There's a place that I know
It's not pretty there and few have ever gone
If I show it to you now
Will it make you run away

Or will you stay
Even if it hurts
Even if I try to push you out
Will you return?
And remind me who I really am
Please remind me who I really am

"Dark Side" by Kelly Clarkson

"You know that boy cares about you." Pavel stated matter-of- factly, disturbing me as I was drifting off to sleep. "You're going to need him in the days ahead, someone you can trust, and one that won't let you down."

"Good." I snorted turning my body as much as the machine would allow looking at him. "Because I plan on dragging him into hell with me to find Sonya. Personal feelings can't get in the way of that mission! I need him to stay focus on the prime directive and using skills that would make a weaker person cringe in fear in finding her, using any method in bring about her downfall."

"That's not what I meant!" Pavel's sharp reprimanding voice filled the room effectively silencing me. "Your need for revenge… I get it. I've had a lifetime of it myself, so I know what you're getting at. But Levent's a good man, one of the few left in our line of work." He added rubbing his chin thoughtfully.

"He's married, I don't do married men, nor would I ever remotely entertain the possibility. It's bad enough that people around here thinks of me as a blood whore! I won't give them the ammunition to call me a home wrecker. I've got my pride, it may not be much, but it's all that I have left." I added with a shaky laugh.

Pavel's face lightened, softening his features as he began laughing at some inside joke that was on me. His lips curled upwards into a full-scale grin spreading into a smile, the look he gave mirrored in his eyes, while he shook his head.

"Well you can stow your pride, right before your father's disappearance he came through for Levent with the queen." Pavel hesitated when he saw me flinch and raise my hand over my chest, pressing uncomfortably against the area where my heart was.

"Look… all I'm saying, is his divorce came through recently." He amended raising his palms out as though he was looking at them. Butterflies knotted up in my belly, blood rushed from my face, as a nuclear explosion went off in my head while silently I screamed no…..

Ahhh hell no... no, no and no! I almost shouted. Was there a fucking bull's-eye target tattooed on my forehead, or somewhere that stated I needed a man in black indelible ink. Or even an ad in the freaking personals stating lonely, and desperate, rich mobster daughter in need of a great guy to wreak havoc in my life. Couldn't everyone see what a freak I was, all the death that I brought to the lives closest to me? How I was destined to be alone, how I should be quarantine in solitary confinement for all the damage I've caused or lives that I ruined. The last thing I needed was someone else professing his undying love for me.

I was nothing more than a walking curse, a nightmare for anyone who crossed paths with me. The last thing I needed was something as overwhelming as love! Hell, it was bad enough that my friends cared. Hadn't anyone learned that lesson with the death of my parents, obviously not! No, I didn't want it, I sure as hell didn't deserve it, and was completely unworthy of it! Levent was going to get back in the game of trying to save me from myself with love and in the process get himself killed.

"Maybe he should be fired, because the last thing I need is for some star-crossed lover at risk because his thoughts are on me instead of on his job." I added bitterly cupping my head in my hands ready to rip my hair out. "This is just one more complication I don't need right now."

"Then my divorce shouldn't be a problem, you knew the paper work had been filed and that I would be getting one sooner or later." Levent replied flippantly while stepping into the room enunciating his words with traces of anger. "I have no intentions of letting my personal feelings getting in the way of my job. You've made your position towards me perfectly clear, with what you're asking. I don't need you to draw me a diagram of you and Dimitri!" He spat coldly sending shivers up my spine, like him saying Dimitri's name left him with a foul after taste in his mouth.

"You need the best personnel that I can offer to track down Sonya." The fire in his eyes dared me to challenge him, washing away any hurt that I may have caused. He was wearing his best poker face; he wasn't fooling me, any more than I could him, despite what he was saying. Better he thought that, than the alternative… knowing just how emotionally deficient I really was.

"You want to give me the best." I snuffed raising my nose just a tad bit higher, ready to throw down a few of my own gauntlets. "Then find Lev, Dennis, Tamara, and Artur. Put them in the mix with the others, and then you'll be able to ensure that I have the best." I replied just as sweetly while batting my eyes stubbornly, knowing full well that I sounded more of a bitch having PMS, then anything remotely professional.

