Alright, so again, I start a new story… I am starting way too much. But that's okay.
Twitter me. KatrynaWilliams.
Rose Hathaway's the name. I'm twenty one years old.
For about three years, I've been hunting Strigoi, killing the evil, immortal vampires.
In my world, there are Moroi, the alive, mortal vampires. Dhampirs, the human-Moroi half breeds, born to protect the Moroi from the Strigoi. Strigoi are the undead, evil, immortal vampires. They are made, not born.
I am a Dhampir. I was born to protect Moroi, and for most of my life, was on the track of becoming Guardian to my Royal Moroi best friend, Vasilisa Dragomir, or Lissa. She's the last Dragomir, the Dragomir Princess. I was to be her Guardian.
But then something happened.
See, when Lissa and I ran away from the academy, we were on our own for two years. And we didn't run into any Strigoi.
Then Guardian Dimitri Belikov and other Guardians brought us back.
Dimitri was my mentor for a good six months. And we fell in love. Or I did, and I thought he had. We'd slept together, and then, a week later, he'd left me, for Tasha Ozera. Lissa's boyfriend's aunt. Lissa's boyfriend was Christian. He was royal too, but he family was shamed, because his parents had willingly turned Strigoi.
See, Dimitri left, no warning, no goodbye, he just left. Alberta Petrov had told me. I had been in love, and we were going to go public after graduation. And the suckiest part of it all? He had left on my birthday. I found out the morning of my birthday. My eighteenth. And that had meant we could legally be together.
I had broken down. Lissa came by to celebrate, but I blocked her out. I had locked my door, hidden in my room. Cried, sobbed, broken down completely. She had walked in, and figured it out. She tried to comfort me, but I couldn't be fixed.
Adrian, Christian, Eddie, and Lissa had tried to put the pieces back together, but they couldn't. I shut them all out, shoved the bond away, put up walls. I almost never ate, became quiet, and removed, got straight A's, threw myself into my training and classes, and did everything I could to be the best student ever. It felt as if my heart and soul had been ripped from my body.
I graduated as valedictorian, and had said a speech. I had been assigned as Lissa's guardian.
Then Lissa and I got into a fight. She told me she never wanted to see me again. Just when I had started to fix myself, pull it together.
So I'd packed a bag, grabbed my trust fund, and left.
I hadn't seen any of them since, keeping Adrian out of my dreams, keeping the bond away from me. I had walled everything up. I had kept everyone away for three years.
I had been traveling around the world. Fighting and killing Strigoi. I am shadow kissed. Lissa uses spirit, and brought me back from the dead.
One of the effects, once practiced, allowed me to know exactly how many Strigoi were left in the world. It allowed me to track them, in a way. Whenever I got close, nausea swelled into my stomach.
When I had started off, there had been more than one hundred thousand Strigoi in the world. Now, there were less than fifty thousand.
A way I had accomplished killing almost fifty thousand Strigoi, was another shadow kissed effect. I could concentrate all of my energy into a black ball of light, of energy. I make it explode, and it literally knocks the Strigoi part of them out of the body. It brings their soul back.
I had saved fifty thousand people. I only killed when I had to. Which was rare, now. The whole ball of energy thing took everything from me, and made me ready to drop, but it was worth it. The bigger the ball, the further it went. The biggest one had been three hundred miles around. I was still going around, trying to get all Strigoi freed.
Today, I was laying in a hotel bed, trying to sleep. I felt overwhelming sadness flow through the bond, even through the walls I had put up. The sadness, it threatened to overwhelm me.
I knew I had to go see her. I couldn't let myself go into her head, I wouldn't want to go to her then. I had to make sure she was okay.
I was maybe two days away. I knew she was at court.
My bags were packed by the door. I took a shower, changed, and darted to the airport.
I took two extremely long flights, and a cab ride to court. I stopped a mile away, paid the driver, and started to walk.
It didn't take long. I ran most of the way, my backpack slung over my shoulders. I crept through the wards, and found a guardian who was walking around.
