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Uhaku
09-06-2005, 16:03
Whoa. It's been ages since I last posted here... Grrrr. This place is kinda dead, but it's okay. Doesn't make much difference to me. Yeehaaaaw. *Talking to myself* like Ec said. Okay. Okay. Okay. I'll just post and babble on and on. Feel free to pick on me, dissect me or ignore me. :p



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Prologue



Everyone called her ‘the Irish’. Her life was the adventure many saw only in films, but a few were able to live it. Her fortune was a poor child’s dream, but she made it reality. The route of her fate drew many in, crossing and overlapping most, yet she felt all alone. She outran her destiny, and heaven and hell were only one step away. She had not known which way she would go.

‘Lighter than a feather… Lighter than a feather…’ the Irish whispered in the dark.

The head mistress of the orphanage once told her an ancient story. When the Judgment Day came, everyone’s heart would be weighed on a scale. And if it were lighter than a feather, they would be allowed to go to heaven.

She looked down at her bruised, scraped, blood-soaked hands. Brutally stained. Forever tainted. Fists clenched, she smiled as rage began to surge in and swallow her whole. She couldn’t tell whether it was her own blood or her enemies’. She didn’t know who was who anymore. She knew only one thing. Right now. She would tear the gates through. She would raise hell and brought heaven to its knee. Nothing was above her.

“Nothing is above me… But there can be no heaven without you…” Volkova whispered the last line of the last page of the journal as if the author were whispering the words to her.

Watching the water in her blue eyes, I could feel her stony heart shaken with anger, her brave soul warring with sorrow.

Uhaku
09-06-2005, 16:04
CHAPTER 1



I grew up in this handsome neighborhood of Glenview, about forty minutes away from downtown Chicago. I couldn’t imagine anywhere else in the world more harmonious than here. It was green. It was perfect… All right, I was biased. The town and facility were nice, but the package came with a set of horrible weathers at times.

There was a mansion in the middle of a ranch just ten minutes from my modest home. I never got to talk to the grumpy, ninety-year-old woman, who lived there alone. Her name was Yulia Volkova. She was a Russian-American millionaire or some sort. The mansion was a trophy of her vanity. The deserted garden and the dry fountain were the reminder of her lost love. The broken, dull windows and the barred gates locked away the times and memories, marking the territory of her lonesome world. The place was dead.

Volkova was the talk of town. Everyone knew her, but not daring enough to get close to her. She rarely came out of her shelter if not necessary. Foods, or everything she needed, would be delivered to her home. Having no job since forever, she must be filthy rich to be able to keep her life as private and privileged like that.

For twenty-five years, I never had the nerve to go near the ranch. It looked as haunted as Volkova’s mere existence. But I caught a glimpse of her a while ago when she came out and strolled in her garden. Her magnificent blue eyes and silky long blonde hair suggested a once beautiful woman. I became intrigued even more. What had transformed her into a vulgar, old soul? What had life taken away from her, leaving her a recluse now?

I gathered my courage to go to her one evening. To my surprise, the gates weren’t locked. I assumed that Volkova must have forgotten to lock it after the delivery guy left. As I glided through the garden, I observed the dead grasses underneath the patches of snow and the long vines hanging down all over the building.

A few knocks on the door and Volkova came answering the door with a frown on her deeply lined face. Nonetheless, her eyes mesmerized me; they shone so brightly I could only imagine how stunning she must be when she was a young woman.

“Umm, you forgot to lock your gates, Ma’am,” I said.

“WHAT?” she asked, cocking her head a little.

“Oh... THE GATES! YOU FORGOT TO LOCK THE GATES!”

She nodded in annoyance. “What do you want?” she asked coarsely, a cigarette between her darkened lips.

I held up a basket full of fruits I just bought from the supermarket. “I just thought I’d… I…”

“WHAT?”

“HERE, THESE ARE FOR YOU. MY NAME IS LENA MYER. I LIVE JUST TWENTY MINUTES FROM HERE, UP AT THE OLD STATION.”

Volkova paused upon hearing my name. I wasn’t famous, or infamous for any matter. I was just a regular citizen nobody gave a damn when walking in the streets. There was no reason she should have heard my name before. But the recognition on her face gave me hope a bit; it meant that she was really the one I was looking for.

Slowly, the old woman opened the door wider, gesturing me to enter.

“Put it there,” she ordered behind me, pointing to my right to where the kitchen was.

I did as instructed, and went into the large living room where Volkova was sitting on the couch. The house looked comfy and clean inside, unlike the worn look of the exterior. It worried me that a woman as old as her was living alone in this huge place. If a burglar broke in, she wouldn’t stand a chance of survival.

But little did I know. This woman survived much more than a burglar. Through out her life, she took the bullets that were meant for her father again and again, and with much pride. She made it through World War II whilst living in Germany at the time Berlin was about to fall, when the whole world crumbling apart. She had lived several decades, fighting with rage of solitude and mourning a lost promise. Yulia Volkova was one tough piece of antique. She wasn’t going to give in even though she was approaching ninety-one years of age in a few months.

“Would you like some vodka?” Volkova asked, grabbing the bottle, which was already on the table. She started drinking so early in the day.

“YES, THANK YOU,” I replied. I didn’t think I should refuse anything the woman offered me even though I didn’t like drinking during the day. I sat down opposite to her, and noticed that she glanced up at me. The position of my sitting must have hit home for her somehow. I became reluctant and wondered if I should stand up to sit somewhere else. Her stare, however, sat me back down.

“You don’t have to speak so loudly now. I’ve put on my hearing aids. So tell me what made you decide to invade my privacy today?”

“I did not invade, Ma’am. I was invited in. By you.”

Volkova smiled a little. “You must have heard many stories about me, especially from your grandfather.”

“Did you actually know him?”

“Yes, and he was one of the two, biggest jinxes of my life.”

I swallowed hard. It seemed Volkova was still too sharp in her memories for a ninety-year-old woman. The anger and regret clinging around the edge of her voice were palpable.

“Umm, what was the other jinx?” I tried to pull her attention away from my grandfather.

Volkova closed her eyes and heaved a long sigh. “It’s Lena Myer, isn’t it?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Volkova scoffed. “You’re the two jinxes rolled into one then.”

“Excuse me?” I was truly baffled at her remark.

“Did your grandfather send you here?”

“No—yes. Before he passed away a year ago, he asked me to find you.”

With this, Volkova’s head shot up straight, staring at me. I was sure I was sitting with the ‘Yulia’ my grandfather lamented about.

“On his death bed, he whispered your name. I wanted to pay a visit to you before this, but I just couldn’t find an excuse to knock on your door.”

“He had to taint my name even when he was about to die!” Volkova growled, gripping hard on the glass shot.

“I really had no clue what happened between you and him. I’m terribly sorry if I’ve upset you.” I stood up, praying that she wouldn’t lash out and threw the bottle at me.

“Sit down! You haven’t had your drink!” Volkova pushed the shot towards me.

I carefully sat back down and washed down the honorary drink. “My grandfather moved to Germany with his then fiancée around mid or late thirties, I think. After they broke their engagement, he came back to America and met my grandmother. He settled down in Chicago again during the mid forties.” I stared back at Volkova. “Were you the fiancée?”

“Why, it doesn’t matter now.”

“Before he died, he gave me a small, leathered book. It’s a journal, and he wanted me to return it to Yulia Volkova.”

“I don’t recall ever writing a journal my entire life. If there was really such thing, why didn’t he do it himself when he was still alive?”

“I supposed the only one who knew the reason was the fiancée.”

Volkova looked away. “I have no business with your grandfather anymore. If there’s nothing else you need to know here.”

I nodded and quietly left. I wasn’t expecting a warm welcome from Volkova anyway. Just a few days before my grandfather passed away, he moaned of the guilt over the crime he once committed, which Volkova would never forgive him. Like all of the remaining members of my family, I had yet to know the whole story my grandfather kept secret for all these years.

On my way out, I glanced at the basket sitting idly on the table inside the kitchen. The leathered book was hidden at the bottom of the basket, and I hoped that Volkova wouldn’t throw the whole thing away without seeing it first.

Right after my grandfather died, I couldn’t resist the temptation and sneaked a peek at the journal. I meant to read only the first page, but I reached one third of the whole book anyway. It was obviously not my grandfather’s handwriting. The entries were so detailed and far too intense to be him, and it obviously wasn’t Volkova either. It was a life of some stranger I was so curious to know. I would have gone on reading, but guilt stopped me and I never dared to touch it again. However, questions still remained. Why would my grandfather keep someone else’s journal? Whose was it?


>>>


It was three days later that Volkova rang me out of the blue and asked me to come visit her again. She gave the reason that she needed a hand to help her with Christmas Eve celebration. My family knew that there was no such thing as celebration in the ranch. The old woman never invited anybody. I told my family what my grandfather asked me to do before he passed away, and they supported me on my quest to unravel his past.

After I had a shower and a breakfast, I walked to Volkova’s ranch in the late morning and found that the old woman had ordered tons of foods to celebrate tonight. Not wanting to spoil the foods, she made me ring my family and asked them all to join us for dinner. She wanted to have some private time with me until dusk, and I knew what was waiting for me; the secret life of Roland Myer. But I sensed that it’d concern much more than just his life.

As expected, Volkova had seen the book, and she didn’t throw it away. She must have read it and knew whom the writer was. The old woman poured herself some bourbon and sat down on the couch. She brought the thick, brown-leather book to the small, glass-top table between us.

“Your grandfather didn’t write this,” Volkova said.

“I know. Who was it?”

She looked up and studied me. “You’ve read it, haven’t you?”

“A few pages,” I replied fast.

“I’m amazed. I read it all days and nights.”

“A few pages,” I repeated.

“I caught you lying again.”

I scratched my neck a little. “Well, umm… less than half of it. I knew it wasn’t place since my grandfather wanted only you to have it… But I was kinda—curious.”

“Hmm, who could resist her?” Volkova shrugged and flipped through the pages.

“Her? You do know who the writer was.” I knew I sound too eager.

Slowly, Volkova leaned her head back and closed her eyes. “The Irish… Everyone called her Irish. She wasn’t actually one. She just had the look of it.”

Before I knew, I was listening to the tale of three people’s lives; my grandfather, Yulia Volkova, and the mysterious Irish. I was dragged seventy years back, to the glorious days of those three, wild, young gangsters.

Uhaku
09-06-2005, 16:08
CHAPTER 2



Chicago. 1935.


Lena Cohen was nothing special. She was a mistake two adults made one night. She was just an ordinary young woman from an orphanage, where its head mistress kindly lent her the last name.

The latter half of 1910s was a flash of her life she didn’t remember much. 1920s never treated her so kindly. But 1930s was the beginning of something. She wasn’t a natural born fighter, just a smalltime crook, making a living in the streets of Chicago. But one night changed her fortune forever, and she became ‘the Irish’ everyone feared.

“On the house,” the bartender said, his gaze studying her.

Nothing free was good. Nothing good was ever free. It could have been poisoned, but Lena took it anyway. Life was too short not to take a risk. She loved her luck.

“Thanks,” she said stoically. She had to remind herself not to smile.

Roland Myer, her partner in crime, walked through the front door in his white suit and hat, a handsome contrast with his tanned skin and dark eyes. Almost every finger of his sported golden rings with huge gems. He flashed a smile to every lady he passed until he stopped right next to Lena. They both were in their early twenties, but their fortune weighed millions.

“The goods are here,” he whispered to Lena, winking at the other lady at the table nearby.

“Thursday then,” Lena quietly said, lighting up a cigarette. Although she hated smoking, she needed to act tough when they were in public places. She knew that whenever she fell, everyone wouldn’t hesitate to plunge her down even lower. It was now or never to take as much as she could. Illegal weapons became a good business, and they weren’t going to pass it over.

“Good news, or bad news first?” Roland asked.

“Tell me everything.”

“He said three hundreds eighty millions, but I insisted four fifty. Jesus, it took hours. I swear he was gonna shoot me right there.”

“You’re alive. The good news?” Her tone was cool, but they both knew that she cared.

“He finally agreed,” Roland said.

A smile came across their faces.

“Cheers.” Roland washed up his own, free drink.

It was all going to be so good. They were going to be so rich, as if they were not already. But it was never enough. They both were so young and nothing was going to stop them.


>>>


It was always the case that Lena left the bar earlier than Roland wanted her to. In the snow, she turned up the collar on her coat and strolled along the street to her car, admiring the beautiful scenery of the renowned buildings like Wrigley and Tribune. Some carriages rode along the white roads that lighted up the whole city.

Lena put her hands in her pockets at all time, suggesting any prying eye out there that she was holding a gun. She really was.

“TAXI!”

Lena didn’t turn, but the shout came with a rushing push, spinning her around.

“Oh, I don’t believe this!” The blonde woman in a white, mink coat shrieked.

“I don’t believe this either,” Lena said loudly, “I don’t believe he just drove away, while you didn’t even take the time to apologize to me.” Although her facial expression was blank, there was a slight mischief in her eyes.

The blonde, mink-wrapped stranger turned around, and Lena quietly noted the amazing pair of blue eyes. The woman brushed the snowflakes off her face a little. “Excuse me?” Her tone sounded unfriendly as expected.

Even though Lena got the attention she deserved, she was sure now that this stranger wasn’t going to apologize.

“It’s snowing,” Lena commented.

Squinting, the woman stared up at the skies. “Yes! Oh, yes, it is snowing!” She then turned away to look for other taxis.

“Most taxis must have been taken,” Lena said.

“Taxi!”

“I could drop you off,” Lena added.

The woman arched her brow at the offer. Her pale, young, elf-like face arrogantly questioned Lena whether she was referring to a bike or not.

“Where are you heading?” Lena gestured at the brand new, black Cadillac.

“I’ll pay, of course. Chicago St.,” the woman stated, and proceeded to the door to the backseat of the car.

Lena stopped, and then went along with the role of a driver, opening the door for her.

Inside the car, the blonde observed its great condition. “This is a very nice car. Whom do you drive for?”

“Nobody you’d know,” Lena said quietly. Unlike Roland, she still preferred cheaper clothing as not to attract too much attention, and because she liked the simpler way of life she led before her luck took off. This Cadillac was one thing she indulged the luxurious side of her new life.

After roughly twenty-five minutes into the snowy roads, the woman in the back only got to notice how deserted the surroundings had become now. They were not going to downtown. Oh, no, of course not.

“Do you know where Chicago is?” the blonde asked. “Ah, I should have known you’re not the type acquainted with downtown area. Just—just turn left here—”

Lena stomped on the break, causing the woman to lunge forwards.

“Watch it!”

“Get out of the car,” Lena ordered. She lived in downtown, and in downtown, she spent most her times there. She knew every street and shortcut. She knew where all the police stations and underground warehouses were. She knew every route to escape or to die. But she didn’t plan to make it easy for this arrogant, mink bitch.

Bewildered, the stranger in the back just sat still. Lena dragged her out of the car.

“What are you doing?! Don’t touch me!”

“It’s not as far as I planned to go. But lucky you, I can’t stand you anymore.” Lena shoved the woman to the snowy ground. A vast, empty field surrounded them. A few factories stood a mile away. She began rummaging through the woman’s purse and found some hundred dollars notes. Old habit never died.

“Thanks for the tip.” Lena smirked and got into the car.

“What are you—oh, please! Please! You can’t leave me here!”

Lena tossed the purse out the window and drove away. She chuckled when she looked into the rear mirror, seeing the woman running after the vehicle for a while, but then stopped after her high heels wouldn’t run in the snow.


>>>


Back at home at last, Lena sat comfortably in her leather chair, listening to a record player and a glass of whisky in her hand. It was eleven p.m., and it snowed even harder now. Relaxed, she fumbled for the tips in her pockets. But a few name cards fell out. They weren’t hers. A gangster didn’t need one. How absurd it would be if she were to put ‘the Irish’ on the name card.

Lena picked them up, noting that they were all identical. It must be that mink woman.

She read the name and muttered, “… Fuck.”

Volkova rang a bell. It rang very loudly, actually. She had a major business meeting with Dimitri Volkov next Thursday, and it seemed she had just let his cousin wandering alone in the middle of a snowstorm, in the middle of nowhere. From the family emblem on the card, she prayed it was only a cousin. Definitely, it better not be his daughter. That woman couldn’t ruin her million-dollar deal!

Lena grabbed her coat and dashed for the door.



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CHAPTER 3



“Will you come out?” Lena spoke into a snow-covered, dead grass-roofing, huge, abandoned pipe in the middle of the same field she made a brief stop earlier tonight.

Yulia Volkova stared hard at the silhouette at the entrance. Wearing a pair of black-rim glasses, this Volkova was holding a beaded rosary in one hand and a stick in another, threatening Lena if she would come any closer.

Lena was truly perplexed. “I have a gun.”

“Do you think a gun will scare me!?” Yulia held the rosary higher as if to shoo the evil away.

“It always does. Come, I’ll take you home.” Lena couldn’t understand what Yulia was thinking. She had expected her to walk to the factories and got some help. But here Yulia was, hiding in this pipe and hoping for a miracle that someone might found her here by chance.

“I don’t believe you! You might drop me off in Detroit this time! Detroit!”

“Detroit is better than here.”

Lena extended one hand forwards. Yulia sat still for a second before she slowly crawled out of the pipeline. She pushed Lena’s hand away, making her way to the car. Lena grumbled inwardly, but scurried to open the backdoor for Yulia. But the blonde opted to sit in the front with her this time. Yulia must have wanted to keep an eye on her this time, and she just shrugged.

Ten minutes later, the night vision had worsened and the slippery road only took longer to get back to the city.

“What is your name?” Yulia stared at her.

Lena hesitated. Was Yulia planning to have her powerful father get rid of her when they got back to the city?

“It’s Meg,” Lena replied.

“What kind of a woman carries a gun with her?” Yulia eyed Lena up and down.

“Let’s just say I’m not someone’s driver. This is my car.”

“You stole it,” Yulia stated, nodding in firm belief.

“I bought it.”

“My nails!” Yulia brushed her grubby hands on Lena’s coat. “I know you’re not a towel, but mind you, you do look like one.”

Yulia shrieked when Lena abruptly stomped on the break. She roughly pulled Lena’s arm. “For the love of God, I’m not getting off this car again!”

“Keep your head down!” Lena crushed hard on the accelerator, jerking the car forwards.

“What are you—aaaaaaaaah!” The window to Yulia’s side shattered, pieces of glass shooting into the car. A bullet missed her head by just an inch, drilling into the backseat. “Someone is shooting at your Cadillac!”

“Shut up!” Lena pushed Yulia’s head down to her laps.

The Cadillac sped through the snow. In the dark, Lena turned left and right in madness. As she thought she had lost the hit men, Lake Michigan appeared right in front of her. The car flew off the small road and into the freezing water. It floated for a brief moment before it started sinking real fast.

“My glasses! Where are my glasses!? What do we do now?! We’re sinking!” Yulia shrieked as the icy water came up to her chest.

“Climb out the window!” Lena pushed Yulia to the door. Although she felt the sharp ache in her arm, she had no time to think about it now.

“I don’t know how to swim! Holy Mary, the water is freezing!”

“Wait here then. I’ll go get some help.” Lena climbed over Yulia and out the window. She swam towards the shore, but she wasn’t going to find help. She just prayed that Yulia would get the message that she needed to swim. Now. The car would sink and the cold water would kill her before any help arrived.

“Asshole!” Yulia finally got the message. She climbed out and tried to swim away from the car. “One. Two. One. Two. Three…? Oh, no, Mary, what did the instructor say?” She tried to count the kicks of her legs. That was all she got from a swimming lesson when she was seven years old. But she must have done it the wrong way because she wasn’t going any further. She was sinking.

“Heeeelp—” Yulia eventually sank.

Grunting, Lena dove down. Under the water, she sightlessly tried her best to find Yulia. A hand... She grabbed it and resurfaced. Yulia screeched when her head came above the water, and coughed nonstop. She tried to inhale as deep as she could.

“Swim now! Swim!” Lena panted. The sub-zero water was getting the best of her.

“Swim, yes! Easy!” Yulia angrily brushed her face. She didn’t know if it was the water or her tears, but it stung her skin very sharply. She just numbly kicked her legs, practically letting Lena drag her.

When they reached the concrete stairs to the street just a foot above the water level, Lena took a good look around and spotted two men standing at a black car some distance away, looking into the lake right where her car had sunk. Thanked God that they got here after she swam away from the car, or they would have shot her.

“Follow me,” Lena whispered, and led Yulia to hide behind the bushes.

Lying on the grass, Yulia was trembling. “I want… to go home…”

“We’ll just wait until those men leave…” Lena took off her coat and ordered Yulia to do the same.

“But… I’m cold…” Yulia found it hard even to shake her head.

“We need to dry up… right…” Lena spoke through her gritting teeth. She pulled the mink off Yulia’s limp body. She looked around. It was so late in the night, and the area was quite deserted too.

Quivering, Yulia harshly gripped Lena’s hand, staring at her. She opened her mouth, and the last word escaped through before blackness completely invaded her vision. “Taxi…”

Uhaku
09-06-2005, 16:11
CHAPTER 4



Yulia Volkova was back in her bedroom, which was adorned with ridiculously expensive paintings she didn’t even know the names of the artists, some more luxurious furniture and fine, oak walls and floor. It had been two days since the lake incident, but she was still confined to bed because of cold.

“Take some of this, darling. You’ll feel better.” Her mother sat down beside her, offering her a vodka shot.

At the couch, Alexei Volkov looked up from the newspaper. The blond, young man stared at his sister and smirked. “I’m glad you didn’t get much from her. She’s not funny,” he said. He was four years older than Yulia, and was a foot taller.

Yulia pulled the blanket over her head, but her mother pulled it off her.

“Don’t be silly, Yulia. You need some fresh air!” Her mother went to open the window, letting the fierce, chilly wind in.

“No wonder I don’t feel any better,” Yulia grumbled.

Dimitri Volkov burst through the door, a cigar between his darkened lips. The fat, blonde man was in his silky blue shirt and a pair of navy trousers.

Yulia had had enough. “No smoking in here, and shut the windows please!”

“You’re feeling better now, pumpkin!” Dimitri said. His face was red from drinking. But it was so usual for him to be drinking during daytime.

“You haven’t told me how I got back here,” Yulia said. After that night, she woke up again to find herself back in her safe harbor. But she doubted it was the taxi she saw in her dream.

“A young gentleman brought you back! Interesting! He happened to be one of my business partners!” Dimitri gestured for his wife to pour him some vodka, too.

“His name is Roland Myer,” her mother added with an approving smile. “He found you right by the lake by accident, soaked and freezing. He went through your purse and found out where you lived. How did you fall into the lake? What were you doing there in the middle of the night? You scared me to death!”

Frowning, Yulia fumbled for her new pair of glasses on the table. She couldn’t think clearly with the blurry vision. That evil Meg must have left her right by the lake, but fortunately, prince charming Roland Myer saved her in time. She would definitely find that red-haired driver and taught her a lesson or two. But her father could not know how this mess happened. It took her three years to make him trust her enough not to have bodyguards following her everywhere she goes.

“I meant to take a short walk along the lake after I left Tonya’s house. But then I dropped my watch into the lake—”

“You tried to revive the watch by going into the lake?” Her father asked with tears of joy.

“It was my twentieth birthday gift from you, papa.” Yulia flashed her father the puppy eyes. In fact, she lost it a few weeks ago at some parties.

“But you can’t swim, dear!” her mother said.

“I wasn’t thinking right. I’m sorry,” Yulia said.

Alexei rolled his eyes and then continued reading the newspaper.

Dimitri snatched the receiver and ordered his men to buy some new Rolex watches for Yulia at once. The sick woman just sheepishly smiled in her warm bed.


>>>


“Who can you trust if not me? Everything is fine, and it really is.” Roland laughed, stroking Lena’s forehead.

Lena was lying on the bed in a small room in the basement of Roland’s home. He wouldn’t let her go back to her place until they were sure it was safe there. She couldn’t move much with the cast over her left arm. She only found out that it was broken during the crash when Roland brought a doctor here. The icy water practically numbed her whole body.

“Can I have a glass of water?”

Roland poured some for her. He watched her slowly gulping. When she rang him that night, she sounded weak and desperate. As soon as he got to the lake, the two women were barely conscious. After he took them back to his home, Lena told him everything that happened. The predicament could affect their million-dollar deal, so they agreed that he would make up the story to the Volkov family, minimizing the details as much as possible.

“Promise me you won’t just pull pranks with some strangers again. It’s too dangerous. However, what happened with Volkova was rather funny.”

“Funny? Someone wanted me dead, Roland!”

“I took care of that matter. We’ll find out soon enough.”

“It might as well turn out to be the whole town.” Lena lightly chuckled. Everyone wanted ‘the Irish’ dead, everyone but Roland Myer, her most trusted friend.

“I’ll always be on your side, you know that,” he said, softly holding her hand. It felt too warm, and he knew she should take some rest now.

Lena and Roland grew up together in the orphanage. Once they were old enough to leave, they only had each other in the difficult time. Their friendship was put to test when Lena happened to have the chance to gun down Kirk Mason, one of the most powerful gangsters in Chicago. Mason was the only rival to Al Capone. Even to this day, Lena never told him who hired her. The secrecy only drove them apart, widened the gap between them, but he learned to put it behind if they still wanted to be a team.

“Good night,” he said, kissing her forehead. But she seemed to have fallen asleep already. He quietly left the room.



.................................................. .................................................. ...........
CHAPTER 5



The faithful meeting took place in an abandoned warehouse, where Roland had his goods kept hidden and Dimitri Volkov would deliver his fee. At the long table, Roland and Dimitri’s men stood on each side of the table. There was only one light above the table, and all of them were in black coats and black hats, making it rather hard to identify who was who if they were going to shoot one another.

“Where’s the Irish?” Dimitri asked, exhaling the cigar smoke.

“She’s in no condition to come tonight. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

“Inconvenience! Interesting choice of word! Maybe I’m just not important enough.”

“She’s been ill,” a voice interrupted.

Roland immediately glared at Oliver, one of his men. Oliver nervously looked down.

“Is that true?” Dimitri asked. Although his gaze was harsh, his voice softened.

“She has a very bad cold,” Roland replied. “The doctor wouldn’t allow her to move.” He took a good look at Dimitri’s bodyguards and smiled, making sure they know he wasn’t about to pull out a gun. He took a wrapped box out of his pocket. “She delivered you this gift, an apology for missing the opportunity tonight.”

Dimitri smiled at once at the young man’s humbleness. He had his bodyguard opening the box for him. He smiled even wider at the expensive, antique, golden watch. Certainly, his business partners had made some research to please him; he was an avid antiques collector.

The evening went smoothly, and Yulia decided to let her guard down just a bit, certain that her father had not caught her dressing up like one of the driver boys. The mission was made possible when her brother chose not to come, much to Dimitri’s anger. Lord knew how much Alexei wanted to do anything with this underground business of his father.

Sneaking by the entrance, Yulia put on her glasses and peeked into the warehouse through the gapped wooden walls.

Roland Myer had her attention. He was attractive and tall, but not to tall that she had to climb his knees to kiss him. He was her father’s business partner, and most of all, her savior! She wanted to get a closer look at him. She wanted to meet him without having her mother making all the arrangements. After all, she was all grown up now. It bored her to tears whenever her mother invited endless strings of suitors into their homes. There was no excitement. No adventure to set the background for a romance to blossom. She wanted an unplanned route to her life.

When the deal was done, one of the driver boys in Dimitri’s care sent Yulia a signal. She hopped into a black car. She had tagged along her father’s parade here, and planned to follow Roland home. All the driver boys knew, but she tipped them handsomely to keep quiet. They gladly accepted since she had done this quite often on other occasions and never got them into trouble with her father.

A few minutes later, Yulia broke from her father and began following Roland. But only ten minutes into the pursuit, the cars in front of her stopped. She was easily caught as expected, although she hoped to meet Roland in a little more private place than this. The thugs around him looked quite scary. She quickly took off her glasses.

Roland smirked when he saw who it was. He approached, lighting a cigarette.

“Can I help you, Ms. Volkova?” he asked.

Along the dark, empty road in the outskirt of Chicago, Yulia sat in her car, studying his post. Roland Myer definitely belonged to Hollywood, not some Chicago gangs who robbed and killed innocent people.

“Yes, I’m lost, Mr. Myer. Would you show me the way to your home?”

Roland tried to suppress his grin when his men laughed aloud at her outrageous pursuit. She was out of the 1930s’ ordinary women league, but looking at Roland, she knew she was above them all in his eyes.

“I haven’t returned your favor for saving my life,” Yulia coyly whispered.

Roland looked down a little, deep in thoughts. He then got into the passenger seat. “An advanced welcome to my modest home, Ms. Volkova. But you must return before midnight, or your father would not be pleased.”

Yulia grinned at his positive response.

“Meet me there,” Roland said, waving his bodyguards away.


>>>


On the couch in the living room, Yulia sat with a cup of hot tea in her hands. Roland had excused himself to settle some business downstairs. She wondered if every gangster hid dead bodies down in their basement. As far as she knew, her father did it once years before she was born. But she was glad her mother wouldn’t allow it to continue.

Roland walked through the opened door, smiling from ear to ear. He took his coat off and put it over the couch.

“You have a very lovely home, Mr. Myer.”

“And I have a very lovely guest tonight.”

Yulia chortled at his compliment, laughing inwardly. She still couldn’t believe how daring she was. She couldn’t wait to go back and rang Tonya, her best friend.

“I’m relieved to see that you’re feeling better,” he said, sitting down opposite to her.

“I’m Dimitri Volkov’s daughter. I can take anything,” Yulia said proudly.


>>>


“How about swimming?” Lena muttered, looking bored. She was standing at the door to her basement room and eavesdrop the conversation upstairs.


>>>


“How did you find me, Mr. Myer?” Yulia moved to sit beside Roland, gently placing her hands on his arm.

Roland cleared his throat, looking uncomfortable. Whether it was her intimate gesture or he had forgotten his lie at the moment, she had yet to know.

“I was out driving, and I saw you… unconscious along the lakeside… I looked through your purse and found your identification card. That’s how I knew where you live.”

Yulia smiled as sweet as she could. She was thankful that he delivered her home unharmed. But something was bugging her, and her instinct was right. When she was hiding in the pipe, she looked through her almost empty purse and found only a pair of glasses and a beaded rosary. Most of her belongings were scattered around under the snow, and she was sure that her I.D. was among them. There was only one possibility.

“Did you see a woman with me when you got there?” Yulia asked.


>>>


Lena immediately pressed her body against the wall in panic. She then tiptoed up the stairs just enough for her eyes to see. Roland paused for a bit too long, and she could see the suspicion in Yulia’s eyes.

“A woman? Well, yes… She got red hair?” Roland asked.

“Yes! Meg—err—Meg something. Where is she now?”

“I don’t know. She just told me to take you home.”

Yulia looked blank for a moment, and then a trace of disappointment came across her face. Lena wondered if it was that disappointing not being able to track her down and kill her.

“Was she your friend? I asked her to come with me, but she refused. She said she lived just a few blocks away.”

“You’re so good,” Lena mumbled to herself, admiring Roland’s performance.

“She’s definitely not my friend!” Yulia stated in disgust. She stopped for a moment before continuing. “She asked you to help me?”

“Why, yes… Would you like me to find out who it was?”

Yulia shook her head, waving her hand as she asked, “Do you think she’s all right?”

Lena was perplexed at Yulia’s action, and looking at Roland, he was as well.

“Oh, umm, you’re fine now, so—I think she would be, too. She seemed quite strong, in my opinion.”

“She was still able to walk? How inhumanly strong,” Yulia wondered aloud.

Lena grumbled. She was almost certain she would die if Roland had not arrived in time. Soaking wet from the freezing water with a broken arm and lying in the open in the fierce Chicago wind might easily do it.

“Did you two just happen to decide to go for a swim?” Roland flashed Yulia the most handsome smile, trying to distract her.

Yulia laughed uneasily. “I dropped something into the water, and—and this woman came by to help me. We both fell into the lake and—” Yulia stopped short as she squint at the desk by the window for a moment.

“And?” Roland asked.

Yulia spun around, returning her attention to Roland. “I don’t quite remember what happened after we got off the lake, and that’s why I wanted to ask you.”

The conversations went on, but Lena was relieved that she was no longer the topic. Suddenly, a craving for a cigarette hit her. Although she disliked smoking, it must be stress that did it. Roland wouldn’t allow her to smoke ever since she became ill, so she crept along the corridor, avoiding the living room and climbing up the stairs to the balcony on the second floor.


>>>


In front of Roland’s home, he walked Yulia to her car. She waved him goodbye and pretended to drive away. She then parked her car again when he went back inside. Sneaking into his backyard, she was surprised that this newly born gangster hadn’t had his house secured. It could be that Roland wasn’t as powerful and dangerous as her father. Not yet. But where were all those bodyguards she saw earlier this evening?

She heard an engine starting in the front. Roland was driving away. He must be leaving to meet up with those guards. Relieved, she moved freely further into the backyard. It was freezing, but she thought it might worth a try.

She saw the connection now. When she was talking to Roland in the living room, she saw a black and white photograph of a woman standing beside a brand-new-looking Cadillac. It appeared that Meg seemed to know Roland very well. How proud he was to take her picture with the new car he bought for her, and then showing the picture off on his desk?

It came unexpectedly when she found out that Meg didn’t just leave her by the lake, and for a moment, she was disappointed that it might be impossible to find Meg again, not for a payback, but to thank her… Thank her?

“That is just absurd!” Yulia grumbled. That woman got her into this mess from the start.

Yulia marched into the bush and waited. Perhaps, she would see some movements in the house from there. So far, nothing happened. All lights were turned off. But then there was always the basement.

Looking up at the balcony, Yulia grinned. She saw the small smoke from a stabbed cigarette in an ashtray above. Meg was here. Behind the bushes lining up against the wall of the house, she spotted a window. She crawled towards the yellow-tinted glass and knocked. Someone must be in there because the lights were on.

After a few more knocks, the window slowly opened.

“There you are!” Yulia shouted in triumph as she saw Meg inside.

Lena’s gaze scanned Yulia up and down at her driver boy outfit.

“Let me in. I’m freezing!” Yulia said.

Lena frowned. “No—”

But Yulia pushed the window wider and easily slipped through. When she got in, she shut the window to shun off the cold wind. She looked around and found that it was rather a cozy bedroom for a basement.

“Are you some sort of his kept woman? That’s why you’re allowed only to have his basement.”

Lena carefully sat on the bed. “I thought you left. Did you forget something?”

“Tell me if I’m right. You came back for me because you found out who I am. I understand you had a pretty important arrangement with my father.”

“Your father must be disappointed. You’re fit to be a detective, not a criminal.”

“Government is a joke. We’re all criminals.”

“Now that you know the truth, why are you still here?”

“I want my money back,” Yulia replied without thinking.

Lena went to her drawer and took out some notes.

Yulia accepted and pretended to count. It was a hundred more than Lena took earlier. “I’m not expecting a tip,” she said, tossing a note onto the bed.

Lena didn’t move to retrieve it.

“Are you ‘the Irish’ everyone talks about?” Yulia studied Lena. She would never have imagined it if not because her father mentioned it during the meeting. Finding Lena in Roland’s home had convinced her otherwise.

“You know I caught you lying before,” Yulia stated arrogantly.

“Just as I don’t think you’re here for ‘the Irish’, or the money.”

“For… I have a business with Mr. Myer,” Yulia said sternly.

“You must have seen him left.”

Yulia couldn’t express how much Lena’s small smile annoyed her. She angrily stuffed the notes in her pockets.

“I’ll show you the way out,” Lena said, getting up to the door.

“Maybe it wasn’t you.”

Lena looked at Yulia quizzically.

“The target,” Yulia said.

“If they wanted you, they could have taken you down while you were hiding in that pipe, waiting for some miracle.”

“If they wanted you, why did they shoot at the passenger first?”

Lena chortled. “You seem to be so sure about this. Does this happen to you a lot?”

“I love being around my father, and this doesn’t stop me,” Yulia said proudly. She pulled her sleeve up, revealing a bullet scar on her arm.

“Are you trying to be the absent son?” The Irish leaned back against the door, knowing Yulia was just boasting about her adventures, making them the excuse to stay longer. Surely, she had heard how Dimitri’s only son was giving him a hard time. Alexei Volkov wasn’t born a gangster like his father; he was a far too pious man.

“I love being who I am, and he loves having a daughter like me.” Yulia glanced at the cast over Lena’s arm. “So you have your arm broken for nothing.”

“My baby Cadillac,” Lena said with a serious face.

Yulia chuckled, and then composed herself. “You still think you were the target.”

“You have the honor and my blessing, Ms. Volkova. It’s getting really late now.”

Yulia crossly walked out of the room before she would hear another unwelcome statement. Lena followed up the stairs until they reached the front door. Yulia turned around as Lena grabbed the cold, steely knob.

“I was here mainly for Mr. Myer… But thanks for pulling me out of the water.”

Again, the small smile appeared at the corner of Lena’s lips as she proceeded to open the door for Yulia. With the sight strangely imprinted in her mind, Yulia walked towards her car, oblivious of the cold or the snow falling over her.

Uhaku
09-06-2005, 16:13
CHAPTER 6



In front of her apartment building, Lena grumbled at the sight of her crimson Cadillac covered in thick snow. She had bought a secondhand one, older model than the previous one sank in Lake Michigan. But this already turned out to be a bad start of the day. She had to dig up the snow with one hand.

Grabbing the shovel, she began the task. Although she had hundreds of millions in her several bank accounts, under different names, she decided to move to a modest neighborhood. Besides Roland, no one knew the whereabouts of her home. She rather stayed low key since the lake incident. They had yet to know who hired the hit men. Those men must have followed her from her place and decided to attack her when she was out in the remote area.

She chuckled at the thought of Yulia and how the young woman sneaked into the backyard a few nights ago. But she couldn’t think of a reason for Yulia to be there when Roland already left. Yulia couldn’t have wanted to thank her that much.

“She must be a really lonely, mink bitch,” Lena muttered to herself, prowling the snow off the car’s roof.

“I could give you a hand, and I don’t expect tips either,” a voice came.

Lena turned. Yulia was standing right behind her, unexpectedly not in a mink coat, but a brown, worn jacket, a pair of calf-length trousers, a taxi’s cap and a pair of really nerdy glasses. Obviously, Yulia must have plenty of this type of costume to elude her father’s eye.

“Mr. Myer is to be blamed, Irish,” Yulia whispered mischievously.

Roland had taken Yulia out for dinner a few times already, strengthening their connection with Mr. Volkov. But he was careful not to take things too far, fearing it might upset Dimitri.

“I’m not an Irish,” Lena said as a matter of fact.

“Are you Lena?” Yulia said accusingly.

Lena hadn’t told Yulia her real name, but she didn’t really care; Roland would have revealed it eventually.

“Men with guns are sexy. Unfortunately, women with guns turn out to be boring, or are you just a bad example of them?”

Lena kept prowling the snow.

“Where are you going anyway?” Yulia asked, irritated.

Lena handed Yulia a key to her room. “Since you don’t need any tip from me, go to my room and bring the boxes down.”

“What boxes?” Yulia reluctantly accepted the key.

“All of them.”

“Don’t tell me you’re moving again!”

Lena stared squarely at Yulia. “Roland must have forgotten to inform you this bit of my daily plan.”

Yulia instantly looked down.

“Why are you following me around?”

Yulia didn’t respond.

“I saw you at the corner of Illinois, watching me the other night.”

“I was bored recently… often…” Yulia mumbled.

“I figured that. But I’d appreciate it if you’d stop it.” Lena took the key back from Yulia and put it in her pocket. She drove away, leaving Yulia at the sidewalk.



.................................................. .................................................. ........................
CHAPTER 7



Standing in front of the mahogany door to Dimitri Volkov’s mansion, Lena watched one of the guards driving her old Cadillac around the fountain to the parking space behind the building.

“I’m not ready,” Lena said, one hand sinking into her pocket. She turned to Roland.

“Did I tell you to be nice to her? You’re too straightforward sometimes.”

“But I rarely had to meet any of our business partners,” Lena insisted. She felt uncomfortable enough with one arm in the cast, not to mention the black gown Roland bought and forced her to wear for tonight’s dinner.

“Dimitri was not pleased at your absence last time. Unless you don’t plan to do business with him again, go tell the guy to get your car back here.”

Lena wanted to do just that, but didn’t think it was such a good idea to ruin Roland’s evening now.

“Look, Dimitri is different. He isn’t just a mafia, but a friend with many politicians. This is one step up we should take, Lena. I don’t wanna stuck being just a street mob forever.”

“I thought we only want to get rich and then bail out of this business—”

The door opened, revealing a maid in black dress. Roland smiled and went in first. Lena followed.


>>>


In the large study room, Dimitri stood by his oak desk, grinning as he observed the Irish. From his gaze, Lena knew she was nothing Dimitri had imagined. With long hair and rather pale, slim stature, her look fitted to be one of his maids.

“It is my pleasure to meet you,” Lena said. She hesitantly shook Dimitri’s hand. Her social graces were a little dull.

Dimitri firmly drew her hand nearer to his face. “Could this be the hand that gunned down that bastard Mason?” Smiling, he kissed her hand.

“It can’t be no one else’s, but there’s no need to thank me,” Lena said, letting Dimitri hold her hand all he wanted. She found no compliment in it. ‘The Irish’ had made her fortune but also brought her troubles every so often.

The door swung open and Yulia Volkova came through. The young woman had returned to her usual clothing. Upon seeing the guests, she immediately took off her glasses and roughly stuffed them into her pocket.

“This is my little kitten, Yulia!” Dimitri cheerfully gestured Yulia to come closer.

Lena surely had noted the absence of the stalker during the past week.

“We’ve met,” Yulia said. She offered no handshake, but Lena didn’t expect to receive one anyway.

“I brought Lena to one of Yulia’s splendid parties,” Roland quickly added.

“Where’s your brother?” Dimitri asked his daughter.

“He left for a skiing trip this morning, papa. Didn’t you see him?”

Dimitri cursed under his breath. Yulia moved beside him and slipped her hand around his arm. “Dinner’s ready, everyone,” she said.

Dimitri gestured at Lena and Roland. “Please.”


>>>


At the long dinning table, Roland sat next to Lena, Yulia to her mother, while Dimitri took the position at the head.

“I had just come back from New York this afternoon. I apologize for this graceless preparation, as you can see,” Mrs. Volkova said, smiling lightly.

Roland smiled back at the beautiful, middle-age woman, thinking how lucky Yulia was to get most of her facial features from her mother. “We feel honored already,” he said.

“Are you finding the meal all right?” Mrs. Volkova asked.

Lena’s head shot up when she realized the question was directed at her. “Yes, I—” she said, the fork slipping from her hand and dropping onto the floor. One of the maids promptly handed her a fresh one.

“Thank you,” Lena said.

“Irish is rather nervous here tonight. How threatening your dinner is,” Roland commented lightheartedly.

Dimitri laughed in delight. “Would you like some more wine?! More wine?!”

Yulia raised her own empty glass at the maid, while she looked at Lena’s full glass. “Is our wine too coarse for your taste?” she asked.

“I’d love a beer, if you got some,” Lena said quietly, sitting back.

Roland sensed the tension, but kept his cool smile.

“Beer…? Of course—yes, we do. Angela?” Mrs. Volkova waved for the maid and ordered her to buy some beers from the only market located two miles from the ranch.

“Rough woman, I see! Very American!” Dimitri said.

Lena smiled for the first time tonight. “Everybody is an American here. Even your drivers who don’t speak English at all hold American citizenships, I believe.”

“Well, yes, we’re in the land of promise! I still think of the first day I arrived New York City! I knew just what we could do here! Everything! And here I am!” Dimitri laughed.

“Are you really an Irish?” Mrs. Volkova asked.

Roland took it that the woman was genuinely puzzled.

“Not that I know of,” Lena replied with ease. “I grew up in an orphanage. I’ve never met my parents before, but it doesn’t bother me. I just know I’m American.”

Mrs. Volkova now had a reluctant look on her face.

“I met Roland after I was old enough to leave the place. He helped me find me a job at a factory, and we became friends afterwards,” Lena added.

Roland smiled, relieved at this. He secretly cursed himself for thinking that Lena might embarrass him. He should have known her better.

“Here, let me help,” Roland said, taking the fork from Lena’s hand and starting to cut the meat for her.

“Should we be expecting an invitation card to your wedding soon?” Yulia briskly asked.

Roland looked up, perplexed at Yulia’s slightly aggravated tone. Although he never considered a romantic relationship with her, the possibility now seemed enticing.

“We’re very close friends and will always be,” Lena said, picking a piece of meat with her free hand and popping it into her mouth.

Roland tried his best to ignore Lena’s attempt to put off young Volkova. But he didn’t know if he should be relieved or saddened that Lena made it clear that they would never be anything more than friends.

“You’re something! I like you!” Dimitri then began eating with his hands, too.

Mrs. Volkova watched her husband in wide eyes.


>>>


After the dinner, Lena followed Dimitri to the second floor. They entered the largest living room of the mansion, which surprised her that they kept it upstairs. To the balcony, they stood, facing the chilly wind.

“It is a beautiful night!” Dimitri said.

“It’s too cold for me.” Lena rested her hands on the concrete hedge, looking down at Roland and Yulia on a stony bench in the front lawn.

“This is nothing for us, Russians!”

Lena just nodded. Whether it was true or not, she didn’t know. With the fierce, freezing wind, Chicago winter already felt like Antarctica’s.

Dimitri watched his daughter and the man below. “Is Mr. Myer truly available?”

“He’s always available.”

“Don’t get me wrong, Irish. My daughter is a grown up now, and I’m a very liberal father! I let her do whatever she likes!”

“Like taking the bullet for you?”

Dimitri smiled even wider. “I’ve heard so much about you, and I know how hard to gain your friendship. Tonight, you don’t pretend otherwise.”

Lena gave a genuine smile back, and saw that he was pleased.

“Mr. Myer is looking forward to our next meeting with my friends. Will you come? Somebody loves to have your autograph.”

“With my blood, perhaps.”

Dimitri laughed. “I know why you were absent from our last meeting. I’ve learned of your accident a few weeks ago.”

Lena instantly turned to Dimitri. Roland had yet to find out who hired the hit men.

“How long were you going to hide the fact that my daughter was with you that night?”

Lena didn’t avoid Dimitri’s glare. She simply stared back. “As long as it wouldn’t interfere with our business. But it doesn’t seem to matter now.”

“It’s all right!” Dimitri burst out laughing, pounding his fist against his chest. “My daughter begged me not to have bodyguards around her, and I granted her wish. If she were hurt, I’d think of it as her unfortunate moment. We all got bad days…! But all I want from my business partners is honesty, you do understand.”

Lena nodded. She wondered why Dimitri broke this news to her, not Roland. They seemed to know each other better, and especially now that Roland seemed to be entering a new phrase of relationship with his daughter.

“Mr. Myer is a smart, young man, but I see you have the guts! I’m not a sexist, Russian hoodlum, you see! It’s 1930s, and women conquer America already!”

“We won’t see Miss President anytime soon,” Lena said. She couldn’t care less if she got the right to vote now. She didn’t know many politicians, and dreaded the thought of getting to know more. However, Roland was underestimated. He was more than her right hand. He saved her life several times and guided her to the right paths. It was ‘the Irish’ that always unjustly took away the credits he deserved.


>>>


Lena came down the stairs to the front door, waiting for the driver to retrieve her car. Roland was still inside, speaking to Dimitri and his wife. She could hear their loud laughs and chattering from where she stood, and she didn’t know how much longer she had to wait for Roland.

Unexpectedly, Yulia came out first, and they stared at each other. Leaning against the doorframe, Yulia crossed her arms over her chest. The wind blew her blonde, shoulder-length hair to the back, exposing the unfriendly gaze from the large blue eyes.

“It was a pleasant dinner. Thank you,” Lena said, looking over her shoulder.

“Did you wash your hands?” Yulia looked away, clearly irritated.

“I licked them clean.”

“Urgh,” Yulia groaned, making a disgusted face.

“Why, I don’t plan to hold anybody’s hand tonight,” Lena said in a light tone.

Yulia looked up, and her stern facial expression softened at Lena’s small smile. She cleared her throat and said, “My father must have told you that he found out about the incident.”

“I thought he was going to spank me.”

Yulia tried to suppress her smile, but Lena could see it through.

“Will Roland drive? With—with your arm like that, you should let him drive.”

Lena nodded a little. Something was going on here. Volkova seemed to be interested in her business too much. It must be ‘the Irish’ again. So many people were drawn to the myth that Lena could easily start a fan club.

“I’m still waiting for an apology,” Yulia said, titling her head back against the doorframe.

Lena frowned, puzzled.

“For dumping me in the middle of nowhere like that. Don’t tell me you have already forgotten about it.”

“You didn’t say sorry when you bumped into me in the street either.”

“Oh, Holy Mary! And just because of that, you had to drag me and left me in the middle of the snowstorm!?”

Often times, Lena just did it out of spite, no other solid reason. She still thought Yulia deserved it.

“Last thing Mason knew was that he stepped on my toe,” Lena droned.

Yulia stared at her. “For real!?”

Lena chuckled without the sound as she saw Yulia’s mouth opened in awe.

Yulia grumbled, realizing it was only a joke. She was momentarily filled with ecstasy, thinking that she had the truth behind Mason’s murder. But Lena wasn’t going to explain. She never planned to, even to Roland.

Lena sidestepped to let Roland walked through the door, Dimitri and his wife closely behind. They then bid farewells and got into the car.

Yulia watched the old Cadillac passing beyond the high fence of the ranch. She still couldn’t wash away the image of Lena standing in front of her. The yellow light from the European-style lantern above illuminated upon the curtains of dark red hair. With the bright, green eyes hidden behind the deep sharp shadows and the faint smile that looked both angelic and evil, the Irish possessed a strangely ethereal, but also menacing air around her.

“Brave, young girl, but reckless. Reckless! I might send bodyguards to stay with her twenty-four, seven from now on.” Dimitri laughed and exhaled the cigar smoke.

“Have you found out the people behind it?” Yulia asked.

Her father wrapped her in a gigantic embrace. “Not yet, and keep in mind that we don’t always find solid proofs. In time, she’ll learn to see through it.”

Yulia frowned, confused and worried at the same time.

“Honestly, pumpkin, as long as the target wasn’t you. And I thanked God nobody was foolish enough to try.”

“Can you stop having Mitch following me everywhere I go?” Ever since the lake accident, she knew her father had her watched at all times.

“I was considering that since you haven’t stalked Irish for a week now.”

“Stalked!? I did not—”

“My little kitten, I used to stalk my hometown’s hero, too, so I know. I know! But it’s not safe to be around her at the moment.”

“Did grandpa stop you back then?”

“Your grandpa was the hero!” Dimitri laughed and walked his daughter in.

Uhaku
09-06-2005, 16:20
CHAPTER 8



The day started out normally with the grocery shopping for Lena. She finally got the cast off her arm. Holding a bag of fruits, she strolled along the open market, looking around. But she wasn’t going to buy more since she always left one hand free to grab the gun in her pocket at anytime.

She had argued with Roland about hiring bodyguards. He wanted protection ever since the incident, but she insisted on living the simple life. She rather died at the hand of a stranger than her own bodyguards. Betrayal happened a lot, and it hurt more than a slap in the face. A honk blared lightly behind her. Lena didn’t look right away. This wasn’t from the same source she expected. This was too blatant. For several weeks now, she sensed that someone out there was following her. But their intention must have been good, or she might have encountered another attempt on her life already.

Lena turned. Roland was driving through with Yulia in the passenger seat. Several bags lied idle in the backseat.

“Care for a ride?” Roland asked.

“I’ll walk,” Lena said, smiling lightly.

“Let’s go grab some lunch together,” Roland said.

Lena shook her head a little. “I’m not hungry.”

“This is not my idea,” Yulia interrupted.

The look on her face was impossible for Lena to decide whether it was irritation or indifference. This clumsy stalker had stopped stalking her for a while now, and she felt relieved somehow. She didn’t want anyone hanging around her and getting hurt because of her. Yulia could take the bullet for her father, but not for her. She didn’t need it from anybody.

“Come on, Lena. Nothing fancy this time, I promise,” Roland said, winking.

Lena stared at him, knowing she couldn’t refuse his request. Today was the day she must return his favor.

Much to Yulia’s surprise, Lena threw the bag into the car and hopped in.


>>>


At the hot bread stand, Roland was ordering some for the three of them. Yulia and Lena were waiting in the car parked along the curbside.

“How was the Niagara Fall trip?”

Yulia looked up at the rear mirror, perplexed that Lena was the one to start the conversation this time. However, Lena’s gaze was out the window, fixed somewhere around Roland, watching out for him.

“Mr. Myer was a great companion, and the Niagara fall was awesome! I had never seen anything like it before!” Yulia said almost curtly. She remembered the ever predictable response from Lena through Roland: Lena’s refusal to join them.

“That’s great to hear,” Lena said absentmindedly, still looking elsewhere.

It annoyed Yulia even more when Lena paid no attention to the conversation she started herself. “You know what could make your life a little less boring? You could hire someone to watch out for you,” Yulia grunted.

Lena turned to look into the rear mirror now, staring back at Yulia. “I didn’t want it, but I never objected if Roland would need one. He refused it himself.”

Yulia hesitated. She didn’t mean to put the blame on Lena. Whatever Roland’s decision was, regarding this issue, no one else shared responsibility in it.

“He probably didn’t want to overdo it because you’re his boss. But if you really care for him, you should do it for his sake.” Yulia didn’t know what was coming out of her mouth. Perhaps, she did care for Roland’s safety to speak in such a scornful way.

“I already hired someone to look after him, and it’s not you,” Lena said.

That same faint smile appeared on Lena’s lips again, and Yulia sat, staring at it in the rear mirror, contemplating if she liked it or wanted to tear that face apart.

“Thank you,” Lena said quietly.

Sitting still, Yulia watched. Lena’s lips barely moved when the words slipped through her mouth.

“For the bodyguards. It took me some times to figure out who sent them.”

Yulia uncomfortably nodded. “A complimentary from my father, although I don’t understand why he wants to pamper you.” She couldn’t follow Lena anymore with those guards around. Another report to her father might have Mitch trailing her again. Even now she still didn’t understand why she did it in the first place. Was it ‘the Irish’ that intrigued her, or the demonic smile on this young woman’s face that never lasted for more than two seconds at a time? The devil in flesh had definitely cast a spell upon her.


>>>


Lena managed to surprise Yulia for the second time today; she hung out with them until five in the afternoon, strolling in the park and enjoying a small art gallery. Lena spent most of the times talking to the curator instead of her though. It gave her the sense that Lena now wanted to see the world outside violence and death. Yulia thought she could do a better job than the curator.

Roland parked his car right in front of Yulia’s luxurious apartment at five o’clock sharp as promised. It was where she held parties with her friends. Her parents never allowed her to crash at their ranch.

“Where are you going?” Yulia asked when she was out on the curbside, seeing Lena also climbing out of the car.

“I’m going home,” Lena replied, grabbing the bag of fruits.

“I must run now, ladies. See you tomorrow, Yulia.” Roland’s gaze met with Lena’s for a second before he waved at them and drove away.

Lena watched until Roland’s car was out of sight, and then sighed. “We’ll see each other again sometimes. Have a good night,” Lena said to Yulia, walking away.

But Yulia wasn’t going to wait for that ‘sometimes’. She followed suit. “Why didn’t he give you a ride home?”

Lena didn’t slow down one bit. “He has an errand to settle. I have a dinner to cook.”

“Do you actually cook?!” Yulia asked. She knew she let out too much excitement.

“Yes, I do.”

Lena frowned and suddenly stopped at a black car alongside the pavement, following them. Yulia halted in her track, her face almost crashing into Lena’s shoulder. She looked around and saw Mitch, the fat, blond bodyguard who had guarded her for a while, sitting in the car.

“I’m beginning to think it’s too cold for a walk,” Lena said.

Yulia wasn’t sure if Lena was speaking to her or to Mitch and the other man in the car. Obviously, Lena had found out that Mitch was the bodyguard Dimitri settled for her. After all, Mitch was the most trusted bodyguard in Dimitri’s care.

“Please,” Mitch said, reaching back to open the door for Lena.

Lena turned to Yulia and gestured for her to go in first. Yulia grinned. She couldn’t quite believe her luck today. She could ring her friends later that she’d be a little late for tonight’s party.


>>>


Lena’s third surprise for the day wasn’t anything fancy. A large, creamy carpet occupied most of the space in the middle of the living room. There were an old, leather couch, an oak record player, and a small tea table. A board game and a worn case of cards scattered on the floor. The sunshine was let in between the creamy curtains. The place looked just like anybody’s room, and Yulia had to wonder where Lena kept all her guns.

“I’ll take your coat,” Lena said.

Yulia couldn’t help but stopped when Lena’s hands lightly brushed her neck, gently pulling the coat off, the sleeves slipping down along the length of her arms. It wasn’t the first time Lena touched her, but frantically dragging her out of the freezing lake didn’t really count.

“Who’s this?” Yulia asked, picking a picture frame from the shelf. It was a picture of an old woman in a black housedress.

“Celia was the head mistress of the orphanage.” Lena made her way into the small kitchen. She grabbed a pot and filled the water in.

“Do you still visit her after you left?” Yulia asked.

“Sometimes, but not lately… Would you like some hot tea?”

Yulia stared at Lena.

“I have brandy—” Lena quickly made up.

“A cup of tea would be fine,” Yulia interrupted and turned away before Lena could see her smile. She had never imagined the privilege to drink a cup of tea made by ‘the Irish’. She’d drink plain water if it counted.

Lena was standing as still as a statue, staring at the teapot. Yulia then realized that she was waiting for the water to boil. Could it be that Lena was actually nervous with her around?

“Do you live here alone?” Yulia asked, bracing herself against the door to the kitchen. “I’d have thought you live with…umm, with Mr. Myer. You two seem pretty close to each other.”

Lena looked at Yulia for a moment. “We’re close friends—”

“You told me already. Do you bring guests here often?” Yulia didn’t exactly need to wait for an answer; she could tell Lena was a private person. “Why did you invite me?” With this, she almost smiled in triumph.

“I’d like a company tonight. You two have spoiled me the whole day.”

Lena’s answer came so simple it took Yulia off guard.

“But you don’t like having me around,” Yulia said.

Lena nodded. “Sometimes.”

Yulia stared hard at the redhead.

“Mitch is downstairs, so it’s quite safe for you here,” Lena said.

Yulia paused. “Am I thinking right that you do care for my safety?”

“As long as you’re a Volkov, you need it.”

“Oh, you’re just afraid that I might ruin your business again.” Yulia tried to keep her tone as cool as possible. A lot of people cared to socialize with her only because of that fact, and the Irish shouldn’t be any different. She had no reason to get upset, did she?

“Would you like my autograph?” Lena asked quizzically.

“Not if you killed Mason because he stepped on your toe!” Yulia screamed. She had had enough. But she stopped when she saw Lena laugh for the first time.

Lena’s smile disappeared off her face as quick a lightning though. Lena grabbed the boiling pot and walked past Yulia into the living room. After she turned on the music, she sat down on the couch and poured tea for two.

Yulia marched to stand right in front of Lena. She wasn’t going to let Lena shatter her ego anymore. “Why did you invite me here?” she questioned with authority, both arms stiffened along the sides of her body, her gaze absolutely still on Lena.

Lena looked reluctant for a moment, and it flipped Yulia’s stomach.

“I… I’m not used to… I’m not used to this kind of thing…”

Did the Irish just stammer? Yulia bit her lips, letting her thoughts ran madly in her head. She knew she was gorgeous. It wasn’t anything new. But could it be that…

“I don’t know much about this—type of affair. I grew up in an environment that… that didn’t permit me to…” Lena finally looked up at Yulia. “I know this will sound quite absurd. I’m sure you would never have guessed…”

It was well into mid 1930s, and women were enjoying their newfound sexual experiences. Every girl was homosexual until they got married. Yulia wasn’t sure how the Irish had spared the time escaping the bullets and catching on with the fad, but Yulia’s mere presence could bring Eleanor Roosevelt out of the closet no problem.

Lena stood up from the couch and sat Yulia down beside her.

“It has never happened before—”

“I know,” Yulia whispered throatily, her eyelids fluttering as she leaned forwards. She couldn’t believe the impact the clear gaze of those green eyes had on her. She felt as though she was now the only fuckable thing on earth. She didn’t have the time to think things through, if it was ‘the Irish’, or Lena, that made her this dizzy.

“Roland is desperate. Can you believe that?” Lena said in a lighter tone. “He never had a problem with girls before. Whomever he liked, he got them. It was that easy for him… He wanted me to make sure you got that part.” Lena chuckled slightly. “But you’re different. Positively, I mean. He’s frustrated at your actions, but he just doesn’t show.”

Squinting, Yulia felt like the record player had just burst.

Lena stopped as she caught the dark aura from Yulia.

“He wanted you to ask me if I felt anything for him. Is that right?” Yulia’s tone grew stern.

Lena rubbed her chin a little. “I think it’s ridiculous. He’s a grown man, and he should—”

Yulia shot up from the couch. “You think he should ask me himself?”

“That’s right.”

“Thank you for the tea! No! It was more a pathetic drink for elderly!” Yulia stormed across the room to grab her coat by the door. “And thank you for the fake invitation! I caught you lying again!”

“What’s this?” Lena looked utterly puzzled.

“If he failed to shag me, then it is your fault!” With that, Yulia slammed the door behind her. Her own words followed her faster than Lena did, echoing in her head.

“Why is it my fault?” Lena asked. She had caught Yulia’s arm, stopping her in the middle of the stairway.

“I don’t know!” Yulia totally agreed with Lena’s question.

“I never wanted to intrude your relationship with him. I never did this for him—”

“You can tell him that there are many big fish in the sea! I’m not the only rich girl in Chicago!”

“I don’t think it’s entirely about money. He’s quite well-off now—”

“With the money my father paid him!”

“With the money your father made from selling the weapons to the terrorists.”

Yulia stared hard at Lena, causing Lena to eventually let go off her arm. “You have the nerve to accuse my father of the same crime you did.”

“I’m sorry. Every cup of tea I drank was paid with innocent blood,” Lena corrected herself. Her ever so cool manners irritated Yulia to the core now.

“You got that right, bastard!” Yulia growled. She spun on her heels and left.

Ningyo
10-06-2005, 22:20
*tackles Uhaku and starts tickling her* :hooligan:

Gotcha! I knew it, I knew it could only be YOU writing this story. Good to see you're still alive, hehe.

Great story, btw.

warx
11-06-2005, 03:16
:eek:
UHAKU??

THE UHAKU??
the one who wrote 666 etc...etc??
hmmmmmmmm......aka the sith??
jejejeje

ok ..ok...im offcially confused right now...hmmm..anyway....."the darkness within"...what happen? is it finnish?
jejeje
u knw i luv that fic ryt?? :D :gigi:


ps
i lke this new fic of urs...

Uhaku
11-06-2005, 04:22
:flag: CAUGHT! Nah, I was just crazy about Starwars for a bit, so I registered for another name. Too lazy to do it again in this forum. Back to my old self.

warx - Shhhhhhhh! DW will be finished.... sometimes... LOL!
Mel - MY GOD! U knew it was me?! U knew it?! GRRRRRRRR! <Linna roars like Vader, which btw, i think Lucas sucked at emotions. He could have made it just a bit more emotional. OFF Topic!>

Volkster
11-06-2005, 11:29
Of course there was no other choice than to follow you here for this story!!!

I gotta say that I love how little by little Lena's front is falling but still manages to piss Yulia off!!! Hehe! I find it hilarious!!!

Thanks for the update!!! :done:

PS. What's gonna happen with DW?? :confused:

Uhaku
11-06-2005, 19:26
LOL! Volkster, I'm so grateful that u even registered in this forum for my story. :) I hope I won't disappoint u. DW has always been the hardest for me to write, I don't know why. I hope, again, that I can pull myself together and continue it. I'd love to. Ah, I thought a new story would distract u guys! :p



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



CHAPTER 9



It was early in the morning, and Roland had nothing better to do than pacing around
in Lena’s living room. The bedroom door opened, and he turned, exasperated.

“She refused to see me now!”

Lena suppressed her yawns. She was awakened from an hour of sleep by
his endless, loud knocks at six o’clock in the morning. For some reason,
she grew restless after Yulia left instead of being angry at the woman’s rude remark.
She thought it might really be her fault, but then she absolutely had no idea
what her misdemeanor was.

“Tea?” Lena slumbered into the kitchen. She had only a white robe over her
thin nightgown. It was an outrageous scenario if anyone caught them
in this state. But Lena and Roland grew up together, and they had seen
each other naked since they could remember anything. Although, much to
Roland’s disadvantage, Lena had stopped taken shower with him for years now.

“I already got myself some whiskey. Thank you.” Roland slumped down on the couch.

Lena came out again with a cup of tea, letting the warmth seeping i
nto her palms. Putting away the thought of holding the pathetic drink in her hands
as Yulia commented, she quietly observed Roland’s tired face. He definitely
hadn’t slept the whole night.

“I shouldn’t have got too close to her. Now she thinks I’m after her money!”

“It looks like that in other people’s eyes.”

Roland looked up at her. “You?”

“Sometimes,” Lena replied.

He shamefully nodded in agreement.

“What about now?” Lena asked.

“What now? She doesn’t want to see me anymore!” Roland sighed and
released his tie. “She’s different from every other girl I’ve known… every girl but you.”

“I don’t count,” Lena said.

“Have you ever felt anything for me other than friendly feelings?” Roland asked
as simply as he would for a glass of water. He was never ashamed of himself and
never let himself down no matter what. Lena thought that, beside his good looks,
it was this confidence that won many hearts for him. Yulia seemed to be
perfect match to Roland.

“When I was twelve,” Lena said as a matter of fact. Strangely, she didn’t quite
understand where those feelings had gone.

“I should have taken the chance!” Roland joked. “But… being Mr. Irish is hard.”

Lena looked the other way. It was a relief that he seemed to feel strongly for
other woman now. She didn’t want his feelings to come between them as she
highly valued their friendship.

“We have a new client, Lena. Tomorrow at six,” Roland said, grinning,
“He demanded to meet ‘the Irish’! We’ll become billionaires, and I’ll sail
off to Europe! Bye bye, America!”

“Europe?” Lena asked quietly.

“I got a detective working for me for a while now. He found out that my biological
father is living in Germany. When it’s confirmed, I plan to go see him. I’ll buy
him a big house and a nice car! He’ll be proud of me.”

“That’s great to hear.” With a heavy heart, Lena brushed her wavy locks from her face.
She had ended her quest to find her parents three years ago. It was a hellish road, indeed.

“Did you find out who those bodyguards are from?” Roland asked.

