Author's Note: Hey Peeps! Nancy Here! So, I know I said no more Fanfiction, buuuuutttt, I'm doing an experiment. I currently don't have inspiration for my others, but I did get this idea here, and figured I would make it fanfiction, but enough of my own idea that I can edit, rewrite, and turn it into an original. But I feel like sharing for my loverly readers because you have all been so precious and supportive of my work. And Yes. I know Ibriham Mazur is Turkish, but everyone goes with Turkey. Janine is Scottish, and no one ever pays any attention to that part of Rose's heritage. But, let me know how you like this one, and feel free to give constructive criticism, because you are all my beta readers, as of now. As a Disclaimer, I do not own the characters of Vampire Academy. They belong to Richelle Mead. But, I do own this story. It came out of my head while I was bored, staring at the wall and shampooing my hair in the shower. Please do not plagiarize my work. But Please do enjoy and review!

Love,

Nancy


The screams of the villagers sounded with the roars of the flames of the buildings as soldiers on horseback invaded the village, setting their wolves upon those who would not comply with their orders.

The captain broke into the chieftain's hut, carrying a torch. The Chief did his best to fight him off, but the swordsmanship of the Kievan Prince was too great. With a disarming blow, the captain smote off the head of the Gael chieftain, and then searched the house; for the Chieftain's daughter, specifically. The Gaels would be paying for the insolence towards Rus. As it was, his soldiers were outside gathering the women and children up for slaves. He continues to search the house, until he sees a flash of white muslin. He smirked, stalking to the closet, the gold ring in his ear glinting from the fire in his torch. Creeping closer, he finally reaches the door, and yanks it open finding the girl crouched and with a snarl on her face.

"Privyet, malen'kaya volchitsa," he growled with a leer, catching her and pinning her arms as she lunged for him, tying them behind her back and throwing her over his shoulder as he stomped out of the hut, throwing his torch on the straw mattress, letting it set the house ablaze in a mocking funeral pyre for Ibriham, the chief of the Highland Gaels. The maid snarled and thrashed as he carried her gracelessly out of the house and to his horse, calling to the men.

"Gather the captives and move out! We have a fortnight to reach Saint Petersburg and not a moment to waste! As for this one, she'll make a fine, little trophy for our king!" He barked, as his soldiers laughed raucously, gathering their prisoners. The captain tried to set the girl on his mount, but she thrashed too much, spooking the horse. He snarled and backhanded her across the face, before tying her hands to the saddle with a long piece of rope, mounting his horse, and kicking the beast into a gallop, pulling the Gael princess towards the beach. Getting dragged behind a horse ought to break the brat's spirit, as well as the will of her people.

By the time they reached the shore where their ships had been docked, the Prince of Kiev had towed the Gael princess a little over a mile. He wondered dispassionately if his horse was dragging a dead body across the ground as he dismounted and walked to the prostrate figure, covered in dirt and mud and bleeding from the burn of the ground, but stopped, intrigued as the girl gave a cough and started to move, very slowly and painfully, causing him to smile cruelly as she managed to push herself up to her hands and knees on weak and trembling limbs, her nightgown now stained and ripped to shreds, revealing a rather delectable body beneath. But as protocol would have it, he was forbidden to touch her. She was a prize for the king to do as he pleased with.

The girl glowered as she spit blood and dirt out of her mouth, glaring hatefully up at her captor. Her will to survive was really quite remarkable. The captain's eyes widened slightly as her face pulled into an angry grimace as she slowly pushed herself up, slowly getting to her feet, her long, shapely legs shaking and weak from the trauma her body had been put through. She drew herself to her full height, impressive for a woman so young as she held her head high, the fire in her deep brown eyes and the proud set of her jaw never wavering a moment as she stared her captor down, willing the deaths of a thousand fires upon him. Beaten and battered as she was, there was a chilling regality in her demeanor, and the Prince of Kiev would love nothing more than to watch it be stripped away from her, shred by bleeding shred. He wanted her beaten to dust for the insolence of her clansmen, but she refused to yield. With every blow, she continued to rise and never back down.

She growled something, but it was in a language he could not understand. But he understood the tone in her voice, and recognized her cursing him to his destruction in her native tongue. The prince laughed, and yanked on the rope, dragging her onto the ships. The Tsar would have his hands full taming this she-wolf. He locked her in the brig as his men came in with their bounty. Women and children and young men with strong backs, bound in ropes and chains for the slave trades. They were all hauled onto the ships, the captives huddling around their princess for comfort and prayed as the men readied their oars and began sailing for home.

