This is the sequel Why Me? If you haven't read it then you might be lost so I recommend you read Why Me? first.
This is a long chapter, but it gives a lot of background and starts to build the foundation for the story.
The brilliant Richelle Mead owns Vampire Academy and all the original characters. This story will have many new characters and story lines that all come from my imagination : )
My whole life I was always told I had a purpose, destiny, Kismet whatever you'd like to call it. To me it just felt like a burden. My family told me that our race and our sister race would suffer greatly if I was to fail. Most kids get to go and play with no stress, but no not me I had to hear over and over how important I was. They always told me I would meet the one I was to protect, the one I would love, but that our love would be forbidden. If I gave into that desire I would not succeed and not only would the love of my life die, but many others would also die.
Not really what a 5 year old needed to hear as their bedtime story, but I learned to deal with it. Due to this burden I carried around I became obsessed with the American Terminator movies, feeling a kinship with John Connor. He was told his whole life, as I was, about this fate he was born to uphold, his destiny. I spent my entire life preparing for this job fate dealt me, I hope it will be enough and that I will be able to resist this beauty once I meet her. I had no idea what her name was or what she looked like, I was always told once I saw her I would know.
Rose POV (8 year later)
My family was all sleep on the private jet bound for St. Vlad's, but not me I was way too nervous about this trip to relax and sleep. Even though my fabulous husband did his best to reassure me that everything would be fine I was still on edge.
This was our first time going to any Moroi event or facility since we were barred from Moroi Society. I was going to see her for the first time since her wedding day, over 8 years ago. My bond mate, my former best friend, the girl who once was like my sister, Her Royal Highness Lissa Dragomir. I've been banned since I married my former charge, a Royal Moroi Christian Ozera. The Moroi World would not recognize our forbidden marriage, a simple Dhampir Guardian and a Royal Moroi. Thus we were banished and lived amongst humans, the only world that would accept us.
Our family did not abandon us and thankfully for political reasons did not suffer any consequences from our forbidden marriage. Tasha, Urie, Talia and Anastasia were our immediate family and we were as close as could be. Anastasia Rose was Tasha's baby she had with Urie. She was a beauty like her Mom, but was a nice mixture of both Tasha and Urie, and of coarse she had those gorgeous Ozera blue eyes. She was known to us as Ana Ozera, she took Tasha's name to continue the Royal Moroi lineage. She and Talia went to St. Vlad's, that's where we are heading to Talia's graduation. I was so proud of Talia; she was truly a sister to me.
Christian and I got married the summer after I quit being a Guardian at the young age of 19. Most people thought it was too early, that we should finish college, but once you find that one person you're going to spend the rest of your life with why wait. We got married on the beach in Maui. It was intimate only immediate family and close friends. It was amazing; we were both so happy that day.
Christian and Urie went into business together, international banking and commerce. I really had no idea what they did, but it provided a great income to support our families. Once married we wanted our own place, but needed to be close so we renovated the apartment building next to Tasha and Urie's and made it our home. Mitch and Miles bought their own house and Mrs. Grossman moved to Florida with her sister. We kept the bottom level as 2, 1 bedroom apartments for visitors. My parents are still together and visit often to see us and the kids. Our kids love it when they come; it's great they have so much family around.
Not being the best with medication I messed up on my pill and got pregnant a few months after we were married. First came Nikolaus Christian Ozera who is 6, Lily Natasha Ozera who is 4 and Dimitri Mason Ozera who is 2, but will be turning 3 this summer. Nikolaus (Nikki for short) and Lily were named after Christian's parents, middle names after Pyro and Tasha. We call Dimitri Mason, Dimka and you all know who he's named after.
We had them young and close together, but now our family is complete and we are young parents who can enjoy their kids. I can't imagine what life would be like if I stayed a Guardian, Christian and our kids are my life. All the kids have those beautiful Ozera eyes, the boys look like their dad, but have my hair, and Lily looks just like me, but has Christian's black silky hair. It's uncanny how much the boys favor Christian and Lily favors me. Maybe it's just because she's my baby girl, but she is striking with her exotic features, stunning blue eyes, and raven black hair that is long and shines just like brand new silk.
