All the characters belong to the lovely Richelle Mead.
I stand in front of the mirror trying to get my bearings in order. I was going to a vampire wedding. I realize that statement didn't feel me with the usual dread or unease it would have a few months ago. I was nervous, but for an entirely different reason.
He was supposed to come pick me up to go to the wedding. After the talk on the plane things were even more awkward between us. Which I didn't think was possible. I don't even know why I was nervous to see Adrian. He had seen me in a dress before. On Halloween night. Thinking about that night brings a blush to my cheeks and I shake my head to get rid of such thoughts.
I look at my reflection in the mirror. I was wearing a dark blue dress that went to my knees. It hugged my body in all the right places, but I thought it was a bit too tight. I couldn't do anything about it now, though. Adrian should be here in five minutes.
I sigh turning away from the mirror. Crossing the room to the bed I try some breathing techniques. Breath in, breath out. I try the process for a few more minutes until a knock at the door breaks through my concentration. He's here, I thought.
I walk to the door expecting Adrian, but to my surprise it was an Alchemist. And not just any Alchemist. Ian Hunter. The last time I had seen him had been at court until he was sent to a Re-Education center. But the thing was no one forced him to go; he had sent himself because he felt as if he was softening towards the vampires. That was the thing that I couldn't comprehend. No Alchemist in their right mind would want to be sent there, but for an Alchemist to send themselves was unheard of.
There was something different about him though he looked the same with his styled brown hair and matching brown eyes. He had on the Alchemist uniform that consisted of khaki pants and a gray button down shirt. I had thought that he would at least make an effort since it was a wedding, but I guess not. It suddenly reminded me of my own attire and I crossed my arms over my chest as if I could hide my dress.
"Sydney Sage." He gave me a small smile and a nod. That was when I noticed what was different about him. It was his eyes. To be more specific, it was the look in his eyes. They were vacant. The Ian I knew always had a gentle kind look in his eyes. The Ian standing in front of me had a blank look in his eyes that made my chest hurt.
I had only met one other person that had come out of Re-Education and they were a ghost of the person they once were. Looking at Ian now, he was an exact replica of that other man. But somehow it was worse on Ian. Maybe it was because I knew him personally. Or maybe it was because he chose it. Whatever it was made me want to throw up.
"Ian." I say curtly, trying to ignore the whirlwind of emotions and thoughts going on inside of me. "It's a pleasant surprise to see you here." I knew that there were other Alchemists that were attending the wedding, but I didn't even stop to think that one of them might be Ian.
"Yes, it is actually. I wasn't expected to be here, but plans change. And once I heard you were going to be here it made the whole exchange better." He blushes and looks surprised as if he hadn't meant to say the last bit. I look away and try to think of something to say when I see Adrian coming down the hall.
My breath catches when I see him. He is wearing the traditional tuxedo, but it compliments him well. He looks devastatingly gorgeous which I'm sure he knows by the smirk he throws me. He looks me up and down and his steps falter a bit which gives me a weird sense of satisfaction. His eyes are wide and he looks at a complete loss for words.
A clearing of a throat causes me to turn my head and I realize Ian is still standing there. I bite my lip; Adrian's entrance had made me forget about Ian completely. With a start I realize that he is staring hard at Adrian. I frown and look back towards Adrian, who is at my door now, and he is staring straight back at Ian.
"Ian, this is Adrian Ivashkov. Adrian, this is Ian Hunter." I introduce them to each other and after a bit Adrian reluctantly holds out his hand. I draw my eyebrows together wondering why Adrian doesn't seem to like Ian. He usually tries to charm the Alchemists despite their animosity towards vampires. Ian shakes his hand quickly and looks back to me.
"Well, I came to see if you would go to the wedding with me?" My eyes widen; I didn't expect this. I glance at Adrian who is looking at me. I hastily look away and try to think of something to say. If I don't accept and go with Adrian that could cause some raised eyebrows with the Alchemists. The reason I was going with Adrian in the first place was because he was going to show me the way to the wedding since I didn't know my way around here. But now that Ian is offering there is no way I can refuse.
