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