A/N: Wow, I don't know where to start. There's so much to cover. It's been a long six months, but I did it! I finished my first ever fanfic!
First of all, I want to thank everyone who has read this story and stuck with it. It means the world to me! I couldn't have done it without your guys. You all gave me the drive to keep writing!
Nicia, you have been an amazing Beta and awesome friend! Thank you for your support and amazing editing skills.
FallenAngelLuver, who is a die hard Dominic fan. Love you!
One last thing, there will be NO sequel. Sorry.
Disclaimer: Richelle Mead owns Vampire Academy.
1 month later:
"I still cannot believe we're moving back to Russia." I shook my head in disbelief as I watched the movers haul out the very last of our boxes.
"It'll be good for you to be around family, Rose. And Grace too. She needs to be around more people that love her." Dominic draped an arm around my waist.
"I know." I said, laying my head on his shoulder. "But I'm going to miss Germany so much. I'm going to miss this house so much."
"It's hard for me, too. Believe me. Harder than I ever thought it was going to be." We stared at Grace's lavender nursery room.
The whole house was empty. It felt like a ghost town.
Dominic smiled slightly, but it oozed sadness. Those long fingers of his brushed my cheek. "Don't be, Angel. I still hold all the memories we have of this house close to my heart."
"Me too." I laughed. "Like the one time I fell asleep and Grace crawled off and spilled blue nail polish all over the floor and your dress shirt."
He laughed with me. "I'll never stop calling her Smurf for that."
"What about the one time when she got into your makeup."
We both laughed.
"All the boxes are ready to go. Just sign this please, sir." The sweaty moving man handed my husband a clipboard.
Dominic was still laughing his ass off when he signed it. The man nodded his thanks and took off.
"Ready, my beautiful wife?"
I took his hand, inhaled a deep breath, and nodded. "Let's do this."
Luckily, it was only forty-five minutes until we landed in at St. Basil's academy. Lissa had arranged a private jet for the three of us, and for that I was grateful. It was so much faster than going to the airport, it also saved both Dominic and I a splitting headache.
About halfway through the flight, Grace fell asleep in Dominic's lap listening to him read her Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
I smiled at him and linked my fingers through his. "I love you."
He kissed me, slowly and thoroughly. "I love you too, baby."
The stewardess wheeled her cart by. "Mimosa?"
Dominic grabbed two glasses and handed one to me.
"Does this have champagne in it?"
The blonde hair, blue-eyed woman nodded. "Yes, ma'am."
I frantically searched my brain for answers. Was it okay to have one glass of champagne when pregnant? Would it harm the baby?
"Shit." I muttered, gritting my teeth. I couldn't for the life of me remember anything from the pregnancy books I'd read when I was carrying Grace.
"Are you okay?" Dominic asked. "You look like you have to go to the bathroom…badly."
"I'm fine." I plastered a smile on my face and took a sip of Mimosa.
When he turned his head, I quickly spit it on the ground.
I did this for the next twenty minutes—taking a sip, waiting for Dominic to get distracted, and spitting it on the floor.
I tried to nonchalantly cover the melon-size wet spot on the carpet with my foot.
The light blinked on, followed by the pilot's bored voice instructing all passengers to put their seatbelts on because the jet was going in for landing.
Once we stepped off the jet, we were immediately greeted by family.
"Aunty Rose! Aunty Rose!" That was Eric and Andrea grabbing my legs.
"Hello, babies." I scooped Eric into my arms and gave Andrea a tight squeeze. She understood that I was unable to pick her up...she was a very tall six year old.
After I gave them both their fair share of kisses, they ran over to Dominic, who was cradling a sleeping Grace.
That was until, the kids screamed, "Uncle Dominooooooo!"
Grace jumped and rubbed her eyes. "Eric?...Andrea?"
My daughter practically jumped out of fathers arms and onto the ground. The three of them did a little happy dance and shared eager hugs while Dominic watched on with the biggest smile on his face.
"Rose!" That angelic voice belonged to my best friend and bond mate, Lissa.
My head snapped up. She was wearing a white summer dress that made her glow in the suns rays. Unshed tears made her jade-green eyes glossy.
A sob racked through my body, I ran over and crushed her into a hug.
"I missed you so much!" Her voice was hysterical and utterly happy, a very strange combination.
"I just saw you last week, Liss. But I missed you too." I sniffled, hugging her tighter and stuffing my face into the crook of her neck, inhaling her familiar scent of raspberries. "It's so good to see you again!"
"No, it's so good to see you!"