Pyro always jokes that it's a good thing he's a fire user since he'll be beating off the boys. He loves his little girl. As a parent it's not possible in my eyes to have a favorite, but I think there are different relationships we have with all of our kids. Dimka is my last one, my baby we have a special bond, but his name might have something to do with that. His personality is a mixture between both of us and he's the comedian in the family. Lily is what my Dad calls a pistol, she truly takes after me, god help us all. She is Daddy's little girl and prefers Pyro to me, they are extremely close. Nikki is very mellow and mild mannered like Pyro, he's easy going and calms us all. He is the older brother and plays the role so well.
Nikki goes to the private school that Peter sent Luca to, it's for gifted children and specializes in science and technology. He's a brainiac like my sexy husband and I have no doubt he'll find a cure for cancer he's so amazingly brilliant. Lily is smart, and is a fighter at heart; she will attend a private human school in Pacific Palisades. Dimka seems to be taking after his older brother he's another braniac, but is still young so we'll see where he ends up. My kids all understand our situation, we live in the human world, but are biologically part of the Vampire World. We blend in, but keep our distance, never getting to close to humans.
Talia and Ana want all the kids at St. Vlad's with them, but I know that's not going to happen since my family is banned. The more time goes one the more I realize this is a blessing not a punishment, I am not sure I want my babies that far from me and training to be Guardians. I look at Peter, Sisley and Luca, they have all flourished in the human world and I have no doubt my kids will as well. Talia is the reason we are now allowed to a Moroi function, she actually flew to Court, met with Lissa and convinced her to let us come to her graduation.
Lissa has been a pretty conservative Queen she skirts most issues and finds middle ground trying to please everyone. Tasha and her offensive magic crowd have been frustrated since she has given only small concessions; no real progress has been made. She's obviously impressed with Talia since she agreed to let us come to the graduation, we are even allowed to stay two nights at the guest housing.
Deep in thought of how this trip will play ouy I finally fell asleep and was pulled into one of my Adrian dreams.
I was dressed in a white summer dress and was on the swing in Adrian's Grandmother's garden. He looked amazing as usual in designer jeans and a jade green button down shirt that showed off his eyes.
"Little Dhampir, oh how I have missed you." He gave me a sweet hug and kiss on the cheek.
"Adrian it's only been 3 days, silly." We dream walked at least twice a week.
"Are you nervous to see me?"
"You're going to be there?"
"Do you really think I would miss a chance to see you?"
"Well No. And yes I am nervous and now that you're going to be there it's even adding to my nervousness."
"Why love, you don't want to see me?"
"Adrian of coarse I want to see you. It's just…that….well what if I look different to you and you don't like me anymore." In our dreams we kept our appearances as they were when we were 18 and 21, I am now 26. Not old, but I am sure I have aged." I was a married woman, but Adrian was a big part of my life and the thought that he would think I didn't look hot anymore made me sad.
"Not possible you could never disappoint me. Rose I am sure you have aged beautifully. I am sure you're one of those beautiful girls that gets more gorgeous and sexy with age." He made me blush.
"You know you're great for the ego." He gave me his gorgeous smile. "Are you going to be OK seeing me outside of dreamland, things will be much different." I can't give him the 1:1 attention I normally do, not sure how he'll handle this.
"I'll be OK. I am King so it will be all formal and what not, but we always this." He gestured around to the garden. He made a double lounge appear and pulled me onto it and held me very lovingly.
"Mmmmm this is nice. Just don't get your feelings hurt OK?" I haven't seen him since the wedding in person and I am not sure how he'll react seeing me and Pyro with the kids. I am sure he knows about the kids and our marriage, as I knew about his. But we never spoke of anything from our real lives in our dreams; we only stayed in our own private Lala Land.
"Don't worry I'll be fine" He held me; we laid in the sun enjoying each other until I woke up.
Sometimes I felt guilty about our dream walks, like it was emotional cheating. Pyro knew and agreed to it, so it wasn't really cheating, but I still felt a little guilty. I loved Adrian in a special way, but Pyro was my lover, my husband, my partner in life. I guess there are all types of love. I think it bothered Christian a little that I dream walked with Adrian, although he never brought it up. I was lucky to have him he is such an amazing husband.
As the plane went in for approach everyone woke up. I was sitting with Nikki and Dimka and Christian of course had Lily, they were inseparable. The kids were all excited to see Aunt Talia they loved her. As we got off the plane she, Ana, Tasha and Urie were all waiting for us. Talia and Urie had come in a few days earlier, Bruno and Ivan were on guard duty helping out St. Vlad's, it was fine since it was a heavily protected facility. Christian and I gave Anthony this time off to prepare for our vacation, he, Sisley and Luca were all meeting us in Maui and vacationing with us.
