Alright, to completely explain. Two months after Frostbite. Rose graduated St. Vlad's after she killed the two strigoi. Until Lissa graduates, Rose is guarding Adrian. And Dimitri took Tasha's offer.

So two months after Frostbite. She's taken all her tests, has a promise mark, and is a full fledged guardian.

I walked into the light, open living room, drink in hand. I plopped down onto the couch, beside Adrian, and looked directly at him.

"So what are you saying?" I grinned, and held the drink away from him. "That I'm your personal servant?"

"No. Just that you should obey my every will until Lissa graduates," he smirked.

I handed him the drink. "Not happening."

He took a long drink, and put the glass on the coffee table.

My eyes flicked to the TV, and I squished back into the leather couch. We had on some crappy drama movie, that neither Adrian nor I was actually watching or paying attention to.

Adrian put one of his arms around me, and I snatched the remote from his hand. I flipped the channel, and put on some action show.

"So, Rose, tomorrow," he smiled.

My antenna instantly went up. What was he up to now? "What happens tomorrow?"

"Some event at the academy. We're going. We'll arrive tomorrow afternoon, stay for a few days."

I sat up. "Really?" I beamed.

"Thought it'd be a nice surprise for you," Adrian said. "But then again, it means you have to go back to that… what did you call it? Prison! That's it."

I slapped him playfully. "Hey! It was like prison!"

"No I bet prison's worse."

"I bet the food's better there," I mumbled.

"Maybe, but you can't be graced by my presence in prison," Adrian smirked.

"If you didn't pay me like this, I would be long gone by now."

"Why don't we test that?"

"I'd rather not. I like getting paid. I've got plenty saved by now."

"Yeah, five hundred thousand dollars in the bank is pretty nice for you. Me, I've got… what, five hundred thousand million or so?"

"In your family?" I asked stupidly.

"No, in my primary accounts."

"Holy shit," I bit my lip, and took a sip of my water. "That's a lot of money."
He shrugged. "Money doesn't really matter."

"Maybe not to someone who has a ridiculous amount, but to the world? Yeah money matters. Money gets people things."
"I could get you things."
I sighed and stood up. "I'm going to bed. Goodnight, Adrian."

"Then I'll go to bed too... you're always welcome to join me," he smiled, slapped my ass, and walked down the hall.

"I'll keep that in mind," I murmured, and walked to my own room.

The walls were lavender, and it was light and open. I flopped onto the bed, not bothering to change, and examined the room for the millionth time.

It was way too huge, and filled with brand new things Adrian had bought for me. A double closet, bursting with clothes, every outfit comfortable and stylish. Guardian outfits for events, and all kinds of things for battle with strigoi.

There was a TV with cable, a huge bed, radio, laptop, phones, and tons of other unnecessary, but nice stuff. I loved it.

Being treated like a princess was amazingly great.

So far, there had been no strigoi attacks. Admittedly, it had only been two months.

Adrian was okay to be around. He was funny, annoying, and lighthearted. He kept trying to date me, which I suspected was just an attempt to get into my pants.

And I was almost okay with that.

Adrian and I had gotten to know each other, and gotten to be friends. I thought he was cool, and funny. He thought I was hot and snarky. Every day was fun and unexpected. Sometimes we'd just randomly jet somewhere, and come back a few days later.

My mind couldn't stop thinking about the fact I was going back to the academy for a few days.

I remembered when I had left.

"What will you do, since you're graduating? Are you—"

"Lissa," I stopped her mid-sentence. "Adrian offered to let me be his guardian… until you graduate."

"Are you going to take it?" she asked, quietly.

"I don't know."
"Would you be my guardian when I graduate?"
"Of course! Liss, I would never do this if it meant that I couldn't be your guardian!"

She smiled, a wide smile, revealing the snow white fangs that lurked beyond her glossed lips. "You should do it. We'll keep in touch, and I'll visit, and you'll visit. It's like six months. Graduating early is a huge honor, Rose!"

"Well, then I think I'll do it. I wanted to make sure it was okay with you… because you're my best friend, and because I'm going to be your guardian."
"You should do it. Plus, it will make it so you're not sick of me the minute you become my guardian. Some time apart could do us well."

I grinned. "Alright. I've got a week before I leave. We'll have some fun. And I'll raise hell."

That had been my temporary goodbye with Lissa.


"Hey, Comrade!" I called through the gym. He was in the far corner, reading a western. I ran to him, full speed. His eyes flicked up to me.

"Rose, there's no reason to continue these sessions," he looked at me.

"I know. But I'm not free yet. This is still my prison until further notice."

"I'm taking Tasha's offer."


He spoke louder, "I'm taking Tasha's offer."
"But you said… you said that you told her no," my mind was spinning, and the room was blurring. I sat down.

"I changed my mind. You got a job, so there is no reason for me to stay."

Jealousy ran through me. I didn't want him to take the job. I wanted him to stay as far away from Tasha as possible.

"Have a nice life with her…" I tried.

"I will. Have a nice life with Ivashkov."

Something snapped inside me. "I'm guarding him temporarily!" I shouted at him. "It's not permanent like your job."
I stormed out, without looking back.

I had seen him from a distance once more before I had left. It felt wrong, saying goodbye like that. I wanted a second chance. I wanted him. But I'd never have him.

One of my cell phones vibrated.

It took me a moment to figure out which of the four it was. But I figured it out. It was my Black BlackBerry Curve. I clicked the text message icon, and read the message.

Rose! It read. Tasha Ozera was just killed! ~Lissa~