Hello my dear readers.

I want to tell you that I won't be able to update till December because my family will be moving to a new town (well, more like country side… it's half an hour from my current home). There will be no internet for some time. I'll try to add chapters through my school, but I'm not sure it will work as we have security installed last year, that doesn't allow us to go on face book, vkontakte (or as you probably know it a vk(dot)com)… So I don't know when I'll update.

I wasn't able to update earlier because I was packing… Let me tell you, it's really sucks! Especially when there is a lot of cloths and books... Argh! I still have a lot of packing to do.

Also I wanted to let you know that I'm so grateful for your support! You guys are amazing! I received 14 reviews from you for last chapter! You don't even know what it means to me! Really! Every time I post new chapter I'm so nervous that you won't like it… and when I open my e-mail box and read your reviews… Guys, thank you so much! I'm not one for crying, but after reading some of your responses I have tears in my eyes. I'm so glad I have you!

Hope you enjoy this chapter.

I don't own VA, but Ted and Igor are MINE!

Chapter 19

Where is his pulse? Is he…?

"Fiore, honey, wake up" Ted's finger was tracing my face gently. I slowly opened my eyes to see his breathtaking smile.

"Mhmm" I smiled at him in return. It was so nice to wake up seeing his face.

"Ok, now that you are awake we can have breakfast. I've already ordered room service. It will be here in ten minutes, so I suggest you go and take a shower," Teo lifted from the spot next to mine into the sitting position.

"Teddy," he turned to look at me "Help me?" It was some sort of a ritual. Every morning Ted would wake up first, shower, order or make a breakfast, come back to wake me up, pull me from the bed and set a table in our room while I have my 5-10 minute morning shower. My hand found his and he laced his fingers through mine and pulled me to the end of the bed. Then he lifted me from the bed and put me on my feet.

"You have a lazy ass, my dear." He joked pushing me gently into the bathroom.

"My backside is a sexy one. Don't anger me, or I'll have to go all badass on you and after I'm done, you won't be able to sit on yours!" I smiled to let him know I'm joking. He only chuckled and closed the door to the bathroom.


After breakfast I went to my closet and pulled out a duffel bag which had my weapons. I put it aside; we will secure our equipment when we are near the Strigoi's place. It would be stupid to put it all now, seeing as we have to meet with everybody downstairs where are a lot of humans were. I pulled on black leggings and white sneakers. I slipped white tunica over my bra and pulled my leather jacket on. As I turned around I saw that Ted was doing the same on the other side of room. He smiled when he saw what I was wearing. We both were wearing similar cloths. He was in black comfortable jeans and white sneakers and t-shirt. Only difference is that his leather jacket was black while mine was a color of coffee with cream.

"You ready?" I nodded and went to the door. Ted grabbed our bags and went after me. With his arm lazily wrapped around my waist we went downstairs. We were greeted by our team and trio. I was shocked when I saw Eddie and Art there as well. Well, I guess I'll just put them to guard morois and Syd.

"So now, that we are all here let's go"


We decided to take two cars, or more like two vans. Ted and I decided to drive with my American friends. The ride to the first of four possible Christian's locations was fast. It took only about forty minutes to get there.

We stopped our cars when I sensed them. It was half a mile from them. We climbed out of the cars and started stretching and pulling our gears on. Then I went over to Liss and company.

"Guys, We will be leaving now. I want you to stay here for half an hour and then come to the house. We will need some time to get there and to analyze how to break in. I hope by the time you get there we will be inside. Don't need them to know that we are planning" You probably wondering why not just call them? Well, mobile service here is terrible.

"Rose, me and Belikov can help." Said Eddie.

"You will be a great distraction, Eddie. We have taken a lot of strigoi nests and we know what we are capable of, we know when to step back and let another handle a fight or when to help, but when it comes to you two, we don't know anything. Well, I do, but that's not the point. The point is, that it will be hard for any of us to concentrate on taking strigoi out when there is a possibility that you are in danger. So think of yourself as a back up team. Arthur and Sydney will stay with you. If something goes wrong then there will be a signal. They will know what to do." I explained to them.

During our raids we each developed some kind of scheme. I and Ted always take underground or/and first floor, depending on the height of the building. Igor goes with Art to the first or second floor and Denis and Lev take second or third floor. Also we have our own signals. Like, if it is underground or first floor then we send the signal by radio to the people who are in the car and someone goes to help us. If it's someone from higher floors, they just shot three times in the window because it's the easiest way to ask for help. You can't shoot in the basement, there hardly any windows and we don't do it on the first floor because there is a risk you can shoot someone from the outside. We can't stay in contact through little communication devices because seriously, if you are fighting and suddenly someone starts shouting through the ear piece you'll just find it difficult to concentrate on your opponent. Also if not the shouting/screaming then sounds of fight on the other side is very distracting as well. So Syd and Art will be able to tell when the help is needed.

