I ran for hours, pushing myself as hard and as fast as could manage. By the time I'd finally burned off enough stress to return, my legs felt like rubber. I knew I was going to pay hell for the strenuous workout tomorrow, but if it relieved me of any stress from Dimitri's sudden appearance, it was worth it without a doubt.
Questions. I had so many of them. They banged on the tender insides of my brain, giving me a painful headache. I racked me mind for answers, coming up with nothing. It was frustrating as hell and made me want to punch something, resulting in me pushing my legs faster and harder.
When I finally reached the house, I was exhausted. I wanted nothing more than to climb into the shower, enjoy the steaming water on my skin, then crawl into bed and die. Not literally, of course. Of course, as soon as I walked in, sweaty and disgusting, I was bombarded with concerned Belikovs.
"We thought you were lost or hurt or dead or left or something! Where the hell have you been, Roza?" Viktoria gasped, crushing me into a bear hug. Confusion enveloped my overloaded mind, I'd only been gone for what felt about an hour, what was their deal?
"What are you talking about? I haven't been gone that long." Snark seeped into my words, making me sound annoyed. I sighed, I didn't mean to be short with them but seriously, I was an adult. I could handle going for a run.
"Rose, what time is it?" Olena asked tentatively.
"Eh, three o'clock in the afternoon?" I estimated. That gave me a 3-hour run, it sounded about right with the amount of stress.
"It's midnight, Rose. You've been running for 12 hours straight." I felt my eyes bulge. That couldn't be right! I peeked out the window and noticed the inky black sky. How did I not notice it get that dark? I blamed it on more advanced night vision than humans and an abnormal amount of stress.
"Sorry, I didn't even notice. I've got a lot on my mind at the moment." They all nodded solemnly, knowing exactly why I was so out of it. They knew the effect Dimitri had on me and how painful his visit was.
"It's okay. Now come, you need food immediately before you starve. God knows how many calories you've burned knowing the pace you run." Olena said smiling warmly. I kept a wary eye out for any signs of Dimitri.
It was like my thoughts summoned him. He came crashing down the stairs at an alarming rate.
"Did you find her? Is she safe?" He choked out, obviously unable to see me behind the crowd of family members. I stepped forward, watching him carefully as his eyes took me in. He sighed with relief.
"What's it to you?" I snapped, suddenly angry that he was concerned. He wasn't aloud to be concerned for me. He had no right, and it wasn't like I couldn't manage myself like an adult.
"We were worried, you were gone for a while and it was dark out. Baia isn't safe at night." He shrugged my comment off like his concern was unimportant.
"Well thanks for your concern but no thanks. I'm an adult. Not a child. I can manage myself just fine. I'm quite capable without your help." The Belikovs looked like they wanted to die with embarrassment. Karolina leaned into the curtains, her eyes silently begging to become the wall just to avoid the heated reunion currently taking place in the living room.
"Why don't we all go make some dinner for Roza while they talk? How does that sound, everyone?" Olena recommended cheerfully while dragging Viktoria toward the kitchen and silently motioning for the others to follow quickly.
"Sounds great. We'll call you when it's ready." Karolina called over her shoulder. I sighed, knowing that they'd wait until we'd finished talking. The emotions roiled inside of me, tearing me apart as I stared at the kitchen door wistfully. I wanted to escape, just like I had two years ago. Part of my self-preservation was avoiding all contact with Court. I wanted it to stay that way.
"I-" Dimitri started but I cut him off, I didn't want to hear him talk about his fake concern to get in good with his family. I didn't want to hear him period. And everyone knew that if I didn't want to hear it, I'd rather rip out your vocal chords than listen.
"Don't. I don't want to hear a god damn thing you have to say. Period. You will leave me the hell alone until you leave for good. Got it?" I snapped, making sure he understood my no-nonsense attitude. Before I knew what was happening he'd crossed the room, stopping directly in front of me. He leaned down, his lips only inches from mine, before crushing them against mine, sweeping me into a passionate kiss.
It took only half a millisecond for this to happen. Leaving me no chance of avoiding it. He deepened the kiss, twisting his hands into my hair. It was pure, unsolicited bliss. I felt a wholeness envelope my heart and soul as his tender lips met mine. Then, my head completely wrapped around what was happening, my eyes widened as I realized that I was kissing him. Something I'd promised myself never to do again.
My eyes widened in shock as I unwrapped my hands from him, breaking the kiss and shoving him back a good distance. He crashed into the wall, landing with a painful thud.
"What the fuck!" I screamed, unsure of what else to say. I had plenty of material, yet my brain to mouth function was failing miserably. "What the fuck! Who the hell do you think you are?" I was in a blind rage, spitting out anything that came to mind.
By now, Dimitri had recovered somewhat from the unexpected blow. He was leaning against the wall near the spot he'd hit. A noticeable dent in the wall was present, almost making me laugh. Almost, but not quite. I was a bit preoccupied at the moment to find humor in it.
"You don't just kiss me! No! Who the fuck do you think you are? How dare you! You lost that privilege in the Church two fucking years ago! Youruined me! Do you have any idea how much I wish I'd never fucking met you? How dare you think you waltzing back into my life and expect me to pucker up! What the fuck!" I was seething, my words filled with as much venom as I could muster. Dimitri looked pained but kept touching his lips and looking at his feet. It was almost like he was trying to figure something out. I felt the tears well up in my eyes. The desperation welled up inside me and I felt the urge to do something reckless. I strode up to him angrily, each step resonating in the cold wood floors as I stomped toward him.
Crack! I landed a hard smack on his face, leaving an angry red handprint.
"I swear to fucking God, if you ever try that again I will kill you. Understand?" Hot, angry tears started to spill before I could walk away. My voice started to break and I felt myself shaking with anger and shock. I gave him one last glare filled with as much menace as I could muster in my devastatingly desperate state and stomped up the stairs, slamming the door to Viktoria's room with an obnoxious crash.
I buried my face into my pillow, letting the tears pour endlessly, soaking the pillowcase. I curled up into a bawl, sobbing loud and long, letting all the pent up misery and pain out in every sob. His lips had been so frustratingly perfect for hers, tenderly meeting hers to complete each other. Once again, the unanswerable questions whirled around her mind before she drifted into a dreamless sleep, dehydrated, hungry, and exhausted.