Things were going good, I suppose, but I still had difficulty with everything. Reality was still not on my side. The nightmares I got were horrible, and unless Dimitri was in the bed with me when I woke up after them or in the mornings, I would fear that I was back in the hallucinations. When Dimitri found me later, he would feel horrible and wouldn't leave my side for the rest of the day. At least until I blew up on him. It had been almost a month later and I had become fed-up with the dreams and everyone around. I told Dimitri to stay away from me, and I moved back into my room.

That had been a week ago, and he has continued to keep his distance from me. I could feel his eyes on me whenever we were in the same room though, and I knew he hated this. I knew I was upsetting him, but I couldn't help it. I just couldn't handle the nightmares and the fear. I also knew that the nightmares and my doubts of reality hurt him. Whenever I questioned him on if he was going to disappear on me or something he'd get all sad and promise he was there to stay. It hurt him most when I told him I believed him. It was always a lie in an attempt to make him feel better, and he knew it.

I was alone in the kitchen hating myself for doing this to him when the phone rang. I picked it up and answered, frowning when the voice on the other end asked to speak to Dimitri. Sighing, I went to find him and found him in the living room. He looked like he was reading one of his Westerns, but as I looked more closely his eyes didn't seem to be moving down the page.

"Dimitri, you have a phone call," I said softly, highly aware that this is the first time I spoke directly to him in the last week.

He looked up at me, eyes wide with surprise, and got to his feet to take the cordless from me. My eyes dropped to the floor as he reached me. I couldn't meet his gaze. I couldn't stand the thought of the expression he was wearing, much less actually seeing how much I was hurting him. He took the phone from my hand and lightly brushed my cheek with the back of his fingers. I didn't have any time to actually react before he pulled back and turned his attention to the person on the phone.

"Belikov," he murmured.

I sighed unhappily and made my way up to my room. I turned my stereo on and sat on my bed. A few songs played with me barely noticing them. The one that finally caught my attention was Arms by Christina Perri. That was only because I knew exactly what she was talking about because it was exactly how I was feeling. I sighed for felt like the millionth time and shut the stereo off by the time the bridge finished. I closed my eyes for moment before I moved off my bed and went to my bathroom. It was only then that I realized I was crying. Hating the girl staring back at me, I threw my fist into the mirror and watched as shards of reflective glass fell to the sink and floor.

Mesmerized by it all I picked up the biggest piece in the sink. I stood there looking at it when a loud knock resounded from my bedroom door. Startled from the sharp sound, I closed my hand around the piece of mirror in my hand. Cursing in pain, I grabbed a heap of toilet paper and tried to stop the bleeding where I cut myself just as my bedroom door creaked open. A moment later, Dimitri was in the doorway of my bathroom staring at the scene before him with so much concern that I wanted to cry again. It only took a heartbeat of time for him to go into protector mode.

"Jesus, Rose," he murmured as he moved me aside before going into the cabinet under my sink for the first aid kit. "What happened?"

"I punched the mirror," I said as if that was the most normal thing in the world.

I watched him shake his head as he removed the bloody toilet paper and tossed it in the trash. My eyes were glued to his face as he took my hand held it over the sink. I winced slightly at the stinging sensation that came from the peroxide as he poured it over my cut. He didn't look happy at all about any of this, and that all just made me feel horrible. My eyes drifted away from his face to our hands as he finished cleaning mine up. I watched him put the neosporin on the gash before wrapping my hand with gauze. In that moment, my mind went back to the last time he had fixed me up in here.

"Do you hate me?" I asked as he started putting everything away and cleaning up my mess.

"Where would you get that idea?" he scowled, his accent thick with irritated confusion.

I just shook my head and squeezed past him and out of the bathroom. I was probably crazy but I couldn't help it. I was halfway out of my room when he grabbed my arm and spun me to face him. The irritation had seeped into pure confusion as he met my gaze for the first time in the last week.

"Roza," he said softly. " What would give you that idea?"

"It's your expression," I said. "Well, the angry one that slips sometimes."

"I'm not mad at you," he said, pulling me into his arms and hugging tightly. "I could never hate you. My father, however, is a different story. I want to ring his sorry neck for what he did to you. I hate seeing you like this. Why did you punch your mirror?"

"Because I keep screwing up. I wouldn't have been in any of this mess if I had forgiven you a long time ago. Instead, all I've done was push you away."

"First off, I pushed you away a lot more times than you did me," he said, grabbing my face between his hands and forced me from looking away like I tried to. "Second off, my father messed with your mind using me and your friends. I don't blame you for questioning what's real. It hurts, yes, but that hasn't stopped me from loving you. I don't care how long it takes for you to recover, I will be here whenever you need me."

At those words, the tears poured out of my eyes as I sobbed into his chest. I didn't cry in front of people often. The only ones who have ever witnessed it were Dimitri and Lissa. He let me cry, lifting me up bridal style after a few minutes and carrying me to my bed. He laid me down then got in next me and wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace. I burried my face in his chest and realized just how much I missed being there. I fell asleep to him whispering sweetly to me in Russian, feeling at home and safe despite those annoying worries and fears in the back of my head.

After that, things slowly got back to normal and a couple days later, I was smiling as I helped Lissa slip into her wedding gown as she all but had a panic attack. I shook my head and sat her down in the so I could do her hair while Tasha worked on her make-up When we done with her and she had stopped freaking out, we got ready ourselves.

An hour later I was standing beside her at the alter as she and Christian exchanged their vows. It was all I could do not to jump up and down with joy. I was ecstatic for them. I really, truly was, and to be honest, it was about time.

The reception was even more spectacular than the wedding. The banquet was huge and packed with all of our friends, my parents, and even people I didn't really know that well. I congradulated the happy newlyweds and then stepped off to the side to let them have their time to mingle. When dinner rolled around, I stood up an made a little speech about the two. Well, perhaps little is an understatement. It went something like this.

"I've known Lissa since kindergarden," I started. "We became friends after I threw a fit at our teacher and now we're practically sisters. As for Christian. . . He's the thorn in my side, though I'm told that's the typical trait of a brother. I wouldn't know, and I doubt he does either. We're both only children in our families and tend to want to strangle each other every hour so.

I have to admit, I hated it when they started going out. I mean, a guy who could give me a run for my money in attitude, temper, and sarcasm, has to be no good. Well, I still believe that, but Lissa won't listen to me. Regardless of these concerns, I must give him some credit. He loves more than life itself and isn't too horrible to live with. As it is, I'm happy for them but if I disappear tomorrow, Liss, ask your husband where he put my ashes. He's eyeing me like I'm barbecue. And speaking of food, love the cooking, Sparky."

That was followed by a few disaproving hisses of my name and even more laughter. After that we ate in silence and then I watched Lissa and Christian start the first dance. Dimitri came over to me then and as people began to dance with them, he wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his chin on the top of my head.

"You know Christian will get you back for that speech eventually," he said.

"He can try," I said, "but he knows he loves it when I harrass him."


I hope you enjoyed this. The epilogue will be coming soon. I must give my Kudos to Christina Perri once more for the inspiration to finally finish this story. One more update to go and I hope you guys will enjoy it.