Disclaimer: I don't own Vampire Academy.

Ch. 1 Concerns

We decided to wait until sunrise to leave the pavilion where I'd literally been laid to rest.

"I don't know what's going to be in store for us, Dimitri," I said to him as we watched the horizon. It was still night, but the moon was slowly moving across the sky and the stars weren't quite as bright.

"I know," he agreed solemnly, taking my hand. "My uncle will try to use my marriage to you as an excuse to become the Belikov prince himself."

"Father will probably have your head for marrying me," I murmured, half to myself and half to him.

Dimitri smiled dryly. "As much as your father would like to have my head, I'm sure he won't kill me. Yet. Even murdering a royal would be beyond something Abe Mazur could get away."

Suddenly I remembered something and wilted into Dimitri's arms. "Oh, God. I almost forgot. The Queen's order! She ordered that you be turned over to her justice for your attack on my 'fiancé.'"

His face clouded. "That means anyone who sees me – even guardians or commoners – could turn me over to her immediately."

I nodded. "She'd probably have you imprisoned or executed."

He sighed, and laid his head in my lap. "Is there any way you or your father could issue a writ of pardon?"

Dimitri was referring to a certain power the prince or princess of a royal house had. They could choose to issue a pardon to someone accused of committing a crime as long it wasn't a particular heinous crime (such as a murder). However, I wasn't sure if that extended to someone wanted by the Queen, and I said as much.

"Besides, even though I'm my father's heiress and the Mazur princess, I would need his approval for any pardons I issue," I said with a shake of my head. "You can say he's still the real power behind me." Wonder when I can actually make decisions on my own, since I'm supposed to have the Council seat...

Dimitri was quiet for a very long moment before he sat up and asked, "Have you ever thought of having children?"

I immediately guessed what must be on his mind. "Are you worried about our dhampir infertility?"

Most dhampirs are produced from dhampirs and Moroi having sex, even though the first dhampirs came from Moroi and humans. Dhampirs trying to reproduce with each other was virtually impossible. However, there have been a few very rare exceptions – none from this century – where dhampirs were able to reproduce with each other and have dhampir babies.

My father, Abe Mazur, is a Moroi, and my mother, Janine Hathaway Mazur, is a dhampir. To ensure that the Mazur bloodline would continue to live on, since I was the only child – and a girl, at that – they had been arranging betrothals for me ever since I had turned ten. My firstborn child with any husband I married would be a Mazur, while any other children I had after them would carry my husband's last name.

Few Moroi royals have chosen to reproduce with dhampirs because they like to keep their bloodlines pure. As a result, there are only four dhampir royal families – the Mazurs and Belikovs included – compared to the twelve Moroi "pure" families. And our families have only become dhampir royal families very recently (and by very recent, I mean within the fifty years).

"I'm a bit worried," Dimitri said, sounding plenty worried. "You're the only child of the Mazur family. Your family wanted you to have plenty of children, which is why they betrothed you to Adrian Ivashkov. At least I have several sisters who could carry on the Belikov line. But you'll never have children-"

I placed my finger over his lips to quiet him. "I'm not too worried about that. If necessary, we'll adopt children and make them princes and princesses." Of course, my father would throw a fit.

"As if your father would approve!" he said, as though he could read my mind.

"We can't worry about having children right now. We have to worry about showing that I'm still alive, not getting you killed by my family guardians on sight, and explaining that we're already married," I pointed out. "Speaking of the last thing…how do we prove that we're married? And that we already consummated our marriage?"

Dimitri sighed. "Well, I have our wedding certificate. Friar James can back us up on that. As for the consummation…I'm afraid they'll have to take us at our word on that."

I shivered all over, and leaned my head on his shoulder. "Maybe we shouldn't worry about that right now. Let's just appreciate the quiet time we have a while longer."

When there were a few streaks of color over the horizon, I sighed. "I suppose it's time…"

Dimitri rose very gracefully to his feet before holding his hand out to me. I put my hand in his and he pulled me up.

"I imagine your whole family will be shocked by you coming back from the dead," he said dryly as we climbed down the steps of the pavilion and exited the cemetery.

"Yes. Everyone but Lissa," I said, thinking of my best friend. She'd been the only one I'd told, and I was grateful that she had supported me.

Dimitri smiled down at me as we started the trek back to the Mazur household. "How exactly did you meet?"

"We were about five at the time, and learning to read and write at this fancy academy. The teacher was trying to make us spell our names. My name is a little bit long– Rosemarie Mazur. I grew so frustrated of trying to spell it that I just threw my chalkboard at the teacher and called her a bloody asshole. At the time I had no idea what that meant – I'd just overheard that from an ambassador. Lissa couldn't stop laughing, and from that moment on, we were best friends," I recounted.

We fell silent as we continued to walk. I was already mentally cursing why the cemetery was so far from my family home. Had it been this long to carry my body from home to the cemetery? Not that I'd really know, since I'd been unconscious…

Finally, the gates of my home loomed before us. I looked to Dimitri and whispered, "Stay behind me." I was hoping that the guardians – or my father – wouldn't kill Dimitri on sight if he was behind me.

He nodded and followed me. Two guardians were on duty at the gates. I didn't recognize either of them. I stepped in front of them.

Then both of them straightened up immediately, their eyes going wide. "You…. what on…."

"It is I, Princess Rosemarie Mazur," I said in a clear voice. "Let me in."

"You're supposed to be dead!" one blurted out, his eyes wide.

I tried to raise an eyebrow at him, but failed. "And I'm clearly in front of you now. Let me into my home."

"We must alert Lord Mazur at once," the other muttered, sounding absolutely flabbergasted at my appearance. Honestly I was surprised that they weren't finding charms to repel ghosts.

"Please do," I said dryly as he turned and raced up the pathway leading to the manor.

The guardian left looked behind me and his eyes widened. "Is that Prince Belikov? But he's…he's wanted for attacking your fiancé! And why are you with the Mazur princess?" he asked, his voice turning menacing as he stepped towards Dimitri.

"Let him through with me," I said sternly. "There are important matters at hand here. And I suggest you don't alert the Queen of the Belikov prince's presence here. Especially if you value your life."

The guardian gulped, looking terrified. I wouldn't actually kill him – unless giving him a good beating counted – but I hoped that he would listen to a princess's orders. "Yes, Your Highness."

The other guardian returned, looking wide awake now. "Lord Mazur is now in the audience chamber, Your Highness."

"Thank you," I said, strolling past, Dimitri warily following me. I was sure that if it weren't for my shocking reappearance and my orders, the guardians would've hauled Dimitri before Father and had him sent to Queen Tatiana.

The whole walk into the manor was silent, but once we were inside the foyer and close to the doors leading into the audience chamber, I turned to Dimitri. "Be brave," I breathed into his ear.

"I will be, as long as you're here," he murmured back.

We linked hands and I took a deep breath. I was so scared, despite asking him to be brave. If something went wrong, if Dimitri was somehow killed… I forced myself to banish those thoughts from my mind.

The double doors swung open, and we walked in together.

Author's note: The sequel to Love That Lasts Forever, per many reviewers' request. Sorry it's so late, but hope you all enjoy it! Think of it as a New Years' gift ;D Read and review. The title kinda sucks, so if you have any suggestions for a better title feel free to suggest some :D