Adrian had requested to have her as his personal protection. He made up some story about receiving some anonymous threats. This had gotten her away from Christian, which was helping her hold it together. Still, Christian was playing a prominent role in her dreams and her need to go to him got stronger every day. Worse, they were no closer to finding a solution.

She was walking, head down, across to the field for her late night (or early morning for humans, since the sun was about to rise) training with Dimitri, contemplating the mess she was in, when she ran head first into something very solid. Looking up, her entire body froze. Christian. Shit.

His lips moved and she knew he was saying something, but she couldn't concentrate on the words. Her head was filled with a thousand bees as she fought to keep her hands at her sides. She felt like her heart would beat right out of her chest as her temperature spiked. Christian reached a hand toward her, his face showing his concern and she moved backwards so fast that she tripped and fell. He stepped forward and her entire body yearned for the touch that she knew he was about to bestow. At the last second, Lissa's face rose in her mind and she screamed, "Don't!" as she crab walked backwards as fast as possible. She was genuinely terrified that she was going to do something unforgiveable. The part of her holding on to sanity, however, was fast drowning.

A new voice came from across the yard, yelling to get Christian's attention. She lay flat on her back, breathing hard, gripping the grass to stop her from throwing herself at him. He was at least five feet away, but she could smell his scent and feel his presence shivering across her skin.

Adrian crouched down next to her. "Rose?"

I reached for him the way a drowning man reaches for a rope. Adrian pulled her to her feet and held her close. "I can't do this anymore, Adrian," she whispered. "I'm so tired."

"I know, I know, love."

"You'll have to tie me down. Please. Before I hurt her."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Christian demanded to know. "What is going on, Rose?"

Rose shuddered at the sound of his voice and a keening noise came from her throat. "Please," Adrian said, holding up a hand. "Let me take care of her. Then I'll explain. I promise. Just wait for me in the cafeteria, okay?"

Christian nodded curtly, agreeing begrudgingly.

Adrian scooped Rose up in his arms and began to walk back to his rooms. "Adrian, you can't tell him," she whispered urgently.

Adrian said nothing, his face grim. "Adrian?" she asked, tone worried.

"We have no choice. You can't go on like this. And we need him to understand what is happening, in case there is an incident." She opened her mouth to protest but he placed a finger over her lips to silence her. "You know I am right, love."

She nodded. She knew he was right. She only hoped Lissa wouldn't hate her.

Once he had tucked her in to bed and given her a light sedative to help her sleep, he headed to talk with Christian. He hated how much she was hurting and he hated even more that he had to medicate her in order to insure that she would sleep safely until he returned.

He saw Christian sitting in the corner. The room was mostly empty. "Can we go somewhere more private?" Adrian asked.

Mutely, Christian nodded. He led Adrian to the room above the church. "Now, what is going on?"

"I'm not completely sure how this is happening, but she has been compelled by the Strigoi that took you all captive. As far as I can guess, the Strigoi wanted to see you break like your parents and he wanted to make a game of it." Christian's eyes flashed, but Adrian pressed on, "When he said that he was going to make sure that when you broke, she would want it as much as you did, he meant it. He compelled her to crave it, made sure that her craving would get worse and worse until you gave in."

"Crave what? My bite?"

Adrian knew that there was no good way to tell him this, so he went with blunt honesty. "Your bite, your kiss, your touch, everything. Her dreams are consumed by you and, every day that passes, she spends more and more of her day fighting to come find you. When you ran into each other yesterday, she barely stopped herself from begging you to take her every way possible. The only thing giving her the strength to fight it is her loyalty to Lissa. From what I can tell, this is ten times worse than what the most addicted blood whore feels."

Christian had sunk down into a chair as Adrian spoke, feeling ill. "Oh my God. What do we do?"

"I honestly am not sure. When the Strigoi died, that should have been the end of it. I guess we do more research and try to find some reference to something like this happening before."

"I need to tell Lissa," Christian said, firmly. "We can't keep something like this a secret from her."

Adrian searched the other man's face for a moment. "Alright. But you have to make sure she knows not to tell Dmitri."

Christian's eyebrow wrinkled, "Why not?"

Adrian took a deep breath, hoping Christian was as trustworthy as he thought he was. "Dmitri and Rose have," he paused, searching for the best way to phrase this. "Feelings for each other. She won't like Lissa knowing, she feels like she is betraying her trust somehow, but if Dmitri is going to be told, it needs to be by Rose."

Christian's eyebrows were so high they almost disappeared in his hair line, but he didn't ask any questions. "Alright. I will go talk to Lissa, then we can meet and talk about our next move."

Adrian nodded and Christian rose, walking away. Adrian stared after him, hoping he had made the right decision in telling the man and, by extension, Lissa.