We pulled back at the same time. I was smiling, she was smiling. I was laughing, she was laughing. I was balling my eyes out, and she was balling her eyes out. Yeah, we were pretty darn happy to see one another.
"Did I tell you that I missed you?" My voice cracked with uncontained emotion.
She nodded, laughed, and wiped her nose in a very un-queen-like way. "I missed you even more!"
"Impossible," I shook my head too quickly. "I missed you soooooo much!"
"I think we can all agree that Rose missed me the most." I'd recognize that cocky voice anywhere.
"Pyro!" I ran over and threw myself into his arms. He stiffened, but relaxed a moment later and hugged me back.
Christian smiled when I pulled back. "See, I told you she missed me the most."
I punched his arm. "It's good to see that familiar ugly face again."
He disdainfully rolled his ice-blue eyes. "Ah, Psycho. How I've missed your sense of humor. Luckily...I get to hear it all the time now that you're moving back here. I'm soooo excited about that!" Christian's voice couldn't have been more sarcastic. He clapped his hands in mock excitement.
I ignored that.
"Where's that drunken bastard?"
I felt his presence behind me a moment before he spoke right in my ear. "Miss me?"
"ADRIANNNN! It's been years. You bet your sweet ass that I missed you." I threw myself into his arms.
"Damn, female. I like the way you greet me."
I pulled back and laughed. "Look who got all old!" I teased, patting his face.
"Hey!" he narrowed his emerald-green eyes. "I'm not old. Thirty-one is the new twenty-one. If anyone's old, it's that lucky bastard right there." Adrian pointed at Dominic.
Lissa was scolding Adrian for cursing in front of the kids, but he simply ignored her.
"Come here, you lucky bastard!" he patted his chest and opened his arms.
The two shared a manly greeting with a handshake, a brief hug, and hard pats on the back. "It's good to see you, man." Dominic smiled.
"Isn't it always good to see me?" Adrian let out a throaty chuckle. I rolled my eyes. "All jokes set aside though, it's good to see you, too. Have you been checking up on me?"
It was really easy to forget that the two shared a bond like Lissa and I did. They never really showed it...but then again, Dominic and Adrian rarely saw each other. I tuned out their conversation when I realized that someone else had joined in our group.
Lissa shot me a glare. I bit my tongue, realizing there were children around.
"Coleslaw, is that you?"
"Yes, it's me, Rosemarie."
I rolled my eyes. Yeah, it was definitely him...always so professional and stoic.
He looked pretty much the same since the last time I saw him. Black, military style hair. Onyx eyes. Six-foot-five frame. Fierce facial features.
Koslov was hot, one of the hottest guardians I'd ever laid eyes on. But I didn't like his stick-up-the-ass personality.
A woman stepped out from behind him, she was holding his hand. "Hey, Rose." That shy voice sounded so familiar...
It took my eyes a moment to adjust. And I couldn't believe who it was.
"Yeah," she giggled. "It's me."
"You're pregnant." I blurted out. "Wow."
"Yeah, it was a shock to us too. I'm due in two weeks." Lilly smiled as she rubbed her belly, she looked up to Koslov.
And I couldn't believe what I saw.
Hardass's eyes gleamed with a happiness I'd never seen on him before, he cracked a heartbreakingly warm smile, and pressed a large hand to her stomach.
"What? You mean? You? Him? Together?...Whaaaat?" I stumbled over my words, completely shocked.
"His name is Nikolai." Koslov said after giving Lilly a kiss.
He rolled his eyes and laughed. "Obviously."
"And I'm his fiance!" Lilly screamed with excitement, flashing me her left hand. Something sparkly was on her ring finger.
"Holy shi-" I bit my tongue. "Come on," I scoffed. "That diamond can't be real."
"It's real." Koslov spoke in a harsh tone.
Lilly studied it, her brown eyebrows drawn together in confusion.
"How in the hell did you afford that?"
Koslov raised his eyebrows.
"Fine. Fine. I won't ask anymore questions." I grumbled. "But I can't believe you're going to be a dad...just...wow! Congratulations!"
He smiled genuinely. "Thank you, Rose."
Lissa wrapped an arm around me. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
Adrian frowned as he watched the three children play. "I feel left out."
"Huh?" I asked. "You don't have to feel left out. I'm sure the kids would love for you to join them..."
"No, it's not that." he shook his head and met my eyes. "I want to be a father."
The whole group busted up laughing...even Koslov.
Adrian growled. "What's so funny about that?"
I clutched my aching stomach. "Come on, Adrian. Be serious. You and parenthood? I don't think so."
