Adrian Ivashkov was a man of promise. When met with a challenge, he could do great things. Well, not all were brag-worthy, at least according to his draconian, stick-up-the-ass father, but the feats he could pull off were very, very impressive. After all, he was an Ivashkov, descended from a respectable, ancient bloodline from one of the royal families.
Yet despite all his amazing accomplishments, there was just one thing he couldn't manage.
Adrian Ivashkov excelled at getting drunk.
"Sage," he slurred, nearly stumbling into the wall. "Could you be a darling and grab that bottle for me?" He pointed to the row of clear Vodka bottles lined up precariously along the edge of the table.
Sydney looked disgusted as she thrust it into his hands. "I can't believe how happy I feel giving you this."
He tipped his head back and took a long swig. Some dripped down his chin and onto his silk shirt. Or was it cashmere? Whatever.
"I knew it." He grinned and poked her nose. She squeaked and rubbed it resentfully. "You find drunk guys attractive."
Her cheeks turned adorably red. "I do not."
He lifted the bottle, and more liquid spilled onto the floor than into his mouth. "Why else would you be happy giving me this then?"
Sydney rolled her eyes. "Because it's the last one."
"No it's not. There's plenty over – " He looked at the table and frowned. The other nine bottles had disappeared. His green eyes narrowed as he whirled towards Sydney. "You. You drank them."
"Yes. I, Sydney Sage, who abstains from alcoholic beverages, downed them faster than you ever could, Adrian," she said dryly.
"Wh-what? No! That – that's not possible!" He spluttered. "I am the alcoholic king! I won the drinking contest at Intel! I have a drinking diploma from Yale University!"
"Oh, brother," Sydney sighed. She blew her bangs out of her face. "You really are drunk."
Adrian Ivashkov could irritate his father.
Dinner with his father was an important occasion. Not that Adrian cared. In fact, he spent extra measure making sure his clothes were in the worst mangled condition possible.
Reaching inside his closet, he dug through the mass pile of clothes, finally producing a pair of blue jeans that hadn't seen daylight in two years. The knees were so faded and thin that the cloth looked like it would tear any second.
Then he blindly pulled out a shirt and balled it up. Rose entered just as he was jumping up and down on his bed, stamping furiously on the shirt.
She raised both eyebrows. "What the…?"
He grinned. "Nice to see you so dressed up." She sported a simple blue cashmere dress that hugged her curves in all the right places. Suddenly, the prospect of meeting his father seemed even more like hell compared to the sudden image of him ravishing Rose in that dress.
She gave him a pointed glare. "You're not five years old, Adrian. Jump a little higher and you'll bash that pretty face straight into the ceiling."
"You think I'm pretty?" He jumped off the bed, examining the shirt. Wrinkles were everywhere.
With one smooth movement, he whipped his t-shirt over his head and shrugged on the messy one. "Let's go to dinner."
He made sure they walked into the dining room fashionably late. This was the first step to irritating his father.
"Adrian," Nathan Ivashkov said coldly. "How nice of you to join us."
"No problem, Dad. This is Rose, remember? You've met."
His father never lifted his gaze from Adrian. "Right. The dhampir girl."
Rose barely reacted, but Adrian tensed, furious. "She has a name."
"Let's eat," Rose said, tugging on his arm. "I'm starving. Oooh, it's that salmon?"
Nathan speared the fish as if it were Adrian's heart. "How are the art classes going?"
"Art classes?" Rose asked.
"Adrian's teaching kids how to paint," Nathan explained. "He's finally doing something productive."
Adrian munched on his salad thoughtfully. "Right. I quit my job."
"What?" Nathan looked up, eyes enraged. "Since when?"
Again, Adrian took his time to ponder, chew, and swallow. "Two weeks ago, maybe? I don't remember. Time blurs together."
Rose narrowed her eyes. "Why did you drop?"
He shrugged. Step two to pissing off Nathan Ivashkov: assume a devil-may-care attitude. "Too many demands going on. Those kids were as annoying as hell."
"So, what did you do last week?" Nathan snapped, his façade of coolness cracking. "Partying all night? Squandering our checkbook?"
Adrian downed his martini in two gulps and motioned for another. Step three to irking Nathan Ivashkov: get drunk. "Actually, I hardly remember."
"Oh?" His father narrowed his eyes. "And why is that?"
Adrian lifted his glass. "I was passed out the whole time."
Rose winced as Nathan slammed his fork down on the table. Inside, Adrian smirked.
Adrian Ivashkov dominated the field of hot men.
He wasn't egotistical – not really. Facts were facts, and even blind girls and boys alike agreed that Adrian Ivashkov was amazingly hot. He was all sharp angles and lines, his hair a mess of dark brown, and his eyes a shade too green to be real.
Rose, who thought he was evil incarcerate, approved.
Even Sydney Sage reluctantly admitted how he "looked cute for an evil creature of the night."
So, as he sat visiting the Queen one day, he said suddenly, "Say, Lissa, you've never once mentioned anything about my looks."
She tucked a blond curl behind her ear and slid him a sideways glance. "I see nothing out of the ordinary, so what am I supposed to say?"
Oh, no. Nobody talked about Adrian in that fashion. He gulped his martini and leaned forward, staring intently into her eyes. "That I'm ruggedly handsome. That I make you want to spontaneously want to procreate. That I'm so goddamned sexy no one in this world can handle me."