When Pavel muffled a coughed, I shrank back on the bed closing my eyes. No, I wasn't going to fight anymore with Levent, instead I needed to conserve my strength for Sonya.

So it began during the days that followed, Levent had me on a killer physical therapy regime until a week had rolled by, even the queen had granted an extension on Dimitri's trial. Right at sunset, breakfast was brought in while nurse Hailey wheeled me into the shower. By nine pm, I was dressed in shorts and a halter top and wheeled down to the rehabilitation facilities of the hospital.

The physical therapy parallel bars were a bitch. At first, I was standing on the thing for thirty minutes, simply because I lacked the strength to do anything more. As part of my physical therapy, Levent had me lifting weights to build up my biceps and triceps. My good leg wasn't given a reprieve either, as he continuously worked those muscles as well. Whatever punishment he dished out, I took in spades. If Levent said another bench press, then for kicks and giggles, I did two more.

Camille and Serena would trade off with him taking me down to the pools. They were just as much of a drill Sargent as he was. However, I preferred the pool and the aquatic exercise to the parallel bars. The water was the only place my weight didn't feel like my enemy. I hobbled around, holding onto the outer edges, doing a slow pace lap around the lengths. The whistle blowing had me looking over my shoulder seeing Styles pointing at the clock. "Out of the pool...Levent wants you in rehab in fifteen minutes."

"Come on… Serena and I will help you out." Camille stated as both of their chilly fingers clasped my biceps swinging my lower arms around their shoulders.

"We wouldn't want you being late for the great Gendarmerie." Serena teased trudging through the water, as they both lead me towards the shallow end of the pool and helping me out, then seating me in my wheel chair.

"Says the girl that had it bad for him, when we first met." I mummer under my breath, both guardian's moved with quick efficient speed in helping me get changed and pulled my hair back into a ponytail. Confined to the wheel chair, Serena rolled me to the rehabilitation center with five minutes to spare.

"Go and take your position by the door." Levent ordered to Styles and Camille as he set down a manila file on the make shift desk then strolling towards us. "Adrian Ivashkov will be joining us shortly. It's your job to make sure he comes in alone." Turning his attention back to me, Levent rolled me towards the two silver bars so that I was sitting with one metal bar on either side of me.

"Okay Rose grasp here." Levent demonstrated by gliding my hands slowly around the cold metal. "Once you have a good hold, you'll step up to the bars bearing weight on this leg." He tapped on my good knee. "Then you'll shift your weight onto you bad until it's evenly distributed." Pulling myself out of the chair my arms trembled and shook supporting my weight until both legs were under me. Instantly two things became apparent; one I was still weak as a newborn kitten, and secondly this shit hurt no matter how many times the routine had been done. The only difference was today I would be walking.

"Ah, little Dhampir, it's good to see you back in those sexy little shorts of yours." Adrian's voice echoed in the rehabilitation center when he strolled over to the other end of the parallel bars. Flashing another panty-dropping smirk, he reminded me of the last time he said something like that.

Looking at Adrian after all this time my heart raced and my breathing became more labored. God, he looked good with his spiky hair slicked back. The light camel colored short sleeve shirt hung loosely at his waist and his Calvin Klein's fit snug around his hips. When my full assessment was finished, he pinned me down with his emeralds.

"Right… and I am just as equally sure this knee and leg brace makes me the next top model." I replied sourly following Levent's instructions and tearing my gaze away from, him. "If you think I can really pull this off then you haven't seen my scars." Seeing him here got me thinking that he had decided to help, he must have, otherwise why would he be here? He couldn't refuse; he was Dimitri's bond mate. Everything depended on whether or not he could help.

"But you will always be sexy to me, Little Dhampir, no matter how many scars you have." Adrian sincerely said with a sad look as he took in my struggle.

The first step was so painful I bit my lip drawing blood, and made the effort to shift my weight to the other. "Sexy?" I said keeping my eyes trained down on my feet, "Is that before or after the pitiful look you have on your face...never mind Adrian… don't worry about it, I'm not a charity case, save your flattery for a girl who wants to hear them."

Adrian's eyes flashed with anger with my insulting words, I could tell that I struck a chord, but I really didn't care. "Rose, you know you are not a charity case to me and I'm not looking at you with pity, its sadness that you have to face such a hard road of recovery. Please don't cut me out of your life."

