Chapter Five

"I feel a bit out of place being here," Tatyana says with a bit of uncertainty in her voice. She is just not used to this kind of glamorous lifestyle.

"Don't worry. You were made for this kind of life. It suits you perfectly," he assures her, his Irish drawl calming her nerves. Tatyana smiles and lays her head on his chest, listening to his steady heartbeat. She moves both her arms around his shoulders and his hands both lay resting on her waist. Another slow song followed and their positions remained the same.

"May I cut in?" they hear with a familiar English accent. Tatyana lifts her head to find Marius standing next to them. She smiles as Michael gracefully kisses her hand and hands her off to him. Marius holds her a bit closer to his body than Michael did as they dance. A simple grin with a little fang sets off a big smile on her face. She cannot help but to smile nowadays. Especially when one of the men smiles on her behalf. As the song finishes and a different one starts, another man taps Marius on the shoulder and asks if he could be blessed with a dance from the most beautiful woman in the room. Marius looks to Tatyana for approval and she gives him a pleasing nod with a sweet smile. Marius softly kisses the knuckle of her hand and guides her off to the other man. Throughout the night, she dances with almost every man there. She is the center of attention and all three of her keepers are on the floor watching her as they too dance with many of the beautiful women. None compared to her, though. She glides and twirls with the music as the soft lighting glows across her skin and reflects in the glitter of her dress, drawing even more attention. A remarkable sight, indeed.

After the current song ended, Tatyana walks over to Damien. "Looks like you are the only one left," she says with an inviting smile. This caused Damien to hesitate with a faint blush across his cheeks. Michael and Marius grin from Damien's surprising shyness towards her offer and push him onto the dance floor. There is an amazing difference in their heights but it didn't bother her any. She felt like a child dancing with her big brother. His large hands could practically wrap all the way around her thin waist. He was a bit tense at first but after a few seconds, his body relaxed and he danced with her in perfect harmony. Their movements were completely in sync. As the song ends, Damien kisses her hand and walks her back to their private table upstairs along with Marius and Michael. Everyone watches as this six-foot-five-inch man is so gentle with her seemingly delicate hand.

After a moment of resting, Michael stands back up. "Well, now that the dancing is done, what say we go around town for a bit?" he says in his cheerful voice. They all agree with the proposal and head out. As Tatyana leaves the club, all the male patrons say goodbye to her. She curtseys to them as she has her arm around Damien's. She smiles and laughs at the fun she is having with her new friends. Her new family.

While Tatyana walks around town, the men share a pleased smile as they watch her gaze at the remarkable items she sees in the store windows. Jewelry and clothing. Appliances and electronics. They all seem to be the treasures of the world in her eyes. After all, she was barely allowed outside of her house. Then she passes by a pet store. A litter of puppies in the window. She notices one that caught her attention almost immediately. A little black puppy with a white patch of fur on its chest and white spots on its back that almost resembled wings. The puppy is in the opposite corner, away from the others, looking as though he is an outcast. She gave an empathetic expression when she saw him. Michael warmly smiles as he watches her. It is so easy to tell how she feels. Tatyana wore her feelings out on her sleeves.

All three men could easily detect her emotions. Looking at that puppy in the corner made her a bit upset. "How about we go by the lake? I'm sure Tatyana would enjoy the scenery," Marius says as though trying to push her away from the depressing shop. She looked so sad and the men much rather have her smile.

"Oh, yes. I've never been to the lake before," she says giving a bright smile to the men and Marius guides her towards the lake area. When they get there, her breath is taken away by the sheer beauty of the landscape. Delightfully elegant Christmas lights cover the trees and surround the lake like an enchanted stage. She stands under the bridge that passes over the small canal of the lake and gazes out to see the peaceful remoteness of the area. She rests at the lakeshore and is mesmerized by the softly moving water. When she looks back at the men, she realizes that it is only Michael and Marius. Damien is not there. "Where's Damien gone off to?" she asks.

