Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Academy or any of its characters.
AN: Thanks so much to everyone who read, reviewed, and favorited my story! Love you, guys! My goal was to get this updated before my 17th birthday on Dec. 3rd. So I'm pretty happy that I made my deadline, otherwise you guys might have had to wait until Sunday or Monday for an update. Anyway, for most of the actual chapters, the point of view will mainly be switched between Christian and Rose, since it is their story after all. Though I might add a Dimitri one later on, if you ask nicely. I also have another story idea in the making, but I want to get this one going first. Now that my announcements are done, on with chapter 1! ~ ARD
Thirteen Years Later...
Rose's Point of View
Almost getting punched in the face when you're barely awake is not a good way start any day. Though I must say it's better than actually getting hit in the face would have been, which is purely thanks to superior Moroi reflexes.
In our world there are two kinds of vampires. The Moroi who are mortal, specialize in one of the four elements, and drink blood without killing; and the Strigoi who are evil, undead creatures who kill the victims they feed off. Since neither vampire was a fan of sunlight, they tended to live nocturnally. There are also dhampirs who are half-human, half-Moroi and might one day grow up to be guardians. A guardian who will be trained to guard their assigned Moroi and kill Strigoi.
Aunt Tasha, Christian, and I are Ozeras, which is one of the twelve royal Moroi families.
A lot has happened since that fateful day thirteen years ago. Our Aunt Tasha had practically raised my brother, Christian and I since the day our parents were murdered, after turning Strigoi by choice. That day, Tasha also decided that she shouldn't have to rely so heavily on guardians for protection. So she learned how to fight both with martial arts and using her magic offensively. Once my brother and I were old enough, we followed her lead. This is normally considered unnatural or even taboo among Moroi, but both Christian and I believe that being able to defend ourselves can only help us survive as a race.
Tasha has taught martial arts classes for a while now and always gets a wide variety of people who attend them - other idealistic Moroi, young dhampirs on break from the Academy, and even the occasional human. Sometimes when the actual matches get started people will challenge Christian or me, even though neither of us are technically taking the classes. In previous years, Christian had taken a few classes of martial arts, but was never really interested in it, so he usually only spars with me after I beg him to. He was always more involved in using his magic as a weapon. I, on the other hand, was always interested in the different types of fighting styles. By the time I turned fourteen, I knew the proper techniques to use with a bladed weapon, how to safely load and fire a gun, and had earned a black belt in karate. I even asked a few dhampir novices that traveled through to show me some moves.
Which brings us back to the here and now. An abnormally obnoxious human had asked me for a match last week, and had said not to worry, he'd "go easy on me" because I'm a girl. So he hadn't been very pleased when I'd kicked his ass. Today he'd asked for a rematch and I accepted. Unfortunately, he figured the only way to beat me was by cheating. Which was probably true, but it was seriously going to hurt if he actually manages to land one of his hits. He might not of been smart or very skilled, but he was easily twice my size and probably had three times as much muscle mass. I was on the defense, dodging or countering his blows waiting for him to make a mistake. It wasn't a very long wait, as I said before, he wasn't very intelligent.
He went for a gut punch, a pretty good move, if it follows through, since it doesn't have bone to protect it. People who aren't used to working through the pain will be distracted from the shock of the strike, just long enough for you to administer a "killing" blow, and win the fight. However I dodged it just as I had all his previous cheap shots. Only this time I clamped a hand around his wrist so he couldn't pull it back. I smirked up at him as his conceited expression morphed to confusion and surprise. Using his arm for leverage, I twisted my body so I could angle a swift kick to his temple. I didn't do it hard enough to harm him, other than maybe a bruise, but it would knock him out. I released his arm as he immediately collapsed on the floor, unconscious.
I turned away as his classmates from around the room swarmed around his prone figure. Some of the onlookers were making sure he was okay; others, mostly guys, were staring at me like I was goddess and they were my worshipers. It wasn't anything new, when you had badass fighting skills and a pretty face like I did, you got used to the stares. Usually I reveled in the attention, but tonight Aunt Tasha had said she wanted to talk to us. Christian and I had come back to visit Tasha in New York for summer break, but with it coming to an end, we would be expected to go back to the Academy in Montana for our senior year. For once I wanted to actually make it back to Tasha's on time.
Of course, by the time I reached to Tasha's house, I was late. I walked in and found them preparing dinner in the kitchen. Tasha and Christian were talking quietly, their backs to me so they hadn't noticed me, yet. I crept stealthily up to them, close enough that I could touch them, but not close enough for them to feel my body heat and alert them of my presence.
I leaned a little farther in, just so they could get that neck-hair-raising sense of something behind you. "Boo," I whispered in their ears.
They both jumped slightly in surprise and whirled to face me, prepared for an attack. I laughed at their reaction and they relaxed as they recognized me. Tasha smiled, shook her head, then laugh good-naturedly. Christian mock-glared, sighed, and ran a hand through his already messy black hair.
