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