "Sorry what?" He asked wide eyes. lips pursed. "I…Really?" He asked narrowing his eyes slightly thinking it was a trick.
probably Monday or Tuesday at the latest.I nodded. I did have some ulterior motives to bring him along. "Well I guess there is a first for everything" I said shrugging slightly. "Come on let's go. "Of course I want to!! I just never thought you would give in so easily. "I know" I said knowing deep in my heart that it was the truth. Finally. that faith that it would be as hard for him to consciously live without me as it was for me to be without him. will be expecting me on the Court Runway. Secondly. I wanted Adrian around so Dimitri could find me. too depressed I knew that Adrian would tell me and I would go to him wherever he liked it or not. "I'm here Rose. Why? Don't really want to come?" I asked with the ghost of a smile this time." I said walking to the door not really knowing of what tomorrow will be made of. Moreover. intertwining our fingers. I gave him a small smile. we'll move to the Court during the week end and once I get my room assigned we should go. come back to me if he wanted too. "my father is very efficient" I said not able to conceal the fondness in my voice. 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. but I still needed that hope. the others are waiting." He said still suspicious. . "Wish granted" I replied finally turning my back to the window accepting that Dimitri would not be coming back today. I promised Dimitri I would let him be." "Everything is organized already?" I nodded." "I always dreamed to go on a road trip" he said teasing. I was bringing him along for a selfish and shameful reason…his link with Dimitri. I knew it was more than unlikely for him to come back before the end of the summer of course. he just needs the specific date and the plane. no matter what" he said taking my hand. "Yeah really. Pavel included. "When are we leaving?" He asked once his surprise faded. "In a week time. But it was true. go on with my life and let him heal at his own pace but if he was feeling too low. 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. Who would have thought even 6 months ago that I would have these kind of feelings toward my father? "Everything is ready.
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