“They turned out to be Dimitri’s men.”

“He got one following me, too.” Roland seemed proud, thinking it was Dimitri’s
nice gesture towards him.

Lena couldn’t burst his bubbles now that it was actually her, who hired the
guard for him. She fathomed why Dimitri pampered her this much. She must be
one of the antiques Dimitri would love to add to his vast collections.

Roland got up and put on his coat. “Thanks for the whiskey again. I have to go.”

Lena shrugged slightly. Since she couldn’t go back to sleep now, she probably had
to go out for a walk. It was so cold outside though.

“I planned to take Yulia out for a play tonight, but…” A frown occupied Roland’s face again.
“I can’t believe she got so upset just because of this. What exactly did you do?”

“Put a gun to her head and forced her to love you.”

“Be serious, Lena!”

“I did as told. But then we don’t know how to please Volkova, do we?
I told you she is hard to deal with.” Lena was amused; she had never seen
Roland this worried about any girl. She wasn’t sure if the problem lied with his ego,
or love that had just surfaced.

Roland kissed her cheek and ran for the door. “Ring me tomorrow!”

Lena sighed aloud when the door shut behind him.


>>>


After a quick shower, Lena came out of her apartment. Across the road, she
spotted Mitch and his partner right away. She nodded to them for the first time
and began her quiet, morning walk.

The sky was gray, thick with clouds, and the sun was probably still asleep.
In the yellow glow from the streetlights, she strolled towards a hot bread stand.
She bought some and waited until Mitch’s car caught up with her at the curbside.

“Good morning,” Lena said, handing the warm bags to Mitch.

“For us, Madam?” Mitch asked, blinking.

“Is Mr. Volkov this generous to every business partner he got?”

“You’re special, Madam. You’re the Irish!” Grinning, Mitch looked as if he was
about to pull out a piece of paper and asked for her autographs. She would
refuse him anyway.

“Did you follow Ms. Volkova home yesterday?”

“Our job is to secure you,” Tommy said. He was Mitch’s partner.

Lena only smiled. It was daring and strange for Dimitri to let his daughter wandering
around the city unguarded like this. The Volkov family was one of a kind—the kind
that she learned to like.

“Yulia can take care of herself. Don’t you worry, Madam,” Mitch added.

It struck Lena how close Mitch referred to the mink diva. Mitch must have served
the family for a long time, and they grew close to one another.

“I’m sure you knew about the accident more than a month ago,” Lena said.

“That was because she stumbled into the Irish!” Mitch said and laughed with Tommy.

“Can you not following me today?” Lena finally asked the question.

“I’m sorry, Madam, but you’re not the one who pays us,” Mitch said.

“How much—”

“We don’t accept any payment from anybody but Mr. Volkov, Madam.
The best you could do is to turn a blind eye.” Mitch looked serious now.

Lena nodded in defeat, but then ran as fast as she could across the street into
the small alley. She could hear Mitch’s yell and the screech of tires in the distance.
She laughed, but didn’t slow down. She knew the streets by heart, and even if
Mitch also did, she had the advantage of being on foot. Sooner or later, Mitch
would follow her on foot, too, but she was positive she would lose him. She had
once outrun destiny itself. Nothing could stop her.


>>>


Panting, Lena jumped past the old man, who had just come out of the
apartment complex, landing inside before the door shut. The man turned to look
at her with stunned eyes. He walked back, meaning to come in again. But she
grabbed the knob, pushing it back. She knew he was going to call for a doorman,
but that would never happen. With a smile and a flash of the gun in the holster
beneath her coat, the old man shakily retreated away from the door. She watched
him until he went out of her sight.

“Do you always enjoy threatening people first thing in the morning?”

Lena spun around. She had thought she was alone in the lobby. She was fast but
reckless as Dimitri had said.

Yulia stood just a few steps away. Dark circles around her eyes and her blonde hair messy,
she had a mink coat on, unbuttoned to reveal the crumpled, white blouse inside.
Yulia seemed to be too tired to hide her glasses this time, but Lena thought she looked pretty anyway.

A brown-haired woman standing next to Yulia eyed Lena up and down. “Who is this?” she asked her friend.

“Tonya, this is Lena, my father’s friend, and the other way around, yeah,” Yulia grumpily
introduced them.

Lena thought it could be the all-night-long party and the enormous amount of drinking.

Tonya looked equally roughed up, but managed to give Lena a smile. They shook hands.

“Do you live here, Lena?” Tonya asked.

“No,” Lena replied and then glanced at Yulia.

A long silence.

“I’ll wait in the car,” Tonya said to Yulia, walking away.

Lena watched Tonya at the corner of her eyes. Even though Tonya disappeared
behind the wall, into the path that led to the parking lot behind the building, Lena
could see her shadows lingered. Tonya was listening.

“I’ll make it quick,” Lena said.

Yulia nodded with her eyes half-opened.

“Roland came to see me this morning. He was really sorry that he had upset you—”

“He didn’t. You did.”

Lena stopped. Yulia’s point was understandable. It seemed that whatever
Roland did, she was responsible for it, and vice versa. “We both apologize then.”

Yulia glared up.

“We promise to treat you as an adult now.”

“Are you finished?” Yulia’s tone was harsh, but it wasn’t surprising.
“Tell Mr. Myer I’d see him this evening, if he’s free.”

Although the manners urged Lena to drop Yulia off in the middle of the
dessert this time, she only nodded.

Yulia walked away to the same direction Tonya had gone. As quietly as
possible, Lena followed. She pressed her body against the wall, waiting for the
footsteps to fade. But she heard mad giggles instead.

“Was that the Irish?!” It was Tonya’s voice. “Oh my God! She’s so much
younger than I thought! And she—and she… She looked so ordinary!”

Lena frowned at the almost disdainful tone.

“She is ordinary and boring!” Yulia’s voice didn’t sound so sleepy now, did it?

“Oh, Yulia, you’re God! You called her a bastard yesterday, and today she came
running to apologize to you! That wasn’t even twenty-four hours yet!”

To Lena’s surprise, Yulia halfheartedly chortled. She’d have expected Yulia
to burst into an arrogant laughter.

“But she sounded totally clueless. Maybe she was strictly heter—”

“She doesn’t have a sex life, that much I can tell. She only knows board games, cards and teas!” Yulia cut her friend off.

“A virgin with guns! How adorable! Maybe you could teach her how to use her guns!”

Lena’s eyes widened. Outrageous! No decent woman would talk this way.
Even the crude, rebellious ones from the orphanage weren’t this vulgar.
Talk about high society!

“What are you planning to do with Mr. Myer? Isn’t he gorgeous?!”

“He is, and I’ll keep that in mind,” Yulia said, giggling.

“Did you sleep with him?”

Lena stopped dead. She never had a conversation this private with Roland.
Out of the blue, she felt blood shooting up to warm her cheeks,
she couldn’t quite understand why.

“Almost. But that’s going to change tonight,” Yulia said with confidence.

The footsteps continued again, fading away.

“Oh, that look! Are you serious with him?!” Tonya asked.

“You must be out of your mind. He’s below my league I don’t dare to show him off to my mother’s friends.”

With that, Lena stalked across the lobby and out the front door. She sensed that
Roland must have some feelings for this Volkova already, and hearing the bitch’s
take on this greatly upset her.

Volkster
12-06-2005, 01:25
Ah, I thought a new story would distract u guys! :p

I would say that this isn't really a distraction so much as a new addiction!!! And I have an addictive personality so ... I know!!!! :D

It's great cause you always manage to make me feel just like some of the characters of your stories and in this case I have to say that I'm getting confused, much like Lena I guess! Which is a good thing!!!! I have to wonder whether Lena is just upset with Yulia's last comments because of the close relationship that she has with Mr Myer. Hmmm!! I'm not so sure!!! And I know that it's never as simple as it seems but ... I don't know. For a second there the thought that Lena was jealous because Yulia is planning to sleep with him crossed my mind! But, it's never that simple!

Anyhow! Thanks for the update! I can't wait for more!!! Yeah, I know! Patience isn't one of my virtues!!! :cool:

Ningyo
12-06-2005, 05:18
Mel - MY GOD! U knew it was me?! U knew it?! GRRRRRRRR! <Linna roars like Vader, which btw, i think Lucas sucked at emotions. He could have made it just a bit more emotional. OFF Topic!>

Well, there were many clues, and there's my intuition too...

Let's see:

The story happens in Chicago. It's about gangsters, and you once you mentioned "Some Like it Hot" is a good film... Besides, I know enough of you writing style to spot your stories. And finally, you have Lord Vader in your signature! That was easy! :p

showMElove2
12-06-2005, 08:37
Aha! I found you once again :) When you said you were leavng, I thought that was it...but here you are. I am really enjoying this one (just as much as 666, and DW... which I hope you continue).
I am with Volkster, I am not to sure what Yulia's motives are, or Lena's for that matter. But I shall be waiting to find out!

Uhaku
13-06-2005, 17:15
CHAPTER 10


Yulia Volkova stormed through the front door of Chicago Theater. It was ten
after seven, but the show had gotten only to its intermission. Yet she stood,
already looking left and right for the sign of her driver.

“Didn’t enjoy the show?” The question came from behind.

Yulia turned at once, her mouth open wide, so ready to bark.
“NO! And where is Mr. Myer!?” But she abruptly stopped, looking at Lena from head to toe.

The Irish was all dolled up in a black gown and a tight, dark, wool coat.
It appeared that she had come for the show as well.

“He can’t make it… He gave up the ticket… to me. I tend to avoid these public
events, but… I feel obliged to deliver you his most sincere apology,” Lena muttered, blinking slowly.

Yulia noted that Lena’s face was a little red. Could it be that the Irish was blushing?
She tried hard to wash away the grin that threatened to appear on her lips.
“You didn’t miss much, just the whole first half of it. But if you beg, I’ll summarize
it up for you.” Her tone involuntarily went softer. She studied the Irish; it must
be that strange effect that pair of mesmerizing eyes had over her again.

“I already knew the whole story,” Lena said, shrugging lazily.

Yulia moved closer to her, allowing only an inch between their faces. “Do you mean
to tell me that you dressed up just to come here and inform me of Mr. Myer’s absence?
I could see that the seat next to mine was empty.” Their gazes locked. Yulia just
hoped the Irish would step back before she’d make a fool out of herself in public,
attempting to kiss Lena.

Lena stopped for a long moment. “No. I came to take you out for dinner.”

Yulia arched her brow, knowing it was only an excuse. “What makes you
think that I’ll accept? I still remember you didn’t like me around sometimes.”

“And I seem to remember you never refused my offers.”

Yulia’s large, blue eyes narrowed in contempt. Lena cocked her head a little and
began to walk ahead. Looking around, Yulia caught Mitch’s car not too far away,
slowly moving along the curbside towards them. Sullenly, she turned to follow Lena.
Ever since she met the Irish, she became so predictable, so boring!

Lena picked up her pace a little. Keeping her gaze down on the cement ground,
she tapped as she jumped and spun around in a dance.

Yulia watched the dizzying, circular footsteps. This hooligan surely never had any
decent dancing lesson before. Yulia smiled dryly to the passersby. She caught
Mitch’s beaming face in the car. He was holding a half-filled bottle of liquor.
She laughed, shaking her head in disbelief. Mitch must have got Lena drunk
before he dropped her here.

Yulia kept her pace even in the cold wind, wondering if Roland was just an excuse
Lena used to come see her this morning. The confirmation of her doubt then came this instant.

“One thing I forgot to tell you!” Lena danced and jumped around.

Yulia pretended to keep her face straight, while grinning inwardly. She had been
waiting for far too long for Lena to open up to her. It seemed tonight was the night.

“I only got two dollars in my pocket!”

That was enough! Yulia took off and ran past Lena. “God damn you if I have
to have some hot breads for my dinner!”

There was a silence before she heard a sound of hurried footsteps behind her.


>>>


“They’re running off!” Mitch yelled at Tommy, shaking his partner’s shoulder.

“I know! I know!” Tommy sped the car after the targets.


>>>


Passing passersby, Lena ran into the small alley. Yulia caught up with her a few moments later.

“Why did you… have to… run… so fast?!” Yulia breathed, hands on her knees.

Lena pulled Yulia’s slouching body deeper into the alley. Panting, they hid in the
shadows of the night, looking out and seeing Mitch’s car speeding by.

“I lost them!” Lena clenched her fist in triumph.

From Yulia’s suspicious glare, she knew she was out of her way tonight.
She was leaving her apartment to come to the theater, but Mitch was dragging
her behind her schedule. Before long, they had washed up a bottle and a half of whiskey
in the car. She looked fabulous tonight, and she didn’t have the pathetic drink either.
Well, just one before Mitch’s generous offer.

“You’re drunk, aren’t you?” Yulia said with an accusing look.

“No,” Lena replied, eyes closed. She loved the strange, mellow effect the alcohol
was having on her right now.

“Did Mr. Myer give you the ticket?”

“No.”

“I caught you lying again! You are drunk and you want to see me!”

The triumph seemed to shift side to Yulia now. Lena composed herself,
but she couldn’t quite erase the silly smile off her face. She stared at the mink bitch but,
unknowingly, it came off as a sweet gesture.

“I’ll give you one more chance… Did you tell Mr. Myer that I would see him tonight?”
Yulia’s tone grew softer this time.

Lena sighed in content. For some reason, her intent gaze seemed to work on Yulia
every time. She reached for Yulia’s hands and smiled. “No, I didn’t tell him, you
perverted piece of shit.” She grinned like a clown at her own remark until a hard
slap in her face pulled her out from the trance.

“Is this the revenge for calling you a bastard?!” Yulia clenched her fists, the veins
on her neck popping up.

Lena stared at Yulia, wide-eyed, her hand slowly rubbing her cheek. No one had
ever slapped her before, not even when she was in orphanage. No one alive, that was.

“Whatever I do, or whoever I get into bed with is none of your goddamn
business, so just stay away from me and Mr. Myer!”

Glaring back at Yulia, Lena straightened up at once at the mention of Roland.
“He’s my best friend,” she stated firmly.

“You don’t own him!”

“No. But I won’t let you hurt him.”

Yulia pushed Lena against the wall. “Oh, stop that honorable talk! You’re just
jealous that you can’t have him!”

Lena brushed her shoulder right where Yulia’s hands had touched her. “Jealous…?”
She scoffed. “You don’t know a thing. You’re so typical, so common.
You’re just a piece of high-society trash, who thinks you’re better than anyone else.
Go fuck Mitch or Tommy. You’re better off with some drivers.”

Yulia froze in her spot. Lena had no idea that her words hurt Yulia more than a blow in the face.

“You supposed that you’re so righteous that you came all the way to insult me here?”

Lena knew she was overly protective of Roland. But things had gotten out of control;
she only meant to come here in Roland’s place, preventing him from being
Yulia’s fool tonight. That said, she still thought of Yulia exactly what she had said.
Dimitri would never do any business with her again, but she couldn’t care less now.

“I am who I am, but you have no right to judge me,” Yulia said.
She was surprisingly calm at the moment when Lena had expected another slap.

“People do that all the time. Everyone knows how ordinary I am.”

Yulia became furious again. “You listened to our conversation!? How dare you!?”

Lena yawned. She shouldn’t be doing that, but she just couldn’t help it.

“I’m fed up with your double-standard now! I wish you don’t show your face at my house again!”

Nodding, Lena just watched Yulia storming out of the alley.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 11



The private time I was supposed to have with the host was interrupted by the sudden,
earlier than expected, appearance of my family members. They were eager to know the
story of my grandfather as well. To my surprise, Volkova was willing to share it with just
about anyone now. Even her maids were allowed to stay by the doors, catching the scent
of her long lost dream.

“Ouch! You slapped the Irish!?” Kate burst out.

I glanced at my exasperated cousin from Ohio, who was sitting on the crimson carpet
in the middle of the living room. My parents, my brothers, my uncle and aunty from Nevada,
my relatives from Michigan and California were all gathering around, a drink in their hands,
listening to Volkova’s tale.

“She deserved it,” Volkova said nonchalantly, lifting her golden-rimmed glasses a little. She
sipped some hot tea, the worn, leather-cover book on her laps and a sweater over her
shoulders. She was sitting near the fireplace, keeping herself warm.

“Are you tired? We could come by again tomorrow,” I said.

She waved a little in refusal. However, I feared for her. A recluse like her suddenly wanted to
tell her life’s story to strangers could be the sign. Did she feel that she had not much time
left? Was she afraid that she would die before she could pass the tale to the next generation?

“I must admit,” Volkova said, coughing slightly. “I must say… I must say I wanted to apologize
to her. There were so many things I regretted not having said it back then. But we didn’t
have time to be nice with all the violence and betrayal around us. We only knew we trusted
each other, and we thought that was enough… We really thought it was…”




..........................

Thanks Volkster and ShowmeLove2. I hope I could keep u at least entertained. :coctail:

Volkster
14-06-2005, 02:13
R u kidding??? Entertained????? I'm obsessed I tell you!!!!

It's funny how they bicker, Yulia even slapped her and still Volkova says that they trusted each other!!! Talk about love and hate relationships!!!OK, granted, love isn't really there but they admire each other even if they don't say it out loud!

Thanks for the update!!!! :)

showMElove2
14-06-2005, 08:20
The Irish got all dolled up, just to intervene on Yulia and Roland....me thinks she has other motives.......
Gotta love those love/hate relationships!
Entertained...of course, with your every update :)

Uhaku
16-06-2005, 16:53
Volkster, aha, ur obssesion, my passion! Sounds like microsoft slogan. Omg, bill gate has got
me! :D Showmelove2, i dunno how to thank u for following every story i wrote even in the
bad time. :coctail: And yes, i've been busy rewriting DW. It is near
reality more than ever. (not yet now). LOL.



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



CHAPTER 12


Several black cars moved along a small road in the deserted suburban area outside Chicago.
Tonight was another important meeting for Lena and Roland. In the lead car, they sat
in the back seat. Oliver was their driver.

“Why did you do it?” Roland asked. Lena had confessed what she did last night
on their way here.

“I’m sorry.” Lena kept her gaze out the window. “I didn’t mean to ruin everything.
It was just… I was, umm, I was sort of drunk…”

“That was a lame excuse, Lena.”

The opinion Yulia had of him truly hurt. He knew his origin would always pull him back.
When he first started in this business, he only wanted money just to have a comfortable life.
Strangely, it wasn’t enough now. Lena never cared about such thing, but being the Irish
would never make her understand. He started out as her right hand, and he would always be
in her shadows. He now wanted something to make himself feel better, and Yulia Volkova
seemed to be the prize.

“I won’t interfere with your personal life again,” Lena said, but without anger.

Roland became reluctant. He still wanted Lena in every aspect of his life. He wanted her
close. But it seemed that his ambition only drove them further apart. He wondered if she
viewed him as a disgusting social climber now.

“I shouldn’t have brought you into this mess…
But I’m really happy to know that you still care for me.”

Puzzled, Lena turned to look at him. “I always do.”

Roland smiled and reached out to hold her hand. She smiled back. But from the distant
look in her eyes, he knew she was hiding something again. There would be a time they
need to discuss it in private.


>>>


Lena and Roland walked through the gigantic door of the warehouse with their men closely behind.

Frederick Young sat himself at the long table, ten of his men standing behind him. He was in
his late fifties and couldn’t have been more than five six. The thick, black coat he had on
couldn’t really hide his large belly. Staring at Lena, a smile came across Frederick’s lips. He
finally got up and offered her a handshake.

“Welcome to our first deal, Irish,” Frederick said, grinning. His gaze briefly averted to
Roland. “And you must be the Italian?”

Frederick’s men laughed aloud, and Roland cringed.

“Roland Myer.” Roland extended his hand, but Frederick didn’t seem to see it.

“Bad knees!” Frederick pouted, carefully sitting down.

“As you already knew, we’re here to discuss the arrangement, Mr. Young. You give us a bad
deal,” Lena droned, looking elsewhere.

Roland glanced at Lena. Lately, he had gone to business meetings by himself. It was an
undeniable sign that Lena tried to slip out of limelight, or this business altogether. But he
never brought the subject up. Selfishly, he needed her name to get through. He felt relieved
now that Lena seemed to be involved tonight. She had yet completely abandoned him.

“A bad deal, you say,” Frederick said, stroking his belly a bit as he burped. “This Myer agreed
at three hundreds millions on the phone.”

Roland cringed. He didn’t tell Lena this bit of information because he thought he was handling
it just fine. He had no idea Lena would be asking for more. Bad preparation!

“With all due respect, you can try any other agency out there, but you will find none with
the price below five for this amount of goods.”

In a quick glimpse, Lena would look like a girl, bargaining with her father over tonight’s
curfew. But the cold look in her eyes couldn’t be mistaken. There was no hesitation, nor
mercy. It was the eye of a killer.

“I heard that smelly Russian was interested in weapons… Are you exclusively his agent for the
supplies?” Frederick asked.

Lena didn’t answer, but lighted up a cigarette instead.

“For a certain type of goods, we accept one client at a time,” Roland replied.

Frederick must have heard Roland, but he gave no sign of it. He glared at Lena and
chortled. “I’m a reasonable man, Irish. I’ll stay with heroin… for now.”

Roland took that remark as a threat, whether it was on them, or Dimitri Volkov. It happened
that Frederick was a distant cousin on Dimitri’s mother’s side. The men first met thirty years
ago when Dimitri immigrated to America. It was Frederick who brought Dimitri into this
underground world. They didn’t speak much to one another in recent years, and everyone
could only guess why. Business was business.

“I have many friends, and Kirk Mason was one of them,” Frederick continued. But Lena didn’t
respond; she calmly sucked in and exhaled the smoke as if she never heard of Mason
before. “He was a good man, and after three long years, I’m still wondering what reason you
disagreed with me.”

Lena looked up, her gaze deadly. “We’re here to talk business. Keep it at that.”

Frederick didn’t flinch. His smile was equally threatening. “All right, young one. Five hundreds
millions for the deal, but I have a special request you must fulfill, Irish, or just forget about this
whole evening.”


>>>


Everyone headed out to the cars after the meeting was over. Roland stopped in front of the
warehouse, looking at Lena. Frederick didn’t elaborate the details of the deal he had in mind
just for the Irish, demanding a private talk instead. Lena had no choice but to agree.

“Ring me later,” Roland whispered.

Lena nodded and then followed Frederick’s men to their car.

Roland didn’t trust Frederick at all, but they had a handsome deal that was more important
than personal disagreement. They needed one another. He just hoped his instinct was right.


>>>


“Aren’t you afraid?”

In the back seat, Lena turned to look at Frederick, who was sitting beside her. The cars were
heading out into the small road, but the destination was still unknown to her.

“I am the only one who knows why the cops didn’t dare to put their fingers on your
notorious case, why they let my friend died without dignity and justice.”

“Might I repeat what you already knew? Kirk Mason deserved either dignity or justice. He died
like a dog, and he rightfully earned it.”

Frederick laughed, and then fiercely turned to glare out the window as if he couldn’t stand
looking at her. “Do not take this the wrong way. I can always put personal troubles aside
when it concerns business. I just want to make sure you don’t socialize with Senator Iver
anymore.”

Lena stopped when she heard the name. Victor Iver was a powerful man and, like many
righteous or corrupted ones, he was glad to see Mason go. With Iver’s help, the case was
closed without any investigation. Millions of dollars was spent, buying and killing off people
involved in this scam. After everything was solved, the Irish became the untouchable,
and to protect his reputation, Senator Iver demanded they should never see each other
again.

“We haven’t met or talked ever since,” Lena said quietly. But she knew nobody would believe
it. With all the money she was making nowadays, everyone would have thought that the
senator had his fair share in it.

“You do understand that I detest politicians, those wretched, manipulative liars… My request
for you is to kill the senator.”

Lena would have said ‘no’ without a thought, but she opted to keep quiet right now. Not
only their deal was gone if she refused right away, but she wouldn’t be able to get out of
here alive.

“You have done the impossible, Irish. Now, gain my trust,” Frederick said.

“I will.”

Frederick watched her for a moment and then tapped on his driver’s shoulder. The car
stopped. Frederick pulled out the gun he confiscated from Lena and handed it back to her.

“Take her home,” he instructed the driver. “I hope our future lie together.” He smiled at Lena
and got out of the car to get on another one.

Feeling the gun’s weight, Lena chuckled at how bad of a liar she was. Young didn’t believe
that she would kill the senator by just looking into her eyes. He had taken the bullets out,
and the driver wasn’t taking her home tonight.

showMElove2
16-06-2005, 17:42
Oh shit so The Irish is in danger, but I think she lives for it, which is why I feel sorry for her betrayers.....
And Uhaku, I don't recall any "bad times" and as I have said before, no need to thanks on your part, you sharing whats in your head is more than good enough for me!

Volkster
16-06-2005, 22:31
Wow!!! Things are definately serious!!!!

I can't help but think that maybe Yulia hasn't stopped her stalking of the Irish and she might be able to do something about the situation Lena got herself in!!!

Very good update and as for the cliffhanger ... grrrr!!! Tease!!!! :coctail:

Veggie Delite
18-06-2005, 21:21
how did i miss this? :spy:

i'll try to catch up

Uhaku
19-06-2005, 14:32
ShowmeLove, thank u for liking what i have to share. :rose: for ya.
Volkster, oh, no no no, Yulia should follow the Irish? U r giving me some strange idea! :D
Veggie, feel free. :)

Short note to Mel: Ah, yes, this Yulia (my fifth, excluding gingerbread one)
is without her usual dark side! Just the annoying little brat. U can't imagine how much I'm
glad u hate her! If u like her in this one, I'd be like... DO I HAVE TO MAKE HER BALD OR WHAT?!


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 13



It was the fourth consecutive day Yulia spent at Tonya’s apartment. She lied idle on the bed,
a burning cigarette between her lips. She lifted her glasses a little, staring up at the ceiling.
Since the argument in the alley, she hadn’t received the apology she expected from Lena.
Roland didn’t show up or gave her any call either. She couldn’t believe the duo had completely ignored her now.

“I told you not to smoke in my bedroom! The balcony! That’s why I have a balcony!” Tonya
screamed at the door, running around between the bathroom and the bedroom, trying on
new garment she bought yesterday. “How do I look?” She spun around in the white dress
with golden collar.

“Put on a little more eyeliner and you could pass as Cleopatra,” Yulia droned, moving through
the glassy, French door into the balcony.

Tonya followed suit. “Cleopatra? Is she a new MGM star?”

“Go on and try another one,” Yulia said. She wasn’t going to give Tonya a history lecture. She
just wanted her friend to get over and done with this frantic change of clothes so they could
go out and have dinner.

“Yulia, please, you needn’t be so sad just because a girl deserted you,” Tonya begged.

“Pardon? We were not together, and will never be! She will never have the chance to desert me!”

“But I have never seen you bothered like this before.”

“She called me a pervert! A piece of shit! Yes, I feel terrible, Tonya!”

Tonya rubbed Yulia’s head. “She was wrong, but that was a week ago—”

“Four days,” Yulia corrected.

“She’s got a bad mouth and bad manners, that’s all. She was jealous like you said. Don’t
waste your time with a clueless, asexual girl. That’s not my Yulia.”

Yulia crossed her arms, shivering in the cold. But she wasn’t about to throw the cigarette
away. “Asexual…? Oh, no. What a pity…” she mumbled.

“If both Mr. Myer and you couldn’t get her excited, nothing in the world will. It’s clear that
she just doesn’t go for humans.”

“She likes Mr. Myer, I can tell. They deserve each other,” Yulia grunted. “Oh, please go
change your clothes now,” she dismissed, annoyed at Tonya’s persistent gaze.

But Tonya wouldn’t move. “Mr. Myer couldn’t have liked you just because of your money. He
seemed like a sincere gentleman, and I think your mother will approve of him.”

“I know he’s not that bad,” Yulia admitted. She just couldn’t find any other reason to reject
the prospect of getting into a serious relationship. She was twenty, and her mother had
started nagging her to consider a suitor. But she didn’t want to get married just yet.

“You cannot expect a rich man with a heart of a gentleman. They do not exist.”

“I’m not looking for a gentleman!”

“A lady? The Irish is the one out of your league! Not only she’s not a lady, she’s a
mobster! And, Yulia, dear, this kind of fun cannot last. All women must get married sooner or
later. Now that you have Mr. Myer right in front of you, you should seize the opportunity.”

“But Lena must have told him how horrible I was to speak of him in such way!”

“I know what a man is like. He’ll turn against his best friend when it concerns his lover. Trust
me. Go to him today and make peace.”

“I won’t apologize! I’m the one who was abused! I was abused by his best friend!”

“Come with me now,” Tonya said, dragging Yulia inside. “We’ll change our clothes, and I’ll
drop you off at his place.”

“But—”

“The decision is final.”

And Yulia knew it. She couldn’t wait to see Mr. Myer again, only she wasn’t sure of the reason.


>>>



It was already six in the evening, and Roland was sitting in the living room, reading some
newspaper to kill time. He had been waiting for a call from Lena for three days now, but
received none. He had dropped by her place, but she hadn’t returned. He was becoming
extra careful and paranoid now. He called up his men to secure his house and Lena’s
apartment. No one was allowed to enter Lena’s room even the landlord.

Throwing the papers down at the floor, Roland got up and paced around. He jumped when
Oliver came through the door.

“Someone’s here to see you, sir. It’s Ms. Volkova, sir.”

Roland paused. He never expected Yulia to show up after what Lena had done that
night. “Show her in,” he eventually said.

After a few moments, Yulia glided through and stopped right behind the couch. She was
wearing a hat and a pair of leather gloves that matched with her white coat. She looked even
more stunning now when he hadn’t seen her for several days.

“H—hello… Hello, Yulia,” Roland stammered.

Yulia took a small card out of her handbag. Roland moved across the room to retrieve the
card. He stood on the other side of the couch, afraid to get too close that he might upset
her again.

“What is this…? A Christmas invitation?” Roland looked up, amusingly happy.

“My father insisted to have you there. We were going to send them by mail, but I happened
to come around here. I meant to drop by only for a minute.” Yulia then turned around.

“Wait! Yulia, wait!” Roland swiftly moved beside her. “I’m sorry for what happened. Lena was
drunk that night, and I had no idea what she was going to see you there—”

“I’m surprised you didn’t have her deliver your apology again,” Yulia said curtly.

“I’ve been really busy these past few days! And even if she’s available, I’d go to you myself!”

“How come I didn’t see you before I rang your doorbell?” Yulia stopped and looked
around. “What’s with all the bodyguards here?”

“Umm—it’s just for precaution.”

“You have just realized how dangerous the life you lead?”

Roland smiled in relief when a smile appeared on her face. “I sent some to Lena’s too, but
she’s away… She’s on a business errand.”

“Are you two busy killing someone again?” Yulia teased.

Roland looked elsewhere. He didn’t know what to say. He was worried sick that Lena might
be the victim this time, and he hadn’t done anything to prevent it.

“What’s going on…?” Yulia asked.

It struck him to sense the concern in her voice. He motioned her to the couch. “Let’s get
your some drink first, and then I’ll explain everything.”


>>>

Oliver had just come out of the living room after he made a cup of coffee for Yulia. He shut
the doors behind him, and the bodyguards stood outside, leaving Roland and his guest some
privacy.


>>>


Sitting on the couch, Yulia stared blankly at Roland. She had her glasses on now and her coat
was hanging near the doorway. Her coffee was left untouched as she listened to him.

“You let her go alone, and it has been three days?” Yulia asked, wide-eyed. She thought she
was screaming at him, but glad she didn’t. It was the last thing she should do as she was
trying to erase the image of the disgusting snob Lena seemed to hold of her.

“Mitch had contacted me. He said he lost track of Lena that night. He has no idea where she
went.”

“Mitch didn’t report that to my father! No wonder I don’t see him around lately,” Yulia
grunted. She believed that Mitch was hoping there was nothing to be reported, that the Irish
would come back safely in no time.

Roland sighed tiredly. “Lena never disappeared without giving me a word except that one
time… She was gone for two weeks right before Mason’s murder.”

“Do you think she’s doing it again? It could be Frederick’s request.”

Roland shook his head, and Yulia was somehow disappointed. It was better if Lena was the
killer, not the victim. Although she was somewhat related to Frederick Young, their families
had grown distant in the past ten years or so. She couldn’t remember the last time she met
him.

“Lena hadn’t done it again since Mason and, from what I know, she didn’t plan to. She was
being more careful when to use her gun now… Sometimes I still couldn’t believe she was
really the Irish. To me, she isn’t…” Roland stood up and washed down his bourbon. “We are
just two poor kids in the street, who just got real lucky. Things turned upside down in just a
matter of days. We don’t know how we handled it.”

Yulia kept her gaze down. Roland had just confessed that he was actually a kid from some
foster home like Lena. She admired his courage, but the honesty hit her as it made her feel
like the Irish was already history.

“I think you handled it just fine. Look at you now,” Yulia said, dryly smiling.

Although Roland looked refined and sophisticated as if he was born with this fortune, Lena
remained untouched by it. It was probably this graceless outer shell, in spite of being the
notorious Irish, which marveled Yulia. She would have expected to celebrate the Irish’s doom
after the insult thrown at her, but mustering a small smile was a difficult task right now.

“I’m surprised you showed up today. You forgave how silly we were, and came to give me
the invitation card yourself. I’ll definitely go. I won’t miss it for the world.”

Yulia paused at his genuine smile. From what Tonya had gathered from her sources of gossips,
Roland must have some feelings for Lena years ago. She finally saw through her ego and
found that it wasn’t Lena who threatened her, but this handsome, young man instead. She
was just like the rest of the underworld that schemed to win the Irish’s approval. It amazed
her that a legend sometimes meant more than reality. Lena was, in fact, just another girl from
a poor neighborhood who rose to fame by chance. Nothing more.

“I’m just relieved that you didn’t shut the door in my face after you—after you knew how I
spoke of you,” Yulia mumbled.

Roland looked down briefly. “You grew up with everything you’ll ever need, and I should think
you have the right to be a snob… hopefully just the right amount.”

They chortled. But Yulia still sat with her fingers curling up the hem of her skirt.

“I know I overreacted that night,” she muttered.

“I’m Lena’s friend, but I still think what she said to you was uncalled for.”

“Not enough to make me slap her.”

From the empty look on his face, she realized that Lena didn’t tell him this bit of information.
Oh. My. God. She sprung up from the couch.

“I definitely didn’t mean to—I—I was not drunk, but…”

Roland shook his head, frowning. “I know her. She didn’t tell me because she thought she
deserved it.”

“No, she didn’t! I was being a—a—a”

“A bitch, absolutely,” Roland stated clearly.

Yulia felt a pang of guilt hitting her in the face.

“But let’s pray you’ll have the chance to say sorry to her in person soon,” Roland said and smiled.

Yulia became a bit relieved. The wait was a tough one for Roland, and he seemed to need
someone to console him now. She moved closer and embraced him.

“I’d love to have you here a little longer, but considering the circumstances, you better go
home. I don’t want anything to happen to you. Did you have your bodyguards coming with you?”

Yulia shook her head, letting go off him. Tonya dropped her off and had gone for a dinner
with some friends already.

“I’ll send somebody with you, and be careful. Young might try to trick your father, and you
could be his target.”


>>>


A few moments later, Yulia left Roland’s place with two, armed men riding in the car with her.
For a while, she sat, deep in thoughts. She then tapped on the driver’s shoulder.

“Could you please stop by Lena’s apartment? I just need to drop something for her.”

“Do you mean Ms. Cohen’s place, Ma’am?”

“Umm—yes…”

Yulia realized that she never cared to find out Lena’s last name. Sadly, The Irish was all
that mattered, whereas Lena Cohen was nothing.

When the car parked in front of the building, Yulia got off the car with a man following her.
They walked three stairs up and met with another four bodyguards Roland hired to watch
Lena’s room. Reluctantly, Yulia opened her handbag and took a card out. She slipped it under
the door, praying that Lena would come back in time to see it. It was the only Christmas wish
Yulia had this year.

Volkster
19-06-2005, 14:55
Well,no offence to anyone but I can't help but absolutely love Yulia even if she is acting like a spoiled brat! I'm sure she has a deeper side. She just needs an opportunity to show it! (Is it obvious I'm a Yulia fan yet???? :D )

As for the update ... Damn!!! Where is she? Is she lying in a ditch somewhere? Did she kill the driver and stays low??? What, what WHAT????

Thanks for the update!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!! :coctail: *cheers*

Ningyo
20-06-2005, 02:58
Short note to Mel: Ah, yes, this Yulia (my fifth, excluding gingerbread one)
is without her usual dark side! Just the annoying little brat. U can't imagine how much I'm
glad u hate her! If u like her in this one, I'd be like... DO I HAVE TO MAKE HER BALD OR WHAT?!

Am I really that harsh? Lol! :D

showMElove2
20-06-2005, 04:13
Where the "hell" is the Irish/Lena Cohen?? And it seems that little Miss Yulia is a mess since she's been gone, with no one to stalk and all.... Thanks for the update and the rose ;)

dare2dream28
21-06-2005, 01:56
OMG why did I wait so long to read this?!? WHY??? This is DAMN good uhaku!!! DAMN good!!! I am hooked! I spent most of my Sunday afternoon yesterday just reading this! It's awesome!! That Yulia...geeze what a spoiled, yet intriguing brat she is! And Lena...the mystery just draws you in! Freaken awesome! Can't wait for another update!

Speaking of which, are you going to update DW soon? I *LOVE* that story!! I am so hooked on the characters of Ilse and Jaden! And just to let you know, I bought your "666" e-book in pdf format. Freaken awesome! I stayed up til the weeeee hours of the morning reading that! :) I just love your stuff!

Uhaku
23-06-2005, 17:33
Oh, Volkster, why wouldn't i know u r a yulia fan. u name says it all. :D Me glad that
u still like her no matter what. Lol.

mel, nah, i like it the way u do it. sounds like s/m? LOL! :o

Showmelove the Irish is here ;)

D2D, welcome back and onto my new story! :coctail:
Ummmmmmm, i posted some updates for DW at tatu dot us.
(Cross fingers that u haven't checked, buying me some times :bum: )
I will try to get back to finish DW. As of right now, I have too
many unfinished stories in my hands. LOL.

Crampy: one chap as promised before u go. :p


Sorry this chap is a bit long.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 14



It was the night of Christmas Eve, marking exactly one week since the Irish’s disappearance.
Yulia had spent the past few days helping her mother turning the grand living room into a
ballroom to receive nearly two hundreds guests tonight. There would be mafias, politicians
and all the influential people. Absolutely no photographs or journalists would be tolerated
inside this handsome ranch.

Dimitri Volkov had been a significant member of the underground world for the past three
decades. But the community had faced several dramatic changes ever since Mason was
murdered. Their strong bond threatened as the position for the head of the community was
still vacant for the past three years. Dimitri wanted to make the coming year their new era.
They must unite against laws and orders to survive this new age.

Smoking on the balcony of her room, Yulia had only a robe over her shoulders. She was in a
black gown, cut deep behind to show off her beautiful, bony back. She looked out the huge,
snow-covered garden and the vast field beyond. A small cottage stood beside the lighthouse
against the long trail of high fences, which circled around the field and marked the Volkov’s
territory. There were several dozens men guarding the space.

“HOLY MARY!” Yulia shrieked, the cigarette falling off her fingers. A hand shot out of
nowhere, gripping onto the edge of the balcony. She covered her mouth with her hands and
stepped closer to take a look. Her Christmas wish was climbing up the balcony. She stared
down at Lena, unsure whether to feel relieved at last or angry.

“Welcome back, Irish,” Yulia said, hands on her bottom.

Lena climbed in and bent down, hiding herself from anyone’s sight from below.

“How could you climb up here?” Yulia looked down at the snowy ground. There was no
footprint. Lena must have come from some other room instead. “Actually, I have a better
question. How did you get in here when it seems you didn’t use the invitation card I left at
your apartment? The guards are all over the place—” Yulia stopped as she saw the dress Lena
was wearing. It was the black uniform the maids in this mansion wore.

“Thank you for sending the girls out for a grocery shop a few days ago, or I’d have been
frozen to death in the field. You have a huge party tonight,” Lena remarked as she made her
way into the room, brushing the dust off her skirt.

“Do you mean to tell me that you’ve been in my house for the past few days?” Yulia
pretended to glare at Lena, while she was actually in awe of the trick.

“Angela was kind enough to let me crash at her room,” Lena said, pulling her skirt up.

“Oh, God!” Yulia gasped, turning the other way.

Lena pulled out a revolver that was strapped to her thigh. She looked up, puzzled.

“You’re staring at me,” Lena said.

Yulia’s gaze lifted up and met with Lena’s in the reflection of the large mirror at the corner of
the room. Sighing, she turned around. She was truly startled at Lena’s action, but couldn’t
help staring when she got the chance.

“Explain yourself, Ms. Cohen. What are you doing here?” Yulia said with authority.

“I didn’t know anybody still bothered finding out my last name.” Lena smiled lightly as she
checked the bullets in the revolver.

“You agreed not to show your face in my house again, although I should have expected it
since you’re such a bad liar. Where have you been the past week? Do you have any idea how
worried Mr. Myer was?”

“I was trying to survive just to see white Christmas. Now, move,” Lena said, pointing the gun at Yulia.

Yulia froze. “Are you going to shoot me? My parents will be expecting me shortly!” Yulia said,
exasperated at the ungrateful action. She was ready to ignore the fact that Lena had hidden
inside her house, but all she got was a gun at her face.

Lena pressed the gun at Yulia’s cheek, causing her to shut up instantly.

“Go sit on the chair.”

The order came quietly, but Yulia didn’t think she should object. Cursing under her breath,
she stiffly sat down. It appeared that nothing could kill the Irish, but the Irish would kill
anyone in her way. What a fool she was to worry about Lena’s safety!

Lena grabbed a piece of cloth and tied Yulia’s hands to the back of the chair. As Lena bent
down a bit, Yulia could see the deep cut on Lena’s shoulder underneath the collar. Looking
further down, there were several minor cuts around Lena’s knees, masterfully blended in with
the creamy color of the stockings. These injuries must have come from the night Lena
disappeared with Frederick. Yulia wondered how Lena escaped when she had absolutely no
help from Roland or Mitch.

Oh, well, she’s the Irish after all… Unconsciously, Yulia sighed in relief.

“Your shoulder is still bleeding a bit. Didn’t Angela patch you up?” Yulia was surprised at her
own bitter tone, curious of what might possibly happen in Angela’s room during the past few
days. She would be sure to report the maid’s perilous act to her father as soon as she got off
this seat.

Lena glanced at the small wound. It must have open again during the climbing. But she didn’t
care to respond, and started tying Yulia’s legs.

“I’ll make it quick—”

“As always,” Yulia interrupted, scoffing.

“I can’t have you ruin the chance I may never get again. It’s extremely hard to get this close
to Young without his men marching around.”

“It was extremely hard to break into my house, but you did it anyway.”

“You’ll be safer up here.”

“Do not do what I think you would.” Yulia didn’t like the sound of Lena’s plan one bit. “If you
shoot him, you’re finished—”

Lena gagged Yulia’s mouth with a handkerchief.

“Uuuk—auuu!” Yulia tried to scream.

Lena eyed Yulia up and down, and then went to shut the doors to the balcony, shunning off
the cold wind. Grabbing the blanket, she carefully put it over Yulia.

Yulia sat still. Oddly, the slightest sign of kindness from Lena could make her feel positively
numbed. It lighted up her heart, but her mind remained numbed because it meant nothing to
the Irish.

“I won’t stay until the party is over, so…” Lena stopped just before she opened the
door. “Merry Christmas.” She then slipped out of the room.


>>>


Lena went around the kitchen and picked up a tray of glasses filled with pink champagne. She
walked up the stairs, careful not to attract attention from the guards around. Glancing down,
Dimitri Volkov was just downstairs, receiving guests at the front door, and all the while,
introducing his son to the powerful ones. Alexei didn’t look one bit eager, but he was polite
enough to keep a smile on his face at all times.

With the tray above her shoulder, Lena made her way into the gigantic, crowded, living room,
which was turned into a ballroom for the event. It was overly packed with guests, and the
guards stood just outside the room. There were roughly seventy maids in the mansion, and in
this busy evening, she could blend in easily.

Spotting Frederick Young at the corner talking to a few men, she carefully glided through the
crowd, offering drinks along the way. Her revolver stored enough bullets to kill Frederick but,
considering how many guards there, they weren’t enough to get her out of here. There
were some spare bullets in her pockets, and she also had planted some in the vases and hid
more in several places around the mansion. The safest escape route would strictly follow the
hidden bullets, but she realized how hard that might be. No one was to see the shooter was
what matter the most. She would try to spare the innocent bystanders, but it was always
better them than her. Fate would decide who would live on to New Year’s Eve tonight.

Lena glanced around once more. Roland Myer was on the other side of the room, talking to
Tonya. He hadn’t seen her, and that suited her fine. The last thing she wanted was to get
him involved in this mess. This moment reminded her of the night she murdered Mason, only
there wasn’t a huge crowd of innocent bystanders. That night was she versus everyone else
in Mason’s mansion, even Mason’s three-year-old son. She knew no mercy.

Although killing Frederick here may seem like a crazy plan, Lena couldn’t keep running away.
He would never let her live in peace. It was she or he, and only one of them would get out
of here alive.

A few more steps would take her close enough to the target.

“May I have a glass, Miss?” a voice came from behind.

Frederick’s head was turning Lena’s way, so she spun around to the voice of the guest but
froze at the sight before her. Senator Iver stood, staring back at her, equally shocked. It took
him a while to eventually remember why he stopped her. He then numbly took a drink from
the tray.

“Senator Iver! It’s been a while! How are you!?” Frederick’s voice sounded so friendly no one
would ever think that he had just schemed a murder on the senator.

Frederick was now standing behind Lena. She quickly walked away.

“I need some refreshment, too, Ma’am,” Frederick called out.

Lena stopped. For a moment, she could hear nothing, but she could see everything.
Everyone. The guards were not looking at her. No one. She let out a sigh and turned. The
foes’ gazes met for half a second before a gunshot blast through the hall. People screamed
and ran wildly for the exit. Two more shots in the head made sure that Frederick Young died
right at the spot.

In the stampede, the guards came through against the crowd, guns drawn. As best as they
could avoid the bystanders, they aimed at anyone around the downed man. Bewildered,
Senator Iver knelt on the floor, hands over his head. But Lena was fast to follow the crowd
out into the hallway. When she saw the guards stopping people from going down the main,
spiral stairs to the first floor, she ran the other way to the windows at the end of the
corridor. The guards caught her and started shooting over the guests’ heads. Screams filled
up the hallway and someone was yelling for help. Somebody had taken the bullets instead of
her.

Jumping through the window, Lena flew out of the building and landed onto the snowy
ground below. She would have broken her legs if there weren’t any bush around. Groaning,
she crawled a bit further, trying to get to the fences. But the guards were running around
like mad, with barking dogs leading them.

The men from the windows above blindly shot down into darkness. Lying on the ground,
Lena flipped up, shooting back. Two men fell off the broken window like falling leafs.

“Stop right there!” a man shouted, his voice marking approximately thirty feet away. Lena
took the chance, rolling on the snowy ground, narrowly escaping the bullets. Bang! Bang!
Bang! Bang! She then lied on her stomach, taking him down with just one shot. Before she
could get back up, another man appeared at the corner of the building, shooting right at her.
She pulled the trigger—Click! All six bullets were spent! She griped her pockets and found
they were empty; the spare bullets must have fallen out.

“Great!” Lena grunted. No time to think. She snatched a rock and ran as fast as a lightning,
leaping at him. Bullets flew past her face like a sharp, cool breeze as she smashed the rock in
his face full force. They both dropped to the ground. The man was unconscious now. She
grabbed his gun and ran for the other side of the building.

But a guard caught sight of her first. Bang! Bang! Bang!

Lena dove down to the ground, and the bullets from behind narrowly missed her. She
instantly crawled behind the bush, aiming right back at the shooter. But she paused. Mitch
was standing at the corner in the pool of spotlights. Judging from the poor visibility and the
distance, he couldn’t see her face. However, she was hesitated to shoot now. Mitch shot
again and hit Lena. She fell forwards and aimed for his knee. Mitch cried in pain as he fell to
the ground.

Wincing, Lena felt the sharp, burning sensation in her stomach. She looked at the blood on
her hand, stunned. Edging away from the open area, she trekked around the building. But
the guards were running all over the place, and the fences were too far away to make it
there without being seen. The blood would leave the trail, leading them right where she was.
She couldn’t waste anymore time as she started trembling. She sneaked into the narrow path
behind the trees and broke into the kitchen through the small window. Thankfully, no one
was in sight. She tried to ignore the screaming in the hallway and searched for a towel to
help preventing the blood from dripping down.


>>>


“What’s going on outside!?” Yulia yelled the first instant Angela pulled the cloth out of her
mouth. The maid frantically untied her hands and legs.

“There—there was a—a shooting, madam. There was a shooting… Someone died…”

“Who—” Yulia panicked.

The door burst opened, and Lena stumbled through, the gun and the blood-soaked towel in
her hands. She immediately locked the door, panting and looking around. Her black uniform
pretty much concealed the sight of any wound.

“You have done it! You have turned my house into a battlefield! Get out of my house!” As
soon as Yulia was released from the chair, she jumped at Lena, thrusting her against the door.
To her surprise, Lena didn’t seem to resist her force.

“Yuli! Yuli! Are you in there!?” It was her mother.

“Hide in the closet!” Yulia ordered.

Lena staggered into the closet, and Angela closed its door.

“Yes, mother!” Yulia opened the door to receive her mother.

“Thank God, you’re safe!” Mrs. Volkova looked utterly relief, tightly hugging Yulia. “Are you all
right!? Has anyone come into this room!?”

“I was touching up on my makeup when I heard gunshots! Where’s dad and Alex!? What
happened out there!?”

“They’re with the men downstairs! We’re trying to find the shooter!”

“Who was it!? Is everyone all right!?” Yulia pretended to frown.

“I have no idea. It was so crazy down there! How could this happen!? We have so many
guards here and no one was allowed to bring weapons into the ranch! Oh, my party!”

Yulia stroked her mother’s back. “Angela, escort my mother to her room. Stay with her until
everything is calmed down.”

“But I need to be with you, Yuli!” her mother protested.

“I’ll be all right. I’m sure the guards will find the shooter soon. You need to lie down for a bit,
mother.”

Before her mother could open her mouth, Yulia walked her to the door, Angela closely behind.

“Lock the door! Don’t let anyone get in!” her mother said.

Yulia did so. She then leapt at the glassy doors to the balcony and drew the curtains closed.
She ran back to the closet and swung its door open. Lena fell flat on the floor.

“Get up! My mother is gone!” Yulia tried to take the gun out of Lena’s hand, but Lena
refused. Yulia just grunted and gave up.

“You’re digging your own grave! There’s no way you can get out of here now!”

“Of course, I can,” Lena muttered. She tightly gripped the wound on her stomach, her face
looking very pale now.

“Oh…! That was your blood?” Yulia looked back into the closet. Good thing the blood only
dripped onto the clothes scattered on the closet’s floor, or Angela would have a field day to
clean it up.

Yulia quickly put Lena’s arm around her shoulder and helped her to her feet.

“Hey, stay with me. Stay with me,” Yulia said, gently putting the Irish on the bed.

Lena tried to get up. “Get me a car,” she whispered.

Yulia angrily pushed Lena back down. “Very funny! First, you disappeared and had me worried
if you were dead or alive! Just half an hour ago, you ruined our party and got yourself in some
deep shit! Now, you want me to find you a car! The best you will get is a goddamn bicycle!”

“Get me a car!” Lena yelled one last time before she fell flat down on the bed.

Kneeling down beside the bed, Yulia tightly held Lena’s hand. “Oh, no, tell me how to stop
the bleeding first!” No response. Lena’s eyes were closed now. Yulia jumped at her feet,
pulling the blanket up to cover Lena’s whole body. “Stay here! God damn you if you try to
run again! I’ll be back with some help!”


>>>


Yulia ran fast down the main, spiral stairs, passing the terrified guests and frantic guards.
Several wounded guests and guards were lying on the stretchers, waiting to be delivered to
the nearest hospital. Yulia ran towards them and snatched the first aid kit, but a guard stopped her.

“Please, Ms. Volkova, where are you taking it!?”

“Yulia… Yulia…” a voice called out.

“Mitch!” Yulia gasped as she saw Mitch lying among the wounded ones. She knelt down
beside the fat man, startled and furious that Lena dared to shoot her beloved mentor. He
was the man who taught her how to use a gun since she was eight, even though she still
didn’t know how to shoot.

“It’s just a scratch,” Mitch said, pointing at his knee. “I got the shooter, Yulia! I hit him!”

“Oh, my God, it was you!” Yulia shrieked. She couldn’t believe Mitch dared to shoot the Irish.
Lena was dying up there in her room because of her mentor.

At the thought, she rose to her feet with the kit in her hand, meaning to head back upstairs.
But a roar of an engine in the distance, which seemed to escape everyone’s attention,
caught her. In the midst of chaos, she turned around and looked out to the front lawn
through the opened doors.

In front of the huge fountain, Lena was hunching on the red motorbike and sidecar. Yulia
couldn’t believe her eyes. Not only Lena got the vehicle she wanted, she had taken one of
Yulia’s brown, taxi jackets with her. Though her hands were still stained with blood. It was
better to escape now when everyone was still clueless who the shooter was. At this
moment, she could walk through the mansion as a guest, and stole the vehicle unchecked.

“YOU! ARE! CRAZY!” Yulia sprinted out to the fountain. She never thought she could run this
fast, but she did. She leapt onto the sidecar just in time before the motorbike picked up its
full speed. She struggled to sit properly in the sidecar and looked up.

“THE GATE! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

The guards at the gates held up their guns, but hesitated when they spotted who was in
the sidecar. However, Lena wasn’t slow down one bit. Yulia shut her eyes tightly.

“Ms. Volkova! Ms. Volkova! It’s Ms. Volkova!”

“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot, or my father will shoot you!”

Before the guards knew, Lena shot them all down. Another shot burst the steely lock open,
and the motorbike flew past the gates into the small road ahead. Yulia looked back into the
ranch, seeing other men getting into their cars.

“You’re doomed! You can’t outrun them!”

Lena made a swift turn into the vast field. Yulia ducked her head down, avoiding the slaps
from the tall grasses. Further into the field, the motorbike eventually stopped, and Lena
climbed off.

“Can you at least tell me what’s going on here!? Where exactly are we going!?” Yulia was
exasperated, sitting tightly in the sidecar still.

“He’s here… Yes, he’s here… Fuck… He’s here…” Lena growled and blindly waved the gun
before her, opening the way deeper into the field. She closed her eyes and suddenly laughed
aloud, pointing the gun up to the skies.

Yulia followed Lena into the dark, thinking the Irish had gone mad. “No! Don’t do it, or they’ll catch us—”

Lena fiercely turned, pressing the gun at Yulia’s forehead. Seeing Lena’s intent stare, Yulia
expected a bullet in her brain right then. But, for a split second, she was marveled by the
moments of her life flashing before her eyes. Those moments meant so little to her, but she
now dearly clung to them.

Yulia fixed her gaze upon Lena, staring back at the pale, sweat-beaded face. Even though
this moment might be her last on earth, fear somehow escaped her. It amazed her to realize
that nothing meant anything at this moment but the air inside her lungs. How disgustingly
insignificant life really was?

Hastily, Yulia pulled Lena in time before the woman fell backwards. Stumbling in each other’s
grasps, they fell to the ground. All the while, Lena was murmuring something Yulia could not
understand.

“What!?” Yulia asked.

“Lighter… than a… feather…”

“Jesus, you are not making any sense, and I am going crazy!”

A force from the wind bent the grasses lower and a black car appeared before them. Lena
then pushed Yulia’s hands away, weakly crawling through the grasses and getting into the driver seat.

“Holy Mary! Is this yours!? You’re a genius!”

Lena’s hands trembled as she started the engine.

“Excuse me, but get out of the way, please!” Yulia pushed Lena to the passenger seat and
occupied the driver seat instead. With a mischievous look in her eyes, she tossed the first aid
kit onto Lena’s laps.

“Ha! I’m gonna be busy driving, so help yourself!” Laughing, Yulia stomped on the accelerator,
and the car started cruising away.

It must have been midnight already. Her Christmas wish had turned out to be something
more than Yulia had asked for. She sped up as she glanced at Lena, who was feebly pressing
a patch of clean cloth against her wound, almost ready to pass out. It was all darkness ahead.
There was only a full moon above the mist of the green grasses that loomed a good few feet
above the car. She wasn’t scared though. They were heading out to safety somewhere, and
wherever the road would take them, she couldn’t wait for it.

Uhaku
23-06-2005, 17:38
Forgot this little chap. LOL


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Chapter 15

Here we were, seventy years after that bloody Christmas. Although it was already midnight, we neglected the celebration for once. We were wide-eyed, listening to Volkova’s silenced dream.
My grandfather was in fact a mafia? I couldn’t help but felt it was like a dream. He had an extraordinary bond with these two women, but somehow neglected to mention them to us. I was a little puzzled at first when reading the journal. Now, with Volkova’s side of the story combined with the journal, the pieces of puzzles gradually came together.
From the look on my relatives’ faces, I knew that we now wanted to know more than just our beloved Roland Myer’s life. Each of us never knew of the Irish’s existence, and it intrigued us of what she did, what she had become, or where she was now if she were still alive.
When I see the water in Volkova’s eyes, I knew she was starting to feel sleepy.
“A coffee, please,” Volkova said, taking me by surprise. “Oh, anyone else?”
“Yes, me too,” Kate quickly responded. She would be the last to miss this session.
“That would be great. Thank you.”
“Count me in for the night ride!”
“I’d like one as well.”
Volkova then looked at me, and I just smiled.
“A coffee for everyone then,” Volkova said to the maids, who were sitting on the chairs by the living room’s door. They hurried into the kitchen to make some coffee for their master and guests, fearing they might miss the next part.
“So did Lena—the Irish die?” Kate asked and glanced at me.
At this point, I wondered if it was just a coincidence my grandfather named me ‘Lena’. As far as I knew, my grandmother’s name was Teresa, and her hair was naturally dark brown. She looked nothing like what Volkova had described the Irish.
“We all die at some point, dear Kate,” Volkova said, perking her chin up, sniffing the soft brew of the coffee brought in by the maids. “Ah, I wish you two would work as quickly as this everyday,” she sneered.
I took a cup from the tray and asked, “Did he name me after her?” I kept my gaze down on the nicely carpeted floor, but I could feel everyone’s stare upon me. I still couldn’t figure out why my grandfather would pick me. I looked every inch of an Italian woman.
“I would have no reason to object your theory. Lena was always in our minds, our hearts. No matter how long it had been, she’d live and breathed through us. She’d never leave us… She’d never leave me…” Behind the pair of golden-rimmed glasses, Volkova’s usually fiery, blue gaze dimmed down in melancholy at the last phrase. And I could see that the truth was the other way around; the Irish left her.

showMElove2
24-06-2005, 00:39
That last line sentence in chapter 15 just made me eager for more! Thanks for the long update.....and an action filled one at that!!

Ningyo
24-06-2005, 02:17
mel, nah, i like it the way u do it. sounds like s/m? LOL! :o

Not so kinky just yet. But it could be easily twisted into something more... compromising, yes. :o

Awesome update, btw.

warx
24-06-2005, 06:10
wow :eek:
i like the bang bang part...jejeje

Volkster
24-06-2005, 09:53
Damn!!! I got goosebumps especially during the last chapter!!!

I have a question though. When Lena is saying "lighter than a feather", well apart from the fact that I have no idea what it means, does it have something to do with the prologue? Did we reach that part?

My only guess for the phrase would be for when death comes, whether her soul will be lighter than a feather in order to go to heaven. I'm sure I have heard of a story that goes like that! Hmmmm!!!

I can't wait!!!! Oh, and Yulia is still the best!!!! And it is so sad that the Irish left her...

Thanks for the update!!! :)

Uhaku
24-06-2005, 16:07
thanksss, showmelove, and Mel, phew, i'm glad u ok with the update. ^_^'

for anyone: I have one question though. Someone told me that
while she's reading this, the story feels like it's in present day.
Do you guys feel the same way?
I'm curious 'cus if you do, i'll try to be more careful in the future.
Any suggestion on what I should do to improve this area?
Don't be shy or intimidated. As always, I'm here to improve.
Thanks again. :coctail:

warx that awful soud, bang, bang, u shot me down. :p

volkster It's from the prologue, yesss. But no, we haven't reached
that part. I will explain the story in the next few chapters soon.
And the Irish "left" her? Umm, i'd say not exactly. I'll just say that
is Lena Myer's POV, or her assumption at the present point of the story. :p

showMElove2
25-06-2005, 05:24
Nah, I dont feel as if the fic is being told in the present, you established from the beginning that "old" Volkova was telling a story about her past. So when I am reading it, thats how I interpret it, as if Volkova is reliving her memories. :)

Volkster
25-06-2005, 17:37
Nah, I dont feel as if the fic is being told in the present, you established from the beginning that "old" Volkova was telling a story about her past.

Right there with you!!!

But, if there are people that may have trouble keeping up with present and past maybe you could put in some narration from Volkova. You know, before each time we visit the past. Does that make sense?

Crampaholic
26-06-2005, 01:28
Just cos old volkova is telling a story about her memories doesnt mean that the narration is written accordingly to the time diff ... its about how ppl from that time talked... do u think volkova and lena living on 30s would speak like they do in the fic?... also costumes and so on...
BUt anyway uhaku u know i love u and support u :D

showMElove2
26-06-2005, 05:12
Just cos old volkova is telling a story about her memories doesnt mean that the narration is written accordingly to the time diff ... its about how ppl from that time talked... do u think volkova and lena living on 30s would speak like they do in the fic?... also costumes and so on...
BUt anyway uhaku u know i love u and support u :D

I honestly dont know how people from the 30's talked but I assumed it would be generally the same with some slang from that time period....it is 30's Chicago. As for the customes, well I think that they were wearing mink coats in the 30's as Yulia always seem to have on. They were mobsters in Chicago, not much language difference between then and now. Just seems to flow well for me IMO..... but Volkster had a good suggestion for anyone who is confused :cool:

Uhaku
28-06-2005, 15:48
Ah, thanks Crampy. U got my lazy ass to go and check on Casablanca (1942).
Ok, I think I’d still make some sense if I were to transport back to 1930s. LOL!
But I think it might be slightly off. Gotta make sure with a native English speaker but I
couldn’t find them nowhere. BTW, it is my lazy ass again not having described enough of the
clothing aspect, assuming everyone is a fan of black and white movies like me. Spank me!

Thanks Volkster and ShowmeLove. I’m glad u picked up on the mink and all.
Not that it means much. LOL. I hope I keep the Cadillac and motorbike/sidecar in your mind! Ride on!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 16


“More whiskey?” Dimitri Volkov broke the silence in his dark, study room. He was in his pajamas
and a pair of glasses. This private meeting was immediately held after he warded the police off
his ranch with bribes, or threats.

Senator Iver sat himself on the couch, waving his hand lightly in refusal. He had no choice but
to remain here until his driver could think of a plan to leave the ranch unseen by the
journalists waiting at the entrance. A politician like him wouldn’t like being caught in a
scandalous party inside the home of a notorious gangster, who happened to be one of his
most trusted friends.

“I thought that one of the guests was the shooter, but under this bizarre circumstance in
which nobody seemed to know the exact identity of our guy… I had my men checked and
the record showed a few guests who didn’t show up. You must have known who they are
by now,” Dimitri said, studying Victor’s calm face. He had solely meant the Irish. No one
in his recent memory managed a miraculous escape from an outrageous murder such as this
but Lena Cohen.

“Your daughter is missing, I believe,” Victor said quietly.

Dimitri had had enough. “Oh, Victor! Victor, please! We’re friends, for Christ’s sake! It’s
ridiculous to speak to me this way! Yulia can’t shoot a wall for the love of God! I’m not trying
to frame Irish, but you know how it looks!”

The senator rolled his eyes in exhaustion. The night had been too long for everyone. “No
invitation card simply meant she wasn’t here from the start. She’s out of the picture.”

“Mitch told me about Frederick’s misdeed and Irish’s disappearance the past week. Frederick
died tonight, and it looks very likely that the shooter was her!”

“It was impossible that she’d be carrying weapons inside your ranch, unchecked.”

Dimitri washed down his drink. “My daughter must have helped her…”

“Yulia isn’t that stupid to get involved in this mess.”

“I really hope you’re right, Victor. I goddamn hope you’re right.”

Victor thought for a second. “How about that Roland Myer?”

“This kid only knew how to lie to women, but he didn’t have the guts to lie to me. I believe
he didn’t know a thing,” Dimitri said, staring at his friend. “One shot in the chest, two shots in
the head, done in the middle of a huge crowd. Now, that was rude, Victor. Just reckless and
disrespectful! You stood up for her once, which was understandable. But you can’t keep
protecting her! You have too much to lose for a girl you barely know!”

Staring at the parquet floor, Victor tightly clasped his hands together until his knuckles went
white. “Don’t think I ever wanted to risk for her. Don’t you think that,” he said firmly.

“But you are doing it again!”

“Dimitri!” Victor raised his voice, and he easily commanded the scene. “I needed to solve
Mason’s incident because it was indirectly concerning my reputation. I’m not protecting her
this time even if she really were the one who shot Frederick.”

“You’ll be a great defendant in court, Victor. You sound most sincere when you’re not,”
Dimitri said, scoffing and pouring another drink for himself. “Mason’s case was different. He
was gone without a smartass sidekick to take over. His three-year-old son died when the
place was burnt down… But Holden Young would never stop until he had the justice and
saved the reputation of his father’s gang. You shouldn’t put yourself in his way. You are not a
hoodlum, Victor! You’re a politician, and you’d be the president of the United States one day!”

“That’s a plan far too ambitious for me,” Victor said briskly.

“You may be right. You’re too kind to be one.” Dimitri lazily nodded. He knew this friend of his
would never reveal his thoughts to anyone. This man was as cold as a marble, unexpectedly
dangerous like fire. He was the kind of person Dimitri would imagine as the Irish’s father,
which he truly happened to have the honor.

Victor first met his illegitimate daughter after Mason’s murder made the headline. It was the
crime of hate, and its reward was the revenge the Irish seek. She got it all right.

“You can’t save her again. She’ll need to learn how to be a proper gangster for once! Chicago
does have rules! The slaughter put us in a dangerous spotlight, attracting too much
attention. But an outlaw stick with another outlaw, Victor. I don’t have any other choice but
to join Holden,” Dimitri said with finality.

