Heads Up! Rose and Lissa still have a bond.

Chapter 1

There are only three moments when you can land a punch on my Dimitri. Number one- he's "asleep" with me. Number two- he's talking to me. Number three- he's kissing me. I had already used the third option last year, and the second option a few months before that. As far as I know, no one has discovered the first two options besides me. All were for very good reasons, of course. Mainly, I wanted something and he was being persistent about not giving it to me. And I mean, really persistent. Like, he purposefully fell asleep on top of me, pinning my arms at my sides. Punching him with pinned arms is very difficult. But, when you face evil creatures of the night on a regular basis, you learn to manage.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because in a rare moment when Dimitri's control wall is down (he's avidly talking to me), one of the students managed to clip him straight in the back. Dimitri fell forwards abruptly into me with a grunt of pain. We were there with Lissa and Christian for a royal function tonight, since the two of us were their main guards. They were talking with some other senior dhampir students about what they had planned for their guarding futures. Who their dream charge was, how their training was going, etc. Royal guards were scattered throughout the gym, so Dimitri and I had taken those rare moments to actually talk to each other. A student took this as his option too.

Gently shoving Dimitri to the side, I glared at the student, before leaping on him and restraining his hands behind his back.

"Hey! Hey! What're you doing!" The student yelled. I used my other hand to push his face into the gym mat.

"You attacked a guardian!" I growled. Royal guardians had surrounded us the second a blow was landed, and they helped me get him under control because he was thrashing wildly.

"Let me up! Let me up! It was just a dare!" The student shrieked. The guardians and I raised him up enough to drag him to a bench. Finally someone managed to secure his hands with flex cuffs. Dimitri, recovered from the punch, walked over and kneeled in front of him with a death glare in his eyes. Glancing around the perimeter, I saw that several Royal Guards had surrounded Christian and Lissa for precautionary reasons.

"Give me your reasoning, boy." Dimitri demanded. The boy cowered in fear, obviously aware of Dimitri's god-like reputation.

"I-It was just a d-dare. I swear to God!" The student stammered. Dimitri glared at the boy and then motioned an academy guardian over.

"Take him to Headmistress Kirova." The guardian nodded and dragged the somber looking boy away.

"Are you alright?" I asked him. I wasn't so much worried about his injuries, so much as what this would do to his pride. Usually he was always watching his surroundings, but since we never get to see each other, this was one of a the rare moments when he wasn't.

"Yeah." He said gruffly. He was obviously in a bad mood. Glancing around again, I saw that life in the gym had resumed as if the situation had never taken place. Lissa was observing some of the students fighting skills. Dimitri followed my gaze and caught Christian's eye. With a nod of his head, Christian signaled Dimitri to him before starting to make his way to the door.

"Sorry, Roza, Christian's leaving. I'll see you at the dinner." Dimitri said with a quick peck on the cheek. He walked purposefully towards his charge. The students that were in his way parted to make a wide path for him. None of them wanted to mess with him after what had happened.

Shaking my head, I also made my way to my charge. When I was standing next to her, Lissa leaned back to whisper in my ear.

"They're skills are looking good. I think we'll be getting a good batch sent out this year." She whispered lowly. I nodded and turned my attention to the novices fighting in front of us. A female and male novice were circling each other, both looking to take the offensive. They both showed signs of getting hit, but not much.

After a few more seconds of circling, the boy whipped out a kick aimed for the gut, which the girl promptly deflected by grabbing his foot and flipping him onto his back. She proceeded to get on top of him and pin his arms against the mat. After a few attempts to get up, he relaxed and seceded to his defeat. A few of the other novices whooped and hollered at them. When the girl stood up, she extended a hand to her opponent and helped him up. They smiled good naturedly at each other before turning to Liss expectantly.

For a minute, Lissa didn't respond and the novices narrowed their eyes confusedly. I then realized that they were waiting for a comment from me.

"Your technique was good. Keep in mind though that a grab like that won't work with a Strigoi. The best thing to do would be to block the kick and move closer for a shot at the heart. If you actually managed to grab a Strigoi's leg like that, it would most likely toss you into a wall and kill you." I stated. They looked a little dejected, so I added one more comment, "but other than that you're precision was very nice, and that kick was handed out beautifully, as well as the lower hook to the diaphragm. A punch like that will most likely cause the Strigoi to weaken so you can get in another hit before the kill. It was very good technique." This brightened them up and they nodded in thanks before returning to their group of chattering novices. They seemed a little in awe of what I had said.

Lissa was grinning at me from ear to ear. I let myself into her head and absorb her emotions. Feelings of giddiness and overall happiness and wonder were filling her mind.

"What?" I asked her.

"Oh, nothing. You're just kind of a celebrity." She chuckled and started to walk out of the gym. Myself and the rest of the royal guards followed her. The minute we were outside, they fanned out to secure the perimeter. As long as I was close by the queen, then they could be farther away to keep any threats from getting too close.

"What? No way!" I scoffed.

"Uh. Yes, way! Those novices were practically flying with your praise. The fact that they're technique was told to be good by a royal guardian took them to cloud 9. The other fact that Rose Hathaway was the one to give them said praise sent them to cloud 22."

"Cloud 22? Liss, really?" I gave her a look. I guess I was kind of well-known among my world, but only really for the fact that I was a suspected murderer. I guess along with that, my accomplishments somehow made its way through. With me being the first senior novice in my class to kill Strigoi, I was kind of held in high standards among the guardians. And apparently everywhere else too.

"Yes really! Now c'mon, I've got to stop by the specializing classes and then we have to get ready for the dinner." I groaned but followed obediently. I hated royal functions.