✵The snake and the kitten✵

/ By DahliaNoir [+Watch]

Replies: 39 / 283 days 10 hours 21 minutes 16 seconds

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That harsh thud that seemed to rattle within her skull and the darkness that surrounded was the last thing Nataliya remembered as her body shut down and collapsed to the timber floors below but not before one last major blow just above her right eye on the kitchen bench on the way down.[i That is sure to hurt tomorrow.] Crimson liquid oozing from her lip from the shattering porcelain of the vase. Her lifeless body on the timber floors, unable to fight for her freedom. Nataliya knew she was out muscled but she was just as arrogant in her abilities and stubborn as her father to never show weakness and to never go down without a fight. She had defiantly a lot more fight within her if Lukas hadn't of take a cheap shot. [i Fucking Zmeya.]

All this time Nataliya had woken up in a cold layer of sweat dreaming of this day, calculating her every move and ensuring she had done enough, everything in her power to leave that life behind her and start again. But here he was that six foot fucking snake of a man ready to throw her back into that dark, cold prison of a life, and with that rush of adrenaline and fear coursing through her veins at the sight of her father's right hand meant she had failed. She had failed at ensuring her future was in her own hands she was now headed back to be made an example of for running away from the family.

As Lukas placed the out cold blonde's body into the luxurious leather seat of the private helicopter the large bruise above her eye had begun to take shape. [i Was going to be a good one.] It wasn't until thirty minutes into the flight did a small groan escape the woman's lips and her head rolled to the other side as she slowly came back to consciousness. The darkness fading as she regained her blurred vision. Her eyes blinking rapidly adjusting to the brightness surrounding her Nataliya's mind slowly booting back up taking in her surroundings the blurred sights, sounds, memories, thoughts and smells of a familiar cologne and vanilla cigars. [i What the hell happened?] Lifting her head slightly with another groan Nataliya's brain had slowly started to catch up with her current predicament.

She was on a helicopter. Battered and bruised. Sitting across from her assailant. No doubt headed back to face the iron wrath of the man she hated. Her eyes darting from detail to detail until finally they stopped on the man across from her watching in silence. His neutral expression still set in stone as finally the pain started setting in. Bringing up her slender hand to touch her lip Nataliya could feel the blood already starting to dry on her swollen lip but compared to the black and blue patch above her eye that was nothing. Never would she show weakness, she wouldn't give Lukas the satisfaction as she had only won with a cheap shot. [i A real man wouldn't take the cowards way out.]

Her trembling hands placed back in her lap Nataliya's fear started taking over. [i No no no no I cannot go back, Id rather die and be locked away.] Her skin still pale and clammy a thin layer of sweat crept down her spine at just the sight of Lukas and what was awaiting for her at the other end of this flight. Without a word Nataliya lunged forward from her seat at the man across from her, her eyes burning bright in anger as she made one last attempt to let her stance on this matter be known. Her open palm connecting heavily with the cleanly shaved skin of Lukas with an echoing crack before Nataliya finally let slip her mother tongue [b "ебать тебя..."] [i Fuck you...] Her words dripping with venom as she was immediately ripped away by one of the men Ivan sent as protection and pinned to the ground, her face against the floor and her arms pinned behind her back, still tingling from the impact.

[b "Ты в порядке, змея?"] [i You okay Sir?'] The man's weight restricting the woman's movements as she still continued to fight as much as possible.The Russian language was just one more aspect of her former life she had abandoned, it had been eight long years since she had uttered any words in that language and yet it slipped out so perfectly as if she hadn't missed a beat [i This bitch is crazy.]
  Nataliya Renkov / DahliaNoir / 122d 22h 13m 26s
Lukas admired Nataliya’s white leather couch for what seemed like an eternity. Rolling his eyes, he nearly got up and went to find her himself when it had been two hours since he arrived. You could only watch snowflakes fall so long. [i Where are you Nat?”] Lukas rapped his fingers impatiently on the white leather, but he never stopped looking at the door. For the third time, he started regretting saying yes to this mission, but Ivan wouldn’t have taken no for an answer. Lukas really didn’t know what Nataliya would do when she saw him sitting there, the Zmeya, the devil incarnate. She knew all too well exactly what he was capable of. There wasn’t really a soul related to the Renkovs that didn’t. What she didn’t know was that he’d gotten [i better.] Lukas was just hoping for the best case scenario in which she would agree to go with him, no questions asked. [i Like there’s any chance in hell of that happening...]

