It was the day of his release and I couldn't bear to wait another second. I'd seen glimpses of him walking around the Court with Lissa and armed guardians, but every single time I would approach to get a closer look, guardians would hold my back, telling me to keep my distance.

Lissa tried explaining to me that he couldn't be around me because it caused him too much pain, and that I had to be more understanding, but what she didn't understand is the pain it caused me to be apart. It was torture. He couldn't see me and I couldn't be without him. I missed everything about him. I'd gone to hell and back to give us the chance to be together again, and this was my reward. I'd never pegged Dimitri as the emotional one in the relationship. He was being selfish and I had every right to call him on it.

I had snuck in to his cell, only to be dragged away by Mikhail when the guardians came back to check on him. Every single time it was the same: I would declare my love for him, baring my heart and soul, only to be denied and asked to leave in every way possible. It was have become monotonous by now if it didn't hurt so much. Every denial and refusal to see me, speak to me, love me was a shot to the heart. He claimed it was better this way, but I couldn't understand how my life would improve in any way shape or form without him.

I sat on the bench near the Guardian building, craning my head upwards and watching the light break through the leaves of the oak trees. I let my mind wander to what life would be like if Dimitri had never entered my world. I'd be cruising to Lehigh with Lissa right about now. Who knows? Maybe Adrian and I would have even worked out, despite his father's attempts to break us up. My biggest worries would be taking care of Lissa and shrugging off bloodwhore digs directed my way.

That perfect little life all seemed very far away. Once, it had been what I wanted, but now I was a shrine to the only man I couldn't have. The question that banged around my hollow mind ate away at my strength: was he worth it? When I left for Siberia, he'd been absolutely worth it. I'd have given my life for him, but now I felt disconnected from that love that once burned so brightly in my chest. I was tired of being tired and I was sick of being sad. I wished for a life that was now impossible, thanks to destiny and a single man hell-bent on making me miserable, whether he knows it or not.

I didn't want to love Dimitri Belikov anymore. I didn't want to be in love with anyone. I had made up my mind and gave myself to the idea of giving up on him. I'd always been a fighter but this time, I'd had the fight punched out of me. He beat me with denial, smacked me with silence, and kicked me with indifference. I was bruised, bleeding and broken and ready to move on.

Inhaling the scent of grass and coffee wafting from the café across the lawn I pushed myself off the bench and walked away from the guardian building, determined not to look back. I was a fighter, but now I fought for a different cause: myself. I would die for any of my friends, but I had given enough of myself for Dimitri. There would be no more tears cried from this brown eyed girl, and that was worth smiling about.