Aren't you failing English?" I asked. Angeline flushed. "It's not my fault." "Even I know you can't write an article on Wikipedia and then use it as a source in your own essay." Sydney had been torn between horror and hysterics when she told me. "I took 'primary source' to a whole new level!" Honestly, it was a wonder we'd gotten by for so long without Angeline. Life must have been so boring before her.
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Day 24. Situation is growing worse. My captors continue to find new and horrific ways to torture me. When not working, Agent Scarlet spends her days examining fabric swatches for bridesmaid dresses and going on about how in love she is. This usually causes Agent Boring Borscht to regale us with stories of Russian weddings that are even more boring than his usual ones. My attempts at escape have been thwarted thus far. Also, I am out of cigarettes. Any assistance or tobacco products you can send will be greatly appreciated. -Prisoner 24601
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I spent the rest of the day doing little more than that. I skipped dinner. I shed a few tears. But mostly, I just sat on my bed thinking and growing more and more depressed. I also discovered the only thing worse than imagining Dimitri and Tasha together was remembering when he and I had been together. He would never touch me again like that, never kiss me again...
I don't want to. Believe me. But I can't help it. Rose said in time, I'll learn the control to keep his feelings out, but I can't do it now. And he has so much, Sydney. So much feeling. He feels everything so strongly"" love, grief, anger. His emotions are up and down, all over the place. What happened between him and Rose . . . it tears him apart.
He didn't see me looking at him, but I could tell the ceremony was having the same effect on him. He was enraptured. It was a rare and sweet look for him, reminding me of the tortured artist that lived beneath the sarcasm. I liked that about Adrian""not the tortured part, but the way he could feel so deeply and then transform those emotions into art.
Love is . . ." An old memory with Adrian came back to me, and some of the turbulent emotion I always carried within me these days welled up in my chest. It was stupid, feeling so lovesick when he'd been gone less than a day, but I couldn't get him or the ways he described love out of my head. ". . . a flame in the dark. A breath of warmth on a winter's night. A star that guides you home.
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Not at all. I'm saying there's a fire in you that drives everything you do, that makes you need to better the world and those you love. To stand up for those you can't. It's one of the wonderful things about you.'' ''Only one, huh?'' I spoke lightly, but his words had thrilled me. He'd meant what he said about thinking those were wonderful traits, and feeling his pride in me meant more than anything just then.
I couldn't recall the last time I'd seen that much of him on display. It was wonderful and frightening on the same time. I then said the stupidest thing possible. "You're not scared of anything." "I'm scared of a lot of things. I was scared for you" He released me, and I stepped back. There was still passion and worry written all over him. "I'm not perfect, I'm not invulnerable.
Yet, it had been Dimitri's gentleness and thoughtfulness mixed with that deadliness that made him so wonderful. The same hands that wielded stakes with such precision would carefully brush the hair out of my face. The eyes that could astutely spot any danger in the area would regard me wonderingly and worshipfully, like I was the most beautiful and amazing woman in the world.
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It's as easy as we choose to make it," he murmured, pressing his forehead to mine. "At least, this decision is. Nothing's truly easy, Georgina. Love and life . . . they're wonderful, but they're hard. We may mess up again. We have to be strong and decide if we can still go forward, even when things aren't perfect.
Okay, God, I thought. Get me out of this and I'll stop my half-assed church-going ways. You got me past a pack of Strigoi tonight. I mean, trapping that one between the doors really shouldn't have worked, so clearly you're on board. Let me get out of here, and I'll...I don't know. Donate Adrian's money to the poor. Get baptized. Join a convent. Well, no. Not that last one.
Ah, Eugenie. I know. We will be victorious, you and me. We're the strongest monarchs in this world. You and I will lead this army, and we will conquer the Rowan land. We'll split it between us, adding on to our kingdoms...and from there, we can go anywhere. We could rule half this world together""all of this world""you and me. Kingdom after kingdom would fall to us...
In this one terrified moment, my mind couldn't focus on any of it. "I've forgotten everything." "No, you haven't." His voice in the darkness was calm and reassuring. He smoothed back my hair and pressed one of those half kisses to my forehead. "Just relax and focus." "His reasonable words centered me and allowed the gears of logic that ran my life to take over again.
