a/n: Thank you so much for the reviews for last chapter. I hope you enjoy this one!
"Oh, grow up, Rose! He is a twenty five year old man and you are a seventeen year old girl. Do you really think you were anything more than a roll in the hay to him?" Janine Hathaway hissed.
Rose stiffened as she clenched her fists at her side. "You don't know anything about him!" she shot back angrily. "Dimitri loves me and—"
Her mother laughed cruelly. "He loves you? Surely my daughter isn't that naïve. The best thing you can do, Rose, is forget him. Because I'll tell you right now—he's already forgotten you! Someone else has already taken your place in his bed!" Her mother closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I'll make you an appointment at the clinic, and we'll take care of this little problem," she said, her eyes falling to her daughter's stomach. "It will be like nothing ever happened."
Rose wrapped her arms protectively over her still flat belly. "I already told you. I. Am not. Having. An abortion!" she said resolutely.
"Yes, Rose. You are."
"Oh, what are you gonna do?" she asked heatedly. "Drag me kicking and screaming inside the clinic and hold me down on the table while they take my baby, Mother?"
Janine lifted her chin. "If I have to, yes! But I'm sure that won't be necessary. You'll see reason, Rose," she said confidently. "In a few days the reality of this situation will kick in, and I would hope you are mature enough to realize that at seventeen years old, a baby would destroy your life."
"Like I destroyed yours?" Rose asked in a low voice. "If that's what you're worried about…don't. I'm not like you. I wouldn't blame my kid for all of my inadequacies. I'd actually take responsibility for them."
"Responsibility?" her mother spat. "You'll get a healthy dose of that in about seven months if you don't get your head on straight."
The sound of her bedroom door slamming in her memory…or had it been a dream…was enough to awaken Rose with a start. She stretched with a stifled groan and then checked her watch. She'd been in the air for almost two hours. They'd be landing soon, and she'd have to endure a four hour layover before continuing on to her destination.
She hadn't returned to Maine or seen either of her parents since the day after she'd given birth. She'd been eighteen by then and convinced that her mother was right. After all that time, Dimitri had surely moved on. And what other reason did she have to get in touch with him? Their baby had died. She certainly didn't want to have to relive it again by telling him. Why cause him the same pain when there was nothing he could do to fix it? And why interrupt his life?
No. There'd been nothing left for her in Maine. So she'd packed her bags and driven for over a week, stopping only when necessary to eat, use the restroom, or sleep. She'd ended up in Los Angeles and when she'd seen a taekwondo sign in the window of a small building she realized that this was her destination. It was something she'd done when she'd been in junior high and hadn't stopped until her parents had sent her away to a private school that didn't offer it as an extracurricular activity.
But the thought of clearing her mind…of focusing on something other than the baby she'd lost and the man she'd loved (or thought she'd loved, according to her mother)…was something Rose desperately needed. So she'd walked into the glass building that day unaware that once again, her life would be forever changed.
It hadn't been long before she'd been 'discovered.'
At eighteen years old, Vasilisa 'Lissa' Dragomir was a rising star and in true Hollywood style, she had the stalkers that—more often than not—accompanied the fame. She'd been resistant to any kind of protection, so her parents and agent had put their heads together and found that the only solution would be to surround Lissa with people her own age who were more than able to protect her should the need arise.
Rose had been approached after class one day, and after months and months of extensive physical and mental training, she'd been among the first to guard the young movie star. By this time, after a mishap involving a crazy fan and a gun, Lissa had seen the rationale of round the clock protection.
Rose had spent the last four years with Lissa, and in addition to being her bodyguard, the young women had become fast friends.
Ladies and gentlemen we will be landing…
The captain's voice pulled Rose from her reverie, but she didn't need to hear the rest. She'd spent enough time globetrotting with Lissa to know the spiel; she fastened her seatbelt and awaited the landing.
The four hour layover felt more like four days to Rose; she supposed that was typical when you were about to receive information that could alter your life forever. But she was finally in the air again, and soon Rose was going to find out where her daughter was, and subsequently what kind of life the little girl was living. Had she been placed in a loving home? Was she with parents who'd been desperate to have a child of their own and smothered hers with love? She'd heard horrific stories of children who'd been adopted and then treated terribly. She wouldn't be able to bear it if that had happened to her daughter!
She'd been too shocked and angry to listen to anything more from her mother during their phone call. She'd hung up and after making her travel arrangements, she'd had one of Lissa's 'people' call her mother to let her know that Rose would be visiting…and when. She'd booked the first available flight; it hadn't left her with any time to pack, but that didn't matter to Rose.
All she wanted was her daughter.
And since Janine Hathaway had had the nerve to steal her, the least she could do was answer for it face to face.