Tasha had been convicted for killing Queen Tatiana, and with the arrival of Jill and her newfound heritage, Lissa got her seat on the council, and became the new Sovereign of the Moroi world.

As for me, I disappeared…


"Let me up, Dimitri! We have to go out there! We have to do something! I can't stay hidden in here forever!" I snarled, struggling under his weight, trying to get up.

"Rose, we have to stay here," He snapped, and I could see the desperation in his eyes. He hated this as much as I did. He was just like me. We couldn't take the uncertainty of hiding and waiting for the Guardians to find us. We were so alike, preferring to face our enemies head-on… But currently, I needed to get out of here, and Dimitri was in my way… So, I kissed him.

What surprised me the most was that he was kissing me back. It shocked me so much, that I forgot that I was using the physical contact as a distraction to get away from him, and our mouths locked together heatedly. Suddenly, he became my oxygen, and I needed him to live. It had been too long since I'd been able to touch him, kiss him like this, and I felt like I'd been starved for ages. We were desperate, taking out our frustration and tension on each other, our hands and mouths raking wildly over skin, hair, and fabric as clothes came off and we each struggled for dominance and release throughout the night. Hell, probably the next three days. I didn't keep track.

When we had expended all of our pent up energy, we both collapsed in a panting, sweating, naked heap, tangled up under the covers. Every inch of my body tingled with a satisfied buzz, and I was too exhausted to even lift my head from off of his chest. I almost immediately fell asleep once we'd settled down, unable to keep my eyes open for another second, after being so thoroughly blissed out.

When I woke up, the bed was cold and empty. I frowned slightly and opened my eyes, looking for Dimitri. I could hear him in the shower, so I relaxed. I sat up and smiled when he came out of the bathroom, but my smile faltered when I saw the expression on his face. Cold, and indifferent; it was the same look he had leveled me that day in the chapel when he'd told me his love had faded. I was stupid to think he had changed his mind. I shrank away from him, suddenly self-conscious as I quickly reached for the covers to hide my naked chest as I looked up at him, feeling the hurt and self-loathing suddenly slam into me full force. Dimitri didn't even flinch.

"You just slept with me to keep me from leaving, didn't you?" It was more of a statement than an actual question. Something flashed in those brown eyes of his; but he said nothing to confirm or deny such accusations, and somehow, it was just the straw that broke the camel's back. Or in this case, my heart. I slammed my guardian mask up, and stood, ripping the comforter off the bed, keeping it firmly wrapped around my body as I searched for my clean clothes Sydney had gotten for me and made my way to the bathroom. Dimitri seemed to panick and think I was going to run off, because he reached out to stop me, but I karate chopped his hand and bucket tossed him over my shoulder and sent him sprawling halfway across the floor and the bed, still managing to stay covered with the quilt.

"Do not touch me, Belikov, or so help me God, I'll crush your scrotum!" I snarled at him, and stomped into the bathroom, slamming the door behind me, and locking it behind me. I raked a brush through my hair, and turned the shower on the coldest setting I could get it to go, and cleaned myself up, and just stood under the stream, leaning against the wall, and sinking to the floor, my arms around my legs, knees to my chest as I sat, risking hypothermia under the icy water as it mingled with my silent tears. The cold eventually made my skin numb. That was all I wanted, was to be completely numb to everything.

I was such an idiot! I was so stupid! How could I have been so blind and naïve to think that two seconds of mutual camaraderie would erase the past weeks or months of him swearing up and down that he felt absolutely nothing for me? After everything, all he had to do was snap his fingers, and I was all over him. And I was supposed to be dating Adrian, too! How did I sink so low?

I was so angry. I finally dragged myself out of the shower, and dried myself off, and got dressed. I looked at my reflection in the mirror, took out a utility knife, and started hacking at my hair, giving myself a DIY razor cut. My insanely long hair was a dead giveaway, anyway. It needed to go, and I didn't stop until my head was covered in a blanked of cropped dark silk. I brushed the hair off of me, and threw the clippings in the garbage, rinsing it out, and running my fingers threw my new pixie cut. It was a little wild, and stuck up in choppy pieces every which way, but it was kind of cute… and strange, because it was so different. Somehow, it made my face look softer, almost more fragile. And in a way, the short hair kind of reminded me of my mother… Whatever, I didn't care anymore, and it was done anyway. No turning back now.

I dressed in denim shorts and a tank top. Frustration still simmered in my blood at the fact that Sydney couldn't have gotten me regular jeans and tee shirts, but I just had to suck it up and deal with it for now.

Now, I needed to focus on how to get away from Belikov. I walked out into the bedroom, but I refused to even look at him as I grabbed a pillow off the bed, rolled myself into a burrito with the quilt I'd stolen earlier, and laid on the floor in the corner of the room, wanting to put as much space as I could between him and me, and since I was smaller than him, I could fit into nooks and crannies better than he could, just wanting to shut everything out.