"And why not?" he demanded. "I'd be the best dad ever. I'd love my child. I'd spoil him or her. I'd shower them with gifts. And if I had a boy, I would teach him how to be a man-"
Christian and I snorted.
"-I'd buy him x-boxes and teach him how to pick up the ladies. We'd do all the manly stuff together. You know...shoot people, blow stuff up, drive fast cars. Stuff like that."
Adrian went on and on and on until my feet were killing me. Thankfully, Queen Lissa came to save the day.
She clapped her hands together. "Let's go eat everyone! The food is waiting!"
Gosh, if only I'd done that earlier...
"Ahhhh..." I sipped on my ice-cold grape soda. "There's nothing like a summer BBQ."
"Nothing like a summer BBQ. Nothing like it in the world." Adrian said, munching on his slice of watermelon.
"Nothing like it." Grace agreed, nodding her head and biting into the ribs like a savage beast. There was sauce covering her fingers, face, and shirt.
"Who wants more corn on the cob?" Lissa came up holding a tray full of wrapped up corn in tinfoil, seasoning, and butter.
There was a chorus of Yeah's, me's and mmhmm's.
Like the perfect hostess, she came around the picnic table with the tray. When it was my turn, I grabbed three and placed them on my already full plate.
"Three?" Dominic laughed, shaking his head.
"Yeah." I snapped. "Got a problem with it?"
"That's what I thought."
"It's clear who wears the pants in the relationship." Adrian mumbled, causing Christian to crack up.
"You two are lucky you're on the other side of the table," I pointed my fork at them. "Or you'd have just gotten slapped hard in the back of the head."
Grace and Andrea giggled.
Lissa stared at me for a moment. Her concentration was fierce, lips pursed, blond eyebrows pulled together.
"What?" I asked self-consciously. "Do I have something on my face?"
"No. But you do have something in your teeth. Open wider." Dominic said.
With one finger, Dominic scrapped a piece of corn out of my teeth and wiped it on his jeans. "All good."
Something seemed to click in Lissa's eyes. Because she smiled, almost as if she was hiding some big secret, and continued going around with the tray.
"What is it?"
"Nothing." Her tone told me she knew something was up.
Did she know I was pregnant?
I looked at her smug face one more time.
Yeah, she definitely knew.
Damn those spirit powers. I really wish Adrian had never taught her how to read aura's.
I glanced at Adrian, who was smiling at me.
He knew, too.
I muttered a soft curse under my breath and continued eating.
"Volleyball!" I roared, shoving Adrian on the back. He fell to his knees on the sand. "Ow!"
I did a little victory dance. "I wiped the floor with all of your butts." I pointed at Christian, Lissa, and Koslov. "You guys SUCKKKKKKK!"
"Mommy," Grace glared at me with her sapphire-blue eyes. "That's not berry nice."
"Sorry, baby girl." I ruffled her thick brown locks. "Mommy just gets a little caught up in the game."
Yeah, it probably wasn't the best idea to be playing Volleyball while pregnant. But hey, you only live once. Not to mention it was really early on in my pregnancy. So if I did get hit, it couldn't be that bad...right?
I hoped so.
"Let's do this." Dominic and I chest bumped.
Someone from behind me snatched the ball out of my hands. "Hey!"
I spun around, ready to give whoever it was a piece of my mind and a good lesson with my fists when I froze, mouth agape.
"Hello, Roza." he smiled.
I heard Dominic growl as he stood in front of me protectively. "I suggest you give her some room."
"I mean her no harm." Dimitri held up his hands, surrendering. "I only wish to come by and welcome her back home."
"She got the message. You can leave now."
I guess Dominic still wasn't over the whole incident that had happened in our house back in Germany. I didn't blame him, though. I still felt a pang of fear towards my mentor each time I saw him. But I knew I had nothing to be afraid of. Dimitri had been compelled that night. He would never hurt me like that if he was in his right state of mind.
I smoothed a hand over Dominic's back. "It's okay, babe. He just wants to talk."
"I don't take chances. You're not going anywhere."
"What?" I snapped. Did he seriously just say that?
I pointed my finger in his face. "I may be your wife, Dominic. But I'm no child and you cannot boss me around like that. I am a grown woman and I'll do as I please."
I threw his hand off me. "Don't you even think about following me back either."
"Come on, Grace." I grabbed her arm and stomped off towards Lissa and Christian's mansion.
I was just about to close the door when a steel-toe boot stopped it.
"I swear to god Dominic-"
I gulped. "Oh, hey."