“I still insist I have no insight about this murder. Merry Christmas,” Victor said with finality. He
then got up and put on his suit jacket before leaving the room.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 17


Strong rays of light pierced through the gap between the curtains, shining over Lena’s bare
feet that slipped out of the blanket. Lena had just woke up and found herself in a small room.
Besides the bed she laid upon, there were only a wooden chair and a round table at the
corner. She couldn’t remember how or when she got here. Even though she wasn’t trying to
move, the sore in her wound sharply stung.

Volkova walked in with a brown bag, filled with foods and drinks. “Hi…” The word slipped
through Volkova’s mouth. Her blue eyes widened, she looked as though she was seeing a
ghost. But Lena thought the look was rather positive when a smile came across Yulia’s face.

“What are you doing here?” Lena whispered with her voice dry. She remembered Volkova
appeared in her distant, interrupted dreams.

“You really don’t want me here, do you?” Yulia said. She went straight to the table and put
the bag down. From the look on Lena’s face, Lena must have forgotten that she had woken
up several times during the past few days, asking the same question over and over again. She
had Yulia stayed up for three nights straight.

“Tonya’s father often helped some fugitives in town, and he always suggested this place to
them. I figured it’d be good for you here. We’re not too far from downtown, and yes, it’s
dangerous. But if we were to go to the country, I couldn’t have gotten the help you
needed. You’d probably be dead by now… Oh, don’t worry. The landlord only cared if he’d
get the money. He even took the bullet out for you. He was quite at ease with it, too! I
supposed he must have done it a few times before.”

Frowning, Lena lifted the blanket up a little, peeking down. Beneath the white, large, cotton
shirt she was wearing, a bandage was wrapped around her torso, tightened the wound.

Yulia watched Lena, studying her. She recalled how Lena twisted in the bed and finally passed
out because of the pain. The landlord had given her some anesthetic he stored downstairs.

“You’ve been unconscious for three days. I thought you wouldn’t make it.”

Lena couldn’t believe that she had been unconscious that long. How was Roland dealing with
all of this? What was waiting for her out there?

“Can you sit up?” Yulia asked. She unpacked the foods and brought it to the bed.

“I’m not hungry,” Lena muttered. In fact, she started to feel hungry, but opted to lie still,
not wanting the pain to spread any wider. Squealing like a pig in front of Volkova wasn’t the
best idea to her.

Yulia perked her chin up. “Okay, lie still. I know it hurts, but you must have some foods.
Come, be a good girl for once.” She then shoved a spoonful into Lena’s mouth.

“How’s… Roland…?” Lena spoke with a mouthful.

“The public may not know who the shooter was, but I believe the inner circle already knew.
Mr. Myer must be going crazy right now, trying to find you before anyone else does.”

“You helped me…” Lena murmured.

“I had the most fun ride ever, Ms. Cohen. You entertained me much that night.”

Lena stared at Yulia.

Yulia looked away and sighed. “You’re Mr. Myer’s friend, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to see
you captured.”

“I would have made it without you—”

Yulia interrupted Lena with another spoonful. “Is that so? Face it, Irish. You escaped Mason,
yes. But Mitch could have killed the legend.”

Lena paused. “Did he know it was me?”

“Anyone might have guessed it by now. My father must have had my room checked and saw
the blood on the bed. Angela would assure him that the blood wasn’t mine. The best bet is
my father knows I helped you, but I’m not sure how long he can keep it secret.”

Lena caught the worried look in Yulia’s eyes. “You should go home before this gets out. It’d
make your father look bad. I want no accomplice in this.”

Yulia looked down, deep in thought. As expected, the bloody Christmas episode made first-
page headline the next day, and Yulia found herself a kidnapped victim in the story. She
thought about ringing Roland but eventually chose not to. If Lena wanted to pull Roland into
this mess, he would have known of her plan from the start. Yulia realized how much Lena
cared for her companion, and decided to respect it.

“Should I ring Mr. Myer now?” Volkova asked quietly. She wasn’t sure it was the best idea to
leave Lena alone.

The soft tone surprised Lena, however, it relieved her because she didn’t have the energy to
fight at the moment. Staring up at the ceiling, Lena just shook her head tiredly. She soon fell
asleep again.

Yulia gathered her purse, worn stockings and some of the new shirts she gave some money
to the landlord to buy for her. She thought about going home as soon as she dropped Lena
here three days ago, knowing her parents must be worried. But Lena’s then condition was
worse than she thought. Now that Lena was becoming more lucid, it seemed to be the time
to leave.

Ningyo
28-06-2005, 22:50
for anyone: I have one question though. Someone told me that
while she's reading this, the story feels like it's in present day.
Do you guys feel the same way?
I'm curious 'cus if you do, i'll try to be more careful in the future.
Any suggestion on what I should do to improve this area?
Don't be shy or intimidated. As always, I'm here to improve.
Thanks again. :coctail:

Now that you mention it, yes, just once. And it wasn't because of the POV switch. Uhm, I'll tell you more when I remember what it was. :p

showMElove2
29-06-2005, 11:57
The Irish father is Victor??? That was a surprise! Will Yulia really leave Lena there?? Will she ever ride (Irish) in her cadillac again?? I will stay tuned for the answers! BTW the sidecar bit with Lena and Yulia riding, I must admit had me cracking up....oh the visual :D

Volkster
29-06-2005, 11:58
Things are never simple are they?
Viktor is the Irish's father and I'm guessing that Lena knows nothing of it right?
Volkov seems to want to hand the Irish to the police and Lena and Yulia are simply civil with each other even now when everything is a mess.

Thankd for the update!!!! :)

warx
30-06-2005, 12:06
bugger :bum:


tnx for the update uhak's...jejeje
hus hugs hugs

Uhaku
01-07-2005, 18:20
Mel, oh, please do tell! I'm eagAr to hear! I know u're always so detailed!
ShowmeLove I love all those Cadillac and motorbike/sidecar too. It's so WWII era! Lol.
volkster I hope things are never simple in my life. I'm easily bored. Yaaaay. :coctail:
Warx aaawww, huggles u back!
Yooyeeyoh anything for ya. :heart: WILL get back to gingerbread asap! Promised!



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



CHAPTER 18


In the white robe presumably left behind by Volkova, Lena was sat along the edge of the
bathtub and slowly dried her hair with a towel, careful not to rush any movement. Lightly
pressing the wound, she moved out of the bathroom and sat down on the bed. She looked
out to the snow-paved streets a few story below.

White Christmas had gone, and this was the loneliest New Year’s Eve she ever had. When
she was still in the orphanage, Celia Cohen would always bring the kids out on the occasion.
When she was out on her own, Roland had always been there to celebrate with her. Roland
must have been busy, trying to find her, and she pondered when would be the best time to
ring him.

Lena stopped breathing for a moment as she slowly took the robe off. How thoughtful Yulia
was to leave the clothes for her. She pulled the stockings up and zipped up the skirt. Leaving
the hem of the shirt out, she put the coat on, but lightly groaned when the pain stung
again.

She planned to go see the landlord. He might be able to tell her what was going on, or he
could simply tell her that she was no longer welcomed here. Although she still felt weak, she
was more than ready to leave if needed.

Lena fumbled for the key on the table but stopped when she saw a roll of dollar notes beside
the key. Yulia had also left some money for her. She stuffed it into her pocket. There would
be a time she’d return Yulia’s favor.


>>>


“Glad to see you up and walking again, Irish. You look wonderful.”

Lena just kept quiet. She knew she looked like shit. Her face was pale, her eyes were dull and
it seemed she had lost a good amount of weight since Christmas Eve.

She squint her eyes against the sunlight coming through the window behind the large man in
green sweater. She lowered her gaze down from his face to his clasped hands on the messy
desk. The landlord was expecting her. Worse than that, Holden Young must have had his
men surveying around the city for the past few days, bribing people for her whereabouts.

“You’re probably wondering why I haven’t turned you in,” the landlord said.

Lena kept both his hands in her focus, while scanning around the desk. If he were about to
demand money from her, the most he’d get was a pen in his eye.

“Holden’s men came the morning after you checked in, but the girl already tipped me
handsomely. Besides, I hate the Youngs! I hate their guts! You’ve done me a huge favor,
ridding one of them off the surface of the earth!” the landlord grunted, lighting up a
cigarette. Lena was relieved but still didn’t trust him fully. “I need a gun,” she said, coughing a little.

He briefly pointed his finger at her. “I knew it!” He then bent down to reach for the drawer.

Lena leaned forwards slightly, grabbing a pencil in one hand. She watched his reflection on
the glass door of a cabinet behind him, studying his movements.

“I’ll give you a special price. Fifty dollars.”

“Whatever,” Lena said, tossing a few notes onto the desk. She took the revolver and
checked its condition.

Grinning, the landlord put some bullets on the desk.

“My name is John Norman,” he said.

Lena was perplexed when he offered her a pen and pushed a note back to her.

“Could you write ‘To John’, and sign here, please?”


>>>


Late into the evening, Lena decided to come out of the motel. It bored her to death having
to stay in that tiny, worn down room for five days straight. Crossing the street, she glanced
around at a few passersby and the cars parked nearby. Nothing looked suspicious so far. She
didn’t think it was wise to show up in public like this, but she just didn’t care at the moment.
Life and death weren’t that far apart from one another in her opinion. She must be ready to
face it any moment. She felt ready. Almost.

Feeling sick, Lena thought some fresh air might do her good. She carefully strolled along the
lake, watching the velvet skies above. As always, her hands were kept inside the pockets,
ready to pull the gun out at any given second.

This area was still considered quite remote even though it was not far from downtown. Most
of the residents here were middle to lower class with daily, boring jobs. They had no idea
who she was, and that suited her just fine.

After a short walk, Lena bought some foods and a bottle of champagne before heading back
to the motel. Two more hours to go before midnight would come. She wanted to celebrate
a little even by herself. The stars could keep her company tonight.


>>>


Up on the motel’s sun deck, Lena found quite a number of people already occupying some
spaces in the far corners, waiting in the cold for fireworks. Although a little boy and a chubby
girl were running around while their parents were preparing a small, night picnic, it was quiet
enough for Lena. Those two children did give her a nostalgia feeling though. They reminded
her of her childhood, and she suddenly missed the good old time, her heart ached.

Moving to the east of the deck, Lena slowly dropped herself down in the lonely corner and
spread out the foods and drinks. The champagne could keep her warmer and she couldn’t
wait for midnight now to open it. Slowly chewing some chocolate cake, she turned up the
collar of her coat and looked up. Disarray trails of white spots painted the velvety skies. The
stars were so bright as though they were fireworks from the outer space.

Lena chuckled to herself. No one would have expected her to be celebrating New Year’s Eve,
not when she had just gunned down Frederick Young five days ago. But she couldn’t think of
any good reason to lock herself up in the room, waiting to live or to die. If she were to die
tonight, she might as well have some fun before it all gone.

Rubbing her hands together, Lena waited impatiently for the countdown. It could be any
moment now. She was beginning to feel a little dizzy as the pain crept in again.

“TEN! NINE! EIGHT! SEVEN! SIX!” the people on the deck shouted after the crowd down in the streets.

“FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO! ONE! HAPPY NEW YEAR!” everyone cheered!

As the fireworks began invading the night skies, Lena cocked the cap open and shook the bottle around.

“Good heavens!” Lena exclaimed when streams of cold water dripped down her neck, into
her shirt beneath the coat. Puzzled, she looked up. Under the flashing lights from the
fireworks, she could see the familiar pair of mischievous, blue eyes staring down at her.

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Yulia shot some more champagne over Lena’s head.

Lena couldn’t believe Volkova still hadn’t gone back home, but that wasn’t her concern at the
moment. Gritting her teeth, she mustered all her strength and stood up, scooting Yulia back
with her own champagne. Soaking, they laughed at each other.

“That’s enough, or we won’t have any left to drink!” Yulia squealed, chuckling.

Shrugging, Lena took a big gulp of the alcohol.

“Pink champagne,” Yulia said, holding up her own bottle a little.

Lena squinted at the bottle in her hand. “I don’t know what color it is. It’s too dark here.”

Yulia giggled, and Lena had to look down.

“Did you make a wish?” Lena asked quietly.

“After Christmas’ wish? I think I’ll pass tonight,” Yulia said briskly.

“What was it?”

“You.”

Lena stopped, and then gulped some more champagne. “What are you doing here?”

“Next question, please. You are boring,” Yulia grunted.

Lena grabbed Yulia’s hand and pulled her closer.

“Wha—” Yulia looked up, bewildered.

But Lena immediately let go when the pain seared again. She gulped some more champagne,
hoping to get drunk and forgot the pain.

“All right. That’s good enough. Give me that,” Yulia said, taking the bottle from Lena’s hand.

Lena didn’t protest. She just carefully sat down, shivering.

“Should we go inside?” Yulia suggested.

Lena shook her head, leaning back against the concrete, low wall. Yulia sat down and put the
bottles before them.

“Wow, chocolate cake! Can I have some!?”

“I got some carrot cake, too.” Lena took another box out of the brown bag.

“You bought all these to celebrate alone?” Yulia then studied Lena’s pale face. “Are you sure
you want to stay? It’s cold up here.”

“Hot bread? Milk?” Lena was spreading all the foods around them.

“Oh, put them back! We can’t possibly finish all these tonight!”

Lena just let Yulia rearranged everything. She looked out at the two children running around
at the other side of the deck. A man in the other corner struck up a tune with his accordion,
tapping his foot. Another man joined with his flute. Everyone else started to join them.

Lena was watching them, while Yulia watched her smiled at last.

“Do you miss him?” Yulia asked.

Lena turned at the sudden question.

“You miss Mr. Myer,” Yulia answered her own question.

“I would have been dancing with him right now if I didn’t ruin Christmas Eve.”

“You wouldn’t either way because Frederick would make sure of that.”

Lena chuckled at Yulia’s firm statement. It was as though Yulia wanted it this way. “You may
be right,” she said quietly. She looked back at the dancing people, not because they had her
attention, but because Yulia’s stare effortlessly made her feel positively uncomfortable somehow.

“Celia must have sent something to me. She never forgot my gift,” Lena muttered.

“I’d have gone and get it for you, but… oh, well…” Yulia scratched her head.

Lena sat back and sighed. “I’m still the little girl she once taught how to walk and read and…
but that girl is gone…”

“Hmm, let me see. She loves chocolate cake, hot tea and board games. She celebrates New
Year’s Eve even if the world is at war and expects a gift from her godmother! That girl hasn’t
gone anywhere. She’s still here,” Yulia said, taking Lena’s hands and rubbing them warm.

Lena watched Yulia and realized that her stare could make Yulia feel equally uncomfortable.
Yulia glanced left and right until she eventually let go of Lena’s hands.

“I heard you spoke in your sleep. What is it about a feather?” Yulia asked and hugged her knees to her chest.

Lena raised her brows. She had no idea how much she had let out during the time Yulia was
taking care of her. But this question was not one too personal she could not share.

“Celia used to tell me an ancient story.”

“How ancient?”

“Ancient Egyptian.”

“That ancient?”

“Is it? I’m no history professor.”

“Go on,” Yulia said, finally smiling back.

“They believed that when Judgment day comes, everyone will be judged by the weight of
their hearts. If it were lighter than a feather, they can go to heaven.”

“Pardon? No offense, but you want to go to heaven?” Yulia almost laughed aloud.

“Celia said they got the finest cakes and the best games to entertain us for eternity, yes.”

“You don’t really believe that!” Yulia giggled, rocking back and forth, surprisingly relaxing in the cool wind.

“It turns out that bedtime story can’t keep me alive. I prefer to stay here, in this hell.”

Yulia frowned. “But the world is so beautiful.”

Lena looked away, a small smile on her face. Although she no longer saw it that way, she
would like Yulia to keep believing.

“Sometimes it could be.”

“I hate your sometimes.”

“Does it sometimes?”

Yulia laughed. “You really hate me, don’t you?”

“How? You saved my life… Thank you,” Lena said with sincerity, and she wanted Yulia to know it.

Yulia glanced down a little. “You don’t owe me anything. We’re even now.”

Lena was surprised to know that Yulia was still grateful about saving her at the lake.
“You should have gone back to your parents. It’s not safe here,” she said with all her good will.

“I was worried that—”

“I’ll be fine.”

“I was worried for myself,” Yulia said, perking her chin up.

Lena paused for a second of embarrassment. “Your father would welcome you back.”

“I was worried that I won’t be all right if I don’t see you again.”

Lena looked elsewhere, a faint, reluctant smile on her face. She pondered for a moment, and
then chose to ignore the statement. But Yulia lightly locked her fingers with Lena’s and
managed to pull her closer. Their cheeks brushed. Their lips touched. They briefly tasted
each other, but Lena suddenly pulled away. Yulia blankly stared at her.

“Would you like some more cake?” Lena asked quietly.

In an equally quiet tone, Yulia asked, “What are you talking about?”

They awkwardly sat in the cold wind, looking at each other, but not really seeing one another.

Volkster
01-07-2005, 21:41
Hehe! Glad to see that I was right about the feather part! I've been hearing that story for years and years!
Like I have already said (and yes I may be a biiiiiiit biased :D ) HOW can someone NOT like Yulia! She is sweet as hell when she wants to. And this update was one of the absolute best! I'n kinda wondering what was Lena planning on doing when she grabbed Yulia to get her closer but then the pain kicked in. Hmmmmm!

The last sentence ... but not really seeing each other is sad. But then again, how often can one really see someone. I hope that in the future (or in the past) they will.

Beautifully written and the dialogues always hiding something as always. I love the enigmatic side of this.

Thanks for the update!!!

showMElove2
02-07-2005, 05:42
I think volkster covered pretty much everything I was thinking as far as what was the purpose of Lena grabbing Yulia as well as the meaning of the feather (I had never heard that story). Also the "not really seeing each other part"..... I wonder about that :confused: But, I am sure I will get my explaination! I was happy to see an update :) Thanks!!

Uhaku
05-07-2005, 16:16
I'll leave to ur imagination what the Irish was going to do when she grabbed Yul's hand. :coctail: About that story, i only heard it when i was on the trip to egypt! LOL!


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 19


Alexei Volkov strode through the grand hall of the mansion. He was in his hunter suit, having
just come back from a morning hunt in the woods. Dimitri burst through the door of his study
room to stop his son in the way. The older man was in his crumpled blue shirt and gray
trousers, a cigar between his lips.

“Did you not understand that you are not allowed to go hunting by yourself!?” Dimitri looked
around, waving his large hands in the air. “Mitch! Mitch!”

“You’re overreacting, father,” Alexei said, sighing.

“Overreacting! Interesting choice of word, son! Do you know how much trouble I went
through to keep the police off this ranch!? Do you know what’s going on out there!?”

“Sir!?” Mitch ran towards his boss.

“If he ever gets out on his own again, you’re dead! Understood!?”

“Yes, sir!” Mitch looked down.

“Yulia can run around, helping the murderer, but I can’t go hunting on my own!?” Alexei
pounded his fist on the handrail. “What do you want me to do? Hiding in my room and
praying for some miracle that Holden Young will become our friend!?”

Dimitri’s eyes widened at this, and Alexei just couldn’t decide if his father was very angry or shocked.

“Hello, Alexei,” a voice interrupted.

Alexei looked past his father’s shoulder to see a bulky man with dark brown hair and hazel
eyes. In a white shirt and khaki trousers, Holden Young looked surprisingly relaxed and casual.
He approached and offered a handshake.

“H—hello, Mr. Young,” Alexei stammered. He couldn’t believe what he had just let out.

Holden smiled and then walked back into Dimitri’s study room.

“Father…” Alexei muttered.

Dimitri pointed his finger at Alexei’s face and ordered, “Go to your room!”

Alexei watched his father crossly turned and disappeared into the study room.


>>>


Holden Young sat on the couch. It was the first time he entered this mansion since his
father’s murder. He knew very well of his father’s plan to get rid of Senator Iver, and the Irish
was undoubtedly the main suspect. He also questioned Dimitri’s side on this war. Had Dimitri’s
daughter helped the Irish as the rumors had it?

Holden lighted up a cigarette and looked up at Dimitri. “Alexei is a stupid boy, but I hope your
daughter is different,” he commented calmly.

Dimitri paused at the words, his fists clenched. But he made no move.

“Your father was my distant relative, and I respected him as much. He helped me in the old
days in many things, and I am forever grateful. Forever. What happened here, I guarantee
that we had no knowledge of it. I do not wish to fight against my own flesh and blood.”

Holden tensely stared out the window, jaws tightened. “What do you propose?”

“I will prove my innocence by helping you find the murderer.”

“I want you to kill her.”

Dimitri stopped. “Are we sure it was her?”

“It doesn’t matter. She should die a thousand times over anyway,” Holden said, exhaling the
smoke as he bit his lips hard. He had always loathed the Irish ever since Mason’s murder. The
old man was like an uncle to him, and seeing the Irish walk away freely after killing him was
more than he could take.

“Are we prepared to take out her gang? They’re growing in numbers as we speak.”

“People love to worship ghosts, and I will make sure that they do!”

Holden realized how strong Roland Myer and Lena Cohen had become. The duo was the new
blood that had opened more ways for underground trades and successfully defied the
authority. To fight the Irish was a challenge for Holden. Certainly, his gang crumbled after his
father’s sudden death. The Irish had struck again, they said. The Irish had walked away with
the prize again, they said. And everyone was in awe of the murderous miracles.

Holden just wanted to scream at the thoughts pounding in his head. He took in a few long
breaths to calm himself down.

“I believe she’s still in Chicago. I have sent my men around the city.”

“If it were really the Irish, I don’t think she’s stupid enough to stay. As far as I know, no one
is backing her up anymore.”

“She should still be around. From the blood you found in Yulia’s bedroom, she must be badly
injured that night.” Holden then turned to Dimitri. “I believed that your men did not
intentionally allow this to happen and tried their best to capture her.”

Dimitri nodded slightly.

“And since she is still in Chicago, I want to see her dead in a week, or you know the
consequences,” Holden said, stabbing the cigarette into the ashtray. He grabbed his jacket
and left.


>>>


Holden was coming out of Dimitri’s mansion to wait for his car at the front door.
Unexpectedly, another car zoomed in and parked right in front of him. Roland Myer climbed
out, but stopped when their gazes met. Holden didn’t want to think what business Roland
had with Dimitri, or else his brain would burst right now. Redness shaded his face as he turned
sideway, disgusted at the sight of Roland.


>>>


Dimitri looked utterly baffled at Roland’s sudden visit. He rose from his desk and peeked
through the blinds, seeing Holden’s car exiting the main gates.

“You just have to walk in right now!” Dimitri spat at the young man.

Roland stood, his gaze reluctantly stopping at the door as Alexei walked through.

“Father…! Oh, Mr. Myer…” Alexei nodded a little at the guest.

Mrs. Volkova followed her son in. “Darling! What did Holden say!?”

“Go back to your room! Go shopping or hunting or whatever you care to do!” Dimitri scolded
at his wife and son, sinking down in the leather chair. He turned at Roland, glaring. “Don’t tell
me that you have found the Irish now!”

Alexei and Mrs. Volkova didn’t retreat but looked at Roland for the answer.

Roland shook his head and said, “Not yet, sir.”

“Do you think she’s dead?” Alexei asked, eyes widening in relief.

Roland frowned at that. He stopped himself from lunging at Yulia’s brother before things got
any worse than this. He reminded himself that he came to pledge alliance with Dimitri.

“She can’t be dead, or we would have found her body already. Where did she take my Yuli!?”
Dimitri said, angrily rubbing his face.

“Your friend brainwashed my sister! Don’t tell us you don’t know a thing about this! I don’t
believe you!” Alexei growled at Roland.

“Lena did so much as ignoring your daughter, sir. I do not see what reason she would want
to kidnap Yulia,” Roland said to Dimitri, while glaring back at Alexei.

“Maybe Yuli was helping the Irish!” Mrs. Volkova gasped.

Dimitri let out a heavy sigh. “Be quiet,” he grunted.

Roland knew that the older man silently agreed with his wife. Yulia seemed to be interested
too much in Lena’s business Roland had never suspected anything until Lena struck down
Frederick Young. Lena couldn’t have got away with it without any help, could she? Yulia
risked too much to help Lena. She was putting her father in a very difficult position just
because of her innocent and blatant admiration for the Irish.

“If it means war, I am with you, sir,” Roland stated firmly.

“Even if I were to kill your friend?” Dimitri scoffed.

“I will have to convince you not to. You’re our only ally.”

Dimitri stared at the young visitor. “We had one good business deal together, and I liked her a
lot. But that was yesterday, kid.”

Roland briefly looked down. In this underground world, there was no such thing as true
friends. One switched side in a matter of seconds. Lena and he were the only exception.

“Lena did it because she had no choice, but that could favor you, Mr. Volkov. Frederick never
meant well for you. He suggested us to work with him instead of you. He would have given
you a hard time if he were still alive. His son is not your friend.”

Dimitri leaned back in his chair, a deep frown across his face. He lighted up a cigar and exhaled
one long smoky breath.

“Irish… Irish… She has raised hell…” Dimitri muttered, and licked his dry lips. He closed his eyes
for a moment, allowing silence to suffocate all of them.

“What should we do, darling?” Mrs. Volkova put her hand on her husband’s shoulder.

Dimitri opened his eyes and sharply turned to stare at Roland. “I will not risk to protect her,
but I won’t try to find her either. Leave her to fate, and you have my friendship.” He then
turned to his wife and son. “Both of you go pack your belongings. Everything. You will leave
for New York tomorrow, and catch a ship to Europe as soon as possible.”

“Why—what about you!?” Alexei asked, bewildered.

“Take good care of your mother, or I will strike you down, son. Now, go.”

Volkster
06-07-2005, 00:33
Thank god Roland came along cause I was getting kinda scared with Young and Volkov's plans for the Irish!!!

Someone kill this guy (Young) before things get out of hand - which they already kinda are but anyway!!!

I'm really sitting at the edge of my seat with everything happening!!!!! Thanks for the update!!!

showMElove2
06-07-2005, 12:14
Yeah, but I am wondering if eventually Roland will turn his back on the "Irish", just a feeling....Yulia helping her sure does complicate things for everyone. Thanks for the update!!

dare2dream28
06-07-2005, 23:10
“Would you like some more cake?” Lena asked quietly

I laughed out loud when I read that! Then I laughed again because I had the same reaction Yulia did. :coctail:

uhaku, this is an *amazing* story! I can't get enough of it! I couldn't believe Alexi when he blurted out that info though! That definitely put his father in a more difficult position. I hope Yulia knows what she's doing with helping 'The Irish.' Let me rephrase that...I hope 'The Irish' knows what to do with the help she is recieving! I can't wait for the next update!! :)

Uhaku
08-07-2005, 19:58
Volkster - LOL @ u wanting to kill Young! :D So he's the established bad guy of the story, eh. I'll look into that, see if I could do something more with this character.

Showmelove - :bum: I hope Roland isn't that evil, but u know i'm evilleeeeee! :p

Dare - Looool. I liked that part, too. I'm just hoping u won't hate me by the time i make Lena knows what she was doing. :coctail:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 20


In the tiny motel room Lena had made home for the past three weeks, Lena folded her fresh,
new clothes and put them at the end of the bed. She had been clearing up the room and
prepared for leaving tomorrow morning. She had regained enough strength and didn’t wish to
stay longer for Holden to catch her. Her wound began to heal, but she still took anesthetic almost daily.

She poured herself a glass of warm water and sat down at the desk. Grabbing a pen and a
crumpled piece of paper from the drawer, she started to write something. There were
already four previous entries on the paper. Drawn by the calmness of the night, she wrote
down whatever that came to her mind, smiling in amazement as she remembered bits and
pieces of details that meant nothing in her daily lives; the creamy stain left at the bottom of
the milk bottles she left in front of her room yesterday morning. The little, blonde girl in a
white coat wished on a dandelion in the street. The homeless man sat along the railway,
praying aloud to the skies for more snow and hotdogs. Yulia’s small, bare feet rested on her laps.

Resting her chin on her palm, Lena ticked the tip of the pen against the desk, staring out at
nothing in particular. A knock came upon the door, and she slowly turned. She opened the
door without grabbing the gun, knowing who it was.

In a creamy nightgown, Yulia quietly entered. She brought her own belongings with her
because they would be leaving early tomorrow morning. She put her stuff at the end of the
bed next to Lena’s, and climbed onto the bed.

Lena returned to the desk and jotted down one last thought that came to her mind. The
sweetest smile she had ever seen unexpectedly happened to be Yulia’s.

After Lena turned the light off, she followed Yulia into the warmth of the soft blanket. She
carefully lied down and rested her head on Yulia’s shoulder. Yulia gently put her free hand
over Lena’s slightly heaving chest. Lying still, Lena could feel the stare from the blue eyes in
the darkness at the corner of her eyes. The stare was getting closer as the air lighter and
lighter, and Lena finally fell into a peaceful slumber.


>>>


The skies were dark gray at six o’clock in the morning. Lena was already standing at the
platform, waiting to catch the train to New York City. She needed to stay out of Chicago
scene for a while. She planned to ring Roland afterwards. Knowing that Holden Young was
acquainted with a few high rank cops, he might try to press murder charge against her. Until
then, she could always catch an ocean liner and fled to Europe. With all the money she had
made the past three years, she could easily settle down somewhere in London and started a
new life. Berlin also sounded enticing with its notorious reputation of social openness.

Lena stuffed her several fake passports and I.D. the landlord got for her into the pocket inside
her new coat. The landlord made sure that nobody suspected him and came near their hiding
place. Holden must have his men watching at this very train station, but Lena was careful
enough to wear a hat and a wool scarf, concealing her trademark auburn hair. In black
clothes, she blended in with the crowd just fine.

Volkova was in a gray hat, a thick gray coat and black stockings. She was here to send Lena
off, before heading back home, as Lena demanded.

“Have a safe trip,” Yulia said, looking away.

Lena studied Yulia a bit. Those blue eyes so cold she thought she heard Yulia wishing the
train would derail. For the past three weeks, the blonde stayed in the room opposite to hers.
But when the night fell, Yulia would come and snug in with her. Lena never chased her away,
nor openly welcomed her. Surprisingly, the persistent stare from the blue eyes became
addictive somehow. She was getting used to the uncomfortable silence before falling asleep.
Without a word, they would just lay asleep in each other’s arms. Lena now started to think of
things to do to make her fall asleep as she was already missing Volkova’s warm breaths on her
neck when the nights got colder.

After New Year’s Eve, Lena did nothing to continue the kiss that started their year. She had
more important and urgent things to do to have Yulia in her mind. She was on the run and
didn’t know how long it would take for this case to quiet down. Her father had sworn after
Mason that he would take no part in her life again, and she would not blame him if he kept his
words. He helped her once, and it was over between them.

“I believe you’ve forgotten something,” Yulia said, taking a folded paper out of her pocket.

Lena froze; what in Yulia’s hand was the page of temporary journal she wrote before going to bed.

“Your handwriting is pretty bad. I’m surprised you know how to write.”

Lena snatched the paper from Yulia and balled it in her gloved fist.

“Oh, I didn’t read it, sweetheart.” Yulia rolled her eyes.

“I know. I won a handwriting contest. First prize.”

Yulia giggled, and Lena rudely drew the scarf off her face, wanting to catch the last smile.
Locked in Lena’s intent gaze, Yulia stood still, glancing down at her feet.

“Umm—err—you write everywhere you go?”

“Sometimes,” Lena replied sternly.

“Sometimes,” Yulia said, nodding lightly, “You must have a huge stack of papers crammed together.”

Lena took one look at the blonde and then put the crumpled paper back into Yulia’s
hand. “Thank you.” She turned around and boarded the train.

Keeping her gaze down, Yulia just nodded. She stared at the paper and then carefully flattened it out.

January 1st 1936:

A beautiful night to start a new year. I hope it stays this way… She surprised me by showing
up tonight. Thanked God she was on my side, or I’d be dead by now. How short life could
be… A strange thing happened. We kissed. Briefly. The more I think about it, the more I
agree that she tasted sweeter than the pink champagne. I just wished it’d lasted longer in my mouth…

Someone is knocking on my door. I hope it is Holden, so we could have a quick talk once and
for all. On the other thought, he wouldn’t be so polite knocking on my door, would he?

“Pink champagne—pink… Oh, no…!”

Yulia’s head shot up. She rushed towards the train that was leaving the platform. If she were
not wearing a skirt, she could have jumped on board in time. People turned and stared at
her. Some were yelling for her not to get too close to the train.

Panting, she watched the train slowly disappear from her sight. It was too late now, and she
didn’t even say goodbye. In the watchful eye of the passersby, she walked away from the
platform in defeat.

When Yulia exited the revolving door to the curbside, she paused at a newsstand. The
headline caught her eyes. VOLKOV ARRESTED. She stopped dead when she saw her father’s
picture just below the headline.

“Taxi!” She instantly sped to cut the line to catch a cab home.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 21


“Mother…!” Yulia burst through the front door to find the mansion dead quiet. There were
no guards at the main gates. The front door was left open, letting the cold wind in and
cooling the whole hall. The maids had all disappeared and the place seemed to be left in a
hurry. In the middle of the main hall, a Hellenistic-style figure her father collected was thrust
to the floor, breaking its head. Pieces of broken glasses were scattered by the kitchen
entrance. Some of the curtains were half hanging down.

“Alex! Is anyone here!?” Yulia called out, tears in her eyes. She stumbled to the bottom of
the spiral stairs, but her leg froze, not daring to move up. She felt as though she was in a
nightmare. Her world had turned upside down in just three weeks.

“They’re all gone, madam.”

Yulia spun around.


>>>


“She must have been so shocked to see her home like that. I did feel bad for her. A little.
Holden played it rather harsh.”

Inside a room on the train, Lena sat absolutely still in her seat, lightly pressing her hand against
the wound. The tremor from the train was more than she expected.

“Are you all right?”

Lena didn’t answer right away. She looked out at the darkness outside through the window,
and then returned her attention to the dark-haired woman opposite to her. Angela left the
ranch and joined Lena at the fifth stop. Angela proved to be a fast driver, and a cunning spy
sent to infiltrate the Volkov by a Chicago-base detective.

Lena had been in contact with Angela ever since they met at the dinner party at the ranch.
Angela never came back from the store after Mrs. Volkova sent her to get some beer. Lena
knew just the reason of it. She remembered Angela from one of the police files, and with just
one look at each other, Angela knew she had been caught.

After Lena and Roland left the ranch, they stopped by the store, and Lena let Roland go
home first. She found Angela there, catching the spy by surprise. Lena knew just how to
convince her to remain with the Volkov for any possible use in the future.

“I’m fine,” Lena replied, taking a gulp of water. She had learned of Dimitri’s arrest from the
newspaper she read on the train this morning. She wondered if she would get on the train if
she knew it beforehand. But she wasn’t much of any help at the moment. She needed to
take care of Holden Young before jumping in to give young Volkova a hand.

“You look pale and tired. You should have waited a little longer. I could have kept Holden’s
men away for another week or so.”

Angela moved to sit beside Lena and wiped the sweat beads from her face.

“I couldn’t wait to get out of that motel. It made me sick.” Lena sipped some more water.
She couldn’t afford to have Volkova staying with her any longer. It was too dangerous.

Smiling, Angela leaned back and watched Lena for a while. “I still can’t believe you did it. You
put him down, and here you are…”

“I made it only because you helped me.”

Angela laughed throatily, her charming voice a tune lower than Lena’s. “Will the Irish take up
another partner now?” she asked, reaching for Lena’s hand.

“You already are. Mine.” The Irish leaned in and kissed Angela.

Angela swung her arms around Lena’s neck, holding onto her and gripping her collar. “You
have no idea how worried I was to see you coming into Volkova’s room, injured like that. You
could have died right then.”

“I could have died many times. But it didn’t happen, so there’s no reason to worry now,”
Lena stated as a matter of fact. As much as it hurt, she pulled Angela close, holding her in her arms.

“But—Hmm, I’m rather glad that you decided to leave sooner. I couldn’t stand another day of
you spending with that vamp. I know just how she is,” Angela said, smirking.

“How?” Lena muttered, kissing the base of Angela’s smooth, beautiful neck.

“She’s a player. She’s manipulative. She’s stunning. I hate her.”

Lena just chortled, gazing at Angela’s full lips. She realized how her stare affect the people
around her. Although she disagreed with what Angela had said, she didn’t care to object
aloud. Volkova couldn’t play her. She couldn’t manipulate her, and she hadn’t charmed her.
No? No. No?

“Why are you shaking your head?” Angela asked.

“I can’t see you hate someone. You don’t have it in you,” Lena recovered with ease, smiling lightly.

“I assume that you do? Why did you kill Mason? It couldn’t have been for money.” Angela
playfully curled Lena’s hair around her fingers.

Lena drew along the midsection of Angela’s chest, unbuttoning the first button with a flick of
her finger. She gradually took Angela’s nipple in her mouth, causing Angela to gasp. She
stopped and looked up at the dark-haired one.

“Hate. It brings out the worst in you.”

Head heavy with desire, Angela raised her hands up, cupping Lena’s face. “It brought you to
me,” she whispered.


>>>


Yulia had withdrawn the remaining two thousands dollars out of the only bank account she
had available at the moment. The police were investigating all of the accounts under her
father’s name. She wondered how long she could go on with this amount of money.

In Tonya’s bedroom, she paced around, frowning and cursing. Ever since her father was
arrested, everyone panicked and left to find another job. Angela was the last to leave. The
maid told her that the mansion was left without master since Mrs. Volkova and her son had
fled almost two weeks prior to this. No one knew of their whereabouts.

“Oh, Yulia, you needn’t worry because you can stay with me for as long as you like!” Tonya
put up a smile for her friend.

Yulia sighed, sinking down on the bed. Tonya knelt down before her.

“They left without me.” Yulia swallowed her tears. She never would have expected this to
happen. Holden Young was certainly behind this arrest of her father. She buried her face in
her palms. “It’s my fault. They thought my father helped Lena because of me…”

“Oh, please don’t break down now! My father’s friend works at the immigration office. I’ll ask
them to see if they had any idea where your mother and Alex were heading!” Tonya tightly
held her friend’s hands. “Your father will be so happy just to see you back safely!”

“What’s the point? I’m back to see him behind the bars!”

Frowning, Tonya became reluctant. “What happened that night, Yulia? Why did you just
disappear?”

“I… If I didn’t help her, she’d die.”

“For the love of God, let her! Why did you risk your life, your family, for some girl you have
just got to know!?”

Yulia looked down instantly. “I didn’t think it’d come to this… I didn’t know…” She had always
thought that her father was untouchable. Nothing could bring him down or hurt him. But
even at this moment, she wasn’t sure if she would ever leave Lena to die up in her bedroom.
Lena didn’t seem like a bad person after all. What was done was done. And, for some reason,
she still believed that there would be a way to help her father out of this.

“I will speak to Holden.”

Tonya’s eyes widened as if she was having a panic attack. “NO! That’s not going to happen!
He has just put your father in jail, and if you bother him, he will kill you for sure! You will not
do it! You will not do anything for a while, and that’s final!”

Yulia’s head shot up. “I know! Let’s go to Mr. Myer! He might be able to help!”

“All right. That sounds a little better.” Tonya stared at her friend for a second. “He came to
visit me so often, asking me if I had any lead of you. He was really worried.”

“Poor, Mr. Myer. He should be since his friend is still missing.”

Shaking her head, Tonya sighed in disbelief. “What is that? You seem to want to shove Mr.
Myer right back into the Irish’s arms! What is going on here? I thought you wanted him for yourself!”

“Of course, I do!” Yulia looked bewildered as she said it.

“But?”

“But…” Yulia shook her head, looking away again. “But Lena is still weak. She might be in
trouble now for all I know—”

“She could be in trouble for all I care. For heaven’s sake, Yulia, dear, please do not— I repeat,
do not fall in love with her. She’s just so—so wrong for you!” Tonya detected the grim
look in Yulia’s eyes. She sat down and took Yulia’s hand.

“How do you know she’s wrong for me?” Yulia grumbled like a child.

“I just sense it, and I was never wrong.”

“But she kissed me back.”

Tonya’s jaws dropped before she spoke again. “She kissed you back! She kissed you back
because you kissed her first—because you were so easy to read! She doesn’t like you, Yulia!”

Yulia shot up from the bed and paced around. She regretted having let it out to Tonya. “You
wouldn’t understand. She… You wouldn’t understand—”

“What happened? Please tell me what happened.” Tonya looked horrified.

“Nothing happened. We just had one kiss. That was all.”

“Was not! One kiss in three weeks? One kiss when you two were all alone, having only
each other in sight?”

“She was sick, all right? Why should I lie to you? You even said it yourself that she wasn’t into
humans.” Yulia grunted as if it were such a failure not having scored the Irish.

“I have never seen you like this with someone who had just one kiss with you. Oh, Yulia,
please, you should know that she’s wrong for you now that your father is in jail because of
her. Am I right?”

“But it’s not her fault. She had no choice.”

“Right, that’s enough! You’re protecting her because of just one kiss! I can’t imagine what
you’d do if—if—never mind me, please!” Tonya barked, veins visibly popping up along her neck.

Sighing, Yulia retreated to the French doors to the balcony. “I would have said the same
thing even if we didn’t kiss. She had to do what she needed to.”

“And you had to do what you had to,” Tonya said, watching her friend in defeat.

showMElove2
08-07-2005, 20:54
Things just got a little more complicated....but thats good! The Irish and Angela...would have never known, I am like Yulia and didn't think she was into humans..boy was I wrong :p
Thanks for the updates!!

Crampaholic
08-07-2005, 21:20
:bum:

Volkster
09-07-2005, 14:49
Well, I was sure The Irish was into humans and more particularly Yulia! Boy was I wrong!!!! Actually I'm sure I'm not but things are the way they are right now. That was a VERY VERY surprising turn of events! I didn't think things would turn out like this! Very interesting!!!

Thanks for the update!!! :)

Uhaku
12-07-2005, 15:54
I actually had a thought of making the Irish rather innocent and all,
but me being evilleee as usual, I decided she should be something else entirely.
Didn't I mention I luf complicating things? :p Oh, and u guys should love me much
cus I made my g/f wait for the updates like everyone else. Looooooooooooool. :coctail:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHAPTER 22


Roland Myer could not believe what he was seeing. Yulia Volkova was standing right in front
of him in his living room. She must have lost quite a few pounds since he last saw her. She
was wearing a blue, knee-length, fluffy coat, its brightness accentuating the color of her
eyes. Her blonde hair was pulled straight back, exposing her handsomely structured face.
Roland felt underdressed at once in his dull shirt and crumpled trousers. Besides, he hadn’t
shaved in three days, since Dimitri was arrested.

“Please have a seat,” Roland finally said.

Yulia smiled a little and sat down.

“Where have you been?” he asked absentmindedly. During the hectic weeks with ups and
downs, he even thought that maybe Lena and Yulia were really dead. He just couldn’t
express how he felt right now.

“Lena…” Yulia stopped, glancing around and noting that the door was locked.

“It’s safe. You can tell me everything. So it was true that Lena took you with her? Where is
she now? Why hasn’t she come back with you?” he asked urgently.

“She didn’t take me. I, umm, I sort of followed her.”

Roland was taken aback. He had thought that Lena took Yulia hostage for some future use.
Although Lena didn’t kill as often as the legend had it, he knew that his friend was capable of
doing the most heartless things, including killing Mason’s three-year-old son. Risking Yulia’s life
thus sounded very possible.

“I was just going to take her to somewhere safe, but her condition was rather bad. I decided
to stay with her until she got better—”

“Is she all right now? Is she safe?” Roland couldn’t help but interrupted.

“I sent her off at Central Station three days ago. She seemed fine. She was heading to New York City.”

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier!?” Roland became exasperated.

“She asked me not to…” Yulia replied, looking down.

Roland shook his head, upset at himself. “I’m sorry.”

“I understand how you feel, Mr. Myer. And I thank you for paying visits to Tonya, asking
about me. I would have contacted you, but Lena wouldn’t want it. She didn’t want to get
you involved.”

“How can I not be involved? I’m her partner—her friend!”

“Mr. Myer, please understand that she only meant well for you. You could be in trouble like
my father if she…”

Roland instantly knelt down before Yulia, putting his hands on each side of her against the couch.

“They’re charging him with the murder of Frederick Young, while they know full well that he
didn’t do it! It was Holden. He must be with the police!”

Roland pulled Yulia into his embrace. “He’ll be all right. He will be. They have nothing on him
I’ll make sure of that.”

Eventually, Yulia sighed. She reluctantly pulled away from him.

“I don’t know how to thank enough.”

“Thank me when I actually get your father out,” Roland said, smiling. “Do you have a place to stay?”

“Yes, I’m staying with Tonya right now.”

Roland paused, deep in his thoughts. “I know it’s not very appropriate to suggest this, but I
think it’s too dangerous for you to stay with Tonya. She doesn’t have bodyguards to protect
both of you. Why don’t you take one of the guestrooms here? I swear I’m not saying this
just because—”

“I know you mean well for me.” Yulia smiled.

“Do you say yes?” Roland looked hopeful.

Yulia thought for a moment and then nodded.


>>>


It was already dark outside. In the basement, Yulia began to put her clothes into the small
closet, humming. Roland would bring her to see her father tomorrow. Not surprising, Tonya
was more than eager to let her stay with Roland and promised to come visit her often. Her
friend even bought her clothes and everything that she needed, knowing she had limited
budget for the time being.


>>>


Unbeknownst to Yulia, Roland was standing by the door, looking in through the narrow gap.
He wondered why she chose this rather small and unfurnished room in the basement. It was
always colder down here. But since his guest insisted, he had no point to object. Yulia
perhaps thought of safety more than anything else. She had every reason to fear right now.
Smiling, he stood with both hands inside his pockets, watching her folding her clothes. Maybe
Lena was wrong this time; Maybe Yulia was more down-to-earth than they had thought.


>>>


Sitting on the bed, Yulia took the creamy nightgown she wore on the last night at the motel
out of the leather luggage. The redhead withdrew some money from her account and gave it
to Yulia to buy some new clothes while they were still together. Yulia then bought mostly
clothes rather dull for her style, but comfy, which had Tonya shocked upon seeing them. She
brought them all with her.

Yulia lightly sniffed the nightgown, which she hadn’t have it washed since that night. A smile
came across her face when she could still smell Lena.


>>>


In a dark room, plain with not much furniture, Lena was lying on the bed, still in her coat. She
had just come back from a short, night walk. She looked up at the window, staring out
through the gap between the curtains, which she kept closed at all times. She glanced at the
watch hanging on the wall, noting it was already midnight and wondering if Yulia had already
fallen asleep. She wasn’t sure why the thought even came across her mind.

Slowly getting up, Lena sat still for a second and then reached for the phone.

“Hello,” she whispered into the phone.


>>>



“Oh, my God… It is you…” Sitting at his desk, Roland froze, with absolute delight.

Lena chuckled.

“Where are you!?”

“I hope you’re doing fine, Roland.”

“Yes, I am fine! When can I see you!? Where!?” Roland’s hands were trembling. He could
barely keep his joy, but kept his voice low. Some of the guards were playing pokers upstairs.

“Soon. I call just to tell you that I’m all right, and don’t try to find me.”

Roland smiled, nodding to himself. “Have you heard about Dimitri?”

“Yes.”

“Yulia was devastated by the news.”


>>>


The receiver pressing against her ear, Lena looked down and suppressed her sigh. She closed
her eyes and felt a pang of guilt she didn’t welcome.

“Don’t call me sly. I offered her to stay with me, and she agreed… Lena?”

“You did the right thing,” Lena said quietly.

Roland’s chuckle came through the line. “Did she take good care of you? Oh, wait now. She’s here…”

Roland must have put his palm against the receiver because Lena could hear nothing on the
other end. She was getting fidgety each second of silence past, and became restless. She
hated being restless at night, knowing she would have an even harder time falling asleep.

“Hello—”

“I must go,” Lena said, sighing in annoyance.

“Is that so?” It was Yulia’s usual, sarcastic tone.

Lena frowned. “Where’s Roland?”

“Outside. Mr. Myer gave me some privacy. Would you like me to call him in?”

A pause.

“How are you?” They both asked in unison.

A longer pause.

“Is it still hurt?”

Lena grunted inwardly at the stinging pain she still felt from time to time.

“There’s noting to worry about.”

“Haven’t I told you that you’re a terrible liar?”

“Only when I speak.”

“Hmmm. What else you have not let out, Ms. Cohen?”

There was a tint of curiosity in Yulia’s mischievous tone. Lena thought she rather change the
subject. “I heard about your father. I’m sorry I can’t be there right now.”

“Please don’t go after Holden and hunt him down. I don’t want you to trip and kill yourself
over that scum.”

“Even if you ask me to, I’m afraid I can’t even run at the moment.”

Lena smiled when she heard Yulia chortled.

“I really must go,” Lena said, suppressing her yawn. She couldn’t believe that hearing Yulia’s
voice could easily put her at ease now.

“It’s about your bedtime. Good night.”


>>>


Roland knocked a few times on the door before he walked in. A smile threatened to appear
on Yulia’s lips as she hung up.

“Thank you for letting me speak to her.”

“No problem. I’m surprised you’re still up this late.”

“I’m used to it. I survived while I didn’t get any sleep the first few nights after Christmas.”
Yulia chuckled, but then yawned. She promptly covered her mouth with both hands.

“Thank you so much for taking care of her. I guess you could use some rest now.” Roland smiled.

Yulia warmly smiled back, and Roland walked her to the basement.

Blue-Amy
12-07-2005, 21:42
..hmm..my first replay on this site..finnaly m account was validated :D...and since I've just finished reading this update...I thought I might post smth..I'm always reading your updates (..I know..pretty obvious :rolleyes:..cz otherwise I won't be able to go on with the story.. :p ) ..but I told u I'm lazy..and not very good with english...so .. :D
..now...to the story..first I would like to say that I was really taken aback by Lena's relationship with that Angela..I had imagined her a totally different person..who doesn't involve herself so quickly into a relationship... :spy: ...I must be more careful in the future...but I have the impression u really like this kind of turn of events..maybe that's your secret that gets me hooked to your stories?..hmm.. :coctail:
..Anyway...enough of me just bla bla...the update was cool..I really liked it, cz they're fond of each other already..even if they don't want to admit that..
..so..what can I say..go on with the good work...oh..and yeah...thx for the update :kwink:

showMElove2
13-07-2005, 12:15
As evil as the Irish may be (did she really kill a three-year old?? :eek: ) it seems that Yulia has found a way under her skin afterall :) Thanks for the update!!

Volkster
13-07-2005, 12:20
As evil as the Irish may be (did she really kill a three-year old?? :eek: ) it seems that Yulia has found a way under her skin afterall :)

Hehe! That's grand isn't it??? I do hope Yulia and the Irish get to meet up soon cause I kinda miss them two throwing insults at each other (aka hostile flirting) :D !!

Thanks for the update!!!

Uhaku
15-07-2005, 17:50
BlueAmy : I understand ur English just fine! Don't worry nothin' baby.
Uh-huh, Lena character could very well be the kind of person u thought she was,
but yes, I loved to throw some possible twists. I guess I wanna see a sexy, bitchy,
gangster this time. :p

ShowmeLove: Dear, the Irish is that evilleeee, but not untouchable. :)
Something/someone gotta break her sometimes. That's what makes them human?

Volkster: hostile flirting!!! LMAO!!! It's the old-fashion kind of courting, I presume. :coctail:

And thanks for commenting! :D

************************************************** *******************

CHAPTER 23


Dimitri Volkov was taken into custody at a house on Washington St., with 24 hours surveillance.
Visitors were allowed, but he hadn’t expected that today could be one of the happiest days
of his life.

In a white coat, Yulia entered the living room. It was plain but clean, but was so ugly
compared to their mansion at the ranch. There was only a worn couch and a small table in
the middle. The windows were barred with steel.

Tears welling in her eyes, Yulia took off her hat and gripped it in her gloved hands.

“Father...”

Dimitri engulfed his daughter in his strong embrace, his large hands rubbing her back
feverishly. “Are you all right!? Has anyone hurt you!?”

“I’m all right! I’m all right. How are you? Oh, Lord, this place is horrid!” Yulia looked around,
frowning in disbelief.

“It is much better a place than my home in Moscow!” Dimitri laughed.

“Oh, you’ve lost weight, father! Are they treating you right!?” Yulia put her hand over her
father’s belly.

“It wasn’t they but you who had me sleepless for weeks! Now, tell me what happened.”
Dimitri sat her down at the couch, his gaze intently fixed at her.

Yulia looked down. “It’s a long story, father. They only allow me fifteen minutes with you. I’ll
tell you later—”

“Who brought you here?” Dimitri calmly said. He wasn’t about to burst at his daughter when
he was so happy to see her back safe and sound again.

“Mr. Myer is waiting outside.”

Dimitri nodded approvingly.

Yulia smiled. “He is so kind; he offered me to stay with him.”

“Good. Don’t go anywhere at the moment without him until I send you off to—”

“No, father, I will not leave without you!”

“Yuli, I can’t afford to argue with you now. You must go to your mother.”

Yulia only stared back at him, and Dimitri knew that his stubborn daughter would not budge.
Being locked inside this house, he had no power over what Yulia would or would not do. Yulia
was so much like him when he was younger, never cared for his own safety and just blindly
followed his instinct.

Dimitri pulled her up from the couch and gave her a tight hug again. He didn’t want to upset
their first meeting, but he had one thing that needed to be said.

“Stay away from Irish,” he whispered into her ear.

Yulia immediately pulled away, but Dimitri tightened his grip on her arms.

“She is dangerous and will bring danger to you, one way or the other.”

“You don’t know her the way I do,” Yulia said firmly.

“How well is that, Yuli?” Dimitri shook his head, sighing. He sat down, resting his hands on his
knees. He knew too well what was in his daughter’s mind; a father could never be fooled.
Yulia had gone too far this time. And he thought now that she would be safer with an
obedient kid like Roland.

“Have you the slightest idea how she murdered people? Have you really looked into her eyes,
her heart? Do you know what’s inside her head when she pointed a gun at someone?”

“I know she wouldn’t shoot me. She didn’t,” Yulia stated almost proudly. She began to pace
around, restless. “We’re all in this business together. Isn’t she just like us…? Oh, I thought
you liked her, father!”

“Yes, and she liked me so much she’d put me here,” Dimitri said, shrugging his thick shoulders
in a mocking defeat.

Yulia looked away, deep frown on her face.


>>>


Roland was in the backseat with Yulia. They had just finished the visit for the day and were
heading back home. A car was leading them, and another one following, guarding them.

“What’s troubling you?” Roland asked quietly.

“Why are you helping my father when he doesn’t want to help Lena if he gets out?”

“We must offer help to others before expecting them to help us. I believe I can change your
father’s mind to side with us. After what Holden has done to him, I think your father knows
now who is with him now.”

Roland studied Yulia for a moment, and then reached for her gloved hand.

“Don’t worry about your father. He knew this would happen and planned a way out already.
Frederick had something that could put him in jail, and Holden is using it. But he won’t do it
now unless he really wants a full-blown war with us. He’s just threatening us. Your mother
and Alexei are safe. You might want to join them—”

“Do you wish me to go?” Yulia asked softly, looking down.

“No! Please don’t think like that! How could I ever want you to leave? I only said it all for your safety.”

“I’m safe with you, aren’t I? You will protect me?”

At the pleading voice, Roland confidently took her hands. “I will.”

“Thank you, Mr.—”

“Roland. You can call me ‘Roland’ now.”

Volkster
16-07-2005, 01:04
Yeah Yul call him Roland now but no need to get any deeper with him right????
And its kinda funny or of not funny maybe cute how well her father knows her! :D

I have a good feeling that Lena is gonna help Yuls father get outta prison.

And yep, hostile flirting has existed since the beginning of mankind. Think back to grammar school where the boy that had a crush on you would show it by picking on you and vicecersa! :coctail:

showMElove2
16-07-2005, 05:27
Hostile flirting....the best kind of flirting :) I think the Irish owes it to Yulia to help get her father out, we did establish that she had some humanity right! Just need Yulia to get it out of her.

Crampaholic
16-07-2005, 20:58
Hmmmm ;)

Blue-Amy
18-07-2005, 10:45
what's The Irish doing at the moment?...has she tought of a plan to help Yul's father?...yeah..it would really be nice of her to do so...if not for her feelings towards Yulia...then for gratitude.. :rolleyes:
me wants more more!!!! :D

Uhaku
18-07-2005, 18:47
Hostile flirting is dangerous as it borderlines between comical and cheesy I must be extra
careful! :p U all seem to think the Irish owes Volkova some, I'll see to that, ma'am! :)


************************************************** ***************


CHAPTER 24


At the desk inside the hotel room Lena checked in under a false name, she flipped through
the newspaper, bored to tears. It had been a month since Dimitri was taken into custody.
But his case was slowed down with trivial procedures one knew why, easily falling out of the
first-page importance. The corrupted police were bribed to hold Dimitri hostage, threatening
Roland to turn Lena in to him. Only Roland had no choice but unable to. Everyone knew too
well that this murder could not just dissolve into thin air. It could not be settled unless the
Irish or Holden was dead.

Lena walked to the curtained window and looked down at the streets. She had returned to
almost a perfect state. The wound had healed nicely and she couldn’t wait to get out of
here. She wasn’t sure what stopped her from boarding the ship to Europe a month ago. All
she could think now was going home.

The only way to go back to her hometown was to assassinate Holden, but the man must be
extra careful nowadays since he wouldn’t want history to repeat itself. Lena couldn’t risk if
Holden would join some politicians and trapped her like he did with Dimitri. Lord knew what
dirty business Frederick used to have Dimitri did for him when Dimitri had just gotten into the
business of the underworld. Thirty years later, Dimitri was paying for it behind the bars.

Although Lena trusted Roland with all her heart, he might unknowingly let the secret of their
past slipped out. She was frustrated with herself, paranoid endlessly. The deeper she walked
into this dark world, the more she found trusting hard to believe in. Her heart was becoming
cold, and she could only see that little girl she once was running further away. How could
Yulia still believe in her?

At the thought of the blonde woman, Lena irritably threw herself down on the bed. She had
successfully put anything trivial out of her mind. But every time Angela showed up at the
door, she briefly wished it were just like the nights at the cheap motel instead.

The phone suddenly rang, sending Lena out of her thoughts. The operator transferred the
call and Lena listened attentively. No one knew she was here except Angela. Who could it be?

Pressing the receiver against her ear, Lena paused as soon as ‘Hello’ came through the line.
She had to wait a moment to find her voice and talk back.

“Senator—”

“There’s no need to address me or speak my name. I need to see you in private. I trust
you’re available at six o’clock tonight?”

“What is this for?”

“The plan to save you.”

Lena paused again, thinking hard. “I suggest you keep your word—”

“See you at the alley behind the hotel. Be there.”

The line immediately cut. Lena just sighed. She only had about fifteen minutes to prepare.


>>>


The skies had darkened, but Lena wasn’t afraid. She dressed up warmly and put on a hat as if
she was about to have a leisure night after dinner. At six o’clock sharp, a limo came to park
right in front of the alley’s entrance. She watched it for a moment until the window rolled
down, revealing a dark set of shadows of a man inside. She walked to the limo and climbed in.

The car took off the curbside and rode quietly through the night.

With neatly cut, graying, short hair, Senator Iver was in a navy suit, looking proper as always.
A folder on his laps, he flipped through the pages. He handed a paper to Lena and looked up
at her for the first time.

“This is the proof of the Youngs’ trade with T.S. Cayman two years ago. Cargo 2WO. Use it
to settle your case with him. He won’t try to charge you with any murder or bother you
anymore when he sees this. He will most likely drop it, if he’s smart enough.”

Lena took the paper and read it. When she’s finished, she folded it and put into the inside
pocket of her coat. Looking straight ahead, she just sat there, unmoving.

“You look beautiful tonight,” Senator Iver said.

“Thank you. For the help. Will you please drop me back at the hotel?”

“You might not want to. Holden has just found out about our meeting. I will have someone
accompany you at the train station, and let’s pray that the Lord is with you, taking you safely
back to Roland Myer.”

“I don’t need your help. Holden found out where my hotel was because you rang me,” Lena
stated as a matter of fact. She believed wholeheartedly that she had always been careful, not
to let anyone notice her in the streets. She had checked in under a false name. She had
made it for over a month, and it could only be her father’s sudden call that botched her
hiding place.

“Take my offer or you can die tonight, Irish.”

Lena glared at him. He had no right to call her that. The name sounded disgusting when
uttered through his lips.

“You have your mother’s eyes. She used to look at me like that.” His voice softened.

“I don’t want to hear it.”

He watched her for a long moment in the dark. “I’m so sorry I hadn’t been there sooner—”

“Take me to the station now, and not another word from you, or I will shoot you,” Lena
interrupted coldly. She sat back in her seat and looked out the window.

Senator Iver glanced at the thick coat Lena was wearing. Surely she must have brought a
gun with her, and for some reason, he did not utter another word until they reached their
destination.




************************************************** ***************
CHAPTER 25


It was almost seven o’clock in the evening, and the streets were covered in inches of white
flakes. Roland and Yulia were riding in their black Cadillac, the bodyguards following in another
two cars.

Roland stopped at the curbside and got out to open the door for Yulia. Arm in arm, they
entered the hotel. He was in a gray suit, while she was in a white blouse and skirt, wrapped
in a white mink coat.

When they were seated in a corner of the restaurant, Roland proceeded to order for her.

“Thank you for taking me here,” Yulia said, grinning. She loved the jazz band that was playing.
She was just happy that she could finally come out and lived like a normal person. She missed
the old days she feared they were long gone without a way to take them back.

“I heard from Tonya’s it’s your favorite place.” Roland sipped his chardonnay. He had been
doing homework.

Yulia laughed. “Oh, Tonya knows everything about me!”

Roland stopped, staring at Yulia’s smile. He cleared his throat and looked away when he
caught Yulia’s puzzled stare.

“When are your mother and Alexei coming back?” Roland asked.

Yulia looked grim at once. “They’ll probably stay in London until my father’s case is closed.”

Mrs. Volkova sent a telegram to Yulia just yesterday. Holden Young and the corrupted cops
were still arguing of what sum would be appropriate for Dimitri’s case. They wanted more.
Since there was still no sign of Mr. Volkov released anytime soon, Mrs. Volkova told Yulia to sell
the ranch, using the money to buy Dimitri out and all the documents concerning his misdeeds
in the past. Those were extra expensive.

Roland helped Yulia arranging all the documents to see if there was anything missing. He
helped putting the ranch on auction, and a businessman named Wayne Ellison won it just two
days ago. When it seemed that Holden and the cops were satisfied with the handsome bribe,
Roland finally took Yulia out for a dinner she had long asked for.

“Are you going to leave for London afterwards?” Roland asked.

“No, I’m not going anywhere! I can’t imagine living in that gray, rainy and gloomy city! It is
depressing, isn’t it?” Yulia chortled again, brightening Roland’s face as well.

“How’s Berlin to you? Would you consider going to Berlin sometimes?”

“Berlin sounds fine. Tonya said it’s a rather refreshing and lively place to be in.”

“I might be going to Berlin sometimes in the future. Would you come with me…? I mean only
as a—a vacation.”

Yulia paused, but kept the smile on her face. She wasn’t sure how serious the offer was. She
was getting a really good sense of Roland’s feelings for her, and he had always been so sweet to her.

“Yes, I’d love to go to Berlin,” Yulia said.

“It’ll be a place like none you’ve ever been!” Roland said, grinning.

Roland took Yulia’s hand. Yulia was startled but tried not to show it, although she could feel
her body stiffened involuntarily. She had always thought this was what she wanted, but she
couldn’t understand why she reacted so. She could always hold hands and smiled with ease
even with the men she didn’t particularly fancy. Something was seriously wrong with her these days.


>>>


After the dinner, Yulia and Roland were waiting for the car in front of the hotel. There were
several people in line before them, waiting for their cars.

Yulia nudged Roland playfully. “It’s snowing. Let’s take a walk home!”

Roland frowned lightly. “It’s too dangerous. It’s also several blocks to walk.”

“All right…” Rolling her eyes, Yulia just stood and crossed her arms in the cold wind. She
looked out to the vast lake just across the two-lane streets, her mind drifting away. Lena
would be somewhere much further away than the other side of the lake, possibly across the Atlantic now.

Almost every night while she still stayed at the small motel, she would follow Lena out for a
short night walk. Lena was just as stubborn as Yulia was; she wouldn’t let anything stop her
from getting out. It seemed Lena loved to risk even when it was unnecessary. Maybe it was
just her need to run away for a while, her desperation to live even just a little bit. Life was
always too short to hide away from it.

Unconsciously, Yulia strode away and, before long, she increased her speed. She heard
Roland’s calling for her in the back, but didn’t have time to stop right now. A red-haired
woman in black had just disappeared at the corner of the street.

“Where are you going!?” Roland grabbed Yulia’s arm, stopping her.

Panting, Yulia tiptoed, trying to see over the shoulders of the passersby where the stranger had gone.

“Yulia…?”

Yulia eventually gave up and turned to Roland. The sight of the stranger was probably just a wishful thinking.

“If you really wish to walk home, I will walk with you. You should know that I won’t let you
go alone,” Roland said, bewildered at her action.

“You should know that I always have my way,” Yulia said, a mischievous grin on her face.

Roland raised his brows and smirked. He waved at his guards, who were standing about ten
feet away to follow. He then offered Yulia his arm to hold on, and they began to walk along
the street.

“I’m going to visit my ranch tomorrow,” Yulia said.

“I will arrange the chauffer for you.”

“No, I’m going alone.”

“Yulia—”

“I thank you for everything, Roland, but everything seems to be fine now. Please understand
that I need to do this alone.”

Yulia stared at him, begging and demanding him at the same time. She was going to say
goodbye to the place she grew up in, and she didn’t want to cry in front of him. In fact, she
didn’t want him to see the place as it was now. She didn’t want anyone to see her father’s
falling legacy.

Roland watched her, and then leaned in. Taken off-guard, Yulia swiftly backed away and
turned her face to the side. His kiss clumsily landed on her cheek.

Roland paused. “Umm, I…” He promptly straightened himself up. “I apologize for—”

“My father is still in trouble, I cannot think of anything else right now. You do understand…?”
Yulia whispered.

“Of course, Yulia,” Roland said.

Yulia grinned, taking his arm again and pulling him to walk with her. Chuckling, Roland followed.

showMElove2
19-07-2005, 12:45
yeah, I think that the Irish indeeds owes Volkova "some" and are you really gonna deliver :D It does seem they unknowingly have a triangle going on...Roland, Yulia, and the Irish. Angela who???? What will yulia find when she goes home alone?
Thanks for the updates!

Volkster
19-07-2005, 14:34
It does seem they unknowingly have a triangle going on...Roland, Yulia, and the Irish.