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Don't be too hasty," she warned. "Conserve your strength. If you're too eager to fight the undead, you may find yourselves joining them. Then you'd never see us again, and we'd be very sad." "Yes," said Christian. "I'd cry into my pillow every night." I resisted the urge to kick him. "Well, I couldn't visit if I was Strigoi, yeah, but hopefully I'd just die a normal death. Then I could come see you as a ghost.
I have to get back there." I said to Adrian. "Into that door." He arched an eyebrow. "What, like sneaking in? How very black ops of you. And oh, you know"" dangerous and foolish." "I know." I said, surprised at how calm I sounded as I admitted that. "But I have to know something, and this may be my only chance." "Then I'll go with you in case that guy comes back," he said with a sigh. "Never let it be said Adrian Ivashkov doesn't help damsels in distress.
Once you cross into the next loyal kingdom, however... be warned. You may not find such a warm reception. The Mimosa Land and its residents are not nearly so accommodating." This was warm and accommodating? That didn't bode well for the next kingdom. I also found it sad that a place called the Mimosa Land was unfriendly. It sounded like a party waiting to happen.
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What were you thinking?" I demanded once we were moving to the music. I was trying to ignore his hands. "Do you know how much trouble you may have gotten me in?" Adrian grinned. "Nah. They all feel bad for you. You'll achieve martyrdom after dancing with a mean, wicked vampire. Job security with the Alchemists.
Frustration filled his features. "Rose I've done a lot of bad things, most of which I can never fix or find redemption for. My only choice now, if I want to reclaim my life, is to go forward, stopping evil and doing what's right. And what is NOT right is taking a woman from another man, a man I like and respect. I'll steal cars. I'll break into houses. But there are lines I WILL not cross, no matter what I""
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Do you go see her?" "No," I said, refusing to acknowledge that I'd just seen Lissa last night. "That's not my life anymore." "Right. Your life is all about dangerous vigilante missions." "You wouldn't understand anything that isn't drinking, smoking, or womanizing." He shook his head. "You're the only one I want, Rose." "Well, you can keep feeling that way, but you're going to have to keep waiting." "Much longer?" He asked me. "I don't know." Hope blossomed on Adrian's face. "That's the most optimistic thing you've told me so far.
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I'm not worthy of that," I said. I might be human now, but I understand how powerful a heavenly creature Carter was. "I don't deserve that much regard." He reached out and tipped my chin up. "You do, Georgina. And if you don't believe me now, then strive to be. Live you life. Be kind. Love those you know. Love those you don't know. be worthy of your soul." A tear escaped, rolling down my cheek and probably messing up my mortal mascara. "Thank you, Carter. Thank you for everything.
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I don't believe in soul mates, not exactly. I think it's ridiculous to think there's only one person out there for us. What if your 'soul mate' lives in Zimbabwe? What if he dies young? I also think 'two souls becoming one' is ridiculous. You need to hold on to yourself. But I do believe in souls being in sync, souls that mirror each other.
All this time... ever since I sold my soul, I've been clinging to this idea that there is something pure and decent out there. That there was something to give me hope that even if I was a lost cause, at least there was something bright and good in the world. But there isn't. If there was, Seth wouldn't have fallen. Erik wouldn't have died. Andrea Mortensen wouldn't be dying." -Georgina to Carter
Well," he said, clearly enjoying my confusion. "It was actually for two souls, since you and Seth were both saved. But even if it wasn't, it still would've been worth it. Do you know the price of one soul, Georgina? It's beyond rubies and diamonds, beyond any mortal reckoning. If it had taken me centuries, if it had taken a dozen more angels to help me, it all would have been worth it.
His warmth was all around me, as was his love, and again, I felt that completeness. I had that missing piece of my word back. The soul that complemented mine. My match. My equal. Not only that, I had my life back -my own life. I would protect Lissa, I would serve, but I was finally my own person.
I'd realized then just how strong our connection was, how perfectly we understood each other. I'd been skeptical about people being soul mates in the past, but at that moment, I knew it was true. And the emotional connection had come a physical one. Dimitri and I had finally given in to the attraction. We'd sworn we never would, but... well, our feelings were just too strong. Staying away from each other had turned out to be impossible. ~Rose, Pg.74
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After almost exactly three hours, we rolled into a small hole of a town that had one traffic light and a resturant simply marked DINER. There hadn't been any traffic on the road for over an hour, though, which was really the most important thing. We hadn't been followed. Sydney drove us to a building with a sign that read MOTEL. Apparently this town liked to stick to the basics when it came to names. I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually just called TOWN.