"Can you tell me where Vasilisa Dragomir lives?" I asked him.
He nodded. "In the big house down there. Walk straight, turn right, turn left, follow the path. You're there. It's got a red door, and it's white," he told me.
I thanked him, and walked the way he told me.
I looked upon the house. It was big, three or four stories. The door was blood red, and there were roses on both sides of the house. The house was snowy white, and the windows were large. There were two cars parked in the driveway. One for Christian, one for Lissa.
My feet led me to the door, reluctantly. I didn't want to do this, but it was too late to chicken out. I rapped on the door.
After a moment, it opened and Christian stood there, dressed in all black. His eyes were irritated, as if he'd been crying.
He didn't see me for a second, he had been looking behind him. He laid eyes on me, and his mouth dropped open.
"Shut your mouth, fireboy. Where is she?" I rasped. My throat was sore, and I was exhausted. I hadn't been able to sleep. I couldn't feel anything but Lissa's sadness since I felt the initial wave. I had strengthened the walls, but it still slipped through, loud and clear.
He blinked. "Is that really you?"
"No. It's Santa Claus," not my best, I admit.
He gave me a hug.
"Lissa!" he shouted. "Lissa!"
I heard sobbing. "I can't do this!" she shouted.
The sad feeling intensified.
"Come here. Right now!" Christian exclaimed.
She walked out, in a black dress that came to her knees. Her eyes were bloodshot, puffy, and red. Her blonde hair was a mess, but was pulled back.
"I can't, Christian, I just can't do this. This can't be real," she sobbed. "I would have felt it if she—" her eyes rested on me. She froze.
"Hey, Liss. Miss me?" I smiled a weak smile.
She rushed to me, throwing her arms around me. She hugged me tight. I hugged back. Tears ran down her face and mine.
Then she pulled back, and started hitting me. And hitting me. It didn't hurt, I didn't even feel it.
"Lissa. Lissa!" I tried. She didn't stop. I grabbed her wrists.
"Why did you leave? I thought you were dead!" she hugged me again.
There was a knock at the door. Christian opened it.
"How can you be smiling when Rose is dead? Your aura is happy. What the hell is wrong with you?" Adrian's voice was on edge. Christian flung open the door the rest of the way.
I loved their faces.
Adrian looked like he would pass out, and Eddie looked floored. There was another girl I didn't know there. Her brown eyes reminded me of—
"Little Dhampir?" Adrian asked, unsure.
"It's me," I told him. "Can we go get this funeral mess sorted out?"
"You can't go wearing that," Lissa motioned to my clothes. She walked to her closet.
I looked down. My shirt was torn, covered in blood, showing scars from my initial battles.
She threw me a shirt that was too big on her. I made my back face them, and took off my shirt. I was down to my bra, when I heard sharp intakes of breath.
"Rose, what happened to you?" Eddie demanded.
"Shit," I muttered. The scars. "Um, in the beginning, I wasn't so good. So, I was ambushed, by twenty. They used me as a cutting board, because they thought it would be fun. So for three or four days, they cut me up. I was so weak… it was a miracle I got out alive."
"You shouldn't have left," Lissa said.
I had the shirt on. My pants had blood stains, but you couldn't see them. They were black jeans, and they weren't ripped. They were fairly new.
"Can I ask you something?" I tried.
"Yes," Christian nodded when everyone else hesitated.
"Why does everyone think I'm dead?" I asked.
"Because Alberta, Stan, Yuri, your mother… three days ago, they went on a mission, with tons of guardians. There was a building, it was the middle of the night…" Lissa broke off.
Christian continued for her. "There were Strigoi on the roof. Everyone saw you battling them. There were hundreds. Then, something black exploded, the Strigoi dropped dead, and—"
"And I fell," I finished. "I know. A shadow kissed effect. I had virtually no energy. I'll show you, I'll explain later. I landed on my feet. I was fine."
"They couldn't find a body," Adrian told me.
"I figured as much," I grinned. "Let's go."
"Rose?" the girl asked.
"Viktoria's my name."