I agree. But I'm not so sure it's unknowing! Yulia should be very aware of it since she is flirting with Roland and wants the Irish, Lena must suspect something too since she knows about Y& Rolands dates in the past and she knows that Y has been staying with Roland and I think she is pretty aware of the fact that she and Yulia kissed! :D From my POV the only one who doesn't have all the pieces is Roland! Even Yulia's father knows his daughter interested in the Irish! Oi! I got a headache!!!!
The Irish should come back fast cause if things go on like this Yulia might end up in a relationship with Roland!

Thanks for the update!!!

Crampaholic
19-07-2005, 23:26
No, I’m not going anywhere! I can’t imagine living in that gray, rainy and gloomy city! It is
depressing, isn’t it?


Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Uhaku respect here for us the dreamers who love that city! :bebebe:

Uhaku
20-07-2005, 16:32
I'll be gone for the weekend since it is a long weekend in my country.
Can't wait till friday now! Off to some island for the first time in a year!
Woooohooo! Now, lemme reply first. Promise a long update tomorrow night. :coctail:

yeah, I think that the Irish indeeds owes Volkova "some" and are you really gonna deliver ... What will yulia find when she goes home alone?

Oooh, the pressure on me to make the Irish a good girl! We'll see!

I'm not so sure it's unknowing! ... From my POV the only one who doesn't have all the pieces is Roland! Even Yulia's father knows his daughter interested in the Irish! Oi! I got a headache!!!!

*Rubs Volkster's head* I intentionally want only a triangle. :rolleyes: Why did I put Angela in? Cus u r trouble-seeking person, uhaku. Gaaaah.

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Uhaku respect here for us the dreamers who love that city! :bebebe:

Hurt, didn't it? Heeee heeeeee. Believe me u will hate me when i become nice and trite. :p

Ningyo
21-07-2005, 00:19
Believe me u will hate me when i become nice and trite. :p

That sounds awfully scary... :spy:

Uhaku
21-07-2005, 15:45
Mel - lmao! Does nice scare you this much?

Anyway, I’m doubting ‘the Irish’ at the moment. Is it going fine or going down hill?
I feel like I need a kick in my butt for some reason. I feel like screaming.
I don’t even know what I’m doing. Eh?


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 26


The February snow had been falling for three days straight, covering every street in
white. A black Cadillac slowly rode past the main gates of the ranch and zoomed in to
park in front of the mansion. In a black, mink coat and a furry hat, Yulia got out of the
car and had to remind herself that there was no one to come and parked the car in the
back lawn for her now.

Tucking her blonde hair behind her ear, she approached the doors and pushed in.
Thank God that Mr. Ellison hadn’t so quickly changed the keys. She just wanted to
have the last look at the place.

Most of the furniture was cleared out before the auction, except some curtains and
little things in the kitchen nobody bothered to look at yet. Mr. Ellison’s representative
would like to keep the broken Hellenistic statuette, and Yulia let him. She had sold
almost everything except a car and some of personal belongings.

Gliding up the spiral stairs to the second floor, Yulia pushed the door to her bedroom
opened. Without furniture, the room had never looked this large before. The curtains
were still there, and the soft carpet would be pulled out later on.

Drawing the curtains aside, Yulia walked to the balcony and looked out at the vast,
white land before her. The forest faraway used to be her brother’s favorite spot to ride
and hunt, although he was a rather armature hunter after years of practicing. Yulia
sighed, watching the whiteness that blended almost everything into nothingness.

Yulia looked around as she heard a neighing sound somewhere near. “Oh!” she
gasped, hands over her mouth. In disbelief, she looked down at the hooded figure
riding on a black horse. The horse turned at Yulia’s gasp and galloped around a bit as
Yulia watched the flow of red hair and the pale skin under the hood. The sight was
strangely surreal she thought it was a dream.

“Isn’t he beautiful? I had just bought him from a ranch about twelve miles south from
here.” Lena softly patted the horse’s neck. Chuckling, fumes of white breaths escaped
her parted, cherry lips. She looked amazingly relaxed and calm, unlike the Irish Yulia
had known

“I expected you’d be here an hour ago,” Lena said, and looked up again. But Yulia
had disappeared. Baffled, she looked around. Yulia sprinted from the back door to
stand right beside the horse.

“That was rather fast,” Lena commented, staring down at the blonde.

“Mm-mm.” Yulia tried to suppress her ragged breathing. She had run down the stairs
in one single breath, fearing that it all was just a fantasy her mind creating.

One hand on her hip, Yulia just shrugged, chin up a little. The other hand clutching
the robe, she tilted her head to the side slightly, letting the curly tips of her blonde hair
fall to one shoulder. It was the sexiest post available at the moment, imitating right
from Greta Garbo’s.

Lena bit her knuckle a bit as not to laugh aloud.

Yulia narrowed her eyes and stared at the gun in Lena’s hand, partially hidden
beneath the coat’s long sleeve but was pointing right at her face. Lena must have
drawn the gun as soon as she disappeared from the balcony. As much as she was in
awe of all that was the Irish, subtle or blatant, she didn’t know how a person could
constantly live in fear like this. Her father hadn’t come close; Dimitri would let his
men take care of everything. But it seemed that Lena just couldn’t trust anybody.

“I thought you were in New York… or somewhere faraway.” Yulia spoke,
unconsciously tightened her grip on the robe, afraid to let go.

“I came back just a day too late for the auction, and the price went up to 50 millions
overnight. But I wasn’t going to be ripped off by some businessman I don’t even
know his name. I purchased it three millions cheaper than the auction price.”

Yulia’s jaws dropped at the proud look on Lena’s face. “You bought it at thirty-two
millions!? How did you do it!?”

Lena bent down to whisper into Yulia’s ear. “I put a gun to his head and asked nicely
for a discount.” Lena extended one hand to pull Yulia up.

Giggling, Yulia climbed onto the horse and wrapped her arms around Lena’s waist. “I
take you have saved up enough to buy this horse. What’s his name?”

Lena raised her brows as Yulia helped brushing the snow off her shoulders. “Celia
once told me a story, and its main character had her horse named, ‘Trojan’.”

“I don’t recall Helen owning the horse!”

Lena shrugged. “It was some strange fantasy story Celia read to kill time. Any other
suggestion?”

Yulia grinned. “Call him ‘Trojan’ if you were to send him as a gift to Holden. Put a
grenade in his stomach! Oh, no, that is sickening!”

Lena chortled without the sound. The smile caught Yulia’s off-guard, and she
couldn’t help but staring.

The snow started to fall heavier. The horse galloped towards the fence, heading out to
the forest.

“We’ll hunt for a deer today.”

“With your revolver?” Yulia darkly chuckled.

“You run faster than they do. Why don’t you catch them?”

Blushing, Yulia nudged Lena’s shoulder. After a while, Yulia’s gaze followed where
Lena’s was. The orange halo in the gray skies looked pale behind the fog and thick
clouds. The land was so white it reflected light all around, making it hard to believe
that it was already near dusk.

Yulia watched the sun slowly set, but her mind was somewhere much nearer. Lena
must have been spying on her to know that she was coming here. She couldn’t care
less though. She was ecstatic just to know that the Irish chose to show up to her before
she did anyone else.

Tightened the hold around Lena’s waist, Yulia rested her cheek against the shoulder
before her. Everything oddly seemed all right again.

“One ride, and take me home, will you?”

Without another word, Lena rode off on the white plane towards the sunset. Along
with everything else, they eventually faded into the light grayness of memories,
imprinted in a tired mind that desperately yearned to be put to rest.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 27


Resting my head on my palm, I was lying sideway on the couch, a blanket over me. I
watched the old woman in her seat, relaxed as she sipped her hot milk. The others
were crawling on the carpeted floor and other couches, blatant eagerness in their eyes.

“Did she give the ranch back to you?” Kate asked.

“This is the ranch, right?” I said.

Volkova nodded. “Mm-mm, yes… She brought back my childhood, my pride… my
dreams…”

I sat up and looked out the window to the darkness outside. Volkova’s ranch was still
vast by today’s standard. There was a vast garden in the backyard. But beyond the
long trail of fences, the woods mentioned were now replaced by townhouses and
streets. The sight slapped me back to reality.

“But time has taken them all away,” Volkova said.

I turned to see the fresh wound in Volkova’s blue eyes as the old woman was staring
out the same window I just did. So many things had changed in her lifetime, and I
didn’t think I could ever fathom how much memories haunted her.

“Where is the Irish?” I asked out of the blue. I wanted to kick myself as soon as I saw
the stunned look in Volkova’s face. Was that the look of pain, or a look of
nothingness?

“Let me guess! She’s dead, right? A gal like her couldn’t have lived so long!”

Everyone shot their gazes at Kate, wanting to shut the girl up so fast.

“I wouldn’t know…” Volkova muttered, raising her brows. Her gaze fixed at the high
ceiling, she leaned back in her chair. “All I know is that she will return one day. She
has my promise…”


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 28


The night had crept in at last. Lena rode to stop at the small cottage beside the
lighthouse, and climbed down the horse. She extended a hand to help Yulia.

“You could put him in the barn,” Yulia said.

“Where is the barn?” Lena looked around.

“I cannot believe that you bought this place without knowing that there is a small barn
behind the cottage. Does Roland approve of your way of spending?”

Lena paused at the mention of Roland’s first name. Things had changed in the month
she had been absent. “I do as I please,” Lena said almost curtly, looking away. “I
didn’t mean to keep it anyway.”

Yulia paused.

“It is yours.”

Yulia stood still, watching Lena for a long time. She then perked her chin up and led
the way, pulling the robe behind her. After they finished putting Trojan in the barn,
they headed back to the mansion.

Yulia leapt to open the doors for Lena and bowed. “Master, please.”

Lena pretended to nod and cleared her throat as she walked in. Yulia giggled and
followed suit to take Lena’s coat off for her.

“Are you expecting some tips? I only got two dollars in my pocket.”

Yulia playfully threw the coat over Lena’s head. “This was all I’d do for you then!
Will you cook tonight?”

“How do you cook without a stove? I can’t even have tea.”

“You can have me instead.” Yulia’s whisper came with an echoing laugh. She ran her
hand through Lena’s locks as she glided ahead.

At the invitation, Lena paused and looked down. The way Yulia said it was more like
a tease. It wasn’t such a wise idea to spend the night here. The place was unguarded,
not to mention that there was not a single bed or a blanket left now.

Lena looked up again to find that Yulia had disappeared. She heard footsteps echoing
from the main, spiral staircase. She walked from the back doors to the lobby in the
front.

“Yulia?”

She now heard nothing but faint giggles. She didn’t like this. She tried to catch the
sound of footsteps above. There were twenty-two rooms in this mansion, and she
didn’t want to think if Yulia wanted to play hide and seek.

She stood at the bottom step of the spiral stairway and looked up. It was dark in the
hallway up there, and suddenly, the guests from the bloody Christmas party
stampeding down the stairs towards her. She could hear their hysterical screams,
Yulia’s giggles in the background. She kept walking up, trying not to pay attention to
anything but the marble steps before her.

As she reached the top of the stairs, she saw patches of blood around on the flawless,
smooth floor of the second floor. She had her gun drawn again, but she didn’t know
how to kill the ghosts of fear.

“Yulia…” She turned around. “YULIA!”

A moment of silence. Lena looked ahead into the hallway and caught a glimpse of the
blonde-haired woman in front of one of the many doors. Gripping the gun so hard, she
marched towards the only reality in this place.

Yulia froze. Lena’s fierce roar and heavy footsteps seemed to chain her to the spot.

As soon as Lena approached Yulia, she pushed the woman back into the room with
the gun glued in her hand. Sweats in her cold palms.

Yulia swirled around by the force. She did nothing to resist it. It could break her if she
fought it. The spinning stopped as she hit the window. It was her mother’s dressing
room, three huge, empty closets at her right. A lantern fixed on the ceiling.

“What happened?” Yulia asked, breathing heavily.

Lena could see fear in the blue eyes. She didn’t know what was going on. She had
been dreaming of the murderous nights ever since she was shot. She saw Mason’s son
killed multiple times, and each time, she screamed louder at the blood splattered back
at her own face. Mason endlessly begged for his family’s life, his bloodied face and
hands clinging at her feet. Frederick rose from where he had fallen in the ballroom
and began to chase her down the dark hallway.

Lena…! Lena, help…!

Lena spun around at the little girl’s voice calling in her head.

“Lena! What is it!?”

At Yulia’s shout, Lena was pulled out of her thoughts. Her hand started to hurt as a
result from gripping the gun so hard. She fiercely turned away, but Yulia grabbed her
arm.

“What is it…?” Yulia asked, eyes-widened. She rushed to turn the switch on, but
electricity was cut off ever since the auction.

Lena stopped to glance around.

“I’ll find some candles in the kitchen,” Yulia said softly and walked towards the door,
meaning to get out to the hallway.

“Get down,” Lena said quietly.

At the whisper, Yulia froze for a second and threw herself on the floor. She quickly
crawled into one of the closets.

Holding the gun up, Lena carefully moved out into the hallway. She swore she heard
something coming from downstairs. It was already night time and whoever it was
could be an unwelcome guest. She was practically the owner of the ranch now and
had the right to shoot any intruder without hesitation. For once, she could befriend
with laws.

Lena caught a set of shadows coming up the spiral stairs. She immediately moved into
a room, pressing her back against the wall and listening to the footsteps entering the
hallway. The intruder was oddly daring, not caring that he had caused noises.

In the dark, Lena could see the shadow of a huge man walking deeper into the
hallway, approaching the room where Yulia was hiding in. Lena swiftly moved out
into the hallway, pressing the gun behind the intruder’s back.

The man swiftly turned. Lena had only a fraction of a second, deciding not to shoot
him. She smacked the gun at his face instead, knocking him out cold. At the heavy
sound of thudding, Yulia scurried out of the room, running towards Lena.

“Are you all right!?” Yulia asked.

Lena waved Yulia to stay put, but it seemed pointless since Yulia rushed to stand next
to her, clinging to her arm.

“Oh, my God, it’s Mitch! What is he doing here!?”

Lena looked around for a few moments, making sure there was no one else. “That’s a
good question. Let’s move him into the room.”


>>>


The main stairway was lighted up with a few candles the maids had stored up in the
kitchen. With a gun in one hand, Lena made her way to the mahogany, front doors
and locked them up. Yulia followed Lena every step, a candle in her hands.

“I told you to stay with Mitch,” Lena said.

“Why should I be with him? He’s still unconscious. Besides, there aren’t enough
candles around. I’m afraid you might shoot the wrong person.”

Lena opened her mouth, but stopped short and chuckled instead.

“What do you find funny, Ms. Cohen?” Yulia perked her chin up, holding the candle
up to see Lena’s face clearer.

Lena carefully picked a strand of hair around Yulia’s shoulder and pulled it.

“Ouch! What’s the meaning of this!?” Yulia yelped.

Shaking her head, Lena walked back up the stairs.

Yulia picked up the strand of frizzled hair on the floor, eyes-widened. “I burnt my
own hair!?”


>>>


In the master bedroom, which was used to be Mr. Volkov and his wife’s, Lena sat
herself in a corner, where she could see the entrance very well, but not in the position
that an intruder could first see. Playing with the gun in her hands, Lena watched
Mitch sitting up on the carpeted floor, grumbling about his broken nose.

Standing up a candle on a piece of broken glass, Yulia put the small source of light in
the middle of the large room.

“If I could get some more candles, wouldn’t that be nice?” Yulia said, grinning.

“Are you trying to conjure some voodoo curse on Holden?”

Yulia turned, glaring at the red-haired woman in the corner. “Would it be too much to
put that gun away for a minute?”

BANG!

“MARY!”

“HEAVENS!”

Yulia’s scream mixed horribly with Mitch’s. The bullet had flown right into the small
flame, putting the light out. Lena laughed aloud and tossed a matchbox to the
bewildered Yulia.

Yulia grabbed it and threw it back at Lena’s face. “That wasn’t funny!”

“Were you trying to scare us, Ma’am!?” Mitch added.

Lena crawled to Yulia and lit up the candle again. The soft yellow light glowing upon
their faces somehow toned down Yulia’s glare. Lena’s gaze eventually left the blonde
woman and stopped at the injured man. Everything became quiet.

“You could have shot me dead, ain’t that right?” Mitch finally said, scoffing.

“I could have,” Lena said quietly, her gaze empty. Mitch should know that the Irish
had intentionally spared him at the dual on that Christmas night.

“I had a job to do,” Mitch said.

Lena caught the slight tremble in his voice. “So did I.”

Yulia gently put her hand on Lena’s arm. “He didn’t know it was you.”

“He would have shot me even if he did.” Lena felt anger burning inside her but was
able to suppress it. It wasn’t Mitch’s fault. She was mad at herself for sparing him and
endangering herself in return.

“It was Frederick. It was because he tried to kill you,” Yulia said, sternly looking down.

Lena softened when she heard Yulia’s troubled tone. The thought of Frederick must
have triggered Yulia’s worry for her father again. Lena felt Mitch’s stare right where
Yulia’s hand on her arm, so she pulled away, not wanting the attention.

“What are you here for?” Lena stared at Mitch.

In the dimmed light, Mitch glanced at his boss’ daughter. “I heard Yulia was going to
visit the ranch without Mr. Myer. I was worried about her safety.”

“Oh, Mitch! I am a grown up now, and I have no business with Holden Young! I
don’t need twenty-four-hours protection!”

“I’m worried even more now that you still plan on meeting up with Ms. Cohen!”
Mitch was now fully taking the vacant role of Yulia’s guardian.

“We didn’t plan to meet! She—stalked me!”

“May I remind you that you were the one broken into my ranch?” Lena deadpanned.

Yulia inhaled deeply before she spat. “Oh, right! You dirty mafia bought your way
around, threatening and taking advantage from poor little citizens! Your ranch!”

Lena just raised her brows. Yulia had spoken as if her father was nothing but an
ordinary businessman.

“What am I missing here? Is this your ranch now, Ma’am!?” Mitch looked utterly baffled.

Lena lazily rubbed her neck. “Do you have sources at all, or Russian mafias prefer to
learn the bad news from daily newspaper?”

“Well, Ms. Cohen, we’re busy covering up somebody’s mess. We’re lacking the
luxury of time to spy on someone’s property.”

“There will be no more mess. I’ll arrange a meeting with Holden Young as soon as
possible. I’m not going to risk anyone else’s life by coming back here.”

“A meeting with Holden! Please save your one-man show I don’t think I can take it
again so soon!”

“I know what I’m doing,” Lena said in annoyance.

Grumbling, Yulia crossly looked away.

In the few moments of silence among them, Lena noticed the way Mitch was
watching them. “Let’s get you patch up, Mitch.” She then turned to Yulia. “It’s the
time we’re heading back?”

In her knee-length skirt, Yulia carefully stood up, and to her surprise, Lena gave her a
hand, pulling her up. Looking down, Yulia tucked her blonde hair behind her ears.
“Roland will be so please to see you again.”

Buttoning up her coat, Lena stood, Roland’s name echoing in her ears. She couldn’t
seem to push away the thought of how close Roland and Yulia had become.

“Wait. Wait.” Yulia took liberty to turn the collar of Lena’s coat up. Frowning, Lena
stuffed her hands into her pocket, the gun still firmly in one hand. Yulia couldn’t help
but smiled at the gentleness only she could see beneath that tough exterior. “I might
get tired over saying this one day, but… Welcome back, Lena.”


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


sorry for the typos and all. too lazy to check. :bum:

Volkster
21-07-2005, 17:15
Brilliant brilliant brilliant!!!!

I have no idea why you are kind of thinking negative about this story! It's one of THE most original I have read and the characters are great!

At the end of Chapter 27 did you mean to say that Lena made a promise to Yulia that she will return one day? I think there is a typo there somewhere!!!

I really really want to know what happens and now that we don't know if Lena is still alive or not I can't help but be excited!!!!

Thanks for the update!!!

Ningyo
22-07-2005, 00:44
Mel - lmao! Does nice scare you this much?

No, only the idea of YOU being nice. :coctail:




Anyway, I’m doubting ‘the Irish’ at the moment. Is it going fine or going down hill?
I feel like I need a kick in my butt for some reason. I feel like screaming.
I don’t even know what I’m doing. Eh?
Uhm... does that mean you've always known what to do with your other stories? :blabla:

Plot seems fine to me, as well as character development. Besides, not knowing what to do next is part of your style. Face it. Accept it. Live with it. :rose:

showMElove2
22-07-2005, 05:47
Oh the Irish is just fine, only you always leave me with more questions that can only be answered when you update...which has me always wanting an update...okay enough rambling.. Seems that your triangle is progressing, it didn't go unnoticed by Lena that Yulia now calls Mr. Meyer by his first name, and that line "you can have me instead" not only was teasing to Lena but to us readers as well ;)

Uhaku
26-07-2005, 16:59
I usually have some kind of nervous breakdown every so often ever since I started
writing a few years ago. Like my daily doubts mounted up and I burst every now and
then. This is kinda ‘normal’, as someone put it. Haahaa. Umm, yeah, I guess. I guess..
I guess I’m kind edgy lately. Unconfident and edgy, yes. A little. LOL! Oh, yeah, baby!

At the end of Chapter 27 did you mean to say that Lena made a
promise to Yulia that she will return one day? I think there is a typo there
somewhere!!!

Yes, the old Volkova was referring to the promise seventy years ago (which I haven’t
got to that part of the story yet). It wasn’t a typo. ^_^

does that mean you've always known what to do with your other
stories?

I’m sorry, Mel. I’m lost. What do you mean by that? Oh, and me being nice, won’t
that be a sight!? Bangkok will have a sunny day! (It’s rainy season now) Yuusss!

showmelove: I didn’t mean to tease readers. I’m innocent. Believe me!
And, yes, an update for ya!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 29


“I was about to ring police, Yulia! Have you any idea how long you were gone!?”
Behind the desk, Roland burst out. Brushing his dark hair, he angrily strode to Yulia,
who was standing by the door to the living room, smiling from ear to ear.

“Hello, Roland.”

Roland stopped at the voice coming from behind Yulia. Lena walked a little further
into the room, her coat over her folded arms.

“You’re… You’re back… You’re back!” Laughing, Roland jumped at Lena, holding
her up and swinging her around.

Yulia just smiled at the sight. She somehow no longer felt the jealousy. Lena and
Roland were more than friends; they were like brother and sister.

Roland let Lena down and observed her from head to toe. “You’ve lost some weight,
Lena. Are you all right? How’s the wound? I’ll tell them to prepare a hot bath for you!
Or do you want me to take you out for a dinner first? Oh, wait, we should stay in. I’ll
tell Oliver to make you some dinner. How’s the idea?”

Lena chuckled and sighed in relief. “A hot bath would be nice.”

Roland put his arm around Lena’s shoulder and led her out to the lobby area, yelling
to all his bodyguards and showing off his partner like a hero, who had once again
returned safely. There was sure to be a celebration.

After Roland ordered a hot bath for Lena, he had his men lead Mitch to a guestroom.


>>>


In a white robe, Lena put a towel over her head, drying her hair as she came out of the
bathroom on the second floor. She walked down to the basement, where she thought
she would spend the night in. But she paused at the slight change in the room. There
were clothes scattered around, several pairs of high heel shoes by the doors, and some
of cosmetic products on the small, wooden table in the corner. Someone definitely
had been staying here during her absence.

“Excuse me!”

Lena was suddenly pushed aside by Yulia.

“I’ll move upstairs now!” Yulia frantically gathered her things around the room,
making a mess all over as she kept dropping them.

Lena moved beside Yulia and put her hand on Yulia’s arm, instantly stopping all
Yulia’s hurried movements.

“You can stay here if you’d like.”

Yulia swiftly turned around, their bodies only a few inches apart. Smirking, she tilted
her head a little to the side. “The bed is probably too small for both of us.”

Lena laughed inwardly at the sudden change in Yulia’s tone. “Thank you for the offer,
but there are plenty of rooms upstairs. In fact, I’m wondering why you chose this
room in the first place.” Lena believed she knew the reason, but she enjoyed it when
Volkova became nervous.

“It’s—small and cold—comfy—small. Why, I like that.”

Lena stared at Yulia’s fiery blue eyes, which seemed to find something interesting on
the wooden floor at the moment. She grabbed the clothes in Yulia’s hand. “I like it
when you wear this,” she whispered.

Yulia noted that it was the creamy nightgown. “I can’t possibly wear it tonight
because I haven’t had it washed since I left the motel.”

Lena withdrew her hand. She couldn’t believe Yulia hadn’t washed it for a month.

“Well, don’t you like what you see now, Ms. Cohen?”

Lena swore that Yulia could have taken her clothe off now if she asked to. She looked
at Yulia’s silky, crimson robe, which nicely outlined the alluring curves of her body.
The robe was a little above the knees, revealing too much of Yulia’s beautiful legs.
Lena ignored the temptation and gently tightened Yulia’s robe, pulling the necklines
together.

“There are bodyguards around, should you be careful about that.”

Yulia was clearly becoming agitated. “The advice came rather too late since I’ve
stayed here for over a month now. They probably have seen everything there is to see.”

“I hope you know who the father is.”

“Believe me when I said I would have slapped you now if you weren’t Roland’s best
friend,” Yulia growled.

“I seem to owe him a lot. You helped me because of him. You wouldn’t slap me also
because of him.” Shrugging, Lena turned away, drying her hair with the towel. “I
don’t give a damn, really.”

Yulia scurried to block Lena’s way, pushing Lena back a few steps. They both
stopped, glaring at each other. Clenching her fists, Yulia didn’t seem to notice that the
necklines of her robe had slipped open a little.

Lena stared right at Yulia’s cleavage and did nothing to hide her blatant gaze. She
eyed Yulia up and down like watching a cheap whore.

Throwing the clothes onto the bed, Yulia moved forwards, in which Lena instantly
backed away. “You’re just afraid.” Yulia scoffed and started to walk away.

Lena firmly grabbed the blonde and spun her around, staring down at her. “I’m afraid
it’d hurt you.” Her whisper came resolutely.

“Knock. Knock. May I come in, ladies?”

Upon hearing Roland’s voice, Lena let go off Yulia and walked to the door. “I’m
taking the room upstairs.”

“I’ve brought some milk for you, Lena… Hello…?” With a tray of two glasses of
milk in his hands, Roland watched Lena left the room, perplexed. “Did I interrupt
something?” He stopped short when he got the full view of Yulia’s clothing. He
quickly put the tray on the small table and took one glass with him.

“Thank you. This is nice of you,” Yulia said, slouching down on the bed.

“Have a good night, Yulia,” he said, striding to the door and left.


>>>


In the guestroom upstairs, Lena was sitting on the bed when Roland knocked on her
door. He entered with the glass of milk.

“Put it on the table,” Lena said, continuing to dry her hair.

“Now, who’s the spoiled brat?” Despite the sarcasm, Roland put the glass on the table
as instructed.

“It’s contagious, you know.” Lena shrugged.

Roland sat down beside her. “What was going on down there?”

Their tight bond allowed them to be physically close to one another. They didn’t mind
being in the same room at night together even though they knew how the others
viewed them.

“Trivial conversation you wouldn’t be interested in.”

“Come now, what was it?”

“We were deciding who was going to get the basement.”

“Why are you being so hard on her? She’s a nice person when you get to know her
better.”

“Good to know. I’d like to turn in now.”

“You were arguing with her down there, I could tell.” Roland wouldn’t budge. “Over
a room in the basement?” He looked baffled.

Lena’s shoulders slumped down, and she sighed.

“She saved your life. Her father is in trouble now because he wouldn’t join Holden’s
hunt for you—”

Lena frowned. “I didn’t ask them to—”

“Can you at least be nice to her? Think of it as a favor for me, please?”

“You’ll regret it,” Lena muttered, chuckling in amusement.

“I haven’t told you this bit of news. I plan to take her to Berlin with me!”

Lena paused, the smile faded from her face. “That place is a mess,” she commented
lightly.

“Everyone loves Berlin! I know she’ll have a great time there! She’ll love it!”

Lena put up a smile. “It is official then?”

Roland stopped to think for a moment, and a smile came across his darkly handsome
face, erasing Lena’s in turn. “You’re the only one who refused me. None others have
followed your path since.”

Lena nodded a little. “Congratulations.”

“Although she wouldn’t let me kiss her, I understand her completely. She is still
worried about her father she can’t think of anything else right now.”

“Oh.” Looking away, Lena took the glass and gulped the milk down.

“I couldn’t imagine how you two got along during the weeks of your disappearance.”

Lena suddenly choked, coughing.

“It couldn’t be that bad, eh?” Chortling, Roland patted Lena’s back.

Lena let out a deep sigh. “Not bad. I was too ill to kill her, and she was too tired to
annoy me. We got along just fine back then because we didn’t talk much. No.”

“I’m sure she took good care of you.” Roland grinned.

“You’re right. I owe the princess much. Are you happy now?”

Roland stood up and clasped his hands. “Good night, Lena!”

After Roland shut the door, Lena lied down and sighed heavily. She couldn’t
understand why she was bothered by the ups and downs in her relationship with
Yulia. For the first time, she wasn’t sure what to do with the unashamed advances
made at her. With Angela and others before her, she had no problem loving them, or
using them. She could make their nights forever or disappeared by the dawn as she
wished. But she couldn’t either push Volkova away or even thought of making her
stay. It became difficult when Roland was in the picture.

Grunting, Lena rolled on the bed. She was certain she couldn’t sleep tonight now
when Yulia was just downstairs. She got up and made her way to the coat hanging by
the door. She grabbed a small leather-cover book out of the coat’s pocket. She went to
the desk and penned down the first entry on the new notebook she just bought. It was
her way to make the night pass by quicker. After she wrote some trivial things down,
she suddenly stopped, ticking the pen at her chin.

“Pink champagne… Goddamn it…”

showMElove2
26-07-2005, 20:47
Ah, pink champagne... something about that bubbly stuff :) They seriously need to stop torturing each other, although I can understand Lena's reluctance.


Now this was funny::hah:
“There are bodyguards around, should you be careful about that.”

Yulia was clearly becoming agitated. “The advice came rather too late since I’ve
stayed here for over a month now. They probably have seen everything there is to see.”

“I hope you know who the father is.”

Ningyo
27-07-2005, 02:43
I’m sorry, Mel. I’m lost. What do you mean by that? Oh, and me being nice, won’t that be a sight!? Bangkok will have a sunny day! (It’s rainy season now) Yuusss!

Never mind, it was my rhetorical attempt at sarcasm. :bebebe: But you know, maybe you being nice is not such a bad thing...

This is an interesting update, yet I feel like you cut or dwindled it somehow. Maybe it's just that I'm ACHING for more, lol. :D

Blue-Amy
27-07-2005, 14:27
I've got to say I really enjoyed this update!...while I was reading, I kept laughing alone... :blabla: ..there's a good thing no one was around to see me.. :D ...I like a lot thosse moments when Lena loves to make Yul feel nervous...and she's starring at her shoes, or at the floor.. :p ...
Since I was away for a few days...I've been reading everything I've missed...and the sight of the 2 of them..riding on a horse...in the middle of snow covered lands..was really nice... ;)
...and one more thing...u mentioned smth bout a promiss The Irish made to Yulia during this period ... and now seventy years have passed... :eek: that meens that all these years Yul has been waiting for her?...uuh..what happened to Lena?...why couldn't she return sooner?..that's sad...but I guess that's more likely to happen in real life...that living happyly ever after...
...anyway..i can't wait for more! :done:

Uhaku
27-07-2005, 17:27
showmelove : they will need to stop being childish towards each other soon and
just get right on the big girl’s dirty business! Oh, yeah!

Mel : My god, I hope it’s the latter one. Did I read it right that u possibly
wanted more of it? Weeee!

BlueAmy : What happened? I hope that as I keep updating, all ur answers will
come to light! And I’m so happy that u seem not to expect a happy ever after ending
from The Irish because… I wouldn’t know how to make it a happy ending now,
would I!? LOL!

Eve : Don’t be jealous. You’re my number one, you know that. Hee hee. And
this update comes so fast only because you demanded so! But it’s a rather short one darling.

***And the bad news is…! Nobody picked up the reference to 2412 from the last two
previous update! LOL! Gag…! I should die... I should die a bad woman…***


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 30


In the living room, Dimitri Volkov adjusted his white suit. He was finally released.
There was nothing money could not buy. Even though things seemed to go smoothly
now, Dimitri still did not trust Holden. The younger man might pull some tricks
again.

“Car’s here.” A cop stood by the door, watching Dimitri putting on his white hat.

Dimitri rubbed his neck a little. He was now clean-shaven and had pulled his blonde
hair all the way to the back, looking sharp to receive this day. He couldn’t wait to
walk out of this place.

To Dimitri’s surprise, Yulia was there with Roland and Mitch at the curbside, waiting
for him.

“I told you not to come,” Dimitri hissed at his daughter although he was happy just to
see her.

“It’s all right, father. Everything is all right now.” Yulia put her arms around him,
smiling.

Dimitri studied Yulia a little. From the bright look in her eyes, he could have expected
that the Irish had returned. Putting the thought aside, he climbed into the car when
Mitch opened the door for him. Yulia and Roland followed, and the three Cadillac
drove away.


>>>


Lena looked down the window as the three cars pulled into the driveway. She paced
around, unsure of what to say to Dimitri when they met. She had caused so much
trouble to the Volkov family. She grew even more restless when she imagined what
Mitch might have reported to Dimitri. Only Roland was blind to what was going on.

Sighing, Lena pulled herself together and walked down the stairs to receive Dimitri
Volkov at the front door. Dimitri was standing there with Yulia closely behind. But
Yulia was not looking at her, and she knew the reason well.

“Hello, Mr. Volkov,” Lena finally said.

“You look well, Irish,” Dimitri said with a slight smirk on his face.


>>>


With the door to the living room closed, Yulia sat beside her father at the couch.
Roland occupied the opposite seat, while Lena stood by the window, peeping out
through the gaps between the crimson curtains. Yulia looked away from the sight of
the redhead.

“No one was following us.”

Lena turned to look at Dimitri.

“Unless you wish otherwise, so you can shoot them all.”

Lena sat down beside Roland, shrugging slightly. “You read my mind.”

Sipping her tea, Yulia glanced between her father and Lena. Her father had grown to
despise the Irish now, and she cringed just to see Lena’s reaction to it.

“Haven’t you had enough amusement at my ranch?” Dimitri sneered.

“It’s not our ranch anymore, father,” Yulia said.

“What do you mean?”

Biting her lips, Yulia stopped a little. “I put it on auction and… Mr. Wayne Ellison
bought it. That was how I got you out.”

Dimitri’s jaws dropped, eyes bulged.

“Mother told me it was the only way.” Yulia became frustrated. She shook her head
as Dimitri stared squarely at her. “We don’t care as long as you’re free again!”

“We also have all the proofs of your underground trades dated back twenty-six years
ago, Mr. Volkov. Although we paid them handsomely, they can’t trick you anymore,”
Roland added.

“We?” Dimitri narrowed his eyes. He pulled a cigar out and put it between his lips.

Roland promptly lighted a match up for him. “We’re in the same boat now, Mr.
Volkov. We have the same enemy.”

“He doesn’t.” Lena interrupted, picking something out of her mouth. “Your men
either joined us or fled to Holden. You can take all your money and the proofs, and
sail back to Europe. Your time here is over.”

Yulia stiffened in her seat, staring down, refusing to believe what she was hearing.

“Ever since you were behind the bars, no one is willing to trade with you again.
Polices and the press will be closely watching you. You’re tainted. Powerless as it is
now, unfortunately.”

“You dare to say all these to my face when you were the cause of it!” Dimitri shot up
from the couch, throwing the cigar at Lena.

For a moment there, Yulia shut her eyes, praying that the Irish wouldn’t just pull out a
gun and shoot her father right then.

Lena just moved a little to avoid the burning cigar. She picked it up from the couch,
noticing the dark circle on the leather seat. “You burnt the couch,” Lena said.

Yulia could hear the accusation in Lena’s quiet tone as though it was the biggest
mistake one could make. Like Mason stepping on the Irish’s toes was the stupidest
blunder ever. It wasn’t even true… or was it…?

Dimitri threw a fist at Lena’s hand, knocking the cigar to the floor. “I’ll burn the
whole house if I so desire to!”

“Mr. Volkov, Lena is a little too blunt, but she didn’t mean to chase you away.”
Roland came to stand between the growling Dimitri and Lena, who was sitting on the
couch, looking up as if nothing had happened. He turned a little to his friend. “Lena,
apologize,” he urgently whispered.

To everyone’s surprise, Lena burst into a chuckle.

“I have had enough!” Dimitri stormed out of the living room.

Yulia followed suit. “Where are you going, father!?”

“Europe, perhaps! The suggestion sounds rather tempting, pumpkin! Will you stay or
come with me!?”

“Father, please! Lena didn’t mean for us to—err—to—to go today!”

Grunting, Dimitri pounded his fist at the wall. The bodyguards in the lobby area and
upstairs were watching them with bewildered eyes. Mitch closely stood by his boss,
bewildered.

Lena walked out of the living room with Dimitri’s cigar between her lips. “Cuban
cigars are the finest in the world. How about going a little down south to Cuba?”

Yulia pulled Lena to the corner. “Do you have to get on my father’s nerve the first
day he comes home!?”

“Sweet homecoming, isn’t it?” Smirking, Lena exhaled the smoke.

Yulia glared at the redhead. “If you speak one more word—”

“You would kiss me?”

“I will shove that cigar down your throat!” Yulia stopped and looked up when she
heard giggles from the bodyguards throughout the hallway.


>>>


Yulia knocked a few times before she entered the guestroom. Dimitri Volkov was
pacing around, a deep frown on his face. Yulia handed him a cup of coffee.

“I have enough caffeine for the day, honey.”

Yulia just put it on the table. “Please don’t be mad at her. Ask me how I find her
impossible at times!” She sighed and her tone softened. “She is just so stubborn she
wouldn’t apologize... but I know she regretted it, father.”

Dimitri faked a wide smile in response.

“She bought the ranch from Mr. Ellison. She meant to give it back to us,” Yulia
muttered.

Dimitri’s head shot up. He studied his daughter for a while, and then sat down on the
chair. Yulia walked up to him and embraced him.

“She feels responsible, or else she would just let it all go,” Yulia added.

“The damage she had done to me can’t be undone, pumpkin… But if she is really
going to give it back, it should be under your name.”

“Father—”

Dimitri shook his head, smiling at last. “I gave it to your mother once, but now you
will be the one to keep it. I can imagine a bigger garden and more flowers in the
ranch. You’ll see the sunset over the vast, green field. Oh, yes, the vast green field. I
know you’ll make it even more beautiful.”

Yulia felt warm all over inside at her father’s genuine smile.

“But I feel bad taking it from her. Although she put us through so much trouble, she
paid for it… not to mention that I was the one participated in her escape.”

“Pumpkin… Do you think she might want to share it with you?”

For whatever reason, Yulia’s face beamed at once, and she couldn’t hide it.

“But you will not allow that. She paid what she deserved so. You shouldn’t
have to feel bad.”

Yulia looked down a little. “Well, what are we going to do now? What about mother
and Alex? Will we stay in America?”

Dimitri thought very hard for a moment. He then chuckled dryly. “I would love to
stay here, honestly, but I’m too old now. I’m too old. I don’t fit in this underworld
anymore. I can’t seem to get up after the fall now… It seems the only way is to join
your mother and brother in London. Yes, London…” Dimitri then straightened
himself up. “We’ll leave for New York as soon as we’re done with the financial
matters here.”

Yulia paused. Suddenly, the ground she stood upon seemed to swirl. But she knew the
answer even before she brought the question up. Her father could not stay here and
fight with Holden Young. Dimitri Volkov had lost all his connections and his
powerful allies. This world seemed to be too rough for an old man like him now.

“I won’t force you to come with me, pumpkin. You have a reason to stay. That kid,
Roland, he’s been good to you, hasn’t he? It might be the time you return his
feelings.”

“Umm… I need some times to think it through…” Yulia just stood stiffly. She wanted
to slap herself when she wanted to stay here only to be closed to the one person who
caused her father’s downfall. She grunted inwardly; heart always tricked one out of
their reasons. But Dimitri should fear one thing about his daughter; they were so
much alike they never followed their heads, but their hearts.

Necrologist
28-07-2005, 02:17
worth a passing glance

Blue-Amy
28-07-2005, 09:46
well...hmm...in stories, movies.. this kind of things..there's always a way to change the end...or smth that doesn't fits..etc..for example...but nah...I won't say it...maybe in private.. :coctail: I just want a happy ending I guess... :rolleyes: just ignore me...
...geez...Lena sure is impossible sometimes...but for some strange reason I like her when she acts like that...I get the impresion she wants to push Yul away...but luckily the blonde is stubborn too... :p
I want to know what happens next!!... :D

Uhaku
28-07-2005, 17:15
worth a passing glance

What? You?

On the other hand, THIS could be hostile flirting !!!!!!! :lol:


******************

Amy : I'll need lots of vodka for the movie way out to happy ending!!! :coctail: We shall see!!!

showMElove2
28-07-2005, 18:11
***And the bad news is…! Nobody picked up the reference to 2412 from the last two
previous update! LOL! Gag…! I should die... I should die a bad woman…***


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Huh? Was it when they Lena told her she liked her in the creamy nightgown from the motel??? I have to search for the other reference.
Thanks for updating so qucikly!!


Throws some vodka your way :D

Ningyo
29-07-2005, 04:09
***And the bad news is…! Nobody picked up the reference to 2412 from the last two
previous update! LOL! Gag…! I should die... I should die a bad woman…***

And here I was thinking you were just obsessed with condoms or something... Trojan, the 'talking' horse, right?

Uhaku
01-08-2005, 15:50
showmelove and Mel. Me think Mel has scored the point here. Yay, it's really
Clifton's Trojan, the talking horse!!! Loooool. Only a maniac like Mel remembers all the details!
Scary!

YOY. Now i'd love to see u skate!!!! JUMPS a triple axel, dear! Oh, I guess Gingerbread
Princess has ruined Uhaku's serious and gloomy (and innocence) reputation now. *Sobs*


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 31


It was almost seven in the evening of this snowy night. Mitch and Oliver were
preparing B.B.Q in the backyard. The fat bodyguard watched the younger man beside
him shivering.

“I’ll take care of this. I’ll do it. You go inside, eh? And get me a few men out here,”
Mitch said with a cigarette between his lips. He was wearing a thick black coat and a
furry hat as if he was in some Russian winter.

Obviously, to feed 70 people would require more than two men to B.B.Q the meat,
but Mitch and Oliver were stubborn, wanting to be in charge.

“I’ll be fine,” Oliver said, glancing at Mitch. Ever since Dimitri’s men started joining
Mr. Myer, seeking a refuge, Oliver had to act tougher, not daring to let his boss down.
Comparing to Roland and his gang, Dimitri’s men were more experienced and looked
as though they had been around the block for a long while.

“Tell me some gossip,” Mitch said.

“What gossip?”

“Some talks, you know.”

“What talks?”

“How is it working for Irish? Isn’t it grand working for her?”

“It’s an honor, to be precise.” Oliver smiled arrogantly.

“I’m on her side, too.”

“You better.” Oliver nodded sternly as if he was ready to pull out his gun.

Mitch grinned. “Is she, you know, with Mr. Myer—you know?”

Oliver looked reluctant in an instant.

“You men, ready?” Roland came to stand at the door to the backyard. He was in a
black shirt with silver-clip, gray suspenders and a gray pair of trousers.

Oliver looked at his handsome boss. “Yes, sir. In a few minutes, sir.”

Roland ordered a few men to help Mitch and Oliver to grill the meat. The party
should start in a few moments. Everyone was starving.

The Irish came down the stairway to join Roland. With the sleeves rolled up, she
looked fashionably cool in a plain, white shirt and a pair of black trousers. It was rare
to see a woman wearing trousers, but it was already the next trend.

Arms crossed, Lena watched the men grilling the meat.

“I finished reading the document last night,” Roland muttered to his friend, pretending
to look elsewhere. “I already made a copy of it and deposited it in my security box in
the bank. It’ll be safe there. It’s the only way to keep Holden away.” He studied the
Irish for a second. “Where did you find it…? Who gave it to you?”

“I already gave one copy to Dimitri. He might need it one day.”

“That was kind of you, Lena, but you haven’t replied my question.”

Lena just looked straight ahead. When it was certain that she wouldn’t tell; Roland
walked off. She grabbed his arm and stopped him.

“I can’t mention the source. I’m sorry.” Lena tried to reason.

“Why do you always keep things from me?”

Lena glanced around. It seemed everyone was busy with their own things they didn’t
notice Roland’s raised tone.

“Do you realize how much I worried about you when you disappeared? You’d done it
twice, and I’m still goddamn clueless, Lena. Maybe we’re not really a team. You
don’t need me.”

Lena looked down. “We’re still a team, Roland. We need each other. But I can’t
mention him to anyone. I’m so sorry.” She then walked away.

Roland swung his arms in reluctance and sighed. He wanted to apologize when he
saw the ache in Lena’s eyes, but he thought it was better to leave her alone for a little
while.

>>>

After fifteen minutes of applying the makeup, Yulia came out of the basement to see
Lena standing in the corner, surrounded by a few men. Lena turned a bit and caught
Yulia at the corner of her eyes. She excused herself and move towards the blonde.
Yulia’s body stiffened, her mind rushing to find words to fire back if needed.

“You look wonderful,” Lena said quietly.

“Why, thank you.” Yulia raised her brows. She was wearing a blue sweater and a
white skirt, something plain, yet simply looked elegant on her.

“It’s your father and my welcome back party. Smile?”

Without another word, Lena just walked away into the living room, which was turned
into a dinning room now. Yulia wanted to follow but something stopped her. Since
the night they had a small spat in the basement a few days ago, Lena had always
avoided her. Maybe it was better this way when they couldn’t seem to be civilized
towards each other.

When Tonya arrived, Yulia kept her distance close to her friend, not really in the
mood to socialize with anyone else. She occasionally looked at her father. Everything
went smoothly when Dimitri was making his men laugh all the times, gobbling the
B.B.Q and washing down drinks nonstop. But Yulia hardly touched the food as she
kept stealing glances at the redhead, who seemed to be surrounded by people at all
times. It seemed everyone wanted a piece of the Irish.

“Could you stop staring at her? Everyone in the room knows now!” Tonya scooted
her friend into a corner.

“Everyone? Aren’t you exaggerating?”

“This is a crazy circle! You kept peering at her, while she didn’t even care if you’re in
the room. All the while, Mr. Myer was waiting for you to look his way!”

Yulia looked down at the full plate in her hand. She certainly hoped that Roland
didn’t catch her like Tonya did.

“Don’t look so sad. Tell me what happened,” Tonya said eagerly, grinning.

Yulia reluctantly glanced around. “We had a small argument the other night. We were
fighting for the room in the basement.”

“I’m sure that wasn’t it. You two were fighting not to kiss each other, I presume!”

Yulia’s eyes widened. “Be quiet—”

“Correction. She was fighting not to let you kiss her. Am I right? Pull yourself
together, Yulia, dear. She doesn’t bat for your team.”

Yulia’s brows knitted. “Who taught you to speak in such a way!?”

“You ought to get back into our gossip circle. We’ve been missing you dearly.”

Yulia couldn’t help but glancing Lena’s way again. “I’ve been missing it as well,” she
muttered. She froze when Lena looked up at her for the first time.

“Oh, Lord, she’s coming!” Tonya swiftly turned her back to Lena.

Yulia fidgety looked up and down, picking the meat with her fork.

“May I steal your friend for a moment?” Lena asked.

Tonya spun around and put up a big smile. “Oh, hello, Ms. Cohen, welcome back!
How nice of you to spare your precious time to visit this little corner of ours.”

Lena smiled back at Tonya, nodding incessantly. “Thank you.”

Yulia frowned at the pink shades on Lena’s cheeks. Knowing how easily Lena could
get drunk, she was wondering what business the Irish was having in mind with her at
this time of night. All things considered, she wasn’t about to waste the opportunity.

Still sitting with his men, Dimitri turned just in time to see Yulia following Lena out
of the room.

>>>

Striding along the corridor of the second floor, Lena led Yulia to her room at the end.
It was packed everywhere in this three story house. Lena nodded to the men gathering
along the way. Some were eating and drinking. Some were playing cards, and others
were playing drums and clarinets.

“What… up… for!?” Yulia was yelling behind Lena.

Lena frowned, slowing her pace down. “I can’t hear you!” She looked around and
then grabbed a mug from one of the men and washed the beer down in one big gulp.
The men loudly cheered as Yulia giggled.

>>>

Laughing, Yulia shut the door behind her, keeping the noises out. “You’ve had
enough drink, I tell you!”

Lena proceeded to the record player and played up some opera music. Yulia watched
the redhead close her eyes, humming along with the tune for a while.

“Samson and Delilah,” Yulia said.

“She betrayed him, in the name of love. My favorite.”

“Isn’t it the thing to die for?” Yulia leaned back against the large wooden door.

“It traps us all, wise or foolish alike,” Lena stated, nodding like a drunken scholar.

Yulia chortled. “Which are you, Samson or Delilah?”

“We shall find out.” Smirking, Lena walked to the desk and produced a piece of paper
from the drawer. She handed it to Yulia. “Sign at the bottom here—and you can have
your home back by early tomorrow morning.”

Yulia stared at the piece of paper before her. Lena swayed back one step.

“Stay on your feet, please. The beer was only your fifth drink. You still have a long
night to go.”

“You’ve been watching me?”

“Aren’t you the reason for the party tonight? Everyone was watching you,” Yulia
quickly said, shrugging.

“I must have several holes in my face now.” Lena stuck her tongue out.

Yulia took the paper and pretended to read it, trying not to smile at the sight. “Are you
sure you want to throw away thirty millions like this?”

“I’m buying our friendship.”

“What if I don’t want that friendship?”

Lena gradually sat on the bed, seemingly deep in thoughts. “You’re making it very
difficult for me.”

“Do tell. What’s more difficult than throwing money away?”

“Think of it as my gift to you.”

“Are you usually this generous to women?” Yulia asked, coyly looking down.

“You—you’re not answering me. All these questions…” Lena waved blindly in refusal.
Unconsciously, she cocked her head slightly, gesturing Yulia to come closer. As if hypnotized,
Yulia knelt down before her. Putting both hands on the bed, Yulia locked the Irish in her
position and gazed up. They stared at each other, lost in the painful, yet passionate cry of Delilah’s voice.

“Sign it.”

“I want more,” Yulia whispered, her hands eventually slipping inside Lena’s shirt.

Closing her eyes, Lena softly sighed as Yulia began to caress her back.

“I want your secret.”

Lena slowly looked down at Yulia, a heavy thought lingering. “What secret—wait!”
Lena suddenly squealed, pulling Yulia’s hand out of her trousers.

“Hmmm, let’s not talk now.” Yulia climbed on top of the redhead, pushing her down
to the bed.

“You don’t understand!”

“No, I don’t,” Yulia mumbled, kissing Lena’s pale neck.

Lena brushed Yulia’s hands away from her breasts. “Roland is in love with you!”

“Yeah, I know!” Yulia was becoming annoyed. She succeeded in flicking all the
buttons on Lena’s shirt off.

“I’m with somebody right now!”

Yulia halted. She lifted her face up from Lena’s breasts. “Pardon?”

“I’m with somebody—”

“I heard that! Who is it!? Where did you find time to actually be with someone!? This
is a joke, isn’t it…!? Oh, Mary… Holy Mary…” Yulia abruptly remembered how
Lena managed to hide inside the ranch for a few days before the bloody Christmas.

“Angela… You didn’t…”

Lena looked elsewhere, while Yulia stared at her for the longest time. A knock came
upon the door.

“Not now!” Yulia lost it. But a few more knocks came. “What is it with people
walking in all the times!? I said ‘not now’!”

“Are you all right, pumpkin!?” The door swung opened, and Dimitri stood there with
wide eyes. He certainly did not expect to see them in such position. Lena’s hair was
messy and her shirt was unbuttoned. What shocked him even more was that Yulia was
sitting right on top of the Irish, looking upset at the interruption.

Dimitri’s gaze quickly left Lena’s bra. He strode to his daughter and pulled her up
from the bed. “Tell me she took advantage of you. Just tell me, and everything will be
done.”

Lena buttoned up her shirt. “Don’t you think you’re asking the wrong person?”

As soon as Yulia rushed out of the room, Dimitri turned to glare at Lena.

“Do not take my daughter as a game.”

“Clarify what you mean.” Lena grumpily brushed her hair from her face.

“You do not need me to tell you that you have used my daughter enough. You
endangered her life by taking her from the ranch that night. You ruined my career and
took her from her family. From now on, stay away from her!”

The Irish tilted her head back, staring at Dimitri at the tip of her nose.

“I take no order from nobody.”

“I admire you, Irish, that fire in you. You know I really do. You made impossible
possible. But you have no conscience, young woman, and are dangerously
unpredictable. Leave Yulia to Myer. Your friend can take care of her far better than
you ever will.”

Lena gestured towards the door. “He has your blessing. Good night.”

As soon as Dimitri walked out, Lena slumped down on the bed. Her head was lighter
than she wanted it to be. The heat in her body she felt earlier was gone, leaving her
now cold and alone.

>>>

Yulia was lying on her bed in the basement when a knock came upon the door.

“Pumpkin…?”

“Go away.”

“Let me in, darling—”

Not wanting to make a scene, knowing how many men must have been gathering
around in the hallway, Yulia jumped to the door and let her father in. Dimitri studied
her a little before sitting down on the bed beside her, putting his large arm around her.

“Why don’t you go back and join Tonya up there?”

Yulia looked down. She didn’t know how to make a face to Roland after what she just
did. And because Lena never embarrassed her by telling Roland how she acted behind
his back, she now felt guilty and dirty. She was disgusted with herself even more so
when she had just found out that Lena had been with Angela all these times. She was
a fool in this game, and she hated that Lena won without even trying.

“I miss mother. I miss Alex, father. When can we leave?”

Dimitri paused. “You don’t look as eager, pumpkin.”

Yulia rose and strode to the door. “I’m going back in.”

Dimitri was baffled at her action. Surely, her father knew she had been rejected by the
Irish one too many times already. She had made a quick, final decision to stop it now.

“I’m going to ask Roland to go to London with us.”

With that, Yulia left the room.

>>>

Lying on the bed, Lena rested one hand over her forehead. The young Volkova must
have been frustrated after all that had happened between them, but Lena was in no
state to make it any easier for them both. She had tried to stay away, but it didn’t seem
to work. She admitted how she enjoyed teasing Volkova, knowing full well of her
feelings. She even knew what was starting in her heart, but that had to stop somehow.

Sighing, she put on a sweater and walked out to the balcony. She lit up a cigarette,
flicking away the ash a little. But she stopped as she spotted Roland and Yulia down
in the backyard. Yulia was saying something, causing Roland to smile broadly.
Whatever it was, he seemed so excited, and she knew she should be happy for him.

Often times she had to wonder why she always ended up alone, whereas Roland was
totally opposite. He was never the one to have his heart broken. He never had to kill
to get through life. He was going to find his birth parents when she already lost all
hopes for a family. Although they loved each other more than some real siblings, she
couldn’t help feeling envious now when he was about to defeat her again.

Lena suddenly found it hard just to turn around and go back inside when Roland put
his arms around Yulia’s waist and kissed her. It was what she always expected, but
seeing it with her own eyes only made it harder. Looking away, she retreated back
inside and closed the curtains.

>>>

Over Roland’s shoulder, Yulia glanced up to the balcony, catching the shadows of a
wavy-haired figure behind the white curtains. When it seemed that the prying eye had
left them alone, Yulia slowly pulled away from Roland. Tucking her hair behind her
ears, she instantly looked down to avoid Roland’s gaze, managing to keep the smile
on her face. It was a snowy, cold night, but she felt burnt inside.

rasoska
01-08-2005, 17:10
uhaku i looove the fic :coctail:
also like your writing very much(read all your stories) :D

Crampaholic
01-08-2005, 18:14
That was... Intense

showMElove2
01-08-2005, 20:39
Ah the angst!!! You really have a talent for portraying these raw emotions. Throws more vodka your way :) Thanks for the update!!

Ningyo
02-08-2005, 00:41
showmelove and Mel. Me think Mel has scored the point here. Yay, it's really
Clifton's Trojan, the talking horse!!! Loooool. Only a maniac like Mel remembers all the details!
Scary!

LOL! Now I'm scary and a maniac... Tsk, tsk, tsk. Don't go telling such things or people might start believing it, hehe.

Good update and as usual, I'm waiting for more. :coctail:

Uhaku
03-08-2005, 17:32
rasoska – thanks and welcome!
crampy – didn’t expect u’d like the last chap, really. I was hoping u’d be
ok with this one.
showmelove – I take that u follow me in almost every story I write because
u like gloomy stuff? Hee hee.
Mel – so huppppyyy that u liked the last update. I posted the contest
though! Thanks for the question. U wanna try it? We’ll see how detail u could
be, u scary detective!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 32


The skies were gray with thick clouds, and the wind was chilly and fierce. It was
already three the afternoon when Yulia walked though the backdoor of the mansion to
the vast field of snow. Even though Lena had legally returned the ranch to her, there
was something she could never get back. Her heart sank when the sight of it
abandoned and empty would be the last thing she’d take with her for years to come.

With a brown small box in her hand, Yulia strode towards the barn, where Lena was
feeding Trojan. She watched the redhead from the back, catching Lena’s faint
chuckles. For a split second, she thought of making some noise to alert the other
woman, fearing Lena would turn around and shoot her because she thought it was
some intruder. Yulia stopped; she didn’t understand how she wanted to be around the
Irish when she feared her.

Lena giggled as Trojan licked her hand, and the bright, small smile on her face
convinced Yulia that she didn’t want to be around the Irish, but Lena Cohen, the
ordinary young woman from the orphanage.

“Would you like some chocolate cake?”

Lena jumped and turned, a sign of relief in her eyes when she saw who it was. She
looked at the box in Yulia’s hand.

“I heard you left right before lunch. I figured you might be hungry now, so I stopped
by the market before I came here.” Yulia held the box to Lena.

“Thank you,” Lena said. She opened the box immediately. Without a thought, she
used her hand to grab the cake and started eating right away.

“Oh, Mary! I forgot to bring a fork!”

“It’s good.”

“You’re a terrible liar.”

“It’s good,” Lena repeated, licking her fingers.

“Is that so? I baked it.”

Lena looked down at the cake, which she had already gobbled half of it. She looked
up again and asked, “Do you have some more?”

Yulia’s stern face began to soften at the question. Lena could be lying, but she
couldn’t care less. Even though this place would never be the same, she had gained
something else in return. She loved walking on this lonely ground with this person
beside her, unguarded and peaceful. She wished the world would always be as white
as today, and shielded them from all harms. But time flied so fast her hope was
slipping away.

“My father and I will leave for New York City to catch the next liner to London.”
Yulia said. She silently cursed the ever expressionless face before her; Lena just
slightly nodded. “Next week,” Yulia added.

Silence gradually gripped them both.

“Hmm,” Lena muttered, looking away.

“Hmm…? Is that all you could say to me—”

“Stay.” Lena stared up at the blonde.

Yulia paused. Lena’s word sounded as empty as her gaze.

“You’re lying again.” Yulia chuckled bitterly.

“It’s best for you and your father. It’s dangerous to remain here—”

“Come with me?” Yulia’s question came out before she could shut her mouth. But
Lena just stood still, and each second past was slowly killing her.

“You know I wasn’t serious, don’t you?” Yulia laughed louder than she meant.

Lena’s stare now turned even colder, and it froze Yulia to the core.

“I already asked Roland, and he said ‘yes’. It’ll be a long trip over the Atlantic, but
I’m not afraid now that he’s coming with me.” Yulia smiled, surprised at how fast she
could speak at the moment.

Lena closed the box and put it over the wooden fence. She looked elsewhere, slowly
licking her hand like a wounded fox.

“Don’t worry, Ms. Cohen. I’ll steal him for only a few months. He still has business
to run here with you.”

Lena stretched and sighed heavily. “He doesn’t have to return. In fact, it’s probably a
great idea for me to retire entirely… I can’t live like this anymore…”

At the last, muttering words, Yulia halted. The Irish had never opened up to her like
this before. She prayed that the moment would last a little longer.

“What are you afraid of?” Yulia asked. She couldn’t understand why her voice came
out low in a whisper as if she might cry. Why did she feel for this woman she barely
knew?

Lena looked up to the falling snowflakes as though she hadn’t heard the question.

“Oh, please, don’t act so tough—”

“I’m not.”

Yulia tried to read the intent gaze from Lena, but failed again.

“I’m anything but tough,” Lena said.

Yulia studied the small smile on Lena’s lips, but she couldn’t read it. She couldn’t
reach, nor understand it. Who was this person in front of her? Was she chasing a
ghost?

“I’m nothing you ever know, and you should go.”

Yulia wouldn’t listen. She moved closer, but Lena angrily pushed her away. She
backed a few steps in fright as Lena kept coming in as if to hit her. She stumbled
against the fence and shut her eyes, expecting a blow. But it never came. She looked
up again to see the empty, stunned look on Lena’s face.

Lena then spun on her heels. In silent struggle, Lena kept turning away as Yulia
followed like a dog trying to catch its tail. Eventually, Yulia stilled her with a firm
grip on her arms, but froze when she saw tears brimming in the green eyes.

Coldly staring down at the blonde, Lena brushed Yulia’s hands off as though she was
disgusted by the touch.

“What is it?”

Lena didn’t respond. She trudged ahead towards the mansion.

“What did you see?” Yulia’s voice came out shaken. She could break down now
when each of Lena’s heavy footsteps grew more and more distant.

“Let me in…”

Suppressing her sigh, Lena tiredly scrubbed her face with both hands. She ceased to
move on, and Yulia slowly approached her. Yulia put one hand on the redhead’s
cheek, caressing it. Lena must be freezing; her skin felt so cold. But Yulia fought the
urge to rub her warm, fearing it might startle the ghost away.

When Yulia’s hand began to slip away, Lena grabbed it and stroked it against her
cheek. Eyes closed, she drifted away in her trance. “I saw him again in my dreams…
And I wished I could kill him again… and again…”

As the snow rang the loneliest hymn over this white ground of emptiness, Lena’s face
lightened with delight. The words breezed so softly in Yulia’s ears she hardly noticed
the meaning behind it. The Irish was dreaming to kill, enjoying every bit of it. The
hand of the murderer was holding hers so tightly Yulia felt as though they were one.

The Irish had momentarily surrendered, and she let Volkova in for the first time.


>>>


1931.

Lena Cohen was nobody. Lanky and red-haired, she was just another face in the
crowd. She was a girl growing up in an orphanage, just another scumbag walking in
the streets of Chicago. It was four years before ‘the Irish’ was born. She was barely
sixteen.

It was snowing hard outside tonight. With dreamy eyes, the red-haired teenager rested
her elbow on the piano, smiling. She was in a black, worn sweater, a gray, wool skirt
and a black pair of stockings.

In the small lobby inside an aged, three stories building, Celia Cohen was strumming
her fingers on the keys of an old, wooden piano. The keys were yellowing, but the
melody hadn’t lost one bit of its magic. It was the loneliest tune Lena had ever known.

“It is beautiful,” Lena mumbled.

The middle-aged woman smiled. “That’s because it’s the only show we can afford to see.”

Lena looked grim for a second. Her gaze drifted out the window to the streets she
knew no one out there. Celia looked up and studied her. They needn’t speak a word;
they knew what was inside each other’s mind.

“Where is Roland? Isn’t the young man supposed to be here with you?”

Lena chortled. “Oh, he has a lovely meeting with a girl from the pawn shop tonight.
You should have expected it. He’s such a womanizer.”

“He has grown quite handsome, I see. You’re of age now, aren’t you? Anyone
interested you?” Celia asked while her fingers kept drumming masterfully, driving
Lena to the edge with each of the lonesome note.

“No one, Celia… No one.” Lena didn’t think that mentioning a secret love affair with
a factory girl would be important. After all, the factory girl would get married in a few
months, and Lena would be all alone as always.

Celia looked up at the whisper. “How is life out there? You disappeared for four
months after you left my care. Roland always made excuses for you, but I knew. I was
worried about you, my little Lena.”

The motherly tone usually warmed Lena to some extent, but it was so cold tonight
nothing seemed to be able to penetrate into her.

“I was mad… so mad,” Lena said simply. But the innocent look on her face somehow
gripped Celia, causing the older woman to strike a wrong key. Celia was quick to
catch up with the tune though.

“What could possibly make you angry?” Celia asked calmly.

Lena was mostly different from other teenage girls. She wasn’t as talkative and didn’t
get excited over little things. She didn’t like talking about herself as girls her age
would. She was able to keep a million secrets to herself and laughed at the smallest
jokes as if life had always been so wonderful to her. But tonight, Celia was going to
see another side from the girl she taught how to live.

“You,” Lena replied with a straight face.

Celia looked up, but did not stop playing the piano. For the first time, Lena gave a
cold look at the woman who raised her, and she knew that Celia feared that silence
would punish her.

“You’ve met her?” Celia whispered.

“She denied ever having me,” Lena said, smiling as she brushed the strands of her red
locks from her face.

Celia caught the ill-timed smile and chill ran down her spine.

“You said she was dead,” Lena continued, a sigh starting to replace her smile.

“It is illegal to reveal their identities.”

“You put laws between us.”

Celia closed her eyes at the painful accusation. She strummed her fingers harder,
determined to keep the melody alive.

Lena pounded her fist on the keys, striking up a loud note. “Stop it! You are driving
me insane!”

“Lena! Behave!” Celia rose from her chair. She was a huge woman by normal
standard. She had no problem looming above the red-haired girl. “I told you she was
dead because there was no point to search for a woman who never wanted you from
the start. I love you, Lena. She didn’t. She doesn’t.”

“That hurts to know,” Lena said, glaring at Celia as she backed away.

Celia slowly approached the girl. “Please, Lena…” She opened her arms, expecting
the red-haired girl to run into the embrace, as always.

But Lena stumbled back against the window, sharp coldness numbing her whole
being. She knew she was special, comparing to the other kids in the orphanage. Celia
particularly spoiled her, as much as the budget would allow. Celia was always there to
tell her stories before she went to bed. Celia was everything a mother should be. But
nature was betraying them both. Lena was blinded, thinking she could have more than
what God granted her. She defied Him, and was punished with the ugly truth. Her
birth mother didn’t want to have anything to do with her.

Lena shook her head vacantly. She moved to the door and put on her worn coat and
dirty gloves. She had been working so hard, spending all her savings to search for her
lost mother. But buying a new coat was more a practical thing to do than trying to
make a dream come true.