"What life do you really think I'm living huh?" I questioned gripping the handrails even tighter afraid that I might lose my balance.

"Do you two need a minute?" Levent questioned as he squatted down, moving my bad leg into place so I could take the next step on it and bare my full weight.

"Yes!" Adrian bellowed…"No!" I shouted at the same time as him. As far as I was concerned, Adrian had already said everything that he needed to say when I fucked up by calling him Dimitri. It was spirit, all of it was spirit, that's what he kept saying repeatedly… like a fucking broken record.

"I take it you got my message?" I finally asked needing to focus on something more important than my fashion statement.

"Yeah I got your message alright... unfortunately for me it had nothing to do with what I really wanted to hear from you." He said rolling his eyes, presumably because I was getting right down to business. No friendly conversation.

"Your point being?" I asked being more curious now than ever if he wasn't here to talk about Dimitri then why had he come?

"Well Little Dhampir, seeing that little note, got my hopes up... thinking that you might have come to your senses and wanted to have your friends back in your life." Reaching into his breast pocket of his shirt Adrian pulled out his pack of cloves cigarettes and began tapping the pack against the side of his hand pulling out a cigarette and lighting it up.

"Adrian please don't even go there." I sighed rolling my eyes and gripping the handles of the parallel bars even tighter. "It's a simple question are you and the others in...that's all I'm interested in not small talk."

"I can't help it Rose, we all miss you, and we need you in our lives... what can I say... Life just isn't the same without you. But since that's not why I'm here... we all agreed this needs to end so were all on board."

Shaking my head in in nervous relief, I expelled the pent up breath that I had been holding. "That's ...that's really good." I stammered "A life for a life." I mused forcing my left leg to take the next step even though I hissed in quickly from the sharp pain. "Dimitri needs this along with you."

"Yeah, I got the message Little Dhampir, this is all for him."

"No it's not it's for you as well, he's your bond mate, god if he wasn't around who would bleed the darkness from you?" What was the matter with Adrian, couldn't he see that he didn't have to live with spirit darkness anymore? Dimitri could help him, the same way that I did with Lissa, if he gave him half a chance. Dimitri's freedom was a win-win situation for the both of them.

"Do you honestly think I want you to suffer because of my fuck up? If you do then you are sadly mistaken… this is for you just as much for him. It's all I know to make it right for you even though there is not a damn thing on this earth that will make it better. So please spare me that it's all for Dimitri because it's not."

"Well, he's the one sitting in the jail cell right now, not me. So, I'd say we are all doing this for him. I've dealt with spirit my whole life without him, so don't bother with that crap." Taking a drag off his cigarette and flicking his ashes on the floor.

I frowned knowing there was a sign somewhere that said no smoking. Then again, when it came to following rules like that, when had Adrian ever followed them? Couldn't he see he didn't have to deal with the effects of spirit alone anymore; he saved Dimitri so Dimitri would be the one to save him from the madness. The retreating look on Adrian's face said no, he hadn't dealt with his own feelings or their shadow kissed bond.

"As far as I'm concerned, Rose, you paid your dues. You've gotten the shaft in more ways than I can count. So I don't need anything more from you not to make up for shit you didn't have any control over."

"Don't you get it?" I growled when I stepped wrong on my bad foot rolling my ankle. I blew a huff of air in frustration trying to move the hair away from eyes. "I have nothing left… I don't have a life, Rose Hathaway died the same day as my parents did!" I faintly chuckled. "By your own admission, what you were feeling for me and what I supposedly feel for you was nothing more than spirit. So none of it was real, nothing about me is real! So do us both a favor and just let that sleeping dog lie. As for you thinking all of this is for Dimitri." I said shaking my head stubbornly. "You couldn't be more wrong."

"Dammit Little Dhampir, I loved you way before all this spirit afterglow shit came into play, so don't give me that crap! I have always been here and I don't intend to go anywhere now!" He shouted as his face reddened with anger.

Straightening back up Levent's grays flickered over towards Adrian, then back at me, when he reached behind me grabbing the wheelchair and gently pushed me back into it. "No!" I said shaking my head. "We're not done! I have to do this." I said ignoring Adrian.

"I'll come back for her later, just find me when you two finish this up." Levent directed towards Adrian while he patted me on the shoulders, then turned and left.

