I woke again to the sound of beeping. It was just as infuriating as the first time. When I opened my eyes, Mr. Belikov was asleep in the chair next to my bed. I allowed myself a moment to consider this strange man. He had mentored me at St. Vladimir's. But why had I needed mentoring? And what was he hiding from me about our relationship?
I pushed aside the pressing questions and studied him. He was very tall, but he wasn't gangly. He made his height seem graceful, even in sleep. He had very broad, strong shoulders. His hair was the color of coffee, pulled into a tight ponytail, of which a few strands had escaped, falling into his face in a very attractive way. I couldn't help myself. He was hot.
A blonde, smiley nurse came bustling in to check on me. "Good morning, Ms. Hathaway! How are you feeling?" The shrill tone to her voice startled the Dimitri Belikov awake, but somehow he made even that look graceful. He looked up at the nurse and back at me with a grimace, which made me realize how long I'd been staring at him.
"I'm fine. When can I be released in fact? I feel ready to leave." The sooner I could get out of that damn hospital bed, the better. I was insanely restless just watching doctors and nurses walk by my window, the only entertainment being bad cable and the visitors who I barely remember.
"Ms. Hathaway you suffered extensive injuries. There is a possibility that when you gain enough strength to get out of bed, you won't be able to walk for a very long time. There is also the issue of your amnesia. The doctor has ordered a couple of tests from neurology to see what kind of damage is causing this amnesia." I bit my lip. It was worse than expected, but I'd heal at a faster rate than any human thanks to my dhampir genetics. I was genetically engineered to take a terrible beating and heal quickly, I thought to myself grimly.
The nurse left and I turned to this Belikov man to gather more information on the life that I had forgotten. "So, Mr. Belikov, did I graduate St. Vlad's or did Kirova kick me out yet?" He laughed, an intoxicating sound. His smile lit up his eyes, and it made me want to crack another joke, just to see it again.
"Why don't you check the back of your neck and find out?" He opened a couple of drawers in my room and pulled out a small hand mirror, handing it to me. I leaned myself forward and angled the mirror so that I could see my back. Aside from extensive bruises and cuts, which mangled my skin, my back was covered in tiny molnija marks. At the base of my neck was the symbol of a Guardian. I could feel my heart stop. I head never seen so many molnija marks on one person. There must have been one hundred or more.
"But- I couldn't have. That's impossible. I'm just a Guardian! Lissa couldn't be attacked that much. She's not even the first child in the Dragomir line!" Belikov winced and my heart stopped. What am I missing here? "What? What am I missing? What do I not remember?" I whispered, my voice becoming desperate. He looked deeply into my eyes and I felt naked under his gaze.
"Lissa's family passed away in a car accident that you were in with Lissa. Lissa saved your life, but I'll let her explain all of that to you herself. You are not Lissa's Guardian. You were for a while, but you left the Royal Court for Russia. You joined a team of rogue dhampirs that hunt Strigoi before you were captured and tortured by a Strigoi named Freya who wanted information on Lissa…" He continued to go on about my current life, but I couldn't hear him. I felt so far away from his words, like I was listening through water.
The Dragomir family is dead and I left Lissa unprotected. The Dragomir family is dead and I left Lissa's unprotected. The Dragomir family is dead and I left Lissa unprotected.
I felt faint, like the whole room was spinning. I could faintly feel tears streaming down my face because Dimitri's hand reached out and wiped my cheek affectionately. I leaned into his touch, feeling the warmth of his rough, calloused hands. Nothing about any of this made much sense, but his touch calmed my tears and erratic heart beat. I took his hand in mine and pulled him closer to me, willing him out of his chair with my feeble grasp.
"Lay with me," I whispered, intertwining my fingers in his and pulling him closer to the bed. He paused, as if contemplating the decision, but when I met his gaze, he simply nodded. I scooted over and he gracefully reclined back on the bed, allowing me to rest my head on his chest. He wrapped his arms around me and I could feel the ripple of his muscles squeeze me just slightly. Just enough to make me feel safe.
I buried my head in his chest and forced myself to steady my breathing and stop crying. I wanted to enjoy this moment. The sound of his heartbeat was rhythmic and began to lull me to sleep. His scent of aftershave and musk was intoxicating and I forced my sleepy self to commit it to memory. I wasn't sure if I'd get another moment like this in the near future. I didn't think he even realized it, but his finger began to trace patterns on my arm. It was oddly calming, and I had a wave of déjà vu, as if I'd had this sort of moment before. I had a feeling I had.
As I fell asleep, I let my imagination wander, thinking about the moments like these with Dimitri that I might never remember again. It made me sad, but not for long, as I was very tired and he was a very good pillow.