In silence, she walked out the door. But as soon as she turned at the corner, she threw
her gloved fist at the concrete wall, screaming at the top of her lungs. The passersby
quickly avoided her path. Putting her numbed hand inside her coat pocket, she strode
away in the cold wind.

>>>

It was another gray evening as Lena glided through the streets. Celia’s lonely melody
still haunted her, and she was near defeat in fending it off her heart. She stopped and
looked reluctant before she made her way into an old, small building at the corner of
North Street. She had a brown bag in her hand as she knocked on the door to room
302 on the third floor. A blonde, little girl around age of six came answering the door.

“Lena!”

“Shhh…!” Lena looked inside. “Where’s Gwen?”

“She’s in her room. What you got in there?”

“A loaf of bread for my Becky,” Lena said, grinning widely. She patted the head of
her half-sister, handing the bag to the little girl.

“Thank you! Would you come inside!?”

“Shhh!”

“Come on in! Come in!”

“I can’t—”

“Who is it, Becky?” A woman in her early forties entered the dark hallway, stopping
at the sight of Lena. “What are you doing here…?”

Lena immediately turned away.

“You shouldn’t have…”

Lena stopped. She turned to see Gwen’s reluctant gaze at the brown bag in the little
girl’s hands. She was going to leave again, but Gwen called out for her.

“Lena.”

Lena looked blank.

Gwen was hesitant for a second. “My husband will come back late tonight… Would
you like to have a dinner with us?”

At the small kitchen table, Lena sat opposite to Gwen, staring at the older woman’s
shy, green eyes, which looked remarkably like her own. But Gwen had blonde hair,
just like Becky. Lena wondered if her birth father was a redhead also, or maybe her
grandparents were. Before she slipped off into the dream to meet her whole family,
she pulled herself back down to earth.

Gwen was considered beautiful for a woman her age. She was a thin and pretty
Cinderella in worn clothes; only the prince had abandoned her long ago. He left her
sad and old, and Lena thought for a second that Gwen deserved so.

“The soup is hot. Be careful,” Gwen said to Becky, and then nodded at Lena.

Lena blew a soft breath at the spoonful before sipping it. Celia was a hundred times a
better cook than Gwen, but Lena could simply cry over this salty bowl of soup.

“I’m… I’m sorry I acted that way with you…”

Lena unconsciously gripped the stainless spoon so tightly she nearly bent it.

“I didn’t mean to walk out on you—”

You didn’t mean to have me. Lena calmly put the spoon down, looking
elsewhere before she couldn’t stop herself from lunging at the woman.

“Ted didn’t like to see me associate with anything from… the past… from your father…”

Becky put some bread Lena had just bought into the soup and took a mouthful of it.
“This is so good, Lena!” the little girl exclaimed.

Lena laughed at the soup splattered all over Becky’s face. Gwen irritably wiped
Becky’s mouth with a napkin.

Fortunately, even though Gwen refused to recognize her, the woman allowed her to
take Becky to the park a few times now. Becky was practically the only one who
could make her heart beat these days. It was Becky, and not the factory girl who never
thought of her more than a casual fuck. Not Roland who spent most of his time
worrying about his next conquests over girls who didn’t mean anything to him. Not
Celia who lied to her, breaking her heart. Worst of all, she didn’t know how to mend
it back.

“I could get you some more tomorrow,” Lena said, smiling and lightly poking
Becky’s stomach.

Becky’s eyes widened. “Promise!? And a scoop of ice-cream!?”

“Becky!” Gwen sighed.

“I promise,” Lena said. But her smile gradually faded as her gaze met with Gwen’s
again. “Would you do me a favor?” She then asked, taking another spoonful of soup.

Gwen held her breath.

“Would you spare me the money and time to find him?”

“That is ridiculous,” Gwen hissed.

“Why?”

“You don’t know him!”

“Obviously, I don’t.”

Gwen sat back, staring at Lena. “He would never welcome you. He was the one to tell
me to have an abortion, but I kept you until you were born. I thought you could
change his mind, but he refused even to see you then. He finally left me.”

Lena chuckled dryly. People seemed to be so blatantly honest these days she didn’t
think she could take anymore of it.

“He would have left me anyway,” Gwen said, looking down. “He was handsome and
extremely wealthy. He was a prince. I was just one of his many women. He’s so
powerful now he would never acknowledge you, Lena. Give up on him.”

Lena couldn’t understand why she was smiling. It made her feel like a clown. She
swore she would never smile again when it hurt. She would just let it slip past by like
a cold breeze.

The door burst opened, causing Gwen to jump to her feet. Gwen’s husband, Ted,
came through the door and didn’t bother to lock it behind him.

“You wouldn’t believe whom I have just met!” Ted didn’t even notice Lena at first.
When he did, he glared at his wife.

“Honey, I believe you—you—remember… Lena… remember her,” Gwen stuttered.

Lena rose to her feet. “Hello, Ted. I was about to leave.” She pecked Becky on her
cheek and walked to the hanger to retrieve her coat.

“I met Kirk Mason! Can you believe that!?” Ted turned to his wife. He was too
excited to be bothered by the presence of a nobody like Lena Cohen.

“Oh, Lord, what did you do!?” Gwen asked.

Lena put on her coat and decided that her mother would not walk her to the door.

“He is so down-to-earth, Gwen, darling! He even offered me a job! I could be one of
his chauffeurs!”

“That’s great to hear! How much will he pay you?”

“I didn’t ask. It was just so grand meeting him in person! He bought me a drink, too!”

Lena winked at Becky and walked out the door. She didn’t know who Kirk Mason
was, or why Gwen and Ted were so excited about meeting the man. Little did she
know that fate would bring them together. One showdown the young Cohen would
make everyone remember for the rest of their life.

>>>

In the cold, Lena strode, heading to Gwen’s apartment as promised yesterday. She
hadn’t told Roland of what she had been doing these past months, embarrassed to tell
him how her birth mother denied her. She only hoped it might change one day.

Lena was holding a bigger bag, containing a few loafs of bread, and a cone of ice-
cream in another hand. Yesterday turned out better than she thought, and today would
be a little better than yesterday. Slowly, Gwen would open up to her. She couldn’t
help but dreamt again, a smile threatened to appear on her face.

As Lena made her way up the dark staircase, she heard a faint yelling and laughter
from upstairs. As soon as she saw a few men in dark suits along the corridor of the
third floor, she knew instantly that they were mafias. Good men in expensive suits had
no business in this rotten apartment building.

She turned the other way to the fire escape and thought for a moment before going
around to the other side of the building. There were no one guarding the area; those
men didn’t know there was another way. She carefully moved along the narrow path
and stopped at Gwen’s room’s windows. She knelt down, letting only her eyes to see
into the room, wanting to make sure that Ted was not home.

She peeped inside and saw about seven men in the apartment, surrounding Ted and
Gwen. Becky was holding onto her mother in fright.

A man in his late forties was sitting at the table. He was in a white suit and a black
coat was hanging over his broad shoulders. His thinning, dark brown hair was pulled
back neatly, a cigar between his lips.

A young man gripped Ted’s collar and snarled. “Don’t you dare saying ‘no’ to Mr.
Mason! Do you want to work for us!?”

“Yes—I do!”

“Then give him what he wants!”

“No—p—please! Please leave them be!” Ted begged.

Mason’s laugh echoed through the hallway. He stood up and waved his men away.
When they grabbed Becky, Mason stomped his foot. “Leave her to me! Take them
two away!”

Perplexed, Lena pressed her face closer to the window. Her gaze locked at Mason as
he had his privacy, and proceeded to rip Becky’s clothes off. The little girl started to
cry. Mason thrust her against the wall. He pinned her with one hand as he unzipped
his trousers.

Lena’s head snapped as she heard Gwen’s agonizing scream from the other room.
Lord knew what those men were doing to her. But her attention was pulled back to
Mason as he entered Becky, causing her to squeal in pain. He slapped the little girl
again and again, scolding at her to be quiet. He laughed when Becky cried louder and
louder. For a split second, Becky spot Lena outside the window.

“Lena…!”

Mason must have paid no attention. He didn’t stop to think. He was in ecstasy, while
the world around him was falling apart.

“Lena, help…! Please…!”

Lena unconsciously threw herself to the floor, dropping the ice-cream cone and the
bag. Trembling, she shut her eyes tightly as Becky kept screaming for her. She
grabbed her own face, her mouth, literally shutting herself up. She bit her fingers so
hard she could taste the blood.

Oh, I hate you, God! I hate you! I hate you!

Minutes past by like the darkest hours. Three gunshots blasted through the dark
corridor. Lena sat up, shivering and waiting for something she didn’t know. Shortly
after, she could smell the smoke coming from inside, followed by the men’s rushing
footsteps down the stairs. When she was certain that they were all gone, she crawled
from the fire escape into the corridor. She rushed to the smoke-filled room, but froze
at the door. The smoke had finally got in her eyes, causing her to cry.

Gwen’s body was naked and torn, and so was Becky’s. Ted was lying on the floor,
thrown against the shelf. It appeared that the two adults were shot in the heads. Lena
moved a little closer to Becky and knelt down beside her. The little girl was gagging
from the gunshot wound in the neck. Becky’s eyes widened as she looked up to Lena.
She was trying to say something, but failed. Biting her lips, Lena held the tiny hands
up, tears streaming down her cheeks and sinking into Becky’s blood.

Holding the girl up with both hands, Lena shook uncontrollably. She thought to take
Becky to a hospital but stopped when she saw that Becky was staring down at the
bodies of her parents, terror flooding her eyes.

“Tell me what I should do! Tell me what to do!” Lena screamed and screamed,
jerking in madness. She had no free hand to block the sight from Becky’s eyes, and
when she swirled around, Becky’s gaze came to fix upon her instead, accusing her of
the crime. Roaring in rage, shame threw her to her knees.

The fire had caught on to almost all of the furniture. Yells and cries were echoing
through the hallways of downstairs. Lena then tried to suppress her sobbing. She
gently laid Becky down beside the lifeless Gwen and put the woman’s arm around the
little girl. She knew it was time to leave. It was time to let it all go. The fire had burnt
her dream down, and hate had buried the hope she never knew.

In the thick clouds, the faithful words were whispered. “I promise… I promise…”

>>>

The skies were as gray as the smoke in that room. The snow kept falling, burying
everything into whiteness of oblivion. Sitting by the opened doors to the balcony of
her bedroom, Yulia watched Lena, who was sitting at the other side of the door,
drifting away in her own thoughts.

“I promised her death…”

Lena Cohen spent an entire year of her life, tracking Mason down. Instead of buying a
new coat, she bought guns and spent all she had on practices. As soon as she
discovered her deadly talent, she quitted the sloppy jobs. Stealing and threatening the
neighbors became her full-time career. Although Celia kept inviting her on different
occasions, she always sent Roland as a careless apology. Month after month, the only
thing in her head was Mason, obsessed and carved into her mind. She planned
carefully, and each move was flawless. Some even said it was a masterpiece. When
the night came, the tyrant died and the Irish succeeded him. It was one way to go with
no return.

Yulia crawled to Lena and reached for her hand.

“I killed his son in front of him. I watched him cry like a pig.” Lena scoffed, but a
frown of suspicion suddenly appeared on her face. Hugging her knees and rocking
slightly, she blankly muttered, “It didn’t hurt at first, but it does now… That’s
impossible…?”

Yulia held the cold hand tighter. It did not matter whether Lena had her revenge, she
could never escape this nightmare. God had deserted her from the start, and the Irish
was meant to be forever in the dark.

“We can’t have it all, can we? It is life we must face.”

“Reading it from a book is different from living it. What do you know, Volkova?”

Yulia would have been enraged, but something so fragile, so fractured behind the
Irish’s mask held her back. She sat for a moment, looking down and contemplating.

“I dare say I don’t know what hate is, and I don’t want to… I don’t want you to.” Her
words came out in a forlorn whisper, driving a tear to slide down Lena’s cheek.

Lena hugged her knees tighter, staring down at the snowy ground of the balcony. Did
the Irish really care? Lena was just as scared that she hate might be the only thing she
would take to her grave.

“Why did you decide to tell me?” Yulia waited for a reply she didn’t expect to get.

“Because you are beautiful,” Lena muttered, absorbed by the whiteness before her.

In silence, Yulia watched the Irish, feeling a deep cut somewhere in her heart. It was
just another lie from someone who barely cared to deceive. “It’s because I’m
leaving…” Truth hurt. And if she were to be hurt, she rather did it herself. She would
not be fooled.

Lena looked up, her gaze unashamedly accepting the offense she had no intention to
undo. Yulia unconsciously leaned forwards, in which Lena didn’t back away but
returned the kiss as fiercely. Lena wrapped her arms around the blonde and laid her
down on the carpeted floor. She ran her fingers over Yulia’s lipstick-tainted cheeks,
feverishly rubbing the marks off.

When Yulia began to breathe harder, Lena suffocated her with another kiss. Holding
Yulia’s hands over her head, Lena used her other free hand to unzip Yulia’s skirt and
took it off. She took her time rolling the stockings down, stroking Yulia’s bare legs,
causing Yulia to shiver. Even if it was because of the cold wind, Lena showed no
interest in closing the balcony’s doors. She would just take it as her doing.

At the moment, Yulia closed her eyes and fought her hands off Lena’s grip. Instead of
pushing the Irish away, she swung her arms around Lena’s neck and pulled her in
tighter. She realized then that she was wrong. She would gladly let the Irish play her.
She would hurt just to be another pawn in this torturing game. The Irish could use her
all she wanted, and she’d be there like a soulless slave, but with a heart ready to be
damned.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Author’s note: this chapter contains violence, but it’s probably too late
for you not to read anyway. LOOOOOL.

Ok. Me serious now. I actually thought to dedicate a chapter for Mason’s murder,
but then… I think it’s better to leave it a myth? What do u think?

showMElove2
03-08-2005, 21:27
That update explained alot of what the Irish is about and also the mystery behind Mason. I loved it...and not just because of the end although that had alot to do with it :)

Oh and I have followed you from your first fic because even with the gloom and doom you can write one hell of a story!!

Ningyo
04-08-2005, 02:24
Mel – so huppppyyy that u liked the last update. I posted the contest
though! Thanks for the question. U wanna try it? We’ll see how detail u could
be, u scary detective!

LOL! How many times do I have to tell you, huh? I'm not a detective or a cop. I'm a criminologist, not the same thing! :girl:

Aaaah, such a wonderful update. Lena's a bad girl! Lena's a bad girl! Lena's a bad girl with a dark past and even darker 'present'! *drools*

Uhaku
06-08-2005, 14:11
Not only I pooped three times today, I farted out a chapter for u.
I apologize for my nasty/rude comment. LOL! Right! Off to take a shower,
ready for clubbing! Yaaaay! Hope u guys enjoy it!

Showmelove, thanks for the kind words!

Btw, mel, I always know u r not a cop. I just like to use the word,
cus u r scarier than them!

__________________________________________________ _______________

CHAPTER 33


It was the morning Dimitri, Yulia and Roland set off to catch the train to New York
City. The traffic was terrifically light at this early hour. Inside the Cadillac, Lena was
sitting in the back with Roland. Oliver was in the front passenger seat. Yulia and her
father were in another car behind them.

“I’ll get some English tea for you,” Roland said merrily.

Lena looked out the window. “I can get it here.”

He shook her hand lightly. “Oh, Lena! It’ll be only a few months! It’ll be just fine!
But you promise me now that you won’t just go for a night stroll alone. Holden is still
around, although he’s unusually quiet ever since you came back. Hmm.”

“He’ll always be around. I can’t stop living, can I?”

“Don’t do this to me. I can’t leave in peace if I don’t have your promise!”

“I hope London treats you kindly.” Lena finally smiled.

“I love you, Lena. Please take good care of yourself.”

Lena paused, trying to rephrase her words. She felt ashamed to utter the word back to
him after what she had done with Yulia.

“Come back in one piece,” Lena said quietly.

“Does this mean you’ll be waiting for me still?”

Lena looked down. Surely, he must have heard from Yulia that she wanted out.

“We have a long way to go, Lena. We can’t quit now. Take some rest. Go on a
vacation, so you won’t have to kill anybody for a while.” He chuckled, broadly
smiling. “Things will be all right again! You’ll miss making millions with me!”

Lena scratched her cheek. “We’ve made enough.”

“Oh, you’re making Oliver twist here! He needs you!” Roland leaned forwards and
gave Oliver a tight hug, receiving a reluctant laugh from the young man in the front.
“Like I said, take some rest. We’ll talk about it when I get back, all right?”

Lena could never really deny Roland anything. She just nodded vacantly at his plea.


>>>


In another car, Yulia sat still in the back seat with her father. Dimitri certainly noted
how strange his daughter had acted in the past few days. Yulia stopped talking
altogether and spent most of her time in the basement. He even thought for a moment
that she might bail out on this trip the last minute. Until they got on the liner, heading
off into the Atlantic, he just had to hold his breath. His little Yulia was known to
make a sudden change of heart, very much like him when he was a younger man.

But he was a little relieved when the Irish approached him last night, and they had a
talk over a cup of tea. It seemed the redhead wanted to make a truce. She didn’t
apologize out right for what she had done, but sincerely wished Dimitri’s a safe
journey to England. She even asked Dimitri to bid Yulia farewell for her, knowing
that Yulia was avoiding her. But Dimitri wondered if it was because she just didn’t
dare to face his daughter. He couldn’t possibly know how deep the young Irish’s
feeling was, but it seemed that she was trying to give it up. She didn’t have to say it,
but Dimitri thanked her for it.

“Your mother is looking forwards to see you again, pumpkin.”

Yulia’s head suddenly jerked up. She looked bewildered.

“What is it?” Dimitri asked, sweating.

“I had it washed and I forgot to get it back from the maids!”

“Well, what is it?”

“My nightgown! Oh, Mary, why did you do this to me!?”

“We can buy a new one when we get to New York, darling.”

“No! No, I have to ring them and tell them to ship it to London! Don’t forget to
remind me to ring them!”

“All right. All right. We’ll do that first thing when we get to the station.”

Yulia still sat fidgety, shifting left and right in her post.

“What is it now, pumpkin?” Dimitri wiped the sweat off his face. It was quite warm in
the car, and Yulia’s dilemma didn’t seem to help.

“I’m in love—”

“Pardon!” Dimitri yelped. He glanced at the driver and Mitch in the front. As
expected, the men pretended not to have heard. “But that’s good news, my little
pumpkin! Roland will be delighted to hear it from your mouth! But let’s not talk
about it now, shall we? It’s a little too crowded in here.”

Yulia didn’t seem to know or care. She just irritably looked out the window, ignoring
her father. Dimitri sat in his seat, wide-eyed. He didn’t think he could take anymore
surprise from his daughter. It was too early!


>>>


Roland glanced at Oliver and the driver in the front. He decided that the men would
just turn a deaf ear to their bosses’ conversation. He nudged Lena a little, pulling her
attention away from the scenery out the window.

“Yulia’s been acting so strangely lately. Do you happen to know why?”

Lena paused, and then just shook her head as if she was not even slightly interested in
this topic.

Roland grumpily sat back in his seat. “I don’t understand her at all, Lena.” He tried to
keep his voice low. “She’d be so ecstatic around me one day and all distant the next. I
know she’s a beautiful lady, and beautiful ladies always have men around them… Do
you think she’s seeing someone else?”

Lena paused, and then shrugged. Roland was getting impatient with his friend’s inert
reaction.

“Well, you’re a woman, too. Would you act like this with a person you like?”

“Possible.”

“I’d never understand women!”

“Haven’t you met enough of them to know them well now?”

Roland sighed. “Maybe I’m just… I look too much into everything. See, I don’t think
I’ve ever met anyone this—beautiful, so vibrant—”

“I think she’ll want to hear that straight from you.” Lena glanced at the men in front.

But Roland was too preoccupied in his own thoughts, he wasn’t listening. “Why
would she act so cold with me? She practically ignored me for the past few days.
Maybe she was playing hard to get. I did doubt whether she really wanted me in
London with her.”

A serious look in her eyes, Lena sat back, looking straight ahead.

“Don’t call me sly, but I knocked upon her door in the middle of the night last night,
and—”

“You needn’t tell me—”

“She was bubbly and excited! She smiled and assured me that she would love to have
me there!” Roland grinned to himself. “Oh, her smile…! Did I tell you that I once
took her to her favorite restaurant, and she made me walk home with her? Wow! I
should have walked more often! It’s simply beautiful and refreshing to stroll along the
lake. It was cold though, but that’s all right.”

Lena raised her brows. “I told you so.”

“I know I should have listened to you!” Roland laughed heartily.


>>>


Right when the car pulled over along the curb right in front of Central Station, Yulia
sprinted to find a public telephone.

Roland climbed out of the car but shut the door before Lena could come out. He
waved, gesturing her to roll down the window. Confused, she did as instruct. He bent
down to talk over the half-rolled down window.

“My darling, Lena, I’d prefer you stay in with Oliver. The other men will be escorting
us to the platform. We’ll be fine.” He smiled at her, and they looked at each other for
a while. They had never been apart from each other ever since they could remember.
This trip was going to be hard on both of them even though they wouldn’t admit it.

Lena urgently reached for his hand over the window. “I’ll miss you, Roland.”

“Would you cry for me?” he teased.

Lena just chuckled as a response.

Roland straightened himself up and looked around. His men were taking the suitcases
out of the trunks of the cars. He approached Dimitri, frowning.

“Where did she go?” Roland asked.

“She has to make an important phone call back to your house.”

Roland knew that Dimitri was not the type of father who would have his daughter
followed by bodyguards all the times, but he couldn’t help feeling displeased at the
moment.

“Has she forgotten something?”

“Yes, she needs her nightgown shipped to London… Ah, there she is!” Dimitri
gestured to Yulia, who was running towards them.

Roland opened his mouth, ready to fire. “You could have told Mitch to—”

“Everything is fine now! Shall we go?” Yulia grinned.

Roland softened at the blonde’s smile. He offered his arm, and she took it. She
glanced back at the cars, and spotted Lena in the backseat. There was no sign that
Lena would leave the car, and as much as she wanted to see her one last time, she
thought it was safer for Lena this way. And maybe she didn’t really want a goodbye
after all since she had been avoiding it the past few days. At the thought, she looked
away and walked with Roland towards the gate, heading to the platform. Mitch was to
travel with them, so he closely followed, guarding them at all times.

When they all had gotten onto the train, Dimitri relaxingly slumped down and lighted
up a cigar. Beaming, he ordered a glass of wine instantly. Roland ordered two men to
stay with Dimitri and Yulia, while he and Mitch would go speak to the captain about
their demands for safety. There was sure to be some heavy tipping to ward off people
from their rooms.

Yulia sat down on the couch opposite to her father. She took her hat off, and grumpily
tossed her gloves away so she could comb her messy, blonde hair. She couldn’t sleep
at all last night, which resulted in waking up later than scheduled, costing her the
luxury of time to spend in front of the mirror this morning. When her hair was neatly
adjusted, she pulled a lipstick out of her purse, turning a little towards the glassy
window to look at her reflection. She halted right when she spotted Lena just outside
the window. She rose to her feet in disbelief, looking down to the red-haired young
woman, who was staring right up at her.

Without a thought, as always, Yulia tossed her lipstick aside and rushed out of the
room. The men were still putting the suitcases into place; they didn’t catch her.


>>>


On the platform, Lena observed Yulia, who had run and stopped right in front of her,
slightly out of breath. Lena brushed Yulia’s blonde hair to the side, wanting to imprint
the sight of those blue eyes in her mind.

Lena smiled. “When you join the Olympic team, that’ll be the reason to watch sports.”


>>>


Mouth wide opened, Dimitri was glued to his seat, pressing his forehead against the
glass and watching his daughter with the Irish on the platform.


>>>


Panting, Yulia stood in front of the Irish, trying to still her heartbeat because she
didn’t trust where the heart would lead her. She took a moment to gather her strength
and looked up. She silently waited for the farewell she didn’t welcome, but she knew
she would regret it if she refused it now. When she noted that Lena had come by
herself, she couldn’t help glancing around, looking out for her.

Strangely, Lena seemed not to care what was going on around her. She took a step
forwards, eliminating the distance between them. She opened her mouth but suddenly
paused.

Yulia’s gaze followed Lena’s. She turned around to see her father by the steps on the
train. He was holding onto the rail with one hand, hanging himself out and looking at
them. Somehow, she couldn’t read the expression on his face. There was no anger in
his eyes, but almost a sad look instead. She walked back to him, and Lena followed.

“Father…”

Dimitri took a look at his chain watch and put up a smile for his daughter. “The train
is leaving in two minutes. You make it fast, pumpkin.”

Yulia spun around to face the other woman. It was this moment or never. But
everything was so sudden she was at a loss for words. She just leapt at her. Lena
firmly embraced her back, holding her slightly off the ground. Trembling, she
squeezed her eyes shut when the Irish buried her face in the slim shoulder.

Lena’s lips moving along the base of Yulia’s neck, whispering. “Good bye—”

“Move!” a shout came from the distance.

Instinctively, the Irish pushed Yulia away and turned to the source of voice. She
pulled out her gun, not caring whoever it was or why. Panicking, Yulia stumbled back
to put herself in front of her father. It could be just a hurried passenger for all she
knew, but she wasn’t going to risk losing her father again.

Four gunshots thundered, and screams echoed along the platform. Lena made sure
that the man would die by firing three times. Before long, the security guards arrived
the spot. Seeing two bodies on the ground, they pointed their guns at the red-haired
woman.

“Put the gun down! Put it down!”

“Oh, my God, somebody got shot! Call an ambulance!

“Put your hands up in the air! Do it!”

Lena stared down at the body of the man who had just failed to assassinate her. She
then carefully put the gun on the ground, and the guards sped at her, pinning her down
to the ground.

“Yuli! Yuli! Talk to me! Yuli!”

Lena’s head snapped when she heard Dimitri’s shout.

Yulia was unconscious on the cement floor. He would have been shot if it were not
for Yulia’s attempt to protect him. Blood trickling down her chest, she looked
horribly ashen, lying limply in her father’s arms.

Lena struggled to lose the guards’ grip on her. She shouted for Yulia, hoping to get
some response, but there was none. When she almost lost the strong hold, the guard
hit right in the back of her neck with the gun, knocking her out cold. But she swore
she could hear her own scream in the dark. She wasn’t sure whether she was still in
Gwen’s burning apartment, or the chaotic platform. It didn’t matter because she was
already in hell.

showMElove2
06-08-2005, 20:41
You just never run out of surprises!! The Irish couldn't resist saying goodbye and when she followed her heart.....disaster....well, that remains to be seen. Will be patiently waiting for the next update, but thanks for farting out this one :)

Ningyo
07-08-2005, 20:24
Btw, mel, I always know u r not a cop. I just like to use the word,
cus u r scarier than them!

You're lucky I like you this much, because I wouldn't take such insult from anybody else... LOL! :p

Ok... enough. I'll try to be a good girl now (as if!) and wait for the next update.

Uhaku
10-08-2005, 15:57
I’m actually reluctant about this chapter. Hmmmmmmmm. :bum:
I don’t know why it’s frustrating me. Anywho. Here’s a new chap for ya all.

showmelove – Surprises? Lol. I feel like a bloody santa now. Yippee!

mel – and me is glad that u like me that much. btw, I like ur answer.
U identifying with Nika did surprise me. It proves u r narcissistic! LOOOOL! :D

It’s official. “Mr. Volkov… Marry me?” :cool:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 34


Lena woke again to find herself on the damp, cement ground. She was still in the
same clothes she wore this morning. A rat ran past the steely bars into the shadows.
Sitting up, she winced as she rubbed her neck. She froze when the thought of Yulia
came into her mind. Suddenly, she heard footsteps approaching.

With a few cops leading, a tall man in black came to stop on the other side of the bars.
Getting on her feet, Lena squinted in the dark, her vision still a little blurry. The bars
slid opened, and somehow, she knew that this man didn’t come to get her out of here.
He greeted her first thing with a kick in her ribs. She tumbled back against the wall,
and he gave her a full smack at her cheekbone, driving her to the floor.

“Mr. Young said, ‘Hello, Irish’.” His voice sounded so cold like a winter’s night.

Shaking her head a little, Lena tried to push herself up. She wondered what Roland
was doing. She would not last this man if her friend couldn’t get her out of here
tonight.

Lena stopped at the cold touch of metal against her temple. “Just a friendly note. You
can’t shoot me in here, or it’ll be a scandal. Your boss wouldn’t want to do
anything with you after this.”

Thank God that the man stopped, but Lena sensed his chilling smile in the dark.
“You maybe right, Irish,” he said.

Another hard kick repeated at the same spot on her ribs. She curled up in a ball. She
put her arms up to block any possible blow to the head, but she was losing it fast
when he kept coming in. She gave out a muted scream when a full-force kick seemed
to break her ribs.

“I think the crack sounds real nice,” he said. He meant to beat her up until she die and
frame the inmates for the crime. Jolting her hands away from her face, he pulled her
hair and slammed her head against the wall. Grinning, he kneed her in the stomach.

“Any last will?”

Lena stared up at him, coughing furiously. “I have a present… for him… Cargo
2WO…” She then spat the blood at his face.

The man paused before knuckled her in the ear, shoving her down against the hard
cement. He took out a handkerchief and wiped off the blood from his face. As
expected, he left the cell to make a phone call to his boss, grunting at the interruption
of the fun time.

Lena brushed the blood from her mouth. Although she felt terribly dizzy, the cops’
giggles rang distantly in her ears. Roughly five minutes later, the man in black
returned.

“He would love to see you tonight, you dog.” And he kept beating her until he
stumbled backwards, out of breath and satisfied with the craving to kill. He dabbed
the crimson shades from his hands with the same handkerchief and tossed it away. He
then motioned the cops to come in and drag the limping Lena out of the cell.


>>>


Along the bright hallway, Dimitri sat still on a bench in front of a hospital room, a
burning cigar between his fingers. Mitch was standing right by his boss’ side, a deep
frown on his face. As soon as Yulia was out of the emergency room, Roland ordered
his men to prepare taking her back to his place. The police didn’t like mafias hanging
around public places like this, not to mention that it wasn’t safe for Yulia here either.

Roland sat down beside Dimitri, pale and exhausted after a long day. “She’ll be all
right, Mr. Volkov. The doctor said she’ll be all right.”

Dimitri buried his face in his large palms. “She had done it before. She’d done it
before, and both times they were for me…”

Yulia would have died for her father, and she had proved it by taking a bullet for him
two years ago. She had done something even Mrs. Volkova wasn’t sure she herself
could. One could argue it was only her reckless and untamed instinct, but Yulia would
do it again if needed. That much Dimitri knew for certain.

All of a sudden, Dimitri straightened himself up. It wasn’t the time to feel sorry. He
needed to be strong for his daughter now. He would not let the crime go unnoticed.
Someone must pay for it, and he knew just who it was.

Oliver was running down the hallway towards them. Roland had sent him to the
police station since morning to try to bail Lena out. The laws were typically friendly
when it was clearly a self-defense case. But it was already nine o’clock at night.

“What took you so long!? Where’s Lena!?” Roland rose to his feet.

“They wouldn’t let me—”

“What!? Why didn’t you tell me!?” Roland pushed Oliver around.

“They told me to wait, sir! And I waited, and—and—”

“Speak up!” Roland was so tired he lost his usually cool demeanor.

“I just found out that someone by the name Burke had already got her out. I don’t
know how, sir! I don’t know who he is, sir!”

Dimitri stood up, putting on his suit jacket and adjusting his bowtie. “Wayne Burke.
He’s Holden’s right hand.” He finally knew for sure who was behind all this mess that
almost caused Yulia’s life.

“Holden…?” Roland slouched down on the bench, shocked and hopeless all at once.

“She’s still alive. He wouldn’t have bailed her out if he meant to kill her in the cell.”
Dimitri started to walk away.

Roland immediately followed. “Where are you going!?”

Dimitri turned and firmly pounded at the younger man’s chest. “You take my
daughter back home, kid, and you better make goddamn sure that she’ll be all right.”
He nodded and then said, “I’ll get your friend back. I’ll get her back.”

Roland watched Dimitri walk away, and then looked at Mitch.

“My duty now is to secure Yulia, sir,” Mitch said firmly.

Roland nodded, and then ordered Oliver to follow the Russian. He realized then that
Dimitri was willing to take the risk for him. He was to stay behind and take Yulia to
safety. It was his job to bring the secret documents to light if something should
happen to Dimitri and Lena. However, he chose to believe in Dimitri’s promise. For
now.


>>>


Inside a huge, abandoned warehouse, Lena was surrounded by at least twenty, armed
men. Bruised and battered, she struggled to stay on her feet. She couldn’t see clearly
when crimson kept streaming down her forehead and dripping into her left eye. She
tried to brush it off, but her already drenched sleeves didn’t seem to help.

Wayne Burke closed in on her again and knowingly swung a bat right at her already
broken ribs. She flopped down forwards as a sharp pain shot right through her whole
body. She was retching on the floor, blood swamped in her throat. It wasn’t the first
strike, and she didn’t think she could walk for a few days, if she were still alive then.

“How did you know about Cayman…? I won’t ask again!” Burke raised the bat, but
Holden stopped him.

The young master glided to the wounded woman and spat down at her. He circled her,
staring at her with absolute hate. When he could have had his revenge, the subject of
T.S. Cayman had to interrupt his dream.

“I’ve been waiting of this day for three whole years, Irish. How do you feel tonight?”

Squinting up at Holden, Lena was about to pass out. But the mention of Mason’s
death only reminded her of Becky and Gwen. And the memory began to replace all
the pain with rage again.

“This must be the hand that killed my father.” Holden stomped real hard on her right
hand, breaking her fingers and squashing them.

Twisting, Lena bit her lips as not to scream aloud. She managed to pull his leg with
another hand, dragging him down with her. She even got a weak punch at his face
with her good hand. She was holding on, meaning to fight until her last breath.

Holden panicked. Her blood was all over his suit. With one swing of a fist in her face,
he easily thrust her away. His men hurriedly helped him up.

“Fuck you, bitch! Fuck you! Fuck you!” Holden yelled, kicking her repeatedly. He
knew that was all he could do. If the Irish turned up dead, her partner would surely
expose the secret documents, and Holden would have to run for his life. At the
thought of losing the chance to revenge, he snatched the bat from Burke and struck
her in madness.

“Sir! Sir!” A boy ran into the warehouse, startled.

The woman at his feet seemed to lose consciousness already, but Holden still couldn’t
stop himself, enjoying the feat immensely.

“Sir! There’s someone here to see you, sir!”

Panting, Holden eventually halted and looked up to see Dimitri Volkov marching into
the warehouse, waving the men out of his way. With a cigar between his lips, the fat,
blond thug didn’t have a gun in his hands, but was armed with determination to make
it out of here tonight, with his friend.

Holden’s men promptly raised their guns, aiming at Volkov.

“I’m here to collect Irish.” Staring at Holden, Dimitri moved the cigar to another
corner of his mouth. “Too bad. She’s coming home with me, kid.”

Holden was enraged at the choice of word, and that was what Dimitri intended for.
Dimitri took one quick glance at the bloodstain on the baseball bat, then at the
redhead on the floor, and had to hold his breath. For a second, he thought Lena was
already dead, or she looked near death anyway.

Holden stared at Dimitri and scoffed. “And I thought you’ve lost all the guts, old man.
My father always warned me about you.” He began to chuckle in bitterness. There
was almost a certainty that Dimitri also knew about T.S. Cayman, which dared him to
come and rescue the Irish. Holden laughed even louder now when there seemed to be
nothing he could do but letting them walk away.

Dimitri ignored the younger master. He rallied to Lena and slapped her blood-soaked
face a few times.

“Wake up, Irish. Wake up.”

Lena opened her swollen eyelids but closed them again just as fast. Dimitri held her
up in his arms and carefully walked towards the warehouse’s entrance, secretly
praying that Holden wouldn’t lose it and started shooting them.

“Mr. Young!” Burke fidgety whispered to his boss.

Holden briskly waved his hand, shutting Burke up. He knew it wasn’t his night. He
was reckless in leaving Roland Myer alone. If only he had Roland watched at the
moment, he could have killed Dimitri and Lena right now.

Holden began to clap his hands, causing Dimitri to turn to look at him. “My father
always told me that I should learn it from you, Dimitri. He admired you.”

“Bravery can’t be learned. It’s in your heart, kid.” Dimitri then glanced down at the
unconscious woman in his arms. “And a friend takes sincerity to make one, not with a
gun.”

Clenching his fists, Holden watched his enemies disappear into the darkness outside.


>>>


Out in the field, Dimitri strode towards the car parked about thirty meters away from
the warehouse. Oliver quickly opened the door for him, stunned to see his boss in
such condition. Dimitri shoved Lena into the back seat and climbed in. Oliver started
the engine and drove away into the night.

With Lena’s head resting on his laps, Dimitri carefully wiped her face with his
handkerchief.

Eyes closed, Lena muttered, “Thank you…”

“I didn’t do this for you. Sleep. Get some rest, eh?”

Dimitri paused for a moment, but he couldn’t help stroking her hair. The Irish was
only his daughter’s age, but she had been through so much. Hearing how Gwen and
her family were murdered from his friend, Senator Iver, he knew just what made the
Irish today. Looking down at her now, he could see her bruised lips curled up slightly,
content at his gentle touch. It made him wonder how the young woman would feel if
it were Iver comforting her now.

After they were on the road for ten minutes, Dimitri looked back through the window
of the car, spotting a black car following them.

“This kid doesn’t learn. He’s impatient. Impatient!” Dimitri shook his head. He
tapped Oliver’s shoulder.

Oliver reluctantly handed his gun to Dimitri. He nervously gripped the steering wheel.
Before they reached the crowded downtown area, they still had to be extra careful.

Dimitri rolled down the window at his side and, with a single shot, blew out a tire of
the men’s car, sending it off the small road into the field. Chuckling in triumph, he
turned around to catch Oliver’s grin from the rear mirror. He gave the gun back to the
young man.

“You thought I couldn’t shoot, didn’t you?”

“No, sir! I thought you’d get them, sir!”

“Although I’m a little rusty after all these years, young man,” Dimitri said proudly.
He leaned back in his chair, smiling. “Now, take us home, Oliver. Take us home.”


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

author’s note : it’s rated R. but again, I don’t like to ruin it for u. :coctail:

rasoska
10-08-2005, 19:15
great chapter uhaku :yes:

Mr.Volkov, putting himself at risk to save the irish :eek: it seems he cares about the irish (a little bit at least) after all :) either that, or he knows what'd make yulia happy and even more proud of him :D or maybe both :p lol

and :nunu:@young and his men

cant wait for an update :D :coctail:

showMElove2
11-08-2005, 04:15
I don't know why the reluctance about this chapter... was it because of the violence?? I hope not cause living the way the Irish did, it was expected, however what I didn't expect was Dimitri's help. Wonder what he wants in return????
Thanks for the chap as always!!

Ningyo
11-08-2005, 05:37
I’m actually reluctant about this chapter. Hmmmmmmmm. :bum:
I don’t know why it’s frustrating me.
Maybe 'cause it's sort of short? :rolleyes:



mel – and me is glad that u like me that much. btw, I like ur answer.
U identifying with Nika did surprise me. It proves u r narcissistic! LOOOOL! :D

No, I can't deny it. But I'm also paranoid, schizoid, obsessive, rigid... :p

Uhaku
14-08-2005, 17:52
rasoska – yup, in love with Dimitri! :coctail:
showmelove – yeah, I guess it was violence. :) I’m glad it seemed reasonable.
mel – I love ur sarcasm! U have a longer list than that though. :eek:


Personal note to yohyeeyoh: u gotta go back one page to ur latest update. :kawai:


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
CHAPTER 35


Yulia opened her heavy eyelids and glanced around the dimming room. Seeing the
familiar, gold-rimmed, blue wallpapers, she realized that she was already taken back
to Roland’s home. She was clueless to what time or day it was.

The room must be one of the guestrooms upstairs. There was a large, glassy door to
the balcony. The creamy curtains were pulled opened slightly, letting the moonlight in
and reflecting it over Dimitri’s blond hair. With a blanket over his laps, the large man
was sitting on a leather chair, resting his double chins on his palm, snoring away.

Yulia glanced down at the white bandage wrapped around her chest, tainted with a red
spot. She didn’t even try to move because it was already hurt.

As if on cue, Dimitri’s head dropped, jerking him awake. Yawning, he looked up a
little, ready to fall back into slumber. But the twinkling blue eyes in the dark caught
him.

“Yuli…”

“Father…” Yulia smiled weakly.

Dimitri steadily rose to his feet and strode towards her. He knelt down beside the bed,
taking her hand into his and squeezing it firmly. In the dark, Yulia could see a clear
drop sliding down his face. She feebly reached out, catching the teardrop in time. He
tilted his head up, gulping back the tears.

“It’s all right… I’m all right now…”

Dimitri nodded determinedly. “You’re my daughter, Yuli. I shall never let you down,”
he stated. He bent a little and rested his head softly against her shoulder.

Yulia was extremely exhausted, but she managed to grip her father’s hand back,
reassuring him that everything was all right again. She closed her eyes, slowly taking
her time to think back. It seemed that the trip to London was temporarily abandoned.
All of a sudden, she twitched in her bed, eyes-widened. She promptly fell back down
though, wincing as the pain thundered through her chest.

“Don’t move, pumpkin! Don’t move! What is it? Do you need something?” Dimitri
said urgently.

Yulia looked around the room. It was already night time and it should be as quiet as it
was. But she somehow didn’t like the silence. It terrified her since she felt she had
been in the dark for so long.

“Where is everyone else?” She panted.

“Not to worry, pumpkin. Everything is all right. Myer is sleeping in the next room.
We take turn to look after you.”

Yulia’s gaze dropped in disappointment that Lena was not even mentioned. Had the
Irish cared not for her at all?

Dimitri sighed subtly. “Irish is in her room. She’s very tired. Now, it’s almost
midnight. You should go back to sleep.”

“How long had I been unconscious?”

“About thirty-six hours, sweetheart. Take some more rest, and you’ll feel better in the
morning.”

Dimitri pecked on Yulia’s forehead. She just nodded absentmindedly. She was so
fatigued she didn’t have the energy to be grumpy about anything. She closed her eyes
and let herself falling back into sleep.


>>>


“Yulia… Yulia…”

The voice woke Yulia up to another morning. Who was that calling for her? She was
too hasty to move, causing the wound to scorch again. Groaning, she let the pain pull
her back down to bed.

Roland softly put his hands over her shoulders. He studied the blonde for a second,
smiling in relief. “You can’t rush anything, lady. Not this time. Good morning,
Yulia.”

Looking pale, Yulia tried to suppress her heavy breathing. It was as though all her
energy was drained out of her body. She could hardly lift her arms.

Roland held her hand up and planted a soft kiss upon it. “It was the most honorable
thing you did, saving your father’s life.”

Yulia gave him a weak smile. She didn’t care if it was honorable. She just thought
that it was every daughter’s duty to protect her parents. She loved her father that
much. Dimitri was her hero just like her grandfather was to him.

The door creaked opened, and Yulia’s face instantly beamed. It should be the person
she was waiting to show up. But she froze, not by the pain, but the sight of Angela
holding the tray into the room. The honorable maid had returned.

“What is she doing here?” Yulia wasn’t sure if her voice was steady.

Roland helped Yulia to sit up and gestured Angela to put the tray of food over Yulia’s
thighs. “As you know, the economy isn’t going uphill anytime soon. Angela couldn’t
find a better job than returning to your father. You should be glad to have your old
maid back. She knows how to serve you well.”

She knows exactly how to please her master. Yulia fought to keep her face
straight.

“Get well soon, ma’am.” Angela smiled at her.

Roland held up the glass of warm milk for Yulia, and she sipped it slowly, glaring as
the maid leave the room. She now knew why Lena was so busy, having no time to
come see her.


>>>


Later in the day, Yulia was stubborn enough to get herself out of bed. She would
rather walk with a cane, but Roland insisted her on a wheelchair. Angela was to be the
one who took care of her. That suited Yulia just fine. The maid would wheel her to
New York if she demanded so!

In the wheelchair, Yulia had Angela combing her hair in front of the mirror. Ever
since Angela walked back into her life, Yulia felt her dark energy rushing back to her,
ready for any fight ahead. Yulia studied Angela’s calm face in the reflection. She
wondered if the maid knew anything about her and Lena, if Lena thought it was
anything at all. She watched Angela some more, noting the Latino’s beauty, which
disgusted her even more so.

“Where have you been after you left the ranch?” Yulia broke the silence.

Angela continued to comb the silky blonde hair. “I worked in a market for a while
before I found a job in a textile factory. But it didn’t go well, ma’am. The workers are
still on strike.”

“How did you know my father is residing here with Mr. Myer?”

“I am Oliver’s friend, ma’am. When he told me what happened two days ago, I came
back to Mr. Volkov to offer my service to him. He has always been so nice to me, and
I should serve him when he needs it.”

Yulia pretended to nod approvingly.

“Are you hungry, ma’am? It’s lunch time now.”

Yulia was so bothered in the morning she only touched the glass of milk. After two
days of absolutely nothing in her stomach but pills, she felt in need of refreshment.

“Oh…” Yulia’s head dropped. “I don’t think you can wheel me downstairs… but I
don’t want to eat here!”

“Already back and feisty, my little pumpkin!” Dimitri showed up at the door,
beaming. He had a tray in his hands.

Angela rushed to her master to take the tray herself. She looked around, unsure where
to put it.

“I don’t want to eat here—”

“But it’s not wise to walk now, Yuli. You’re not well enough.”

“I am well enough—no, father!”

Grinning, Dimitri wheeled his daughter back to bed. He carefully held her up and laid
her on the bed. Angela promptly put the tray over Yulia.

Yulia grumbled inwardly and began to eat when she decided that her father would not
budge. All of a sudden, a painful scream echoed down the hallway, slipping in
through the open door to Yulia’s room. Yulia instantly looked up, remembering well
whose voice it was.

“What is that…?” Yulia’s face turned pale in an instant.

“It’s nothing, pumpkin—”

“It’s Lena. What happened?” Yulia stared at her father.

Dimitri quickly sat down beside her, putting his hands on both side of her body. Yulia
knew that her father was trying to lock her up in here. She began to move, but the pain
stung again. She grunted as she slowed down.

“Stay still, Yuli! Irish is fine! She’s fine!”

Yulia looked up at Angela, who was still staring out into the hallway, distraught hung
heavily on the maid’s face.

“No, she’s not!” Yulia ignored the pain and tried to get up.

Another scream, almost in anger, filled up the corridor, where many men were
gathered around. They were muttering something to one another, looking stunned and
upset. Yulia could see a few nurses running up and down the stairway, holding some
stainless trays in their hands. There was no mistake of those bloody sponges on the
trays.

Dimitri pushed his daughter down as softly as he could. The blonde couldn’t resist his
force. She slumped back down on the bed, wheezing.

“You don’t want to see her now,” Dimitri said grimly.

“I thought you said everyone was fine! What happened to her!?” Something was
terribly wrong. Yulia had never heard Lena cry like that even when she was shot.

“After she gunned down the man who shot you at the train station, she was put in jail
for further trial. We tried to bail her out, but Holden had his men bribed the police and
brought her to a warehouse. They beat her up rather bad.”

“How bad is it?” Yulia’s voice shook. She would never have expected that a beating
could make Lena scream like that.

Dimitri glanced at Angela, who looked down on the floor.

“Let me see her, father,” Yulia pleaded.

Dimitri shook his head, but Yulia kept pulling his arm.

“Please!”

“She’s in no state to receive any guest, darling. I’m speaking this for her good, not
yours. Be good for a few days, and I’ll allow you to see her.” Dimitri released his arm
from Yulia’s grip. He gave Angela a look and left the room.

Angela closed the door and hesitantly turned to look at Yulia.

“You’ve seen her, haven’t you? Tell me how she is.” The maid must have guessed
about their secret affair by now. It was that obvious. But Yulia couldn’t care less at
the moment.

“Your father was right, ma’am. She needs to be left alone for a while—”

“I don’t want my father this—my father that! What is going on!?”

Angela froze at her little master’s rage, which she had never witnessed before, not this
serious. She looked down. “Umm, her right ribcage is—what word could describe it?
I mean… you can see the bones sticking out…and…”

Yulia blinked a few times, holding her breath.

“She had a severe head injury. We don’t know the extent of the wound just yet. And it
might take a long while before her right hand would heal. The worst case is that she
might not be able to use it again… She also lost her left eyesight, ma’am. I believe
she has just found out a moment ago.”

Yulia sat absolutely still in her spot, unable to believe what she was hearing. Her
mind rushed back to those few days before she left for Central Station; had she been
brave enough to face farewell. Things would have been different only if Lena did not
follow her to the platform.

“Will she live…?” Yulia whispered the question she most feared its answer.

Angela didn’t reply straight away until Yulia shot her an intense glare.

“The doctor is doing all he can, ma’am. We all wish her the best.”


>>>


The night fell ever so agonizingly slow to Yulia. She had acted calm enough to fool
her father to leave her alone. She closed her eyes and waited until the house would
quiet down. But hours past like days she could barely hold it. Sharply at one o’clock
in the morning, she carefully climbed out of the bed and made her way towards the
door.

Her face twisted as she suppressed her yawn. She opened the door just a little at first,
peeping out. There were three men guarding at each end of the corridors. They
instantly spotted her, but kept quiet. They wouldn’t want to get involved in their
bosses’ private business.


>>>


The door at the end of the corridor creaked opened. Yulia slipped into the room and
quickly shut it. Angela looked up, puzzled. Yulia pressed a finger over her own
mouth, ordering the maid to shut up. Angela fidgety shifted in her chair before
walking towards the door, knowing that she had to leave her master some privacy.

“Five minutes, ma’am,” Angela whispered grudgingly.

“Ten. Go,” Yulia hissed, and shut the door in Angela’s face as quietly as possible.

Yulia grunted inwardly as the pain resurfaced around her wound. She felt a sharp heat
piercing through her chest, causing her to halt for a moment. She bit her lips and
moved clumsily towards the bed. As always, she wouldn’t let anything stop her
without putting up a fight.

With faint blue light coming through the curtains, Yulia stared down at the prone
form on the bed. Even though her eyes had adjusted to the dimness in the room, she
still could not recognize the face before her.

Half of Lena’s face was swelling up and deep purple. Her left eyelid was severely cut
and shut tightly. The left cheekbone and the right corner of her lips were badly
bruised. There was a bandage wrapped around her forehead, but a long, deep cut
slashed down to her right brow was still visible. Her right leg was in a cast, and right
arm was wrapped, hanging tightly with a cloth around her neck, restraining all
movement of the right side of her body.

Seeing just Lena’s face, Yulia couldn’t make herself to lift open the blanket. The
description of the wound Angela told her earlier today was enough. Although she
would prefer Lena in the hospital, it was safer here. Roland had handsomely paid
Doctor Sheridan to stay here twenty-four/seven.

“Hey, you…”

Yulia’s head shot up at the coarse whisper.

“I knew… you’d come.”

“Oh, you are bragging again!” Chuckling, Yulia instantly brushed the tears from her
eyes and knelt down, taking Lena’s limping hand.

Lena was able to open both eyes, though not fully, but she had to turn her head
slightly to the left. Yulia knew why, so she bent over a little, ignoring her own pain.

“They told me you’re all right…”

“Yes, I’m fine now, and you’re going to be as well.” Yulia put up a brave smile,
squeezing Lena’s hand.

Lena tried to assert some pressure on Yulia’s hand, tightening their grip on each other.
“They told me… a lot of things…”

Yulia rested her cheek on Lena’s arm, dreamily watching the pale hand in front of
her. She couldn’t help but gave out a long yawn. “What kind of things?” she asked,
playing with their intervening fingers.

Lena finally gave up, letting her head fall back to its previous post. Yulia was out of
her line of sight now, but she could do nothing to help it. “They said…you’re a
tough… tough woman… You’ll be just fine…”

“Go on.” A smile spread across Yulia’s face. She couldn’t tell how happy she was to
know that the Irish had asked about her.

“They wondered… if you might consider… learning how to shoot…”

Yulia laughed lightly. “Of course, if you’ll teach me.” She glanced up and stared at
Lena’s right hand that was wrapped tightly in a white bandage. She quickly looked
down again.

Eyes closed now, the Irish was mumbling in her sleep, washed away in her
fragmented thoughts. “I… I can see… you’ll live to be… an old… and stubborn…
You…”

Shutting her eyes, Yulia rested her head beside Lena’s arm. Although the hard floor
wasn’t where she wanted to spend the rest of the night at, she couldn’t seem to move
now. Her head felt lighter and her eyelids heavier. She was dreaming away to the day
that had yet to come. “I’ll live to that day with you, and no one else.”

Before long, Yulia felt a hand extricating hers from Lena’s. She wished to protest, but
failed even to open her eyes. A pair of strong arms then lifted her up from the floor.
From the familiar smell of perfume, it could be no one else but Dimitri Volkov. She
just smiled in his arms, contented in her little prayer.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 36


It was already one o’clock in the morning, roughly seventy years later. I was still
sitting on the same couch, which was kept in an excellent condition, where Dimitri
Volkov and Victor Iver once sat upon. And the old Volkova still kept that promise to
this day. She had lived with no one else but the Irish, in her heart. But she was
fighting it all alone, while time was running out.

A tear rolled down the old woman’s cheek and dropped onto the back of her hand,
refusing to dissolve over her rough, pale skin. Seasons kept changing, and years had
shown no mercy, taking away her youth and will to fight the loneliness and doubt.

Everyone fell into silence, wrapped in the blankets provided by the maids. But Kate
promptly moved beside Volkova, softly grabbing the old woman’s hand and brushing
the teardrop away. I thought that was the wisest thing young Kate had done all
evening.

I looked out the window into the darkness once more, secretly wishing that someone
would walk through the front gate and finally fulfill the long await promise. I never
expected that the person would be me.

Blue-Amy
14-08-2005, 18:36
...what can I say?...it's simply great!...very well writen...I almost cryed reading Lena's description after she'd been beaten...and then the old volkova...man.....that's soooo sad...
...But how come that young girl, Lena, is the one that Yulia was waiting for...maybe because she brought the Irish journal?...I don't know what more can I say...I'm kinda speachless right now...

showMElove2
14-08-2005, 21:46
That last line has left me wondering.....The young Lena is the one to fulfill the promise????
Thanks for the update, the Irish did take one hell of a beating. I'll wander off now and patiently await the next update!

Necrologist
15-08-2005, 07:31
ever though of improving? u have me confused.
and me? flirty? fuck ya.

Yes, so hi. Though it is fantastic to not always make positive comments on written fiction or otherwise, unless you plan on giving constructive criticism (and moreover criticism that isn't hypocritical, as I note your slight lack in grammar), please, do not comment at all. I mean, if you're going to be an elitist, you gotta go all the way. Oh, and if you would like to deny being a certain qualitative state, and wish to do so jokingly or kindly with people who aren't exactly your most friendly acquaintances, try not to swear. They might not take it the right way. Though I'm sure you're well aware of that. ;) Thank you for your time. Feel free to message me privately with complaints. As for the others, no need to encourage similar behaviour from one another, no? (oh emm gee. I really sound like I have a stick up my ass, wtf. :D Oh, the woes of being a mod. *SIGH.*)

Crampaholic
15-08-2005, 08:07
ever though of improving? u have me confused.
and me? flirty? fuck ya.

guess u getting confused means something else LOL U need to improve ur reading skills babehhhh :D

showMElove2
15-08-2005, 11:01
ever though of improving? u have me confused.
and me? flirty? fuck ya.


Ever THOUGHT (correct spelling for you) of improving your english before you post?
I think you like it, why the hell else would you only bother to post in this thread kiddy?????:

Ever though of not posting on here??? :blabla:

Crampaholic
15-08-2005, 18:16
:lol:

Ningyo
15-08-2005, 23:20
mel – I love ur sarcasm! U have a longer list than that though. :eek:


Scheming little pixie, you know me so well... :rolleyes:

That last sentence hooked me big time. Now you have me wondering where your warped mind is going, really!

dare2dream28
16-08-2005, 02:05
That last sentence hooked me big time. Now you have me wondering where your warped mind is going, really!

Me too! I can't wait to find out what happens! Like I've said before, I'm totally hooked on this story line. I can't get enough of these characters & their attitudes. But dannnggg, *I* flinched when I read the description of The Irish's wounds. :bum: Ouch. Great job uhaku. :)

EDIT: I just wanted to say that I thought it was too cute how Yulia was all dreamy while laying her head by Lena. Awww moment. :)

Necrologist
16-08-2005, 06:40
lol
showMElove2, you are amazingly hilarious. i think i almost like you.
oh and i post here cuz i wanna. don't mind me.

Uhaku
16-08-2005, 15:16
BlueAmy – yeah, I got your PM. Thanks for the suggestion. :) I hope it doesn’t throw you.
showmelove – thank you. The Irish sure took one hell of a beating. It was fun to write though. ^_^’
crampy – ditto. Thanks. :D
Mel – You know me! I don’t even know where it’s heading! j/k. I kinda knew…
But it’s not too late to change my mind!
D2D - welcome back! I'm glad u like it!
yooyeeyoh – this update for you. Fast. :heh:


ever though of improving? u have me confused.
and me? flirty? fuck ya.

So you think you can bully me like u did Shakrin? :rolleyes: Think I’m nice like other fic writers?


I don’t think you were flirty,
I think you tried to flirt but failed miserably,
Now I think you’d kiss my ass if I ask you to,
But I gotta say that I don’t like you,
You’d want some of my attention—admiration,
Opps, I’m afraid you’re almost in detention,
You expect me to call you ‘kid’ and pat your head?
Urgh, I’m no saint, so you can suck my foot before you hit the bed!
’Cause you don’t know, you can’t understand that to this.
Bluntly, dear, you suck, and see if I give a shit.


This doesn't take long to write. Don't think you're worth my time that much.
You’re going straight :lalala: to my IGNORE list. No shit.
I’ll have the lot reserved for you. Bye! :coctail:


p.s. sorry, Ec. Couldn’t help it. :dead:


Now the update is here. I never force anybody to read, so don’t pretend otherwise.
You’re free to leave, and I’ll never gonna stop you. This update is posted in a hurry, as
someone demanded so. So i apologize if there's a typo or something.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
CHAPTER 37


It was almost noon. The skies were bright blue with almost no cloud. Roland was
wheeling his precious blonde around in the backyard. Yulia looked slightly more robust
than the first few days after the incident. Her cheeks were rosy and her eyes were as blue
as the skies. In a light blue sweater, she was wrapped in a white blanket that covered
down to her knees. Spring was coming.

“I see you’re smiling,” Roland said.

Yulia grinned even wider. She pointed her finger around the yard. “This garden isn’t
exactly a garden. The trees are all dead.”

“Well, winter hasn’t fully gone.”

“In a few weeks, it will. I think we can have some fun renovating this garden!”

“Yulia, it might be better if you would wait until you’re completely healed—”

“I’m feeling all right now, and I’ll be even better by the time winter is over. We could
plant lots of flowers for Lena, although we won’t stuff the bullets in the Easter eggs. How
do you like the idea!?”

Roland nodded a little. “Splendid.”

The only thing Roland wished now was Lena’s speedy recovery, but his mind was
constantly pulled back to when he saw Dimitri carrying Yulia out of Lena’s bedroom a
few nights ago. Yulia ignored her own injury and sneaked in to visit the redhead. Roland
always thought it was just an admiration—an infatuation on Yulia’s part. It was usually
the case even with the new guys who had just joined their gang. Everyone wanted to get a
glimpse of the myth. But Yulia’s excessive concern for the Irish started to bother him.

“What were you doing in Lena’s room the other night?”

Yulia’s smile suddenly disappeared. “Did my father tell you?”

“No, Yulia. I saw it.”

“I didn’t mean to disturb her, or anything. I just… I needed to see if she was all right.”

Roland walked over and knelt down in front of her, his hand on her laps. He had a velvet
box in his suit’s left pocket. It was a ring he purchased the day after Yulia was shot.

“What is it?” Yulia asked, seemingly puzzled.

Roland looked up. Fearing of losing her, he meant to ask her to marry him right when she
awakened again. But the empty gaze in her eyes, when she looked at him, stopped him.
He shook his head. “I am, by no mean, angry with you. I was worried that you did not
rest enough.”

Yulia smiled. “You have some other things more important to worry about.”

Roland knew that he was now temporarily the head of the gang. Until Lena recovered, no
matter how long it might take, the future of their gang depended solely on him. But he
was never equipped to lead anyone. He specialized in making money but never did the
dirty business himself.

“You know… I never ordered a killing on anyone before. I never even fired a gun.”

“I don’t believe my father had done it until recently either.”

Yulia’s face beamed, and Roland knew that it was because the thought of the night
Dimitri saving the Irish’s life. Yulia was so proud of her father. Roland couldn’t help
feeling small that he wasn’t the one doing the deed.

“I never thought about this until now. What it feels like to kill someone. What it makes a
person to do so.”

Yulia sighed gently, her gaze wandering off. It could only be Lena in her mind right now.

“Will it make me a terrible person?” Roland directed the question over the woman in
Yulia’s thought.

Yulia shifted her gaze to the dark-haired man in front of her. “I cannot know for sure. It’s
the way I’ve grown to accept. It’s the way we live. Even if we don’t kill them with our
own hands, we always have someone else do it so we can feel better about ourselves and
sleep soundlessly at night… We don’t care, Roland. Does it make us any better or
worse?”

Roland looked down. He was still the boy from the orphanage, still hiding behind Lena
and letting her do all the dirty works. He never asked if she was willing because she
never complained. She never involved him, which he should be thankful, yet he was
upset that she would not tell him about Mason. He felt disgustingly low with himself
right now.

Roland flinched, pulled out of his thoughts when Yulia patted him on the shoulder.

“You shouldn’t blame yourself over it. Lena knew she would never be good at business
as you are, vice versa. Everyone has a thing they can do better. She leaves you to your
task, and you just have to do your best. You don’t want to disappoint her.”

Caressing the small hand over his shoulder, Roland smiled. He had never felt this warm
and forgiven before. It marveled him how this blonde woman could make him feel,
whether it was her beautiful, blue eyes or the warmth of her skin. He wasn’t sure if he
could give her up if needed.


>>>


“Don’t you love these lilies, Yulia, dear!?”

Sitting on the bed, Yulia smiled at the two, huge bouquets of flowers in Tonya’s embrace.
“Thank you so much, Tonya.”

In her new, creamy dress, Tonya proceeded to put one of the bouquets on the small table
next to the bed. “How do you like my new dress? I needed to shop as soon as I knew you
were out of danger! Look, I even got the Irish a bouquet! Do you think she’ll like
flowers? Or should I get her a gun instead? Do you think she’ll receive a guest? How is
she, by the way? I’ve heard some really gruesome—”

“Slow down, will you?” Yulia chortled lightly. She then took the bouquet from her
friend, studying it for a while. “I’ll make sure to give it her.”

“Still no visitors?”

“She’s not so good.” Yulia looked little grim at this.

Tonya gently rubbed the blonde’s hand. “She’ll make it, I’m sure of that.”

“How could you be so sure?”

“Because she’s the Irish!”

Yulia rolled her eyes, her shoulders slumping down. Nothing seemed to be able to ease
Yulia’s mind. Tonya’s reason wasn’t good enough. As of right now, she needed
something more solid to guarantee Lena’s safety. Although the redhead would most
likely pass through this tough stage, Doctor Sheridan couldn’t tell exactly what was going
to happen after the wounds were healed. It was never easy when one had to face a
permanent loss of their ability. What if Lena became even more of a recluse? Yulia didn’t
know how to reach her then.

“Have you thought what to do with Mr. Myer?” Tonya asked.

Yulia looked up to meet with her friend’s knowing gaze.

Tonya pulled a chair beside the bed and sat down, crossing her arms. “You shouldn’t
mislead him anymore. The game is over when he is absolutely in love with you. It’s not
challenging anymore.”

“I mislead him? I was just being friendly. Do I look like I’m in love with him?”

Tonya shrugged slightly. “Oh, you know how men are. They’re not very smart. Every
woman is in love with him the instant she looks his way. It’s so typical. You need to
make it clear, Yulia, dear.”

A deep frown appeared on Yulia's face. “He’s so good to me and my father.”

“Remind me again when have you become kind enough to spare someone’s heart?”

Yulia looked down. “Lena might not talk to me again if I break so suddenly with—”

“Lena. Lena. Lena. That’s what you should be telling Mr. Myer. He’s blind! It’s typical, I
understand. It’s your job to make him see. Yulia, not that I would like Mr. Myer for
myself, but you need to let him go before things get more complicated than this.”

Yulia smelled the flowers and then smiled. “I think it is just right for her.”

Staring at her friend, Tonya took in a deep breath and let out a loud sigh.


>>>


Late into the evening, Yulia decided to pay a visit to Lena’s room before going to bed.
She grabbed Tonya’s bouquet of flowers and headed out into the hallway. She already
felt exhausted just from staying up all day long without a nap. She might just turn in a
little early tonight.

The door opened, and Yulia walked through to find Angela next to the bed. There was a
basin of warm water beside Lena’s body. With a wet towel, Angela was wiping Lena’s
face, moving down to her neck and shoulders. Yulia grumbled; if only she was well
enough, she would do the job herself.

“Ma’am,” Angela addressed quietly to Yulia, continuing her task.

Yulia put the flowers on the table next to the bed and sat down on the opposite side. Lena
was still asleep as she was in the morning. She could still barely remember names and
places, let alone having a normal conversation with anyone. Yulia was sure that Lena
wouldn’t remember their small chat the other night.

“What are you doing?” Yulia asked. She was snapped out of her thought when she saw
Angela’s hand slipping under Lena’s shirt. “I’ll do it,” she said grimly.

“It’s better to leave the job to me, ma’am. Mr. Volkov does not want you to move as
much as climbing onto and down from the bed. You have done too much already.”

Yulia glared harshly. “You’re babbling now. Get on with your task.” She watched the
maid’s eyes burning with jealousy when she climbed onto the bed and slowly lied down
beside Lena. But she only grunted inwardly as Angela moved her hand down further. She
swore she could see the invisible smirk on the maid’s face. Mumbling, she told herself to
calm down, that it was only Angela’s job. Being asleep, Lena couldn’t have felt a thing.

Yulia frowned instantly when Lena groaned in her sleep. Unexpectedly, the redhead opened her eyes.

“How are you feeling?” Angela was quick to bend over Lena, smiling sweetly.

Lena narrowed her eyes. “Water… please…”

Angela poured some water into a glass. She supported her hand under the back of Lena’s
neck, helping her up a little.

Yulia just lay there, watching them. As much as she wanted to snatch the glass from the
maid, she started to feel wobbly, and the sudden throbbing in her chest chained her to her
spot. The medication she had taken was taking its effect. Her eyelids fluttered and
eventually closed. It’d be a nightmare as the last thing she would take to slumber was the
image of Angela touching the redhead.