"Don't do anything stupid and don't go into the house without Sydney telling you it's ok. Do you understand? You are not allowed to go there before Syd tells you." I repeated it twice pointedly looking at Dimitri and Eddie. I already handled Artie. He wasn't pleased at all, but after a rather boring and long lecture from me about his 'impressing' fighting skills and ability to 'stay away' from hospital, he agreed that he needed more training and would guard Americans and one Russian for today, but only if I let him come as an extra help if needed. I really hope it won't come to that. Den, Lev and Igor will do fine by themselves and I'm pretty sure that Ted and I will do just as great.

"Fine. But don't hesitate if there are some problems." Said Eddie. Dimitri just nodded and continued to examine the area around us for danger.

"Believe me, I'm not risking my guys. Now let me and my team work. Watch moroi and Syd. We will call for back up if we need it" With that I turned around and left with my team to the building.


After we cleaned first house we left to other two. Each time we came from the house I saw hope leaving Lissa's eyes little by little. We were heading to the last address we had. From what our GPS is showing we still had about thirty minutes before we will be near our location. My team was tired but we were determined to finish this hide out before sunset, which is in three hours.

The car was dead silent apart from Lissa's whimpers in the back. I was emotionally exhausted. Not only I had to deal with my emotions but also with Lissa's. I was so tense, my hands were griping my stake so hard that my knuckles turned white, it didn't help that Ted was glancing at me every five seconds. After two more minutes of listening to Lissa sobbing her heart out Ted decided to put on some music.

At first I didn't recognize song because I was so used to it starting by Jason Wade singing, so it was a shock listening to an acoustic version where it started by guitar. It was 'Storm' by Lifehouse, one of my favorites. I waited for prechorus and chorus to sing along. When it was time and I started to sing, "If I could just see you," I noticed that it wasn't only me singing. I looked to the side and saw a smiling Ted as he sang with me. "Everything would be all right. If I'd see you, this darkness would turn to light. And I will walk on water. And you will catch me if I fall. And I will get lost into your eyes. I know everything will be alright. I know everything is alright" As song continued to play I relaxed. I smiled at Ted a 'thank you' smile. He nodded. He knew me too well. This song always calmed me down. Well, maybe it was because of the singer's voice, maybe because of words. But maybe it was the lines that we sang, they reminded me of my loyal, kind, caring friend Teddy who will have my back in any situation.

For the rest of our trip Teddy-bear played my favorite relaxing songs. When we pulled to a stop atmosphere in car was much lighter, Adrian did his best in keeping Lissa's mind occupied with small-talks, Eddie fell asleep (he didn't know about rescue so he didn't rest at night and also with flying from America, time difference and injury he was exhausted) and Dimitri looked at me and Ted or out of the window during the ride.

My team did our routine and went to the location. In ten minutes we came to the three-story cottage. From what I can tell there were twenty or so strigoi. We quickly checked the outside of house. I pointed at the easiest points of breaking in (less strigoi) and we split into groups. While guys took entry through the glass terrace, I and my bear broke into the garage. There were no strigoi so we opened garage doors and let sunshine into the room. Then we went into the house. We were in the kitchen and there stood human. I broke a window to let sunlight in here as well while Teo took care of human. We didn't like killing humans, so we just shoot their foot or put them unconscious. We can't let them go, so we gave them to moroi world as feeders. Some might think that it's cruel, but what can we do. They were helping strigoi. They've already made a decision to become monsters. Well, enough with thinking, I can sense two strigoi coming our way, probably wondering why their pet was making so much noise. I signed Ted about coming party and we immediately went into action.

"What the he.." started to say one of the bloodsuckers as they entered kitchen. I staked him easily because he was too distracted to notice me or Ted while he was staring into the broken window. He was a dhampire before turned. What a waste. Stay on the constant alert. Always watch your surroundings. Yeah, someone needed to pay more attention in class. As I turned to Ted I saw how he staked his opponent. We exchanged brief glances and went down the hall searching for basement, opening windows on our way. When we reached the one that led to the basement we already took down two strigoi excluding two in the kitchen, also we saw how our three Russians went upstairs.

