I head to the only person I trust. Lissa.
I find her with Christian pacing in front of the administrative building.
"Dimitri!" She says upon seeing me, "You shouldn't be here. It's too chaotic. And, well, you may just feed the fury." Putting on my best guardian mask that I've perfected for so long, I shield all emotions from my face and say,
"Lissa, what are we going to do?" Her frantic look puzzles me. "What is it? What's wrong?" I ask.
"I'm not sure what we can do. I don't even know what's going on, except the Queen's been murdered and they arrested Rose." Christian grabs her hand.
"Then you know as much as I do. And that she didn't do it." I say.
"Are...are you certain?" Lissa stumbles over her words. I know it hurts her to think that of her best friend.
"Yes. I know Rose better than anyone else. She didn't do it, it's not in her to murder." I say.
"But, what if she fell to the craziness of darkness again?" Lissa whispers.
"Lissa," I calmly say, "that hasn't happened in a long time. I know what it was like for her to struggle against it. She's stronger now. She wouldn't let it overtake her like that again."
Running a hand through my hair, I let out a breath of frustration. All those memories of the night I calmed her down from the darkness, when she was on the verge of crazy. The internal struggle I helped her through. And then, the passion that passed between us. Oh Roze...what have you gotten yourself into now?
"You're right." Lissa finally says. "I don't know what I was thinking. I know Rose too. And she's just not capable of murder."
"Well, in the cold-blooded sense." Christian smirks.
"Lissa!" We hear her name called from across the crowd. It's Adrian and his mother, Daniella.
"Adrian what's going on?" Lissa asks. No response. But the glare he's giving me sends chills down my spine. This isn't the time for boyfriend/ex-boyfriend drama.
"The Queen was killed last night and Rose is their main suspect." Danielle answers.
"I know that. That's about all I do know. But obviously there's been a mistake." Lissa says.
"No, I'm afraid not." Says a familiar voice from behind us. It's Tasha, Christian's Aunt.
"Dimitri, what a pleasant surprise." She says, flashing me a playful grin.
"I wasn't expecting to see you here."
"Hello Tasha." I say.
"Aunt Tasha, what do you know?" Christian asks.
"The same I'm afraid. That the Queen is dead and Rose is their main suspect."
"It's a mistake. They're wrong." Lissa says.
"Are you so sure my dear?" Tasks asks.
"Yes." Lissa and I respond simultaneously.
Glaring at me Tasha says, "Well, supposedly they have some hard evidence against her."
"Evidence like what? Crashing the Death Watch and voicing her opinion over the age law?" Christian asks.
"Those would make her a suspect, but they aren't enough for hard evidence." I was surprised to hear Danielle speak. I have no clue what they're referring to as the 'Death Watch', but being somewhere she shouldn't, sounds just like Rose.
"What are we going to do?" Lissa asks again.
"Did anyone see Rose yesterday or know where she was last night?" Danielle asks.
"I think she was in her room. But I didn't see her at all yesterday." Lissa says. Christian nods in agreement. Adrian's staring at the floor.
"I'm sorry to say it kids, but if she doesn't have someone to verify her whereabouts" Tasha's cut off by Adrian,
"She wasn't alone." he says, "was she Belikov?" Everyone turns to look at me, Lissa staring at me in wonder, studying my face for any sign of emotion.
"No." Is all I say with a straight face.
"What do you mean? Who was with her?" Tasha asks in a strained voice.
"I was." I say.
"Dimitri, no." Lissa says. My head falls forward.
"He was there. Unless there's someone else that is escorted around by four guards." Adrian flatly says.
"What time where you there?" Danielle asks.
"After church." I say. I start to loose my composure. I've never talked about our relationship with anyone before. No one truly understand how much she means to me.
"What time did you leave? If you left before the queen was murdered then Rose still has no alibi." Tasha says. I closed my eyes and take a deep breath.
"We left together, this morning." I look down at my feet. At the moment, I don't have the courage to look at anyone. I don't want to see their faces. I'm not shameful, I'm embarrassed. Adrian is her boyfriend - it's public knowledge. There are even rumors of their elopement to Vegas.
"Dimitri," Tasha's voice is harsh, yet stern, "listen to me. You may think you can help her by giving her an alibi, but from what I hear the hard evidence they have on her is indisputable. If you give her an alibi, they'll mark you as an accomplice."
"She's right." Lissa says. "Dimitri, promise me you won't jeopardize all the progress we've made." My heart ached. I know what Tasha says is true. Who am I? An ex-Strigoi and her ex-Mentor. Of course I'm a prime target for an accomplice. But I once told Rose I'd never let anything happen to her. I love her. It'll damage her reputation, and mine, if I step forward. But who are we kidding, both our reputations are already burned. But for the public to know...it'll hurt Adrian...
"Dimitri?" Lissa's voice pulls me out of my revere. She must see my inner struggle in my eyes. She's always been good at reading people. "You pledged yourself to me, remember? Please listen to me now and don't do anything foolish." I nod.
Adrian's watching me intently. What did Rose once tell me about him, he reads auras? I wonder what mine is telling him now?