She hadn’t seen him at first, her first tendency to put her coat on the rack by the door. In that one moment, Lukas observed her. He took a glance at what the three years of normal life had done. Her hair was still that signature golden blonde, only dressed up in curls. Still, her long legs were accentuated by just the right choice of clothing. [i She’s still got it.] Lukas thought such a thing, but he didn’t really ever doubt that she lost it. Nataliya was trained herself and quite talented. If she wasn’t going down easy, Lukas knew it would be a fight.

Her face drained of all color when she finally noticed him. Lukas kept his face stoic, matching her eyes. He knew the sight of him alone must be terrifying her out of her mind. Nataliya Renkov was smart, genius almost. You didn’t want to mess with her, but Ivan had placed them both in the boxing cage and only one option remained. The way she looked at him was all he needed to know. She wasn’t going down without a fight. Lukas could have predicted that. The Nataliya he knew was a warrior. Standing and stretching his arms out in front of him, Lukas let a half-grin play on his face. [b “Long time no see, buttercup. Ivan calls. I picked up. It’s not safe for you anymore. So stop playing dress up and let’s go back home.”]

Lukas extended one hand, showing her mercy. His dark eyes locked into hers, but she took the challenge. Reaching into her bag, Lukas instantly knew what she was up to. Clenching his jaw, he acted before she could. [b “Why can’t you ever make things easy!?”] Lukas ran at her, lunging to knock her against the wall hard enough to make her drop the dagger. Nataliya winced, her hand freeing the dagger that clattered to the floor. Their lips were close together a moment before Nataliya brought a swift knee up to his gut. [i “Don’t underestimate me.”] She snarled in her Russian accent before rushing to the kitchen to get something more heavy duty to deal with the man on her trail.

Lukas doubled over a moment, a hand clutching at his stomach as the fuzziness of pain wore off. One hand went to the wall to steady himself. [b “Damnit Nataliya! Just fucking give up!”] He yelled, watching her frantically go through her drawers. Staggering closer, Lukas curses inwardly before hitting her over the head with a nearby vase. It was enough to knock her unconscious, a small trail of blood falling from her split lip. Sighing, Lukas stood over her, [b “I warned you...”]

Before long, Lukas scooped her up in his arms, carrying her to the rooftop access where the pilot was waiting. Setting her up in her own chair with a blanket spread over her, Lukas finally caught his breath. It was the first time he’d seen her in years. [i Warm Welcome.]
  Lukas Pachiaveli / bubbles12 / 123d 1h 5m 24s
Glancing outside the office window as the snow storm continued to blanket the streets below, her semiglossed lips curving into a smile before turning her focus back to the task in front of her yet another stack of filing. Despite the storm raging outside Nataliya was oblivious to the black cloud that had just flow in from LA, let alone the gilded cage that was edging closer and closer to the free little dove she had become. A delusional little dove she was to ever believe she could soar as high as an eagle. [i A cage that this time was indestructable.]

Throughout the day as Nathan came and went from his office to the boardroom repeatedly he couldnt help but take an extra few seconds to notice the blonde and trace every line and feature of her face. The curve of her lips, the beautiful golden head of hair and the shimmer in those hypnotic green eyes of hers. Like a snake you just cant take your eyes off. But what Nathan couldnt quite put his finger on was why he hadnt paid attention to the leggy Women he hired beforehand. She was an enigma, the more Nathan thought about her during the day the more he realised that he knew absolutly working is about her. The hours ticked on by and Nataliya readied her handbag ready to embrace her weekend.

