Read Read Read!! AN at bottom….

A quick jolt of pain jolted through my body and I jerked uncontrollably as I felt myself being lifted form the floor and laid down on what I assumed was the couch.

"Rose?" Adrian whispered as the poison that I was presumably injected with caused my muscles to spasm and my breathing speed up. I arched my back off the couch in pain as it entered my heart, making it ache so bad that I just wanted to die. Seeing this, Adrian placed one hand on my chest and one on my stomach, applying light pressure. I barely opened my heavy eyes and craned my neck to see him kneeling beside me, eyes closed and forehead creased in concentration. My neck slumped back and I whimpered quietly as warm jolts of Adrian's magic shot through my body and tried to heal the poison.

It was like an invisible war was raging inside my body: The poison, black with death, racing through my veins, struggling to avoid the gleaming gold of the magic that was seeping with the mission of eliminating the darkness. It was a race—to the death. Either the magic worked, or it didn't. Who knows what was in that vial; it could be some advanced combination of poisons and magic that was designed not to be healed out. I had accepted the fact quickly that I won't make it through this, but my thoughts switched course when the pain began to fade and I slowly regained control of my muscles. My stomach had stopped throbbing, and Adrian was now rubbing my lower abdomen in an attempt to settle the startled embryo that I was housing.

I sighed in relief as my muscles relaxed their tense state and the Magic that was coursing through my bloodstream chased the last remnants of death away. Adrian grunted softly and slumped back against the back of the couch looking exhausted beyond belief. I slowly, so slowly, sat up and was surprised to see that the room wasn't spinning. I took a few deep breaths and flopped back down, overcome by the sudden drowsiness that swooped over my body. Adrian was breathing heavily from the exertion of the magic, and had reached up to take my hand from his position on the floor.

After a moment of quiet breathing, Adrian pulled himself off the floor and stalked over to close the door, locking it thoroughly, and shutting off the cool breeze that was heaven against my sweat-glistened skin. I moaned quietly in protest, but thought otherwise when Adrian came back from the kitchen with a wet cloth and placed it on my head. I let out another sigh as the hot rush that had spread against my skin vanishes. He kneeled next to me for a little longer, and then I felt that I could speak.

"Thank you," I croaked. Adrian broke out into a wide smile when he heard me speak.

"No problem." He murmured, still breathing a little deeper than normal. I sat up a tad and tucked my knees to my chest, making room for him to sit.

"Come here," I said, grasping his hand and tugging gently, making him stand up. He came and sat close beside me, wrapping his arms around my body and pulling me against his chest.

"I thought I was going to lose you…" He whispered in a thick voice, bringing tears to my eyes at his sadness. "I was pulling up and I Heard you scream…I jumped out of the car and saw that—thing on top of you with that syringe in your chest and I just lost it. I knocked him out of the way—I'm lucky he didn't kill me then. But your aura was so dim… it was flaring and blazing colors, but was flickering out at the same time. I knew you were dying and I had to save you." He trailed off at the ending and let it all soak in. Silent tears fell down my face and splattered onto my shirt at his sad tone. It was unfathomable to think of what pain it would've caused him if I were to die. I was so grateful that I didn't.

We sat in silence, just reveling in each other still being alive. I dozed off again from the fatigue of just being poisoned, and I'm guessing Adrian did too, because when I woke up an hour later, he was napping to. I smiled and gently unwrapped his arms from around me, being careful that I didn't rouse him, and crept to the bedroom so I could call Lissa and tell her what I crazy morning I had.

I dialed her number and waited a few minutes, but it went to voicemail. I quickly rehashed the situation, but was cut off mid-sentence by the voicemail machine. I sighed and flipped it shut. My stomach growled, and I went to get an apple from the fridge when the phone rang shrilly from the kitchen. Puzzled at who would know the house number, I walked over to it and answered.

"Hello?" I asked cautiously.

"Rose?" A familiar voice answered.

"Mom?" I asked in a bewildered tone. "How'd you get this number?"

"Vasalissa gave it to me." She answered quickly. "I need to speak to you." Well I could guess that, I thought. I noticed an urgent and unfamiliar edge to her voice: fear.

"Mom. What's wrong?" I asked, my voice cracking a little. Adrian slunk into the room and wrapped his arms around my shoulders, kissing the top of my head lightly. My hand sought out his and laced my fingers through his while I waited anxiously for an answer.

"Okay," I heard her sigh. "How do I put this?" She asked herself; I was becoming impatient.

"Just say it!" I burst. Adrian grasped my hand harder to settle me down. He reached over and pushed speaker phone so we could both hear.

"Do you know what gardianul puternic means?" she asked. Adrian nodded and muttered something.

"No." I answered. "what does it mean?"

"Strong guardian—it's Romanian." Adrian answered before Janine could.

"Yes. It means strong guardian." She agreed quickly. "I heard from Vasalissa several minutes ago that you were attacked by a Strigoi who injected something in your heart?" I was confused.

"Yeah…but what does that have to do with me being a—whatever you called me?" I heard her take a deep breath.

"I know you're going to have questions, but don't ask anything before I'm done, alright?" She asked sternly. I nodded, but I knew she couldn't see me. She took the silence as a yes and started talking.

"About a hundred years ago, a new breed of damphir was discovered by breeding Strigoi and another damphir." This came as a shock to both me and Adrian, but we gaped in silence. "The first of this new breed was your great-great-grandmother—my grandmother—and passed on the gene to my mother, but it wasn't active. It passed through me, and you, but…I'm afraid that it's passing on to your child." She paused to let it all soak in.

"When my grandma had just given birth, she was tracked down by the group of Strigoi that had fathered her child and she was killed. Little did they know that her baby—my mom—already had the darkness gene inside her. We have yet to find someone with the gene to activate another. Somewhere in Adrian's past, some female must've been "infected", to use the term loosely, with the power-filled, Strigoi trait. There's no reason why those Strigoi attacked you and used their…whatever they used to try and destroy your baby, other than you having a part-Strigoi child. The Romanian term I used before was made up so people could reference to them without argument, there has only been several that are known in the world—they come few and far between." She stopped there and let me think.

I was too overwhelmed… My baby was part-Strigoi? She—or he—will never be safe from the darkness and Strigoi following them. I couldn't fathom this at the moment. I needed time to think. Was this the reason my baby was growing so fast—or so I thought? What would happen to me? Would the darkness in my baby add on to what I already had? I got so caught up in my worrying that the phone that was still in my hand slipped out of my grip and clattered noisily to the floor.

Would this ruin everything I have planned? Adrian bent down and picked up the phone.

"Rose." My mom's voice sounded softly. "I want you to be safe. Don't stay home by yourself and keep everything locked and shut. The baby's going to grow fast—so don't be alarmed. Be safe." She paused. "I-I love you." She hung up quickly and it was all silence in the kitchen. I sunk to the floor and wrapped my arms around my knees. Adrian hugged me tight against his chest while I began to cry.

"Why does this have to happen to me?" I sobbed quietly as he stroked my hair and murmured things in a language I didn't understand.

"Calm down, little damphir," He whispered in my ear. "I promise you it'll all be okay."

Somewhere, deep in my heart, I hoped he was right.

Oooh. Ancient Strigoi babies. Tell me what you think! R&R! Stick with me and ideas are appreciated!