Where had I heard that name? "Yes, Viktoria?"
"Did you see my brother at all in those three years? We can't find him. I need to find him."
"Who's your brother?"
My heart stopped. Then it started beating too fast.
"He went missing?" I demanded. "When?"
"He didn't just go missing. He left. In the middle of the night, a week after you disappeared. He left her a note. It said that he couldn't be her guardian anymore, because his heart belonged to you. That he had to find you, and he wouldn't stop until he found you… or until he was dead," Viktoria told me.
My stomach twisted.
"But he left." I said.
"Didn't you get the phone calls? The messages?" Lissa asked.
"What phone calls? What messages?"
"He came here, for a few days. He called you, left you messages, nonstop," she told me.
My phone was in my pocket. I hadn't turned it on since he had left, but I still had it with me. "I never turned it on, not since he left. Did you try calling him?"
"He doesn't answer anymore," Viktoria looked on the verge of tears.
"We're going to sort out the funeral business, then we'll figure this out. I promise," I vowed. We walked to my funeral.
I would never get over that.
We arrived, and the service was already in progress. We didn't want to make a scene, so we went through it all. We'd talk to everyone afterwards.
I walked into the woods, and hid, watching them bury this empty casket. My mother was in the front.
I couldn't watch, so I turned my back. Everyone was so upset. But walking out into the open while everyone thinks I'm dead? That would cause a mass panic. And I knew it. Everyone else was standing there.
It ended, and everyone left. My mother remained. Alberta stood to the side of my grave, but everyone else was gone, when I looked again. Lissa, Christian, Eddie, Adrian, and Viktoria were looking around for me.
I walked into the open. "Mom!" I shouted, running to her.
She turned around, and whipped out her stake.
"Relax! It's me! I didn't die!" I exclaimed.
She looked me up and down, threw down her stake, and ran to hug me.
Alberta followed close behind her.
"How do we fix this?" I asked, when we were done being reunited.
"I'm not sure. I'll take care of it, Rose," Alberta said, walking off.
"Where were you for the last three years?" my mother demanded. "And how did you kill all those Strigoi? How did you survive that fall?"
"Look, mom, I love you. But right now, I've got a few more things to attend to. We'll have dinner, okay?" I asked.
I walked to Lissa. "Where can I stay?"
"We have a room for you, in case you came back. I bought you stuff, and had your old things shipped here. I'll show you," she said.
I hugged her. "I love you, sis. I'm sorry."
She nodded. "Love you too."
I was in my room. I had listened to the messages on my phone.
The first: Roza. Kirova found out, she sent me away. She didn't want to have us lose everything. Once you graduate, we can be together. She doesn't want contact, but she doesn't know about your phone. Call me. I love you.
Tears sprang to my eyes.
I'm getting worried, Roza. Why won't you answer?
Where are you? You disappeared! Roza, come back to me. We can be together. You just have to forgive me.
Roza, it's been a week. I'm going to find you. I promise.
Roza? Answer please! It's been three weeks since you disappeared, please, answer. Please.
Rose, you need to call me back, even if it's just to tell me you hate me. Please. I'm looking.
Are you okay? Do you listen to these? I love you, Roza, my Roza. Please talk to me. Answer. It's been two months. I'm still looking. I won't stop till I find you.
I felt horrible. Had I answered…
I cried. Tears flew down my face.
I tried to call. But it went to voicemail.
"Dimitri?" I sobbed. "Please. Call me back. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. Please? Just call me. I didn't know you left messages; I just turned on my phone for the first time in three years. Please call me. I love you. I'm sorry."
I needed to let out my anger. I found my way to the gym. The doors were open.
I started punching. And kicking. I had destroyed the dummy by the time I was done.
I walked to find a secluded area. I ended up at a pond. I sat beside it, the wind blowing my hair out of my face. I shut my eyes, and pulled my knees up to my chest.
The scent of intoxicating aftershave hit me. I thought I was hallucinating. Then I heard that voice I would know anywhere.
So… what did you think?