Nathan crossed the entire office floor in a matter of seconds with his signature stride dripping in confidence. The faint scent of his cologne reached Nataliya's nose as she slowly straightened herself to see the immaculatley dressed man before her. His hands shoved into the pockets of his tailored pants and his jacket had been discarded hours ago leaving him in a crisp white shirt and vest but the most attractive thing he wore was a deep fire burning deep beneath his amber eyes and his gaze was locked solely on her. [i Natalie Richards]

Nataliya couldn't help a small shiver creep up her spine as she locked eyes with the man before her. Her grip tightening around the leather straps of her handbag before she finally found her voice even though it wavered slightly. [b " Everything okay Nathan?" ] the tension so thick in the air between them it was a few moments before his silky Words caressed her ears. [b " Come have a drink with me before I leave."]
Nataliya didn't protest she just smiled and followed him to the bar only a block from her apartment.

It was over 2 hours later as Nathan placed a soft Kiss on Nataliya's cheek before lowering himself to the waiting cab with a wink from those honey orbs. [i Lady Killer ] The slight scent of his aftershave and tang from the top shelf scotch he had ordered lingered on her coat as she headed home a bright smile etched on her lips as she r.eached her door, Snowflakes resting gently in her golden locks as she made her way inside. The dark figure in her white leather armchair remained silient and unnoticed as Nataliya hung her coat on the rack before turning around. In an instant the color drained from her face, the very warmth of her body Immediately replaced with fear, her eyes remaining stoic, her skin clamy but her heart slamming so hard against her chest she was sure it would burst.

[b "Lukas...] her voice barely above a whisper hiding and remainder of her Russian accent [i She was American.] Fearing anything louder would give away her fear. The cage had arrived. Nothing would have prepared the woman for this day, let alone seeing this man again.
He looked like the devil himself, No one told her the devil would be back on her doorstep. [i Fuck...]
  Nataliya Renkov / DahliaNoir / 123d 6h 34m 42s
He was woken abruptly by the sound of his alarm clock. [i Beep. Beep. Beep.] Three sounds. [i How ironic.] Lukas reached over, frustratingly hitting the snooze button before rising from bed. It was early in the morning. After a quick shower and shave, Lukas pulled on a denim jacket over a black t-shirt and leather pants that fit him just right, paired with combat boots. He dressed for both style and functionality. Somehow, Lukas made it look seamless. His manicured beard had been trimmed to just the right length, meeting with his hair perfectly. He had to look the best to represent none other than the Renkov family mafia. Ivan let men go for less. Peaks of his tattoos could be seen under his sleeves as he made his way out his room to the main Hub of activity. It was busy again. Well, it was always busy, no matter what time of day or night it was. The Renkovs held influence in nearly every part of the world. There were every nationality in the room, different languages spoken, even different currencies used. Nonetheless, there was someone to cater to each language, transfer each currency to U.S. dollars, and make as many business deals as possible, mostly illegal. Hell, there were even dirty cops that they paid off to keep underground. They thought of everything, and it was all facilitated under one man, Ivan Renkov.

Crossing his arms, Lukas Pachiaveli watched the business happenings a moment before checking his burner phone after a buzz in his pocket alerted him to it. Flipping it open, Lukas brought the device to his ear. He recognized the number. Ivan's gravely voice came through the set, [i "Lukas. I need to see you. My office. It's important."] Lukas didn't even get a word in when Ivan ended the call. Putting his hands in his pockets, Ivan took a last look at the scene before him then stepped into the elevator and hit the button to the top. Again, his fingerprints and eye scan were taken, and Ivan would be required to allow his entry. They were all precautions made to ensure the most important part of the Renkov mafia was protected. As the elevator reached the top, Lukas thought up what could be asked from him. He'd made this trip many a time before. Sometimes it was for punishment for some mistake he made or it was an assassination or clean-up that only Lukas could fix. [i What could it be now, boss man?] Lukas thought, stepping out from the elevator doors and walking through to the office of Ivan Renkov.

His stance was confident as he approached the desk, lined with gold. The whole room was the picture of luxury. Lukas had memorized every inch of the room in case of emergency, just like he memorized the rest of the rooms in the place. Standing just before the desk, Lukas finally spoke, [b "You rang?"] He questioned, and Ivan placed his fingers together before standing. [i "I need you to do something for me, Lukas. Something that involves the utmost care and importance. Something very dear to me."] Lukas didn't break eye contact from the man before him, his deep brown eyes studying the man. [b "Go on."] Lukas urged, the whole situation new to him.

