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