"How nice of you to grace us with your presence," he said, dryly.
I punched him gently on the arm. "I wouldn't want to disappoint you with my absence. You know you can't live without a daily dose of this awesome-ness." I said, gesturing to myself. "People get addicted to my company, I wouldn't want to deprive you of it."
Christian chuckled under his breath. "Yeah, that must be why I tolerate you. Going through Rose withdrawals would be a bitch," he teased.
"That they would, more so than I am. What's for dinner?" I asked, eying the pile of meat on the counter, warily. Aunt Tasha and Christian were pretty good cooks, but I don't even think they knew what meal to make with three different types of meat.
"Meatloaf," Tasha responded, smiling at me when I wrinkled my nose slightly. When she smiled, our similarities were even more apparent. The same heart-shaped face, glossy full lips, sleek black hair, and big crystal blue eyes. Had we been the same age, we could be considered twins. Of course there was some variation in our appearances. My hair was longer, flowing down to my hips, while hers ended in the middle of her back. She was tall, graceful, and willowy. I was fine-boned, deceptively fragile-looking, but with a voluptuous figure and an ample bust, that were rare among Moroi. The main difference though were the scars that marred my aunt's left cheek. It didn't deter from her beauty, rather it just made it her pretty in a different way, but the mark was a reminder to us all about the past we tried so hard to distance ourselves from.
"Oh man, that's got to be the most stereotypical vampire food, ever. We're not eating it raw, are we?" I asked, sarcastically.
"Only if that's your preference," Christian replied. Tasha just put the wad of meat into the oven and we continued to small talk until the meatloaf was done. I couldn't help, but notice the distracted look on Christian face during the whole conversation, like he was deep in thought about something. It wasn't like Christian to zone out, that was usually me, unless he had something extremely important on his mind. Tasha was acting odd as well. She had said she needed to discuss something with us before Christian and I had to go back to the Academy tomorrow. Aunt Tasha was a very straightforward person so I was surprised she hadn't already brought the topic up. It was so unlike her and my anxiety was building the longer she procrastinated. It must be more important and unpleasant than I had originally thought.
When all of us were done eating, we still sat at the table waiting for Tasha's announcement.
"Are you two looking forward to starting school again at the Academy?" Tasha asked. That seemed to snap Christian out of whatever daze he'd been in, he turned his head to face her direction, his face incredulous. I'm pretty sure the look on my face echoed his, perfectly.
"Um no. Not really. The classes are always boring, especially the political crap. It's not like I care about that stuff, and it will only get worse once we graduate because we'll be a part of it," I complained.
Christian finally spoke up. "Not to mention how horrible the people there are. Though the other royals are by far the worst. Bunch of spoiled, prissy bastards." Aunt Tasha shot him a chastising glare for his foul language. He shrugged, but continued. "The other Moroi wouldn't be so bad if they didn't follow the royals like a flock of sheep."
"Well, at least you're seniors, this year you two graduate," Aunt Tasha said, trying to get us excited.
"Yeah, a whole year of people waiting for one of us, if not both, to turn Strigoi and start eating them," I said, chuckling bitterly.
All of us were quiet for a minute after that. The words still hung heavily in the air, making the tension in the room thick. Then Tasha sighed, finally breaking the suffocating silence. The tension in the room shifted a little but didn't diminish. She was finally done avoiding the subject she had wanted us here for in the first place.
"I have a friend who is going to be helping around the Academy this year. He'll be looking out for you," Tasha began. Something about her tone made me suspicious.
"This friend of yours wouldn't happen to be a guardian, would he?" I asked, narrowing my eyes in mute accusation. So this is what she'd been avoiding. She knew I'd be pissed. Tasha stayed silent and avoided looking at me. That was all the answer I needed. "Aunt Tasha! What was the point of all my training if your making me have a guardian anyway? What about all of your speeches of Moroi fighting back. I don't need to hide behind a guardian!"
"It will help keep you safe and I trust him, Rose," she finally said, meeting my eyes. "He would protect you with his life regardless of our 'undesirable connections.'"
"Then assign him to Christian. Or any other Moroi, I don't care. I don't want or need a guardian to protect me."
"Rosemarie," Tasha said, her voice still calm and gentle, if not a little tired. Tasha only used my full name when she was dead-serious. "Your martial art skills are amazing, as is your swordsmanship, but you wouldn't see a Strigoi coming by yourself until it was already too late. And since you haven't specialized you don't have enough power in any of the elements to do damage to a Strigoi."
Ouch. That was a low blow. My having not specialized was a touchy subject and she knew it. Every Moroi had a little control over each element, but when you specialized in one, which usually happened when you were fifteen or sixteen, you could do significantly more with that element. Since I had yet to specialize I could only do the basics of each element. Part of me wanted to say something nasty back to her, but I knew I'd only regret it later if I did. Instead I just stood up and stalked away, toward my room.