“Thank you…” Lena mumbled.

“Is there anything else you’d like me to do?” Angela pulled the blanket up to Lena’s
chest, keeping her warm.

Lena shook her head. Angela’s gaze briefly shifted to the prone form beside Lena. When
she saw that Yulia had already fallen asleep, she kissed Lena’s lips.

“Good night, love.”

Lena just closed her eyes. She had no energy to refuse or accepted the kiss. When Angela
turned off the lights and left the room, Lena was ready to fall back into slumber. But a
soft breathing next to her pulled her from the looming darkness. She turned her head a
little and was startled by the dark silhouette beside her. With effort, she lifted her left
hand and turned on the small lamp beside the bed. She was puzzled at the sight of the
blonde. She feebly shook Yulia’s shoulder.

Yulia gave out a long yawn, rubbing her eyes. “Hmmm… It’s morning already?” She
gradually sat up, but winced and flopped back down.

“Are you… in pain…?”

Yulia’s head turned. “Oh, Mary, I’m still in your bedroom, hmmm,” she muttered.

Lena didn’t know what day or night it was. She felt she had been sleeping forever, but the
ache all over her body still lingered, even in the darkest nights. However, something in
the twinkling blue eyes temporarily pulled her focus away from the pain.

Yulia took liberty to softly stroked Lena’s face. But Lena flinched; the coldness from
Yulia’s palm shot right through her whole. Yulia caught it fast and pulled her hand back.

“You shouldn’t be… sleeping on the side…” Lena breathed. She didn’t want to close her
eyes just yet, knowing that Yulia would be gone by the time she could fight out of her
lonely dream again.

Yulia slipped under the blanket and obediently lied down on her back. She turned her
head to face Lena, watching her in the dimming light. “Do you still remember our little
talk that night?”

Lena stopped to think. Her head was blank.

“I made a promise to you.”

Lena couldn’t remember but lightly smiled at the thought anyway.

Yulia softly poked her finger at Lena’s cheek. “I’ll keep this smile. I take you will
remember it when I tell you this time.”

Lena’s eyes began to close, unable to resist the fatigue. She hoped that Yulia would say it
fast before she slipped away again. In the darkness, she felt a warm breath tickling her
right ear with three little words she would never forget.

rasoska
16-08-2005, 16:32
uhaku, you never fail to impress me:10x:
fabulous update :)

Volkster
16-08-2005, 22:35
Holy Mary mother of god!!!!! Damn internet connection that wouldn't allow me to log in!!!!

SO much has happened I feel like I don't have the words. Brilliant comes to mind as well as fabulously addictive, oh and yeah, they finally kissed - well did a little more than that but I'm not complaining!!! I loved the insight in the Irish's past!!! It was very appropriate. As for Mason's death, I think it should remain a myth - sort of.

Thanks for all the updates!!!

showMElove2
17-08-2005, 00:50
I think Roland knows but like Tonya said, he is in denial. Damn that Angela....
Thanks for the update!

Shakrin
17-08-2005, 02:03
So you think you can bully me like u did Shakrin? Think I’m nice like other fic writers?


I don’t think you were flirty,
I think you tried to flirt but failed miserably,
Now I think you’d kiss my ass if I ask you to,
But I gotta say that I don’t like you,
You’d want some of my attention—admiration,
Opps, I’m afraid you’re almost in detention,
You expect me to call you ‘kid’ and pat your head?
Urgh, I’m no saint, so you can suck my foot before you hit the bed!
’Cause you don’t know, you can’t understand that to this.
Bluntly, dear, you suck, and see if I give a shit.


This doesn't take long to write. Don't think you're worth my time that much.
You’re going straight to my IGNORE list. No shit.
I’ll have the lot reserved for you. Bye!



WE LOVE YOU UHAKU!!!!


oh what the hell who am i kidding,


*I* LOVE YOU UHAKU!!!

you have just received my total, utmost showering love and respect. damn that necrologist... what the hell is a necrologist anyways?!

:coctail:

warx
17-08-2005, 04:43
Lena’s eyes began to close, unable to resist the fatigue. She hoped that Yulia would say it
fast before she slipped away again. In the darkness, she felt a warm breath tickling her
right ear with three little words she would never forget.

3 lttle words? hmmmm...what could it be?? jejeje :D


hmmmmuhaku my dear...jejeje
nice chaps.... ;)

haku
17-08-2005, 04:55
what the hell is a necrologist anyway
Someone who writes necrologies.

Ningyo
18-08-2005, 03:39
Mel – You know me! I don’t even know where it’s heading! j/k. I kinda knew…
But it’s not too late to change my mind!

So you think you can bully me like u did Shakrin? :rolleyes: Think I’m nice like other fic writers?



Such temper! You just ruined my image of you... *runs off shrieking* LOL! Naaaaaah! Take a chill pill sis, seriously. We need you calm. :cool:

Now, why am I not surprised by the possibility of you changing the plot (again)? That's so typical of you! That's... an Uhakuism! :gigi:

Uhaku
22-08-2005, 15:22
thanks, rarsoska and showmelove. welcome back, volkster! u were gone for so long! and u know what it was, warx. No problem, shakrin And, mel, don't you love me when I was angry? :coctail: Nah, I was actually having fun rapping it! *tapping my foot* yo yo.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 38




Spring was finally here. A month and a half had never passed this achingly slow to
Lena Cohen. She had fallen in and out of consciousness for more times than she could
remember. Constant, acute headaches and high fever only blurred her mind even
more. Although she had become more solid in the past week, she was still confined to
bed due to the severely injured ribcage, which would take a few more months to be
fully healed.

In the dimming bedroom, Lena was lying on the bed and staring out the glassy
door to the balcony. The bright stars splattered all over the velvet skies in this lonely
night. Roland told her that he was taking Yulia out for a dinner. As always, Lena did
nothing but smiled for him.

As the thought burned in her mind, Lena tried to sit up in her bed. She had never felt
this helpless before, and it scared her as she didn’t know when her right hand would
heal. She feared the possibility of being unable to hold a gun more than the enemy
itself.

Panting on her back, she turned a little and caught a mirror standing at the corner of
the room. The glittering light from outside shone on the pale face she saw in the
reflection. She pulled herself up as carefully as possible. She was already out of
breath when she managed to sit up, leaning back against the large pillow.

Glaring into the mirror, the sight broke her. The wounds on her face had pretty much
healed, leaving a long, thin scar over her forehead. Her red hair seemed like the only
color painted on the black and white picture she was seeing. A tear threatened to come
out as she slowly lifted her hand to touch where the grayness had clouded the left of
her usually bright, green eye. Trying to suppress her hard breathing, she bit her lips
and cursed endlessly in her heart.

She gradually remembered the earlier days of the injury. It was hellish to her. She
nearly went insane when she woke from the enormous pain one moment to find that
the injury had caused her left eyesight. At the moment, all hope was gone and she
wished to just die. But here she was, hanging on once more. She was surprised at her
unconscious will to fight, unsure whether it was the yearning to hate, or the newfound
longing that kept her going.

>>>

“What do you see?” a soft womanly voice asked.

In a tiny, comfy-looking bedroom, the ten-year-old, red-haired girl in a white
nightgown stared into the small mirror on the desk. A pair of large hands embraced her from
behind, and she looked up to the only love she knew.

“I see me, Celia,” she replied.

With the girl sitting on her laps, the woman chuckled. “You see a great person in
there. She’ll grow up to be a good and loving woman one day. She’ll have a decent
job, and she’ll find someone to love.”

“Roland said it’s better to have someone loving us.”

“I already love all of you. Now, when you grow up, you’ll learn to love others.”

“But I already love you!”

Celia received a sudden, tight hug from the girl, and she laughed.

>>>

Lena took another long look into the mirror again, absorbing the sight of the person
she had to learn to know again. She was nothing Celia knew or wanted her to be. She
chose her path, following the darkest of her heart. While Roland had lost nothing, she
had to watch everything taken away from her. She wouldn’t know why she always
compared herself with him, but it seemed that they were more than just brother and
sister. They were unconsciously each other’s reflection of what they longed to be.

>>>

“I was afraid you’d be bored.”

Yulia and Roland were sitting at a round table. They were the only two customers in
this newly opened, Italian restaurant in Hyde Park area. Roland had bought the whole
place for the night, paranoid while wanting to have some fun. There were twenty
guards in the kitchen, the backdoor and in front of the restaurant, making sure that
tonight would go as smoothly as possible.

“This is a very nice place,” Yulia said, politely smiling. She picked a piece of bread
and dipped it into the olive oil. Already felt exhausted and ready to go to bed, she
actually would love to stay at home, excited that Lena was getting better and hoping
to spend some times with her. But Roland insisted a night out. She understood how
desperate he must be, having to take care of Lena and seeing his best friend in such
horrid state for six long weeks. This little dinner was probably all she could afford to
do for him at the moment.

“Have you been visiting Celia?” Yulia asked.

Sipping his wine, Roland raised his brows. “I’m surprised Lena told you about her.”

Yulia lowered her gaze slightly at his statement. She remembered when Lena told her
how everything changed after Mason. She had heard Lena calling for the woman in
her sleep. Lena must have wanted to see Celia again, although she would never admit
it.

“Lena stopped seeing Celia for four years now. Every time Celia invited us to some
parties, Lena just refused and sent me there instead. I don’t quite understand why, but
you know Lena, she has her own way of doing things… I wanted to invite Celia to my
home when I thought Lena might not make it, but… I don’t seem to know what Lena
wanted anymore.”

“That’s nonsense! You two are best of friends!” Yulia gently grabbed his hand.

Roland finished his fourth glass of wine and sighed. “She never told me why she
killed Mason, or how she got the secret documents. She’s become this person with so
many secrets I’m not apart of… It seems she only stays with me because of sympathy.
I’m nothing without her.”

“She cares so much for you, Roland,” Yulia stated, looking worried.

Roland tightened his grip on her hand. “You seem… to understand her so well…”

Yulia averted her gaze to elsewhere, fearing he might see through it. She thought she
could gather her strength and spoke the truth after all that had happened. But it was all
because Lena loved her friend so much that Yulia, for once, was afraid to destroy the
love she saw. The fact that Roland had been so sincerely concerned for her during
both good and bad times only made it more difficult. She wondered when she could
get out of this mess. It was taunting her more and more each day.

>>>

In the dark, Lena was lying on the bed, eyes closed. She was too tired. She would just
let herself fall into yet another slumber, and hopelessly prayed that she would wake
up again to see the world in a brighter shade.

Suddenly, she jerked at the soft touch on her face. For a split second, she thought to
grab her gun, but her ailing body wasn’t listening as usual. Her heart skipped a beat at
the sight of Celia Cohen standing beside the bed. Tears welled up her eyes the instant
Celia looked down at her, giving her the warmest smile she could remember.

“How you have changed…” Celia muttered, her voice shaken. She fell to her knees
and wrapped Lena in a desperate, but careful embrace. Someone had harmed her little
girl, and she could do nothing about it. So many things had changed since the day she
learned of Gwen’s murder from the newspapers, but she was afraid to interfere. She
didn’t know how to approach her little girl anymore.

But all that didn’t matter when she received the horrible news about Lena’s injury
from Roland last week. The young man had finally made up his mind. He asked her to
come tonight, while he would be out dinning somewhere, allowing them the private time
together. Celia just hoped that Lena would not shun her out again.

>>>

A wide smile came across Yulia’s face after Roland told her the true reason why they
were having dinner out here tonight. She was thankful that he made the right decision.

“I know it’s silly, but sometimes I am jealous of her…” Roland stared down at the
empty glass of wine. “Celia has always loved her more than me. That’s always the
case… If Lena happens to die, which will forever break my heart, Celia will only
have me. I’m a stupid piece of shit.” He scoffed.

“It is silly, little grumpy boy,” Yulia said, smiling. Growing up with all the love her
parents showered her, she never expected that there would be someone from the other
side of town desperate to be loved. She began to wonder what it would be like to grow
up without Dimitri. That would have killed her.

Roland gave her a full smile, shifting in his seat with excitement. “I didn’t invite Celia
because I thought Lena’s dying, but because she’s going to live for many years! It’s
time they need to talk over whatever that was pulling them apart after all these years. I
miss celebrating Christmas with both of them!”

Yulia laughed at the mention of Christmas, which reminded her of how Lena ruined
the last one. She had just realized that only a dine-out could make her miss the ever so
frigid, but fiery redhead this much.

“Let’s give her one more chance to redeem herself,” Roland said, grinning.

>>>

Kneeling beside the bed, Celia feverishly stroke Lena’s face. She noted Lena’s pale,
cold skin and began to rub her hand warm.

“I’m all right…”

“I know you are,” Celia said firmly.

Lena lifted her hand and touched the warm smile on the woman’s face, wanting to
keep it locked in her heart. Her strength eventually failed her; her hand flopped down.

“I’m sorry—”

“There is no need. You shouldn’t have to be sorry for anything.”

Lena looked away. Suddenly, she became so self-conscious of the grayness in her left
eye like it was a deserved punishment on her. “There is… so much… I’ve done so…”
She felt tears began to flood her eyes again, frustrated at how weak she was.

Shaking her head, Celia pressed her finger over Lena’s lips to quiet her sob. She
planted a firm kiss over Lena’s forehead and prayed that this night would heal them
both.

>>>

The night was getting darker, but Yulia had just warmed up to this dine-out. She
leaned back in her chair, laughing when Roland told her how little Lena could climb
trees faster than monkeys. The vision in her mind just brightened her heart. She
sipped her wine a little before looking up to see a grim look in Roland’s eyes. She
turned to look at the doorway and froze in her seat.

Panicking, Oliver ran into the restaurant, heading towards them. Looking through the
glassy wall in front of the restaurant, three black cars parking were parking along the
curbside. Roland’s men were engaging in an intense conversation with the men from
the cars.

“It’s Holden, sir!”

“What does he want?” Roland asked calmly.

Yulia thanked God that Holden didn’t just throw a grenade into the restaurant. It
seemed the secret documents worked like a voodoo curse.

“He demands a private talk with you, sir. He wouldn’t leave.”

Yulia could see smiling Holden Young coming out of the car, waving his hands to
Roland’s men as if to calm them down. Holden looked into the restaurant and pointed
his finger at Roland and her.

“Let him in,” Roland said. He then turned to Yulia. “Oliver can take you home—”

“I’ll stay,” Yulia said.

Roland just nodded. He must have been too nervous to think anything through. For
once, he couldn’t let the Irish stand up for him.

After Holden let Roland’s men searched for weapons, he strode into the restaurant
with ease, far more composed than Roland, who was just sitting and waiting for the
arrival of the invader.

“Good evening, Ms. Volkova. Hello, Myer.” Holden took off his hat and proceeded to
sit down at their table, the smile never left his face. “May I have a glass of wine?” He
looked around at the waiters.

Roland nodded at the waiter, and the boy came to pour a glass for Holden.

“How are you, Myer? I believe your friend is doing well? Why isn’t she here with you
tonight?” Holden then laughed.

Yulia had to fight to stop herself from lunging at the man, tearing his eyeballs out and
poured some salt over the wound.

“She’s fine,” Roland said curtly. “What do you want?”

“Why rush the night? You might like how tonight will turn out.”

Yulia glared at Holden, keeping her mouth shut.

Holden Young smiled at the beautiful blonde, eyeing her up and down. “I would have
invited you to one of my gala dinners if your father did not shamelessly deny our
alliance. What a pity.”

“Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?” Roland stared hard at Holden.

Holden clasped his hands. “Right! Due to the Irish’s absence, now you’re the head of
the gang—”

“She’s still around, mind you,” Roland interrupted.

Holden took liberty to brush Roland’s shoulder. “Well, let’s not put yourself down so
fast, Myer. We all know you’re more capable than hiding behind the Irish’s skirt—”

Roland pushed Holden’s hand away.

Holden chuckled. “I’m here to strike a business deal. I still need to feed my people;
thus, I can’t bury myself in the past, can I? And when it is you, it makes it easier for
me. We can make a deal together.”

“What deal?” Roland frowned.

Yulia sat tightly. She didn’t understand why Roland was still calm, having the
conversation with the man who almost killed his best friend.

Holden glanced at Yulia for a moment, seemingly reading her mind. Clearing his
throat, he stood up and put on his hat. “I’m delighted to be here this evening, but we
shall discuss this later on, Myer. I shall leave you the time to fancy the idea of the endless
possibility of our business together over this dinner. Good night.”

When Holden and his men left, Yulia turned to stare at Roland.

“Why didn’t you just chase him away?”

“We are already enemies. We do not have to show it.”

“But you will not work with him.”

Roland laughed heartily. “Money makes friends, Yulia. Holden knows that he can’t
hold it against us for long. It’s doing him no good. Trust me. Lena won’t object. It’s
only business.”

Yulia sighed quietly. She just hoped that Roland knew what he was doing.

Volkster
22-08-2005, 18:14
Wow!!! I didn't expect Celia to make an appearance! I think she is gonna do Lena some good!

As for Roland, I don't know what to say! I'm assuming thatsomwhere along the line he screwed things pretty bad and that's why at the beginning we learn that he committed a crime that Yulia would never forgive him for!

Anyway!!! Thanks for the update! It's good to be back!

showMElove2
23-08-2005, 05:27
You just keep the surprises coming....in this case Celia. I also think the she is good for the Irish in her particular state. As for Roland, it seems he is going to let his insecurities of living in Lena's shadow get the best of him :(

dare2dream28
23-08-2005, 22:14
Oy! I thought I had posted a reply, but I don't see it. :ithink:

Anyways, Volkster...I totally agree! That's exactly what I was thinking. I reread the fic in its entirety the other night and had realized I forgotten that Roland whined about doing something bad...now I'm worried about what it is!

I'm surprised at how Roland can't see what's going on between Lena & Yulia. Or hmmm, maybe he *does* realize and...well, I won't go there. LOL

I was definitely surprised at Celia's visit! Wow! Great story uhaku, can't wait for another update!

Blue-Amy
24-08-2005, 22:32
I'm glad that Celia didn't remain just a character in the past...even if Mason's murder may reamin a mistery..:coctail: ...as well as the others, let's hope Celia will make some light in the tortured soul of the Irish...
hmm..what do u mean by 'I hope it won't throw you'?... I'll never leave this story, no matter how sad the ending may seem to be!...I'll be very silly to do that.. ;)

febrika
27-08-2005, 11:05
So you think you can bully me like u did Shakrin? :rolleyes: Think I’m nice like other fic writers?


I don’t think you were flirty,
I think you tried to flirt but failed miserably,
Now I think you’d kiss my ass if I ask you to,
But I gotta say that I don’t like you,
You’d want some of my attention—admiration,
Opps, I’m afraid you’re almost in detention,
You expect me to call you ‘kid’ and pat your head?
Urgh, I’m no saint, so you can suck my foot before you hit the bed!
’Cause you don’t know, you can’t understand that to this.
Bluntly, dear, you suck, and see if I give a shit.


This doesn't take long to write. Don't think you're worth my time that much.
You’re going straight :lalala: to my IGNORE list. No shit.
I’ll have the lot reserved for you. Bye! :coctail:


p.s. sorry, Ec. Couldn’t help it. :dead:


Now the update is here. I never force anybody to read, so don’t pretend otherwise.
You’re free to leave, and I’ll never gonna stop you. This update is posted in a hurry, as
someone demanded so. So i apologize if there's a typo or something.




:eek:

right to go uhaku! havent read the irish yet, me just finish copy past this 7 pages 38 chaps of u :cool: but stop rite away when i read those things! havent seen u angry. YAY. quite scary 4 me LOL so keep on writing n dont forget DW :no:

Uhaku
27-08-2005, 18:06
finally the time to update. i was sooooo tired the past week. been busy at work.
not to mention how i am so addicted to Noir series! sorry! now here it is for the irish!

volkster - right right. a mistake that it won't be forgotten after 70 years. :coctail:
showmelove - celia is good until she's not. :p
d2d - ^_^ so happy to know that it didn't get boring after only one read.
amy - thanksss. :) i guess i never fit to write a happy ending. though i tried.
and i agree with u to leave mason as mystery.
febrika - let's leave my anger to the past, shall we? :cool: Oh, dw... it's strange
that u r the second person today who asked about it. Eeeeekkkk!!!


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 39


Lena awoke to see shimmering light reflecting upon the golden, wallpapered ceiling.
It was well into the third month of the healing and resting, and she was feeling
stronger and more lucid each day past. The acute headache was still there every
sunrise, but she was able to cope with the scope of severity now. The cast on her right
leg was removed just a few days ago, and she felt reborn.

With her right arm still tightly wrapped up, Lena slowly sat up on the bed, careful of
her aching ribcage. She reached for the cane beside the bed and shakily pushed herself
up. She moved to the desk, where Angela had prepared a fresh towel and a small
basin with warm water for her, and proceeded to clean her face and brushed her teeth.
It amazed her that small routines had become such a big deal now. Roland wouldn’t
allow her to do more than necessary.

After she was done with morning business, she put a coat over her shoulders and
walked out to the balcony. She hung the cane along the edge of the white, round table,
and sat down. She sighed in content as she breathed in the spring air. Narrowing her
eyes at the bright sunlight, she glanced around and her gaze stopped at a sunflower
that had grown so tall it reached the edge of the balcony. Strangely, while all others
faced the other way, following the sun, the one that was the closest to the balcony was
faced her way.

“Good morning.”

Lena frowned at the voice from below. Grabbing the cane, she walked to the edge of
the balcony, looking down at the backyard.

Yulia was wearing a straw hat, a yellow apron over her dark clothes, and a pair of
black boots. She raised one hand up to shade her eyes. She was surrounded by with
daisies, roses, gerberas and sunflowers. The blonde had been busy gardening in
Roland’s backyard, ignoring her father’s concern about her injury. Nothing was going
to come between her and the plants now.

Lena glanced back at the sunflower that seemed to be staring at her. Yulia had grown
these, hoping they will reach the balcony, and they did.

Yulia squint up. “It’s weird, isn’t it? It thinks you’re the sun.”

“I’m honored.” Lena chuckled and then looked down at Yulia. For a moment, they
just stood there, unable to take their eyes off the other.

“Well, I think it may be right….”

Lena looked away to avoid the blonde’s persistent stare. She was merrily amused by
the good mood Yulia seemed to be in. “Thank you growing them. They’re beautiful.”

“No problem.” Grinning like a child, Yulia returned to her gardening task, delighted
to know that the Irish was watching her work of marvel.


>>>


Inside the living room, Roland was standing by his desk, looking out the window to
the backyard with a burning cigarette between his fingers. He had been watching the
little exchange between the two women, confused and tortured by it.

There was no denying that Dimitri was openly disapproved of any friendship between
the two, and Roland only had guessed the reason now. How blind he was? It was
written all over Yulia’s face when she was talking to the woman up on the balcony,
completely ignoring the man standing by the window. He was right in front of her, but
she didn’t see him.

Roland slowly stabbed the cigarette in the already full ashtray. Lena must have known
it all along. He just hated it when his friend tried to patronize him. He never had a
problem being in the Irish’s shadows, but that was all he was going to take. He did not
need her to give something up for him.


>>>


Lena decided to join the dinner with everyone else for the first time this evening. She
felt strong enough to walk down the stairs with that cane Roland got for her. But she
couldn’t help looking down, slightly nodding back at the men who were gathering
around. They acted as though they were interested in their trivial conversations, but
she knew they were here just to get a glimpse of her. That grayness in her left eye
though made her feel restless. She didn’t know where to look.

When Lena entered the dinning room, Dimitri was already seated, but alone. It was
the first time she got to face him after that night in the warehouse. He must have paid
her a visit or two, but she couldn’t remember much back then. She sat opposite to
him, wondering where Yulia and Roland were.

“Let’s eat. We don’t have to wait for them. They went out for a picture! A picture! I
don’t remember what it’s called. These two never learn their lesson! Never! What if
that prick Holden corners them again!?”

Deep in thought, Lena kept her gaze down. This came as a bitter surprise to her.
Choosing not to respond, she just sipped the hot tea Angela prepared for her.

“Although it’s only a few hours at most, I don’t trust him. I don’t! He could handle a
simple, skiing trip I have no doubt about that!”

Dimitri started gobbling up his baked salmon. When he looked up, he was puzzled at
the Irish’s stare. He stabbed a piece of salmon and held his fork to her. “Would you
like some?”

Lena shook her head, but way too fast. She felt dizzy all of a sudden. Oh… no…
And she thought she was getting better. Frowning, she looked up at Angela, who was
standing at the doorway. “When is Dr. Sheridan coming in again?” she whispered
hoarsely, almost in anger. She was frustrated to when she would be fully recovered.
She had waited long enough.

“He’s coming in tomorrow afternoon, ma’am. Are you feeling sick?” Angela
approached her. She put her hands around Lena’s shoulders.

Lena looked around for a bin. She felt nauseous, ready to vomit now. Gradually, she
stood up and fumbled for the cane. “I’ll go upstairs…”

Angela was going to follow. But Dimitri had already finished his meal; he put his
hand over the maid’s shoulder, motioning her to stay. He left the dinning room,
following the redhead.


>>>


Lena was gagging over the toilet, supporting herself with her good hand. She hadn’t
had much all day. Nothing came out of her stomach but the juice. She slumped back
down on the floor, completely winded. Her head was spinning. She was sweating and
her body felt so cold. She opened her eyes as a large hand wiped a wet towel over her
mouth.

“Drink some water,” Dimitri said, handing her a glass of warm water.

Sipping it, Lena shakily held the glass, so Dimitri held it up for her. He was going to
hold her up from the floor, but she brushed his hand away. She pushed herself up and
made her way out of the bathroom, collapsing down on the bed.

Sighing, Dimitri moved beside her and put the blanket over her. “I’ll tell Angela to
prepare something for you.”

Lena just shook her head. She had lost all the appetite now.

“You have to eat something anyway. The headache is still so bad?”

Breathing hard, Lena shut her eyes, blocking the swirling from her sight. She cursed
and cursed in her head.

“The doc said it will take a few more months for the blood clot to dissolve naturally.
Just be patient.” Dimitri stroked her clenched, trembling fist. “Let it go, kid. Let it
go.”

“How can I!? I can’t even see you now!”

Dimitri was startled at her sudden yell. He tried to release his hand from her harsh
grip. “Open your eyes then, for God’s sake!”

“Why did you save me anyway!?” Lena unconsciously threw a punch at his arm with
her broken hand. She immediately curled into a ball, wincing in pain.

“Is this what you’ve become!? Defeated like a dog! If I had known, I wouldn’t have
helped you!”

Panting, Lena glared up at him. When the throbbing in her right hand subsided, the
ache in her ribcage resurfaced. She groaned as she slowly lied on her back.

Dimitri roughly wiped the sweat off her face. “I didn’t save you, rat! I saved the Irish,
remember that!” He stood up, but she grabbed his hand.

“You couldn’t have done it just because of her. What do you want?” Lena glowered.

Dimitri stared at her for a while, and then angrily pulled his hand away. “You just
don’t know what a father could do for his daughter. You shamed me.” He started to
walk away.

Lena ignored the pain in her ribcage and sprung up from the bed. “I wouldn’t know!”

Dimitri turned around. “I already showed you. Believe it or not, that is up to you.” He
strode out of the room and slammed the door shut.

Lena flopped back down, wheezing. She had meant to thank him, but it seemed she
just ruined the chance. She just couldn’t believe that she was that important to make
Dimitri risk for her.

After a few moments of tossing and turning in agony, she just lied idly, staring up at
the ceiling. Her breathing became regular. The ache in her wound began to cave in,
but the truth stabbed her heart. The loneliness had grown into bitterness and blinded
her far worse than the fog in her eye. There was no love, nor light to show her the
way.

showMElove2
28-08-2005, 05:59
So Roland finally got a clue, well good for him!! Lena, seems to be a long way from recovering mentally as it has to be hard for her to have to rely on others. The exhanges between her and Yulia continues to be full of angst and longing......oh what sweet torture! Thanks for updating, I know how hard it is to find time so it is much appreciated :rose:

Volkster
28-08-2005, 11:57
Lena, Lena, Lena!!! Open your bloody eyes and look around you!!! Dimitri saved you exactly because someone loves you!!!(RIGHT???? :D )
And Roland, it was about time to see what was right in front of you!! I hope he doesn't give Yulia a hard time with his realisation!!!Thanks for the update and like showMElove2 said, it is much appreciated!!!

rasoska
28-08-2005, 17:46
well showmelove2 already said pretty much the same thing i was thinking. lena's still far from recovery, especially mental, and i couldn't express myself better about lena's and yulia's exchanges. those moments are always intense and built with emotions :yes:

and like volkster said, it was about time. i only hope he wont do something stupid cause of it :none:

and the last two sentences, they're just brilliant :rose:

thanks for the update:). patiently (i wish :lalala: ) waiting for the next one :coctail:

Uhaku
01-09-2005, 17:18
I seem to be out of energy lately. I got home and took a nap already.
*yawns*. Sorry for not updating it sooner, yo.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 40


In the hazy morning, Lena strolled along Lake Michigan. A white scarf around her
neck, she was in a gray coat, a black skirt, and a pair of black stockings. Wearing a
pair of sunglasses, she stood the collar of the coat up and put both hands back in the
pockets. Although her right arm was freed now, her right hand was still wrapped with
the white bandage, waiting for a full recovery. The headache was still there, but the
idea of walking with a cane outside of the house never entered her mind.

Looking ahead, she saw nothing but whiteness and her own foggy breaths. The sound
of footsteps from her bodyguards followed distantly, but she paid no mind to it. She
kept walking without a destination in mind.

All of a sudden, a black Cadillac pulled over along the curbside. The door swung
open and young Volkova climbed out. The whiteness of the blonde’s clothing could
easily blend in with the mist around them, but those blue eyes shone so brightly as
though it was the only color in view.

They stood face to face as the car slowly drove away. The sound of footsteps also
stopped. Even though the bodyguards deliberately left some private space for their
bosses, they were not too far away.

In the Irish’s expressionless stare, Yulia timidly brushed a strand of her hair from her
face. “How have you enjoyed morning walk so far?”

The red-haired woman looked the other way. She didn’t have an answer. She was just
trying to feel normal again. The need to feel alive became so enormous it scared her.
Unconsciously, she was already heading towards Celia Cohen’s apartment building. It
was only a few blocks away.

“May I join you?” Yulia took one step closer to the redhead.

“Roland could accompany you.” Lena turned and continued her walk.

The blonde looked grim at once, and silently followed. As they were at the same pace,
Yulia looked up and stared straight at her companion. But her intent gaze couldn’t
seem to grip Lena’s attention. Lena had become distant during the past weeks. Going
to the picture with Roland that night seemed to be the cause of it. Yulia would have
been thrilled by Lena’s reaction. However, it worried her now that the redhead was
taking it all the wrong way.

“I still meant what I said that night.” Yulia watched Lena intently.

“I don’t know what you’re referring to.”

Yulia pulled Lena’s arm, stopping her. “You do remember.”

Lena paused for a second, a frown replacing the blank look on her face.

Yulia instantly let go off her. “Did I hurt you?”

Standing absolutely still, Lena tried to understand the ache, not around the wound, but
the one deep inside her heart. She absentmindedly raised her hand to her chest, but
then scoffed at herself.

“I don’t want a relationship with him, but I can’t just ignore his friendly gestures, can
I? He’s been so good to me and my father,” Yulia said, looking down. Lena had done
nothing to demand an explanation, nor made clear of where their relationship stood.
Yulia felt she could have been making a fool out of herself at the moment.

To Yulia’s surprise, Lena just took her hand and continued their walk. They moved in
silence for a while, each deep in their thoughts. Yulia wished this moment would last
forever, while Lena wondered if Celia would enjoy the blonde’s company. It amazed
Lena that she even cared how to present Yulia to her godmother. Celia’s last visit had
been too short, and Lena was too weak back then to talk much. She had so much to
tell now and secretly prayed for the courage to do it.

“Where are we going?” Yulia smiled as Lena tightened their grip.

Lena pointed ahead. The wind had blown the fog deeper into the lake, revealing the
series of three story buildings along the opposite curbside. “Celia lives there. Let’s
cross the street.”

Yulia’s heart skipped a beat at the small smile on the redhead’s face. It scared her that
she had never readily followed anyone like this. It intimidated her that she had never
feared to lose grip of anyone’s hand, but was doing so now. She did not want to let go
again.


>>>


The bodyguards gathered around just outside the entrance, while Lena and Yulia
entered the building. The redhead took the sunglasses off, and Yulia could see the
light reflecting over the grayness in the injured left eye, so clearly now it hurt inside.

Lena stoically took one step further. The lobby looked desert. The old piano stood at
the corner, its strings cut and bent up. The worn, crimson sofa was flipped against the
rusty-green, painted walls. Broken glasses, tables and chairs were scattered around on
the tiled floor.

Lena put one hand before Yulia, motioning her to stay where she was. She promptly
took the gun out of her pocket with her good hand. She wasn’t sure if she could shoot
right with this untrained hand, but that was all she could do at the moment.

“Hello—oh, my God!” A young, short-haired brunette, who couldn’t have been more
than fourteen, came through the backdoor, and screamed at the sight of the gun in
Lena’s hand.

The Irish aimed at the girl. She could be Celia’s maid, but Lena wasn’t taking
chances.

The girl raised both hands up in surrender. “Please don’t shoot—”

“Where is Celia?”

The bodyguards stormed through the front door, aiming their guns at the girl as well.

“Celia is upstairs! Please don’t shoot me!”

Lena glanced around. “What happened to this place?”

“Some people came and—and they tried to hurt us!”

“Who?”

“They didn’t say. They had guns, and they told us not to report to the police.”

Lena just waited for the girl to recollect her memory. Surely, there would be
something more. There wasn’t much in this place to steal. Nobody would waste their
time to wreck this place unless they wanted to send a message.

The girl finally looked up again. “They… They said ‘the Irish is dead’.”

Coldly staring at the girl, Lena raised her hand and fired the gun three times, hitting
the wall just an inch over the girl’s head, all at the same spot. The girl froze in her
post, trembling in fright.

Lena walked past her to get to the stairway. “When they come again, you will tell
them that she’s back.”


>>>


The second floor had been wrecked in madness as well. The windows were broken,
letting the cold wind in. The bookshelves were flipped down to the floor. Pieces of
glasses scattered everywhere. Lena didn’t waste any more time. Gripping the gun, she
burst through the door to Celia’s bedroom.

“Lena…?” Celia’s head shot up. She was sitting on the bed with a bible in her hand.

Lena marched into the room, glancing around. She peeked down the window, relieved
to see no one along the curbside below.

Yulia came to stand by the door, bewildered at the place in ruins.

Lena eventually turned to Celia. “Did they hurt you?”

“No, good Lord, they didn’t! But they surely scared me to death! Oh, Lena, are you
well enough to get out of bed?” Celia then caught sight of the gun in Lena’s hand.
“What are you doing with the gun…?” she muttered.

At the last words, Lena could hear the older woman’s heart break. Celia hadn’t
discovered what Lena and Roland had been doing for the past three years. But with all
that had happened, it should become clear to their godmother now.

Lena just stood there, staring at the bible in Celia’s hand. She was too guilt-ridden to
put the gun back in her pocket, too ashamed to hide it now. She just watched Celia’s
expression from fear to heartbroken to anger.

“What are you doing here?” Celia asked with a shaken voice.

“For a prayer, perhaps,” Lena said coldly, whilst trying to shut her inner scream for
forgiveness.

Celia didn’t even blink. If there was one person in the world who could falter the
Irish, it would be her. Celia stood up, the bible slipping from her hands and falling
onto the floor. “You… You are the Irish they talked about…”

Lena looked away, but her gaze fell upon the picture frame on the desk. When she
saw herself as a little girl with Celia, she decided right then that she hated everything
the Irish gave her. The Irish brought only emptiness, taking her away from everything
she cherished. Like a coward girl she once was, leaving Becky to die, she now wanted
to run from Celia.

“What have you become? Tell me, my little Lena.” Tears brimmed in Celia’s eyes.

“You can’t stay here anymore. I’ll take you to Roland—”

“Who are you?” Celia paced around, and then glared at Yulia. “Who are you
people!?”

Lena’s gaze dropped.

“Roland told me that you were hurt by some thieves. That wasn’t true, was it!? Who
were those men at the house? Who are you!?” Celia pushed Lena, causing the redhead
to tumble a few steps back.

Yulia almost ran to Lena’s side, but decided not to interfere at the last second.

Lena clutched the gun in her hand so hard her whole body trembled. Celia would have
hated her. Celia would never understand. Lena could lose the only person who could
show her the light, but she still couldn’t lose the gun. Her world was so empty without
hate, so cold without burning anger.

“I…” Lena shook her head. She was unable to believe what she knew was true. She
gradually looked up as a tear fell from the mist in her eye. Her lips moved as if
hypnotized by the Devil himself. She wanted to scream to shut herself up. “I am the
one who seek revenge…I am the one who cannot forgive, nor forget…”

At the murmuring confession, tears slid down Celia’s both cheeks. The Irish had
killed her little girl years ago. She did not know who was standing right in front of her
anymore.


>>>


In the morning haze, Lena ran as fast as she could. She didn’t even stop to breathe.
Her legs kept going even though her vision began to swirl. Approaching the lake, she
angrily threw the gun into the cold water, watching her soul sink to the abyss of
numbness. The pain shot through her wound again, but her heart ached even deeper.
Panting, she failed to her knees as Yulia rushed to embrace her from behind.

With only an eye to see, she saw it clearer than ever. Gwen deserted her in the middle
of the brewing hope. Becky then buried the innocence left in her. She would kill again
and again in an attempt to get it all back, but was only pushed further away. The path
had blinded her, darkness enslaved her. For the lost memory, she would raise hell and
bring heaven to its knees. Yet, she was so alone.

“Nothing is above me… Nothing… I’ve got nothing…”

Resting her forehead against Lena’s shoulder, Yulia tightened her arms around the
other woman’s waist.

Lena let out a small, dry chuckle as she clutched Yulia’s hand in return. A simple
truth then dawned on her. Nothing was above her, but there could be no heaven
without these arms around her.

dare2dream28
01-09-2005, 20:51
Lena walked past her to get to the stairway. “When they come again, you will tell
them that she’s back.”


When I read that, I was like, "HELL YEAH! Way to show them!" Then I read further in the chapter and I felt so bad for Lena (not the Irish, but Lena). It's sad how once what she turned to to help overcome her problems (violence) is now the very thing to bring her down. I can't imagine the hurt she feels when Celia disproves of her.

I enjoyed Lena & Yulia's exchanges. :) And I love this:

Lena let out a small, dry chuckle as she clutched Yulia’s hand in return. A simple
truth then dawned on her. Nothing was above her, but there could be no heaven
without these arms around her.

Great update as always uhaku. :)

showMElove2
01-09-2005, 21:33
That was a bittersweet update for obvious reasons and I loved it! I am glad that both girls have come to some realizations but I wonder what this will do to the Irish?? Thanks for the update!!

Blue-Amy
02-09-2005, 20:42
Great update!!!...I love it especially when Lena realized it was the first time she was terrified of lossing grip of Yulia's hand...and of course the last part that D2D quoted was breathtaking.. :)
thx uhaku for sharing this story with us! :cool:

serbiantatu
02-09-2005, 21:55
...Wow! I wasnt online for sometime n didnt get chance to read this story but it kept me reading till i didnt get to the last update, and all i can say is wow! You are just an amazing writer, i totally love it even tho i never was into old times stories that is till now. Again wow! Maybe even my second fave story for now (of course 666 will always stay my all time favorite). Id tell you keep with great job Lin but theres no need cos u dont even know to do it otherwise but great.

Volkster
05-09-2005, 15:44
For some reason I absolutely LOVEd this line The path
had blinded her, darkness enslaved her.

The update was gripping as ever even if the action was less. I still love it!!!

Thanks!!!

serbiantatu
06-09-2005, 11:59
*sits n waits* but Lin today is 'tomorrow' n no sign of update :( And i woke up early just to read it..Damnit lol.. (you just take ur time im just lil inpatient - sorry)

Uhaku
06-09-2005, 14:26
Hello, guys. I hope I didn't keep u waiting for too long. Alright, i hope I feed u the update
in time. Sorry for the lateness! Gotta run!


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 41


It had been a few days since Lena moved back to her apartment. As Roland
demanded, she rented a room adjoining to hers and another one on the first floor for
the bodyguards to keep watch twenty-four/seven. The landlord had always been kind
to young Cohen until he learned of her true status, but he was too scared to chase her
away. Upon realization, nobody was foolish enough to do that.

In the warmth of her own living room, Lena began cleaning up the furniture, which
had been left untouched for several months since last Christmas. It was good to be
home again. Angela wanted to come and help her, but Lena kindly rejected the offer.
As long as she still did not know what to do with Yulia and Roland, she thought to put
her relationship with Angela on hold. Complication was the last thing she wanted on
her mind these days. She was exhausted enough physically and emotionally to deal
with any matter right now.

A knock came upon the door when Lena was trying to stuff all the board games and
cards back into their appropriated containers. She grumbled at bit at the thought of
Angela at the door. The maid was too persistent at times. She got up and strode to the
door, not having to watch out because the bodyguards would have checked the
visitors before letting them come to her room. She actually positively agreed with
Roland’s idea now.

Lena opened the door. She didn’t even take the time to look. “Angela, I told you—”
She stopped short at the sight of Yulia.

Young Volkova was in a black sweater and white skirt. She was holding a basket full
of fruits, greeting the host with a lopsided smile. “Good morning, Ms. Cohen. It is
really too bad that the maid didn’t tag along with me. I simply didn’t allow her,” she
said, pushing her way in.

The guards at the other end of the hallway nudged one another to look, causing Lena
to promptly shut the door.

Yulia made her way into the kitchen and put the basket on the counter. She then filled
up a stainless pot with water and put it on the stove.

“What are you doing?” Lena hugged herself as she leaned against the doorframe.

“Since the host doesn’t really welcome me, I’m making some coffee for myself.”
Yulia bent down to find nothing but some bottles containing dry tea leafs under the
counter. “Do you not drink coffee?”

Chuckling, Lena moved beside Yulia to open another cupboard. She picked out a white jar.

“Thank you—” Yulia reached for the object, but Lena held it back.

They allowed only a short moment for their gazes to meet before Lena broke the silence.

“I’ll make it for you.”

Yulia hesitantly moved away to make room for Lena. They stood side by side,
pretending to be interested in making the said cup of coffee. Lena’s hand slightly
trembled out of nervousness as she spooned the dark brown substance from the jar.
Surely, Lena could hear Yulia’s suppressed chortle, but she chose to ignore it.

In silence, they just stood and waited for the water to boil. Lena leaned back against
the counter, fixing her gaze upon Yulia’s reflection on the stainless pot. But subtlety
was never one of Yulia’s virtues; she did nothing to hide her blatant leer at the
redhead, adoring the pinkish shade on Lena’s cheeks.

“You could just look at me,” Yulia said.

Lena crossed her arms.

“It would make our lives easier,” Yulia added.

Biting her lips, Lena looked down.

Yulia moved an inch closer, staring at the redhead intently. “For you information, I’ve
moved back to my ranch with my father. I don’t think I’ve rushed you… but it’s time
to make up your mind.”

Lena’s arms tensed around her own body, fearing she would just have to take the
other woman into her embrace. Ironically, pulling a trigger seemed to be an easier
task for her. She sighed and looked up at the ceiling, finding nowhere to place her
wandering gaze. Maybe it was really the time to move on. After having spent a night
together at the deserted ranch, she had done nothing to keep Yulia close. She was
even willing to let the blonde leave for London with another man. But after all that
had happened, Yulia was still standing right here, waiting for some resolution. Lena
felt obliged to make a decision now.

“The water is ready,” Lena remarked as the pot screeched. She didn’t even have to
look, but she could feel Yulia’s gaze upon her. Turning her back to the blonde, she
fumbled for the towel to grab the pot with and poured some water into the cup. She
muttered an apology when she spilled the hot water onto the counter.

“I’ll make you another cup.” Lena lethargically threw the edge-brimming coffee into
the sink.

“It’s all right. I’m so wide awake, I don’t need it now.”

Lena’s head shot up at Yulia’s whispered words. She certainly hoped that Yulia
hadn’t meant her. She fidgety turned, but Yulia just glided out of the kitchen
and headed to the door.

“I—I would like very much if…” Lena started, speaking louder than she expected.

Her hand on the knob, Yulia turned to the red-haired woman with a blank expression
on her face.

“I would like very much if I could… if I could make coffee for you every morning.”
Lena then glanced to lone, huge sunflower in the vase on a table in the living room.
“As a thank you gesture for sending them to me everyday…”

But Lena didn’t feel any relief when the guest kept staring at her with a stone cold
gaze. Something must be done before it was too late. Lena inhaled deeply and took a
step forwards. “What I cannot say, I hope you could see it through me.”

A moment passed by in silence as they both just looked at each other, allowing
themselves to delve into in their own thoughts. Lena then straightened herself up,
staring back with full confidence now. She walked up to Yulia and pulled her hand
away from the door, taking liberty to embrace the young blonde. There was nothing to
lose, was there?

As Yulia obediently stayed in Lena’s hold, Lena’s mind was rushed back to that
morning at the train station, when she thought she would lose the blonde twice; to
Roland, and another, to the bullet meant for the Irish. What had been stopping her all
along was probably not just how much she valued her friendship with Roland, but fear
of losing someone she cherished. It was like a double-edge knife. She was cut either
way no matter what choice she made. But she rather hurt herself a thousand times
over than to let history repeat itself. It would be unbearable.

Only at this moment, when she saw the reluctance in Yulia’s eyes that mirrored her
own, she had the courage to try again.

Engulfed in an increasingly firm grip, Yulia could feel the slight quiver of Lena’s
shoulders.

“Are you all right?” Yulia mumbled in a cracked voice, squeezing her eyes shut.

“I was never all right, but thanks for asking.” Frustrated, Lena crossly brushed the
tears away with the hem of her sleeve.

Yulia firmly held onto Lena’s back. “Well, I’m glad you’re being honest this time.”

Dryly chuckling, Lena rested her chin on top of Yulia’s head. While her godmother
could not forgive her, Yulia could accept everything that she was. Yulia’s love for her
own father matched the hate the Irish harbored in her soul. When the world turned so
dark and mad, Yulia came along and lit it up again with that natural, ardent fire of her
spirit. It kept Lena seeking for the same light within herself. It kept her sane, and she
didn’t want to lose this last threshold of hope.

Yulia gradually leaned back and watched Lena’s teary eyes. Lena lowered her gaze to
Yulia’s sweet, curving lips and planted a kiss upon them. The blonde threw her arms
around Lena’s neck and pulled her closer to strengthen their fragile bond.

When Lena eventually parted her lips from the blonde’s, she lightly pressed her left
hand over Yulia’s chest right where the blonde was shot. Staring at the other woman,
she could hear her own heart beat faster and faster, whilst fear slowly welcomed her
in its dark embrace. When Lena’s hand began to drop in defeat, Yulia urgently held it
up again, pressing it over her heart.

“Don’t be afraid... We don’t have to be…” Yulia firmly clutched Lena’s hand.

The redhead buried her face in the furrow of Yulia’s neck. A faint smile finally fought
its way to appear on the corner of her lips. It was this small peace she had
always longed for. She never imagined she could find it right here in this woman’s
arms.

YLuelniaa
06-09-2005, 16:53
just brillant......fcuking fantastic chapter..

They have so much love for one another...that it makes me wonder why Yulia ends up waitin for Lena...again in the end

Volkster
06-09-2005, 19:50
just brillant......fcuking fantastic chapter..

They have so much love for one another...that it makes me wonder why Yulia ends up waitin for Lena...again in the end

EXACTLY!!!!!!! Oh Lord, this promises (actually it always has but I just chose to ignore it) to be SOOOOO tragic, I can already feel the tears forming!!!!

The writing was GREAT uhaku!! I could feel the reluctance the fear and the love ... the love above all!!

Thanks for the update!!!

serbiantatu
06-09-2005, 20:46
I love this update! But knowing how things go theres something that will teriblly go wrong in next chapter, its qute scary when good things happen cos they usally come only as preparation for bad ones lol. I wonder something too, will ronald n lena end up hating eachother cos of yulia, cos as u nicly said in 666 for love wed betray anyone.

dare2dream28
07-09-2005, 02:49
EXACTLY!!!!!!! Oh Lord, this promises (actually it always has but I just chose to ignore it) to be SOOOOO tragic, I can already feel the tears forming!!!!

The writing was GREAT uhaku!! I could feel the reluctance the fear and the love ... the love above all!!

Thanks for the update!!!

I second that! I feel so happy right now reading the update, to see that Lena finally let her guard down long enough to at least try and express what she feels for Yulia....but then I think about what lies in the future for them and I just have a little frown on my face. BUT, I choose to live in the happy moments right now so WOOOOO!!!!!! Go L & Y!

You know, at first when Lena said, "The water is ready" I was like, "NOOOO!!!!!! Don't say that!!! Say something else!!! For the love of Pete, say something else!!!!!!!!!!" LOL Also...I do love Yulia's sarcastic comments. LOL Great update uhaku!

Uhaku
11-09-2005, 16:47
Thank you everyone! Of course, everyone would rather stick with good
old memories, but some of us are not that strong sometimes. And the Old
Volkova is just the example of the poor, lost soul, I guess. It took me a while to
come up with this update. Umm, I feel kinda embarrassed. Anyway, thanks for
reading it, guys!


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 42


It was a sunny and warmer spring morning. The skies were blue and there was scantly
any cloud in sight. Along the busy open market, Yulia was strolling alongside Lena
from one tent to another, hoping to impress the redhead with her cooking today. Yulia
couldn’t help but smiled when she saw Lena tried to suppress her yawn.
Lethargically, Lena just nodded at every trivial comment Yulia made over the variety
of fresh meat and vegetable. It took Yulia half an hour to decide whether she wanted
sea bass or beef.

With her left hand in the pocket, Lena glanced around, scanning the area with droopy
eyes. The bodyguards were about twenty feet away from them. Although Holden
Young was unlikely to make another attempt again soon, the redhead was always
extra careful when Yulia was around.

“What are you looking at?” Yulia asked, pulling Lena’s hand. Lena turned and looked
blankly at her. “Please! My father even sent Mitch trailing us today. You needn’t
worry—”

“How can I not worry when you’re around?”

Yulia stood still, watching the golden rays reflecting over Lena’s red curls. She
should have been happy to hear that. But she sighed when she realized that Lena
couldn’t seem to change. It was just the Irish’s way. The dark myth had consumed
Lena Cohen, body and soul, but Yulia was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the
ordinary woman beneath that merciless mask. However, she was afraid that Lena
would slip away again as long as they could not leave the underworld life behind. The
thought of Roland just hit Yulia, and she grunted inwardly, knowing Lena would give
into her friend again.

Annoyed, Yulia sharply turned to the seller. When she finished buying the meat and
vegetable, she walked ahead without looking back at Lena.

“I was only being cautious,” Lena said, quietly following.

Yulia did not respond, pretending to be interested in the shops around them. Soon, she
led the way out of the market and headed towards where a crimson Cadillac parked. A
few men in gray suits were guarding the car.

Lena just strode past Yulia and opened the door for her. Yulia stopped for a second,
taken aback by the mischievous grin on Lena’s face. It reminded her of the first time
they met, although it felt so long ago. She never imagined that she could fall for this
less-than-extravagant, red-haired woman. She would never have expected that it was
the Irish whom she bumped into that night, and how it changed her life.

“Most taxis must have been taken. I could drop you off.” Lena tilted her head,
gesturing for Yulia get in.

“Why, thank you. However, I do seriously hope that nobody will be chasing us this
time.”

The truth was simple as ever. Yulia was not in love with the mysterious Irish
everyone talked about, but the woman who showed her the other side of the world
through pain and courage. No matter where Lena would lead her, she would not falter.

Yulia softly took Lena’s hand and grinned at last.


>>>


It was almost noon, while Yulia was busy cooking the kitchen. She took a brief look
over the counter into the living room, where Lena was leisurely lying on her stomach
on the carpet, tossing the dices onto the board game. The redhead was playing against
herself while waiting for the honorary lunch.

“Could you give me a hand here?!” Yulia brushed the sweat from her face.

“I told you we could have just eaten out,” Lena muttered, flinging her legs back and
forth. Smiling to herself, she moved a black, miniature horse two steps forwards. It
seemed the dark one would beat the white in this game.

Lena halted when a pair of feet came into her view. She looked up and saw a red-
faced Yulia looming above her, two big plates in her hands. Yulia practically stepped
onto the board, causing the miniature horses to fall off their stands. Lena quickly
grabbed them and carefully put them back in their previous posts.

“Would you like to continue playing, or else I would just throw these away!”

Lena instantly sat up and put the board game aside, making room for Yulia. But she
immediately slowed down, grunting at the pain stinging in her ribcage wound.

“Did I not say that it was a bad post to lie on the floor?” Yulia spat, putting the plates
on the carpet.

Lena opted not to respond. She just took her plate and started eating.

“How do you like it?!” Yulia asked, her blue eyes twinkling.

“Umm… Not as bad as I thought, although Angela was slightly a better cook,” Lena
mumbled.

Yulia threw a crumpled napkin at Lena’s face and began to gobble her own food.
After a few chews, she suddenly paused. She glanced up at Lena with a dry smile.
Lena was being kind, while in fact, Yulia’s cooking ability was practically nil. To her
surprise, Lena just kept eating.

“I’ve had something worse than this when I was just a petty thief. Thank you
anyway.” Lena finished the sentence with a genuine smile, causing Yulia to look
down.

Sitting tightly, Yulia was clutching the fork. She wasn’t sure if she was able to eat her
own food. The meat was so sticky and the vegetable was burnt.

Lena finished her own plate real fast and then got up. “I’ll make something for you.
It’ll be just a few minutes.”

Yulia instantly gripped Lena’s hand, stopping her. “I’ll eat it! Of course, I can eat it!”
She stuffed the food into her mouth, swallowing it hard. It would have been a shock if
her father saw her in this condition. She was never forced to eat anything she didn’t
like. Being the only daughter of a renowned mafia like Dimitri Volkov, first thing she
wanted, she got it. But it surprised her as well that she wanted to change, even just a
little, just for this once, for this person next to her.

Lena watched the blonde torturing herself for a while, and then got up and walked
over to the counter. She poured two cups of hot tea and came back to sit with Yulia.

“You’re eating too fast,” Lena said, smiling and handing a cup to the blonde.

Yulia swallowed the last bite and leaned back against the sofa in exhaustion. She
nodded as a thank you gesture and drank some hot tea. She opened her eyes again in
time to catch Lena covering her own mouth, trying to suppress her laugh.

Yulia pushed the cup away and leapt at the redhead. “Don’t you laugh at me!”

“You’ve done well—” Chortling, Lena was muted mid-sentence with a kiss.

Although they had spent all their time together during the past week, it had been
almost ten hours since they last made love, and Yulia missed it already. In the haste,
she was still careful to lay Lena down. As she straddled over the slim waist, leaning
down for the redhead’s lips, she could feel her own heart beating so fast that she
almost choked. Her hands trembled along the curves of the body below her. Kissing
the pale neck, she blindly unbuttoned the white shirt under her at the same time.

On the other hand, the redhead looked remarkably calm as if in trance. She just
wrapped her arms around Yulia and let the blonde lied comfortably upon her. But
Yulia was supporting her weight on both knees instead, quivering, afraid that her
weight might press against Lena’s wound.

Staring straight up into the blue eyes, Lena slowly lifted Yulia’s skirt up until she
could thumb-hooked Yulia’s lingerie, and pulled it down. Gasping sharply, the
blonde’s head flopped down, burying her face in the crook of her lover’s neck, and a
low groan escaped her mouth as her body began to burn with desire. Closing her eyes,
she moved along with the rhythmic beat of her heart, guided by the Irish’s touch.

In the dark, Yulia saw nothing but a small, white light at the other end of the burrow.
The shimmering glow grew larger each second past, but disappeared as it flew right
over her head. Then she was there again, chasing the light. There was no beginning,
nor the end. The constant echoes of love and fear pounded against the empty plane
she was standing upon, penetrating into her mind and causing her to stumble. She was
falling fast, and she cried out for haven and hell to save her. The only offer though
was the firm grip of a hand that seeped through the darkest of shadows, pulling her up
so high she tore through the ebony skies.

The blonde arched her back as she let out a long sigh, and then fell upon her lover’s
body. She felt saved at last.


>>>


The sun would set in a few moments, bleeding the skies over the city of Chicago.
Gazing out the window, Lena was sitting naked on her bed, seemingly lost in her
thoughts. She was resting her chin on both palms, her elbows against her knees.

Lying comfortably beside Lena, Yulia ran her fingers over the redhead’s pale back,
smiling at the Irish’s childlike posture. After a while, she moved to sit behind Lena,
gently wrapping the blanket around them both. Lena just leaned back leisurely in
those arms. Yulia took in a smell of the crimson tresses and sighed in content, resting
her cheek against Lena’s ear.

“I love sunset.” Lena brought Yulia’s hand up and pecked on it.

“I prefer dawn,” Yulia stated.

Chortling, Lena drew a circle over the cold glass. “Here’s your sun.”

Staring hard at the tip of Lena’s finger, Yulia noted that trails of water began to drip
down, destroying the perfect circle. She unconsciously tightened her grip around
Lena. The sun was going down, and soon it would all become dark and cold. For
some reason, she dreaded it. She didn’t want this day to be over. It didn’t matter how
long she had had her lover in her arms, she still feared that it was all just a dream, that
the night would eventually take it all away.

Gently rubbing Yulia’s arm, Lena tilted her head back and kissed the blonde’s chin. A
small smile then appeared across her face. “I’ve got a surprise for you!”

Yulia raised her brows. “I’m surprised already, seeing you so excited.”

“I’ve got two tickets to Turandot this weekend. Excellent, isn’t it?” Lena nudged
Yulia’s cheek with her nose, and Yulia chuckled. “I want to make up for ruining your
last show with—with—umm…” Lena then paused, and they both became quiet at the
thought of Roland. The redhead immediately looked away.

Determined not to let the silence take over them, Yulia put up a grin and rocked Lena
softly. “Turandot? I’d sure love to go! Will you dress up like that night again? Did I
mention I adored it?”

Lena shook her head lightly, smiling. “You didn’t, but remind me.”

Yulia absentmindedly stared at the swaying red curls. Little by little, she was drowned
in the waves of crimson that was drowning her, suffocating her. She began to fumble
for Lena’s hands, and clutched them so hard when she finally found them, causing
Lena to turn to look at her. Tears welled up in her eyes as she looked down.

Alarmed, Lena instantly sat up straight and brought Yulia’s face up with just a light
nudge at her chin. Tears fell even more, but Lena did not ask why. They couldn’t find
words for it. There was no explanation of the magic around them. Or was it a curse?
Tonight was the night. Now. Never.

Trembling, Yulia breathed onto Lena’s palm, surrendering everything to the woman
before her. Perhaps, she was too joyous, and feared of losing it. Perhaps, she was
scared to realize that there was only a thin line between love and hate, and what it
could do to someone.

Looking up, Yulia put up a smile. It didn’t seem to matter now. The future may be
dark, but with the young Cohen near her, she was willing to march into that darkness.
Only she did not know that there was no return.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


CHAPTER 43


Blue began to emerge at the other end of the skies. I watched the old Volkova grab
her cane and walked from her chair to stand next to the window, looking out. The
dawn was near, but everyday was the same for her for the past seventy years. There
was no one at the gate. The garden was still dead. The wait was forever.

Shakily, Volkova’s rough finger drew a circle against the cold plane of glass. But it
didn’t matter what color the skies were, her sun had set long ago. It had vanished
without ever revolving since the Irish disappeared from her life without giving any
reason.

Volkova slowly turned to us. “I’d like to leave it there when life was still beautiful,
when love did not hurt… Good day, everyone.” She then simply nodded for the maids
to send the guests.

Everyone was dazed at the sudden stop. Not wanting to bother the host more than we
already did, we quietly began to gather our things.

I wanted to protest, but I knew that the old woman must have been exhausted, staying
up all night. I wondered if she would invite me again to hear some more of the story.
But knowing how the old woman was, I may have to wait my whole life for another
invitation.

As I walked to the door, following my family out, I stopped and turned to look at a
picture frame on the wooden shelf along the corridor. I had never imagined that
Volkova was this beautiful when she was younger. The fat man in the picture with her
must be Dimitri Volkov. He grinned at me, so brightly as if to thank me for keeping
his daughter company for the night. I blew a soft kiss at the picture and caught a small
chortle behind me. I looked back and saw that Volkova was watching me from a
distance. Right then, I secretly made a promise to myself.

“I will return,” I said simply.

“I don’t think I can take another promise in this life time.”

I froze. I swore there was almost a smirk on her tired face.

“I will,” I said firmly, and walked through the door. Fate had brought us together.
This was a promise another Lena made to her, but I was willing to fulfill it.

dare2dream28
11-09-2005, 17:59
*gawks at update*

OMG uhaku...that was just...WOW. That was such a great update! Lena and Yulia are so damn cute when they interact...there is this love/hate thing going on, but you can just *feel* the emotions surrounding them. I loved how you described everything in this chapter. I had to laugh at Yulia's attempt at cooking and then at how she forced herself to eat it. LOL But it was cute to see Lena a)have the stomach to force the food down and b)say it was better than it actually was!

But oh...this I'm a tad worried about:

It seemed the dark one would beat the white in this game.
Maybe a bit of foreshadowing?

I can't wait for the new Lena to go back & visit Old Volkova!! I wanna know what happened! GREAT update!

rasoska
11-09-2005, 18:22
“I don’t think I can take another promise in this life time.”
:(

for her sake, i so hope the old volkova will live the day when the old promise will be fulfilled (if ever that is)!

all i can say is :bow:

serbiantatu
11-09-2005, 20:00
You outdid yourself! This is not fantastic this is absolutly best writting i have ever get to read... How do u manage it? Every sentece so meaningful, so simple so symbolic so perfect.

" It seemed the dark one would beat the white in this game." and just when i thought Wow theres more to come ... "Yulia practically stepped onto the board, causing the miniature horses to fall off their stands" ... When she steped in Lenas life there was not important anymore wholl win dark or white...

Chortling, Lena drew a circle over the cold glass. “Here’s your sun.”

"Staring hard at the tip of Lena’s finger, Yulia noted that trails of water began to drip down, destroying the perfect circle. She unconsciously tightened her grip around Lena." - There it is entire life desribed in few senteces. Could anyone describe better life with less words n with more simplicity then you just did there?

Im in loss for words, you never stop to amaze me - But THIS update... Its for nobel price.

showMElove2
11-09-2005, 22:41
Wow, I think everyone has conveyed already what I wanted to say! They have come so far, and too know that Volkova grew old without her it must have been a very hard life for them both. I admit to reading this update several times!

dare2dream28
12-09-2005, 00:38
You know, I was thinking more about this update & an idea came to my mind. This is *exactly* the type of writing I could totally see being analyzed in a high school senior honors english class for the meaning of the symbolism & the meanings behind almost every freaken sentence! Maybe if I had this to analzye when I was a senior, I would've done better in english class. lol

I think serbiantatu said it best with this:

"Staring hard at the tip of Lena’s finger, Yulia noted that trails of water began to drip down, destroying the perfect circle. She unconsciously tightened her grip around Lena."
There it is entire life desribed in few senteces. Could anyone describe better life with less words n with more simplicity then you just did there?

Again, uhaku, this was just one freaken hell of an update!!!

YLuelniaa
12-09-2005, 04:19
what can i say....absolutly freakin fantastic update....

you never seize to amaze me with your talent...this could definitely be made into another book and i would go out and buy this one like i did 666.

The flash backs that you portray with such detail...just everything. You bring such feeling to these character...that i hope Yulia and Lena some how in the end are together.

And I hope the other lena keeps her promise to Yulia...and doesn't get her hopes up..

thank you for the two wonderful chaps...waiting patiently for the next installement

warx
13-09-2005, 04:13
:p :p ;)

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....speechless..... :eek:

Uhaku
13-09-2005, 16:05
Umm, thank you so much for the kind words. I do think the praises are too high.
I’m embarrassed, in a good way though. *Blushes* I feel absolutely flattered that
you guys took the time to analyze and dissected it. ^____^ So happy! This
update is kinda short, but it’s always hard for me when it reaches a certain,
turning point. I hope I could keep you guys entertained.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 44


It was six o’clock in the evening sharp. Thick clouds began to cover most of sky in
sight. The temperature had dropped so drastically in the past hour. I was wearing a
black coat with a gray sweater inside, a white wool scarf wrapped around my neck.
Standing right in front of an alley, I pulled the collar tighter as the fierce wind blew
past me. I marched into alley, heading towards the lone, rusty door at the end. After
eight months of going through strings of lousy private detectives, I finally found a
really effective one, who finally led me right to someone who actually knew the
forgotten myth firsthand.

I grabbed the cold, metallic knob and twisted it, opening the door and studying the
dark staircase before me. The humid odor hit me like a nasty mushroom cloud; I
pulled my scarf up to cover my nose.

“Hello? It’s Lena Myer. Is anyone here…?”

There was no reply. But the door was unlocked as Mrs. Petitot instructed me on the
phone, so I decided to walk up the steps and closed the door behind me. Putting my
hand up against the wall, I carefully reached the second floor.

The large room was divided into two zones; the living room and the supposed
bedroom behind a Japanese-style partition. High windows took up the entire west side
of the room, letting the gloomy light in. Although the place looked old, it was tidier
more than I had expected.

Out of the blue, the fluorescent lights attached to the high ceiling were switched on. I
jumped and turned to see an old woman walking out from behind the partition. She
was slightly younger than Volkova, and taller. From what the detective told me, the
woman must have been around eighty years old. She had dark eyes and her gray,
curly hair was trimmed short above her ears.

“Mrs. Petitot?” I stood still, observing the old woman.

“You must be the one who called me. Lena Myer, isn’t it? Yes, I am Mrs. Petitot, but
you can call me Sarah. Would you like something to drink?”

“No, thank you.” I politely rejected. I intended to keep this meeting short. After
spending an entire night listening to Volkova’s life, I didn’t dare to get too close to a
stranger again. It hurt to leave them when they were so fragile and lonely.

Sarah gestured me to sit on the chair next to the window, and I did accordingly, taking
my coat off.

“Not many people still remember her nowadays. I’m surprised that a young woman
like you is interested. Are you somewhat related to Mr. Myer, Roland Myer?”

“He’s my grandfather. He passed away a year ago.”

“Oh…” Sarah looked down slightly. “Did he not tell you about the Irish?”

