Vampire Academy: Aftermath

This is going to be sort-of-novel-length fanfiction for 'Vampire Academy' by Richelle Mead. It's set after Last Sacrifice [I haven't read the spin-off books 'The Golden Lily', and 'The Indigo Spell' yet].
Rose Hathaway has everything she wants, her life is perfect-or is it? Nothing happens without consequences. I don't know if many people will have read VA, but... 'Write for yourself as much as for others', no? *Cover will be up shortly*

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14. Chapter 13

Thirteen

"Rose, this is going to be so exciting! We're going dress shopping!" Lissa squealed as we strolled down to the royal dress-fitter's rooms the following day. I couldn't help the smile that found its way to my face. Of course I was happy and excited too, glad that my friend was finally getting her happily ever after and nothing-well, almost nothing-could stop her. Yet I still felt that tiny tinge of jealousy present.

"Calm down, Liss," I laughed. Regardless of my attempts to quell her hyperactivity, she practically skipped through the shop doorway. I joined her with a lazy smile and posture, but secretly still on alert. The old dress fitter and her assistant gave us a look that made me think that our appearance had just made their day. For some reason, I didn't doubt it had. After all, what was 'just the Dragomir Queen and one of her guardians' to royal Moroi was 'The Amazing Teenage Spirit Queen and The Guardian Who Escaped High Treason Charges' to a pair of lowly dress fitters. Looks of adoration didn't really cover it.

 

"Your Majesty! Guardian Hathaway! What can I do for you?" the dress fitter asked, placing a piece of cloth she'd been fumbling with onto a pile beside her hobbling over to us. Although she didn't realize it, the use of my title stung. Another reminder that, while I wasn't single, I was still Rose Hathaway, and not Rose Belikova. I fully intended on being so, but if time wouldn't wait for a man, I wouldn't wait for him either.

"I'd like to try on some wedding dresses," Lissa told her, barely able to contain her excitement. By now, the news has reached the rest of Court. Let's just say only half of them were partying.

"Of course, congratulations! Right this way... No bridesmaids?" she said, all at once, and turned to hobble several racks of dresses and fabric in every shade of white, cream, and ivory you could imagine.

"Oh, we haven't chosen those yet..." Lissa trailed off as she followed, laughing nervously.

"I thought you and Christian decided on Me, Mia, Jill, and Sydney?" I interrupted. Lissa looked thoughtful then nodded slowly.

"Yes, we did. But Jill can't be back here until I clear the quorum law. And Sydney can only be here for the wedding, not the fittings-she's not allowed to leave that much."

"Then move the wedding back until the quorum law's cleared!" I told her. I felt slightly guilty for saying it-was I subconsciously trying to delay her wedding so I would be engaged, maybe even married, by the time it happened? Well, that and Lissa gave me a 'love-dazed puppy' look, one that said waiting that long would be completely unacceptable.

"That's a lovely idea! Your Majesty, if I could just have Princess Dragomir and Miss Sydney's measurements, then I could have dresses prepared for them both," the dress-fitter told us eagerly. I gave Lissa a pleading look and she sighed and nodded. "Let's take a look at some fabrics, then!"

 

We looked through every fabric. Alright, that's an exaggeration, we only looked through half of them. But that was a very big half. I was joking when I said the dress-fitter had every shade of white, cream, and ivory either, because she really did (even if it is impossible to get different shades of white). Now that she was squealing over silk and velevet, Lissa definitely wasn't as peeved that I'd sort-of-forced her into asking Christian (and he'd definitely agree is she asked) to push their wedding back for who-knows-how-many months so Jill and Sydney could attend. Don't get me wrong, she wanted them to be there just as much as she wanted the wedding, I could tell from her expressions alone, but she was the kind that dreamed of being a princess and having her prince charming as a little girl (while I dreamed of a non-existent happy family), and she was Queen now, so who could stop her from getting her Prince Charming? Oh, that's right, me.

 

So, despite her inital disappointment, Lissa took well to the thought of pushing the wedding date back, even though they hadn't set one yet. Christian suggested that she video chatted with Jill and Sydney. His excuse was that she needed to know their measurements, but I could tell what eh was really doing-Lissa had wanted to contact her half-sister for a while but had been too scared that she'd look weak and that'd cause even more riot about her being young and unstable. Christian and I had been unknowingly working together to find some way out for her, and it had finally worked. He was unusally happy for the rest of the day. Well, unusual for him. Just then, an excited voice pulled me out of my thoughts.

"Rose, I'm chatting with Jill, she wants to say hi," Lissa called from her bedroom door. I gave her a genuine smile and stood from the sofa, where I'd been flipping through flower magazines, joining her on the soft velvet bed covers.

"Hi," I waved at the image of Jill on the laptop screen.

"Hey," she replied, returning it weakly.

"You don't look too good..." Lissa looked at Jill in that big-sister-concerned way that I'd only recently gotten used to.

"It's nothing. It's just the sun here when we're outside in P.E. It's tiring. And the teacher doesn't really like it at all, but, you know, I can't..."

"...Tell her, we know. Have you told Sydney and Eddie, are they doing anything?" it was me that quizzed her this time.

"Sydney knows, I don't know about Eddie. There's not much they can do. They pass it off as any allergy, though, and they're trying to get help. This guy called Micah's helping too," Jill clapped her hand over her mouth. I grinned. Result.

"You weren't supposed to tell us that, were you?"

"No, I thought 'they don't need more to worry about'... Some people think he likes me, some don't. There's a bit of arguing," she replied, blushing. "Enough about me, what did you call me for, Liss?"

"Guess what? Christian and I are getting married!" Lissa had her lips stuck in a supersmile, but it didn't bother me that she was getting over-excited. I was feeling kind of...bubbly...myself.

"Really? Wow! Who are the bridesmaids?" Jill shifted her position on the bed she sat on and looked at us with a new interest. Lissa launched into an eager reply.

"Well, that's the thing. We have Rose, and Mia, but we wanted to have you and Sydney as well. The dress-fitter says we can wait until after the quorum law is abolished but we need your measurements so we can make the dresses and then have the wedding shortly after. If you're okay with being bridesmaids..."

"I'll talk to Sydney about it. And get our measurements. See you later, Liss, Rose?"

"See you later," I replied.

"Bye Jill!" Lissa said, and Jill's Moroi-pale face disappeared from the screen.

 

The next few days consisted mainly of attending parties and making arrangements, all set for when that crucial law was abolished. I came home from a party early, satisfied that there were enough guardians there to both control the drunken Moroi and protect them from Strigoi. I closed the door quietly, afraid to wake Dimitri if he'd fallen asleep. Instead I heard a quiet muttering in the living room. I inched up to the door and listened in.

"Yes, but we can't keep sneaking around like this," he sighed. There were a few seconds of silence and then he nodded to himself. "I know... I just don't know how to tell her. How to 'break the news'," Dimitri's tone was one I couldn't read, just like his expression, but I'd already heard enough. I knew Dimitri well enough to say that he wasn't a man that played with people, nor did he cheat notoriously, but you couldn't mistake the language of that conversation... Could you? I backed slowly out the door, not paying attention to the path ahead of me, but marching off into the night. Minutes later, I bumped into someone I really expected to see in her chambers, reading catalogues, or drinking the night away with Sparks-a-lot.

"Lissa?" the surprise was clear in my voice.

"Hey, Rose! Wait, what's wrong?" her gleeful face turned concerned and she put a hand on my arm. The warmth of her gloved fingers masked the chilled feeling my skin had adopted, but it certainly didn't cover the betrayal that swam inside my heart.

"He cheated on me, Lissa. Dimitri cheated on me."

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