Home > Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)(9)

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)(9)
Author: Richelle Mead

"Thank you, thank you so much-"

She held up a hand to silence me, and I noticed then how miserable she looked.

"But I'm not going to tell you where it is."

My mouth gaped. "What?"

"I'm going to take you there myself."

Chapter Three

"Wait-what?" I exclaimed.

That wasn't in the plan. That wasn't in the plan at all. I was trying to move through Russia in as incognito a way as possible. Plus, I didn't really relish the thought of having a tagalong-particularly one who appeared to hate me. I didn't know how long it would take to get to Siberia-a couple days, I thought-and I couldn't imagine spending them listening to Sydney talk about what an unnatural, evil being I was.

Swallowing my outrage, I attempted reason. After all, I was asking a favor here. "That's not necessary," I said, forcing a smile. "It's nice of you to offer, but I don't want to inconvenience you."

"Well," she replied dryly, "there's no getting around that. And it's not me being nice. It's not even my choice. It's an order from my superiors."

"It still sounds like a pain in the ass for you. Why don't you just tell me where it is and blow them off?"

"You obviously don't know the people I work for."

"Don't need to. I ignore authority all the time. It's not hard once you get used to it."

"Yeah? How's that working out for you with finding this village?" she asked mockingly. "Look, if you want to get there, this is the only way."

Well-it was the only way I could get there if I used Sydney for information. I could always go back to staking out the Nightingale... but it had taken me this long to get a lead from there. Meanwhile, she was here right in front of me with the information I needed.

"Why?" I asked. "Why do you have to go too?"

"I can't tell you that. Bottom line: They told me to."

Lovely. I eyed her, trying to figure out what was going on here. Why on earth would anyone-let alone humans with their hands in the Moroi world -care where one teenage dhampir went? I didn't think Sydney had any ulterior motives-unless she was a very, very good actress. Yet, clearly the people she answered to had an agenda, and I didn't like playing into anyone's plan. At the same time, I was anxious to get on with this. Each day that passed was another in which I didn't find Dimitri.

"How soon can we leave?" I asked at last. Sydney, I decided, was a paper-pusher. She'd shown no real skill in tracking me earlier. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to ditch her once we were near enough to Dimitri's town.

She looked kind of disappointed at my response, almost as though she'd hoped I would decline and then she'd be off the hook. She didn't want to come with me any more than I wanted her to. Opening her purse, she took out her cell phone again, fiddled with it a couple of minutes, and finally produced some train times. She showed me the schedule for the next day.

"Does that work for you?"

I studied the screen and nodded. "I know where that station is. I can be there."

"Okay." She stood up and tossed some cash on the table. "I'll see you tomorrow." She started to walk away and then glanced back at me. "Oh, and you can have the rest of my fries."

When I first came to Russia, I stayed in youth hostels. I'd certainly had the money to stay elsewhere, but I wanted to remain under the radar.

Besides, luxury hadn't really been the first thing on my mind. When I began going to the Nightingale, however, I found I could hardly return to a boarding house of backpacking students while wearing a designer dress.

So I was now staying at a posh hotel, complete with guys who always held the doors open and a marble-floored lobby. That lobby was so big that I think an entire hostel could have fit in it. Maybe two hostels. My room was large and overdone too, and I was grateful to reach it and change out of the heels and dress. I realized with only a small pang of regret that I'd have to leave the dresses I'd bought in Saint Petersburg behind. I wanted to keep my luggage light while jaunting around the country, and even if my backpack was large, there was only so much I could carry. Oh well. Those dresses would make some cleaning woman's day, no doubt. The only bit of ornamentation I really needed was my nazar, a pendant that looked like a blue eye. It had been a gift from my mother, which had in turn been a gift from my father. I always wore it around my neck.

Our train for Moscow left late in the morning, and we would then catch a cross-country train to Siberia. I wanted to be well rested and ready for it all. Once in my pajamas, I snuggled under the bed's heavy comforter and hoped sleep would come soon. Instead, my mind spun with all the things that had happened recently. The Sydney situation was a bizarre twist but one I could handle. As long as we stuck to public transportation, she could hardly lead me into the clutches of her mysterious superiors. And from what she'd said about our travel time, it would indeed only take a couple of days or so to reach the village. Two days seemed both impossibly long and impossibly short.

It meant I could very well be confronting Dimitri in a few days... and then what? Could I do it? Could I bring myself to kill him? And even if I decided I could, would I actually have the skill to overpower him? The same questions that I'd been asking myself for the last two weeks kept plaguing me over and over. Dimitri had taught me everything I knew, and with enhanced Strigoi reflexes, he would truly be the god I'd always joked he was. Death was a very real possibility for me.

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