Richelle Mead owns these characters.

Chapter 4: Here I am.


Somehow I don't think that she believed me. I don't think she sees that I'm nothing without her and that I might as well fade away. I've told her about Tasha ending our engagement exactly a month ago. A month, it took that long to wrap my head around things and to really look at my life. I had a son who was growing strong each day and I had the support of Tasha, my friend but she never faded far from my thoughts.

Tasha and I talked about everything, about how she was wrong to take advantage and how I was wrong too. I'm not going to lay all the blame on her since I'm also to blame for giving into temptation but I would spend the rest of my life making it up to Roza. Well that is if she would let me. We talked about our arrangements with Anton and how I reassigned and am now a court guardian, so things would be easier considering our son. We talked about how upset I was that I let her get in the way of my love for Roza and she told me to keep fighting for her, to never give up.

And I don't plan to. I don't deserve a second chance but I still hold on to the hope for one.

It was my first week with just me and Anton. Tasha moved closer to court so we didn't have too much trouble with traveling arrangements. We were walking to the cafe as I spotted Roza walking in with Eddie and figured they must be on break. That or Roza got kicked out of a guardian meeting again. I clutched Anton tighter to my chest and walked a little quicker into the cafe.

As Rose and Eddie sat down I had ordered and tended to my squirming son in my arms. I slowly approached their table and Eddie gave me a nod while Roza avoided my gaze and sipped her drink. "Hey, Guardian Belikov, you want to sit with us?" Eddie asked, Rose just gave him a tight glare and sighed. I was unsure at first but nodded anyway and sat down.


Seeing Dimitri in father mode was always great to observe. Whenever he talked about his son, I could see the pride in his eyes and it always made me smile. So now, watching him and Anton in their little tender moment, I was fighting back the smile. Tasha had called off their engagement but I couldn't exactly forgive her but then again, I did sleep with Dimitri while they were engaged. So I thought maybe it was just time, I needed time to get my life back on track and figure everything out.

And now I'm here, sitting in this cafe drinking hot chocolate and talking to… Dimitri.

Eddie left as soon as he caught the tension between me and Dimitri. Then shortly after, the awkward silence was gone when Dimitri opened his mouth and out came the words I was trying to avoid. "Roza, I know what I did was wrong and I don't blame you for being mad at me. If you could hear me out though and let me explain. . ." And so, he did, he explained everything.

He also asked for another chance and I sort of knew he would. He made promise after promise and swore he would never hurt me or put me in any pain again. I honestly didn't know what to think, I was angry at Tasha for putting herself between us, angry that we couldn't be together in the first place. I was also angry that I gave in to him so easily and without thinking about the consequences. I knew it wouldn't end well but I selfishly took what I could get and that wasn't fair.

As he explained and said all the right things, I sat there and thought if I really wanted it all. I sat there for what seemed like so long, he was waiting for my reply and looking at me with anticipation and hope in his eyes. I could see it was killing him to be so vulnerable and so open. "Dimitri. . ." He knew my answer already; I forgot that he could read me like I could read him. He shook his head sadly and hugged Anton to his body, like he needed the comfort.

"It's okay Roza, I understand." I opened my mouth to say something but not knowing what to say.

I had the words in my head, they were on the tip of my tongue but something else in the back of my mind got there first. "Dimitri, it's just... I don't-". "It's okay." He says almost whispering it and then he walks out.


She has every right to be angry with me and to avoid me as she has been doing. I left my heart on that table and she didn't even look twice at it. I hated being so vulnerable and letting my guard down in front of everyone in the cafe but I did it though, as I promised myself I would. When she didn't say anything for some time I had already knew her answer. And then she just says my name; just my name and I knew it was over.

I couldn't get the control back I so easily trained myself to do, especially in front of Anton. So I collected our things holding Anton as close to me as possible and walked right out. When she tried to explain I couldn't let her see the sadness in my eyes, all the hurt I could barely contain. What the hell was I doing thinking she could forgive me so easily?

That we could go back to the way things used to be… the way they should have been. So I took Anton home to our apartment and got him ready for a bath. While I waited for the water to fill the tub, I kept Roza's image in my mind, her eyes and the way they took in me and Anton with amusement. She always complimented my "fathering skills" and even said they were better than my fighting ones. She would get that smile I loved whenever Anton would be near her.

He took a liking to her immediately, much like his father. It's like he knew where my happiness truly lies. As I picked him up to put him in the tub there was a knock on the door. "Who could that be, huh, my syn?"


This was crazy, I mean, what am I doing?

How are we going to come back from that? What's gonna happen to us now? Us? Is there still a chance there can be an us?

I don't know. I don't know anything right now, not I even why I'm knocking on his door. It was when he walked away, out of that café that I realized; I love him. It's that simple and I couldn't imagine a life where he wasn't in it.

He opens the door with a surprised expression and Anton in only a diaper. The perplexed expression he wears is kind of amusing but then I wonder if I have the same look on my face. "Rose? What's wrong?"

I opened my mouth but once again nothing comes out. "Rose, you don't have to -"

"You promised me!" It's a yell that comes before I even know I'm going to yell. "You promised me and then you go and ruin everything!" He just looks at me and the sadness hit his eyes so quick, I almost lose my momentum. "You let her get in the way of us! I waited and waited but you went on and- You hurt me, Dimitri, you really hurt me"

I don't even know how this happened. I wasn't expecting to let everything out; I wasn't trying to hurt his feelings but I couldn't seem to stop. I was just going to ask if there was a possibility we could work it out but my hurt, pain and confusion just spilled right on out of me. So I just went with it, I didn't even know I was crying until I had to blink from the blurriness of my tears.

"Rose, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." I shook my head and his eyes got even sadder, if it was even possible.

"How do I know it won't happen again? How do we know this will even work this time? I have to know it will be better this time" He looked at me with all the love he could possibly compose, holding Anton tighter to his chest and looking back at me with assurance.


I couldn't find the words to promise her that I wouldn't let anything get in the way of us ever again. So I did the only thing I could do, I looked into her eyes and made a promise the only way I knew she would be sure of. We were always able to have whole conversations with just looking at each other. We didn't have to say one word; all there had to be was a look. A search in our eyes and we were both on the same page.

So I gave her the message, loud and clear and she stood there, searching my eyes for the truth. She stared for the longest lingering moment and when she found it, I knew she saw what she needed to see; love.

My love would never fade for her and neither hers for me. When I saw she understood, I knew that meant she was giving me another shot, giving us another shot. So I did the best thing to do in this situation, I smiled and invited her in. "Would you like to help me give Anton a bath? I could use the extra hands?" She just smiled and quietly stepped into the doorway.

As we walked to the bathroom, I had to voice my thoughts and feelings out loud before the moment had gone. I had to keep her certain that she and my son was what counted. "This time will be better for us, Roza, I promise" She looked to me and then to Anton, grabbing his small hand in hers, "I'm going to hold you to that, Comrade."