“He never mentioned her. Until I recently met Yulia Volkova, his then fiancée. Do
you know her as well?”

Sarah looked at me, froze in her spot. “Yulia… Yulia Volkova… She is still alive…?”

“She’s ninety years old and still waiting.”

“You do not mean that she is still waiting for… for the Irish…?”

I just looked straight into the dark eyes, searching for some clues or answers.

“But it had been so long ago!” The old woman gasped, covering her mouth with both hands.

I rose from my chair, too thrilled and anxious to sit still. “Can you tell me where she is?”

Sarah looked up at me, tears in her eyes. “Please tell Ms. Volkova to give up. There is
no point. It is useless…” The old woman looked down, shaking her head. “The Irish
died even before World War II ended… Oh, poor Volkova!”

I froze. I should have guessed the answer long ago, but hope always got the best of
anyone, and I knew now that it was the only thing that could keep one alive.

“Who is this, Sarah?”

I stoically turned when I heard a coarse voice calling, and saw an old man coming up
the stairs where I came. He had two plastic bags in his hands. He looked puzzled
when he saw me.

Sarah promptly stood up and moved to retrieve the bags from him.

“This is my husband, Oliver Petitot. Oliver, this is Lena Myer, your former boss’
granddaughter.”


>>>


It was already dark outside when I rushed out through the rusty door, heading towards
the curbside at the alley’s entrance. Carrying a thick, small book Oliver had just given
me, I pulled the collar tighter, feeling vulnerable more than ever. Tears were welling
up my eyes. It hurt so much when I knew what the truth would do to the old Volkova.

The need to get out of there became immediate. I needed to be in a better place at
once. My apartment was located in the better neighborhood of town, and I cursed
myself for not driving here.

“Taxi! Taxi!” I stumbled into someone, but I was too dreaded to turn and apologize,
ignoring the curses that came afterwards.

“Someone’s in a rush.” A voice snickered behind me.

I eventually turned at the familiar, sweet, echoing voice. A dark-haired stranger was
standing, leisurely leaning against the old, gray, bricked wall. I could see her blue
eyes twinkling behind the pair of trendy glasses.

She smirked at me. “Was I of any help to you?”

“Who are—” I stopped. I realized then that she was the private detective I hired a
month ago, the one who brought me here. We had strictly communicated through
phone calls only. Her sudden appearance tonight greatly perplexed me.

“So you’ve met my grandparents, Lena Myer.” She moved closer to me and
confidently offered a handshake. “No more codename ‘Ranger’. Juliana Petitot.”

I stopped. I tried to understand the strange, dream-like situation I was in. But this
could not be a coincidence, could it? All lives began as hope ended. The cycle went
on and on.

My legs started to shake and I fell to my knees. Breaking into a full-blown cry before
the stranger, I angrily threw the book against the wall, defeated. It was the Irish’s last
journal Oliver had kept until this day. But there was no use, was there?

dare2dream28
13-09-2005, 17:34
Oh no!!!! Awwwwww. :( Poor Irish...poor Old Volkova! :cry: :( I truly felt saddened to learn the fate of the Irish that happened so long ago. I feel *so* bad for Old Volkova, waiting all these years only to have any inkling of hope to soon be shattered. :(

My legs started to shake and I fell to my knees. Breaking into a full-blown cry before the stranger, I angrily threw the book against the wall, defeated. It was the Irish’s last
journal Oliver had kept until this day. But there was no use, was there?

Yes there is use!!! There is!! I wanna know what's in that last journal!!!!

You know, I wonder about the Irish's fate..hmm....I'll keep my mouth shut on what I speculate.

Hope you won't keep us waiting too long uhaku for the next update! I'm totally hooked! :)

rasoska
13-09-2005, 17:37
:eek: oh my!!!
what a great chapter!!
so now we have juliana, a detective, and lena, both granddaughters of people who knew yulia volkova and irish. this should get highly interesting!!
brilliant twist indeed!!

and i cant do otherwise but to cry and feel sorry for the old volkova:cry:

and uhaku you should trust your readers, praises arent given for nothing, specially the high ones ;) :coctail:

serbiantatu
13-09-2005, 22:29
Damnit you tricked me said no update in next few days n i only read it now when i could few hours ago! But you dont know how it is to wait for an update of such a great story from such a great writer!

Oh its getting complicated! I love how you make twists in ur story, not rushed not predictible n you keep your story fresh n interesting always with every update. I love how pieces of story follows one another n how its always intense theres no downside updates and alway plenty of characters... Just everything book - let me repeat :BOOK (not fic lol) should have. You cant do that to this story n not publish it, its simply too good for it to stay 'just a fic' (wich ur stories never were - just another fics).

Cant wait for new update *excited*

Ningyo
13-09-2005, 23:30
“Someone’s in a rush.” A voice snickered behind me.

I eventually turned at the familiar, sweet, echoing voice. A dark-haired stranger was
standing, leisurely leaning against the old, gray, bricked wall. I could see her blue
eyes twinkling behind the pair of trendy glasses.

Scheming little pixie, I so didn't expect that! Hahaha, it's always good when you can surprise me... :gigi:

Now, now, keep it coming. I like how you handle certain situations. :p

Blue-Amy
15-09-2005, 08:57
Uffff!poor old Volkova...I hope the young Lena won't tell her the truth...I'm sure she tought of that already, but prefers having faith...that maybe...she's somewhere up there..
Hmm...Lena Myer and Julia-na P. :D..will that mean the circle of life found another two young girls to continue in a way The Irish and Yulia's story?...:p
wow...this is so exciting!I can't wait for the new update...this story is as great as Darkness Within!! I didn't expect I'll get so anxious about The Irish too...I hope u'll continue writing it!
And I second everything it's been said already about your writing skills uhaku! :) believe it!

showMElove2
15-09-2005, 09:02
With the intoduction of Juliana, this fic just got even more intriguing (if thats possible) and more addicting. Sad to read that Lena might be dead, but I am like the Old Volkova and won't lose hope just yet :)
Thanks again for the updates!

Uhaku
16-09-2005, 15:33
Wow. Thank you, everyone! I’m surprised though that Juliana Petitot
got this much attention. Umm, should I be telling u this? :bum:

Well, I wrote the latter part of the last chapter, and then deleted it, and rewrote
it and deleted it again. Finally, I decided to include it. But she isn’t going to be
one of the main characters from now on. The Irish will still be about the
Irish and the old Volkova, not LM and JP.

I think I’m getting old or something, but I was saddened myself when I finally
decided the Irish’s fate. So JP was like a glimpse of the rise of hope here. Nothing more.
To turn the story in a total new direction would ruin the previous atmosphere, I think.
So I hope you still enjoy the rest of the story, yow. :)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 45


It was a chilly night when Roland Myer made a visit to an abandoned warehouse in
the middle of nowhere to have a secret meeting with Holden Young. He was offered
to take a multi-millions drugs deal. It was a good opportunity for to him to make a
stand on his own since it was known that Lena had wanted out even before the
incident at Central Station. Her serious injury only threatened the possibility of her
return. Roland couldn’t help feeling saddened that he and his friend were slowly
driven apart each year past.

Riding in the back seat of his car, Roland took a look at the velvet box in his hand
with a heavy heart. He had never felt this lost before. Yulia had become distant, and
furthermore, had let Lena replace him entirely, as Oliver had been reporting to him.
But he still hoped that Yulia would realize that he was the better choice after all. He
could provide her with everything she needed, while his friend was only the legend
time would erase. The infatuation would eventually end.

The car gradually pulled over in front of the warehouse. Holden Young and his men
were gathering around, welcoming their new business partner. Wayne Burke
approached his master, a smirk on his face.

“It seems to go as planned, sir,” Burke said.

Holden just smiled lightly and walked up to Roland, leading everyone into the
warehouse.


>>>


In the dressing room on the second floor of the Volkov mansion, Yulia spun around in
a black gown, while holding another shimmering golden one.

“Oh, I cannot decide! Which do you think is more appropriate?”

The fat, blond man was leaning against the door, a cigar between his lips. His
mansion was still mostly empty, but they managed to get their bedrooms and kitchen
refurnished. Angela and a few other new maids tagged along with their masters as
well.

“You ought to stick with the black dress, nothing too flashy. What is it again,
pumpkin? Turandot? What is that?”

Smiling, Yulia observed her own reflection in the tall mirror. “It’s an opera show,
father.”

“An opera! Can I come with you?” Dimitri grinned.

“Unfortunately, you cannot,” Yulia said and laughed heartily.

Dimitri looked down a little before moving beside his daughter, gently helping her to
zip up the back of her gown. “Now that you are well enough, do you still want to
move to London…?” He quietly studied her reflection. A hint of seriousness suddenly
graced over her face.

Yulia instantly looked away. “I… Do we have to, father? Can’t mother and Alex
come back here?”

“Considering my position now, it is best to leave… but I cannot force you to come
with me, pumpkin. I understand you have something important here.” Dimitri softly
turned his daughter around to face him. “But are you sure about her?”

Yulia’s eyes bulged. She had not expected that her father had been spying on her.

“What about that kid, Roland?”

“There’s nothing going on between me and Roland. There never was anything.”

“But you have given him hope.”

Yulia sighed.

“You cannot possibly want them both!” Dimitri frowned.

“Father! It’s nothing like that. I’ve decided!” The young woman blushed, pacing
around fidgety.

Dimitri just kept quiet, allowing his daughter to take the time to think.

“With her… it’s so different… I don’t know why I’m so happy just to be near her. I
can’t understand it. Is it really love, father?” She looked up and pleaded. “Does it
matter…?”

Dimitri was taken aback by his daughter’s sincere reluctance. The question struck him
as odd because Yulia should know that he loved her mother with all his heart. He then
realized something he never did before. For women, there was love to long for, and
then virtue to uphold. Although Yulia was very modern and had grown up in a liberal
society, she knew that the world she lived in had not evolved as fast. There were
things to be considered, and women always had to think twice.

For the first time, Dimitri had to think before he said something. He knew he still hold
some weight in his daughter’s decision, and it had partly become his responsibility.

“Does it…?” Yulia slipped her arms around her father and clung onto him.

Dimitri couldn’t help but sighed. “It always does, sweetheart.”


>>>


Sitting on the bed, Lena looked around at the gowns she laid all over the room, deep
in her thoughts. She wasn’t sure which she would wear for tomorrow night. Having
never bothered to look her best, she felt a little embarrassed to act this way now.
Before another thought hit her, she strode to the desk, wondering if she would wear
any makeup as well. Of course, it would only look right to put some on.

“What am I doing…?” Lena muttered to herself, blushing as she gazed at the small
mirror in front of her.

Out of the blue, a knock came upon the door. It was already late in the night, and she
dreaded to answer the door, knowing who it was. Slowly, she got up from the desk
and walked out of the bedroom.

Lena put up a smile before she grabbed the knob. “Hello, Roland.”

The dark-haired, young man grinned broadly and greeted her with a bear hug. “How
are you, my dear Lena? I’m sorry I couldn’t come earlier!”

“It’s all right. I rather have you here now than early in the morning,” Lena joked. She
led him in and went into the kitchen to make some tea.

Roland hung his coat over the hanger by the door. He glided into the living room and
sank onto the couch. He seemed to be in a great mood tonight.

“How have you been? Feeling better?”

At the thought of Yulia, Lena nodded, smiling lightly. The blonde had done more than
she could ever hoped for, replacing all the loneliness she felt with warmth.

Roland shifted nervously in his seat before he said, “I have something to tell you.”

Pouring the tea into two cups, Lena just briefly glanced up at him. Her friend had
been busy the past weeks, and she didn’t know what he had been up to.

“Please don’t be mad at me… I’d just been to a meeting with Holden Young. We got
a deal together.” Roland looked down in guilt.

Lena didn’t even flinch upon hearing it. She never wanted Roland to hate someone
because of her. But it didn’t mean that she would not kill Holden if she had a chance.
She still remembered why she was seeing the world through only an eye. She couldn’t
care less if it would ruin whatever deal Roland was having with Holden. The only
concern here was that she feared Holden was up to something.

“I hope it’s a good business.” Lena brought the tea for Roland and sat down next to
him.

“Forgive me for doing this without telling you first. I was afraid you’d object—”

“Business is business. Just be careful, that is all.”

Roland let out a sigh in relief. “I should have known that you’d be as understanding as
always. By the way, I haven’t heard from Celia ever since you paid a visit to her that
day. How was she? It’s my fault again that I’d been so busy I didn’t have time to talk
to you.”

Lena carefully put the hot cup on the small table, her heart aching at the mention of
her godmother. “She found out about what we do.”

Roland groaned and shook his head. “I knew she’d suspect it!”

“She did, and Holden sent his men to confirm it.”

Roland’s mouth hung open in bewilderment.

“I believe Burke was the one who rampaged through Celia’s apartment. It was a mess
when I got there.”

“Wayne Burke! Why didn’t you tell me earlier!?”

Lena leaned back, staring up at the ceiling. “I didn’t know you’d be doing business
with them, so I didn’t want to bother you with this bit of news.” The fact was that
Lena found it hard to tell Roland that their godmother had just denied them. It hurt too
much to put into words, and she just hoped that Roland would learn it in time.

Roland stopped for a moment before he held Lena’s hand. “It seems… it seems we’ve
become so distant from each other. I don’t like it.”

Lena gently rubbed his hand back. Ever since Yulia came into their lives, they were
driven apart even more so. She still couldn’t think of a way to confront the truth with
him. At the thought of seeing Yulia walking away again, she gathered her strength.
The time was now.

“Roland.… There’s been something I—”

The young man smiled widely and put his hands over her shoulders. “I have
something to show you.” He then took the velvet box out of his pocket.

Lena stared at the sparkling object on his palm for the longest time, knowing too well
what it meant. For a split second, she wished she could turn back the time and redo
everything again. Even if Roland was doing this on purpose, it didn’t upset her; if she
had been braver, she would have done the same thing.

“I bought it right after Yulia was shot. I couldn’t believe how much I’m in love with
this girl, Lena. I was so afraid of losing her. Although I do think it’s a bit fast, but I’m
going to ask her to marry me. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. I don’t even
mind to permanently settle in London.”

Lena forced herself to take her gaze away from the ring and looked up at him. She
wasn’t sure if she was smiling or crying. “I didn’t know she still wants to move,” she
muttered.

Roland chuckled. “Her family—her whole life is there. There’s nothing left for her
here but the ranch, which I don’t think is that important to her.”

Lena looked down a little. She believed that the ranch was everything to Yulia, or else
she wouldn’t return it to her. But she opted to let Yulia be the one to decide how
much anything—anyone meant.

Excitedly, Roland clasped his hands. “I can start a family with her in London! We’ll
take a few years off for her to have babies, and then we’ll travel all over Europe. I’m
sure she’ll love it!”

“You certainly plan much ahead…” Lena finally smiled. It was probably the way it
should be. She had no plan with Yulia but the moments of small happiness together
here and there. She never dared to question if it were enough, or would it last, but
Roland was ready and could provide everything a woman needed. A woman Yulia
would eventually grow to be. Family and social status were nothing Lena ever had in
mind. Roland was going to show Yulia the world of future and excitement, whereas
Lena only knew the darkest places of memory and pain. How foolish she was to think
that it would just be all right between them.

Roland went on talking about his plans in Europe. He had found out where his
biological father was and had written him. The old man replied with delight, and even
though Roland wasn’t too naive to know that it was all because of his money, Roland
couldn’t wait to pay him a visit.

The redhead just kept silent and listened to him. Her friend would have everything she
ever wished for, but she didn’t know why she couldn’t make herself to wish him well
at the moment. Yulia had become another reason for her to hate, and she despised this
feeling inside her. She needed to do something to let it all go this instant.

Before Roland leave the apartment, Lena went into her bedroom and came out with a
smile. She handed two tickets to the opera to Roland.

“Turandot…? But aren’t you supposed to go with her?” Roland asked. He looked
genuinely puzzled, but Lena decided to ignore whatever the truth in his heart.

“It’s just a girls’ night out. Your matter is more important.”

“Oh, you’re the best! Thank you so much!” Roland gave Lena a hug and left with a
promise to bring her good news tomorrow. But Lena secretly dreaded to hear it.


>>>


Roland came out of the apartment building and headed towards his car. Oliver opened
the door for him and he climbed in. In the back seat, he let the shadows hide away his
pride and shame. He had never thought he could do this to his best friend. Clutching
the tickets in his gloved hands, tears of anger began to well up his eyes. The night ride
back home had never felt this lonely to him.


>>>


It had been a while since Roland left the apartment, but Lena was still standing at the
door, unable to move. Staring at the steely knob, she wished she had the courage to
run after him and asked for the tickets back. But she was always too late. She was the
coward who ran instead of fighting Mason for her family. She was always the one to
back out when problems arise, and she would always be the one to lose.

Shaking her head, she started to laugh aloud. She stumbled back against the wall,
unable to stop. She wanted to laugh at herself until she forgot how to cry.


>>>


In her favorite, creamy nightgown, Yulia hopped onto the bed, smiling as she glanced
at the black dress hanging by the closet. Although her bedroom had been refurnished,
she still remembered how Lena climbed over the balcony on the night of Christmas
Eve, and then tied her up with the chair. It was a hellish night, but was also the most
adventurous one Yulia had ever experienced. The redhead took her to places where
light abandoned, where life was changed forever—where she didn’t know love could
exist.

Smiling, she closed her eyes and dreamt of the hand that guided her in the dark.
Tomorrow would be just fine.

dare2dream28
16-09-2005, 15:55
OMG!!! NOOO!!!!! LENA!!!! YOU IDIOT!!!!! WHY?!?!?!?! Oh for the love of crap why?!?! Lena, get your freaken ass out that freaken door and go see Yulia and get your freak on!!!!!!! DAMN YOU ROLAND!!!! DAMN_YOU!!!!!!!! *takes out a hammer and starts bashing Roland to pieces* How could you do that to your friend?!?! For the love of pete, you finally see that Yulia is freaken HAPPY with LENA and your selfish ass has to go and ruin it!!! You coniving bastard!! No wonder why your freaken conscious haunted you til the day you died!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

*comes back from rant*

Well, damn uhaku, you sure know how to evoke emotion, to say the least. LOL DANG! I've come to discover that I have a love/hate relationship with your characters. *laughs* Damn good writing!

YLuelniaa
16-09-2005, 18:46
OMG!!! NOOO!!!!! LENA!!!! YOU IDIOT!!!!! WHY?!?!?!?! Oh for the love of crap why?!?! Lena, get your freaken ass out that freaken door and go see Yulia and get your freak on!!!!!!! DAMN YOU ROLAND!!!! DAMN_YOU!!!!!!!! *takes out a hammer and starts bashing Roland to pieces* How could you do that to your friend?!?! For the love of pete, you finally see that Yulia is freaken HAPPY with LENA and your selfish ass has to go and ruin it!!! You coniving bastard!! No wonder why your freaken conscious haunted you til the day you died!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree,....fcuk fcuk fcuk fcuk fcuk,. what were you thinking girllllllll you best get your ass up and go to the TURNODOT...and sweep that woman of her feet..... and ROLAND how freakin dare you do that......the Nerve.... gah..bastard. Obviously.... we know Yulia accepts...but why oh why oh why..pffffffft

*sighs* anyways.. that was very good...but very saddening!
Thanks for the update :p

serbiantatu
16-09-2005, 20:03
With friend like that who needs enemy? It seem it was not enough for him to betray Lena n fall in Holdens trap (oh of course he dont want just work, Holden isnt THAT naive.. is he?) - its just work... Its just work my ass Holden almost killed Lena! So it wasnt enough for him to do work with Holden, he even had to take only light Lena could hold on to, last piece of hope he had to take away from her. He has his health his money his father but he had to take HERS Yulia? Yes.. he is friend. very much so. He dont even love Yulia he dont even know her well n he knows she dont love him ither... Hes just the most selfinvolved person n every second he felt alone on his way home - he deserved it. If only Lena could be as strong about her getting her love as the Irish is for getting her revange..

Great update Lin! I love it.. As always and i have to say thank you for finding time to update it this regulary.

warx
17-09-2005, 04:58
:confused:






waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaa......huhuhu
fckity fck... :bum:


tnx for the update...hugs

showMElove2
17-09-2005, 06:21
Cecilia's denial of Lena has added to her insecurities, and as Lena she must think that she is not good enough for Yulia... if only she had the Irish's confident attitude. Well, as for Roland, that was just so wrong of him, I think he has been jealous all along and taking the one thing Lena cherishes the most at the moment must make him feel real manly. This is so real, I can almost hear Yulia's heart break when Roland instead of Lena shows up :(
Thanks for the update, as always!

Ningyo
18-09-2005, 19:12
I think I’m getting old or something, but I was saddened myself when I finally
decided the Irish’s fate. So JP was like a glimpse of the rise of hope here. Nothing more.
To turn the story in a total new direction would ruin the previous atmosphere, I think.
So I hope you still enjoy the rest of the story, yow. :)

Well, there's always the possibility for a... spin-off! Lol!
Wouldn't that be fun... and complicated? Just the way you like it. ;)

Uhaku
19-09-2005, 17:50
I apologize in advance for any mistake here. Didn’t have much time to reread or
edit or anything here. ^_^’ Thank u, everyone, for ur inputs! U guys cheered me
up, indeed. I didn’t mean to let Roland be the bad guy…but I guess I have done
it. Umm… ummm…

Btw, the idea of a spin-off always scares me. First, a Natalia spin-off. Now this? I
only have two hands and one brain to type up a story so fast. Are u trying to
murder me? Loooool.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 46


The gloomy morning walk did not cheer Lena up even a bit. She kept strolling along
the lake, head down. There was no need to get dress up, so she opted for her usual
black coat, a black turtleneck and a wool skirt. Oliver and a few of her bodyguards
were following not too far away, watching out for her. She suppressed her sigh, while
wondered what a life without fear would be. Both hands tucking in her pockets, she
toyed with the gun with her left hand, deeply desire to pull the trigger for once. At
anything—anyone.

Soon, she came to stand in front of Celia’s apartment. She pushed the door open and
entered. The place had been cleaned up, and the broken furniture was thrown away,
making the space look larger than usual. That piano Lena loved to see Celia play was
still there though. The strings must have been fixed.

Lena glided towards the piano and drummed her fingers on a few keys. The same
dark-haired girl she saw that day came bursting through the back door, looking
bewildered to see her again.

Lena kept playing the piano while stared up at the girl. “Did they come by again?”

The girl nodded a little. “They… they told us to fix the piano. They said they will
come collect it this evening.”

Lena scoffed, pounding on the keys and causing the girl to flinch.

“They… they want the fridge as well…”

Lena paced around, taking a good look at the place. Through the window, she noted
that her bodyguards were standing outside.

“Then they shall have them,” Lena said coldly. “You work for Celia?”

“Yes, ma’am. I help taking care of the young ones.”

Lena peeped out through the gap between the opened back door and the wall, catching
a glimpse of a small building, where Celia let her children in care to stay. “You’re not
so old yourself,” she commented lightly.

“I’m going to be fourteen soon.”

“What’s your name?”

“Sarah Cohen.”

Lena turned to stare at the girl, in which the girl instantly looked down. When Roland
was old enough, he picked a last name he wanted instead of Cohen. Lena thought that
he must have somewhat felt that he didn’t belong to the family.

“We’re practically sisters, then.”

“Are you one of Celia’s children?” Sarah asked, smiling.

Lena ignored the question. She didn’t know how to answer. Moving towards the
staircase, she glanced up there. The second floor was kept dark. “Is Celia home?”

“She’s been out to help Father John since early morning.”

Lena knew that Celia usually spent a whole day at the church. She then whistled, and
Oliver instantly entered.

“Get Frank. Now,” Lena ordered, snapping her fingers. Oliver nodded and rushed out
the door.

Lena turned and smiled at Sarah. She sat down on the piano chair, drumming her
fingers over the keys again. “Do you play, Sarah?”

As if the girl could sense the coldness beneath that smile on the Irish’s face, she
shifted uncomfortably in her spot, not daring to move closer. She finally shook her
head.

“I believe you do…” Lena stopped playing the piano and gave her full attention to the
girl. “But you will not touch this piano again. Understood?”

The girl gulped and nodded.

Walking past Sarah, Lena patted her head and strode towards the door.


>>>


It was five in the afternoon, and Yulia stood dumbfound by the doorsteps of her
mansion, blankly staring at the black Cadillac parked right in front of her. She was all
dressed up, but was expecting someone else.

“Hello, Yulia.”

At Roland’s charming smile, Yulia numbly extended her hand to receive his kiss. She
didn’t understand it. Was this some kind of a prank Lena was pulling? She felt a lump
in her throat and a slap in her face. She felt like a clown in this expensive, revealing
gown and ravishing makeup.

“Where is Lena?” It was probably an inappropriate question now, but she couldn’t
help it though. The look on Roland face was close to being saddened.

“She’s just remembered that she has an errand to settle. Would you mind my
company?”

Yulia tried to still her trembling hands, but failed miserably. What errand was so
important that Lena forgot to give her a call and even sent Roland here instead? Was
this supposed to be how Lena made up to her for ruining the last show? She scoffed at
herself for believing the redhead. Love had left her defenseless, and she was
wounded. As always, Lena’s usual, careless ways effortlessly managed to shatter
Yulia’s heart.

“I’m delighted to have you here, of course. Shall we go?” Putting up a smile, Yulia
took a step down and slipped her arm around his.


>>>


The sun had set just a few minutes ago, reddening the cloudy skies above. Up on the
second floor of Celia’s apartment, Lena sat in the dark, a bottle of whisky and a
bucket of ice on a small table next to her. With a loaded gun ready in her left hand,
she held the glass of whisky with her right hand, sipping it quietly. She had asked
Oliver and the men to hide in the adjacent building. They were reluctant, but order
was an order anyway.

The stomping and yelling downstairs echoed against the loud humming of the truck
parking right in front of the building. Holden Young’s thugs had come to collect the
furniture as promised. These men bullied and took advantage from anyone they could,
but the Irish wasn’t going to just sit back and watch them this time. Not here.

After roughly half an hour of hurling, the men finished loading the furniture onto the
back of the truck. They left with a laugh that would have imprinted in and haunted
young Sarah’s mind for days to come.

Lena tensed up as she heard footsteps coming up the stairs. She thought that the men
had all left. She raised her gun and aimed at the top of the staircase. Even in the dark,
she would not miss.

“Lena…?”

On the top flight of the stairs, Celia ran her hand clumsily over the wall. She found
the switch and turned the light on. She had just returned home to see her furniture
being hurled away, while she could do nothing to prevent it. It was all her dearest
child’s fault, yet Lena still dared to point the gun at her.

Celia studied the pale face under the dimming, amber light. “They wanted something,
and they took it. What are you here for…? My life?”

Lena sat still, unable to understand why she couldn’t lower the gun. She didn’t know
who was her friend or enemy anymore. Celia would not look at her the way she used
to. The warmth had disappeared from the older woman’s gaze. Roland marched in last
night and daringly claimed the only person she had ever loved, while she couldn’t
even bring herself to protest. Life had always been unfair, and anger seemed to be the
only mean to justify it.


>>>


The crowd went crazy as the third act of Turandot ended. Thunderous applauses
echoed through the whole house. Like everyone else, Roland stood up for the ovation,
but Yulia was chained in her luxurious, velvet, crimson chair. Throughout the
performance, she just sat there, looking down from the balcony to the stage. But her
mind was elsewhere.

Tears began to flood her eyes, and she clapped with the rest of the audiences, make
believe that she was just impressed by the performance. Although the play had ended
and Turandot had accepted the prince, Yulia felt she was still stuck somewhere in the
wilderness of pain and malice, scheming to execute those who had come to claim her
love. Her heart was left cold and bitter. Love had suddenly felt that way.


>>>


After the truck left, Oliver and the bodyguards sneaked back into Celia’s home. Sarah
was watching the men gathering at the bottom of the stairway, waiting for their boss
to come down.

“Do you carry guns like those men do?” Sarah asked out of the blue.

Perplexed, Oliver turned to the girl and nodded.

“Are you the goodies or the baddies?”

Oliver couldn’t help but smiled. “We’re here to make sure that those men don’t hurt
you anymore. You decide.”

Sitting on the stool, Sarah rocked her thin body back and forth, her legs swinging
lightly. The strawberry-blond-haired, young man couldn’t have been more than
twenty years old, yet he was already out there, making a living for himself with a
powerful gang.

“I think you’re one of the goodies. You look like one.”

Leaning against the wall, Oliver just chortled.


>>>


The opera show had just ended. Roland thought the night was still young, so he took
Yulia for a stroll along Lake Michigan. Holding her gloved hand, he led her up north,
their bodyguards following in the distance. Yulia had been quiet ever since they left
the opera house, lost in her vacant mind.

Roland squeezed her hand a little and stopped right by the lake. “I remember the first
time I met you, it was about twenty miles north from here. It was a very cold night.”

Yulia looked out to the dark water.

“It will be a year ago in a few months. Time flies, doesn’t it?”

Yulia absentmindedly nodded. It was the same night she first met Lena as well. If it
wasn’t because she decided to leave Tonya’s place early that night, Lena would
probably close the deal with her father without further social gathering, and they
might have never met. Tonya was introducing a man to her at the party, but she knew
just by the first glance that she wouldn’t be interested. Little did she know what was
waiting for her in the street; fate.


>>>


Just about eight blocks away from Celia’s apartment, the truck stopped at a red light.
The men in the back of the truck started to loosen up. Some were drinking, while the
others sat around over the laying fridge and table. A man grinned as he playfully sat
on the piano chair and started playing a melody.

“I didn’t know you could play,” his friend said.

“I am Mozart, you idiot!”

They laughed.


>>>


“Why are you looking at me like that?” In the dimming light, Lena finally offered her
godmother a smile and lowered her gun. “I’m here to protect you.”

Celia studied her child with a dreaded heart. She opened her mouth long before she
could utter the words. “I don’t need your protection, Lena. You scare me…”

Lena got up and moved towards Celia. The older woman flinched, causing Lena to
stop. Suddenly, a thunderous explosion echoed down the street. Celia rushed to open
the window and stuck her upper body out to get a glimpse of what was happening out
there. The truck that had just left Celia’s home was burning in flame in the middle of
the road. People were screaming and running for their lives. But all the men in the
truck were very likely to be dead.

Celia spun around to face Lena, terrorized. “You…” she muttered.

Lena just shrugged. “He hit the wrong note. Everybody does that once in a while…
Why can’t you forgive me?” She moved a step closer, and Celia screamed in fright.

Oliver rushed up the stairs, bewildered. But he stopped when he saw that his boss
seemed to be all right.

Gripping the gun tightly, Lena lifted her hand up and brushed the tears away with the
edge of her sleeve. “Why can’t you…?” She didn’t even know why she wouldn’t hide
this murderous act from Celia. She foolishly hoped that her will to protect the older
woman and its brutal honesty could have weighed more. She knew now she was only
a fool, as always.

She began to rub her face feverishly, trying to dry her tears. She wanted to tear her
face apart and rip her heart out, so that no one could see—that there was nothing to
feel.


>>>


The night had never been clearer, and the wind finally softened. Roland got down on
his knees and offered Yulia the ring.

“I love you, Yulia… Will you marry me?”

Yulia froze in her spot. She had not expected this from Roland, especially not tonight
when her heart was broken to pieces by someone else.


>>>


In the midst of Celia’s scream, Lena smashed the whisky bottle to the ground with the
gun in her hand, fiercely turning around and pointing the gun at Celia. “Shut up! Just
shut up!”

“Please stop, Lena! Please!” Celia shut her eyes tightly, her back pressed against the
window. She eventually fell to her knees. “Please… stop it… Please, go away…”

The sight of Celia breaking down washed away Lena’s anger. She lowered the gun as
the words registered in her head. She wasn’t sure what she was doing. Threatening
someone to forgive her was a way to go, indeed.

Shuddering in fear, Celia began to cry. “I don’t need your protection… I don’t need
you… Please… leave me alone…”


>>>


Yulia stood against the wind, looking down at the man at her feet. Time did fly. It
passed so fast that she had to think back of the time when this man first came into her
life. It felt so long ago—so jaded. Roland had been nothing but kind to her. He
collected her from the lake and delivered her home unharmed. He stood by her father
when most of Dimitri’s powerful friends turned their backs on him. He had done
everything to protect her and helped her through the bad times. She still couldn’t
understand why she didn’t love him as she should. Instead, she gave her heart to
someone who barely cared to love.

Slightly trembling, Yulia reached out for his hand and held it. Maybe love didn’t
always matter. It didn’t now.


>>>


Lena stormed out of the building, followed closely by her guards. The gun was still
tight in her grasp. Frustrated, she kept turning around, panting. She had come to
protect Celia, but then turned into one of Holden’s men herself.

Looking ahead, she could see the burning truck from here, and hopelessly, she
watched the terror she had become. Love didn’t always explain everything. It didn’t
always defeat hatred. It always lost her.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
CHAPTER 47


It was nearly two o’clock in the morning when I finished reading the entry of the day.
I would have liked to go on, but was feeling too exhausted to continue. Putting the
yellow-paged, black leather book at the head of the bed, I lied down and pulled the
blanket over me. I could get the slightly stale smell from the blanket though; Juliana
must have kept it in the closet for too long. As I reached towards the desk lamp,
wanting to turn in for the night, a knock came upon the door.

“Yes… Come in…” I glanced around, gripping the hem of the blanket.

Juliana in her pajamas walked in with a warm glass of milk. She still had the pair of
glasses on. I did think it fitted her careless look so fine.

“I saw the light under the door, so I figured you’re still awake.”

I sat up and took the milk from her. “Thank you.” I suddenly blushed when I thought
of how I broke down right in front of her just earlier today. I was too wrecked, so
Juliana brought me to her apartment just a few blocks away from Mrs. Petitot’s home.

Having heard the story from her grandparents since she was a child, Juliana had
grown to obsess with the myth. She had been showing me her collection of souvenirs
from the Irish’s days. A handkerchief, tea cups, a cane, a revolver, or even a board
game. My favorite was Lena Cohen’s white robe. I was amazed that they were still in
good condition.

“Juliana…” Holding the glass with both hands, I looked up at her. “Since you have
always known that Volkova is still alive, why haven’t you visited her?”

Smiling, Juliana sat down on the chair next to my bed, a knee up against her chest.
“I’m the one who know too much,” she whispered teasingly.

I chortled, unconsciously adoring her vibrant smile.

“I drive around the ranch often, you know, just to get a glimpse of what it should look
like seventy years back. But… seeing the old woman, I just couldn’t walk up to her
and tell her the truth. I didn’t even tell my granny that Volkova is still alive because
there’s no use. The past is the past. You can’t do anything to change it anyway… I
prefer Volkova to keep her hope alive.”

I sat in silence, staring at the glass in my hands. Juliana was the descendant of those
who wanted to protect the Irish, while I was of the one who tried to destroy her. In
this world where none of our generation knew of the Irish anymore, there were still
the two of us, bonded in the strangest way imaginable.

Juliana paused and studied me for a while. “Do you plan to be the one to break her heart?”

“I plan to save it,” I said firmly, staring back with determination.

Juliana laughed, and I looked down, blushing. Positively strange, I didn’t think I
could sleep tonight. I thought about going back for another entry or two. Time was
running out.

dare2dream28
19-09-2005, 19:30
I didn’t mean to let Roland be the bad guy…but I guess I have done
it.

Ohhhhhhh yes. I think all of us would like to just stomp Roland into the ground. :mad:

I felt so damn bad for Lena all throughout this update. All she wants is to be accepted by Celia and instead, she realizes just how bad she's really become lately. I can't even imagine the pain she felt when Celia told her to go away & that she didn't need her.

And Yulia...man, I could literally hear her heart fall to the floor & shatter to pieces when it was Roland who was on the other side of the door. That poor girl. I want to know how she plans to save Old Volkova's heart!!

I have to ask though...I wonder what would be worse...having Old Volkova wait until the day she dies for Lena to come back, only to be disappointed when it never happens or to realize that all this time, she has waited for something that will never come. :(

Lena Myer...man, she best pick that diary up & keep reading if she knows what's good for her! LOL

serbiantatu
19-09-2005, 20:49
Thank you again for amazing update and for taking time to write this regularly its HIGHLY apriciated.

Yulia cant acept Roland.. Can she? I mean at the end we know she dont end up with him. But theres one thing i still wonder since last update. Is Lena really dead? Or is it just the irish dead? Maybe she made somehow out of whatever happened where everyone thought that shes dead n she used it to go n live somewhere where no1 knew of Irish? Well.. At least i hope.
I dont know if i feel angry or sorry for Celia. Its not an easy thought that child you reised n loved become murderer for whatever reasons. I think she still love Lena tho. Maybe she just need time to accept that no matter of what Lena became theres still heart of lil girl she once knew even tho its well hidden.

I think we should get new thread where we readers could go into deeper anylise of this story lol, i miss really chatting and sharing what i think of this story with others but not with just few senteces. Every sentece in this story is so deep and meaningful its kind of sad leaving it undisscuted.

warx
20-09-2005, 03:44
i dnt get it....... :confused:
hehehe :D

rasoska
20-09-2005, 20:09
oh my, i dont know who i feel more sorry for, lena or yulia :( so sad.
im still mad at lena tho, she shouldnt give those tickets to roland :mad:

and UUUGHHH i just wanna beat roland up with each passing moment :mad:

thanks for the update, you r the best :rose:

showMElove2
23-09-2005, 12:47
I think it shows that Lena is not as strong as the Irish, loving Yulia probaly scares her and its easier to let go, and Roland is more than happy to be there with not a thought of how it will hurt his friend.... I only think he is wrong because he has witnessed their connection and yet, he thinks of himself :mad:
Thanks as always for updating!!

Uhaku
25-09-2005, 16:22
Thanks everyone! So sorry for the delay in updating. With a few health
problems, a mental one, not to mention that my computer got virus, I only had
the mood and time to write now. ^_^’ I hope to keep you guys entertained.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 48


Seeking refuge in her own home, Lena was sitting by the desk in her bedroom. Only a
desk lamp was turned on while she was writing her journal, remembering the days
and nights without that light in her life.

Sighing, she looked up from the page and stared out the window to the dark skies
outside. This night was as lonely as she had always imagined how she would end up,
but she couldn’t get used to it now. Yulia had spoiled her, threatened the security of
her lonesome world.

She was pulled out of her thought when the phone suddenly rang. She walked to the
bed, sitting down and picking the phone up. She didn’t even have to guess, knowing it
was Roland as she had been avoiding his calls for several days now. Surprisingly,
tonight’s call wasn’t about Yulia.

“I’m in big trouble now, Lena! You have to help me! Please, do anything!”

“What happened?” Lena frowned.

Holden’s men were supposed to pick up the cocaine packed in food cans, which were
shipped from South America, stored in one of Roland and Lena’s chain restaurants.
But the cops showed up during the transfer and captured all the men presented there.
Fortunately, there was no gunfire, but Oliver was taken to jail along with everyone
else. Roland was lucky enough, having arrived there later than scheduled.

Lena instantly grew rigid upon hearing the news. This could expose the other hiding
places for their goods. The captured men were likely to be forced into confession.

“They’re going to testify against me! The cops will make sure of that! They’ve been
trailing us all along! I have to leave the States, Lena. I must leave now!”

“They will be watching us very closely. It’s likely that we won’t be able to leave until
this case is solved.”

“Do you have any other idea?! Oh, God, what am I going to do now?! Oh, God!”

After Roland hung up, Lena sat still in her post. The headache suddenly came back
and she rubbed the bridge of her nose, shaking her head slightly. She pulled open the
drawer and grabbed a white bottle, stuffing in the pills and chewing them right there.
The stress must have somehow changed the taste because she found it rather sweet
she could have taken some more.

Out of the blue, a series of knock came upon the door. Lena looked up, breathing
hard. Tonight wasn’t going to end as boring as she had thought. She rushed to the
door to receive the guest.

Angela in her gray coat was standing there with an accusing look in her eyes. The
dark-haired Latino didn’t even need an invitation. She strode in and spun around to
stare at the host. Lena quietly closed the door.

“Your friend has done it. How stupid he was!” Angela tossed her purse onto the
couch.

Lena just watched her guest pacing up and down, while secretly trying to cope with
the pounding in her head. She closed her eyes for a second, shutting the swirling out
of he sight.

“You have no part in this deal, which is good—great, because they won’t have any
evidence against you in court. But those men will be forced to testify for other cases
the police have been working on. Are you prepared for that?”

“I appreciate your concern, but you’re putting yourself over the line. You’re a cop
yourself…” Lena stared at the Latino beauty, and her tone grew colder. “Why are you
here?”

Angela scoffed and walked right up to stare at Lena in the eye. “I’m not surprised if
you’re going to kill me now. I know just what you’re capable of, but you should
already know how I feel and why I still stick with the Volkov family until now… I’m
your only friend, and you know that you can’t kill me.”

Lena’s expression remained blank. “What do you propose?”

“A legal or a criminal way?”

“I like your humor,” Lena said dryly.

“When they involve you, you will bargain with them.”

“With what?” Lena looked away as the headache threatened to explode her head.

“With the information about the trades Dimitri Volkov had been doing until last year.
Although Holden Young’s friends had already given up on Mr. Volkov, there are still
other cops, who aren’t as corrupted and still want him behind the bars. I hold the
information… only for you.”

Lena began to shake her head, but stumbled forwards. Angela instantly put her arms
around the redhead and helped her to sit on the couch.

“You don’t look so good. Hasn’t Yulia been treating you well?” Smirking, Angela
softly wiped the sweat from Lena’s forehead with a handkerchief.

Lena closed her eyes, trying to calm down. The impending doom of her and Roland’s
fate was more than enough to stress her out tonight. She didn’t need another thing to
worry.

“I know that selling Dimitri out will be your last choice, but… fortunately, I know
another way, which might be even more appealing to you.” Angela smiled.
“Cooperate with the cops and let Roland go to jail—”

“No! There must be another way!” Lena angrily brushed Angela’s hands off.

Angela stilled the redhead with a firm grip on her arms. “There isn’t any other way
but to betray your friends. This is what you must pay when you’re living your life as a
murderer! You should have thought about it before you started it. But it’s too late to
speak of it now. It’s too late to even realize that maybe you’re not made for it! You’re
too good for them!”

Lena paused. It amazed her that someone like Angela could have thought of her this way.

Seemingly knowing what was in Lena’s mind, a smile appeared on Angela’s face. She
gently cupped Lena’s pale face in her palms. “I never see you any other way but a girl
who was put in a wrong place and a wrong time. You could have been someone else
totally. You’re too brave and honorable to be dragged down that way… I see you
fight, Lena, and you fight the evil, not us. Now, save yourself, I beg you…”


>>>


It was a beautiful day, but not for Victor Iver. Stalking across the front lawn of his
mansion, the senator was in a navy suit with a black coat over his wide shoulders. The
maid opened the door for him, nodding and gesturing at his study room. He looked
grim as he strode through.

Walking through the oak door, Iver’s gaze fell upon the red-haired, young woman,
who was pacing around the couch. He closed the door behind him, and cleared his
throat. Lena flinched, stopping and looking up at him.

The gray-haired man observed her for a while. She was in a black, long coat that
made her tall stature looked even lankier than usual. The messy, long, crimson curls
framed her pale and gaunt face. He forgot to breathe when he saw the grayness in her
left eye. Dimitri had told him what happened to Lena at the warehouse. He wanted to
pay a visit, but his friend suggested that unless the Irish died, he should not show
himself near their kind again so soon. It was always for his reputation. Throughout his
life, everything, everyone—every dream was sacrificed for his career.

A deep frown appeared on Victor’s face. Today could ruin all the sacrifices if only
someone leaked out this meeting with his illegitimate daughter, who happened to be
the Irish. He stood against the door, noting that the maid had already let the
blinds down every window. “I saved you last time and never expected to see you
again.” He delivered the words he had repeated a hundred times over in his head
before agreeing to see Lena. Although he wanted to just walk up to her and hold her
for once, consoling her, his life as a senator always stood between them.

Lena shifted her gaze from him to the carpeted floor, putting her clenched fists in her
pockets.

“As soon as I heard the news about Myer, I knew you’d show up, not caring if this
meeting would effect my reputation. What do you want from me?” Iver glided
towards the small table, pouring some whiskey into two glasses.

“Not for me. It won’t be long,” Lena said.

Iver looked up, holding out a glass to her anyway. She reluctantly accepted.

“As you already knew, Roland is in trouble. I need your help.”

Iver finished up his glass and poured some more. He then let out a sigh, shaking his
head. “The best I could do is getting him pass the immigration. I do have a few trusted
friends in the department. Myer needs to leave the States for a while—a long while.”

Lena’s shoulder sagged down in defeat instead of relief. Whatever thought that was
clouding her mind couldn’t be too good.

Iver bitterly chuckled. “You can’t stand being away from him?”

Lena glanced up at him, a concern in her eyes. “Will you risk much?”

“I didn’t expect you to worry since you have already shown your face here.” As soon
as Iver finished his sentence, he looked down instantly, wanting to slap his own face.
He had wanted so much to see her again after hearing of her injury but here he was,
acting like a selfish bastard he once was twenty years ago, leaving her and Gwen all
alone.

Iver finished his second glass. “I will inform you when I arrange the day he could
leave.”

“Thank you,” Lena said, and turned to the door.

“Wait…” Iver put the glass down and cleared his throat again. “How are you?”

For a second, Lena looked puzzled, but then blanked her expression again. She looked
like a wreck, completely exhausted as she stood there, shrugging absentmindedly.
“I’m all right, I suppose,” she muttered.

Nodding feverishly, Iver gulped and looked down. “That is great to hear.” While he
wanted to embrace her, he could only watch her walk out the door, oblivious to
everything that was going on inside his heart.


>>>


It was already half past nine when Roland was leaving the Volkov ranch. Lena was
waiting in her car, watching him drive through the gates and heading the other way.
He must have tons in his mind and came to seek refuge with Yulia. Lena wondered
what plan they had made, considering everything that had gone on between them.
Would they happily accept the Senator’s help to get them out of the country? In the
end, everyone was leaving her.

Popping a pill into her mouth, Lena tiredly rubbed her shoulders and got out of the
car. She trudged towards the gates. Holding onto the cold, steel bars, she stopped and
looked up at the lights in Yulia’s room. She couldn’t help but pondered what the
blonde had been doing with Roland all afternoon. Did they find any solution to help
him? Did their plan include her? Did Yulia let him into her room…?

Lena’s thought was pulled away when she looked ahead and caught a glimpse of a
silhouette standing against the light coming out of the front door of the mansion. She
could tell right away who it was, and was sure that she had been spotted. She just
wasn’t sure if she had been seen right when the blonde came out to send Roland off.

Lena slipped past the gates and walked along the long, graveled path towards the
mansion. The silhouette finally moved, taking a few steps down and waiting. Lena
stopped just a few feet away from Yulia, staring into the dark shadow over the
woman’s beautiful face. For a while, they just stood there and looked at one another,
feeling as if it had been months apart from each other.

There were so many things Lena wanted to say but she rather kept it short at the
moment. She moved a little closer to Yulia, hands shivering in her pockets.

“I went to see an associate of mine, and he seems to be able to help Roland out of the
States. It’ll be just a few days, and I hope that gives you enough time to pack.”

Yulia’s blue eyes shone so brightly in the dark, and Lena felt as though she was being
scrutinized and accused in that silent gaze. She looked down.

Yulia averted her gaze elsewhere, hugging herself. “What makes you think that I will
move with him?”

“For your father’s sake, it’s best to leave. There are people who are still after him.
Roland’s case only opens ways for those people to get on your father’s back again.”

Yulia looked up and stared straight at Lena. “What about you?”

Lena paused. She couldn’t tell how happy she was at the moment, knowing that Yulia
was still worried about her.

“You don’t have to worry about me.”

“It doesn’t work that way, Lena. It doesn’t work that way when you ruthlessly slept
with me, but then shunned me off the next moment.” Yulia perked her chin up, staring
ahead. “You should know that after Roland showed up that night instead of you, I do
not wish to see you anymore.”

Lena closed her eyes and tried to still her trembling hands inside her pockets. Her
head was spinning. The last thing she wanted now was to vomit here. “I only think of
what is best for you—”

“What do you know?” Yulia scoffed and turned away. “You don’t even know
yourself.”

Lena rushed to grab the blonde’s hand. “Please, I don’t want us to part this way!”

“You can’t always have your way! I won’t let you do this to me anymore!” Yulia
furiously brushed Lena’s hand away. Panting, she glared at the redhead, clenching her
fists. “You don’t understand it, do you…? You don’t understand any of this! You
don’t know—or care what love is, and you don’t deserve it! Just leave me alone! Just
go!”

Lena froze in her spot as Yulia ran back into the mansion and slammed the door shut.
She thought her head had just burst, but it was her heart that was torn into pieces
instead. It felt strange when her body became absolutely still and she didn’t feel the
headache anymore. Numbly, she turned and headed out of the ranch with her heart
colder than the night itself.


>>>


Staring at the floor, Yulia was leaning against the door, listening to the distant
humming of a car engine growing thinner and thinner each second past. As expected,
Lena left without a protest. If it were any other night, Yulia would have expected the
redhead to come knock on the door. But tonight was different; she had become wiser.
She had learned just what love could do. She would readily leave if only Lena would
go with her, but Lena had something else in her mind. Instead, Lena came to push her
away again and again. She thought she could take it, letting the redhead play her. But
she did not expect to fall for this woman and that it would hurt this much.

Falling to her knees, Yulia buried her face in her palms. Her shoulders began to
tremble, and she despised herself for crying now—for foolishly wishing that the car
outside would turn around and fly her away.

serbiantatu
25-09-2005, 20:28
How much of bad luck one person can have? Is there anyone that Lena hold dear that didnt reject her or took whats dearest to her?... Roland.. Roland how stupid he was? He got them all in trouble he got Yulia from Lena n now he as always turn to ask help of her? I said once ill say again with friends like that who needs enemys. I hope Lenas dad will come around he has lots of emotions for her i think sooner or later that will lead him back to Lena on one or other way.

What to say about Yulia and Lena.. Cant blame ither of them. After so many rejections Lena had, would anyone be able to knock on the door again - no matter of how much they wish to. Maybe Yulia should give her another chance and try understand hows for the Irish is bit more. Its sad how the Irish could solve any problem and rise above anything that come on her way and yet Lena will run away as soon as problem come and give away without fight.

Thank you for update i cant wait for more to come.

showMElove2
25-09-2005, 23:55
Roland... the nerve of him to come to the Irish for help after taking away her light. She is so loyal that she would never turn her back on him despite what he has taken from her. I only wish she would have realized that she deserved to be happy despite what she has done in her life. And Yulia, wanting to give up on love that hurts so bad....its understandable but not so easy!
Thanks for the update, and how could anything you write not entertain?!

Blue-Amy
26-09-2005, 18:50
I'll say only this- when I start reading the update I was listening to music...and while I was reading various songs began and ended, but I heard none of them! I was so trapped in that world, that I couldn't hear anything else..it's like I was some kind of a mute and invisible witness.. Can I be more entertained than that?...I doubt it
As for what happened...all I can say is that, in the end I had tears in my eyes.I dunno if I'm a silly brat, but it impressed me a lot the way Lena's heart is broken to pieces again and again...and what's worse is that without Yulia, her only light in her life...she'll be lost...why Roland?WHY???? :( ...Serbiantatu said it all in one sentence: With friends like him, who needs enemies?

Uhaku
29-09-2005, 16:19
Thank you everyone. My eyes sore :coctail:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 49


In her modest home, Celia was sitting on the old couch, hands stiffly on her laps.
Three men in dark suits and glasses were sitting on the other chairs. They had claimed
to be detectives and were telling her about the hot case against Roland Myer.

“Do you mean… Do you mean that you want me to testify against Roland…?” Celia
glanced around at the men, wide-eyed.

The fat, bald man sitting opposite to Celia adjusted his black-rim glasses a little,
staring at her without blinking.

“But I do not know anything about his business. I—”

“You are his godmother. We believe that you know what type of business he is in. We
also have knowledge of your meeting with Roland Myer’s partner, Lena Cohen, just
two weeks ago, and we knew what happened... You do still remember how those men
in the truck died, don’t you?” The bald man leaned forwards a little closer to Celia,
and smiled lightly. “You know something that will be useful in court. Please
cooperate with us.”

Celia gulped, looking down instantly. “But—but Lena has nothing to do with
Roland’s case, does she?”

“We want both of them on whatever charge. We need to get them by whatever mean
necessary, ma’am. You know that these types of people are no good to society, and I
strongly believe in your conscience, Ms. Cohen… Or we will find something that
would suggest your involvement with the murder of the men in the truck that night.”

The bald man stood up and handed a name card to Celia. “Call me when you make
your decision. Good day, Ms. Cohen.” He then nodded to his friends and left.

Staring down at the name on the card, Celia froze in her seat, gripping the hem of her
skirt. She gradually looked up and her gaze briefly met with Sarah, who was sitting
along the stair, hiding in the shadow.

>>>

Holden Young was awakened from his sleep at midnight, having to receive the
troublesome guest. In his black, silky robe, he strode through the large hall of his
home into his study room. There were a few guards gathering around, and a maid
opened the door for Holden.

“Thank you for a midnight visit, Myer! A glass of Bourbon?” Holden sneered as he
walked to the shelf and poured himself some.

Roland sat still on the couch, only his tired gaze following the older man on the other
side of the room. He was in his crumpled, brown suit. Looking pale, his dark hair
matched the dark circles under his eyes perfectly.

“How could you sleep when thirteen of your men are in jail right now and might be
confessing the crime against you at the moment?” Roland brushed a hand over his
cold face.

Holden let out a scoff and washed down his drink. “What are you so worried about,
Myer? Go back to sleep. Everything will be all right.”

Burying his face in his palms, Roland bent over his knees, muttering. “How did the
cops know that we were there…? How…? I got Lena—Dimitri in trouble also…
What am I going to do now? I don’t even know if I could leave the States yet… Oh,
God…”

“You want to leave, Myer?” Holden turned around, holding a full glass in his hand.
He approached Roland, and offered the glass.

Roland washed down the drink in one big gulp, sitting tightly in his seat.

“Where are you going to go, Myer? The opportunity is here! There are risks involved,
of course, but nothing that we can’t handle.”

Roland glanced at Holden, deep in his thought. “How are you going to handle this
case?”

“I have a plan, my friend. But I need your consent as it is involved your men as well.”

“What plan?” Roland asked, his voice a tune higher in anticipation.

Holden watched his companion in crime for a second, a cold smile on his face. “We
must get rid of the witnesses who could turn against us. I’m ready to sacrifice on my
part. Are you?”

Roland shifted in his post, mouth open wide. “Are you going to kill them all…?
You’re going to kill your men?”

“They are no longer my men, or yours, Myer. They’re with the police now. And when
you still can’t accept the fact; that is why you can’t sleep. As for me? I already know
what it’s going to cost and I will face it.”

“No, I can’t let Oliver die. He’s a good boy!”

“Who is that? Your driver?” Holden laughed, leaning back comfortably. “Think about
it, Myer. He probably told the cops about what you did already. But we can’t let these
little minions stop us! Never! We are the bosses and we make decision who to live or
to die! We do that, Myer, not them!”

For the longest time, Roland kept silence, clutching the empty glass in his hand. He
took in a deep breath and sighed, staring up at the ceiling. Biting his lips, he finally
turned to Holden.

“I need another glass…”

Holden burst into a content laugh and took the glass from the younger man. “Good!
You’ve made the right decision! We can get through this together, Myer!”

Sitting small on the couch, Roland hopelessly watched his new companion stalking
across the room to get him another glass of Bourbon—to lead him and save him from
all this mess.

>>>

It was already five in the morning, but Roland was sitting at his desk, still in the same
crumpled brown suit. He had returned from the midnight meeting with Holden hours
ago, but he could not go to sleep. It seemed that his decision was to be carried out,
letting twelve of his men, including Oliver Petitot, to die the day after tomorrow,
when the cops would be transferring them from the temporary jail to the courthouse.

Roland stared out the window to the dark blue skies outside, a cigarette burning
between his fingers. Slowly, he reached for the phone and dialed up the only set of
numbers imprinted in his mind.

“Hello…?”

Roland pressed the receiver closer to his mouth, tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry to call
you up this late… but I don’t know who else to talk to…”

“Don’t worry. What is it?”

Roland was a little perplexed that Lena’s voice didn’t sound one bit groggy.

“Have you slept?”

“No.”

“Why not?” Roland frowned.

“What is it? Are you all right?”

Roland closed his eyes, secretly cursing himself. He realized that not only him was
tormented, but Lena was probably as worried as he was. She was worried for him.

“I’m so sorry. I let you down—”

“You didn’t. It’s a mistake I could have done, too. They won’t have anything against
me, so don’t worry about it. My associate will be contacting us soon. You just have to
be patient, Roland.”

Roland gulped back his tears, but he couldn’t stop his sob. “I’m about to do the worst
thing in my entire life, Lena. I—”

“Don’t say it.”

Roland became quite. Considering what was going on around them now, the cops
might be listening at the moment.

“Whatever that you’re going to do I will stand by you. Just be safe and go to sleep, all
right?”

Roland feverishly nodded like a child even though he knew that Lena couldn’t see. “I
will, and you, too. I love you…”

>>>

Lying on the bed, Lena was wide-eyed, staring blankly at the ceiling. Her headache
had kept her from sleep the entire night, and worrying for her friend did not help
either. Angela had informed her earlier today that Celia Cohen would join the rank of
the witnesses as well. Having their godmother on the trail only secured the cops’
stand against them. The safest bet now was to get Roland out of the country as soon as
possible. But time was running out. The trail was to start in just a day. Senator Iver
might have powerful friends, but Lena doubted how her father would get Roland out
of the hook. It seemed almost impossible.

Grunting, she rubbed the bridge of her nose as the throbbing in her head worsened.
She shut her eyes tightly, clutching the blanket in her fists. Flashes of Holden’s
swinging bat at her face still haunted her mind, and it only got more distinct when the
headache came back. She had successfully coped with its severity after she moved out
of Roland’s home, but the pain was still there, distantly but always presented. Yulia
was the only thing that could keep it out of her mind, but there was no point in
thinking about it now. There were more important things to consider about at the
moment than her physical pain.

Lena opened her eyes again when the phone rang. She grabbed the receiver and
couldn’t help but sighed into it.

“Be patient, Roland. It’s going to be all right—”

“What about you?”

Lena paused. The familiar voice was one thing that stopped her, but the fact that this
person had always cared for her was another. It was something more important. And
Lena felt the rush to hold the receiver tighter.

“You haven’t slept as I thought. How’s your headache?”

“How did you know?” Lena asked quietly, clutching the blanket as she had been
caught.

“You looked pale that night… and I could see your hands trembling in your pockets.
You never hid anything well, Ms. Cohen. Is it still bad?”

“It’s nothing that won’t cure.”

“I suppose you can handle it then.”

With this, Lena detected the sarcasm in Yulia’s tone, and she suppressed her sigh.
There was a long silence between them until Lena cleared her throat and asked, “Why
aren’t you sleeping?”

“The same reason you cannot sleep?”

“You don’t have headache, do you?”

“I meant I’m worried about you as you are for someone else.”

“Roland isn’t someone else to you—I—I mean—”

“My fiancé. Of course, I am worried about him, but I cannot stop thinking about you
anyway… Don’t you know…?”

Lena closed her eyes at the word ‘fiancé’. She should have expected it when she sent
Roland with the ring to the Turandot play. But she couldn’t understand why she felt
the ache in her heart right now, especially upon hearing Yulia’s pleading voice.

“I know…” Lena whispered back.

For a moment, they were just silent, listening to each other’s soft but tired breathing.
Lena sat up in her bed, biting her lips. She wasn’t sure if she should speak what she
should not.

“Why didn’t you come to the play?”

Lena sat still in her post, looking away. “There’s no use talking about it now. You
have decided—”

“I think you owe me an explanation since I’m about to leave the States as you
requested… Why…?”

Lena shut her eyes tightly at the soft whisper of the question. Yulia’s tone sounded as
though her life was depended on the simple answer that wouldn’t change anything for
the better or worse.

“Go to sleep, Yulia… Please…”

Lena slowly put down the receiver. Since she had no plan to sleep at this little hour of
the morning now, she got up and changed her clothes. A quiet stroll was the only
remedy she could think of at the moment.

>>>

In her thick, black coat, Lena strode past the front door of her humble apartment
complex. She waved at the bodyguards on the first floor, letting them know that she
wanted to be alone. As always, she kept a loaded gun in one of her pockets. But she
had little to worry at the moment since the cops might be watching her every step
now, and nobody was foolish enough to assassinate her, risking to be easily caught.

Only an unexpected guest that stood right in the yellow pool of light from the
streetlight. Lena halted in her track, staring at the thin figure about ten feet ahead of
her. Not far from where Yulia was standing was a phone booth, and Lena figured out
the rest of the story. She only wondered what the blonde would do if she did not come
down for the early morning walk. But it seemed that Yulia had learned to know her so
well.

Hands in her pockets, Lena glanced around and approached the blonde woman in
black coat. They stood face to face, not daring to let their gaze drift away from each
other for fear that the other would just disappear.

Yulia did not have to say anything, but her bright blue eyes had said it all. She was
here for the explanation, or a goodbye. She was here to have her heart break again by
the Irish’s careless way. And she would always be here in front of Lena to let her
hope rise once more.

Lena took her hand out of her pocket and reached to gently stroke Yulia’s face. “I let
Roland go instead of me because he can and will take care of you far better than I ever
will. He will give you family and everything that one day you will miss…” Lena
looked down, her hand slipping away. “And because… I love you too much to drag
you down with me.”

Tears welled up the blue eyes at the last words. Yulia clutched Lena’s hand and held
it tightly against her cheek. “I don’t need someone to care for me, or a family only to
fulfill a pointless dream. Don’t you know me at all…? I don’t want that day—I don’t
want tomorrow without you.”

Yulia swung her arms around the redhead’s neck, burying her face against her
shoulder. For a while, Lena just stood there, unsure whether to hold Yulia back.

“Don’t let go even just for now… Please?”

Squeezing her eyes shut, Lena held the thin body with both arms. She did not know
what tomorrow would bring, but it was the only thing she could do now—holding
onto hope. It was the only thing she ever wished for.

dare2dream28
30-09-2005, 01:09
*screams at screen* DO YOU HAVE TO END THERE?! DO YOU?? DO YOU?!?! :bow: :bow: OMG uhaku, my love for this story absolutely soars every time I read a new update!!! I was literally holding my breath while Yulia & Lena were talking on the phone & I leaped for joy inside when I read what Lena said!! FINALLY!!!! Damn it Lena, just take her back!! JUST TAKE HER BACK!!!!!!

But Celia...ohhhhh I'm worried about everything! Damn Roland & his selfishness!!!!!

I LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!

YLuelniaa
30-09-2005, 01:52
well well well........what can i say... absolutely fcuking brillant yet again....

Those two just have to get together...have too....i mean come on....:)

Roland....bah freakin guy has gotten himself in some deep shit...Holden...needs to be shot repeatedly for his brillant plan to eliminate the witnesses that now involve Celia..

SO ROLAND what you gonna do NOW

rasoska
30-09-2005, 10:14
uhaku you are fucking brilliant :bow: :bow:
I FUCKIN LOVE THIS STORY!!

excuse my language but i cant put in words how absolutely great you are :rose:

showMElove2
30-09-2005, 11:01
What a mess Roland has gotten them all in :( I am glad that Yulia is still her pushy self or else that last exchange (hope its not literally the last) between her and Lena would never have happened if it was up to Lena. I love this! Thanks for the update!!

Blue-Amy
30-09-2005, 11:27
I absolutly loved this update!!!!Like all of yours updates...but this time, Lena FINALLY said that she loves her more than anything!..after almost fifty chapters...but it totally worth the waiting.. Thank God Yulia knows Lena far better than the Irish knows herself...as for Roland, I think he will change his mind and save his people, otherwise he won't be able to sleep well ever again cause of the remoarses...
I can't wait to see what happens next!!!

serbiantatu
30-09-2005, 12:43
You are just too amazing.. Update after update and it only gets better and better.. I admire your talent i really do. You have to publish this story i never read anything better [exept 666 wich is just as great].. Im still too amazed to comment about story

Thank you for update!

Ningyo
01-10-2005, 06:43
Btw, the idea of a spin-off always scares me. First, a Natalia spin-off. Now this? I
only have two hands and one brain to type up a story so fast. Are u trying to
murder me? Loooool.

Ok, no more about spin-offs. :bebebe: I like you too much, and it'd be nice to read more of this. :D

warx
03-10-2005, 03:35
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.................




*hugs* <--- uhaku

Uhaku
03-10-2005, 18:43
Ooops, no update. But I just drop in to say hi and stuff. I'm in a bit uplifting mood at the moment, that's why. About this piece of fanfiction, there will be roughly about five or less main chapters (excluding Lena Myer and Juliana Petitot small episodes) remaining. Honestly... I still haven't written more than half of the next update. I've been through some kind of family problem, which is beyond my control now and I just thought that I only have to let it go. And since I have my computer fixed from Trojan virus, now I'm back full-time. I love reading you guys' comments, really. Thanks for giving me courage! See you soon! :)

serbiantatu
03-10-2005, 20:03
Hello to you too :) It sadned me to hear theres only 5more chapters. I liked to think that will never end and that there will always be more updates to read. Ill miss it a lot. What will we read then?? I just pray there youll write some new fanfic or fic because nothing can replace ur stories, im simply in love with ur style. Hmm those trojan virus u had is probablly by someone who like ur fics as much as i do n cant wait for update so wants to find it on ur pc lol.. Hope things will be ok for you. Thank you for sharing this fic with us

Volkster
03-10-2005, 23:46
How can it be that every time I read an update I end in tears for all the bad luck and the dead ends that these two seem to face???? And I read so much today that I just kept on saying to myself that something would eventually go right for them!!!

Thanks for ALL the updates and I hope things are better for you!!! :done:

Uhaku
04-10-2005, 15:05
^_^' here it is...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 50


It was well into the afternoon when Lena opened her eyes and found herself in bed
with Yulia lying beside her. The blonde’s head was resting on Lena’s chest, one arm
wrapping around her waist. Lena decided to stay put for a while, not wanting to
interrupt Yulia from a peaceful sleep. And she did not want to end their close physical
contact just yet. She had just realized how much she loved it when their naked bodies
lay next to one another, cherishing the warmth from the other’s skin. Gently, she
lifted her arm up and played with Yulia’s silky, blonde hair.

Yulia’s eyes fluttered opened, her head rising and falling according to the rhythm of
Lena’s soft breathing. Glancing around, she noted the small bedroom with creamy
walls. Over the wooden desk by the window, a thick, black, leathered book was left
opened. Mild sunlight shone through the gap between the white curtains, casting
shadows over two black coats hanging over the chair. It was such a simple sight, but
she did not want to be anywhere else in the world but here.

