Title: The Western Novel

Summery: Just a small one-shot on the heels of Spirit Bound. Rose is stuck behind bars and bored silly.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Vampire Academy series. I am making no profit from these stories.

Rating: K

Thanks to the wonderful Bob Rhynoplasty for beta-ing the story for me. She was a big help!

To say I was bored would be an understatement. The cell offered very little diversion and there was only so much time I could spend in Lissa's head, especially considering that she and Christian had gotten back together. And I mean that in all senses of the word.

The guardians stayed outside the inside cell door, so I couldn't even distract myself by harassing them.

Not that I would do that or anything.

I spent most of my time alternating between doing sit ups and push ups and counting the bars on the cell.

There were twenty-four across, eight down.

So when the door opened, well before my dinner would arrive, I was rather excited.

The man coming through the door, led by a guardian of course, was as flashy as ever with jewelry glinting around his neck and fingers, carrying small plastic bag in his hand. The purple scarf was rather comforting.

"Zmey! Long time no see, what's the news?"

While his clothing looked as pristine as ever, Abe looked exhausted, with dark circles under his eyes and a slight slump to his shoulders.

I felt a flash of guilt. He really was working hard, unwilling to admit the possibility of defeat. From moments in Lissa's head, I knew my mother was also near, hounding Abe and worrying about me.

They wouldn't let her visit. They wouldn't let anyone in.

Only Abe, because he was my lawyer.

And they were still a bit twitchy about letting him, a Moroi, near the (alleged!) murder of the queen.

"Rose," Abe gave me a warm, albeit tired, smile, "you are looking lovely, as always." The guardian who came in first had positioned himself in front of Abe and off to the side. I didn't recognize him, but I never did know the ones they assigned to watch me.

I rolled my eyes, both at the guardian's behavior and Abe's choice of words. I was hardly lovely with my greasy hair and the baggy, faded clothing they provided me, and I wasn't a threat either. Even if I did develop a sudden urge for patricide, I couldn't reach that far through the bars.

I stood up and the guardian tensed. Abe gave him a wry look before returning his gaze to me.

"Well?" I asked, impatiently. I gave the guardian a break and stayed back, away from the bars.

"Patience is a virtue, Rose." Abe's lip quirked in a small smirk, but it was gone as quickly as it had appeared. He took a breath and rubbed a hand over his face, "I just wanted to check on you, see that you were alright."

"Well, I'd be better with a cable TV …but other than that, it's like a vacation." I was only a little bitter, and who wouldn't be?

He gave a slight chuckle, "Well, I did bring you something," He held up the bag in his hands, "but it isn't a TV." He started to take the step, but the guardian threw his hand out to keep him back.

Abe looked down at the arm and his eyes narrowed. The guardian quickly pulled it back.

"I, er, need to be the one to toss it through the bars," He said, nervously. He was likely flashing back to all the horror stories he had heard about the dreaded Zmey.

I almost had the urge to sit back with some popcorn to watch the show.

Not that they would give me popcorn, but hey, a girl can dream.

Abe slowly handed him the bag, although his look remained hard. The Guardian took the bag and gave it a toss through the bars. I caught it and looked inside.

"A book?" I wrinkled my nose.

"Oh good, you know what it is." The humor was back in Abe's voice. I gave him a half hearted glare, he had started moving towards the door. "I really have to be going."

"Wait!" I called. He stopped; hand on the door and Guardian close behind him, "Why did you bring me a book?"

He smiled at me again, "That really isn't my style of book." He said cryptically before opening the door and both of them exited the room. I frowned, confused and looked down at the book in my hands.

On the front was a man on a horse with a cowboy hat settled on his head. I smiled and opened the front page, and stopped at the hand written note.

It's one of my favorites

There was no signature, but that wasn't necessary. I knew his handwriting and, well, who else would send a western for me to read?