Chapter 23

Warnings: emotional override

“You’re still up?” Tatiana asked.  It was around four o’clock in the morning.  They had managed to get back to Vaiden’s house around midnight after their meeting with Coastal the High Elf, expert on magic.

Vaiden didn’t reply.  He was in heavy concentration with some type of research that he had been conducting since they had come home.  Home, Tatiana repeated in her mind.

She missed her own computer, her own bed, the turquoise colored kitchen, and old carpeting.  How odd it was that all of this insane stuff had to happen for her to realize what she took for granted every day as she went to work, home, meetings, and court.  There was a side of the world that no one wanted to acknowledge.  At least they wouldn’t until it smacked them in the face, like it had Tatiana.

Vaiden lived in this “dark” side of the world all day, every day.  How his life must have been?  Filled with fear and uncertainty.  He had the right to be as stubborn as he was.  To be as stern.  He fought for his life constantly and yet his successful battles weren’t enough to ensure his safety.  Tatiana didn’t understand how he kept his cool with all of this chaos falling down around them.  Them, she repeated.  This was mainly her mess.  Vaiden was just a pawn that had stepped forward to defend the queen.

“What’s going on?” he asked.  “You’re thinking of something you shouldn’t be.”

Tatiana sighed.  “I can’t help it, Vaiden. I just…have to.”

“What will worrying do for you?” Vaiden questioned.  “It will stress the hell out of you and you’ll be quite useless after awhile.”

“You sound like such an expert.” Tatiana rolled her eyes.

He just stared.

“I’m sorry.” she smiled sleepily.  “It’s just that I have to review everything constantly. I’m a lawyer after all. We review cases over and over so we know that we’re not missing something.”

“You’re not at work, Tatiana. You’re surviving.”

“Actually the term you’re looking for is hiding.” she said. 

Vaiden just shook his head.

“You know,” Tatiana began.  “I don’t even know anything about you.”

There was nothing, but warning in his eyes.

“For starters, how old are you?”

“Why do you want to know?” he asked. 

She shrugged.  “Just because…I don’t know…we’ve been on the run together for over three months now and you’re still such a stranger.”

“And that’s how it’s suppose to be.”

Tatiana shook her head.  “Why?”

He sighed aggravated.  “I am…almost 200 years old.”

Tatiana blinked at him for some time.  “Really?”

“And this is why I didn’t want to tell you.”

“So you saw…”

He interrupted.  “I saw many things and none of them I want to discuss with you.”

“So what will you discuss with me?” Tatiana asked.

“Persistent aren’t you?”

“I could do it in a lawyer-type-of-way.” she smiled.  “But I know that you would hate that so much more.”

“Probably.” was his answer, blunt, unemotional with nothing to work around.

“Fine, you don’t want to talk. I get it.” Tatiana turned around in a huff and started walking towards the guest room.

“Actually, there is something I would like to ask you.” Vaiden then said.  “I’ve actually wanted to ask for awhile now, but…”


“I didn’t want you to get all…” he was searching for the right word.  “Emotional.”

“I think I’m the one who will decide how I will react.” Tatiana stated as she turned around.  “What is it?”

“When you first met me, you asked about a man named Gary.” Vaiden paused to watch her reaction, but Tatiana stayed as neutral as she possibly could.  “May I ask who he…” Vaiden paused again.



“He was my fiance.” Tatiana said in a whisper, which probably didn’t make a difference to Vaiden’s pointy ears.

“I’m sorry.” Vaiden replied.

“You’ve already apologized for this before…”

“I was just wondering if he happened to be Gary Martin, president of Martin Estates.” 

Tatiana nodded, not trusting her voice.


“What?” she managed.

“If I say it, you’ll get emotional and offensive and…”

“Spill it.”

“If he is who you say he is, then the company had no heir.” Vaiden said.  “It seems very peculiar to me that the family or the company haven’t demanded vengence for his death or come out in the public to address his murder and what the company is going to do until they find a suitable replacement. They’re just sitting on the sidelines, doing nothing.”

Tatiana swallowed.  “Maybe,” she took a quick breath and tried again.  “Maybe they’re still grieving.”

Vaiden didn’t reply.

“Maybe they are trying their best with the police, but behind the scenes to…to…to…” Her eyes were starting to water.  “I-I don’t know, not hurt their company or…do better by Gary’s name…”

“Tatiana stop.” Vaiden demanded.

The next things that came out of her mouth crossed between cries and blabber that made no sense what-so-ever.  She was still trying to defend Gary, not his company, not his family.  She didn’t need to convince Vaiden that he was a good guy or anything, but she was compelled to defend his memory.

“Why’d this happen?” Tatiana cried.  “He was such a good man. He took care of everyone. H-he…I loved him so much. I was going to marry him in the spring…”

Vaiden pulled her into an embrace and let her sob on his shoulder.  It was the least he could do for he was the one who picked the subject.  She rambled on between sobs about what the future could have been and something about matter what her would-have-been-mother-in-law would have said.  It was so much emotion.  Vaiden didn’t know how to fix it.  There were some bullets that bodyguards couldn’t take for the employers.

He held her until the sobs slowed and the tears dried.  It was a little awkward, but he held onto her anyways.  When the last of the sobs were gone and she tried to straight herself up, he let go of her.

“Thank you.” she barely said.  “I needed to get it out…I…I’m sorry, Vaiden. You don’t need all of this drama.”

Though he wanted to say, “you think” he kept his thoughts to himself.  She was very vulnerable right now.  Something like that could make her angry and throw a fit or a punch, or maybe erupt the blue fire.  None of these things did he want to happen.  So be quiet and supportive, right?  She was looking deep into his eyes, trying to figure what was going on behind them.  Too bad Vaiden’s mask was so greatly practiced.

“It’s all right, Tatiana.” he finally replied.  “Everything’s going to be ok.”

“How?” she then asked.

He sighed.  “I don’t know,” was his answer.  “But it will.”

Her grip tightened around his shoulders as his arms pulled her closer to his body.  She leaned in, then he did and so softly she laid her lips on his.



4 Responses to Chapter 23

  1. Kiri says:

    He really is going to have stop sleeping I think. These dreams are causing him so much trouble.

  2. Bree says:

    Haha! The ending to this chapter was rather unexpected and I love his expression in the last picture. 😀 I wonder how he plans on dealing with his interesting dreams though…

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