I understand that in this particular time frame of post-Last Sacrifice, it's not February, but let's just pretend! (:

Victor Dashkov's green eyes dance mercilessly in the moonlight. He holds Lissa to his chest, his knife barely piercing the skin of her neck. Drops of blood splatter on the ground in front of her, and I can feel the pain, the pain of the knife going deeper and deeper in to her skin.

"Stop!" I scream, "Stop! I'll do anything. Please, just let her go."

Victor laughs, the sound booming in to the night sky, just as dark and empty as his heart, "It's a life for a life, you killed me, now I shall take her. Nothing you can do about it." He squeezes her neck harder, the knife going deeper into her skin.

I attack.

But as soon as I jump to grab at Victor, a large force barrels in to me, sending me flying off away from Victor. I gasp for breath and when I stand up, I find myself staring at pitiless red eyes, and a large duster. Dimitri. Or at least strigoi Dimitri. My breath catches, like it always does in front of him, regardless strigoi or dhampir, and with my hesitation, he swings a punch at my face.

"What are you doing?" I yell at Dimitri, and in the distance I hear Lissa screaming, screaming as blood drains out of her.

I gasp awake, clawing at my blankets, my throat dry from screaming. I take in my surroundings, the nightstand, window overlooking the fountain, my closet, my giant fluffy bed, and flop back down on to the mattress. Just a dream Rose, just a dream. These nightmares have been occurring for a while since I broke my bond with Lissa, and she told me it's probably some of the left over darkness from it. Everything that's happened in the past year has impacted me a lot, so I just need some time to sort things out in my mind.

Usually, Dimitri's next to me, cradling me in the arms when I wake up screaming in the middle of the night, but three days ago, he and Christian left to visit Moravian College. I know, Christian, at college.

After Lissa became queen, he finaly realized that he had to do something with life, and pursue college, so he's visiting Moravian, and will attend it starting next month. It's much easier to get in to that Lehigh, but also extremely close so he and Lissa can still be together.

Wherever Christian goes, Dimitri follows, and wherever Lissa goes, I follow, so that means next month, I'll be close to Dimitri even when Lissa isn't at court.

A gentle knock on my door breaks my reverie, and I get out of bed to open it to find a rarely disheveled Lissa. Her blonde hair sticks up at random places, and she's still in her pink pajama pants.

"What's up?" I say, not sure what was going on. I'm still not used to not knowing how Lissa is feeling.

"It's February 14th!" Lissa exclaims.


"Oh god, Rose! It's Valentine's Day!"

This makes me laugh. After everything Lissa and I have been through, this is the one thing she cares about.


"So?" Lissa throws her hands up in desperation, "I've been so drowned in Royal business and Lehigh homework that I've completely forgotten!"

"It's okay!" I say, trying to calm Lissa down, all the stress still gets to her and it still hurts me that I can't help her get through it, "Christian won't be back for another two days."

"I know, but I feel like I should send him something, it's getting in the Valentine's Day spirit! You should send something to Dimitri too."

An image of Dimitri carrying a giant teddy bear and chocolates floods my mind.

"Ah, no." Maybe a teddy bear holding a stake.

"Oh come on, look, lets meet at the fountain in fifteen, there must be something we can buy for them, and we can spend the rest of today together. I think I need to take a breather from everything anyway," Lissa explains and before I can say anything, she leaves to her room, two doors over.

I shut my door and groan, but at least whatever sappy romantic "fun" Lissa is planning, it will also help her with relieving her stress.

Fifteen minutes later, I meet Lissa at the fountain.

"Okay, I told Ariana to help me handle all the Royal meetings and everything, I am taking this day off."

I smile, "So where are we headed?" I turn to Lissa, but she's concentrated on roll of parchment, taped with a heart sticker, on the ground in front of us.

"What's that?" I ask.

Lissa shrugs and bends to pick it up, but I bat her hand away and pick up the roll instead. "No, it might be something dangerous, I'll take it."

Lissa rolls her eyes, "Fine, open it! What is it?"

I open the parchment to find familiar handwriting scrawled across.

To Lissa and Rose,

Happy Valentine's Day!

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you guys on this special occasion. In fact, we already have something planned out, so follow the clues in each note, and it will lead you to a special surprise!

Clue 1: This one's for you Rose, I made the biggest mistake of my life here.


Christian and Dimitri

"Oh my god," Lissa and I mutter at the same time. This time, I don't need the bond to feel Lissa's excitement. It's palpable as her face lights up with a smile.

"Where is the place, Rose, where?" Lissa exclaims, tugging on my jacket sleeve.

The biggest mistake of my life. I think back to everything that's happened to Dimitri and me, the time I spent incredulous that our love could end, and I immediately know.

"The church."

"The church?" Lissa asks in disbelief.

"Yeah, the church." I say, not wanting to divulge anymore.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go!" Lissa cries, literally dragging me to the church, "Oh, and this is Dimitri's handwriting, right? Christian's looks awfully like yours."

Lissa says the last part like it's the worst criticism you could give to someone, and I sigh, "That's Dimitri being perfect as always."