"Auntie Talia, Ana" All three of my adorable rug rats ran to the girls and attacked them. We hadn't seen them in awhile and the kids were having withdrawals. Funny Talia was their aunt, but Ana was just Ana probably because she was only two years older than Nikki.
We all hugged and said our hellos. As we walked to our guest apartment Talia was holding Dimka and had Nikki by the hand, Christian was holding Lily. I had my arm looped with my little sis. "So Talia are you excited to graduate?" I asked her.
"Yes I can't wait and then I'll be back home and going to USC for the next four years, YAHOOO!!!!." She had a huge smile on her face. She loved St. Vlad's, but missed home so much.
Ana looked sad she'll be at school the next several years without her big sis. "Don't worry Ana I'll see you as much as possible." She gave her little sis a reassuring smile.
"I know, but it won't be the same. I want Nikki and Lily here with me and Dimka when he gets old enough. We are family we should all be together here at school." How do you explain to an 8 year old that we were banned from this school and even if we weren't I wasn't sure I wanted my babies to put their lives on the line to protect some selfish Moroi like Jesse Zeklos.
"Ana you know that's not possible and we will see you lots. We go from here to Maui for the next two weeks and I am hardly working at the studio this summer so I promise we will do lots of stuff before you go back to school." I gave her a one arm hugged.
"I know I just wish is all…" Tasha and Urie gave her a sympathetic smile and hug as we entered our guest apartment.
Our apartments were next to each other, but ours had 3 bedrooms to accommodate my family of 5. Nikki and Ana started playing video games; while I unpacked Talia watched Lily and Dimka play trampoline on the beds. It was their ritual, anytime we went to a hotel or guest house they had to jump on the beds for hours. They were so cute and so full of energy. Christian was next store finalizing some business with Urie & Tasha. The four of us had purchased the house in Maui from Urie's friends as a second family home. I was so excited we could go there more often, I love Hawaii. I became an avid surfer and loved the sun; I was truly a California girl.
Being married to a sexy vampire limited my time in the sun, but in Maui I was able to soak in the sun while my family slept. During the school year we were on a quasi human schedule to accommodate the kid's school, but in the summer we took on the vampire nocturnal schedule. Right now the kids were all messed up, school had just ended, and they needed to adjust fast since we were here at St. Vlad's for the next few days. It was the middle of the night for them, middle of the day at St. Vlad's, but since they slept on the plane and were excited to see their cousins they were amped.
Tonight Talia's graduating class had there Baccalaureate and then a dinner for the students and their families. We were all going and I was a little nervous since the guest speaker would be Queen Dragomir. I know she allowed my family to come here, but I had no idea if she was going to speak to us or even acknowledge our existence. I now know Adrian would be there and I wonder if their 5 kids would be there also.
Lissa and Adrian had two sets of twins and then one single boy, 5 kids total. I got all my info from Tasha and Mia so I was fully up to date with their lives. They had twin girls who were now 8, the same age as Ana, they were named Annabel and Alyssa, they were fraternal, but both favored Lissa with her look and blonde hair, but had Adrian's eyes. The boys were 6 like Nikki, they were identical, they looked just like Andre with sandy blond hair and jade green eyes, they were named Andre and Alec. The last one was apparently the spitting image of Adrian and they named him Aiden Lucas. I wonder if Lucas was after Luca, hmmmm I'll have to ask Adrian sometime. The first four took the Dragomir name, but Lissa wanted one of the kids to be a name sake for Adrian so he was Aiden Lucas Ivashkov and he was 4 like Lily.
We were all seated at a large table across the room from Lissa and Adrian. Adrian's back was to me, but Lissa was facing me. I saw all of the kids were with them. Eddie and a few other guardians sat at the table, but they had an army of Guardians stationed strategically around them. I can't image with the two of them and 5 kids how many Guardians they had total. I learned from Talia their 4 older ones all went to St. Vlad's. They were friendly to Ana, but I guess they ran in different circles. Lissa and I made eye contact and she gave me a small warm smile, which I returned. Christian noticed and I felt those trademark circles on my hand, he always knew when I needed reassurance. He was my rock.
