I squinted up at him as he carried me out of the building, practically running toward the clinic. "Was he right?"
"Victor... he said it couldn't have worked. The necklace." I started to drift off, lost in the blackness of my mind, but Dimitri prompted me back into consciousness.
"What do you mean?"
"The spell. Victor said you had to want me... to care about me... for it to work." When he didn't say anything, I tried to grip his shirt, but my fingers were too weak. "Did you? Did you want me?"
His words came out thickly. "Yes, Roza, I did want you. I still do. I wish... we could be together."
"Then why did you lie to me?" We reached the clinic, and he managed to open the door while still holding me. As soon as he stepped inside, he began yelling for help. "Why did you lie?" I murmured again.
Still holding me in his arms, he looked down at me. I could hear voices and footsteps getting closer. "Because we can't be together."
"Because of the age thing, right?" I asked. "Because you're my mentor?"
His fingertip gently wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek. "That's part of it," he said. "But also... well, you and I will both be Lissa's guardians someday. I need to protect her at all costs. If a pack of Strigoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her."
"I know that. Of course that's what you have to do." The black sparkles wer...