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Roof Romance

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Disclaimer: I don’t own Frostbite or its characters, Richelle Mead does.

I had once prided myself on my ability to stay focused on the job at hand, to forget my problems and protect the ones that need to be. They come first. But ever since I met Rose; my ability to focus on anything except her was lost. If Rose was in the room, my eyes would never leave her. So when she had shown up at a dinner of high Moroi society with Princess Lissa, my duty was tossed aside so that I might watch her.

She was out of place at the dinner and I noticed many of the royal Moroi surprised at the Princesses boldness to invite her dhampir friend to such a prestigious event. Rose wasn’t the only dhampir at the dinner, several guardian including myself were there to insure security; however, she was the only one partaking in the events of the night. Yet, that wasn’t the only reason she stood out from the rest. She was wearing the dress Tasha had given her for Christmas. The deep red dress had looked great on the hanger, but it looked beautiful on Rose. It hugged her skin tightly, accentuating her every curve and highlighting her already strikingly exotic like features. I had trouble controlling my thoughts when she was in gym clothes, let alone when she wore something like that.

Needless to say, my mind was not at the task at hand. I watched Rose throughout dinner, holding back laughter at many times. She inhaled all her food in Rose like fashion. I almost lost my composure when she reached for a hor d’oeuvres and made a face only to discover what it was made of. I also saw how out of her element she was, letting Lissa handle most of the conversations with the other party goers. Rose wasn’t antisocial by any means ordinarily, but here she was lost, not as outgoing in a crowd full of royalty. Well, most royalty.

Adrian Ivashkov made an appearance late into the festivities. He had a reputation of being a drunken, party boy that left a trail of brokenhearted women in his wake. I recalled my earlier encounter with him that morning, finding Rose and Princess Lissa in his room. I clenched my fists as a dark feeling surged through me at the memory. I tried to convince myself, to no avail, that I was only trying to protect Rose from the fall out of what associating with Adrian would cause, and not that I was jealous of him in any way.

Rose had left Lissa’s side and walked up to Adrian, speaking to him about something that caused a smile to dance along his face. He handed he a flute of champagne, and I almost went to intervene and claim that I had come over to stop her from drinking seeing as she was still an under aged student. Not that I was under the impression that she had never drank before; I had heard about the many parties she had attended before her escape from the academy, but I believed she had turned over a new leaf, realizing that her being drunk put Lissa at risk. However, before I could move from my position; Rose’s mom, Janie Hathaway, was walking purposefully over to her daughter, pulling her roughly away for Adrian and towards the double doors and out into the hall way.

I was tempted to follow her out, but didn’t want to draw notice to myself. I waited until Janie came back, seeming a bit flustered, before I made my move toward the exit to find Rose. The party was coming to an end anyways and nobody would notice by disappearance. When I made it out to the hall way, I didn’t see Rose anywhere. I saw a sign that pointed to an access to the roof and instinctively knew that was where she had went. I went quickly up the stairs and opened the door scanning for her.

The air up there was frigid and the wind bit at the exposed skin of my face and neck. The sun was just beginning to rise, signaling the Moroi night. Its rays reflected of the snow, causing it to glitter and cast small rainbows. Rose sat on the snowy roof with her knees pulled up to her chest, shivering slightly in the cold morning air. I took my coat off and draped it over her shoulders as I sat down next to her. She tensed slightly, but didn’t turn around.

“You must be freezing.” That dress, while stunning, did nothing to shield her from the cold, winter weather.

“The suns out.” She replied. My mouth formed a small half smile. In typical Rose bravado, she was toughing out the cold as to not appear weak.

“It is. But we’re still on a mountain in the middle of winter.” She had no reply to that statement and we simply sat in quiet thought.

She finally broke the silence with a melancholy sigh, “My life is a disaster.”

I turned toward her abruptly, “It’s not a disaster.”

She finally turned to look at me with her big, warm, chocolate brown eyes that I had a tendency to get lost in.

“Did you follow me from the party?” It was less like a question and more like a statement.

“Yes.” I answered truthfully.

Her eyes flickered down to my guardian attire and then back up to my face.

“I didn’t even know you were there. So you saw the illustrious Janine cause a commotion by dragging me out.”

“It wasn’t a commotion. Hardly anyone saw,” It was the truth but she looked at me with doubt in her eyes, asking me silently how I had seen it, “I saw because I was watching you.”

A flash of excitement crossed her face when I said that, but it disappeared as quickly as it had come.

“That’s not what she said,” she informed me, “I might as well have been working corner as far as she was concerned.” She then proceeded to tell me all of what her mother had said to her in the hall.

“She’s just worried about you,” I said once she had finished.

“She overreacted,” Rose stated.

“Sometimes mothers are overprotective,” I replied. She stared at me in stunned disbelief.

“Yeah, but this is my mother. And she didn’t seem that protective, really. I think she was more worried that I’d embarrass her or something. And all that becoming-a-mother-too young stuff was stupid. I’m not going to do anything, like that.”

“Maybe she was talking about you,” I said softly.

She looked confused and silence fell as she pondered my words and there meaning. Then realization flashed in her eyes and her mouth dropped open in disbelief at what she now understood. Her confusion was now replaced by astonishment and understanding. Her mother was speaking about herself and not about Rose. Rose sighed and became withdrawn again.

Then suddenly she turned to look at me and blurted out, “We aren’t fighting right now.”

“Do you want to fight?” I asked.

“No. I hate fighting you,” she grinned, “Verbally, I mean. I don’t mind in the gym.” The corner of my mouth rose into a half smile, but then grew serious again.

“I don’t like fighting with you either.”

We sat in silence again for a moment before she spoke again.

“You should take it.”

I flinched in shock. I understood the words she was saying, but didn’t believe she was saying them.

“What?”

“Tasha’s offer,” she replied, “You should take her up on it. It’s a really great chance.”

I was silent, processing what she had just said. “I never expected to hear you say anything like that. Especially after-.” But she cut me off with a humorless laugh before I could continue.

“What a bitch I’ve been? Yeah.” She pulled my jacket tighter around her to fend off the chill. I was suddenly, irrationally jealous of the jacket; I wanted my arms to be wrapped around her, keeping her warm.

“Well. Like I said, I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t want us to hate each other. And… well…” She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, and I had the sudden urge to cup her face in my hand.

She finally continued, “No matter how I feel about us… I want you to be happy.”

Once again I was stunned into silence by her words. She was letting me go. This was what I wanted for her. To move on, and yet, selfishly I hoped she wouldn’t.

I reached over and put my arm around her, guiding her head to rest on my chest. I buried my face in her hair and took in her scent muttering, “Roza.” I heard her breath hitch at my touch. It had been awhile seen we had touched like this. That day in the gym had been all heat, and animalistic passion, but this was fulfilling the need to just be close to one another.
She sighed into my chest before pulling away and handing me my coat. I looked at her curiously.

“Where are you going?” I asked. I still want to hold her, fearing I may never be able to again.

“To break someone’s heart,” she replied. She stood there for a moment, staring at me through her long, dark lashes before she opened the door and left.

I was left on the roof with my thoughts. I thought of Tasha’s offer. It was a really good chance. But then I thought of Rose. My Roza. Still feeling the warmth of her body on mine.

I had a choice to make.