The past can never be avoided no matter how hard we try… it will always stay with us, waiting to mess with the present.
Rose is just recovering from an ex-boyfriend's tragic death, her previous accident where loved ones had dies and a silent departure of a good friend.
Rose tries her best to get over the past and forget those times but when she just when realizes that she has pined, another mysterious stranger walks in her messed-up life.
Dimitri Belikov had always been good at everything except for his family. He had killed a sister of his but there is still more that he just wanted to drown in with attitude.
Searching for a new start, he transfers to another school only to meet what he desperately wanted to avoid.
This is a story about past-reckoning, illicit passion for battle, and reconciliation of broken family ties.
"Mister Belikov," Guardian Ivanov called to me in front of the class. Everybody in the classroom tensed and quieted, waiting to see if I'll pounce on the forty year-old Guardian in front. Luckily, I just turned my eyes on him. "Headmistress Vladescu is requesting your presence at her office." He said, looking into my eye. I just stared at him – well maybe the whole class could see that I was glaring at the old man – and I saw him flinch and he made an excuse of adjusting his eye glasses. "Now." Brave word. I gave him one last glower, got my bag and took off to see the Headmistress' office.
As soon as I got out of the room, I could hear the people outside shuffling awkwardly – I always had this effect on them. I thought that it was because of my height – I was quite tall for my age of seventeen and a half – I was topping now to six foot five and a half. Sometimes, people thought that I was already on my early twenties and so-on because I was too tall and big for my age. Maybe because it was my face – it was always so tense but inside, I was laughing at those people who looked so scared of me. I had a little year and a few months to practice keeping on a poker face but in this case, I guess it looked like more of a devil face.
A girl was staring at me – a Moroi – a tall thin brunette. She was hugging her books to her chest while walking slowly, looking like she wasn't sure what to do and then she stumbled on her own feet. She was tall so she was clumsy, I concluded. Normally, I would have helped any girl who had fallen or whatever but there was a reason why my heart had hardened. Yeah, the reason was pretty obvious. It was because I had killed one Strigoi.
Not just any Strigoi but that Strigoi was my little sister, Viktoria.
I opened the door to my house here in Baia. It was dusk so I wondered where they all were. It was quiet. I was excited to see my sisters, mom, and my grandmother, Yeva. Yeah, I managed to keep this a secret from my family but with Yeva, it was unlikely – no surprise. My grandmother always had these authentic powers of having premonitions and other abilities the people sometimes call her a witch but she was the nicest witch I had ever known, strict but kind. I just thought that Yeva was only special and very wise.
And Olena, ah, I loved my mother. I could already imagine her baking my favorite bread but as I passed the kitchen, she was not. It was strange that nobody was in the house, they rarely weren't.
Hm, Yeva must have sensed that I needed this to be a secret. I sneaked around the house, trying to find any of my family members. There was none. Seconds later, I could hear footsteps, soft and stubborn ones. I guess it was Yeva's.
Within a second, Yeva was in front of me, looking as serious as always. Uh-oh, I know this expression. Something was wrong. Yeva had that deadly look on her eyes and that only meant trouble was coming. No, bigger than trouble. She looked right up to me intensely, her eyes were concealed with shadows and her lips were set into a grim line.
"Dimka, your sister Viktoria is Strigoi." Yeva was not the one to hesitate on saying stuffs. She was always pushing us on discussing uncomfortable parts – like me – but this was beyond uncomfortable. This was horrible, I couldn't even think straight. "She is on her way here. She wants to make us Strioi, too." I was shocked, I couldn't move.
No, I wasn't supposed to be like this. I was trained to be a Guardian, to fight and kill these evil creatures. Yes, I was trained to kill Strigoi but not my sister! I looked at Yeva's eyes but there was no trace of deception there. Only the decision.
"Where is mama?" I asked, wanting to know if she was alright.
