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