Chapter one

I stood in the shadows silently, feeling like a complete and utter moron – or a Peeping Tom, I really couldn't decide which was worse – as I waited for the girls to come in. I was beginning to suspect that they might have been asleep all along when the screams began.

I was immediately crouching by the window, ready to dispose of any attacker sent my way.

"Liss, Liss, wake up." I heard a girly voice whisper calmly. I could not imagine what kind of teen was used to waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of screaming, but, apparently, Rosemarie Hathaway was.

The screams – probably the Princess's, I figured – turned into soft whimpers. "Andre," She moaned, making me realize that it was the past coming back to haunt her and not some freaky visions or something. "Oh, God."

I saw Vasilisa sit up, drenched in sweat. Her best friend was probably kneeling beside her. "Liss, you aren't there anymore. Wake up."

The Princess's eyes finally opened and I retreated to my earlier position behind a tree, certain that they were safe. A lamp turned on moments later, drawing a gray cat into the room. The two girls rose and sat on the bed, framed by the window.

I was shocked into taking a step forward by the dark-haired beauty queen that was Rosemarie. The pictures I'd been shown before the mission – well, they didn't do her justice. She had changed from a fifteen-year-old child into a young woman in the past two years, that much was obvious.

I was caught off guard with the way her hair fell gently across her forehead, the way she gracefully held her neck while her friend fed. Her sun kissed skin glowed a beautiful shade of gold in the dim light, instantly reminding me of long, lazy summers spent at the beach – and at that moment, all my mind could come up with was, "Wow."

The exotic, eastern-looking shape of her captivating hazel eyes beckoned me. Her mouth was a soft shade of pink, her nose as dainty and cute as a button. I had thought the Princess looked like an angel, but, well, she couldn't hold a candle to her best friend.

Whoa. Wait a minute. Did I just say her nose was cute? God, I have got to be losing my mind. Please don't let it be anything more serious than that…

Vasilisa finished and gently lowered Rosemarie down on the bed. Or so I imagined, since doing this brought her out of my limited view. The Princess left the room briskly, making the cat rush to the windowsill once more. Animals hate dhampirs for some strange reason no one fully understands. It sensed my presence and bristled – like that puny little thing would ever stand a chance against me.

Oh, wait, actually, there was this one cat…

Rosemarie startled me by stumbling to the window and leaning out, her hair blowing in the breeze. I watched as she scanned the perimeter until her eyes focused on me. I started. Was I visible?

Apparently, I was, because she kept on staring until I took a step back into the shadows made by the trees. I watched her leave in the same direction as the Princess and assumed she was going to warn her and leave the house in an attempt to escape. I quickly ran towards the rest of the guardians.

"They'll probably be coming out the front door any minute, now. Someone better watch the windows, though, just in case." I told them. "I'll run up the street and meet them head-on. You guys make sure they know they're being followed once they're reasonably far away and form a circle when we meet."

Everyone nodded and walked off in different directions. I ran a few blocks ahead, hoping the girls would not turn a corner but trusting my team to keep me informed. I leaned against the brick wall of a movie theatre and waited.

It seemed like only two minutes later I spotted the girls running towards me. Excellent. I stepped into the middle of their path, halting their escape. Rosemarie leaned on Vasilisa weakly, the two girls panting. I could see the wild panic in their eyes as they searched around for an opening. There was none. Rosemarie pushed the Princess behind her.

"Don't touch her." She growled at me. I resisted the need to roll my eyes. Like I would ever hurt either one of them. I held out my hands, hoping to reassure her.

"I'm not going to– " I took a step forward and Rosemarie snapped. She attacked me – well, more like tried – and I pushed her backwards too strongly, making her fall towards the sidewalk. Oops. I quickly caught her by the arm and steadied her.

Which was when I noticed the fresh marks on her neck.

I shouldn't have been so shocked, after all. I'd actually seen them feed, but… That was different. She looked like a feeder.

Or a blood-whore.

Rosemarie caught me staring and touched the marks lightly, pulling her finger back to see the dark blood on them. She grimaced and shook out her hair to cover her neck, wiping her hand on her pajamas.

I let my eyes meet hers. Rosemarie returned the look defiantly and jerked away from me. She backed towards the Princess, getting ready for a fight. Brave girl.

"Rose." Vasilisa said quietly, taking her hand. "Don't."

Hathaway – tough chick, though name – let herself give up. It was really about time. If we hurried we would get back to the Academy in two or three hours. She seemed to be as stubborn as a freaking mule, even when high on vampire endorphins.

Oh, she was a really tough chick.

I stepped towards the Princess and bowed – what? My momma taught me manners. So sue me.

"My name is Dimitri Belikov." I said, doing my best effort to be polite. "I've come to take you back to St. Vladimir's Academy, Princess."

Hi, everyone! Let's keep in mind that, no matter how serious he appears to Rose, Dimitri is a 24-year-old guy. This is my attempt at showing the world how fun he can be.

Oh, and there's gonna be a VA movie! Join the page on Facebook so the producers know there's a large fan base!

NOTE: This has been tweaked a little (it's not the original version). You may notice some differences if you're re-reading.


PD. Review!