Monday, January 14, 2019
Shadow Kiss Chapter 5
FiveMOST corrective ISSUES AT the academy went to Headmistress Kirova. She over proverb Moroi and dhampirs a deal and was known for her creative and oft- procedured repertoire of punishments. She wasnt cruel, exactly, on the nose she wasnt soft, either. She simply took student behavior seriously and dealt with it as she saw fit. on that point were some issues, however, that were beyond her jurisdiction.The schools guardians c tout ensembleing to narkher a disciplinary mission wasnt unheard of, muchover it was very, very rargon. You had to do something pretty serious to micturate them off to get that sort of response. Like, give voice, willfully endangering a Moroi. Or hypothetically willfully endangering a Moroi.For the last time, I growled, I didnt do it on purpose.I sat in adept of the guardians meeting rooms, facing my mission Alberta, Emil, and one of the another(prenominal)(a) rare female guardians on campus, Celeste. They sat at a long table, reflexioning imposin g, spot I sat in a single chair and matte up very vulnerable. Several other guardians were sitting in and watching, exclusively thankfully, none of my classmates were in that respect to see this humiliation. Dimitri was among the watchers. He was non on the committee, and I wondered if theyd kept him off because of his potentially bleached determination as my mentor. dangle Hatha demeanor, state Alberta, fully in her strict-captain mode, you essential know why we hand over a hard time accept that.Celeste nodded. Guardian alto saw you. You refused to protect two Moroi including the one whose security measures you were specifically assigned to.I didnt refuse I exclaimed. I fumbled.That wasnt a fumble, said Stan from the watchers. He glanced at Alberta for permission to speak. May I? She nodded, and he turned back to me. If youd blocked or attacked me and wherefore messed up, that would be a fumble. provided you didnt block. You didnt attack. You didnt even try. You ex clusively stood in that location give care a statue and did nothing.Understandably, I was outraged. The thought that I would purposely leave Christian and Brandon to be killed by a Strigoi was ridiculous. alone what could I do? I either confessed to make out up majorly or to having seen a weirdy. Neither option was appealing, hardly I had to cut my losses. One do me realise incompetent. The other do me look insane. I didnt want to be associated with either of those. I much like my usual description of reckless and disruptive.Why am I getting in trouble for messing up? I asked tightly. I mean, I saw Ryan mess up earlier. He didnt get in trouble. Isnt that the point of this wholly exercise? Practice? If we were perfect, youd already clear unleashed us upon the worldWerent you ear electron orbit? said Stan. I swore I could see a vein pounding in his forehead. I retrieve he was the only one there as up fall as I was. At the very least, he was the only one (aside from me ) showing his emotions. The others wore poker face ups, notwithstanding then, none of them had witnessed what had happened. If Id been in Stans place, I exponent brace thought the worst of me too. You didnt mess up, because messing up implies that you scram to actually do something.Okay, then. I froze. I looked at him defiantly. Does that count as messing up? I cracked under the pressure and blanked out. It turns out I wasnt prepared. The moment came, and I panicked. It happens to novices all the time.To a novice who has already killed Strigoi? asked Emil. He was from Romania, his accent a bit thicker than Dimitris Russian one. It wasnt nearly as nice, though. It seems unlikely.I dealt out glares to him and everyone else in the room. Oh, I see. After one incident, Im now expect to be an expert Strigoi killer? I ceaset panic or be afraid or anything? Makes sense. conveys, guys. Fair. Real fair. I slumped back in my seat, arm crossed over my chest. There was no need to fake cattish defiance. I had plenty of it to dish out.Alberta sighed and leaned forward. Were arguing semantics. Technicali gets arent the point here. Whats important is that this morning, you make it very clear you did not want to guard Christian Ozera. In fact I think you even said you wanted us to be sure we knew that you were doing it against your will and that wed soon see what a flagitious idea it was. Ugh. I had said that. Honestly, what had I been thinking? And then, when your first tryout comes much or less, we find you tout ensemble and utterly unresponsive.I nearly flew out of my chair. Thats what this is rough? You think I didnt protect him because of some kind of weird punish thing?All three of them stared at me expectantly.You arent exactly known for sedately and gracefully accepting things you dont like, she replied wryly.This time, I did stand up, pointing my finger at her accusingly. not true. I harbor followed every rule Kirova laid scratch off for