Ring! Ring! Ring! I growled, my phone had interrupted my kill. I almost had him in the alley, it would've been my next move, but no, instead my phone had to interrupt the sweet Moroi blood I was about to taste. The man shifted away as I flipped my phone open, seeing it was my second in command. She only called me when it was absolutely necessary, knowing that any unnecessary interruptions could potentially cost her head. She had learned well.
"Hello?" I snapped, "This better be important." I watched as the ignorant Moroi sauntered off, neck unfortunately still intact, to go flirt with a gaggle of giggling Dhampir blood whores. I rolled my eyes, pathetic. To think that that could've been me in another life, giggling and flirting, gold digging to survive was a terrible thought, almost sending me into a blind rage. It was a pathetic, shameful existence. It was prostitution, and I was above that.
"We have news on the case." She seemed skittish as she spoke, I had a feeling this was not going to be the news I wanted to hear. Hopping off the barstool, I strutted to the door, catching the eye of multiple Moroi men, but I kept going. I didn't have time to flirt and play cat and mouse. I almost laughed at the fact that they thought they were the cat... not even close.
"Go on." I snarled as I walked out of the club, winking at the bouncer. He blushed, smiling wide at the recognition. I kept walking, back into the alleyway where I could get some peace and quiet. I could distantly hear the club mix pounding through the walls of the club, but it was faint enough to be able to hear.
"Our sources have found out that Princess Vasilissa won't be leaving for Lehigh anytime soon due to a number of attacks around that area.
"That bitch!" I screeched and threw my phone at the wall. "That lying piece of shit!" I was angry, no livid. Rose Hathaway was as good as dead when I got back to the warehouse. No. I couldn't let her off that easy. I would take everything she holds dear to her and dangle it in front of her face. I would kill everyone she loves, and then I'd turn her. I would make her the monster she so fears, and rightfully so.
I turned and punched the wall, there was no way I would ever get to Vasilissa now unless she idiotically left the wards which was unlikely. I would never hold the glory of finishing off the Last of the Dragomirs, and it was all her fault. She would pay. I would make her pay.
I was no longer sure if I was conscious or not. I was in no state to tell. I knew I was dying. I could feel it in every breath as they became ragged and shallow. I was strong, but I was no super hero. I wasn't invincible, and I'd finally met my match. Sure, maybe the terms they'd gotten me on weren't very fair, I'd basically gone on a suicide mission to save Naomi, but it had been worth it.
Naomi was a good person, I could tell. She picked up the pieces for Dimitri and made her happy. What more could I ask for? I had hoped as I was leaving that he would come running after me and we'd kiss and it would start raining, but this wasn't The Notebook, my life was not a movie, though in my opinion, it sure was movie worthy.
Drip. Drip. Drip. It was the sound of my blood slowly dripping on the cement. It was calming. I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep. Yes. Sleep. Close your eyes. Sleep.
I snapped my eyes open, the name of the only one I could love pulling me out of my daze. I had to stay awake. I had to fight on. I knew if I fell asleep I wouldn't wake up. I knew I had to fight… it was in my nature. Rose Hathaway did not give up. Rose Hathaway fought on. Rose Hathaway was a survivor. If my pride couldn't keep me awake, the thought of leaving Dimitri and Lissa would. The thought of leaving everyone would; Adrian, Christian, Lissa, Eddie, Janine, Abe, Dimitri and everyone else I held close and dear to me.
Pull it together, Hathaway. I focused on my shallow breath, which had slowly sped up in an effort to get as much oxygen in me as possible. It felt like someone was pressing down on my throat, constricting my windpipes. I tried to squirm, but I couldn't get my legs to move. Frustrated and emotionally unstable, I tried to shove myself off the chair and onto the floor, but I was out of luck. I couldn't move anything of use. I felt hot, angry tears threatening to spill, so I did the only thing I could.
I screamed. Long, loud and full of agony. I screamed for the loss of life that was just hours away, for the loss of love that I had selfishly run away from, for all the wasted moments and regrets I had throughout my life. I screamed for all the people I would lose, for all the people I had hurt and who had hurt me, for all the pain that had been inflicted on me throughout my life. It was terrible, it was achingly sad and hopelessly painful.
Bang! The door flew of its hinges, crashing against the wall behind me. I cringed at the sound of metal tearing apart. I didn't even have to wonder what could've caused such mass destruction. I knew who it was.
There, standing in the doorway, looking angrier than I'd ever seen her, was Freya in all her undead glory. I could feel myself start to shake. I had never been so terrified in my life. The blood drained in my face as she took a step into the room, slowly making her way towards me. She glared at me, her face full of malice and hate and I knew. I knew this time, there was no way out. My plan had failed, she knew Lissa wasn't leaving Court anytime soon, and I knew I was about to die.
