"Rose? Open up! It's dinner time! Let's go!" I called through the door, before banging once more. Denis and Artur stood behind me, restlessly fidgeting, anxious and hungry.
"Rose? Are you okay in there? We just want to see if you're okay. Come on, Rose, open up!" Denis called, pounding on the door before shaking his head and sighing.
"Just let her be. She obviously needs time and honestly, I think she deserves it. I mean, we did put her up to this. Give her some space. We can bring her food later. Besides, we all know how long she can last without food." Artur reasoned. I sighed, defeated and nodded. She had gone through more than enough today without us hounding her to come out to dinner.
"Psh, an hour? If that?" Denis teased. We all started to crack up but the mood swiftly took a sullen turn as we noticed the absence of Rose's melodic laugh in the chorus of chuckles. Everything seemed funnier when Rose was around, and now, she couldn't even make it to dinner for fear of facing her past, for fear of being unable to cope with the pain and grief that afflicted her deeply the second her foot came in contact with the Court's tarmac. It made the joke, like all the others, seem bittersweet. I sighed once more and turned before heading down the hall towards a now dull Italian dinner at some overpriced, snobby, Moroi restaurant. Joy.
We made our way outside when I noticed Belikov sprinting across the grounds at top speed as if there was a giant pack of Strigoi after him. I nudged the boys to look. They paused for a moment before taking off after him, immediately worried as he was headed in the direction of the Guardian headquarters.
We caught him in no time, thanks to Rose's extensive training and laps around the gym which brought a small smile to my face, a smile that evaporated the second I saw Dimitri's face.
"I need to go. I don't have time to talk to you right now." He snapped like we were children. Instantly Denis puffed out his chest like he was going to start something.
"Tell us what's wrong." I stated calmly, pinching Denis's arm to remind him why we were here.
"Rose needs me, she was captured by Strigoi and I'm going to alert the Guardians. Now if you'll excuse me, Rose needs my help." He turned to leave when I grabbed his arm, yanking him back in an iron grip.
"Well then we're coming with. We're her team, her family. She needs our help most." My voice was sharp and hard, leaving no room for argument. He nodded slightly then turned and continued to sprint with us hot on his heels.
We made it to the Guardian Headquarters in seconds though it felt like years as I pondered the likelihood that Rose was still alive. I shook the destructive thoughts from my mind as we rushed into the Head Guardian's office.
The man sitting at the desk had a pinched expression on his face as he gazed at us sourly, stopping his work to fix his sharp eyes on our sudden entrance.
"What now?" He snapped, switching to a full on disapproving glare, flicking his gaze between the four of us.
"I'd like to request permission to form a rescue team, sir." I spoke solemnly, hoping he wouldn't ask questions but knowing it was impossible. I knew Hans didn't like Rose, and I knew he wouldn't send a rescue team for one non-guardian dhampir, but I could hope, because in this moment, I knew it was all I had.
"Was there a Moroi taken? A Moroi taken from Court? Vasilissa is going to kill me! Unless it was Her Majesty that was taken!" I could see Hans start to go off the deep end. I didn't have time for this! Every second we were delayed was another second Rose was in danger, closer to death.
"No, sir. A dhampir. Rosemarie Hathaway." I watched him freeze as the name rolled off my tongue. He turned and looked me straight in the eyes.
"Guardian Belikov, may I remind you our policy on rescue missions. All kidnapped persons are proclaimed dead unless their whereabouts are known. Now, do you know the location of Ms. Hathaway?" He sneered. I felt about ready to break his jaw.
"No." I stated coolly, struggling to keep my composure, my rage far past its breaking point.
"Well then we have our answer. Unless a Royal was taken or a large group, no rescue team will be put together. One missing non-Guardian dhampir with a bad attitude and a lack of responsibility is not worth possible casualties. I'm sorry for your loss." With that, he turned on his heel and made his way out of his office and down the hall. I started to pace, Rose's team looked pissed.
Suddenly, the anger was just too much, I turned and punched the wall, leaving a gaping hole where my fist had connected.
"Бог, проклятый это! Тот гребаный ублюдок!" I yelled at nothing in particular as I turned and continued to pace.
"Согласованный." One of Rose's team answered. I froze for a moment before realizing my stupidity. Of course they could understand me, they were native Russians as well.
"Извините мой язык." I mumbled, embarrassed at my foul mouth.
"Excuse us, we're going to go do something productive to help Rose." I froze and thought a moment as they filed out of the office.
"Wait. Let me come with you. I want to help." I looked at each of their faces, pleading with my eyes, my anger dissolved. "пожалуйста. Я могу помочь." I added, knowing my next plan of action.
"Keep up." The one with jet-black hair and stormy brown eyes snarled in a thick Russian accent.
"I have a plan. If Hans won't let us form an official rescue team, we'll form our own without formal permission. I know a few guardians who can help. Let's go." I headed out of the guardian headquarters and straight for the gym, knowing exactly who to ask for help.
"Guardian Castile!" I called as I flung open the gym door. He spun around, setting down his weights.
"Can I help you?" The second his eyes laid on me his playful demeanor changed to one of alert concern. "What's wrong? Is it Lissa?" I shook my head. He seemed to relax a small bit.
"It's Rose." His eyes widened. "She's been kidnapped by a few rogue Strigoi. Hans won't let us form a rescue team so we're making our own. Are you coming?" I knew it was a stupid question, but it was necessary to ask.
"Of course, let's call Mikhail."
Twenty minutes later we were in Adrian's suit in Royal Housing. He was asleep, trying to make contact with Rose to see if she was unconscious. There were eight of us; Lissa, Christian, Janine, Adrian, Abe, Eddie, Mikhail, and myself. We had confirmed that she was still alive. Lissa had been able to feel the bond, so we knew for a fact that she was still alive. Adrian was trying to enter her dreams but had had no such luck so far.
I paced the room, sat in the armchair, stood up, and continued to pace. I could hear the clock ticking. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Every sound of the clock sent a wave of panic through me, wondering if that was the last second Rose would ever have. My mind was reeling, scrambling for answers that I didn't have. The only thing I knew for sure, the only thing that kept me sane, was our last kiss, specifically the fact that Rose kissed me back. She did love me, and that, that single thought, well, I'd do absolutely anything to keep it alive, and that's exactly what I planned to do, no matter the consequences.-----------------------------------------------------
Бог, проклятый это! Тот гребаный ублюдок! - God damn it! That fucking bastard!
Согласованный - Agreed
Извините мой язык - Excuse my language.
пожалуйста - Please
Я могу помочь - I can help