Going down the stairs was a problem. When we reach the middle, one of strigoi was coming upstairs. If we returned to the top there was a chance he would attack us from behind. He didn't alert others, but probably he was too cocky for his own good. He blocked our pass and continued to make his way upstairs all the while looking at me like I was some kind of delicious meal, which I, of course, was. Well to him, anyway. I stopped and analyzed the situation I was in for second. The passage was narrow, making it hard to fight. Also being sandwiched between two men, Ted and strigoi, didn't help this problem. Also I was at a big disadvantage, as strigoi came nearer to me I realized that he was going to be standing on the step lower than mine, making it impossible to stake him through the heart, because the only thing I could stake was his head, and considering the narrow passage it will be unlikely. Shit. If only…

"Ted, hold me tight". He did as he was told, holding my waist. As this over confident dude made it to the point where I could hit, I lifted my legs to my chest and kicked him in the head, making him fall down the stairs. Ted and I rushed to him before he could recover. While Ted took care of him, I was checking our surroundings. From there I couldn't hear what was going upstairs. No wonder they didn't come rushing to help. Just as Ted staked that dude, we were greeted by four other suckers coming from the door on the other side of hall. Well, it's going to be fun.

Ted came to my side immediately and together we moved in direction of that room, taking out strigoi as we did. Surprisingly, it didn't took long to finally kill two of mine. As Ted continued to fight with his last one I decided to take a look in the room.

I came to a halt at the entrance of the room. Teddy, who just arrived here as well and cursed. It was funny, given that he rarely did it. But I guess it depends on situation.

There in the farthest side were three moroi. One girl and two men. I recognized Christian the second my eyes laid on him. They were in bad shape. You could see bruises and bite marks on them. But it wasn't what made Ted curse. It was the fact that five strigoi guarded the hostages; more like three were holding them by their throats, while other two stood five steps in front of them. Shit.

As good as we were, the day of fighting finally got to us. I knew I had several injuries and looking at Ted he did to, it was nothing big, like a broken rib, but still it made us weak. Also our breathing was labored. This was bad. We were both exhausted. And I don't think there is any way that we can take them down without hurting moroi in process. Double shit.

The one who appeared to be the leader said something in French, four other gave him a nod. As two strigoi with moroi dropped them to the ground and made their way to the other two, I made a step towards them, plan already forming in my mind. I put my hands behind my back and started to sign Ted to call radio and ask for help while I distracted them. Ted knew about my ghost ability, so I signed him that I'll use my powers and will hold them for some time for others to make their appearance. The only sign I received that he understood was a low whistle, as I still had my back towards him. Our conversation lasted for less than twenty seconds but it was enough for bloodsuckers to make a decision on how to attack. While they made their way toward me, I slowly started to pull my mental walls down and waited for Ted to give me a signal that he got the radio from his pocket.

"Done!" it was it took for me to summon my dead friends. They attacked strigoi before I even asked them. Too bad a pain cracked through my skull and I didn't see them in action. I fell to my knees, holding my head trying to last as much as possible. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was aware that Ted had called for a back up and now was making his way to the leader that still had a moroi girl in his arms, but the pain was blinding me and all I could do is pray for the help to come quickly.

Where the hell they were? I could feel my concentration slipping. If they don't hurry up I'm not sure there will be anybody to save. As I was thinking that; I heard a door slamming and footsteps coming my way. Whoever they were, they took one strigoi after another. I put my mental walls back, and was finally free from agonizing headache. But what I saw next made my heart stop.

Ted was lying on the floor with the leader on top of him. His eyes were closed and he was covered in blood. Strigoi leaned down to bite him, but wasn't fast enough. I don't know how I did it, but next thing I knew, I was pulling him from my Teddy. It didn't matter that I was barely standing, that I just suffered from unbearable pain and was exhausted, all that mattered was Teddy's life. I hope it was still his life I was fighting for.

As I pulled that bastard he threw his foot out and tried to kick me in my stomach but I caught it just before it reached me. We threw punches and kicks back and forth at each other some connecting and some not. He then suddenly pushed me against the wall. I felt dizzy for a moment. As I tried to recover he came at me. He held me by my neck and moved his head, ready to bite, but he didn't see my stake coming when it hit his back. It caused him to scream and let me go. I quickly turned us around that it was now him against the wall and stacked him though the front. I watched as the light faded from his eyes but I couldn't stop myself from staking over and over again. When I was satisfied with my work I stepped from him and watched how his body hit the floor. I turned around and saw that all other fights had already stoped before mine did and now Art, Eddie and Dimitri were looking at me.