A sense of serenity came over me as she stopped in front of me, taking in my bloodied state. Facing death was not as scary as I thought it would be. I'd lived a full life, and now it was coming to an end. I just prayed she would truly put me out of my misery instead of turning me into a monster.
"You lying piece of shit!" She screeched, kicking me in the stomach and knocking the wind out of me. I sputtered, trying to take in air and failing. It felt like my throat was collapsing and my organs had exploded all at the same time. I could feel the comforting blackness trying to pull me under, but I fought on. I was stubborn and had decided to fight to my very last breath. I refused to give up on my loved ones, no matter how dire the situation.
"I'm going to kill you! No. No, that's too easy. I'm going to make you properly pay for what you've done. I'm going to make you watch me kill every single one of them and then I'm going to turn you to the very monster you so ignorantly fear. Do you hear me? I will make you suffer. No more chances. I've given you more than enough time to answer the damn question." She smiled, but it held no warmth. It was an ugly, cruel smile, full of malevolent hate.
"You know what's really funny, Rose? They're on their way here, right now. So you can watch me kill them one by one." I lost it, screaming and trying to kick, but she held me down, biting my neck to sedate me. I was in a trance. I fought the endorphins as much as I could, but there was only so much I could do. The blackness was so warm and comfortable. Just let it take you away. Let it take you to somewhere safe and happy. Just sleep. Sleep. And I did.
We had made it. It was still dark out, but the sun would rise soon. I just prayed it would rise before things got ugly so we'd have an easy escape if necessary. I parked the car quickly a few blocks down, trying to stay anonymous for as long as possible, though I had a feeling we had already been spotted a long time back. If Freya was capable of kidnapping Rose, then I had a feeling she had enough intel to keep tabs on Guardian movements in the area.
"Eddie, Mikhail, Janine, Christian, Denis, Artur and Lev, you're coming with me. Everyone else, you're staying here. That's final." Abe rolled his eyes.
"And since when do you call the shots?" He snarled, shooting daggers at me. I sighed, must he be so difficult? "By the way, I have a few of my private Guardians on the way. Speaking of which they should be here any second." He looked up from his very expensive looking watch just as a black SUV rolled up behind us.
"You're staying behind to make sure Lissa and Adrian are safe. You'll just get in the way once you tire out your magic. It's best if you stay here." I reasoned. He puffed out his chest.
"Fine, but if you don't come out of there with Janine and my daughter alive and well, I swear to god I'll have you killed. You hear me?" I growled, giving me a hard look that had me completely convinced he was not joking around. I nodded.
"Oh, shut up, Ibrahim! Your daughter is in trouble, now is not the time for death threats!" Janine scolded while simultaneously slamming the car door open and jumping out. Abe had managed to add five more guardians with this extensive influence and connections. We quickly introduced ourselves and discussed tactics.
Two women and three men, Guardian Wojtkowicz, a tall woman with grey eyes, light blonde hair, a round face with pink lips. I guessed she was of Polish decent. Guardian Dobrev was a short, thick man with dark, sharp features and hard, almost black eyes. He gave us a curt nod, bowed to the Royals, and stated his name. Guardian Ledger was a tall man with black hair and bright green eyes and pale skin. He was professional but warmer than Guardian Dobrev. Next was Guardian Harris, a average looking guy with sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, and tan skin. He resembled a California beach boy type, but judging by the steely gaze that settled in his eyes, I had a feeling he was all business. Lastly was Guardian Shi, a short, sharp looking girl who looked no older than 20. To my surprise, she was Asian. There weren't many Guardians who were Asian since most of our heritage is from Russia and Europe. She was pale, with severe features, long black hair pulled in a tight bun and heavy black eyeliner. I could see multiple knives hidden among her person, only because I was trained to look for them. I had a feeling she was much more lethal than she got credit for.
All five were dressed in tight black t-shirts and black combat pants with black combat boots, looking every inch the badass team they were. Denis, Artur and Lev took to the five of them well and soon enough, they were talking tactics. I jumped in, trying to put my training to use.
It took us ten minutes, but by the time we were done, the plan was set. Denis, Artur and Lev would slink around the back, Abe's Guardians would barge in through the front, causing a distraction, and Janine, Eddie, Mikhail and I would follow in behind them with Christian covering us, only using his magic when necessary. We would try to penetrate as deep as possible while Abe's guardians would take the brunt of the attack. It was the best we could come up with without looking too conspicuous. We broke up into our respective teams and headed out. It was time to save Rose, given that she was still alive.