Ivan turned to look out the glass windows that showed a view of Los Angeles like no other. His arms crossed before he turned to look at Lukas again, lighting his signature Cuban cigars. [i "I need you to retrieve my daughter, Nataliya, from Seattle. She likes to think I don't know where she is, but it's time she returns home. I don't like the Valentini family's increase in power as of late. My daughter is the only of my blood that I have left. So... you will bring her back. Do not tell anyone of this. You will go alone. If you fail... well. You know what will happen. Do you understand, Pachiaveli?"]

Lukas widened his eyes some, not expecting that request in a million years. Retrieving Nataliya Renkov? It felt more like an inconvenience than anything, but Lukas would comply. [b "I understand. She'll be home before you know it. Start the surprise party preparations early."] Lukas spoke, almost cockily. As he turned to go, Ivan spoke again, [i "Don't keep me waiting."] With a small grin, Lukas packed his things in a small, sleek bag. There wasn't much he ever took with him on missions, too much risk of tracking his identity. He knew better. As soon as he'd packed, Lukas slipped out of the building, entering on the roof. Nodding to the pilot that already knew the plan, Lukas was in the small jet and off to Seattle.

It had been quite a while since he last saw Nataliya. They had a... past to say the least. Lukas didn't respect her decision to leave the mafia when they needed her most. She left everyone else to deal with the loss and got out easily. If anyone else had done the same, they would be long dead by now. But Nataliya was Ivan's little girl. He would let no harm come to her pretty, blonde head. It was snowing in Seattle when they touched down. Lukas pulled on a black overcoat to keep out the cold. [b "Stay here. I won't be long."] He spoke solemnly before following the address Ivan gave. It wasn't long before he was in front of her door, a high-rise apartment. She never really gave up luxury. Since she locked the door, Lukas took out his lock picking kit, crouched before the door and made quick work of the lock. He didn't want to make a scene exactly by kicking down the door, so this seemed the better way. Closing the door behind him, Lukas took a quick glance around the place Nataliya had called home.

He strolled around the kitchen to the living room, helping himself to an apple before sitting down in a plush chair that faced the door. He would wait for her to return home, presumably at work for the moment. She would be in for a surprise. They both would.
  Lukas Pachiaveli / bubbles12 / 123d 11h 17m 28s
With a deep satisfying sigh of relief as the blonde settled herself into the luxurious surrounds of hot water and heavenly fragranced bubbles of her bathtub, the warmth immediately soothing her aching muscles as the blonde brought a glass of Shiraz to her lips and settled back closing her eyes with a smile. [i Perfect way to end the day.] Just one more day to get through before the weekend, Nathan would be out of the city of Business and she was free to enjoy her days off without fear of being called in to fix some minor issue that he could no doubt have done himself if he had just used his brain. [i Men.] Sure she got paid pretty well for it but as far as she wanted everyone to know she had a life, the last thing she needed was for anyone to ask questions fearing all of her skeletons would come screaming out of the closet. This facade, this life she had built for herself meant everything. This was her life, she had fabricated it perfectly.

It wasn't until some hours later and the contents of the bottle of red demolished did Nataliya had find herself curled up on her couch combing through her forgotten photo album with a slight buzz coursing through her veins. The only thing she had kept this long and other than a large ruby pendant given to her by her mother. It was the only connection to the darkness she had fled, the darkness she had vowed never to let engulf her life ever again. [i She was out.] Of course her father had her followed in the beginning but as time ticked away Nataliya became more careful and covered her tracks. Little did she know the leash was just being extended, he had never lost sight of his little girl nor would he. [i She was too valuable.] Her confidence soaring Nataliya allowed herself to believe she had won, she had outrun the storm. She had outsmarted the mafia. Not a simple feat.

