A/N: So, this is my first major story, guys. An effort to share my writings with all you lovely people, since it is no secret we absolutely adore Rose and Dimitri. I won't rant much, lest I ruin the fun, but I definitely want to ask you to share your views on this with me, through the review section, or the PM, it's up to you. But if you like this, do visit my personal blog 'Maple Musings',

Site address: https(colon)(double slash)(themaplebyahluwaliakaur).(blogspot).com(single slash)

and don't forget to let me know your opinions there too. I'll be waiting !

Without further ado, please go on...

DISCLAIMER: I only own the plot, the rest belongs to the very talented Richelle Mead.


The words bounced off in my head, like an acidic riff.

'Love fades, mine has.'

Tears threatened to spill through the dredges of composure I held onto so desperately. Plastering the all-too-famous guardian mask, I drew myself up from the pew and looked him straight in the eye.

"I hope it's true. Likewise to me as it was for you." I said before retreating down the aisle and out of the church. I hadn't missed the instantaneous pain reflected in his expression at my response and I reveled in it.

God forbid anyone see Rose Hathaway break.

No. All the breaking I'll do will be behind closed doors, without any witnesses.

I'll cry, just once, for the love I had lost even after going through hell to save it. And him.

I reached the relative safety of my room without bumping into anyone and slid down the door as those words came back to me. The composure I'd managed to hold all this time slipped away and a sob escaped me. Soon it turned into a full-blown breakdown. Memories crashed into my brain, one after the other, never-ending and all-consuming.

It felt like my heart was being ripped open, piece by excruciating piece, never to be put back together again. I curled into myself as I let the tears wrack my weary body, though the position did little in easing my pain. Pain that seemed to have only started. Pain, that was actually an endless torture I was being subjected to, in feeling my heart being torn of every layer, every muscle and every beat that ever loved him. And love him I did. So much, it physically hurt.

And what had it come to.

I was convinced it was just another attempt to warn me off. To hurt me enough to keep me away. To distance himself. It was all so typically Dimitri.

But I was wrong. It was the look of absolute aloofness accompanied with his words that did it for me. The coldness in his eyes, so foreign and yet so familiar, that made me believe he meant every word he'd said.

'Love fades, mine has.'

A fresh wave of tears coursed through me and I let them take over. I just couldn't seem to stop. Was there even any point ? My masochistic mind wouldn't stop playing the words over and over in my head. And it hurt more each time. How could I possibly get through this ? How could I move on ? Was there even such a thing as moving on ? My body shook with the impact of the pain that crashed through me again and I screamed, letting my feelings out in the open for once.

I couldn't take it anymore. I got up from the floor and stumbled towards the washroom. The cabinet held a first-aid box, from which I extracted my razor. Positioning it along my arm, I slashed the skin. The bite was instant, not that it registered with me. Lissa used to do this, saying it was relieving in a way no amount of therapy could compensate for. I wonder if I'll feel that ? That sense of total bliss and hazy euphoria...that sense of complete control while inadvertently losing all control...

So I kept going. Until my arm was nothing short of an ensemble of ribbons. Bloody red ribbons of skin. Ironic, actually. That I would do the one thing I was trained to do, only to hurt myself instead of the designated evil enemy.

The flow of blood from the wounds did offer me clarity. The pain seemed to flow out with the red liquid and I felt relaxed. Like it would all be okay. Even if only for a short while. Sighing, I wrapped my arm up and decided to get some doughnuts. Nothing like some sugary goodness to get me up.

Out in the room, I pulled on a long-sleeved black shirt and headed out, grabbing my stake in the process. The diner I wanted to go to wasn't far from my room and I speed-walked towards it so as not to attract attention. I wasn't up for any type of confrontations.

But when did I ever get what I actually wanted ? So as soon as I entered the cafe, I was met with the jade green eyes of my best friend on the far side of the room, Lissa Dragomir. Only at this moment she looked nothing like the angelic person I've known my entire life. In her place was a storm. A very pissed off storm.

She made to move towards me but a hand stopped her. Dimitri. My cold Russian God. I schooled my expression into one of nonchalance and walked to the counter to order an eclair.

'Rose. You and I need to talk.' I heard in my head, but ignored it. Still she was my best friend and bondmate, so it was my duty to check for the lingering darkness in her brain. Only there was none. The rage was all Lissa, which somehow made it all worse. I sighed internally.

'Come sit with us right now. We are gonna have a talk. You can't be this selfish when you know what everyone's been going through.' I heard her speak through the bond again as I collected my order.

I was going to ignore her again, until her words registered with me. My eyes snapped over to her of their own accord as I looked at her in disbelief. Selfish ? I am selfish ? I couldn't believe it. She called me selfish when I was the one who went through hell to save the person she was now shielding from me.

I closed my eyes, an urgent need to get out of there coursing through me. I dropped my food into the trash, suddenly losing my appetite and bolted through the door. I couldn't stand being around either of them right now. Dimitri's words were still fresh and Lissa wasn't helping. So I did the only thing I could think of. I ran away.

I chuckled darkly at the irony. Running seemed to be the one thing I was good at. I ran away from the safety of St. Vlad's when Lissa came into her powers. I ran away from Dimitri when he got bitten. I ran away from the Academy again when I found out Dimitri was Strigoi. I ran away from the Belikovas. I ran away from court to release my mortal enemy from a hidden prison. I ran away from everything. Just like I am running away from the love of my life right now. Ironic, because said love was the one who drilled the importance of 'running' into me in the first place.

I came to an abrupt stop at the end of the perimeter wards of the court, panting. I didn't realise my cheeks were wet until I slid down a tree in a hidden brush. I fingered the blade in my pocket. It would be so easy. I could let it all out...and no one would know any better. I could stop the pain from consuming me.

So I added more to my list of faults. I did it again. And again. And again.

And...that ends the first chapter. Now, you guys need to do your part in reviewing. I'll see you there !


Ahluwalia Kaur