Rose has never been face-to-face with a Strigoi before. She's read about them and practiced defeating them, but she's never actually seen one. And boy, is it scary.
She tries to talk to Natalie, to get her to see reason, but it's of no use. Natalie's in attack mode.
Rose can't believe Victor would ask his own child to become the enemy, but he thinks it's worth it. Yep—he wants to start a revolution, and his kid dying for that is a sacrifice he's willing to make.
Strigoi-Natalie frees her father, and he makes a run for it while she fights off Rose.
Just then, Dimitri arrives and saves the day. Strigoi might be bigger and stronger than guardians, but he knows how to use his skills better than freshly minted Strigoi-Natalie; he kills her with a silver stake.
Now Rose gets what Dimitri was talking about in the car to the mall—it's a lot harder when you know the Strigoi you're killing.
She thanks Dimitri for saving her butt and then asks him a question. Victor told her the necklace spell wouldn't have worked if he didn't already have feelings for her… Is that true?
Bashfully, Dimitri admits it. He wants to be with Rose more than anything, but it's not right.
Why? Well, just say a Strigoi came to attack Lissa—if they were both guarding her, Dimitri would want to save Rose instead of Lissa. It's not right to be in love with your guardian-partner because it comprises your work, and he's got to protect Morois at all costs.
Rose is floored. She's already head over heels for him, but what he said makes sense. She guesses this is just another sacrifice she'll have to make in the name of guardianship.
In the days that follow, things go back to normal. Victor is captured again.
Lissa finally gets help for her depression and is prescribed medication to help her out and end of her cutting ways.
She comes to the realization that Christian was right about her bro, Andre—he might have been the sweetest older brother that a girl could ask for, but he probably treated other people differently. Like Mia. Just because her bro was kind to her doesn't mean he did right by a random girl at school.
Lissa and Christian keep hanging out, and Mia likes to mock them since they're both from rejected royal families. Victor's little stunt means Lissa's fam is on the outs, but Rose doesn't see why this matters much anyway.
Rose keeps up her training with Dimitri, trying to be as professional as possible.
She's glad Lissa is a lot calmer now, and they agree that Victor was right about one thing: Lissa can't go on using her spirit element, because it only hurts her and makes her weak. Lissa totally understands, but it doesn't mean she doesn't miss it.
One day, Rose thinks more about St. Vladimir, Ms. Karp, and Lissa, and how they're all connected. Rose thinks Ms. Karp became a Strigoi so she wasn't temped to use her magical abilities any more, and she worries Lissa might do the same at some point.
She knows Ms. Karp became a Strigoi, but what about St. Vladimir?
She goes to ask the priest, and he tells her the saint died of old age. Hmm… so maybe Lissa doesn't have to end up like Ms. Karp after all. If Vladimir and Anna figured out a way to balance magic and health, she and Lissa can too.
She's got a new spring in her step after learning about Vladimir and Anna, and goes to tell Lissa the news—that they can figure out a way to keep her healthy and heal people sometimes.
Along the way she sees a raven—and not just any raven, but the one Lissa healed.
She knows that bird—just like her—is shadow-kissed.