A small smile curved on her lips as she held the book tightly in her arms as she lay back on the couch, her mind running a muck with memories of her former life. [i A life and memories she had devoted her life to repress.] The kaleidoscope of memories cradling the woman into a deep slumber in her living room of her small apartment. She hadn't needed much, just enough to keep up appearances and to leave behind should the time come to disappear once again and what Nataliya had collected was an extremely far-cry from that which she was accustomed. [i Cheap knockoffs of more expensive furnishings.]

It wasn't until the first rays of the morning sun hit her face did Nataliya finally move from the couch with a groan of annoyance, placing her bare feet onto the cold timber beneath her, her emerald eyes slowly adjusting to the world before her. [i Friday.] Within forty-five minutes of removing herself from the couch Nataliya was headed out the door with a steaming cup of coffee in hand as she made her way down the snow covered sidewalk. Her black boots silent on the contrasting snow below and her blonde curls bouncing around her shoulders as she hurried herself as fast as her hangover would allow her, ignoring a few glances from passing males as she entered the office building Nat couldn't help but smile to herself. Her voice a low rasp [b "Still got it Natalie"] She hadn't been on the hunt for over a month, maybe she needed a little extra male attention soon. What Nataliya didn't realise was how soon her wish would come true. [i Just not in the way she had hoped.]
  Nataliya Renkov / DahliaNoir / 123d 23h 25m 29s
Three shots. [i Bang. Bang. Bang.] Three shots was all it took to take down the three business owners who refused to pay back the "loan" they took out from the Renkov mafia boss he'd known and trained under for years. Lukas Pachiaveli brought the pistol just before his lips in a tilted upward position, blowing the smoke outward and then replacing it in its holster at his belt as if nothing had occurred. The three bodies lay there, lifeless and bloody, with their killer standing before them and surveying his work. He always double checked if his targets passed the threshold before leaving. Lukas had scars to account for mistakes when he did not. Once he assured they were all truly dead, he went about making sure nothing could be traced to himself. He removed the bullets, had some of his grunts remove the bodies, and set plans into place to fabricate that the business men were together on a trip outside the country. Easy enough. It was dark outside, save for a thin sliver of moonlight that illuminated the alleyway he was standing in. Lukas had a reputation in the Renkov family, ever since the passing of the mafia boss's son and the sudden disappearance of his daughter. Since no one was left of his own blood, Ivan Renkov was forced to choose the next best option, his son's best friend and personal bodyguard.

There were several reasons he chose the Pachiaveli over anyone else. Lukas Pachiaveli was [i cold.] Some even thought he didn't have a heart behind his layers of muscular flesh. Others speculated that he was robotic. Lukas had done many bad things, and he would continue to for a long while. What else did one expect? His skills surpassed those of almost any other. Lukas had trained under the most skilled of the mafia in things such as weaponry, gun shooting, dagger throwing, and fist-to-fist combat. While he wasn't always as much of a machine as he was then and there, Lukas never gave up the grind. After the death of his best friend and brother that he never knew he needed, Lukas only threw himself into training harder and longer. He never really spoke about that day when Aleks Renkov was murdered. No one could get it out of him, even when he slipped into drinking on the rare occasion. He was a locked box. What better way to describe the man they nicknamed, Zmeya, Russian for snake? He slithered his way to the top, striking his fangs whenever necessary. Lukas Pachiaveli was a cold-blooded killer, yes, but he also wasn't stupid. He knew not to take things for granted, and he knew how it was most important to survey your surroundings before you did anything. Countless Renkov lives were lost for the lack of attention to detail... Lukas knew that firsthand.

As his grunts were finishing lugging the bodies to be dumped away and covered up, Lukas pulled out a cigarette from his heavy wool coat. It was cold out. Almost always was in Los Angeles during the winter season. Perfect for circulating money, people, weapons, drugs, alcohol... all essential to ensuring the Renkov family never fell from power. Lukas made sure that was a reality. Lighting the cigarette, he took several puffs, watching his breath become a cloud before him as he blew out the smoke. His expression was almost always stoic. Lukas never let anyone in. Sure, he enjoyed the occasional woman to warm his bed and take out his frustrations with from a hard day at "work," but he never let down his walls. Lukas didn't fall in love. He didn't really have friends, just acquaintances or enemies tied to him by owing him little things here and there. Lukas made sure everything he did served the mafia and himself and no one else. If needed, he would exchange a certain service, acting as a hitman or maybe using some of his connections, but they always came at a price. No one wanted to be bit by the Zmeya. The three men that had just ceased to exist from the planet of the Earth knew that well.