"Satisfied?" I asked placing my hands on the wheel of the chair and moving closer to the bars. Determined to keep going, I hoisted myself back up on the bars.

"Come on Little Dhampir can't we just talk, I miss you." Dropping the cigarette on the floor and grinding the cherry out with his shoe Adrian placed his hand on the bars and moved closer towards me.

I hated the pleading tone in his voice, doing my damnedest to tune it out and retake my first step alone without Levent guiding me. Fuck this was harder without him. "So talk you've already cut into my therapy time and ran Levent off... so what's new how's life...hmmmmm?"

"How can I answer that with you so hostile towards me? Tell me this Rose, what makes you think you are going to be so fucking happy without all of us that truly love you? You tell me that!" Adrian demanded crossing his arms over his chest looking like he was gearing up for a battle.

"I'm not hostile." I said shrugging my shoulders. "As for being happy that's just overrated and it's much safer for everyone involved, if you all treat me like the disease that I am; or do you enjoy being hurt?" I sneered reminded how Sonya used Lissa against me and how she would do the same with Adrian. Not bothering to hide his strangled groan of frustration I pushed even further. "Did you forget about Sonya... because she has made damn sure that I don't forget about her and you keep thinking in terms of life, you forget I already lost mine!"

"Your life isn't over!" He shouted loudly as his voice filled the room keeping me in place. "You SURVIVED! But if you push all of us away you won't survive another round with Sonya. Did you forget that it was Dimitri that was the Calvary that came in and saved your ass!" His emeralds darkened to a deeper shade of green in warning, that he was keeping a tight rein on his wavering temper.

"I didn't ask him to!" I yelled my tone matching his. Grasping the handles in a chokehold my good leg moved fluidly into the next step, sliding my bad leg into position I gritted my teeth hard popping my jaw. "Jesus, he should have left me then all of this shit would have ended with me; do you honestly think Sonya is done?" Knowing full-well with each and every breath that I took, as long as I was alive, Sonya would keep coming for me. "Who do you think she'll go after next... huh?" I taunted, seeing my mother and fathers bodies engulfed in flames and smelling the putrid odor of their burning flesh. Sonya wouldn't hesitate throwing another barbecue. Queasily, I pictured Adrian or Dimitri being strapped down on a gurney hearing their I just couldn't let that happen. "Because she sure as hell is bent on dragging out my suffering through those that I cared about. So back the fuck off…and saying that I survived! Yeah broken and scared... that's real survival!"

"You truly believe she would have stopped with you?" Adrian questioned, taking a ragged breath and moving away from the parallel bars. Combing his hand frustratedly through his hair the muscle in his jaw twitched. "You just said she isn't done! Even if you were dead, she wouldn't stop! So pull your head out of your ass Rose! Sonya isn't going to stop until she kills us all, we have to stick together, or we all will be dead! And you didn't have to ask Dimitri to save your ass!" He jabbed his index finger stretched out in my direction. "Because as much as I hate the man, he loves you and would do anything for you!"

"Then that's Dimitri first mistake!" I added taking in a deep breath looking at Adrian, his hurt angry expression was like swallowing a mouthful of glass and pretending you enjoyed it. "You didn't kill Mikhail I did! You didn't piss off queen bitch… I did! So she would have stopped. As for sticking together, no one else will die because of me! The god damn price is just to fucking high...but you'll all be safe when I leave."

"Boy Rose, I didn't know you could be so Stupid!" He hurled stopping by the corner and throwing his fist into the soda machine, the bones in his knuckles cracked making me flinch. "Don't you get it, she won't go after you when you leave because she is out to hurt you. She will go after who she thinks will hurt you the most. That's why she took your parents away from you. You're delusional if you think a fucking Strigoi is going to be happy with your death. She is a FUCKING lunatic she will never stop, Rose!" He snapped kicking a metal garbage can, sending both the metal can and trash inside flying a few feet away. "She and her freaks of nature are going to go after to whole fucking world. Sonya is power hungry and yes, she wants revenge, but it won't stop there! Don't be so fucking gullible!"

"Wow, Adrian you're just too quick for me with that higher IQ." I calmly stated not knowing just how much more of this shit I could take, when everything inside of me rebelled. "I mean damn, you have me on that whole intelligence thing, makes me wonder how I survived as long as I have." I said blinking back some of the tears that were threatening to spill. "But don't worry, you'll see just how incompetently stupid I really am when I go after her again. At least by going on the defense, she won't have time to go after any of you. But being brainless and stupid, I just might fuck that up too, right?"

