Chapter 1

Sometimes I wish I didn't exist.

That just maybe it would be easier on others and myself if I just gave up and rotted in a in a ditch somewhere. I know that I have to protect her, my best friend. But there are times like now that I can't and don't want to. I'm not the only guardian in the world that has the ability to protect a royal moroi with an endangered family name.

"Hathaway."

I said nothing while walking towards the door.

A tray with soup and a piece of bread slid under the cell door and I picked it up bringing it back towards my cot.

The guardian started walking back up the stairs and said, "I almost forgot, you have a visitor."

Great.

"Rose."

"Mother." I said, sitting down and not looking up.

"Your father wanted me to tell you that they've scheduled the trial earlier…this week."

"What! Why! What's the p-" I yelled.

"Calm down! I can't help you if the other guardians here find you as an out of control prisoner screaming nonsense!" She moved closer to the discolored metal bars. "Your father's going to get you out of here tonight. As much as I'm against it, It's…necessary." She whispered, and then started for the stairs.

"Wait!" I shouted.

She looked at me confused, "Yes?"

"Thank you." I whispered.

She nodded and walked out the door.

A couple hours later I was sleeping when I heard my cell open.

"Urgg! What now!" I said, getting off of the cot.

When I got off I realized there was no one there. At first I thought it was just my sanity slowly drifting away, until I saw the cell door open with no guardians around.

"Hello?"

This had to be my father's sick joke for breaking me out of this joint.

"Yeah Zmey! You really got me now! I'll just have to tell mom and the others how much you suck at pranks."

No one answered.

"Zmey? Okay, fine! I won't tell mom or the others!"

Still no answer.

"Dad, t-this isn't funny!"

I walked out of my cell and saw someone standing at the end of the hall.

"Dad?"

They turned around and the scenery around us changed into a green field surrounded by a dark forest and near by a cliff that went possibly more than 500 yards down and the person who I thought was my father turned out to be a woman with fair skin and long raven hair dressed in a medieval fashioned dress and cloak.

"Rosemarie Hathaway, we finally cross paths." The woman said pronouncing every syllable in my first and last names.

I did the first thing that came to mind, "What the fuck? Who are you!"

"That is not important right now. What is important is your safety." The women said drifting closer.

"Well it's a little too late for that! Where were you when I was convicted for murder?" I whispered, mostly to myself.

"Rose." She said strictly and Perced her lips. She then continued, "I'm here to warn you. Being convicted for Tatiana's murder isn't your biggest problem right now."

It's official. This women's crazy!

"Rose someone is after you." The women said with strange composure.

"Really? I would have never guessed with the whole being framed and all." I said sarcastically.

"No Rose. You don't understand-"

"Damn right I don't!" I interrupted.

"Rose, Listen to me now! She didn't want to kill the Queen! This person wants to kill you! The Queen meant absolutely nothing to her! All she cares about is getting rid of you. She'll attempt it in the court, outside of the wards, your dreams, anywhere! Rose, Lissa isn't the one who needs protecting right now. It's you." She said everything in a most dangerous whisper as if even now the spoken of person was listening and watching in on us.

"Who is- wait did you say my dreams?" I asked, baffled.

"Yes, I did. She is a Spirit User." She replied.

"What? How is that even possible? She killed the Queen! Shouldn't she be…you know…Strigoi by now!" I exclaimed.

"Oh, she didn't physically kill her. She used compulsion on one of her…friends."

I scoffed, "Well, some friend she is."

"Rose." She said giving me a 'You have got to be kidding me' look.

I sighed.

"Rose just promise me you will watch out for yourself. Your friends too, but for the most part yourself. Okay?" she said, after putting both of her hands onto my shoulder.

"I promise." I said.

"Good. I will see you again soon." She said turning away and walking towards the forest.

"Hey! What's your name!" I shouted across the field.

She turned her head back, smiled, and said, "You can call me Anna."