"Uh, he had an errand to run back at the house. He'll be back soon," Michael assures her. She gives him a questioning look but then smiles. She has no idea what they are up to but she knows that they are up to something. She simply passes it off and returns her attention to the lake.

As they stare out onto the lake's surface, they hear a small bell in the distance like from a bike. "I'll be right back," Marius says as he walks up to the bridge and crosses to the other side. Humming a soft tune to himself as he did so.

Things are silent for a moment. "This place is too beautiful," Tatyana says, her voice distant as she is still in astonishment.

"It's nowhere near as beautiful as you are," Michael says softly as he gazes at her. She gives him a warm, shy yet appreciate smile - her cheeks red from blushing. Michael walks towards her and places his hands on the sides of her face to look her in the eyes. She starts to blush more fiercely and then...

"What the hell is this?!" Tatyana hears a very familiar, very scary voice shout out with a thick Mexican accent. One that frightened her so much her body began shaking. "Where in the hell have you been?!" It is the one person she never wanted to see ever again for as long as she lived. "You worthless little bitch! So you did run away!" It is Pedro, her father. He storms up to Tatyana, grips her wrist, and yanks her away from Michael. "You were supposed to go to the store and back. Now I find you two days later, whoring around?" As his grip tightens around her wrist causing her to tear up, Jose comes walking up behind them.

"So we finally found her," Jose noted with sadistic pleasure. So he finally found his slave.

"Let her go!" Michael demanded. Anger filling his usually tranquil eyes.

"Who the hell are you? Her boyfriend? She belongs to us. Stay out of it!" Pedro shouts, sending cold glares at Michael.

His eyes narrow. "I'm warning you. Let her go and leave now," Michael says angrily.

"Or you'll what?" Jose says sarcastically. He always thought he was tough shit. A bad-boy. Always so confidant in himself.

"It's not me you should worry about. It's him," Michael says motioning to the person behind Jose. As Jose turns, he is gripped with fear as he gazes into the enraged golden-yellow eyes of what could be described as a panther staring down its pray. Marius' eyes.

Pedro's grip on Tatyana's wrist tightens to the point where it feels as though it could break, pulling a cry of pain from her. "Stay away from him or I'll kill this little bitch! So it seems you have more than one boyfriend. Bincha huta!" Pedro shouts.

"Call her that again and I'll rip your tongue out." Marius says in a bloodthirsty, even tone. He didn't want Tatyana to be disrespected. She saved his life twice before and he is more than willing to do the same for her.

Pedro jerks Tatyana's wrist, making her whimper once again. "I don't think you're in any position to be giving such idle threats," Pedro scours back at him.

Within a second, Michael's anger suddenly melts. "Actually, you're in no position to be treating our dear Tatyana like that. Oh, and we're not her boyfriends. The three of us are more like her guardians," Michael says matter-of-factly in a hateful yet calm tone.

Jose scoffs. "What the hell do you mean by three? There're only two of you, dumb ass," he says triumphantly. Once again, the boy has too much confidence in himself.

A devious chuckle catches his attention. "You don't pay much attention to your surroundings, do you?" Marius says with an evil grin.

Just then, Damien appears behind Tatyana's father. As Pedro turns around, Damien stands up to his full six-and-a-half foot height. His shirt was off and hanging from what was tucked into his pants. His muscles were bulging, threatening to rip his sleeveless undershirt apart. His bright green eyes were enraged and looked to be slowly turning ember red. Pedro lets go of her wrist as he looks at Damien in pure horror.

Michael shines in a cheery manner. "Normally, I oppose violence. Damien and Marius on the other hand, well, it's kind of in their nature. If you hope to live pass tonight, you'll go back home and forget all about Tatyana. She's under our custody now," Michael happily says in a delighted tone of voice. He warmly smiles as Pedro and Jose back away. Without a word and with no emotion on his face, Damien picks Tatyana up and starts to walk away with her frail body in his masculine arms. Her face buried in his chest as silent tears streamed down her cheeks. Her body was still shaking from fear.