"God Dammit Rose, there is no reasoning with you." He exasperatingly threw out his hands above his head curling them both into tightly clinched fists. "We all want to see Sonya go down. You don't have to do this alone. But no, you are going to go off half cocked with no one to back you up and this time you really will get yourself killed. Will you be satisfied then?" He hoarsely whispered, dropping his arms in defeat and walking back towards me. Placing his hand on my chin Adrian forced me to look at him. "Is that what you want, to sit on the other side and watch all your loved ones arrive after you and you can guide our lost souls to their right full destiny, because if you do it your way, you are signing all of our death certificates!"

"You'll have Dimitri and the Calvary to save your ass." I replied pulling my chin away from his warm fingers, his emeralds pierced mine for a second then he walked back towards the other end of the parallel bars like he needed the space as much as I did. "It's not like I'll be much help anyways. I can barely walk without some kind of assistance. The only thing I bring to your little hunting party is a spare tire, so it shouldn't matter if I stay or go.

"So what is it Rose? What's it going to take for you to wake up and realize the truth?"

"You want some seriously cold hard truth, here's a bit of a news flash for you, but you might want to brace yourself, because I sure as hell don't think you're ready to handle the truth and nothing but the truth." I replied tersely, locking eyes with him, gritting my teeth trying to ignore the pain that went from my leg straight into my hip and back.

"I'm sick to death of pretending to feel anything for anyone." I snarled squeezing my eyes tightly shut then a few seconds later opening them to glare at him. "When I was with you, Adrian… for me… that shit was real, at least I felt something." I growled lifting my hand off the bar, thumping my chest, wobbling, and nearly losing my balance until I slammed my hand back into place on the bar.

"With everyone else… I'm just going through the motions, like a fucking robot programed to have a physical response, or an involuntary response like one does to breathe or, god help me, use the damn bathroom." I said shaking my head in disgust as I struggled to take another agonizing step, needing to get back to my chair before I fell flat on my face.

"Someone touches me… I don't feel the warmth; I don't feel love or friendship, joy, happiness etcetera...etcetera! What I do feel… is rage and a whole hell of a lot of it. Boiling anger… constantly at the surface ready to explode!" I roared as I forced my body to take another painful step towards the end of the bars.

"Not to mention the pure soul crushing emptiness… to where everything inside of me is dead. That no one or nothing can reach or touch ever again. Then… there is the fucking guilt of what I've done… so much guilt and remorse that I could drown in it! So please spare me the notion that you actually give a shit because according to you it's all spirit afterglow or some bullshit spirit darkness when I know it's not!" Adrian took a step back as the gravity of my words sank in; looking momentarily lost, he swallowed convulsively as if he didn't know what to say, but hell, I was far from being finished.

"I choose to keep everyone away because it's the only way I can deal… without wanting to take a knife to myself just like Lissa once did for the all mighty relief or to go get high off endorphins from any sleazy ass Moroi willing to bite me. Even then keeping every little thing all bottled up inside because I'm afraid I might spontaneously combust if even a fraction of my anger and pain seeps out! I still want to do those things just for the escape alone." I shouted as my words rang through the empty room as if they were bouncing back to us to drill in the reality a little more. The silence was deafening as I struggled to catch my breath, I felt I had to tell him my last bit of revelation. "So if you expect me to be around you or Dimitri and god forbid Lissa; and then continue to act like everything is perfectly fine around… say Christian or his aunt or maybe the queen and Eddie and whoever else, then you might as well hand me the sharpest razor blade you can find. And while you're at it… make me your newest chew toy because that's what it's going to take to keep me in your precious life."

Adrian silently stood there hardly even breathing. His glossy emeralds slowly traveling over my face, flickering upwards to look at my hair, his fingers reached out like he was going to touch the strands, but at the last minute wiped the tears rolling down his cheeks. He looked like he had been bitch slapped as he instantly paled. All traces of red splotches on his cheeks disappeared with his fading anger. He took a resounding step backwards away from me; the clicking of the sole of his shoe scraping against the tile was the only sound heard, and then another step. Spinning on the back of his heels, he turned around and briskly walked past Levent. He was leaning against the door frame overhearing what had transpired between Adrian and me.