"Stop staring, take moroi outside. We don't have much time." They did as I told them to do. Dimitri was reluctant to leave, but I reminded him "They come first". He sighed, picked up Christian and left. I made my way to Teddy. I fell to the floor on my knees beside him. I reached my trembling hand out for his. I could feel my tears running down my cheeks but I didn't care in the moment. I was terrified to find out the answer to the question which was running through my mind from the moment I saw that strigoi on Ted. I finally gathered enough courage to take his hand and check his on a wrist.

Where is it? No… NO! Ok, don't panic, sometimes it hard to find pulse on your wrist. Try to feel a pulse on the side of the neck. I placed two fingers to his neck. Here it is. Thanks God. I was never so relived in my life. This situation reminded me too much of what happened with Dimitri in that cave. I don't know what I would have done if something happened to my bear. I gently pulled his head on my lap and began to softly stroke his face like he did it to me in the morning. I was smiling down at his sleeping form (if you can call it that). After minute or two Eddie returned Dimitri. They looked at me like I was crazy.

"He is alive." I laughed "My Teddy-bear is alive" soon my laugh turned into the sobs. Eddie took Teo from my arms and went with him upstairs leaving me with Dimitri.

I was lifted off the ground and into my Dimitri's arms. I wiped away the tears and tried to pull away from him, but he just held me tighter. "Shh, Roza. It's ok. Just let it out." And I did. I wrapped my bloody arms around his neck and buried my head into his chest. As he carried me upstairs he continued to smooth me, but this time in Russian. I didn't know what he was saying and I really didn't want to find out, because being in his arms so close to him, hearing him talk in his native tongue was enough for me to forget about him being strigoi, about him pushing me away. It was just like before the attack. I wanted to stay in his arms, to pretend that those eight months never happened, but as much as I didn't want to leave him, I knew that Ted needed me now, so I pulled away from Dimitri as he came outside and run to my bear. He was still unconscious, but he looked so much better.

"I healed him as much as I could. Lissa already healed your other guys and now resting in the other car." I turned my attention to Adrian.

"Thank you, Adrian. You don't know how much this means to me" I whispered, returning my attention to my number one concern. While I was downstairs with Ted, my team decided to head back, seeing as there were nothing else to do. So they took all moroi, excluding Adrian, and headed to the hospital leaving behind Syd, Eddie, Art, Dimitri, Ted and me. It was a good choice, many of them needed medical attention. Lissa was a master at healing but there was a limit to her powers.

"They regret pushing you away, you know," continued in low voice Adrian, waiting for others to climb into the car. It was dark outside and Syd was finishing cleaning the house while Eddie and Eddie guarded her. "Especially cradle robber." He pointed at Dimitri, who was watching surroundings standing on the porch. "He was very distant with everybody since you left. He blames himself for your departure." I turned to him, shocked. "Hey, don't look at me like that. Yes, I don't like him, but come on. He is depressed. His aura is all over the place. He was so jealous of Ted when he saw his arms around you yesterday and after that, when we were looking at your photos. He doesn't show it, but he loves you." He turned his head to the side, looking out of the window. "I don't ask you to forgive him or take him back. Just talk to him. You both need it" He was right. But not now.

"I will. But let's focus on something else right now. I really don't want to think about anything." He nodded his head. I sit on the seat resting Ted's head on my lap again.


Guys finished with cleaning and now they were sitting in the car. Dimitri was driving. It was silent in the vehicle. Looking down at Ted, I had an idea. I took my I-phone from my bag. I searched for a song to sing. After so many times Ted sang to me it was time to return the favor. I found his favorite song of a month 'Hold My Hand' byMaher Zain and pressed the play button. I joined on the chorus.

Now we share the same bright sun,

The same round moon

Why don't we share the same love

Tell me why not

Life is shorter than most have thought

Hold my hand

There are many ways to do it right

Hold my hand

Turn around and see what we have left behind

Hold my hand my friend

We can save the good spirit of me and you

For another chance

And let's pray for a beautiful world

A beautiful world I share with you

Thinking about today's events I realized that maybe I should give Lissa and Dimitri another chance. After all, we have only one life to live, so I'll try to forgive, forget and move on with my life with or without them.

I want to remind you that I won't be able to update till December.

I'm sorry you had to wait so long for this chapter. I tried to make it longer.

I'm also sorry that you have to wait for my next update… I'll try to make it extra long

Next chapter: dinner at karaoke and part of the ball

Your author from Russia,