After another puff of smoke was released, Lukas finally returned to his sleek car, driving back to the highly-obscured Renkov family headquarters. It was disguised as a high-rise office building in the middle of Los Angeles, on a street that had just the right amount of traffic and darkness to make it look natural. On the first floor, they ran a seemingly faultless loan company. All the business happened the higher you went. The whole place was dripping in luxury. Ivan Renkov liked showing off his wealth. Luxurious paintings, expensive furniture, and any number of ornate knick knacks were thrown around like candy. Ivan Renkov was the leader of one of the most prominent mafia families in the world. He had enough money circulating to potentially buy out all of Los Angeles if he wanted. Lukas stepped right into the illusion, adjusting his coat and nodding his way to the men standing at the entrance before being led to the elevator where his credentials were checked, fingerprint and eye scan as well as ID number. Once he was clear, Ivan waited the way up, finally removing the overcoat to leave a button-up shirt underneath, sleeves rolled halfway up to show off his tattoo sleeves.

The bell of the elevator rang, and he stepped out into the bustling network of organized crime. [i Home sweet home.] Lukas muttered to himself, watching as their prostitutes were readied to sleep with high-paying men that would give information out or the dealers of high-risk explosives and drugs making deals. Lukas blended in, a few of the higher-ups and most trusted sending him nods of acknowledgement as he completed his report. He was done for the day. Well, he wasn't ever really [i done.] Lukas stopped by his room, larger than life, and decorated in red and black all over. It wasn't long before he was back to training, lifting weights in the exercise gym located on the third floor and then practicing shooting and throwing daggers on the fifth. Lukas lost himself in it all. If his shots or throws weren't perfect, he started over. If he couldn't push himself the hardest with his weight training, he added more. Nothing else seemed to matter. When he finally accepted his performance, Lukas took a quick shower, the water running over his inked and muscular arms and sculpted body. Mafia men knew to always look their best. It was a rule of Ivan Renkov's. If you didn't keep yourself bathed, shaven, physically fit, or your clothes looked out of place, he would punish and punish hard. Lukas had been on the other hand of that end one too many times.

As soon as he was satisfied, Lukas pulled on another business casual outfit and made his way to the lounge. It was the meeting place of most of the mafia family. Once you were part of the Renkovs, you could never really escape... Well, maybe save for one person. Lukas headed to the bartender, lifting his hand for one shot of scotch. No more, no less. He was precise and calculated. Lukas stood at just six feet tall, but his build was all lean muscle. One shot wouldn't do much to alter his performance should an attack suddenly break out. Throwing it back, he let the upbeat music fill his ears and the alcohol warm his throat. From across the way, Catherine "Cat" Parisi spotted the man she was looking for and slunk over. Her red hair matched her flirtatious personality as did the dress that barely clung to her body as she leaned over Lukas, tugging at his earlobe and whispering into it, [i "It's boring out there on the dance floor. Wanna... entertain me?"]