I take a deep breath and just hope Adrian understands. Then I wonder why I should care if he understands or not. I shouldn't even be thinking about Ian's offer. I should just accept and not feel any regret, but I do. I shake my head and am about to answer Ian when I see the look on Adrian's face. He looks so vulnerable standing there waiting for my answer. It makes my answer much harder.
"Sure. Just let me get my sweater." I say through my teeth. I ignore the urge to look at Adrian's face and go back in the room to get my sweater. I gather my purse and sweater and go back into the hall. Adrian's not there and I try to squash down the guilt in the pit of my stomach. Needless to say I fail miserably.
Ian offers me his hand and I take it after a moment. We walk down the hall and as if from a distance I hear Ian talking. He's rambling on about something that I can't bring myself to listen to. I keep wondering where Adrian was. Will he still go to the wedding? I quickly dismiss the thought. Of course he will.
I remember when we landed and he asked me if I wanted him to take me to the wedding. I know I should have said no, but I didn't. Besides, I didn't know my way around court and probably would have gotten lost trying to find the Greenhouse that the wedding was taking place at. Once we arrived at the wedding I would have ditched him and sat at a table all night long looking at everyone dance.
It still didn't make me feel better about coming here with Ian. I told myself it was because I didn't like breaking promises which I technically did.
Ian led me down another corridor and I wondered how Ian knew to get to the wedding. I was about to ask him when the Greenhouse came into view. I stopped, stunned and stared speechlessly at it. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. There were flowers covering mostly everything, but instead of it looking like it was over the top, it made it look simple and elegant. There were lanterns hanging and the lights had a nice effect to it all.
I knew I probably looked like a moron standing there with my mouth wide open, but I couldn't help it. It felt like I had just stepped into a fairytale. After a few more seconds I went into the Greenhouse. Ian was right behind me. Most of the seats were occupied and the only ones open were at the back.
I tried looking for an open seat when I saw Adrian. And he wasn't alone. He was with a beautiful Moroi girl. I knew she was Moroi by her pale skin and her willowy model body. She had hair so black it looked blue in the fluorescent light and even from here you could see her light green eyes. She had on a short-and by short, I mean she made Angeline's cutoff pants seem descent- red dress that was so tight it looked like a second skin on her.
He whispered something in her ear and she laughed out loud that made a few people look back at her. She put a hand on his shoulder and smiled at him. He grinned back at her and it made me sick. I looked away and towards Ian and told him I wanted to sit somewhere else.
He didn't seem disturbed by my sudden change and we walked around looking for other seats. I couldn't ignore the queasy feeling in my stomach or the red hot tingling in my head. It felt like I was getting a headache. We couldn't find any other seats. The only seats were by Adrian and there was no way I was sitting there. I tried not to think about that and told Ian that we could stand in the back on the other side of the room.
He looked at me oddly, but didn't protest for which I was grateful for. I knew I was going to regret standing later, especially in the heels I was wearing. As we weaved through the chairs my heel caught on something and I would have fallen if Ian didn't catch me. His arms came around my waist and I quickly got out of his arms. I pushed past him and tried to ignore the stares I was getting from the people I passed.
Once I got to the corner I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes. I felt someone touch my hand and looked up to see Ian's brown ones staring back at me. He looked concern and immediately I felt bad.
"I'm sorry, Ian. I just didn't want to sit… there." To my surprise, he nodded.
"I understand. This place is just filled with evil creatures of the night. I'm sure it's hard enough working with them, but to be in a social event like this one must be difficult. I can barely stand to work with them, and now I'm expected to go to parties with them." He gave a bitter laugh while I bit my tongue to keep from screaming in frustration. That wasn't what I meant at all, but it was better if he didn't know my reason for not wanting to sit there.