me since a ttack back here. Ive gone(a) to every practice and obeyed every cur a few(prenominal). Well, Id fudged some of the curfews plainly not willfully. It had unendingly been for the greater wakeless. Theres no reason Id do this as some kind of revenge What well-grounded would it do? Sta Guardian Alto wasnt going to really hurt Christian, so its not like Id get to see him punched or anything. The only thing I would accomplish is getting dragged into the middle of something like this and possibly facing removal from the palm experience.You are facing removal from the field experience, replied Celeste flatly.Oh. I sat down, suddenly not feeling as bold. Silence hung in the room for several moments, and then I heard Dimitris voice speak from nates me.She has a point, he said. My heart thumped loudly in my chest. Dimitri knew I wouldnt behave revenge like that. He didnt think I was petty. If she were going to protest or go for revenge, shed do it in a different way. Well, not too p etty, at least.Celeste frowned. Yes, but subsequently the scene she made this morningDimitri took a few steps forward and stood beside my chair. Having his solid presence nearby comforted me. I had a flash of d?j? vu, back to when Lissa and I had returned to the Academy last autumn. Headmistress Kirova had nearly expelled me, and Dimitri had stood up for me then too.This is all circumstantial, he said. disregardless of how suspicious you think it looks, theres no proof. Removing her from the experience and essentially ruining her commencement ceremony is a bit extreme without any certainties.The committee looked thoughtful, and I focussed my attention on Alberta. She had the most power here. Id always liked her, and in our time together, shed been strict but always scrupulously fair. I hoped that would assuage hold true. She beckoned Celeste and Emil toward her, and the other two guardians leaned closer. They had a whispered conference. Alberta gave a resigned nod, and the oth ers leaned back.Miss Hathaway, do you have anything youd like to show before we herald you our conclusions?That Id like to say? Hell, yeah. There were tons of things. I wanted to say that I wasnt incompetent. I wanted to come apart them that I was one of the best novices here. I wanted to tell them that I had seen Stan coming and had been on the verge of reacting. I especially wanted to tell them that I didnt want to have this intention on my record. Even if I stayed in the field experience, Id essentially have an F for this first test. It would affect my overall grade, which could subsequently affect my future. and again, what choice did I have? Tell them that Id seen a ghost? The ghost of a guy whod had a major crush on me and who had kind of likely died because of that crush? I still didnt know what was going on with these sightings. One time I could write off to exhaustionbut Id seen him or it twice now. Was he real? My higher reasoning said no, but frankly, it didnt mat ter at the moment. If he was real and I told them, theyd think I was dis quietudeed. If he wasnt real and I told them, theyd think I was crazy and theyd be right. I couldnt win here.No, Guardian Petrov, I said, hoping I sounded meek. cipher more to add.All right, she said wearily. Heres what weve unconquerable. Youre lucky you have Guardian Belikov to exhort for you, or this decision might have been different. Were giving you the benefit of the doubt. Youll go on with the field experience and continue to guard Mr. Ozera. Youll sightly be on a probation of sorts.Thats okay, I said. Id been on probation for most of my academic life. Thank you.And, she added. Uh-oh. Because the suspicion isnt entirely re go, youll be spending your day off this workweek doing community service.I jumped out of my chair again. What?Dimitris hand wrapped around my wrist, his fingers warm and controlling. Sit down, he murmured in my ear, tugging me toward the chair. Take what you croupe get.If that s a problem, we can make it next week too, warned Celeste. And the next five after that.I sat down and shook my head. Im sorry. Thank you.The hearing dispersed, and I was left feeling weary and beaten. Had only one day gone by? Surely the happy excitement Id felt before the field experience had been weeks ago and not this morning. Alberta told me to go find Christian, but Dimitri asked if he could have some time alone with me. She agreed, no doubt hoping hed set me on the straight and narrow.The room emptied, and I thought hed sit and chatter to me then and there, but instead he walked over to a modest table that held a water dispenser, coffee, and other beverages.You want some overheated drinking chocolate? he asked.I hadnt expected that. Sure. He dumped four packets of newsflash hot chocolate into two Styrofoam cups and then added in hot water. two-baser it is the secret, he said when the cups were full.He handed me mine, along with a woody stirrer, and then walked toward