Stop fighting me! he said, trying to pull on the arm he held.He was in a precarious position himself, straddling the rail as he tried to lean over far enough to get me and actually hold onto me.“Let go of me!” I yelled back.But he was too strong and managed to haul most of me over the rail, enough so that I wasn’t in total danger of falling again.See, here’s the thing. In that moment before I let go, I really had been contemplating my death. I’d come to terms with it and accepted it. I also, however, had known Dimitri might do something exactly like this. He was just that fast and that good. That was why I was holding my stake in the hand that was dangling free.I looked him in the eye. I will always love you.Then I plunged the stake into his chest.It wasn’t as precise a blow as I would have liked, not with the skilled way he was dodging. I struggled to get the stake in deep enough to his heart, unsure if I could do it from this angle. Then, his struggles stopped. His eyes stared at me, stunned, and his lips parted, almost into a smile, albeit a grisly and pained one.That’s what I was supposed to say. . .” he gasped out.Those were his last words.
What was love, really? Flowers, chocolate, and poetry? Or was it something else? Was it being able to finish someone's jokes? Was it having absolute faith that someone was there at your back? Was it knowing someone so well that they instantly understood why you did the things you did—and shared those same beliefs?
I don't care if you say we can't be together. I don't care if you think I'm the most evil, unnatural creature walking on earth. You can think whatever you want, go whatever you want. I'm going to just go on loving you, even if it's hopeless.
Don’t take the high ground and assume you already know what you’ll do. The truth is, when it comes to someone you love, you’ll find there isn’t anything you won’t do.
Because I’ve got a lot more terms of endearment to use. Honey pie. Sugarplum. Bread pudding.“Why are they all high-calorie foods?
Well, you can think what you want, so long as you remember - no matter how ordinary things seem between us - I'm still here, still in love with you, and care about you more than any other guy, evil or otherwise, ever will.
Vladimir did great things—so could she. Besides, they come first, right?Not always.I stared. I'd had they come first drilled into me since I was a child. It was what all guardians believed. Only the dhampirs who'd run away from their duty didn't subscribe to that. What he said was almost like treason.Sometimes, Rose, you have to know when to put yourself first.
Yet, it had been Dimitri’s gentleness and thoughtfulness mixed with that deadliness that made him so wonderful. The same hands that wielded stakes with such precision would carefully brush the hair out of my face. The eyes that could astutely spot any danger in the area would regard me wonderingly and worshipfully, like I was the most beautiful and amazing woman in the world.
I had never thought I could love another person this much. I also never thought I’d live in such fear of losing another person. Was this how everyone in love felt? Did they all cling tightly to their beloved and wake up terrified in the middle of the night, afraid of being alone? Was that an inevitable way of life when you loved so deeply? Or was it just those of us who walked on a precipice who lived in such panic?
Other people spoke, and I tried to keep up with the translations. All the stories were about Dimitri's kindness and strength of character. Even when not out battling the undead, Dimitri had always been there to help those who needed it. Almost everyone could recall sometime that Dimitri had stepped up to help others, going out of his way to do what was right, even in situations that could put him at risk. That was no surprise to me. Dimitri always did the right thing.And it was that attitude that had made me love him so much. I had a similar nature. I too rushed in when others needed me, sometimes when I shouldn't have. Others called me crazy for it, but Dimitri had understood. He'd always understood me, and part of what we'd worked on was how to temper that impulsive need to run into danger with reason and calculation. I had a feeling no one else in this world would ever understand me like he did.
You know I love you, right?” The urge to kiss her goodbye was so strong that I almost broke our rules.She smiled, beautiful and golden in the late morning light. “Not as much as I love you.”“Oh, man. This is my dream come true: having an ‘I love you more’ debate. Here, I’ll start. I love you more. Your turn.”Sydney laughed and opened the door. “I’ve taken debate classes. You’d lose to my logic.
One of the few downsides to being awakened is that we no longer require sleep; therefore we also no longer dream. It's a shame, because if I could dream, I know I'd dream about you.I'd dream about the way you smell and how your dark hair feels like silk between my fingers. I'd dream about the smoothness of your skin and the fierceness of your lips when we kiss. Without dreams, I have to be content with my own imagination– which is almost as good. I can picture all of those things perfectly, as well as how it'll be when I take your life from this world.