"Rose, please just give him a chance," Tasha's voice was quiet and pleading. I felt like as total bitch and wanted to apologize, but my pride was in the way. So I just threw a "Whatever" over my shoulder, entered my room, and slammed the door behind me.
The room should technically be considered a guest room and not my room, because I only used it when we visited Tasha during breaks, four times a year. But I'd had this room ever since Tasha moved here and it felt like my room, more than any of the dorms I had occupied for years on end at the St. Vladimir's, anyway.
The walls were painted a dark blue and there were random splashes of silver to make it look like stars in a night sky. It was kind of ironic since we actually slept during daylight hours. There was a small wooden bookshelf and a mirror that had belonged to my mother. A walk-in closet to left of the door and a desk with a laptop on it to the right. My favorite piece of furniture though, was my bed. It was a king-size canopy bed, much bigger than the ones at the Academy and it was so soft. I walked over to it and flopped down onto the silken sheets, before burying my face in the matching pillows.
I don't know how much time had past when I felt the bed slump down, alerting me of someone else's presence. I hadn't even heard them come in, maybe Aunt Tasha was right, I needed to be more aware of my surroundings or I would be no competition for a Strigoi.
I turned my head to face the intruder so I to check who it was. I saw, with no real surprise, that it was Christian. We might bicker and tease each other, but we had a lot closer relationship than most siblings. Maybe that was due to the fact that everyone outside our family thought that one day we were going to snap and become soulless monsters.
I sighed and sat up, looking at him expectantly. He wouldn't be here if he didn't want to talk and there was really no point in ignoring him.
"She didn't mean it the way it sounded," Christian said. "She doesn't think your weak or anything. Having a guardian is just an extra precaution."
"I know," I answered. "It's just that you and Tasha don't have any guardians, so why do I suddenly need one so bad?"
Christian shrugged. "No clue, but I'm sure she has her reasons. Don't be so rough on her. She's only doing what she thinks is best for us."
"Yeah," I sighed. "You're right."
"I usually am," he said as he slung an arm around my shoulders, pulled me towards him, then proceeded to ruffle my hair like a little kid's.
"Hey! Stop it, you dork," I laughed as I tried to swat away his hand and straighten my hair. It felt good to genuinely laugh, the moments when it happened were so few and far between that it was a downright novelty.
Christian noticed, of course and his eyes softened. "We should do something fun before we have to go to St. Vlad's. I think I know just the thing," he said, walking towards my nightstand and opening the second drawer.
"Hmmm? What's that?" I asked, leaning forward, trying to remember what I put in that drawer. He pulled out my favorite weapon.
It was a custom-made dagger, that Tasha got me for my birthday a couple years ago. It was pure silver, since that metal had the most negative effect against Strigoi. The thin, straight blade was no longer than my forearm. Our family name was engraved on the flat side of the blade. But my favorite feature was the blue rose made of sapphires and aquamarines at the base of the blade. It would work the same as silver stakes the dhampirs used to kill Strigoi, but I would need to charm it first for it to be fully effective.
Christian slashed the dagger sloppily through the air and made a few silly stabbing motions, before handing it over to me. "Let's go practice some in the combat room, okay?"
I was a little shocked. I usually had to beg or blackmail him to get him to do any kind of martial arts practice with me. It was obvious he just wanted to cheer me up before we had to go back to the Academy, where this year, a guardian would be stalking my every move. Regardless, I didn't hesitate in dragging him to the practice room. I didn't want him to change his mind and this opportunity might not ever present itself again, so I was going to take advantage of it.
Practice was full of laughs, taunts, pushing our limits, and learning new techniques. I showed Christian how to fight better physically and Christian in turn taught me how to hone my magic. I even got a ball of blue fire to dance across my hand before it disappeared without a trace. Not as good as if I had specialized, but it was an improvement I was proud of.
By the time we were done, I had beat him at ever round of sparring and swordplay. He didn't seem to mind, and even though I knew he trained himself physically way less than me, winning still put me in a good mood. I even felt that tomorrow wouldn't be so bad despite our having to return to St. Vladimir's, deal with annoying royals, and my newly appointed guard dog. Or maybe it was just wishful thinking.
AN: I know some of you are probably like "Where's Dimitri?" Don't worry he's in the next chapter. So a few reviewers asked if this was going to be a DimitriXRose fanfic. The answer is, I'm not positive, yet. Though I think I'm going to end up doing a love triangle between Rose, Adrian, and Dimitri, like in the books. This is one of the few series where I actually liked both of the main character's love interests. But I was wondering how readers of The Blue Rose Princess feel about it. (Even though I have a pretty good idea from previous reviews.) Should Rose fall in love with Dimitri or Adrian? And should Lissa be a Spirit user or specialized in a different element? Tell me your opinions, I'd love to hear them. Also feel free to ask any questions you have about the story. I'll answer them as best as I can, without giving out spoilers. I'll update as soon as I can. Thanks for all of your help and encouragement! ~ Aurora Rose Dragomir