As we sat at dinner I saw Lissa and Rose have a moment. I grabbed my wife's hand and gave her those reassuring circles which I knew calmed her. I was the luckiest man alive to have Rose and our kids, I wore a permanent smile. I noticed Adrian hadn't seen us yet, I wonder what his reaction will be to Rose. I know they dream walk and I hated it, but accepted it. They had a special relationship and I knew if I was to restrict it, it would hurt them both greatly, so I learned how to deal. Rose and I never brought it up, but I trusted her and knew it was only friendly. Rose said they always followed their silly rules.
I knew Adrian had not seen her and I wanted to make sure I stayed by Rose's side, I was dying to see his reaction to Rose. They kept their appearances in the dream walks as they looked in the past as 18 and 21. Rose has aged beautifully. She was a pretty teenager, but she became a drop dead gorgeous women. It was amazing how many times in LA we were approached by agents and mangers when we were out and about. They took one look at Rose and had to sign her. Rose laughed it off and politely told them no, they were always extremely disappointed.
We had dinner, the father did the traditional prayer, and then Lissa spoke to the graduates, she did a good job. She was a master politician and people seemed to be dazzled by her. I am sure it had a lot to do with Spirit, which probably came in handy with her job as a ruler. The festivities we done so we headed outside to the primary yard, the kids were antsy from sitting so long and needed to let out some energy.
Talia and Ana ran ahead with the kids. Tasha and Urie stayed to mingle at the after party, Tasha always pushing offensive magic. Rose and I walked hand in hand following the kids. We sat on a bench watching them play. I was taking advantage of my time alone with her, whispering seductively the things I was going to do to her later. She blushed and I could tell was getting a little excited, she rubbed her hand on my thigh lovingly. I was counting the minutes until I could take her back to our room and ravish her. That's when I smelt him, cloves and alcohol.
"Can you two keep your hands off each other for 5 minutes, there are children present and as their King I feel responsible to keep this playground G rated." He had a huge smile and chuckled at his joke.
"Adrian" Rose jumped up and gave him a big hug.
I faintly heard him whisper in her ear. "I knew it, only you could get more gorgeous with age." I heard him sigh. He loved Rose and seeing how wonderfully she aged I knew was hard on him. But she was mine, ha!
We chatted a little with Adrian getting caught up. Rose was distracted by her former boyfriend in a deep conversation, I decided to give them some time to catch up and focus on the kids. Lily seemed to be very popular on the playground. She had made a friend and I saw three little boys following her around, one of them looked exactly like Adrian, I am sure it was his kid. Thank god my baby girl was not going to this school the thought of Adrian's little boy after my daughter made me see red.
I noticed Lissa walking towards us with several Guardian's around her. I grabbed Rose's hand knowing she'd need my comfort, she was dreading this conversation not sure how it would go.
She approached and held Rose's other hand. "I am so glad you and your family could come."
Rose looked relieved. "Yes thank you so much, I can't tell what it means for us to be here for Talia."
"She can be very convincing." They both laughed. Talia went right to Lissa to ask if we could be here. She charmed her so much Lissa agreed to let my family come to the graduation.
The four of us engaged in friendly meaningless, polite conversation about the past and how funny it was to be back at St. Vlad's. It was very formal and superficial, but very friendly and relief washed through me. I knew Rose was worried and seeing her relax put me at ease.
Lily came running up to us holding hands with a little Moroi girl. "Mommy, Daddy this is my new best friend Faith. Can she go to Hawaii with us?" I heard Adrian gasp, Lily was the spitting of Rose with my eyes and hair, she was the little Dhampir girl he always wanted to have with Rose. But she was my little girl and had my eyes not his, I gave him a sarcastic grin just to rub it in.
"Lily I am sure Faith's family won't want her gone for over two weeks honey, sorry." I gave her a sympathetic smile, I hated to say no to her. She looked so much like Rose she had me wrapped around her little finger just like her Mom.
She knew this and gave me that damn look that melted me. "But Daddy she doesn't have a family and she will be all alone at school, can't she live with us over the summer, please Daddy please?" Shit I needed Rose to be strong I had so much trouble saying no to her.
Rose looked at me and shrugged. "Christian if she's all alone, we have plenty of room. Let me talk to Alberta and Headmistress Kirova." I saw the sadness in Rose's eyes, she felt sorry for the girl, Rose once being in the same situation being taken in by Lissa's family.