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I can't believe you've been here all day and didn't come visit. ", Tatiana said. "Aw, I figured you had more important things to do than see me, " Adrian told her. "Besides, I quit smoking, so now we won't be able to go sneak cigarettes out behind the throne room together. " "Adrian!" chastised Nathan, turning bright red. It occurred to me then that I could have based a drinking game around how many times he exclaimed his son's name disapprovingly.
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Hey, a guy can hope. I mean, it's not impossible that a car full of scantily clad sorority girls might break down outside and need my help." "That's true," I said. "Maybe I can put a sign out front that says, 'ATTENTION ALL GIRLS: FREE HELP HERE.'" "'ATTENTION ALL HOT GIRLS,'" he corrected, straightening up. "Right," I said, trying not to roll my eyes. "That's an important distinction." He pointed at me with the pool stick. "Speaking of hot, I like that uniform." This time, I did roll my eyes.
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I sat there for several moments, trying to decide how best I should respond. None of the advice I'd gotten from the books or my friends really prepared me for how to handle discussions about alternative energy sources. One of the books - one I'd chosen not to finish - had a decidedly male-centric view that said women should always make men feel important on dates. I suspected that Kristin and Julia's advice right now would have been to laugh and toss my hair - and not let the discussion progress. But I just couldn't do that. "You're wrong," I said.
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Stay back, "I warned. "Stay away from him." They kept coming. "Stay back!" I yelled. They stopped. Except for one. "Rose, " came a soft voice. "Drop the sword." My hands shook. I swallowed. "Get away from us." "Rose." The voice spoke again, a voice that my soul would have known anywhere. Hesitantly, I let myself finally become aware of my surroundings, let the details sink in. I let my eyes focus on the features of the man standing there. Dimitri's brown eyes, gentle and firm, looking down on me. "It's okay, " he said. "Everything's going to be okay. You can let go of the sword." My hands shook even harder as I fought to hold on to the hilt. "I can't." The words hurt coming out. "I can't leave him alone. I have to protect him." " you have, " said Dimitri. The sword fell out of my hands, landing with a clatter on the wooden floor. I followed, collapsing on all fours, anything to cry but unable to. Dimitri's arms wrapped around me as he helped me up. Voices swarmed around us, and one by one, I recognised people I knew and trusted.
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I remembered those frantic seconds when I'd thought all I loved and knew, all that was Sydney Sage, would be lost from this world. My battered friends and I had just had a brush with death, dancing with this evil. We'd destroyed it, but it was terrifying how touch and go it all had been. At any moment, the Strigoi could have gained the advantage and killed one or all of us. Life and death were inextricably bound together, and we wavered between them. But we'd triumphed over death tonight. We were alive, and the world was beautiful. Life was beautiful, and I refused to waste mine.
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I'd never felt so helpless - so hopeless - in my life as I did there. To be completely under someone's power, with no one to turn to for help, to make someone feel like they're at fault for you hurting them... I realized that was exactly what I'd done to Carly. That hangs over me every day.
Really, Sage? A date?" I sighed. "Yes, Adrian. A date." A real date. Not, like, doing homework together, " he added. "I mean like where you go out to a movie or something. And a movie that's not part of a school assignment. Or about something boring." "A real date." I figured I wouldn't give him the specifics on the Shakespheare play. "What's the lucky guy's name?" "Brayden." There was a pause. "Brayden? That his real name?" "Why are you asking if everything's real? You think I'd make any of this up?" "No, no, " Adrian assured me. "That what's so ynbelievable about it. Is he cute?" I glanced at the clock. It was time for me to meet my study group. "Gee, maybe I should just send you a picture to review?" "Yes, please. And a full background check and life history." "I have to go. Why do you care so much anyway?" I finally asked in exasperation. His answer took a long time, which was uncharacteristic.
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Hey." She said, looking up from an open book propped up on one knee. She brushed a few strands of pale hair out of her face. Her boyfriend, Christian, lay on the floor near her, his head propped up on her other knee. He greeted me by way of a nod. Concidering the antagonism the sometimes flared up between us, that was almost on par with him giving me a bear hug.
Christian's family lived under the shadow cast by his parents. They had purposely become Striogi, trading thier magic and mortality to become immortal and subsist on killing others. His parents were dead now, but that didn't stop people from not trusting him. They seemed to think he'd go Strigoi at any moment and take everyone else with him. His abrasiveness and dark sence of humor didn't really help things, either.
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