Dimitri and Sydney were still mad at me for blowing our cover. I wasn't sorry at all. I needed out. Every second trapped in that room with him was starting to drive me certifiably insane.

And then the nausea started, and I became even more irritable and difficult than I was when this whole thing started. I thought it was initially PMS, but the weeks went by, and that monthly visitor was still a no show. I never really mentioned it, but when I was a month late on my cycle, I started to worry. Especially when everything gave me heartburn, or made me puke. I dumped Dimitri's aftershave down the toilet at one point while he was asleep, because the odor, once so very delicious, had now become the most toxic, horrible smells in the history of this planet to me. He was mad at me for that, too, but I found a sick sense of satisfaction out of torturing him. I was stuck with him by force. That didn't mean I had to be nice about it.

Dimitri had stepped out to get food, and I was pitched over the toilet in another horrible, horrible gagging fit. I couldn't stand it anymore. Being very careful not to attract attention, I went to Sydney , swore her to secrecy, and begged her to get me a pregnancy test. I kept trying to convince myself that it was completely impossible, considering I'd only been with Dimitri ever, but all the signs were there. The morning sickness, the violent mood swings, the lack of my period, my sensitivity to smell, and I even noticed I was starting to look a little bloated in my midsection and feet.

Sydney brought it back with her, and I locked myself in the bathroom with it. I was scared to find out, but I needed to know, so I could figure out what to do. After peeing on the stick, I waited for the correct time, taking a deep breath to steady my nerves before checking. My eyes widened, and I waited so I could take the other two tests, just to be sure.

All three of them sported a pink plus sign… positive… Congratulations, Rose, you have done the impossible once again, and got knocked up…. With the child of another Dhampir.

I buried the pregnancy tests in the garbage and cried my eyes out. Never in my life did I ever seem to catch a break.


I managed to keep the pregnancy hidden from everyone. Thankfully, I hadn't started to actually show through the whole time Dimitri and I were on the run. Thankfully, I'd managed to keep my body safe and relatively healthy, even as we fought with Sonya Karp, had her restored, and then dealt with Victor Dashkov and Robert Doru, as well as the Guardians trying to kill us. I still wouldn't really speak to Dimitri, except for strictly business. He'd wounded me deeply, but we had a grudging truce, because we needed each other in order to survive this whole mess and figure out who killed Tatiana and find Lissa's half-sibling. And I needed him to stay safe, and vicariously keep our unborn child safe, even if I'd be damned before I told him about it. No one could know. They would probably be treated as a science project. I would be treated as a science project, and so would Dimitri, because Dhampirs weren't supposed to be able to create offspring with each other.

I managed to knock Lissa and myself out of the way before Tasha's bullet hit either of us.

And when the commotion cleared, I ducked into the shadows, and ran away from Court. I jumped the wards and walls, and ran, and I didn't stop. I couldn't let anyone find me, find my baby.

Adrian still tried to contact me, but I had effectively blocked him out. Lissa, being queen of the Moroi and dhampirs now, had sent search parties for me, and so had Abe, trying to track me down, but I stayed very, very hidden, blending into the human world. I even got a job so I could earn enough money to at least leave the country. It wasn't safe. Too many people knew me here. And, I know this sounds crazy, but I desperately needed to see Olena Belikova again. I was scared about becoming a mother. She could probably help me through it…

I couldn't afford to go to the doctor to get checkups and ultrasounds. All I could scrape by with was food, vitamins, and a roof over my head as the months went by. My belly grew bigger and bigger, and I could feel the life growing inside me.

I could never, ever go back to my old world, the world of the Moroi and dhampirs alike. Even though I had been raised to put the Moroi first at all costs, I would not risk my baby, come Hell or high water. Sometimes, I felt guilty that I had abandoned my friends and family, and that I would be keeping Dimitri from our child… but it didn't really matter much, since he didn't love me, and would never believe me anyway, if I told him about it.

I was about eight months along when I finally managed to go to Russia. I knew I had to get to Baia quick if I wanted Olena to help me with this baby. From what I had heard, Dimitri was part of the Royal Guard, and Lissa's main guardian. I hoped he'd be too busy to take a vacation to visit his family for the time being. I didn't want to go within a five hundred mile radius of him, since I was still licking my wounds from how much he'd hurt me last time. He'd deliberately manipulated and used me… And you know, he was still upset about what he did as a Strigoi, but that was nothing compared to what he'd done to me as a dhampir. I never wanted to see him again. Hell, he could have dropped off the face of the earth, and I wouldn't care. I'd probably dance with joy because I hated him so much. I hated everyone! Everything I'd planned for my whole life went down the damn toilet because of Dimitri-f**king-Belikov and everyone associated with him. I've been an attempted murder, framed for murder, hunted, shot at, slandered, and used by everyone in that world to further their agenda, and I was sick of it! I was done, and I would never subject myself to that life again. Correction, I'd never subject my child to that again. I would hide so they would never be able to find us.