I’m not a warrior or a goddess,” I said at last.Adrian leaned closer. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re both.
And besides . . . I don’t want to leave you. Er, you guys.”He smiled, and it lit up his whole face. “Well, ‘we’ are certainly happy to hear that. Oh, and I’m also happy to watch our darling little love child dragon while you’re in St. Louis.”I grinned back.
Adrian smiled and clasped my hands, taking a few steps toward me. And as for who you are, you’re the same beautiful, brave, and ridiculously smart caffeinated fighter you’ve been since the day I met you.” Finally, he put “beautiful” at the top of his list of adjectives. Not that I should have cared.“Sweet talker,” I scoffed. “You didn’t know anything about me the first time we met.”“I knew you were beautiful,” he said. “I just hoped for the rest.
Wow,” said Adrian. He sat down on the bed and tested its bounciness, giving it a nod of approval. “This is amazing. What do you think, buttercup?”“I have no words,” I said honestly.He patted the spot beside him. “Want to try it out?
Do you know what I see in you now? The usual aura. A steady golden yellow, healthy and strong, with spikes of purple here and there. But when I do this. . . .”He rested a hand on my hip, and my whole body tensed up. That hand moved around my hip, slipping under my shirt to rest on the small of my back. My skin burned where he touched me, and the places that were untouched longed for that heat.. The colors deepen, it burns more intensely, the purple increases. Why? Why, Sydney?” He used that hand on me to pull me closer. “Why do you react that way if I don’t mean anything to you?” There was a desperation in his voice, and it was legitimate.
My nails dug into his back, and he trailed his lips down the edge of my chin, down the center of my neck. He kept going until he reached the bottom of the dress’s V-neck. I let out a small gasp, and he kissed all around the neckline, just enough to tease.
I wanted him. I arched my back, fully aware of how vulnerable that made me and that I was giving him an invitation. He accepted it and laid me back against the table, bringing his body down on top of mine. That crushing kiss of his moved from my mouth to the nape of my neck. He pushed down the edge of my dress and the bra strap underneath, exposing my shoulder and giving his lips more skin to conquer.
Takes a lot of tries before you hit perfection. He paused to reconsider that. Well, except for my parents. They got it on the first try. (Adrian)
Okay, God, I thought. Get me out of this and I’ll stop my half-assed church-going ways. You got me past a pack of Strigoi tonight. I mean, trapping that one between the doors really shouldn't have worked, so clearly you're on board. Let me get out of here, and I’ll...I don’t know. Donate Adrian’s money to the poor. Get baptized. Join a convent. Well, no. Not that last one.
Yeah? Can you draw a skeleton riding a motorcycle with flames coming out of it? And I want a pirate hat on the skeleton. And a parrot on his shoulder. A skeleton parrot. Or maybe a ninja skeleton parrot? No, that would be overkill. But it'd be cool if the biker skeleton could be shooting some ninja throwing stars. That are on fire.
Abe held my gaze a bit longer and then broke into an easy smile. ʺOf course, of course. This is a family gathering. A celebration. And look: hereʹs our newest member.ʺ Dimitri had joined us and wore black and white like my mother and me. He stood beside me, conspicuously not touching. ʺMr. Mazur,ʺ he said formally, nodding a greeting to both of them. ʺGuardian Hathaway.ʺ Dimitri was seven years older than me, but right then, facing my parents, he looked like he was sixteen and about to pick me up for a date. ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved. ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. ʺOf course,ʺ said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. ʺIʹm glad youʹre back.ʺ Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri: ʺLooking forward to our chat.ʺ ʺRun,ʺ I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they wonʹt notice. Go back to Siberia. notice. Don't worry, Roza. I'm not afraid. I'll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It's worth it.
Relax, having kids is years away. But can you imagine? Your brains, my charm, our collective good looks... then add in the usual physical abilities dhampirs get. It's really not even fair to everyone else.