Even though I consider Ian a friend I had no doubt that he would send me to a Re-Education center if I showed the slightest emotion towards a vampire. He sent himself, why wouldn't he send someone else especially if he felt like it was for the greater good?
Before I had the chance to answer, music started playing. The wedding was beginning.
Everything went by so smoothly and beautifully that by the end of it I was nearly crying. I hastily turned away from Ian so he wouldn't see my tears. I didn't want that to be reported back to the Alchemists. I've only ever been to one wedding before, but this one blew it out the water. It was just so pure and precious you could feel the love flowing off of the newlyweds.
Even now, that they were doing something as mundane as dancing, you could feel it flowing off of them in waves. I smiled softly wondering if my wedding would be as sacred as this one. I shook my head at that. Sacred? These were vampires for crying out loud.
I look around the room and I spot Rose standing near the Queen, Lissa. She's wearing the formal black gear of a guardian and has that stoic guardian face in place. The Queen is wearing a light pink dress that compliments her well. The man holding her hand I realize is Christian Ozera. The Queen's boyfriend.
Someone taps me on the shoulder and I turn to see Ian standing there looking embarrassed. It reminds me of the boy from before Re-Education and I feel a pang go through my chest. He used to be so awkward and was always fumbling for his words. And now he seems like… like my Dad, I realize. He's always so sure of himself now and believes in the Alchemist's beliefs. In our beliefs, I correct myself mentally.
"Would you like to dance?" he asks turning red.
"I'm not a good dancer." I bite my lip and hope that's the end of that, but am surprised by the next words out of his mouth.
"So am I. We can dance badly together." He gives me a small grin and I can't help but smile back even though I don't want to. But I know I have to, so I give him another smile and hold out my hand. He takes it graciously and leads me to the dance floor.
I expect him to let go, but instead he holds me closer until we're face to face. Well, almost face to face. He has a few inches on me, but he's not ridiculously tall like a certain emerald eyed Moroi I know. And I can't help but think how much better it would have been to dance with Adrian.
Against my will I look around the room and spot him at a table near the corner. He's alone which makes me feel better for some reason. Until I see the look on his face. It breaks my heart and shatters my soul into a million little pieces and I could almost hear the shards fall to my stomach. I certainly feel them.
He looks so miserable and vulnerable and a million other words that don't do justice for the broken look on his face. He stares at me for another second before turning away. Away from me. Without even thinking about it I untangle myself from Ian-whose arms were around my waist? How did they get there?- and mumble an excuse about needing air.
I half expect Adrian to have disappeared, but no; he's standing there leaning against the railing with his arms across his chest. He almost appears to be waiting for me. I take a step forward and he watches me with those piercing eyes of his. He doesn't say anything; he just watches me. I keep walking towards him until we're two feet away from each other. And he still doesn't say anything, so I open my mouth to say something and even I'm surprised by what I say.
"Where's your date?" I almost clamp my hand over my mouth, but catch myself just in time.
"Tina?" he asks his eyebrows drawing together in confusion. "She's my cousin. We chatted for a bit until the wedding started."
"Oh," I have nothing else to say to that. And I'm trying to figure out why the fact that she's his cousin makes it seem as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. But I shouldn't feel that way. Like I told him on the plane; Moroi and humans don't get together. And I should have been glad that he was hooking up with other girls. But the very thought of it made me sick to my stomach.
"What about your date? Isn't he going to get worried if you don't come back? He couldn't seem to take his hands off of you." He tries to say it casually but his voice is strained and his eyes flash with some emotion that I can't identify.
"Ian's not my date," I say slowly. And then we're silent after that. He keeps staring at me and I stare straight back. After what feels like an eternity he speaks.
"Well. Since I don't have a date and you don't have a date wouldn't it be logical to be each other's dates?" I laugh out loud at his logic that makes no sense whatsoever and he gives me an impish grin.
