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