As I left Omsk and started travelling towards Baia, I prayed I wouldn't run into any Strigoi. I was the size of a house these days, and there was no way I was agile enough to take a member of the evil undead on right now.

I must have been two hours outside of the dhampir commune when my back started to cramp sharply. I hissed, but continued driving. If it had only been a one-time thing, I would have been able to keep going, but eventually the pain got so bad, I had to pull over and step outside, doubling over by the car, panicking when I felt my water break and soak my pants. I reached inside for the little flip phone and dialed a number that I'd never forgotten.

"Zdravstvuyte,eto Olena Belikova govorya," The warm, wonderfully soothing voice chimed on the other end of the line. I cried I was scared and relieved to hear her voice all at the same time.

"Olena! It's Rose… I need help! I'm… I'm pregnant and I've just gone into labor… I'm an hour outside of Baia! Please help me! I'm scared! It hurts so much," I sobbed as another contraction shot through me. I heard a commotion of shouting and chattering in Russian on the other end before Olena's voice rang through, calm and steady, giving instructions.

"Roza, Karolina and I are coming right now. Stay in the car, and we'll come get you. We have two hours of daylight left, so you must stay put so we can find you. Milyy, I need you to calm down and take deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth, da? Focus on your breathing and stay calm. We'll be there as soon as we can. Stay on the phone with me, Rose. I need you to tell me what is going on." Her voice was soothing to me, and it was a little easier to come out of my panic attack as she talked me through it. I climbed back into the car and reclined the seat, trying to get comfortable as my body was currently tearing itself in half to push a watermelon-sized human out of my lady-hole. This wasn't exactly fun.

Luckily for me, somehow I was able to get through the time it took for Olena and Karolina to pull up and jump out of the car to get me. They had brought Mark out to drive the car I brought back to Baia and help load me into the back of the Belikovas' car with Olena back there with me to check my dilation and monitor the progress of the labor. And to keep me sane, since I wasn't doing such a good job of that by myself.

My mind was in a fog. The only thing I could really process was dull aches, then sharp pains. Dull aches and sharp pains, over and over again as the pressure on my pelvis only increased. In my panicked, pain-induced fog, I was convinced that I was going to die. We got back to the Belikovas' home, and Mark carried me upstairs into the bathroom, holding me up while Olena took my clothes off, and then helping me into a tub full of soothing water that Sonya must have prepared for me, easing me down onto my knees, because my legs were too wobbly to even hold me up.

Olena gave me instructions, and I followed, not really able to focus on thinking about what was being said. She said push, I pushed. I wanted this agony to be over. Hell, I don't even know how much time had gone by, but I sure couldn't feel my knees anymore with how long I'd been kneeling on them… not that it mattered, because the pain in my lower torso and hips was all-consuming. The urge to bare down started coming in waves and every time she told me to push, I pushed like my life depended on it…. and screamed bloody murder when I finally felt a head pass through my birth canal… and then felt another head come out right behind the first little body.

"Twins, Rose! You had twins! They're beautiful! Come on, let's get you cleaned and dried, and into bed. Mark!"

I was so tired… I'm pretty sure I was half asleep when hands gingerly hoisted me out of the tub, feeling Olena's hands clean me up and wipe me down with a towel before getting me dressed and having Mark carry me to bed. I was almost off to dream land when I felt two bundles being placed in my arms. My eyes snapped open, and I looked at my children in wonder. Twins… I'd never even guessed, but I guess it made sense, since I'd been so huge. I looked at both of them, a boy and a girl. A son and a daughter. I started crying again, but for an entirely different reason. My heart suddenly felt too large for my chest. Suddenly, all the pain Dimitri had put me through had been worth it because of these two little bundles of perfection in my arms.

"What will you name them, Rose? The girl was born first," Olena tutted gently. Sniffling, I looked down at my babies, looking at the girl.

"Her name is Thalia…. Thalia Dimitrinova Belikova-Hathaway… And my son… He looks like a Nikolai to me… Nikolai Dimitrinov Belikov-Hathaway…" Olena was silent, and I suddenly realized I had said it out loud. I looked up at Olena, frantic.

"Olena, you can't tell a soul that I'm here… Or about my children… but you need to know… I was only ever with Dimitri… After he was restored… we were on the run… and it just… happened…. and then I somehow ended up pregnant. I don't know why, but I know Dimitri's the father… You have to promise not to tell… if anyone finds out about their parentage, they'll take my babies and treat them like science experiments… no one can know… not even him. Promise you won't tell," I begged her. Olena stared at my children, the fact that she was now a grandma to five little ones instead of three sinking in. Tears sprang to her eyes as she kissed my forehead and the foreheads of my children.

"Bozhe moy… Roza… My sweet, sweet girl… I'm so happy right now… Such a blessing, two new grandchildren from you and my Dimka…" She started rambling in Russian and kissed my cheeks again, admiring the babies in my arms, before instructing me how to breastfeed them, before sitting in the rocking chair beside the bed, watching over me as I finally fell asleep and got some much needed rest.