As Damien leaves, Pedro's self-assurance slowly comes back to him. Seeing how he won't have to deal with that beastly giant. "Fine! You can have the little bitch. She's just a useless slut anyways," Pedro says as he turns to walk away.

Michael shakes his head out of disappointment. "You just don't listen do you?" he asks, referring to Marius's earlier warning of badmouthing Tatyana. Michael walks away - unbuttoning his shirt - as Marius's eyes glow even more hateful with the words of Tatyana's father. By this time, Damien is in the air with her - Michael following closely behind them. When she notices Marius isn't with them, she understands that his threats are nowhere near idle. She can hear distant screams of horror and then...silence. Blissful, painful, peaceful silence. Serenity. She is now completely free of the pain of being a slave to her family.

They reach the manor and walk in to the living room. Tatyana sits down on the large couch and rubs her wrist. It still hurt badly. Michael walks over and kneels at her feet. He gently takes her wrist in one hand and places his other hand over it. A warm glow of light came from his palm and her wrist felt as though nothing had happened to it.

She was astonished. "Spaciba," Tatyana says just above a whisper. "Oh, I-I mean, t-thank you." She stutters trying to correct herself as she always did back in her previous house where a beating would follow any Russian she spoke. She still isn't completely used to being free to speak Russian.

"It's all right, Tatyana. Don't be afraid to speak Russian here. In fact, I quite enjoy hearing different languages," Michael says as he gives her that same warm, comfortable smile as he always does and she can't help but smile back. His words and expressions were always so comforting.

After a few more moments, Marius finally arrives back home. "Marius," Tatyana says as he enters the front door. The devilish smile on his face says what he was thinking. Mmm, Mexican food. She could only give him a displeasing yet grateful grin. No words could truly describe how she feels now that Marius has liberated that burden her so-called family put on her. As he walks up to Tatyana, he brings his hand out from behind his back revealing a beautiful deep red rose. That is what he went to get after they heard that bell. It must have been a rose bender on a bike selling them. She thanks him and smiles while lightly biting onto her bottom lip. The rose was sweetly scented and she couldn't stop smiling.

"Well it's been a long night. What say we all get some rest now?" Michael suggests to the eagerly agreeing group. They all walk upstairs and as Tatyana enters her room, a very special surprise waited for her on her bed with a big red bow attached around its little neck.

"Oh, my goodness!" she shouts as all the men stand in the doorway of her room and watch her run to her bed. "It's the puppy from the window of that pet shop," she says cheerfully. She quickly picks up the puppy and hugs it. "So this is what Damien had to bring home?" she questions giving a fake glare. But she can't hold her smile back for very long.

All three men smile as Tatyana looks at the puppy so lovingly. She turns and rushes over to the men. She gives Damien a big hug and kisses him on the cheek. Damien blushes with surprise and nervously scratches the back of his head. "So I guess you like it. Michael suggested zat one and Gravevood paid for it." Her smile grows even bigger with happy tears almost filling her eyes to the brink as she hugs Michael and Marius and kisses them on the cheeks also.

"Spaciba! I love him!" she exclaims to them.

"So what are you going to name the little fur-ball?" Marius asks Tatyana with a sly grin on his face. His eyes gleaming as he watches her.

"On zavoot...Sasha," she responds with a pleasing smile. His name is Sasha. It is a common male name in Russia.

All the men pet the dog and wish Tatyana goodnight then walk out of the room. She quickly undresses, showers, and slips into her silk blue nightgown. When she walks back out, Sasha is already asleep on the bed. She simply smiles at the dreaming pooch, slides into bed, and snuggles up to Sasha as she quickly falls asleep. A smile on her face saying how important this day has been for her and that she will never forget it.

She dreams sweet dreams as a warm feeling surrounds her body. All weight has been lifted off of her shoulders. She no longer has to look over her shoulders for fear of someone from her past being there. She no longer has to fear her family. She now has one that cares for her. No more pain. No more servitude. She is now in a house that she can actually look forward to entering. That's right, she lives here now. In this house. In this home. Home. It has a nice ring to it. Just the thought makes her smile softly. She has a place where she belongs. She is home.