"May I come in?"
"Uhh...sure." I waved my hand. "Why not."
Dimitri was as good looking as ever. Shoulder-length brown hair, bottomless eyes, long and lean body.
I stared at him. He was gorgeous, no doubt. But I no longer felt that spark of attraction towards him. I guess love really does fade.
His gaze flickered down to Grace, who was staring at him with curious blue eyes.
"You're tall." she blurted out.
He chuckled. "This must be your daughter, Roza."
I smiled. "Yep, that's her all right."
My baby girl stuck her hand out. "I'm Grace Michelle Alder."
"So polite." That smile never left his handsome face as his large hand consumed her tiny one. "I am Dimitri Belikov. It is so very nice to meet you."
"You too." Grace circled him, her eyes traveling up and down his body, studying him, as if he were a cattle she was about to buy. I couldn't help the snort that escaped my lips. The politeness was wearing off...and the true Grace was coming out to play.
She tugged on the sleeve of his duster. "Are you a cowboy?"
Dimitri outright laughed. "No. Just a guardian."
"Cool! I want to be a guardian when I'm older." she fist-pumped the air.
"Skidattle little one." I patted her bottom lightly. "Let mommy and Dimitri talk for a momen- Hey! Don't you stick that tongue out at me! I'll tell daddy."
Her shrilling giggles filled the mansion as she tore off in the opposite direction. I didn't have the energy to go after her.
"So...can I help you with anything else?" I walked into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and chugged down some OJ straight from the container.
"Beautiful..." he murmured.
I spun around. "Huh?"
"Your daughter," Dimitri said. "She is absolutely beautiful."
"Oh," happiness swelled in my chest. "Yeah, she is. Thank you."
"I want to say that I am sorry."
My brows pulled together in confusion. "For what?"
"For that night."
"Oh," I made a dismissive motion. "That's no big deal. It was years ago. Just forget about it."
"It may have been along time ago. But it has been on my mind every single day."
"I said just forget about it. I have."
"It's not that simple. I wish I could. But I can't."
"Because I need your forgiveness." his eyes pierced mine with such an intensity that I fought the urge to look down.
"Listen, ahh, Dimitri-"
"I know I do not deserve it." he whispered. "But I need it. Please. I cannot stand the thought of you hating me forever."
I stared into Dimitri's dark eyes for what seemed like an eternity. I walked over and slowly smoothed my hand over his shoulder. He flinched and shut his eyes in agony.
"I forgive you." I ran my fingers along his cheek. "I forgive you, Dimitri."
He sucked in a breath of relief. "Thank you."
"Don't thank me. Let's just get past this-"
I gasped as he suddenly crushed me into a hug. "Thank you, Roza." he repeated. "Thank you so much."
I slowly let my body relax. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and hugged him back. "You're welcome."
I sheepishly walked up to my husband two hours later. He was by himself, drinking a beer, and watching the roaring fire crackle. Everyone else was having a good time, laughing and dancing to the music.
"I'm sorry." I whispered.
Dominic's head snapped up, as if he hadn't noticed me there.
"For what?" his voice was rougher than gravel, but mixed with his strong German accent...it was pantie-dropping sexy.
"For yelling at you," I kicked at the dirt nervously. "That was way out of line."
Dominic suddenly stood up, keeping those cobalt-blue eyes on me. "No, it wasn't. I was way out of line. I did not mean to make you feel like a child. I just couldn't stand the thought of another man putting his hands on you, harming you. It makes me go insane."
Tears stung my eyes. "I know. And I should have been more patient. But I just stormed out. I'm sorry. Do you forgive me?"
He cracked a smile. "I don't know..."
I giggled. "What am I going to have to do to make it up to you?"
"A massage? With oils? A bath filled with rose petals. And candles. Lots of candles. With you beside me."
"I think I have something better."
"And what would that be?"
I searched my purse, and slipped the pregnancy test into his hand, with the cap on. "Surprise."
He stared at it.
It took his eyes a moment to adjust, and then his face fell with shock. "You're pregnant?"
"Like a hundred percent sure?" I could sense a burst of excitement about to come on...
"Yes. It was confirmed by both Lissa and Adrian."
Dominic stared at the test again. I met his charcoal-blue eyes.
His mouth dropped open.
He scooped me into his arms and twirled me around in the air. "We're having another baby! I am the luckiest man on earth!"
I'd fought for Dominic, I'd lost him, but at the end we were meant to be. He was mine. And I was his. We finally had the family we'd been longing for. I could not ask for a better life.
I finally got my happy ending.