"I let them hide upstairs so they wouldn't see this." Yeva started moving. She grabbed a key from her pocket and opened a black rectangular box. It looked ancient and expensive. Yeva opened it to reveal a very sharp and dangerous looking sword. "We have ten minutes before she comes." Yeva said and handed me the sword. I stiffened, I was out of time, I wasn't ready to kill my Stigoi sister. I could not kill her. Yeva muttered something under her breath which sounded like a prayer and then she gave me the sword. She looked up at me intently. I still kept my face straight despite the pain of knowing I was going to kill my sister and the grief of losing her in such a young age. Tears were springing to my eyes but I held them down. A Guardian should not cry.
I was expecting here to see all of my family members, not kill them. Or rather one of them.
"Dimitri." Yeva snapped. She looked so sure of this.
"Do not hesitate." She enunciated every word properly. "Viktoria is not what she was before. If you would kill her, her soul would be in peace, unlike this, you are endangering her from hesitating. Not only is her soul in peril but also you and your family. Trust me on this, Dimitri." And then she led me to where Viktoria would enter. It was hard to listen to Yeva's instructions when my chest is aching. I tried to look like Yeva, so calm. I listened to Yeva; Viktoria was going to enter on the back door so no one could see, I could decapitate her easily, as she had said. The sword was made like a silver stake, too. Joined with all the Moroi magic to create this sword in my hand.
After that, she left. "I have faith in you, Dimka." She called and then I was alone.
My heart was pounding so hard and my head hurt, I thought I would collapse in any second. My eyes blurred from the tears and I let them fall freely on my face. My hands were occupied; I was holding the sword so tightly that my knuckles were white. And then I heard footsteps.
My enhanced dhampir hearing was a blessing because a Strigoi could move so silently. I raised the sword, readying to decapitate this Strigoi. She was no Viktoria anymore, I said to myself. She is a Strigoi, an unnatural being. They don't deserve to live in this world. They were undead. She is not herself anymore, she has killed many and drank blood from innocent people, I strengthened myself toward my hatred to Strigoi. The door opened and she got inside. Her skin was deathly pale, that was all I could see because she was looking at the other direction – opposite from me. If I could just only see her eyes…
Don't hesitate, whispered a voice inside my head.
And with that, I swung the sword with all my force. The sword was so sharp, her head slid off like a chopped off candle and the sword stuck on the door panel half-way deep.
And that was when I killed my sister.
--------------------End of Flashback--------------------
As I was walking toward Headmistress Vladescu's office, I saw her secretary freeze. Maybe she could see through my murderous past. Of course, it was plastered on my face. Or maybe I just looked like that I was going to murder somebody in any second. I walked past her to the door, not bothering to knock. I knew the Headmistress was expecting me.
Headmistress Vladescu was, as usual, looking down, signing papers, I thought. "Mister Belikov," she said without looking up at me. "Please have a seat." She gestured to a chair with her other hand that was not writing. Headmistress Vladescu was the busiest woman I have ever known. Whenever I come here to her office – which was often – I would always see that she was working. My constant visit to her never failed her occupation of being a very busy woman. But now, miraculously, she dropped her pen and looked at me squarely in the eye. It was the first time she had looked at me directly. And her eyes nearly blinded me at the intensity of her cat-green eyes – it suited her just fine.
I could see that other guardians were in the room. Two of them – the woman was petite with short curly red hair and the guy was Guardian Alexandrov here from our school. Both of them wore the same blank expression.
"Dimtri, I must tell you that I will be straightforward in this." the Headmistress said and I nodded. "We have decided to relocate you to another St. Vladimir's in a more secluded area unlike here in Alaska. There is a clear consensus that in the area you are in, secluded Montana Mountains, you will have fresh start from your…past." She said, never blinking.
"You don't have to use compulsion on me Headmistress Vladescu, I accept your offer." I told her, trying to make fun.