Shaken to the core, all I could do was watch Adrian leave as he threw off Levent's hand when he tried latching onto his shoulder stopping him. "Come on man, she's got allot of shit to work through." Levent shouted after him.

Scarcely breathing, every inch of my body trembled from causing him so much pain. Oh shit, what had I done… what had I done. I opened my mouth to speak, to apologize, to say something, anything, but words alluded me. I had told the truth, laid my darken soul out there for him, admitting every agonizing thought in my erratic mind, hurting him as I did. Adrian wanted to know, his perfect gentle spirit had touched upon my evil, but he wanted to know. For all the love and kindness he had ever shown me was rewarded by my hurting him in the most treacherous way.

And Levent, I expelled sharply trying to gain some semi-balance of what had happened, he overheard everything. The kiss on the island, he knew my body had respond to him was just as empty and meaningless because I felt nothing. Not the karma or chemistry, passion, love, nothing, it was just as empty as I was and now he knew. He knew all of it.

Rushing towards me, Levent powerful arms wrapped around my waist and pulled the wheelchair up behind my knees. "I think it's safe to say you've had enough for today...

"Did you know?" I asked interrupting him in mid-sentence. Leaning back into the chair, Levent placed my foot on the foot pedals. "About Dimitri being arrested?"

Nodding his head Levent stood to his full height moving behind the back of the wheel chair rolling me out of the rehabilitation center. The warm summer breeze heated my chilled skin; it had to be after midnight. The moon was at its highest point in the cloudless star filled sky. So many Moroi's and Dhampir's were walking along the sidewalks going on with their busy lives with various activities. The leaves on the grassy turf were in vibrant colors of yellow, orange and red's marking the changing season of fall. "Yeah, it happened a couple of nights ago, after you had me deliver your message to Adrian... Why... do you want to see him?"

"Yes and no." I stumbled tripping over my words "I need to go to the jail...but not to see Dimitri." I replied coolly clasping my hands together on my lap. "Set up interrogation for Jill Mastrano. With the amount of time she spent with Sonya and Victor, she's the key in finding them and my new best friend..."

"Hey Rose." Jesse called from out front of the Moroi's quarters, announcing to everyone in court my whereabouts. Great just fucking great. "Hey wait up." Jogging and leaving Ralf behind, I could hear his feet pounding into the pavement, when he caught up to me and Levent. "It's about time you got out of that stinking place.

"Hold up buddy, Rose isn't taken any more visitors." Levent stopped placing a restraining hand on Jesse's chest pushing him backwards.

"It's okay Levent; Jesse and I go back, way back from the academy days." Reaching down and placing my hands on the wheels, the chair came to an abrupt stop.

"Jeez Jeese you should know better than to be chasing after a blood whore!" Before Ralf could finish the sentence and faster than Levent could react. Jesse's hand closed over his shirt twisting the material and jerking him forward so they were nose to nose and popped him in the mouth with his fist. "Now apologize!" Jesse growled making it clear that would be the first and last warning, Ralf would be getting. When Ralf didn't respond fast enough to Jesse's liking, he hit him again and shoved him to the ground.

"What gives? Ralf shrieked, completely caught off guard.

"I said apologize; before I mop your sorry ass up all over court for insulting Guardian Hathaway." He repeated, demanding Ralf's compliance. Hearing my mother's name instantly flooded my eyes with tears, even though I blinked them back, her image flashed before my eyes. 'Avenge me Rose... Avenge me.'

"I said say you're sorry!" Jesse snarled kicking Ralf in the gut and drawing back his leg to kick him again when Levent grabbed him from behind pulling him off.

"Cool it... the both of you, just cool it! This is the last thing Rose needs to see right now... And you, you little shit." Levent squatted down on the ground raising Ralf up close enough to where he whispered something into his ear. Whatever Levent said to him, had the blood rushing out of his face, and looking like he was going to wet himself on the spot. Clutching his stomach, he got back to his feet trembling. "I'm sorry guardian Mazur." Ralf said shakily, stumbling away from us.

