"This cannot be happening. How can this be happening? I hacked his fucking head off with a sword. No one could survive that!"

"I doubt that he is alive, Rose."

"That makes even less sense! Compulsion can't last past death." She shook her head hard, "You're wrong. There has to be another explanation."

"I know he compelled you. And now you are experiencing what he compelled you to experience. How can I be wrong?" he asked, his own voice rising. He was worried for her, but the swirling emotions blasting from her was making him irritable as his head began to pound.

Rose shook her head again. "I don't know, but you are. Because the only way to break compulsion is to kill the Strigoi. And if he's already dead, then we don't know how to fix this, and I can't deal with this much longer," her voice got higher as panic set in. "I already feel like I'm going insane."

Adrian wrapped both arms around her. "It's going to be okay."

Standing stiffly, she retorted, "You can't know that. It's more likely that I will do something stupid like beg Christian to kill me. I'd rather be dead than at the mercy of some Strigoi's twisted game."

Adrian responded by pulling her closer and rubbing circles over her back with one hand.

Tears began to slip, unbidden, down Rose' cheeks. Adrian saw the shift in her aura. Where before anger had warred with fear, now desolation set in to mix with the terror she was feeling. Collapsing into his arms, her silent tears transformed into full blown sobs. "What am I going to do?" she choked out.

"I'm not sure, but whatever it is, we'll do it together, I promise."

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