Lily started jumping up and down and hugged Rose. "Oh thank you Mommy, I love you so much." The shy little Faith girl beamed, I hoped we didn't have to let them down.
Lily then recognized Adrian and Lissa. "Hello your majesties." She gave them a sweet little bow. "I am Lily Ozera, it's very nice to meet you." Rose and I beamed with pride. Adrian looked at her lovingly.
"Well aren't you a polite one, you look just like your Mom. It's very nice to meet you as well." Lissa gave her an approving look.
"Thank you your majesty." Both Adrian and Lissa beamed at her, she was such a charmer.
Talia then came over with all the kids. I noticed the little Adrian look alike boy following them, he was crying.
He ran to Adrian. "Daddy Braden is being mean." I noticed the little boy named Braden running to Jesse Zeklos and his wife, great if Jesse comes near Rose she'll punch him. Jesse gave me a smart ass smile, I looked away.
Adrian I could tell was the one to give comfort to the kids. "I am sorry Aiden what did he say?"
He pointed to Lily who I was now holding. "He told me I couldn't marry Lily since I was a Royal Moroi and she was a Dhampir and has to be a Guardian or a blood whore." Everyone gasps as his words. "But Lily's Mommy and Daddy are married and they are a Royal Moroi and Dhampir, so it's OK I can marry her right? I love her." He gave Lily a cute smile. Ugh so much like his father.
Lissa decided to speak up. "Aiden the law states that Dhampir's and Morori's can not be married. The Ozera's chose to marry and leave our world and live amongst humans. Sorry honey Braden is technically correct, but he is wrong, Lily has many choices and her parents will never let her be a blood whore. Please honey don't ever use that word again, it's not polite." She gave him a loving pat on his arm.
"So will Lily come to school here next year with me and her BFF Faith?" Uh oh this not good, I need to move this conversation along.
Lissa looked at Rose and me. "Rose, Christian if your kids would like to go St. Vlad's I would support it, but as you know I could not recognize them as Ozera's, but rather they would need to be known as Hathaway." I squeezed Rose's hand not knowing if her temper would get the best of her.
Before I cold speak to diffuse the situation Rose jumped in. "Thank you Lissa that is generous, but we are good. Nikki goes to a school for the gifted and Lily has already been accepted to a great private school. We believe Dimka will follow his brother as he is gifted as well. We have goals for our children that will take them beyond a career of burden and sacrifice. And no matter what you say our children will always be known as Ozera's." Phew thank god she took the high rode; age has not only made her more gorgeous, but given her more patience and self control. I didn't know I could love her more, but each day she surprised me and my love for her grew.
Adrian like me looked a little nervous by the route the conversation had taken. Lissa looked a little shocked, what she thought was a generous offer was turned down so easily. She shrugged it off; I could tell she did not want to get into a fight when we had finally made some progress in our renewed friendship. "I understand, just know the offer is always there if you change your mind." She gave Rose a warm smile.
Rose and I gave her a polite nod, not really wanting to thank her for her offer that was more like an insult. Little Aiden was not going to let this go. "Even if she doesn't go to my school I can still marry her as long as I live as a human right? I love Lily I don't want to marry anyone else." Oh little Adrian you better watch it. Jeez he's only 4 and he's already claiming my baby girl.
Lissa looked a little mad. "Aiden you are a prince, you will marry a Royal Moroi and help rule our world." She gave him a stern look and he had the sense not to push it.
I could tell he was going to mind his Mom, but was not happy. He crossed his arms across his chest and humphed. "Fine mother" I couldn't help but chuckle, Lissa gave me a dirty look.
The kids ran off to play and we spent the remaining time catching up. Eddie came by and attacked Rose with a hug; I know he has missed her. It was like a mini reunion. Thankfully Zeklos had the sense to stay away from us, I am sure he was still afraid of Rose.
Rose wanting to protect the little girl Faith who was abandoned as a baby and was an orphan being raised by the academy got permission to take her with us for the summer. I was a little weary, but my wife was adamant and it will be nice for Lily to have a little friend..
After we got our tired darlings to bed Rose and I celebrated our love and did all the things I promised in our whispered conversation we shared on the bench. I fell asleep with my permanent smile on my face, holding the women of my dreams, listening to our 3 beautiful children sleeping in the other rooms. Life was good!
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