"It is not an offer but it is a request to transfer, Mr. Belikov." She said seriously. Clearly, she was not amused by my wry joke to lighten her mood.
"Either way, I accept." I turned stoic again.
"Very well." She turned the paper and shuffled it. "You have two hours to pack and Guardian Alexandrov will escort you to the runway and Guardian Hathaway will be your chaperone to St. Vladimir's in Montana." She said and handed the bundle of papers on the person beside me. It was the short redhead guardian – for such a small person, she could move fast. She and Vladescu exchanged nods and glanced at me.
"I'll see you in the jet." Her voice was as blank as her face. I nodded and I stalked off to my room.
"Oh, and Mr. Belikov," Vladescu called. I stopped on y tracks but didn't turn around – I knew she was writing again now. "Make sure to have that fresh new start I was talking about. Not only from your past but also your behavior. I'll be checking on you from time to time, remember that. You will also attend before and after classes training sessions – your talent is such a waste if you won't improve that with a good character. You are dismissed."
"Liss, I'm alright." I told her like for the hundredth time. She was pressuring me about healing the scratches on my face that I got during combat classes with Alto.
"No, you are not. Have you seen your face in the mirror?" Lissa looked really concerned. I haven't been really able to see my own face in the mirror after my fight, so I was curious; it didn't hurt much. She handed me her compact, I didn't want to be rude so I grabbed it and flipped it open.
"Son of a bitch!" I screamed, all the people in the cafeteria turned to look at me. I glared at them and they turned their attention back on their food. I swear I was going to kill Stan Alto for this. The face on the mirror just screamed HORROR at me. I closed the compact a little forcefully and I should, I wondered if the glass had broken. My breathing was hard and my I was seeing red.
"I told you." Lissa mumbled under her breath. She grabbed my and we escaped to the nearest empty room. She sighed and looked at me, smiling a little. She touched some of the spots where the ugly cuts and bruises were on my face and I could feel it tingle a little. And then there it was the happiness and golden feelings that came along at using her magic. I was healed. She smiled at me radiantly.
"Thanks, Liss," I told her and hugged her. I could feel something from the bond that she was hiding something from me. I grabbed her wrist and looked at her squarely in the eye.
"Lissa, what is it?" I could feel guilt radiating from her.
"I'll tell you later." She almost begged. I gave her a scowl and let her go.
"This better be good, keeping it from me." I grumbled.
"It's safe, I promise." Her eyes were bright with innocence.
I rolled my eyes. "Whatever, I'm going to practice." We parted and I jogged to the gym. I saw Alberta there, talking to a very tall guy. Huh, I haven't heard about new Guardians… or even new novices if he was a novice – which was unlikely, noting his height. Even looking at his back, he looked really hot. As I could see from my vantage, he had chin-length brown hair and absolutely broad shoulders. If he weren't even a Guardian I would have started hitting on him as soon as I possibly can.
Alberta caught me there. "Miss Hathaway, I was just here to tell you that I cannot be in your training today because Headmistress Kirova sent me and the other Guardians to the Royal Court. I will be back in two day at the least. And by the way, you have a new training partner." The tall man turned around to look at me. I swear, my heart just stopped beating when I saw him. He was every inch as hot as I thought he would be. I marveled every inch of him; the hard square of his jaw, the tan of his skin, the stubborn form of his absolutely kiss-worthy mouth, his adorable brown eyes and I managed to tear my eyes away from his face and took pleasure at watching his strong, lean, muscular arms.
"Miss Hathaway, please meet Dimitri Belikov, a transfer student from the St. Vladimir's in Alaska." Alberta introduced us. I gave super hot Dimitri my best man-eating smile. I swore my heart just skipped a beat when he smiled back a hundred watt smile. "And I hope you two get along well." Her voice had risen; clearly, the message was directed to me. I looked at Alberta with an innocent expression.
"Oh, we will." I practically purred. And I was really glad had Lissa healed me before.
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