a side door. Presuming I was supposed to follow him, I scurried to catch up without spilling my hot chocolate.Where are we oh.I stepped through the doorway and nominate myself in a little glass-enclosed porch filled with small bench tables. Id had no idea this porch was adjacent to the meeting room, but then, this was the grammatical construction the guardians conducted all campus business out of. Novices were rarely allowed. I also hadnt realized the building was built around a small courtyard, which was what this porch looked out to. In the summer, I imagined one could open the windows and be surrounded in greenery and warm air. Now, encased in glass and frost, I felt like I was in some kind of an ice palace.Dimitri swept his hand over a chair, brushing off dust. I did the same and sat down opposite him. Apparently this room didnt see a lot of use in the winter. Because it was enclosed, the room was warmer than outdoors, but it wasnt heated otherwise. The air felt chilly, and I warmed my hands on my cup. Silence fell mingled with Dimitri and me. The only noise came from me blowing on my hot chocolate. He drank his right away. Hed been cleaning Strigoi for years. What was a little scalding water here and there?As we sat, and the quiet grew, I studied him over the edge of my cup. He wasnt face at me, but I knew he knew I was watching. Like every other time I looked at him, I was always struck by his looks first. The soft dark hair that he practically tucked behind his ears without realizing it, hair that never quite wanted to stay in its tie at the back of his neck. His eyes were brown too, somehow gentle and savage at the same time. His lips had that same contradictory quality, I realized. When he was rubbish or dealing with something grim, those lips would flatten and turn hard. still in twinkle times when he laughed or kissedwell, then theyd become soft and wonderful.Today, more than his exterior hit me. I felt warm and safe just world with him. He brought comfort after my terrible day. So often with other people, I felt a need to be the pertain of attention, to be funny and always have something clever to say. It was a dress I needed to shake to be a guardian, seeing as that job required so much silence. But with Dimitri, I never felt like I had to be anything more than what I already was. I didnt have to entertain him or think up jokes or even flirt. It was enough to just be together, to be so completely comfortable in each others presence smoldering sexual latent hostility aside that we lost all sense of self-consciousness. I exhaled and drank my cocoa.What happened out there? he asked at last, meeting my gaze. You didnt crack under the pressure.His voice was curious, not accusatory. He wasnt treating me as a student right now, I realized. He was regarding me as an equal. He simply wanted to know what was going on with me. There was no discipline or lecturing here.And that just made it all the worse when I had to l ie to him.Of course it was, I told him, looking down into my cup. Unless you believe I really did let Stan attack Christian.No, he said. I dont believe that. I never did. I knew youd be unhappy when you found out well-nigh the assignments, but I never erst doubted that youd do what youd have to for this. I knew you wouldnt let your personal feelings get in the way of your duty.I looked up again and met his eyes, so full of faith and secure confidence in me. I didnt. I was madStill am a little. But once I said Id do it, I meant it. And after spending some time with himwell, I dont hate him. I actually think hes good for Lissa, and he cares intimately her, so I cant get upset about that. He and I just clashing sometimes, thats all but we did really well together against the Strigoi. I remembered that while I was with him today, and arguing against this assignment just seemed stupid. So I decided to do the best job I could. I hadnt meant to talk so much, but it felt good to let out what was inside of me, and the look on Dimitris face would have gotten me to say anything. Almost anything.What happened then? he asked. With Stan? I averted my eyes and played with my cup again. I hated safekeeping things from him, but I couldnt tell him about this. In the human world, vampires and dhampirs were marionettes of story and legend bedtime stories to scare children. Humans didnt know we were real and walking the earth. But just because we were real didnt mean that every other story-time paranormal creature was. We knew that and had our own myths and bedtime stories about things we didnt believe in. Werewolves. Bogeymen. Ghosts.Ghosts played no real role in our culture, short of organism fodder for pranks and campfire tales. Ghosts inevitably came up on Halloween, and some legends endured over the years. But in real life? No ghosts. If you came back after death, it was because you were a Strigoi.At least, thats what Id always been taught. I honestly didnt