Never once did the Gael princess relax the vigil over her people. Many lives were lost this night. The people held captive had all lost a family member or another. She looked up and gazed to the moon, shining through the grate door to the brig, its pale light reflecting in the chocolate pools of her eyes, her dark brown hair still hanging down her back in its long plait. She would avenge her clan. She would avenge her father and her mother, she swore to the heavens. She would have her revenge on the Slavs and the Saxons for killing her family and pillaging her village.

As she gazed into the moon, the seed of hatred began to sprout within her heart, releasing its bitter poison.

The Prince of Kiev, on the other hand, brooded as he charted their armada of longboats, stroking his oiled beard, that gold ring glinting maddeningly in his right ear. Following the guidance of the stars and the Sister Moon to return to the motherland, he thought about the country's protocol.

As cousin to the king, he had seen the Tsar's disinterest in taking trophies from villages they had pillaged. When the princes would drink and boast of their exploits and conquests, the Tsar would calmly excuse himself to retire, and walk out of the room with a cool and almost bored expression on his face. Prince Ivan spat lazily into the water below as he remembered this with contempt. His cousin was nothing like Uncle. In fact, Dimitri was nothing like Uncle Anton had been, and couldn't decide whether Dimitri Antonovich Belikov was too soft to be the Tsar or not. It depended on how one looked at their ruling methods. While Uncle was ruled with an iron fist and disposed of any who got on his way, Dimitri was a peacemaker and a defender of his kingdom. He did not fight unnecessary wars and worked to encourage the growth and the prosperity of these lands, which Ivan begrudgingly respected him for. They had become a rich nation under his short rule so far, and it was almost unnerving to think of how much more good Dimitri could do on that throne. Though Ivan had wanted that rule, he did understand, however resentfully, that Dimitri handled the responsibility of the empire much better than he would have.

But damn it, the man needed a wife. They would need a strong heir in store for the throne, but Dimitri seemed to not have any interest in women for the time being, always so caught up in state affairs. Perhaps bringing him this little prize would help him realize why having an heir would be important, but Ivan could never accurately guess what was going through his cousin's head.

But maybe this Gael wildling would be just interesting enough to draw him out of duties of State and remind him that there was more to life than countless treaties and oversights of industry and food supply. She certainly had enough fire and beauty in her to entice even the most celibate of men. Of course, that was when the bruises and scrapes healed up. But she would make a fine diversion indeed.

After two weeks of sailing, and sneaking around the Danes into the Baltic Sea, they finally reached port in the Motherland. The soldiers shoved their prisoners around to the docks where they would be bartered for and sold among the nobles as serfs, but Ivan held on to their leader, for her destination was a three day's ride into Moscow. Once the others were in order, he and his troops headed for the capital, but not before acquiring a change in linens for their prisoner. Ivan threw the bundle of gray fabric at the girl and told her to change. Her shift had been so tattered that she may as well have been naked. And he couldn't have her catching ill and dying before the Tsar even got a look at her.

After she had changed, Ivan had put a pair of beaten felt boots on her bare feet, and wrapped her in a rough woolen cloak, before setting her on his horse and taking off. It was fairly easy to handle her, now that her battered and sleep-deprived body had given way to exhaustion in order to recover her strength. She slept with her head on Ivan's shoulder and his arms wrapped around her to keep her upright and seated on the horse.

When they finally reached the palace, Ivan dragged her inside and called the main housekeeper. The woman came to greet them, and he cruelly tossed the girl at her feet. She landed gracelessly in a heap, her wrists still bound with rope to keep from trying to escape, and slid across the polished marble floor slightly. She sneered up at him when she managed to look up, and spat, hitting him square in the face with surprising accuracy.

Ivan merely wiped the spittle from his face and dried his hand off on the sleeve of his breeches as he faced the housekeeper.

"Get her cleaned up and in a gown. Preferably something sheer. She's to be presented as a gift to the Tsar after dinner," he said coldly, and the housekeeper, Alberta, grabbed the girl up and hustled her off to the baths, unaffected by the display. The Prince of Kiev had been bringing the Tsar women for the past two years. This was nothing new.