"I don't see why not," I say. He looks a bit surprised at first, but immediately recovers himself. He holds out his hand and I take it, shivering at the unexpected heat that radiates off of him. He puts one arm around my waist and tugs me closer to him.
I'm still staring up at him as I put my arm around his neck bringing us even closer than we were. Which I didn't think was possible. I can barely hear the music, but I know he can hear it exceptionally well. We stand like that for what seems like hours until we start swaying together.
He's still looking down at me and he has the tenderest look in his eyes that makes my heart warm. This is the Adrian that no one seems to know. Except for me. He has showed me a side of him that no one has ever seen before, and the thought brings unexpected tears to my eyes.
"Whoa, Sage. What's wrong? Is it me? Do you want to stop?" He immediately tries to pull his hands back, but I don't let go. He looks at me in confusion until I wrap both my arms around him and bury my head against his chest. His arms go around me, almost protectively, and I have to smile at that.
"Just hold me," I whisper so low that he shouldn't have heard, but he does. Of course he does. So we stand like that for God knows how long, but I don't care. After a while, though, I pull back to look up at his face. He looks at me with a million questions swimming in his beautiful green eyes, but I just shake my head. That's a talk for another time.
"Can you take me to my room?" I ask. He nods gently and wraps his sweater around me. I look up and notice with a start that it's nighttime. The wedding started around noon, so we were out here longer than I thought.
We walk through a different pathway than the one I came through earlier. Within seconds we arrive at the dorm that I am staying at temporarily. Adrian leans down and brushes his lips across my forehead.
"Goodnight," he whispers a little out of breath. He turns on his heel to go, but I stop him. I can't quite look at him as I say my next words.
"Can you stay with me? I don't want to be alone tonight." I look up just in time to see his reaction. His eyes widen a bit and he looks at a loss for words. I can't really blame him. Just a few hours ago I was telling him to get lost, and now here I was inviting him to bed. Just to sleep, I told myself.
"Are you sure?" he asks.
"If I weren't, would I have asked in the first place?" I smile at him. He chuckles a bit, still looking apprehensive.
"No, I suppose not." He finally says after a beat.
I lead him into the room and instead of changing I just lie on my bed. He raises an eyebrow at me and I shrug. He lies down next to me and I scoot over so my head rests on his chest. He wraps an arm around me and I sigh contentedly. Closing my eyes I try to get some rest, but I'm just all too aware of Adrian.
I open my eyes and push myself off of him.
"Hey! I was comfortable," he protests looking a bit disgruntled.
"I'm just going to change," I tell him. I look him over once and say, "You should change, too."
"But I normally sleep naked," he says with his signature smirk.
"Don't push it, mister." I tell him trying to sound stern, but the smile on my face betrays me.
"Wouldn't dream of it, ma'am." And with that he gets up and heads toward the door. Before leaving though, he looks back at me one more time and looks at me from head to toe. And he doesn't try to be discreet about it either. It's a slow, long look that feels oddly intimate.
"I didn't get the chance to tell you before, but you look absolutely breathtaking tonight. And if you could hear the things I was thinking- well, let's just be glad you can't," he tells me with a small smile on his face. I feel myself flushing at his words and glance away.
"You look handsome tonight too," I say without looking at him.
"I know," he says arrogantly. At that I look at him and glare half heartedly.
"You should try being modest for once. It's a good look." I tell him.
"Not on me." He gives me one last devil-may-care smirk before heading out the door. I shake my head. Adrian was just too much sometimes. But I liked it. I liked it a bit too much if I was being honest with myself.
I change quickly in case Adrian comes back sooner than expected, but he doesn't. So I sit on the bed and wait for him while the events from the past few hours swirled around in my head like a power point presentation. Particularly the parts with Adrian.
Please read and review=)
This is an idea that came to me over the weekend and just thought I'd share it with you guys.
Also, I have a question that I hope you guys wouldn't mind answering. Do I write better in first or third person point of view? If you read my other story "Dark Magic"-which is written in 3rd person- you'd be able to see the difference.