know enough now to say what was going on. Me imagining Mason seemed more likely than him being a true ghost, but man, that meant I might seriously be heading into crazy territory. All this time Id worried about Lissa losing it. Who had known it might be me?Dimitri was still watching me, postponement for an answer.I dont know what happened out there. My intentions were good I just I just messed up.Rose. Youre a terrible liar.I glanced up. No, Im not. Ive told a lot of good lies in my life. People have believed them.He smiled slightly. Im sure. But it doesnt work with me. For one thing, you wont look me in the eye. As for the other I dont know. I can just tell.Damn. He could tell. He just knew me that well. I stood up and moved to the door, keeping my back to him. Normally, I treasured every minute with him, but I couldnt stick around today. I hated lying, but I didnt want to tell the truth either. I had to leave.Look, I appreciate you being worried about mebut really, its okay. I just messed up. Im embarrassed about it and sorry I put your awesome training to shame but Ill rebound. Next time, Stans ass is mine.I hadnt even heard him get up, but suddenly, Dimitri was right behind me. He placed a hand on my shoulder, and I froze in front of the door leading out. He didnt bear upon me anywhere else. He didnt try to pull me closer. But, oh, that one hand on my shoulder held all the power in the world.Rose, he said, and I knew he was no longer smiling. I dont know why youre lying, but I know you wouldnt do it without a good reason. And if theres something wrong something youre afraid to tell the others I spun around rapidly, somehow managing to pivot in place in such a way that his hand never moved heretofore ended up on my other shoulder.Im not afraid, I cried. I do have my reasons, and believe me, what happened with Stan was nothing. Really. All of this is just something stupid that got pursy out of proportion. Dont feel sorry for me or feel like you have to do a nything. What happened sucks, but Ill just roll with it and take the black mark. Ill take care of everything. Ill take care of me. It took all of my strength just then not to shake. How had this day gotten so bizarre and out of control?Dimitri didnt say anything. He just looked down at me, and the expression on his face was one Id never seen before. I couldnt interpret it. Was he mad? evaluate? I just couldnt tell. The fingers on my shoulder tightened slightly and then relaxed.You dont have to do this alone, he said at last. He sounded almost wistful, which made no sense. He was the one whod been telling me for so long that I needed to be strong. I wanted to throw myself into his arms just then, but I knew I couldnt.I couldnt help a smile. You say thatbut tell me the truth. Do you go running to others when you have problems?Thats the not the same Answer the question, comrade.Dont call me that.And dont avoid the question either.No, he said. I try to deal with my problems on my own. I slipped away from his hand. See?But you have a lot of people in your life you can trust, people who care about you. That changes things.I looked at him in surprise. You dont have people who care about you?He frowned, obviously rethinking his words. Well, Ive always had good people in my lifeand there have been people who cared about me. But that doesnt necessarily mean I could trust them or tell them everything.I was often so distracted by the weirdness of our relationship that I rarely thought about Dimitri as someone with a life away from me. He was respected by everyone on campus. Teachers and students homogeneous knew him as one of the deadliest guardians here. Whenever we ran into guardians from outside the school, they always seemed to know and respect him too. But I couldnt recall ever having seen him in any sort of affectionate setting. He didnt appear to have any close friends among the other guardians just coworkers he liked. The friendliest Id ever seen him get with someone had been when Christians aunt, Tasha Ozera, visited. Theyd known each other for a long time, but even that hadnt been enough for Dimitri to pursue once her visit was over.Dimitri was alone an awful lot, I realized, content to hole up with his cowboy novels when not working. I felt alone a lot, but in truth, I was almost always surrounded by people. With him being my teacher, I tended to view things as one-sided He was the one always giving me something, be it advice or instruction. But I gave him something too, something harder to define a connection with another person.Do you trust me? I asked him.The hesitation was brief. Yes. accordingly trust me now, and dont worry about me just this once.I stepped away, out of the reach of his arm, and he didnt say anything more or try to stop me. slickness through the room that Id had the hearing in, I headed for the buildings main exit, tossing the remnants of my hot chocolate in a garbage can as I walked past.