"What is your name, girl?" the matron servant asked, dispassionately as she started yanking her clothes off. The girl tried to cover herself and started a great shouting in her native tongue, seemingly outraged. Alberta rolled her eyes. Of course she didn't speak the language. She slapped the girl to attention and pointed to herself, stating loud and clear.

"Alberta!" she stated, until she got the message across to the girl, who silenced, still scowling. Alberta pointed to her in question. She spit on the floor before her, but Alberta held her ground.

"Rose," the girl muttered, sulking as her glorified nursemaid shoved her into the great baths and started scrubbing her from head to toe. Rose cried out from the roughness on all of her injuries, but Alberta was relentless and scrubbed her down vigorously. She dumped a putrid-smelling concoction on her body to kill any lice or fleas, and continued scrubbing the dirt and dried blood off of her. Her skin had scabbed over, and greenish, yellow marks dotted her fair, golden skin. But, she was healing. Alberta started washing and combing her hair, and when Rose was finally clean, she dragged her out of the tub and wrapped her in a great sheet, sitting her down by the fire for her hair to dry. One of the maids combed sweet balsam oil into her hair, and perfumed her with the sweet, sharp scent of jasmine and cinnamon. Another painted her skin to hide the healing scrapes and bruises, and dusted her with gold powder, lining her brown eyes with kohl and painting her lips red as they arranged her long, dark tresses artfully down her back and laced with silver ribbons, before stuffing into an indecent gown of sheer, opalescent material, leaving nothing to the imagination as they wrapped her in a luxurious coat of wolf furs.

The maids marveled at the girl's exotic features, but primarily the near Amazon quality of her stature. She was a full head taller than any of them, and was fair to look on, but the intimidating scowl on her face didn't seem to be going anywhere, and she didn't speak or understand their language either.

Rose, however, wasn't amused by being painted and wrapped up like a new plaything for whomever the bastard her captors were planning on handing her over to. Not at all. Actually, she fantasized about throttling every one of the maids that fussed over her appearance, but she didn't want to risk having to be tied up again without ability to fight back and possibly escape.

She heard the chiming of the bell, and the sound of felt boots on the floor and her stomach dropped to her toes as the door burst open, revealing her captor, in the robes of a nobleman searching for her. Rose did not want to go with this man. Perhaps he had kidnapped her for his own purposes. She didn't know, nor did she care. She just wanted her freedom back.

Ivan looked over the woman with cool appraisal, before looking over to Alberta and nodding towards their captive. "Did you find anything out?" he asked, his voice harsh and hostile sounding to Rose. All of them sounded that way. It was the language, but this man was every inch harsh and hostile and she wanted very far away from him.

"Her name is Rose. She doesn't speak the common tongue. Will the Tsar be planning on teaching her the language of our nation, or will you, m'lord?" the housekeeper asked. Ivan scoffed.

"What does it matter whether she speaks in our tongue or not? She's a slave, collected specifically to warm the Tsar's bed, and nothing more. Why bother?" he sneered, before gripping Rose's arm and dragging her to the parlor that the Tsar and the Princes had gathered in after dinner.

"Cousin," Ivan began, getting the attention of the room. "I've brought you a little delicacy for you to enjoy, courtesy of the Highland Gaels," he said, his voice seeping beneath her skin like black tar, and she just wanted to claw him off of her and get away. He yanked her forward and threw her at the Tsar's feet.

"I give you Princess Rosemarie, the daughter and heir of Ibriham the Curst," came his heartless sneer, mocking her to humiliation.

Rose's temper flared. She was becoming aggravated with being dragged and thrown around like a hounded animal. With a snarl, she rolled to her back and leapt to her feet, swinging out a leg to aim directly at his groin.

Ivan knocked her down again easily, and the princes started laughing as they began to gather around her, pushing and prodding at her, kicking her when she tried to get up so she stayed prostrate on the floor, curling into a fetal position with her hands over her head, trying to protect herself.

"Enough!" a voice boomed, deep and richer than oak mead. She didn't understand what the man's voice had said, but he had blessedly made her assailants cease their cruel and humiliating attacks. She felt large, strong hands gently grip her under the arms and haul her to her feet, readjusting the cloak around her so it covered her body more adequately, before handing her over to a set of feminine hands with murmured instructions.

A maid quietly lead her out of the room and into the corridors leading to the Tsar's chambers as tears blinded and streamed from Rose's eyes.

She wanted to die.