Taking his shirt in his hand Jesse wiped Ralf's blood off his knuckles, his fierce blue eyes instantly cooled when he met my gaze. "I'm sorry about that. You know that Ralf is the brainless wonder; he has a bad habit of not thinking before he speaks. A lesson in manners I'm willing to reteach him if you want me to?" He asked raising his brow.

"No." I replied waving off the gesture. "He's not saying what the rest of court is already thinking."

"Speak for yourself because I don't think that!"

"Nor I." Levent added matching Jesse, like they were having some kind of pissing contest.

"I would like to go back to my room now." I yawned feigning being tired. One more minute out here with the shitty night that I had, and I was going to lose it. First, breaking Adrian's heart then this...what next a Strigoi turning a new leaf and drinking animal blood? No, I was ready to go back inside, despite Levent's generous nature of bringing me outside.

"You owe me a drink! After all, you did say another time and I think that time is coming. What do you say Hath...I mean Mazur?" Jeese purred changing the subject altogether and causing my jaw to hit the ground."

Jesse...endorphins, casual relationship, nothing more. Ohh hell yeah… what did I have to lose. Self-respect, already lost that a long time ago. Dignity, yeah that went out the window too, so what's left. "Sure." I replied surprising myself.

Leaning forward he placed a kiss to my forehead, leaving a faint trail, that I trembled. Jesse must have thought it was attraction where I just felt queasy inside, faking the best man eating smile that I could muster. Jesse looked blissfully pleased with himself, as if he had conquered some unachievable goal, where I felt like I was going to throw up.

"Levent I'm ready." I asserted needing to be alone.

"Later Rose." Jesse cocked both of his hands into pistols and stepping away whistling with a spring in his step.

"Well that was interesting." Levent stated once he got me back into my room. "Plus the oldest trick in the book."

"What is?" Pavel asked as he opened the box of pizza and laying four slices on a plate.

"That Moroi kid, the one that's been hanging around." Levent replied over his shoulder while he was helping to get me settled into bed, then positioning my leg down into the machine and strapping me. "Well he finally made his move. His friend insulted Rose, and to be the knight and shining armor that he is, began beating the crap out of his friend."

"Sounds like the guy is a have a name for this fellow?" Pavel question rubbing his chin thoughtfully.

"Both of you are over reacting." I murmured picking up a piece of pizza and stuffing it into my mouth savoring the tangy flavor of cheese. "If you want to talk narcissism, how about wanting you to take me to see Lissa just so I can ask her to heal me. When we both know I'd rather pour batter acid down my throat then be fifty feet near her.

"You're serious aren't you?" Levent asked sounding shocked, then quickly putting up his stoic mask into place.

"As serious as a fucking heart attack. I want to walk on my own two feet, even if I have to use a cane, because there is no way in hell I'm going to the royal quorum in that contraption." I pointed crudely towards the chair. "And I want you to get me out of this hospital, preferably tonight." Looking out at the double pane windows the smooth surface marked the changing position of the moon. Yeah day break were hours away, but still I wanted out of the hospital. "No later then noon."

"I'll get right on it." Pavel jack knifed out of his seat looking pleased to be doing something. Bringing my attention to Levent. There was disapproval in his eyes but quite frankly I didn't give a shit. I could heal up somewhere else that didn't have doctors, needles and the sterile Lysol stringent smell. Just like flipping a light switch on, it was time for me to take charge of my destiny of who I was. No longer would I play the role of a victim. I was Rose Mazur and it was way past time that I acted like it. "You have any updates on the promise ones or am I too much of a distraction?"

"For the record." Levent eased away from the wall crossing his powerful hands over his chest. "It's to soon for you to leave. Secondly we found your rowdy bunch of misfits, a special forces team has been assembled to Novosibirsk to retrieve them and lastly." He leaned over the bed, getting up into my face. "You can lose the bitch attitude I'm not impressed." Unblinking my hand shot out from under the sheet cutting through the air with every bit of strength and energy that I had, colliding heavily against his smooth warm cheek with a loud whack.

"I am my fathers daughter." I glared challenging into his radiating grays, a storm was brewing under the surface and now was a good time as any to take him down a peg or two. Levent needed to know who was in charge and he damn sure wasn't it. "You better decided real fucking quick if you want to be apart of my team and work for me. Because your not the man of the house and I'm not the little woman. Either forgo the white picket fence that you've obviously picked out or find yourself another job.