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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15. Chapter 14

Fourteen

Lissa stared at me, dumbfounded for a moment.

"Rose, are you feeling alright?" she asked finally as she shot me another concerned look. Her green eyes were filled with worry and glazed with pity, but right now I didn't want that.

"Of course I'm not, Liss. I think he cheated on me!" I replied, desperate for her to understand. She nodded slowly and seemed to accept it, but only by a little.

"How do you know?" the question was the one that brought a single teardrop to my eye. Was I crying at some kind of one-month regular interval? This time last month I'd just read my parents' names on a list of the dead and the taken after a Strigoi attack. Now there was some a little less life-threatening, but still as heartbreaking, making me shed tears.

"I heard him talking to someone on the phone. You couldn't mistake the conversation. He was 'tired of sneaking around' and 'didn't know how to tell me'," I scowled.

"Then why don't you just confront him? You'd never usually be afraid to do that...would you? Or is there something else? I mean, Dimitri doesn't seem the type to cheat and-"

"Yes, there is, alright?! Look, I'm really happy for you and Christian in getting engaged, and the wedding's great, even if we have to wait until after the law's abolished, but I'm kind of jealous because he hasn't thought to give me that commitment, even if our relationship is rare, and now I know why!" I ranted, feeling the blood rush to my cheeks in an angry blush. Lissa looked shocked for the second time in the conversation we'd been having.

"Rose... I-I'm sorry. I didn't know you felt that way. I'll tone down my excitement, if it's hurting," she smiled awkwardly, and it was my turn to gape in surprise.

"I thought you'd react differently... I mean, because of the darkness," I replied, puzzled. She'd been using spirit-I'd seen her do it. Surely there'd be darkness, right?

"I was meaning to tell you something," she said. She held out her hand-the same one that had the engagement ring on-and there was a ring I didn't recognize. A silver ring. "It's a healing charm. It's very strong, so making it gives me some darkness, but because it's so strong, it heals the darkness from me and lasts quite a while."

"Wow, Lissa, this is...great news. How long have you been using them?" I asked, brushing a finger over the surface of the ring.

"A week or so. It keeps the stress of the wedding away too."

"Your worse half must be happy about that, then, huh?" I teased, a faint smirk forming on my lips.

"Talking of worse halves, we need to confront yours," she replied. Sometimes I think I'm rubbing off on her way too much. I turned back towards my accomadation building, but I felt Lissa's hand on my arm.

"No, not now. Come back to my place and we can have a coffee-"

"I didn't know you drunk coffee. Something else, maybe?"

"Alright, we can have a hot chocolate, I'll tell you my plan and then you go back home, as if nothing happened. Gives him longer to wallow in his guilt," she shrugged. I stared at her in disbelief.

"You're getting way too evil for my liking."

"I thought you liked evil," Lissa winked, turned in the direction of her Chambers, and gestured forward in a 'sisters first' way. Oh, this was going to be fun.

 

Lissa collapsed down next to me on the sofa, two steaming patterned mugs in her hands. She handed a spiral-covered one to me with a smile and took a sip from her own striped mug. The warmth of the chocolatey brown liquid spread through my chilled hands. Not looking up, I launched into conversation.

"So, what's your 'plan'?" I asked eagerly, testing the contents of the cup with my little finger. An uncharacteristic smirk grew on Lissa's face.

"We act entirely oblivious, right up until tomorrow," she told me. Seeing the confused look on my face, she swiftly continued, "I'm having a picnic in one of the royal gardens. Don't you remember me saying that?"

"I...might've been drunk," I confessed with mock guilt. I'd only gotten drunk a handful of times since leaving the academy, so I had a reason to feel slightly guilty. Whereas when I was there, I had a 'reputation'. In other words nobody really minded me getting drunk then.

"Oh, Rose," Lissa laughed, pulling me from my thoughts. "Anyway, you, Dimitri, Chris, Mia, Eddie, and your parents are coming. Just some friend time."

"How is friend time and my murderous parentage going to help me confront Dimitri?" I asked, incredulous.

"They aren't," she responded. I glared at her. "But the setting is," at that, I stopped glaring. "Those gardens are big. Get him alone then spill the beans. Make it look like a lovey-dovey walk until you're out of sight."

"What do I do then? What if he tries to deny it?"

"Persist. Make sure he tells you. Just don't resort to violence unless you know he's cheating. And don't break any laws."

"Does that include castrating him?"

"I pretty much think it does. Assault, or something. Grevious Bodily Harm," Lissa replied with amusement, watching as I finished off my drink and placed it on the coffee table beside us.

"Such a shame," I grinned. She shook her head and picked the drink up from the side, taking it into the kitchen. I stood, stretching my limbs to shake away the semi-numb feeling that had gathered in them. "I should be going now."

"Oh. See you tomorrow then," Lissa called from the kitchen.

"See you," and I left.

 

The next day came all too easily. I'd nearly been caught by Dimitri glaring at him or practicing what I was going to say in front of the mirror, but he seemed unnaffected by it. We headed down to the aforementioned garden, hand-in-hand, and I couldn't help but agree with Lissa. It was big. No, forget big, it was enormous. Not as big as court, or the academy, but certainly large for a garden. Then again, that was the way most royal things were. Large and extravagant. My eyes swept over the glitter beads of water that fell from the central water fountain, the neatly cut shrubbery, and the bright floral displays. Yep, extravagant certainly described this.

"Rose!" I turned and saw Mia rushing towards me, dropping someone's hand to pull me into a tight embrace. I hugged her back and pulled away after a few seconds.

"Hey Mia, how's it going?" I asked,scanning her face for any signs of negative emotion. None. And of course, she wasn't wasn't physically injured. My eyes snapped to the companion she'd been holding hands with. If I wasn't relatively good at emotional control, I would've freaked out. Sort of. The guy she'd been holding hands with was Eddie.

"Great! What are you l... Oh, yeah. I'm going out with Eddie. We were going to tell you guys at the picnic... You're not angry, are you?" she blurted out. I stifled a laugh.

"No, of course not. I'm happy for you two. Let's go and meet Lissa. I'm starving..." behind Mia, Eddie rolled his eyes. "Well, Castile, I've got to eat, haven't I?"

"Okay, but keep your hands off my food!" he warned, a playful expression dancing upon his features.

"Now why would I touch your food?" I batted my eyelashes and marched over to where Lissa and Christian sat with my parents, with Christian's arm encircling Lissa's waist. As if Dimitri cheating, Lissa turning into a madwoman, and Eddie dating Mia weren't enough, Fate just had to go and shock me again by seeing my mother-yes, my badass guardian mother-resting against my father's shoulder, the hair she'd only recently begun to grow properly splayed over his back, and him gazing adoringly down at her. The entire scene (however cute it was) screamed the golden question: did I really want another sibling? The answer was no. At least not if I had to see it in the making.

 

"Hi, sit down!" Lissa beamed, patting the blanket-covered grass. We obliged, well all except me and Dimitri.

"Is it okay if me and Comrade here check this place out before we eat?" I asked. There were mingled nods and sounds of approval. I slipped my hand into Dimitri's again, and strolled with him into a long stretch of artistically shaped shrubs.

"Don't check each other our too much while you're at it! And don't get it at it either!" Eddie yelled after us. I snorted.

"Comrade, I have a question."

"As it happens, Roza, so do I," he chuckled.

"You go first," I said, trying to sound courteous. I was curious now, and I doubted he'd say whatever it was after I confronted him. Maybe he was confessing...

"As you wish," he said. And that's when I was startled by something for the fifth time in twenty-four hours; he dropped onto one knee.

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