“Good afternoon,” Lena said.

Yulia paused as she noted the abrupt absence of Lena’s hand from her hair. “Did you
have a good sleep?”

“Hmm…” Eventually, Lena shifted away from Yulia, trying to get up, but she was
stopped by a tight grip around her waist. Unable to resist her own desire to stay like
this a little longer, she finally gave in and lied back down on the mattress.

In silence, they both let their minds searched for an answer without knowing what
question would be right for the situation they were in.

Lena’s trail of thoughts was interrupted by a sudden kiss from Yulia. She allowed the
kiss to linger on a little longer than she meant to, and unconsciously kissed back.
After a moment, she gathered her strength to pull away. But Yulia hastily climbed on
top of her, feverishly stroking her face.

“What do I have to do to make you smile at me?”

Lena stayed silent. As much as she wanted to just console the blonde, she was frozen
with the sight of the diamond ring on the floor Yulia tossed away when they were in a
hurry to strip their clothes off. It shone brightly in the middle of the room, lonely and
lost in the midst of their rush to find love.

“Why did you accept his proposal?” Staring at the ring in contempt, Lena could not
quite believe her own ears what she had just uttered.

“It hurt, didn’t it?” Yulia spoke frankly as she sat up straight on top of the redhead
and began to move her hip, applying pressure onto the body beneath her.

Lena involuntarily jerked at the arousal. “Yulia, stop—”

“No, you stop! Stop doing this to me!” Panting, Yulia pushed Lena back down. They
stared at each other until tears welled up the blue eyes. Squeezing her eyes shut, Yulia
angrily turned her head to the side as Lena reached for her face, brushing the
teardrops away with her thumb.

Still keeping her gaze down, Yulia tried to quiet her sob. “What must I do… to make
you stay…?” The plea came in a heartbroken whisper.

Lena then softly sighed in realization. This ache had to stop as they both couldn’t take
it anymore. What was done was done. She couldn’t even say that she felt guilty
enough. She didn’t even know if she would be able to deny Yulia again if they could
turn back the time. The only way was to walk ahead and face whatever consequence
that would follow. If Roland would not forgive her, then so be it. She had decided
now that she would not make Yulia cry again.

Sitting up, Lena took Yulia in her embrace. She gazed up at the blue-eyed woman,
breathing her in, feeling her whole. She wanted to apologize for all the hurt she had
inflicted upon this woman or anyone else in the world. But there was no point in
looking back, was there?

Lena rested her head against Yulia’s shoulder as the blonde wrapped her arms around her.

“I will always be here with you, I promise”


>>>


Watching the thick clouds in the gray skies outside, Celia Cohen was sitting on her
bed, a bible on her laps. She narrowed her eyes a little at the calm light of the late
afternoon. She had not been able to sleep the past night, her mind burying in that
moment she rang up the fat, bald detective yesterday. What she was to do tomorrow
would ultimately ruin either one of her children. Considering her involvement, it
would most likely be Lena, whom it would affect the most. Her sad gaze dropped
upon both her bare, rough hands, which had raised the little red-haired girl. She had
loved that girl so much all her life, but she was about to destroy her tomorrow. How
cruel life had played them all.

A knock at the door pulled Celia’s attention away from the scenery outside. Sarah
came through the door with a nervous look on her face, gesturing for Celia to go
downstairs.


>>>


Inside his mansion, Holden was ordering his maids to pack his belongings, ready for a
few months vacation oversea. He always had a plan for himself. The night of the
arrest at the restaurant was the beginning of his plan to get Roland into trouble. It was
predictable to get Roland to agree on the murder of the witnesses, which would take
place tonight. The event was sure to cause chaos across the town. The cops would
look into everything to eliminate those belong to the underworld. But Holden would
be ready to leave the States tomorrow morning, leaving the spotlight for a while.
Without the witnesses, Roland Myer would also be cleared from all charges, but
Holden had made sure that Myer would not survive the consequences of the murders.
Everything had gone as planned, and Holden would have his revenge.

Wayne Burke came to stand by the doorway of the main hall, knocking on the door a
few times to get his master’s attention. Holden turned and their gazes met.


>>>


The sun had set, and darkness began to invade the beautiful gray skies. Celia was
sitting in the living room downstairs with the bald detective. Surprised at the sudden
visit from the detective and his men, she ordered Sarah to retreat to her own bedroom,
which was in the other building, not wanting to involve her children in this mess.
There were a few other men standing just outside in front of her home, seemingly
guarding the place.

“What is it, Mr. Johnston? I thought I am due to the court tomorrow morning.”

The bald man smiled at Celia. “Please sit, ma’am. It is our job to secure the witnesses
who can testify against the mobsters. They’re dangerous people.”

Celia gulped, trying to stay calm. Although she was scared, she could not believe that
Roland and Lena would ever hurt her. She glanced up at the man and decided to tell
him what she had been thinking through the past night.

“Mr. Johnston… Is it still all right if I should pull out of this case? I do not wish to
testify anymore.”

The smile on the bald man’s face looked cold at once. “Oh, please. There’s nothing to
be afraid of. We’re here to keep you safe. They can not possibly hurt you now.”

Celia just looked into the man’s eyes, and finally realized that she had made the
biggest mistake in her life. She thought she would be doing society some good, but all
that would be left for her was the ruins of her loved ones.


>>>


Oliver was walking along the dimming, narrow hallway, following his companions
out of jail they had been locked in for the past week. Although he felt that something
fishy was going on, considering how fast the trial was to be started tomorrow, he was
too wrecked and nervous to reason anymore. If he testified against his boss, he would
be likely to end up in the ruts, not being able to live an ordinary life anymore. The rest
of the gang would be hunting for him. He would either die inside the jail or out in the
streets.

“Where are they taking us in the middle of the night?”

Oliver heard his friend whispered to one another.

“To the courthouse. It is safer than traveling in the morning, I suppose.”

“It’s not safe anywhere for us now.”

“Let’s be positive and see what will happen tomorrow.”

But tomorrow was too far away for them all. As soon as they stepped out of the
building, heading to the truck that parked just twenty feet away, series of gunshots
echoed into the night skies. Oliver fell to his knees when he felt a bullet pierce into his
right shoulder. He lied flat on the ground and quickly hid most of his body beneath
one of his dead friends. The gunfire continued for another five minutes, making sure
that everyone was as dead as they appeared to be. It was the longest moment in Oliver
Petitot’s life, praying with his wretched heart and crying in fear. It must have been
miracle that he even lived to hear the cease of gunfire.

In the thick smoke, a cop, who was assigned to drive the truck, lit up a cigarette,
signaling the end of the massacre. Three men in dark suits lowered their machine guns
and walked around the bodies like preying eagles to see if there was any survivor.
Their minds must have been too thrilled and assured that their task had accomplished,
which blinded them from sensing Oliver’s beating heart. After a moment, they turned
to the two cops, whom were paid with handsome arrangement for this to happen.

“A gift from Mr. Young and Roland Myer.” The three men in suits then fired another
round of bullets at the cops, and left the night as cold as it was.

Oliver lay still on the ground, feeling the numbness starting to creep over his body. In
the attempt to save himself, Roland Myer had ordered the massacre of his own people.
Oliver knew the rules of the underworld well, and as much as it hurt to face it himself,
he swore never to forget what had happened tonight.


>>>


One of the men outside Celia’s home strode from the phone booth nearby and
marched into the humble building. He just nodded at the fat, bald detective, and left
again. Mr. Johnston then turned to smile at Celia.

“Ms. Cohen… There is great news. You do not have to testify against them anymore.
You’re off the case.”

Delighted, Celia suppressed her yawn and looked up at the man, a small smile on her
face. But before she could ask anything further, she was pinned against the sofa with
the forces of the bullets showering at her body.

After a few moments in silence, detective Johnston tossed away the untraceable gun
and went to grab his hat hanging by the doorway. He walked out of the building to
join his men outside. The time was appropriate to make a phone call to Holden Young
to receive the last payment the gangster promised him upon the end of this job. The
rest of the plan was left to the fate of the two young gangsters who would need
miracle to keep their friendship alive.

Volkster
04-10-2005, 16:45
OH God!!!!!Thanks for the update though it broke my heart once again!!! The scenes between the Irish and Yulia become more and more intense and I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it when the climax comes!!!!

Thanks uhaku!!!!Cheers!!! :coctail:

showMElove2
04-10-2005, 19:09
Oh shit, Cecilia, this will sure set the Irish off again, just when she was starting to trust her feelings and go with them. Ah Roland I'm afraid has done it now!!
Thanks!!

rasoska
04-10-2005, 19:59
:eek: OMG!!! poor celia!
dammit, roland surely put all of 'em in some deep deep shit!!

lenas sentence just calls for an awwwwww :o

as always, amazing chapter uhaku!!

YLuelniaa
05-10-2005, 00:12
:eek: :eek: :eek: why? why? why?
I sensed it would happen but why shoot Celia.....gah..poor woman...
The Det. was kinda stupid though...cause theres sorta a witness eh...with red hair!!

SO this is the part where Lena made that promise she didn't keep... :(

And damn the Holden...damn him and Roland you arsehole...see what you did...no one will forgive you now...no ONE

serbiantatu
05-10-2005, 12:02
It shone brightly in the middle of the room, lonely and
lost in the midst of their rush to find love.

I love that sentece! I love this entire update, again its amazing how symbolics n yet how realistic you can describe feelings. You make reader actually feel all of their love, pain or hate.

Did Roland even knew Celia was one of ppl who will be killed? What mess he made, no wonder he was hiding behind irish all his life when he didnt know one job to do right without her. I hope irish wont kill Lena again, turn her in this revange seaking killer n forgeting all her feelings towards Yulia or put those feelings on hold. Even tho Irish did kill lots of people even that little boy i still think her biggest sin was killing her ownself inside.

warx
07-10-2005, 03:37
oh sh*t!!!!! :eek:



*sigh*


tnx uhaku

Blue-Amy
07-10-2005, 09:50
Nononononoo!!:eek: ....I thought Roland will do something at the last moment...and knowing that Oliver lived and even met Lena Myer, I was pretty sure that the masacre won't happen...when in fact it was simply luck that he wasn't killed with the others.. and what's even worse is that Celia was murdered too, and she even decided not to testify against Roland&The Irish... :mad: ...what will happen know with Lena??...I got the feeling that I don't wanna know...

Uhaku
07-10-2005, 18:10
Thank you, guys. ^_^ It turns out that this chapter is longer than I
thought, and I couldn’t combine it with other parts. I hope it isn’t too rushed or
become anti-climax of the story though. Keep my fingers crossed. And my, my, I
don’t think I ever wrote ‘Lena’ so many times in one chapter before! Have fun,
readers, and I’m too lazy to go back and read it again so I’ll apologize for any
typos right here.

P.S. Trojan Virus is still in my computer!!!! Okay, my comp’s been acting silly
for far too long now. I probably have to format it before I could start on another
update. Until then, everyone.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 51


It was early in the cloudy, new morning when Lena drove Yulia back to the ranch.
The skies were gray with thick clouds, and the freezing wind was particularly strong
today. Parking the crimson Cadillac in front of the mansion, Yulia led Lena into her
home.

“My father should be up by now.” Yulia smiled as she took the reluctant redhead’s
hand. They had come in hope to explain to Dimitri Volkov that they wanted to stay in
the States no matter what, and the engagement would be called off.

“Umm, wait…”

Tucking her blonde hair behind her ear, Yulia arched one brow, gazing at her lover
quizzically. She knew Lena too well to let the hesitance in the green eyes to stop her.

“We do not regret this decision, do we?”

“No… No, I mean…” Lena stopped short and sighed.

Grinning, the blonde inched closer to Lena and pulled the rims of the coat together to
keep the woman warm. “It is hard, but Roland will eventually understand.” She
looked down a little and continued. “It was mainly my fault for accepting his
proposal. Whatever the consequences will be, I will face it alone.”

“It’s not just about you. I am his friend, and to do this to him is unthinkable, not to
mention that he still has other troubles in his mind. He is due in court today.”

Yulia stared up at the red-haired woman in front of her. The sight of the pale sunlight
reflecting on Lena’s face, casting a golden rim light along her beautiful, untouched
profile easily stopped Yulia’s world from turning. By just watching the angelic face, it
was as if the redhead was just a statue without a soul, nor feelings. Yulia fumbled to
grab Lena’s hands and her heartbeat fastened when she could still feel warmth and
life. She wasn’t going to let it all go again.

“I thought I had your promise…” Yulia muttered lowly, tears in her eyes.

Lena’s head shot up. She frowned as if it was the foulest word she had ever heard.
“Of course, you still do,” she said, clutching Yulia’s hands.

Lena frowned again when Yulia looked up and smirked. The blonde had her again.
She shook her head in defeat and followed Yulia into the mansion.

“Relax, Lena. Everything is easier than you think it is. Angela must have gone out to
the market—”

“She’s the least of my worry,” Lena interrupted. “Your father has a visitor.” Her tone
had abruptly turned cold.

Yulia turned around to see that Lena was still standing by the door, peeping out at the
car parking alongside the fence, hiding itself pretty well behind the row of big trees.
The redhead must have seen it right when she entered through the gates.

“I’ve seen the driver before,” Lena stated, seemingly deep in thought.

“Who is it then?” Yulia asked casually, glancing at her father’s study room.

Lena looked up at the skies and noted that it started to shower. She quietly closed the
door just when Dimitri came out of the room and then walked towards them.

“Ah, you’re here as well, Irish…” Dimitri said with a hint of seriousness in his eyes.

“You have a guest so early in the morning, father?” Yulia approached the big man and
planted a kiss on his cheek.

Dimitri suppressed his sigh, holding his daughter’s hand tightly. He then looked up at
the young redhead with a heavy heart and gestured her towards the study room. “Your
father is here.”

Yulia swiftly turned and saw a stern look on Lena’s face. The Irish must have guessed
right who the guest was beforehand. To her bewilderment, Lena pulled the gun out of
her pocket and aimed at Dimitri.

Without a thought, Yulia promptly stepped in front of her father. “What are you
doing, Lena?!”

“Why is he here? Who else has he brought with him?” Lena didn’t flinch, keeping her
arm straight and her finger ready on the trigger.

Dimitri Volkov looked unnerve by the sight of the gun. He gently motioned Yulia out
of the way. “He’s here by himself. There’s no one else.”

“Lena…” a coarse, grim voice interrupted.

Lena then looked over Dimitri’s shoulder and spotted Senator Iver standing in front of
the study room. She still did not lower her gun.

“Put the gun down, please. I’m here only to bring you grave news.”

“What grave news? That I have three hundreds years in jail? With all the mess that’s
going on lately, you shouldn’t even be here, Senator.” Lena glanced out the windows,
trying to see if there were any men ambushing outside. But the rain was falling
heavily now it was hard to see.

Senator Iver calmly strode towards them and stopped next to his friend. “I take that
you have not heard. There will be no more trial. Your friend is free, but…”

Lena watched the grim look on her father’s face, and her heartbeat stopped.

“But the witnesses were murdered last night. All of them but one.”

The words must have taken extra amount of time to sink into Lena’s mind because
she just stood there with the gun still aiming at Dimitri and Yulia, her expression
unreadable.

Iver looked down. “Unfortunately, the one who survived the massacre was not Celia
Co—”

A blast of gunfire roared up against the thunder outside. The bullet must have hit the
ceiling or a window, but Dimitri fell to his knees, engulfing Yulia in his thick arms in
an attempt to block any bullet at his daughter.

Iver bent down, panicking. “Lena, please—”

“Shut up! Just shut that hole in your face!” Lena paced around, swinging her gun
madly. I’m about to do the worst thing in my entire life, Lena… the worst thing in
my entire life… the worst thing… Roland’s words chanted endlessly in her mind.
She smashed the gun at the vase nearby, plunging it down to shatter against the floor.
Her hand was bleeding but she couldn’t care less.

“You fucking lied to me! Tell me it was all a lie!” Lena spun around and aimed the
gun at her father’s face, causing the senator to squeeze his eyes shut.

Yulia trembled in her father’s arms. At this moment, the Irish wouldn’t even know if
she had shot anybody, or that she didn’t even care. Yulia watched the redhead stalking
across the hall and destroyed anything in her path. As much as she knew how hurt it
must be for Lena, she never expected to see this side of her. She had no idea who this
woman was. She felt as though she was in Kirk Mason’s mansion when the Irish paid
the deadly visit one night.

“Where the fuck are they!? Show them to me! You expect to kill me here, then do it!”
Lena pulled all the curtains down, smashing the glass planes with her gun.

“There’s no one out there! It’s just us here! Please stop it! You’re bleeding!” Senator
Iver bent low in his post, looking worried as he saw the amount of blood on the floor.

All of a sudden, the front door burst opened, and everyone stopped.

Breathing hard, Lena gradually turned to see Roland Myer standing by the door,
soaking wet in his expensive, silky, gray suit. The young man looked bewildered at
the wrecked place and the trail of blood dripping from Lena’s hand.

Tears in his dark eyes, Roland stumbled back against the door. He had gone to Lena’s
home as soon as he learned what happened, but she had already left. He was told to
come to the ranch to catch up with his friend here. Looking at Lena now, he did not
need to ask if she had learned about the incident involving their godmother. They
simply knew what was in the other’s mind. He had always known even when he was
on his knees, proposing to Yulia.

“Please forgive me…”

Standing as still a statue, Lena lifelessly stared at the dark-haired, young man she
once believed wholeheartedly in their forever friendship. Raised by the same woman
and lived in the same house since they were babies, they had become more like
brother and sister. Even with all the darkest hours of their hard lives, she never saw
him as her enemy, even when he tried to take Yulia from her.

Yulia…Yulia…The name painfully repeated in Lena’s head. Shifting her stone
cold gaze to the blonde woman on the floor, she was tortured by the wish that
nothing—no one in the world would have worth this moment. But deep down inside
she knew that this would happen. It would happen as long as Yulia was standing
between them.

“I didn’t know… Lena… I really didn’t know that Celia was… that she…”

Lena eventually stared up at Roland, and raised her gun. “Yes, you did.”

Yulia watched the Irish in horror as a gunshot blasted through the hall.


>>>


In the rainstorm, Roland raced his car along the small road, squinting to see the path
ahead. He had narrowly escaped the deadly bullet just a few minutes earlier. It all still
felt like a nightmare to him. He had never imagined that he would be the cause of the
death of the woman who raised him, or that his best friend would ever harm him. But
both things were happening now he wanted to scream at the top of his lungs.

“Goddamn it!” He yelped when his car was bumped from the side. The crimson
Cadillac was making sure that he would not last to get to the city.


>>>


On the motorbike, Yulia was speeding to catch up with the black and crimson cars
ahead of her. The rain was freezing with the sharp wind slapping against her face, but
she had no plan to slow down even one bit. She needed to stop the Irish before the
biggest mistake would happen. If Roland died, Lena would never forgive herself
again.


>>>


Looking as calm as ever, Lena watched the black car beside hers and then made a
swift turn of the steering wheel, driving the adjacent car sliding into the vast field of
man-high grasses. This had become a game for the Irish. She felt pleasant that Roland
had played it well so far. She knew him well enough to know how scared he must be,
and she was just enjoying every bit of it.

When their cars were side by side again, Lena raised the gun and aimed at the front
passenger window.


>>>


Bang!

Yelling, Roland ducked his head down as the glass by his side was blown to pieces,
letting the rain pouring into the car. He clumsily turned the wheel left and right,
desperately trying to lose the menace. He sped his car eastward as he flung open the
glove compartment and took a revolver out. Thankfully, it was already loaded.


>>>


Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

At the brake out of gunshots, Yulia’s head shot up. She blindly rode in the midst of
tall grasses. Squinting in the rain, she turned the motorbike and headed towards the
source of the sound. It did help that it was still daytime, or she wouldn’t be able to
find the way. She just prayed that both of them were still all right.


>>>


Lena briefly stared at the broken window on the other side of the front seat. The bullet
must have hit the backseat. Roland had never fired a gun in his life, but he was not as
terrible as she had thought he would be. He was never bad at anything as she could
remember. He always won no matter what. At the last thought, she fiercely stomped
on the accelerator and rapidly turned her car towards the black one. Both vehicles
came crashing into one another and slid through the field until they flipped and rolled
like tossed dices.

Lena closed her eyes and let the darkness entombed her whole. She was ready to face
death. Always.


>>>


Screaming in pain, Roland lied in the middle of the bushes, clutching his right knee.
In the downpour, he could barely open his eyes. He had crawled out of the car, but it
seemed that his leg was badly wounded. Although he was bleeding heavily, he tried to
crawl away, expecting the Irish to come after him any moment now.


>>>


The darkness was torn open when her eyelids fluttered and finally let the pale sunlight
into her eyes. Lena found herself lying flat on the car’s roof. She felt the ache in her
ribcage, but it was just so painful that she was slowly becoming one with the pain
itself. It hurt everywhere, inside out.

She stared up at the leather seat above her head, trying to remind herself of the
agonizing fact that she was still alive—that she still owed Celia Cohen to kill one last
time. In the end, love always led her to hatred, and she just couldn’t fight it.

Tears began to flood her eyes as she looked around for her gun. For a second, she
wished she would not find it. But it was just a reach away from her hand. It was
always there for her, ready to let her sin again. She would never get there; her heart
would never be as light as a feather. Never.


>>>


Yulia jumped from the motorbike and ran towards the black car, which was flipped
sideway and wrecked. Roland didn’t get very far from the spot though. He was still
crawling when Yulia approached him.

“Roland! Oh, you’re hurt!” Yulia knelt down beside the seriously injured man and
held him in her arms. He was bleeding so much she thought he might die.

“Help me… please…” Roland muttered as he took a look at his right leg, his face pale
with coldness and an absolute shock. It looked as though the lower leg might detach
from his knee joint any moment now.

“My father will be here soon. We’ll take you to the hospital. Just hold on. You’ll be
all right.”

Brushing the rain away from her eyes, Yulia quickly wrapped her scarf and tightened
it above his knee, trying to slow down the bleeding. Right then, the thought of Lena
suddenly hit her. The grasses were so tall she could not see the crimson Cadillac.
Aside from the sound of thunders and downpour, it had been too quiet for her liking.
She looked up and glanced around for any sign of the car.

Her heart skipped a beat right when the fierce wind blew through the field and opened
up a path before her, revealing the silhouette of a wavy-haired figure standing before
another flipped car. Although details should have forsaken Yulia’s mind, but she
could clearly see the gun in Lena’s hand as if Heaven intended just for her to see.
Death was standing before her.

“Don’t do this, Lena! I beg you!” Yulia held Roland tighter, panting the foggy
breaths.

Gradually, Lena looked up at them, her gaze void of any feeling. When Yulia decided
that Lena was probably not even listening to anyone now, she left Roland’s side and
leapt at the shadowy figure. The sight of Lena raising the gun should have scared her,
but she wouldn’t stop. Nothing was going to stop her from saving the woman she
loved.

But Yulia was plunged down to the ground with a full-force blow at her face. For a
moment, she just sat there on the muddy ground, a hand over her numbed cheek, not
knowing if it was the cold rain or the love that hurt that caused it. As if being locked
in slow-paced dream, she narrowed her eyes and looked up against the rain to see the
gun now pointing at her face. It wasn’t the first time the Irish pointed the gun at her,
and even though she thought she would not last this time, she wasn’t one bit scared.
She continued to believe that something good would happen for the poor soul. She
would rather endure any pain than to let the Irish destroy the woman she loved.

“You lied to me…”

Yulia froze. All her thoughts and wishes ceased. Instead of a bullet, the Irish’s cold
words pierced into her heart.

“You. Everyone.” The Irish started to laugh. She tilted her head up and let the rain fell
upon her face, her hand trembling from gripping the gun so hard as if she was itched
to kill anyone—anything.

Shaking her head in denial, Yulia crawled backwards, away from the monster she did
not know. She finally stood up and put herself between Lena and Roland. Staring hard
at the redhead, she extended her arms to the sides as to let Lena know that she would
not budge. “It doesn’t matter what you think now, but I can’t let you do this. You’ll
regret it all your life. I can’t let that happen… because I love you too much to let you
destroy yourself…”

Lena shifted her gaze from the gray skies down to the blonde woman before her, and
aimed right at her. Yulia swore that she could see fire of hate burning in those eyes
she once dreamt about. Those dreams seemed so long ago, yet life was so short.

“Do not speak of love when you do not deserve it.” Slowly, but firmly, Lena slid her
index finger over the trigger.

“NOOOOOOO!” Roland crawled towards Yulia, momentarily forgetting the pain in
his leg.

A thunderous blast suddenly roared across the field. Before Yulia knew it, she was
thrown backwards to the ground. Coughing furiously, she opened her eyes again to
see thick smoke coming out of the crimson Cadillac. She looked ahead and found that
Lena was lying facedown just a few feet from the blasted car. She rushed to the
redhead, flipping her body up.

“Lena! Lena! Please, open your eyes!” Yulia shook Lena’s limping shoulders.

A choke finally escaped the redhead’s mouth, and she slowly opened her eyes. Before
she could gather any thought—feel any pain, nor love, she brushed Yulia’s hands
away in contempt. She tried to sit up but fell down again. Wheezing, she twisted on
the ground, unable to fight back the throbbing in her head, the crush in her chest—the
hate in her heart.

As soon as the redhead regained her consciousness, Roland hurriedly edged to grab
Lena’s gun. Shivering, he aimed it at the Irish. With Yulia kneeling between them, the
two friends stared at each other for the longest time. Roland wanted to beg his friend
to stop, or he would be forced to kill two people he loved the most in his life. Tears
and rain flooded his eyes again and he broke into a sob.

“You win again.” Lying on her stomach, Lena muttered with a sinister glare that
meant death to her foe. But her scoff quickly turned into a nasty cough. However, she
turned away when Yulia tried to approach her again, causing the blonde to stop in her
track.

“Lena… please…” Yulia tried to quiet down her sob, hands covering her face. She
could not stand to see that cold look in Lena’s eyes.

“Yuli! Yuli, answer me! Where are you!?” With a rifle in his hands, Dimitri stopped
shouting when he reached the blasting point and saw that his daughter was still all
right. He instantly pulled Yulia off the ground and checked if she had been injured.
He stopped dead when he saw the big bruise over her cheek. Pushing his daughter to
the back, he stepped in front of the Irish and stared down at her.

“Shoot me. Either of you would do,” Lena said, her fiery gaze still remaining on
Roland.

Dimitri raised his rifle and smacked it in the Irish’s face, forcing her down to the
ground. Curling in a ball, Lena grabbed her face, grunting in pain and anger. Yulia
tried to run to the redhead but Dimitri stopped her with just a strong grip around her
waist.

“If anything happen to my daughter, I will kill you, you rat!” Dimitri then pulled his
daughter away. “Come, Yuli! Now!”

“Don’t—No, let go off me!” Yulia struggled but she was no match to her father’s
strength.

Senator Iver arrive the scene with his driver closely behind. He paused when he saw
his own daughter on the ground, defeated and wounded like a dog. He composed
himself and gestured the driver to help Roland off the ground. He then approached
Lena, who was spitting out some blood and coughing. He knelt down before her and
tried to help pulling her up.

“Don’t touch me!” Lena brushed his hand away. Still struggling on the muddy
ground, she glared up at them. “Don’t you walk away from me! This is not over yet!
No!”

Roland glanced over his shoulder at his friend. It hurt him just to see Lena this way.
But it was over, or so he hoped. He looked at the gun in his hand and threw it away as
far as he could. He then limped out with one arm over the driver’s shoulder.

Up over Dimitri’s shoulder, Yulia tried to get her feet down to the ground. “Let go off
me …! Lena! Lena! Lena…!”

“Don’t you walk away! Kill me! Kill me now or you’ll regret this!” The Irish roared
in fury, clutching the grasses in her bleeding fists.

Standing up, Iver closed his eyes and tried to shun off the screams that became one
agonizing, deadly desire. He knew nothing about this young woman at his feet—
nothing but her hate that seeped into his soul. It threatened him. It scared him. Slowly,
he turned to follow his friend back to the car. And his mind questioned him for the
last time that how many times he could turn his back on his daughter. Her heart was
broken countless times beyond hope to repair.

In the downpour, the Irish was left to live, or to die in the cold field of hopelessness. It
was all up to the cruel fate and the brutality of a heart.

showMElove2
08-10-2005, 06:07
I never wanted that chapter to end! I had a feeling Lena would retreat back to the Irish and have that hate engulf her heart again. The death of Cecilia probably sealed her fate. I must say though that I was shocked that she would hit Yulia but then again I think she was blinded by the hate. That was excellent and I do hope you get your computer problems worked out! Thanks again for this update!

Crampaholic
10-10-2005, 16:30
Brilliant... one of the most thrilling chapters ever... :coctail:

Blue-Amy
11-10-2005, 10:34
hmm...well...yeah...a great chapter...I enjoyed reading it..as always...only that it was so sad..first time I read it I couldn't get myself to say anything...why does life must be so cruel with the Irish? ..It like I can feel her hate..her crying, craving for salvation...but exactly when it seamed she found a gleam of hope...everything has to fall aprat?!!...and now she's left in that field all alone?.. as if is her fault or all that happened... :mad:
...but it's one thing I don't understand...why does she says that Yulia lied to her?... :confused: or it's smth I can't remember right now?..dunno...anyway great writing!

rasoska
11-10-2005, 11:31
why, why, whhhhhy??? so sad about lena, it seems that girl wont ever find her peace and happiness:(
so much pain, so much anger, so much love that cant seem to blossom, so much emotions!
just when i think you are TOTALLY awesome and cant get much better with your writting you go and do this masterpiece!
absolutely amazing!!!

Volkster
11-10-2005, 21:13
Unbelievable!!! Just when things seemed to make a turn for the best!!! There are two hearts REALLY breaking in this chapter!!! Lena is gone and Yulia is going to be! This has to be one of the most tragic stories ever!! At this point I hope this wasn't their last encounter with each other (Yulia and Lena)! And I do hope for Lena to make another appearance and for the Irish to re-treat!!!

Thanks for the update!!!

warx
12-10-2005, 03:58
wait ...... wait...... WAIT!! what's nxt :D


tnx uhaku

Uhaku
12-10-2005, 17:11
My comp isn’t fixed, but it allows me to get online for at most five minutes each
time. Lovely! Now, I’m typing in Words before posting this. Let me reply first.

Showmelove – yes, u have thought everything right. ^_^ The Irish did
everything out of hate and she didn’t even care when she hit Yul. I’m happy to
know you liked the chapter!

Crampy – in teeeeeears. Thank you, yow.

BlueAmy – “You lied to me” was like Lena’s every response to everything
at the moment. She was supposedly having seen how Yulia cared for Roland and,
immediately, everything was like… Yulia and everyone shifting side to the
murderer of her godmother, or something of that sort. Everything became her
vs. Roland. “You lied to me” = “You don’t love me (like you said)”.

Rasoska – I’m glad I could make you feel! and thank you for your
compliment. ^_^

Volkster – This is not the last time for sure. Too many loose ends. ^_^’
And it’s always my pleasure to write and share it with you guys.

Warx – wait… another small update for you. ^_^

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 52


Sharply at midnight, I stopped reading, dreaded to go on. The entries had
pulled me in so deeply I felt I was suffocated along with the author. My heart ached
for her—for the Irish.

Over the past few days I’d been staying at Juliana’s apartment, we had
discussed a lot about what we each knew of the myth, and where we could go from
there. Juliana seemed to be more experienced than I was at this stage. She had done
some extensive research on Lena Cohen’s life, but there was little to none existence of
the woman’s record. The Irish lived as a monster and died a ghost. Except the few
people who used to know her from the old days, none other had ever heard her name before.

Sitting on a chair with both her knees up, Juliana looked out the window, holding a
cup of hot milk in her hands. Her dark hair fell wildly over her face and her thin
shoulders. With the pair of black-rim glasses on, she looked adorable in her blue
pajamas and a pair of white slippers.

“Wilkins… Diana Wilkins…”

Crouching on the bed, I looked up at the whisper. Juliana still fixed her gaze out into
the rainy night, deep in her own thoughts. Impatiently, I sat up and stared at her,
waiting for her to continue. It must be something, whoever this Diana Wilkins was.

Gradually, Juliana turned to meet my gaze. “Do you know how she is?”

“If you haven’t heard the name slipping from my mouth yet, take it that I don’t know.
What is it?” I edged to the end of the bed to get closer to Juliana.

The dark-haired woman chortled. “She goes by the name Diana Wilkins these days.
But, thankfully that she hasn’t been as mysterious as Lena Cohen, I found out her old
name. She used to work in police forces during 1930s; that’s why she couldn’t hide so
well. Her name was Angela Varela.”

I paused. The spy was still alive. I wanted to smack my own head that the thought
didn’t come across my mind earlier. Aside from Volkova and my grandfather, I
should have expected that Angela would be the one to know the Irish the most.

“She’s living in Santa Barbara. Huge-ass house with a grand swimming pool and a
garden. She used to own some small bookshop before she retired twenty years ago.
But don’t you think she’s a bit too well-off for an ordinary shop owner? She didn’t
own chain stores, mind you.”

“Are you saying that she bought the house with dirty money?”

“I’m saying that maybe Lena lives there as well.”

I stared at Juliana for far too long, I supposed, because she eventually looked away,
adjusting her glasses as her cheeks slightly blushed. It was a few moments later before
I found my voice again.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?”

Juliana scratched her head a little, her face twisted in disappointment. “Because it
seems to be only a wishful thinking. A few years ago, I flew over to California to give
Diana Wilkins a visit. Although I wasn’t allowed to go any further than the living
room, she did appear to be alone in the house. She didn’t deny the fact that she knew
the Irish… but she confirmed that the Irish had died long ago, just like what my
grandmother said.”

“I will visit her then,” I said firmly, refusing to believe until I saw it with my own eyes.

Juliana gazed out the window again. “If the Irish is still alive… why wouldn’t she
return to Volkova?”

I nodded at the same question I’d been asking myself, too. Before I knew, my hand
shot at the thick journal beside me as a thought ran across my mind.

“What…? What?” Juliana looked puzzled at my action.

“Could it be that the Irish never wanted to see Volkova again?” Chill ran down my
spine as I thought of the day the Irish was left in the field, failing to avenge Celia’s
death—or perhaps, failing to forgive anyone again even herself.

“Why? What happened? And, yes, when are you going to finish that journal?! I’m still
waiting!”

I chuckled at the blushing Juliana. “I will try to finish it tonight, Okay?”

“I really wanna know what’s in the book! I can’t believe my grandmother never
mentioned it to me. She knows how obsessed I am with the Irish!”

I laughed. “Same as you never told her that Volkova is still alive.”

“I have my good reason,” Juliana grumbled.

Smiling, I rubbed the bridge of my nose, getting ready to continue reading.

“I was just being a bitch. Take your time, really.” Juliana smiled and strode towards
the door. “Good night, Lena.” She then turned off the light for me and closed the door.

Slowly, I lied back down and let out a long sigh. I lowered my gaze to the black-
leathered book at my feet. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I wanted the Irish to be alive
or dead. How Volkova would feel to know that, during all these past decades, the love
of her life deserted their promise and had been living with someone else all along?
What would Volkova choose between having her lover really dead, or having her
alive but must give her up to another woman?

I began to slip into slumber with endless questions clouding my mind. It seemed to be
another restless night. But if Volkova could stand it after all these years, I could as well.

Before long, I suddenly crawled out of the bed and sat down at the desk, turning the
small lamp on. I grabbed a piece of paper and started to write a letter to Diana
Wilkins. If I just showed up like Juliana did, I would probably get the same result as
she did. But letting Ms. Wilkins read and reread the letter might give her some extra
time to ponder before rejecting me right out. This seemed to be my last hope, but I
intended to cling to it until the last minute.

Volkster
12-10-2005, 22:07
Oh by Zeus!!!! This could turn out to be really hurtful!!! I've been hoping for Lena to still be alive but to not return to Volkova ... *shakes head*!!! There has to be another explanation and it has to lie in the journal!!! So read, read I ask you !!! Please??????

Thanks for the update!!!!

showMElove2
13-10-2005, 05:50
I didn't expect an update so soon but I am glad there is one! I shudder to think that Lena has been living with Angela all this time.... I have to agree with your lines about what would be worse to think that the Irish was dead or to know she broke her promise and has been living with another woman all this time. I am glad to know that the field was not the last interaction between Yulia and Lena/Irish. Thanks!!!!!

warx
13-10-2005, 12:09
*toink*

waaajejeje tnx for the updte uhaku...sweet:D

serbiantatu
13-10-2005, 14:16
Hmm bookshop sounds more like Lenas then Angelas kind of thing. So there is chance that Lena is still alive! I hoped ill hear that! Im sure that no matter of how painful must be to know that all those years Lena was alive and not contacted Yulia that still for Yulia thats better then Lena being dead. Because if she get even a second to see her again it worths more then all the years of pain. Besides i believe there was some real real good reason for Lena not go back to Volkova, if shes still alive that is. Thinking about it... In one of earlier chapters young Lena said that she was the one wholl fullfil Irishes promise - maybe by getting Irish back to Volkova?

Thank you for update! I cant wait to see what will happen now! In both ways, in jurnal n if young Lena will get to see if Irish is still alive.

rasoska
17-10-2005, 21:23
although i've been hoping from the beginning that the irish would return back to volkova some day im not so sure anymore! yulia is gonna be crushed if irish is still alive and hadnt come back to her. just to think that lena has been living with angela all those years :eek: irish had to had a pretty good damn reason for not retunring (hope so) cos otherwise :nunu: lol

thank you for the update :coctail:

Blue-Amy
18-10-2005, 05:43
I really doubt that the Irish has been living with Angela all this time...I hope I'm not wrong.. although I have been other times.. :coctail: Anyway..maybe young Lena will found more information from Agela than Juliana did...I can't wait to see what's next!I wish it would never end..
And thx for clearing me that up...I was thinking kinda the same...but I thought that maybe is smth particular the Irish refers to when saying Yulia had lied to her...

Uhaku
24-10-2005, 16:47
Thanks, you guys! I finally got my comp fixed, but the net is still a little
funny. Yes, I’m still deciding which is better between letting Lena live or die.
Aaaaaaaaah. Tough decision! But we’ll see! Sorry for the short update though. ^_^’

BTW, OMG, bigger avatar! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 53


At the hour of midnight, the artificial light from streetlights outside slipped through the
window and cast glimmering outline along the curve of the red-haired figure against the
darkness inside the room. Her usually bright green eyes now looked dull, and were half
opened in fatigue. Her sore body lay limp on the bed, the result from being thrown to the
ground by the force of the explosion. The nasty bruise on her left cheek though hid itself
pretty well in the shadow.

By far, this was the loneliest night to Lena Cohen. It was far worse than everything she
had ever experienced. She had lost the person who raised her with absolute love and care,
her best friend who grew up alongside with her, and the one woman who could have been
everything in her life. There was no telling when all this pain would end. It felt as though
it would go on and on, and no matter how hard she prayed she was kept alive once again
to endure it. It was the perfect punishment for the Irish.

When everyone had left her all alone in the field alongside the wrecked Cadillac, she just
lay on the damp ground, as still as she did now, numbly letting the cold rain drown her—
the despair to suffocate her. She was ready to let life slip away. Unexpectedly, Angela
came to her rescue. The woman, who should have been her enemy from the start, instead
took her back home.

“How are you feeling?”

The gentle words crept through the thin air, interrupting the despairing thoughts in Lena’s
mind. She turned her head just slightly and looked at the woman by the doorway. Angela
was carrying a tray with a cup of hot tea, gliding towards the desk on the other side of the
room. Lena never quite understood why the dark-haired woman had always readily
assisted her in every circumstance. She could have been blackmailed and turned in to the
police since last Christmas on the charge of murdering Frederick Young. The Latino spy
could have informed the police of the hotels Lena was staying at. Without Angela’s
insight, she would have been dragged into Roland’s mess, complicating the matter. But
here she was, safe and sound once again even if she never wanted it this way. Angela just
would not let her down. The woman’s devotion had been nothing but obvious, but Lena
was blinded every time Yulia was in her mind.

“Don’t get up,” Angela said, smiling. With the cup in her hand, she came to sit down
beside the redhead on the bed.

Lena sipped the tea as she stole a glance at the beautiful Latino. The spy’s smile grew
wider when she caught the gaze from the green eyes.

“You had me worried sick the past two nights.”

Lena looked down, fixing her gaze upon the warm cup. “Why?”

“It seemed you had terrible nightmares. You were screaming and yelling.”

Lena kept quiet. She hated it when someone caught her off-guard. She generally disliked
sharing her privacy with others. It had happened before when Yulia was staying with her
at the hotel after the bloody Christmas, although it became something else entirely by the
end of the period. The past few nights were also an exception since she was in no state to
chase Angela away.

“I don’t remember what they were. I’d like to thank you anyway for helping me.”

Angela reached for the redhead’s hand. “You don’t have to tell me, and I don’t have to
know… You know you can always count on me. Depend on me.”

Lena gradually looked up to meet the dark gaze. Angela’s tone was soft, unlike the
commanding words she spoke. The woman was begging her to lean on her shoulder
whenever it was needed, asking her to let her in. Lena had done it before, but she was
hurt every time she let her hopes up.

Angela stopped the soft stroke over Lena’s hand when the redhead slowly took her hand
away. In cruel silence, she watched Lena sitting up and looking the other way.

“I don’t want to break the news to you right now, but I don’t see any other better time…”

Still keeping her gaze out the window, Lena kept her face straight as her heart sank. She
could barely stand anything anymore. The past two days felt like the end of the world for
her.

“What is it?” But Lena asked with the voice as calm as ever.

“After most of the witnesses had been killed, the only survivor was Oliver Petitot. He
managed to escape and is still at large. I will try to get to him before the cops do. And, as
expected, Roland and—Yulia had already gone to New York, waiting to catch the next
liner to Europe.”

Deep down inside, Lena couldn’t deny that she had wished for Celia to be the survivor.
Even if it was all Holden’s plan, she could never forgive Roland for what he had done,
and she did not know if she would ever find peace if her hands did not kill again. Trapped
in the tangle someone else had created, she felt she was slowly dying inside. Her inner
scream would never be let out.

“But that wasn’t all. Holden Young had left for London already. He’s somewhere in the
middle of the Atlantic as we speak, looking forwards to his half-a-year-vacation. He
knew, Lena. Everything. He planned it all for you and Roland to fall apart, and he
succeeded, even if it caused his men’s lives. Now, after the massacre, the police will be
watching your every move. It’s too risky to stay here, unless you want out of this
business forever.”

Lena did not even have to decide. She had always wanted out, and without Roland now,
she did not have a reason to go back into the underworld. But that wasn’t her concern.
Sooner or later, she would give in to the force inside her that dictated her to follow
wherever vengeance would lead her. Hatred had always won.

Closing her eyes, the Irish leaned back against the wall as she let out a long sigh. “I’m so
tired… I’m tired of everything…” Before she knew it, tears began to slide down her face.
Clenching her fists, she opened her eyes, but only saw the world darker each day past.
The Irish had led her so far from where she was years ago. It took her to the other place
where she lost everyone she loved.

“I can’t do this anymore. I want to go away—just go away…” Lena muttered, burying
her face in her shaken palms.

Angela hastily moved closer and took the redhead in her arms, rocking her softly as she
kissed the top of Lena’s head. “You definitely don’t have to go back there. No. We could
go somewhere far away no one knows us, Lena. I’ll take you there.”

Although Angela’s words sounded hopeful, Lena herself had no particular place in her
mind. Everywhere she had gone was hellish to her. The world wasn’t big enough for her
to hide. Lethargically, she just rested her head against the dark-haired woman’s shoulder.
To occasionally depend on someone was easier than she had thought. She did not have to
trust Angela wholeheartedly right now, but it helped a little to have someone next to her
at the moment.

Lena looked up when the phone suddenly rang. A tinge of hope suddenly rushed through
her, that it was Yulia calling. She didn’t even have to say, but Angela could tell by just
looking into her eyes that had abruptly brightened up.

“Hello?”

“H—hello…”

Lena froze. It was Oliver Petitot. The line wasn’t secured, and they both knew to make it
short and efficient without giving too much away.

“You still owe me a dollar and fifteen cents. Please come quickly.” With that, Oliver
hung up.

Frowning, Lena put down the receiver and scratched her head.

“Who was it?” Angela asked.

“It was Oliver. He said, ‘You still owe me a dollar and fifteen cents.’ I seriously have no
clue where he is…” Lena pondered.

Angela looked serious for a moment before she chuckled. “If it’s true, I’m amazed
anyone still remembers a debt that small.”

Lena managed the first smile in two days, agreeing with the dark-haired woman. All of
the sudden, she remembered a small encounter, which happened roughly three years ago.
She sprung up from the bed. “That’s how we first met!”

Angela looked bewildered. “What are you talking about?”

“The first time I met him, I was buying some hot bread to eat. I forgot my wallet, but he
lent me some money because he knew who I am. It was exactly one dollar and fifteen
cents!” In truth, Lena was still astounded even now that a street hoodlum in an east coast
city even knew ‘the Irish’.

“A dollar and fifteen cents. You didn’t eat all of them by yourself, did you?”

Lena chortled. “I was buying them for my bodyguards as well.”

“Hmm, where is he now then?”

Lena looked grim at once. It seemed Oliver was leading her to the one place she so did
not want to be right now. “New York. He needs me there now…”

Angela nodded and stood up, firmly taking Lena’s hands. “Someone had helped him to
the port. It means he wants to get out of the country, and he’s making the right decision.
He is the lone witness still alive. Holden must have wanted him dead. The police needs
him back, or their case would be useless. We don’t know his fate, Lena. You and he must
leave before things get out of hand.”

Lena suppressed her sigh. She did not want to think that she would be heading to where
Yulia was. After their last encounter, she did not have the stomach to see her now. She
had done her wrong, denying her and accusing her. Knowing that Yulia was traveling
with Roland only made it harder. If she ever met Roland again, it would be out of her
control. She did not want to pursue Roland and go down the dark path again. She always
remembered the pain, but for the first time in her life, she feared hate. Yulia had lit up her
world with just a simple smile, and she was now afraid to ruin it, even though that might
mean she would never see the blonde again.

Blue-Amy
24-10-2005, 22:05
Yey!!...you're back! I kept checking this thread daily to see if there's any update.... and tonight I found it! *me happy*...I'm glad too know u're PC it's fixed and of course thx for the update uhaku!(I prefer this instead of Icemera...hope u won't mind:D) short or large, it doesn't matter as long it's smth new...

Now that I've read this...I have to say that I won't blame Lena that if she's still alive she prefered to stay with Angela...in the end, this latino spy as u said, was always there by her side wiyhout expecting smth in return...while if it was for Yulia...maybe Lena would be dead by now...alone in that field...I dunno...but that's how I feel at this moment...

Volkster
24-10-2005, 23:31
Thanks for the update!!! Seriously, you haven't decided what happens to Lena yet??? I can feel it, we are so close to the end now that I just can't wait!!!!! Some heart breaking is on the way the way I see it!!! I mean, *more* heartbreak!!!! :)

YLuelniaa
25-10-2005, 01:53
wow, what can i say at the beginning that was so rough to read...the pain..then having to deal with Angela, hearing the news of Yulia and Roland leaving together.. the one shes loves with the one who betrayed her...the suffering.

showMElove2
25-10-2005, 09:25
I still don't know whether to feel grateful for Angela, Why is it that she keep popping up when the Irish is in trouble?? and the news about Yulia and Roland (well that was expected but still a little hard to swallow after that field incident). I do hope that there is some resolution for them all, eventually( you have tough decision to make eh??) Thanks for continuing this amazing fic, I really look forward to the updates!!

rasoska
25-10-2005, 11:23
its so great to see your back:coctail:
yeah, i agree with showmelove2. although it was expected that yulia will go with roland to europe it was still hard to actually read it, black on white.

thanks for the update!!

Ningyo
26-10-2005, 03:52
BTW, OMG, bigger avatar! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Aaaah! I don't know if I should love or hate you now, why that particular avatar? LOL!

Have I been away for long? When did you become Icemera here? :confused: Oh well, this update goes to my 'To Read' list... Can you believe I'm still stuck at chapter 49? :(

Uhaku
30-10-2005, 17:10
blueAmy – oh, thank god u seem to be okay if Lena did live with Angela.
Hmmmm…that gives me more choices to end this story. Coolie.
volkster – can u stand a little more heartbreak? I’m so evileeeeee!
YLuelniaa – erm, I remember you read 666 as well. I just hope u don’t think I’m some kind of
sadistic writer with all these suffering for my characters. LOL.
Showmelove – don’t thank me. I have you to thank, u know. U kept me writing
DW. Loooool. And this one as well.
rasoska – here’s an update for u. hope it isn’t dragging on and on. I mean to finish
it in a few chaps. This gets longer than I thought.
mel – haaaaahaaaa. U have a soft spot for this cat, I knew it! And yes, u were gone
for a while. I guessed already that u have abandoned me! But it’s okay. I’ve been busy
with Mai Otome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yessssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


---------I didn't have the time to reread this chap. sorry for any mistake!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CHAPTER 54


After two weeks of preparation, Yulia Volkova finally left the hotel she had been staying
at in the middle of Manhattan to board Aquitania with her father and her then
fiancé, Roland Myer. Under the cold, gray skies, nearly a thousand people were gathering
along the dock, shouting and waving goodbye to their loved ones. It would be twenty-
seven days aboard before the ship docked at Liverpool.

In a beige coat and a navy suit, Dimitri Volkov looked poised and confident with a shiny,
ebony cane in his gloved hand. He led the way into the ship, Yulia closely behind. This
was to be the last day of his mafia life, yet he smiled to welcome the more peaceful era.
He turned to glance at America one last time and bid his second homeland farewell here
and now.

Although Roland just had an urgent operation less two weeks ago, he was more than
happy to leave, convinced that he would be all right as soon as he left American soil.
With the lower part of his right leg cut off, the result from the car accident, he was
wheeled in on a chair by a service man, heading to his first class room. He had hired a
nurse onboard with him as well. There would be no proper farewell to his homeland over
the deck, but he couldn’t care less. He couldn’t wait to get out of here.

After seeing that all their suitcases were already delivered to their rooms, Yulia instantly
marched to her own room and locked herself inside. She was clad all in black with a wool
dress, a knee-length coat and a stylish hat. It would probably be a long while before she
would set foot on her homeland again, but she couldn’t make herself to look out the
balcony of her room. America was as though a vast, lively wallpaper of her dream now.
As she boarded the ship, everything that had happened here did not exist anymore.

There was no telling when she would ever see her ranch, or walk through that fine, oak
door of her bedroom again. And it seemed that heaven tried to erase any memory she had
of Lena Cohen, painfully reminding her of the heartbreak moment at the field whenever
the redhead came across her mind. It ache her deeper each time she thought of the chance
she could have spent the rest of her life here with young Cohen. But then the true nature
of the Irish terrified her. The dark one was here to stay, and would never return Lena to
her.

That stormy day still haunted her mind until this day. She knew it would be too late in the
night before she could sneak out to find Lena in the field; the redhead was likely to be
dead, or had already left by then. As soon as Angela came back to the mansion to find the
lobby area wrecked, she ordered the maid to go into the field immediately and took Lena
to safety. She would have stayed on in Chicago for a few more days if her father did not
rush them to come to New York. Even Roland had to have his surgery in Manhattan
instead. Dimitri was doing everything to protect her from the police, Holden’s men and,
most of all, the Irish.

Taking her hat off, Yulia eventually looked up from the hardwood floor and edged from
the white door to the balcony. She took note that Aquitania had slowly parted the dock,
resulting in rising of the hustles and bustles over the decks. Tears welled up the blue eyes
as she stared out.

“Goodbye…” she muttered as her hands clung to the carved, wooden rail.


>>>


It was already seven in the evening when a few knocks came upon the door. In his white
shirt and a pair of gray trousers, Roland positioned himself straighter on the crimson
couch. The vacancy under his right knee was still very palpable and painful to him in his
every move. He was sent to a hospital as soon as he got off the train from Chicago. When
the doctor told him that it was necessary to cut the lower leg off, he turned from an
apologetic state into fury. The Irish had caused him the scar he would never forget his
whole life.

“Come in,” Roland said, clearing his throat.

As expected, his reluctant fiancée came through the door. Yulia looked exquisite in her
white gown, her blonde hair tied up in a knot at the back of her head. Everything had
been so hectic after the field episode they hadn’t had the time to discuss anything but the
plan to catch Aquitania in time. He still remembered it well when Yulia declared
her love for his archenemy. Nothing could ever make him forget that moment, even the
rain and the pain that had stormed into his life.

“It’s time for supper,” Yulia said quietly. She gestured for the nurse to come in to help
Roland to the wheelchair.

The dark-haired young man waved in refusal. He got up from the couch with one leg
standing and threw himself onto the wheelchair. Grinning and panting, he looked up at
the beautiful blonde, feeling the sharp sting in his ugly heart. Everything changed so fast
he could barely stand it. Now, they were beauty and the beast, only she would never love
him and he would never turn back into a prince again.

“Would you mind taking me to the dinning room? I hope I wouldn’t embarrass you, Yulia.”

Roland could see the sympathy in her eyes, and it angered and depressed him at the same
time. Still, he kept his cool, charming smile like always.

“You know that I do not pay any mind to these petty things,” Yulia said, smiling lightly.
She came around the couch and began to wheel Roland out of the room.

As Yulia brought Roland along the corridor, with the nurse behind, Roland adjusted his
collar and looked out at the lower deck. A group of men and women were playing soccer
over the lit area of the deck, laughing as they ran after one another. Although soccer was
never a sport he worshipped, Roland stared hard at those shuffling feet, realizing that
even his first class ticket could not afford him the luxury of joining this game.

“Have you heard from Lena?”

Yulia abruptly halted at his sudden question, and then resumed her walk.

“No. Should I?” Yulia said halfheartedly.

“She would be laughing until the skies fall if she sees me like this.”

“I don’t think she would.”

“Oh, no?” Roland’s tone was a little high in sarcasm.

“She’d probably shoot you before she laughs.”

“You do have a point.” Roland scoffed and turned his attention away from the soccer
players below.

“She’s gone from our lives, so let’s just forget about her,” Yulia said with a slightly
cracked voice. And Roland knew how she must have felt. He tilted his head back and
momentarily gazed up at her.

“We left her to die, Yulia. We were all in it together, weren’t we?”

“I didn’t exactly leave her in that manner,” Yulia stated, looking elsewhere.

“She’s still alive. No one could kill the Irish, no. And she’s going to come after us… Or
is it what you want?”

“Roland—”

“Am I not making sense to you?”

Yulia knitted her brows, her body becoming rigid. “Not in the slightest.”

“Yes, she’s gone. Oh, yes, if you say so,” Roland mumbled, reaching back to grab her
hand and stroking it.

Yulia did not pull away, but did not utter anything else until they reached the dinning
room.


>>>


In the white, tiny bedroom with two single beds, Lena began to unpack her belongings,
putting her clothes into a rather small drawer beside the doorway. She glanced at her
roommate, Angela, for a brief second, and then looked away. They were to share the
room for another twenty-seven days. She better got used to having little to her privacy. At
best, she could have the large deck to stroll along when she needed to be alone to collect
her thoughts. Although she could easily afford the first class, she opted for the third class,
not wanting any attention to her and Oliver Petitot, who was still wounded and hid
himself in his room all day and night, with Sarah Cohen. It had surprised Lena that Sarah
was the one who helped Oliver after he escaped from the massacre, prompting the
redhead to take the girl along since Celia was gone now.

“I’ll leave the top drawer for you,” Lena said.

Smiling, Angela nodded in response, unpacking her own suitcase.

Pulling a small booklet out of her coat’s pocket, Lena glanced at the new passport given
to her by her father. Elena G. Iver. She felt hot tears in her eyes as she read the new
name on the first page. Senator Iver wanted to make sure that she could start anew
aboard. It was his last gift to her; a life he had forsaken twenty years ago. He gave it back
to her now.

“Will you miss him?”

Lena looked up at Angela, puzzled at the question. “We have nothing to miss,” she said
as a matter of fact.

Angela let out a small chortle and moved beside the redhead. “When he finally retires,
he’d be waiting for you, I’m sure of that. You two would have a lot to catch up on each
other by then.”

Lena eventually smiled at the dark beautiful eyes. Hearing Angela’s comforting words,
she couldn’t help but hoped to grow old faster and then go back to her father. It sounded
too good to be true. Realizing that she had been smiling for far too long, Lena composed
herself and blanked her expression again. She stiffly turned away from the Latino woman
and put her suitcase under the bed.

“I’m going to check on Oliver,” Lena said, leaving the room in an instant.

“It’s quite nice out on the deck. Why don’t you take your time?” Angela winked.

Lena paused when she realized she was caught. They just chuckled at one another.


>>>


Strolling along the deck, Lena glanced up at the velvet skies, adoring the starry night. It
was quite chilly out here but, having staying in during daytime, she needed some fresh air
right now. Putting her hands in her pockets, she strode past the soccer players.

“Join us, lady!?” a man called out.

Lena lit up a pipe and blew out a cloud of smoke. “No, thanks.” Although her fever had
gone, but she still felt pretty weary all around. The past two weeks were very busy with
the plan to migrate to England. Managing all the money in all her bank accounts was
frantic enough.

“Oh, come on, we need another player to make it even!” another woman encouraged.

Lena shrugged and finished the urging with a kick at the brown, leather ball. The crowd
cheered, and they resumed their game again.

“Whose side am I on?” Lena jogged around. Good thing she had her trousers on instead
of a skirt.

“Him, her, him… him, her and me,” the man pointed around. The members of the team
promptly raised their hands while they were running around.

Lena frowned, trying to remember the faces correctly. “Don’t blame me if I score for the
other team!” She started to run.

“The goal is the other way!” the man urgently yelled, causing the crowd to laugh.

Raising her brows, Lena turned around and ran to the opposite side.

“And drop your pipe, for God’s sake!”


>>>


The loud chitchats deafened the grand dinning room, numbing Yulia’s mind. She looked
around as her father was talking to his possibly future business partners. On the other side
of the table, Roland was having his meal and finished his fourth glass of wine already.
Yulia barely finished her dinner before she excused herself from the table. To be face to
face with Roland was harder than she had imagined. Seeing him pretending to be all right
just stabbed her in the heart for it reminded her how Lena could become someone else
entirely. She couldn’t tell whether it was a gift or a curse that the two friends came into
her life. She couldn’t seem to run away from them, but then she didn’t know if she could
live without them either.

A smile gradually appeared over Yulia’s face again when she took a good amount of
fresh air in. Her hands over the rail, she watched the stars up above, recalling the very
same plane of skies on the night of the past New Year’s Eve. Time had flied so fast. Fall
had finally come, and she realized that it was almost a year since that hopeful night. She
had naively believed that something good could happen between Lena and her until
recently—when the Irish shattered her dream.

Yulia closed her eyes, taking a deep breath in. She felt as if she could fly along the cool
breeze, only her wings were wounded, chained to earth. She opened her eyes again and
lowered her gaze to the deck below, watching the third-class holders playing soccer.
Elbowing against the rail, she rested her chin on her palms and smiled lightly. Those poor
lads seemed to be having so much fun. She even secretly cheered along with the crowd
when a red-haired woman below scored a goal.

“Well done, young lady! Well done!” A man laughed, patting over the redhead’s slim
shoulder.

The goal keeper bent down to retrieve the leather ball and angrily threw it across the
deck. Instead of sending the ball to his teammates, the ball flew higher than expected and
landed just a few feet away from Yulia. Bewildered, Yulia clumsily ducked her head
down, glancing around. A few first-class passengers glared down at the soccer players
and shook their heads disapprovingly.

“We’re sorry, ma’am! But could you please throw it back down here!?”

Upon hearing the voice, Yulia froze. She gradually shifted her attention from the first-
class passengers to the shouting woman below. Time seemed to stop when their gazes
met. The yellow lights above Yulia’s head partially revealed her face, but she knew that
the redhead below could see her clearly now.

Lena stood still for a moment before she sharply turned away and climbed down the
stairs to where the third-class holders belong. She did not stop even when her teammates
called out for her. The game was over right then and there.

Over the balcony, Yulia felt her hands trembling as she picked up the ball. She lightly
tossed it back down to the lower deck. Although she could see the men and women
shouting at one another, possibly about the sudden leave of the redhead, she could not
hear a word. Everything went mute as soon as the red-haired figurine walked out of the
deck. The sight she had just seen rushed her back to the field of madness and despair. The
Irish was here onboard with her—with Roland Myer. The Irish had come after them as
Roland had suggested. There was no guarantee of their safety and harmony in the middle
of the Atlantic now. But, with all her fear, a tinge of hope still managed to surge through
her heart. Lena’s familiar laughter she had just heard a few moments ago still echoed in
her ears, effortlessly brightening her heart. She could not decide whether the next twenty-
seven days would be in haven or hell.

Volkster
30-10-2005, 17:25
Oi!!!!!I think Imay suffer a heart attack before the end of the story!!! Or its possibe that it will happen with the end of the story!!!

Is Lena aware that Angela found her on the field because of Yulia? And 27 days on the same ship? All 4 of them???? Well, this is gonna be beyond interesting!!!

Thanks for the update!!!

EDIT: I read again 2412 today which got to me to reading 2437(at least as much as you have posted) and I wanted to tell you that along with DW its one of the fics that I'm waiting for impatiently!!!

warx
31-10-2005, 01:45
yay!!!

YLuelniaa
31-10-2005, 02:03
well how exactly to comment to what i just read.... I dunno....I am definitely stunned beyond words.... your never fail so surprise your readers....

do continue...

showMElove2
31-10-2005, 04:58
They are all on the same ship, and Yulia and Lena saw each other!!! This I know, will be an interesting 27 day voyage! So, Yulia sent Angela back to the field; that makes sense because I couldn't see Yulia (even though she was hurt by the Irish) leaving her out there to die! Looking forward to the upcoming updates but thats nothing new:)

Blue-Amy
31-10-2005, 13:48
No...I'm not exactly ok with the fact that lena may live with Angela, but I haven't expected that Yulia will send exactly her to rescue the wounded and full of hatred Irish...but I was deceived by the apparences...:( ..anyway..I'm totaly impressed by the way your story goes...
They both being on the same ship..reminds me of Titanic..will this mean that the tragedy will fallow here too?...
Thanx!!

rasoska
01-11-2005, 00:45
olala, all four of them on the same boat!!! this shall be interesting!!!
wow, hearing the voice you thought you left behind for good and pretty sure you wouldnt hear it again must have been of a real surprise and shock, as well as seeing the one person you thought you wouldnt see ever again. great twist, even more so cos i didnt think lena would ever leave for europe (im not sure why i put the pic of lena staying in the usa in my head but as i said before great twist as i really didnt see this one coming), and to add they will be on the same boat for 27 days:eek:

uhaku im pretty sure that u know very well what ur doing so theres no worries of this story to be dragging on and on.... and to add your talent;) i think i mentioned this somewhere before but i really dig your style of writting :yes: and this is coming from a person whos not really into reading:o
but believe me, if i would ever think this story is dragging or becoming boring you would know it;)

thank you for the chap:rose: cant wait to see what will happen next:D

EDIT: now i remembered that you r called icemera these days, i wrote uhaku out of a habit and cos i liked it more:D, hope its all right.

Ningyo
01-11-2005, 23:28
mel – haaaaahaaaa. U have a soft spot for this cat, I knew it! And yes, u were gone
for a while. I guessed already that u have abandoned me! But it’s okay. I’ve been busy
with Mai Otome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yessssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, I can't really tell when I'll be completely back here... :( But when I do, you won't know what hit you, lol. To my dismay, I also have two Mai Otome scanlations pending. :bum:

Volkster
01-12-2005, 16:26
Sniff!!! Where are you???? Please please update!!! I'm being driven mad with worry of what will happen on that ship!!!!! :)

Crampaholic
01-12-2005, 18:10
:bum:

Blue-Amy
05-12-2005, 12:02
I'm so bored since u havent' updated your story..I can't wait to see what will happen next! :D...I hope u are ok..and planning to continue this fic ;)

Uhaku
20-12-2005, 12:44
:bum: i'm so sorry that i'd been away from this forum for so long. umm.
i've strayed to another fandom, actually. my bad. all the while i thought
nobody waits for this fic anymore. and it appears so. umm. *looks around nervously*
if u still wants it, give me a sign. or i would abandon ship as well. :coctail:

Volkster
20-12-2005, 14:42
No no no!!! Please don't abandon ship!!!This story is so close to finishing, you said so yourself (well, a while back, granted but still)! C'mon, your fans await!!!! :)

rasoska
20-12-2005, 15:12
^^^ yeah, that!!! :yes:

YLuelniaa
20-12-2005, 21:09
whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhat........abandon are you crazy!!!

Blue-Amy
27-12-2005, 22:59
pleaseeeeeeeeeeee pleassssssseeeeeeee DO continue with this fic!!!...if is possible for u, please don't stop it like u did with DW :( ...I'm sure there are a lor of readers waiting impatiently for the next update!;)

Crampaholic
28-12-2005, 03:33
Come on...

Volkster
18-01-2006, 01:30
What happened??? Aren't you gonna update???Please please pretty please?????:(

lizzie241
21-01-2006, 01:44
no abanding allowed:D

Volkster
25-03-2006, 18:58
I can't believe its been soooo long since I last read an update here!!!!

I will keep on bugging you until you give me an update!!! Please??? I mean, you said that its almost done as a story!!!! Please come back!!!!! I wanna know what happens to the Irish!!!
You created a myth but the myth needs an ending!!!

Crampaholic
25-03-2006, 23:55
^ word

dare2dream28
26-03-2006, 00:14
You created a myth but the myth needs an ending!!!

Damn Volkster, that is an *excellent* quote! And you are so right! So whaddya say uhaku? Let the Myth stay alive? ;)

Volkster
25-11-2006, 12:51
C'mon!!!! Please!!!!

I miss this story!! I read it again and again and again waiting for you to update but you never did!!! And it's almost at the end!!! What a shame for the story!!!

mad_for_lena
26-11-2006, 00:50
i agree this story is AWSOME!!!!!!!!! common Uhaku a person as talented as you cant leave a story!!! a story has a beginning, middle, and END! so for the love of god END MY MISERY AND FINISH THE STORY! I CANT TAKE IT!!!

pretty please :D

Joha84
27-11-2006, 02:06
Okay... I've edited my post now that I read the last update. Damn, UHAKU!!! You're such a great writer. Don't be evil and please give us an update :( You cannot leave (well you already did :() this great story without an end.