2

“Another reason why you don’t want to be anyone except Rose Hathaway, huh?”

I sat down on a bench and folded my hands in my lap as I looked away. “I know I said that… but sometimes… Well. Sometimes, I wish I could steal another identity. Someone who isn’t guarding the same Moroi who… who other people are guarding.”

Dimitri stayed silent for a long time- so much so that I finally had to glance over at him, despite my self-consciousness…

“Someone like that… would make a few things easier,” he said at last, his voice low. Strained. “But someone like that wouldn’t be Rose Hathaway. And I’d rather live in a much more complicated world than in one where she wasn’t around.”

2

I love you, Roza. I’ll always be here for you. I’m not going to let anything happen to you.

The words were wonderful and dangerous. He shouldn’t have said anything like that to me. He shouldn’t have been promising he’d protect me. I couldn’t be first in his heart, just like he couldn’t be first in mine. That was why I shouldn’t have said what I said next.

And I won’t let anything happen to you,“ I promised. ”I love you.

8

“Don’t touch her,” he growled.
There was a note in his voice that would have scared me if it had been directed toward me. He shoved me behind him, putting his body protectively in front of mine with my back to the table. Guardians came at us from all directions, and Dimitri began dispatching them with the same deadly grace that had once made people call him a god. […] The queen’s guards might have been the best of the best, but Dimitri…well, my former lover and instructor was in a category all his own. His fighting skills were beyond anyone else’s, and he was using them all in defense me. 
“Stay back,” he ordered me. “They aren’t laying a hand on you.”