Lukas hardly reacted, setting down his shot glass before placing a large hand on Cat to stop her. [b "Not tonight."] Catherine just shook her head and grinned, placing another kiss on his jaw then at the corner of his lips, [i "You don't have to be so tough, tough guy. Loosen up. We've done it countless times before."] Lukas just shook his head, putting his hand under Cat's chin and lifting up to look her in the eyes, [b "You know what I mean."] His eyes showed what he meant, and Cat nodded, standing in a disappointed manner and then slunk off back into the crowd. Scoffing, Lukas pulled out another cigarette and lit it. He wanted her. What self-respecting man would say no to a woman like her begging to be ravaged? But he couldn't. His mind was elsewhere, stuck in one moment during one day that happened around the same time. He didn't show it on the outside, but there was more to Lukas Pachiaveli than anyone knew. Anyone other than Aleks Renkov… Little did the man know that his whole life was about to turn upside down.
  Lukas Pachiaveli / bubbles12 / 124d 12h 51m 2s
Slipping off the thick black woolen coat and her scarlet colored scarf as she entered the building Nataliya smiled in greeting to the security guard as she walked past in a hurry towards her desk with a steaming cup of Starbucks coffee in hand, determined not to spill it.[i Later than she wanted to be.] These early winter mornings made it so much harder to escape the grasp of her lovely warm bed, even more so when the blonde had a mountain of work waiting for her from the night before, it was a late one but nothing she wasn't used to. Nataliya loved her job, she had started 4 years ago after bouncing from city to city throughout the country, never settling somewhere for too long out of fear she would be traced and brought back to face the iron wrath of her disobedience, finally the fear started to subside and a slight feeling of arrogance took over as she thought she had outsmarted the Bratva and her father let alone the entire organised crime world that would love to get their putrid hands on Ivan Renkov's daughter. But the blonde finally settled in to a normal life in Seattle, along way from her past in Los Angeles, wouldn't say moving as much as relocating to remain in hiding. Placing her white cup on her desk next to a large stack of crisp white paper before placing the woolen coat on the hanger behind her, Nataliya cast a glance around the large office as slight smile curled on her lips and she took her place in the large leather chair. [i This was the life she had always longed for.]

It was over two hours later before Nataliya finally looked up from the ever so slightly shrinking stack of papers and her computer monitor as her boss Nathan Caldwell made his way through the maze of desks towards his large corner office just to the left of where Nataliya made her living. With a bright smile crossing the older mans face as his dark brown eyes landed on his assistant Nathan couldn't help but feel a surge of pride at seeing her so dedicated to what she did. [b "Good morning Natalie, You didn't get here too early I hope?"] his voice slightly raspy as if he had just rolled out of bed, not waiting for an answer as he entered his office and closed the door behind him without a second of hesitation. Nataliya's emerald eyes following her boss for a few drawn out moments with a smile etched on her lips before she finally decided to get back into the task at hand. [i Enough day dreaming Nat.] The fact was Nataliya couldn't help but feel the slight flutter in her chest each time her eyes found their way to that man. Hell he was nothing like the men she had fancied in the past but maybe that was exactly it, he wasnt. Clean, well-mannered, successful and a self-made communications entrepeneur, there were worlds between him and the men of her past. Cold, ruthless, dangerous and completely self-assured. [i Light-years apart.]

Being his personal assistant for the last four years Nataliya had yet to actually let anyone into her life, she kept to herself at work, always smiling and always polite. She didn't need anyone delving into the skeletons in her closet. To the blonde that life was a distant and faded memory, a life she would never choose for herself let alone wander back into. That was seven years ago. She was now known in Seattle as Natalie Richards. Not much of a change in her eyes but just enough to keep her façade and stay hidden in such a large city, the name Renkov was known all throughout the country and with the recognition either came fear or anger. This was her life, and she was living it the way she had always dreamed and nothing was going to change that for her.

Having kept her head down all day to power through that stack of documents Nataliya had only left her desk once to attend a meeting with Nathan, she had barely noticed she was the only one left in the office yet again as the chatter had fallen silent for another day. [i At least its friday tomorrow.] A deep sigh of relief passed the womans lips as she lent back in her leather office chair and ran her slender fingers through her loose locks of hair taking a moment for herself. Growing up Nataliya and her other brother Aleks had been inseparable, always getting up to mischief behind the backs of their parents and those dozens of people who seemed to visit daily. Everything seemed normal for them, they were doted upon and adored by everyone around them especially their parents, but that all came crashing down the day the devastating news that their mother Galina had suffered a stroke and was no longer of this world.

Shaking her mind from the memory Nataliya placed the only photo she had face down on her desk. The only photo she had left of the mother and brother she had missed so much. Standing up and switching off her computer Nataliya slipped back on her coat and scarf before wrapped her fingers around the tanned leather handles of her handbag before she left the building and began her long walk home to her apartment as a slight flurry of snow began to fall all around her.
  Nataliya Renkov / DahliaNoir / 125d 7h 58m 6s

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