Lissa choked back laughter. Absentmindedly, still giggling, she reached out and tapped a flower, making it grow twice its height. "Okay. The first applies to Dimitri. The second belongs only to Christian. And the third is just so preposterous I'm not even going to try to respond to that. Besides, if you want to hear someone praise your looks, go find Jill."
"Find me for what?" Jill appeared around the corner, followed closely by Christian.
Adrian promptly shut his mouth. Flirting with fifteen-year-olds was a line he did not cross, and Lissa knew it. She shot him a gleeful smile, and he stood up, grumbling about getting another cocktail.
Adrian Ivashkov could do the impossible – bring people back to life.
Shortly after Lissa was crowned Queen, Jill's life sank into peril. As a longtime friend, Adrian felt the need to accompany her to the dinner where she and her family would discuss with Lissa where to send Jill off to hiding. Well, that was only part of the reason.
The other part was that he felt so terrible after the whole Rose thing that he felt his sour presence would make Jill feel better. At least she wasn't the most miserable.
And it was his twenty-first birthday. So why not celebrate?
At the expected time, he arrived at Jill's door, where she greeted him with a nervous smile. Three guardians stood by her side, dressed in black.
Like Men in Black, he thought, snickering.
She waved him inside. No one was there.
"We're meeting at a top secret destination," Jill said, as if reading his exact thoughts. "Come on. Let's go."
They had taken no more than three steps from the door when seven masked people leaped up from the surrounding bushes, wielding knives. With a shout, they launched themselves forward – some at the guardians and some at Jill. Luckily, no one paid him any attention.
By instinct, the guardians had formed a semi-protective bubble around Jill, blocking any intruders. They looked more like dancers than fighters. Suddenly, a small pocket opened along two of the guardians, and a figure darted into the circle. Something silver flashed in his hand – a knife – and Adrian opened his mouth to warn Jill.
And then the knife sank in. Satisfied, the man dashed away.
Jill crumpled to the ground.
No. No. No, no, no.
Adrian crouched beside her, his hands feeling her body, covered in gushing blood. Her Moroi pale skin turning impossibly paler, she gasped once and was still.
If Jill was dead, then Lissa would have to forfeit the crown. If Jill was dead, he would lose another friend. If Jill was…
She couldn't die. It wasn't an option.
Without thinking, he felt the familiar thundering of spirit whoosh through his body, to his hands, passing into her body. The warmth filled him. Warmth, tinged with a murky darkness. But he kept on going, kept channeling power into Jill.
He wasn't as strong as Lissa. He didn't know if he was capable of reviving a dead girl. Hell, even that one night spent healing the injured when Rose was still a criminal had nearly knocked him to his knees.
Come on. Come on, Jill.
Squeezing his eyes shut, he gritted his teeth, mustering one last shot. The darkness was all around him now, pulling, tugging, consuming. Gasping, he let his hands fall and held his breath, waiting.
Slowly, Jill blinked. "Hi, Adrian," she said weakly.
If love were a class, however, Adrian would get an F.
The first time he fell, it wasn't so graceful. In fact, he fell head over heels. Literally.
It was at a ski resort, and some Moroi women had just passed him, sneaking covert glances from under lowered lashes. They were gossiping, and Adrian stretched his hearing.
Two dhampirs, a boy and a girl, had idiotically endeavored to ski down an impossible terrain. The guy had broken his ankle. The girl, Rose Hathaway, flew by with flying colors.
He grinned. One upped by a girl. How embarrassing.
A while later, just when he had whipped out a cigarette, the doors to the lobby burst open. Out walked a mumbling dhampir girl, bundled in thick ski gear, her long, dark curls billowing out behind her. Even with the scowl on her face, she was beautiful. Adrian's jaw promptly dropped.
Then he was blurting some random line about how good she smelled.
"I'm Rose Hathaway," she said, taking his hand.
His heart took a dive then, as if he had been the one skiing down the hill with her. So this was Rose Hathaway. He'd definitely heard her name before; she and Vasilisa Dragomir had created quite the ruckus with their escapade from St. Vlad's.
What he hadn't known was that she was quite the looker.
From that instant, he was hooked. He showered her with gifts and peppered her with flirtatious gestures, undaunted by Dimitri, who she was in love with. Even when he saw their love with his own eyes, even when spirit screamed at him, when every muscle, nerve, and cell screamed that he was hopeless, he still held on, wishing shed return his love.
It scared the hell out of him.
Because Adrian Ivashkov didn't do love. He did sexy, superficial girls. He did one night stands. He did what he wanted and then he left.
He was controlled by no one. No one except her.
He loved blindly and she used him shamelessly. And when she tore his heart apart, he finally understood why people cried during heartbreak.
The second time he fell, it wasn't so sudden. She sneaked up on him so that he didn't realize what had happened until he was already in too deep, unable to pull himself out again.
He'd thought he would never fall in love again, not after Rose. Sydney was so different from the rest: practical, insanely smart, and, well, human. An Alchemist.
Needless to say, Adrian had a bit of trouble in the love compartment.
It was a romance forbidden by both of their peoples. A love that he knew both felt. And even though she pushed him away, he felt not the crushing pain of heartbreak again, but instead a calm, peaceful satisfaction.
Sooner or later she wouldn't be able to hide. For now, he could live with her denial, knowing that no matter what, she loved him back.
Maybe, Adrian thought, smiling slightly, maybe he had finally succeeded in love as well.
My first Vampire Academy fanfic(: I'm not very used to writing about anyone except Jace and Clary. Oneshot.