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Eastern Europe

Kingdom of Romanesque Tara

Tara, Danesti Palace

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


The eighteenth king of Romanesque Tara, Theodoros Ioannis Coburg-Danesti – and ten other middle names that not even he himself remembered – was already taking a shower when his chamberlain knocked on the door and entered the King's Apartments, carrying your suit last.

— Good morning, Your Majesty. It is a beautiful day. — Georges placed his suit on the bed and handed the immaculate shirt to Theodoros.

Instead of offering a polite good morning, or at least an appropriate response to his personal servant's cheerful greeting, Theodoros merely grumbled. His bad mood prevented him from enjoying amenities – or even the beautiful day outside. Furthermore, Theodoros was sure that today would be like every other day of the last year: without any charm or novelty.

At least, in his opinion.

In the morning, he would go to his office in the palace, reflect on the kingdom's problems and solve them. After a solitary and quick lunch, he would go to the offices of the Royal Bank of Tara and make a few million for himself and his clients.

Like always.

I'm tired of my perfect life.

He scoffed at the thought, aware that he had more than most. In addition to being very handsome and healthy, he was rich like Croesus and successful like few others were.

After checking that his reflection in the mirror was impeccably dressed, Theodoros walked down the hall, between the walls adorned with portraits of his predecessors – the extremely proud royal Tara Românesca. From the first Grand Prince, who had been a famous general, to his own father, a good-natured playboy who had done nothing important during his entire reign other than elevate his title to King and who had died relatively early when Theodoros not yet eleven years old, they were all hanging there.

At the end of the splendid staircase of the imposing palace, Theodoros nodded to two maids, two footmen, and his butler, Josias Milor.

— Good morning, Your Majesty. 

Every morning he was greeted with the same ritual and formality enjoyed since the first Grand Prince had settled there. 

He entered the breakfast room where, as always, the kingdom's daily newspapers – as well as a summary of all the most important events in the world – awaited him on the silver tray perfectly placed on a small table next to his chair. . 

A silent waiter served your breakfast promptly.

There was no need to ask for anything.

All his wants and desires were carefully anticipated by a very well-trained team prepared for this purpose, and they were all supervised by his butler, who had worked for the Coburg-Danesti since before Theodoros was born. From the bed and bath linen embroidered with his initials and changed every week to the custom-made suit, with the freshly ironed monogrammed Egyptian cotton shirt. Not to mention the French toast, scrambled eggs and steaming coffee that were served in total silence, as it was known and notorious that he hated conversations and noise in the morning. 

Day after day, everything went on in perfect peace at Dasneti Palace.

And all this routine perfection bored him to death.

His butler approached with a telephone on a silver tray and announced in a low voice: — The Queen Mother. 

With a resigned sigh, Theodoros picked up the device. - Good morning Mother.

He frowned when Maressa Coburg-Danesti asked if it would be appropriate for him to have lunch with her at the Tara Românesca Embassy in London.

As if he could cancel his appearance in Parliament or even reschedule his business appointments at the bank to fly to London and have an impromptu lunch with his mother – and then who! Rolling his eyes at the absurd request, he said: — I'm sorry, I can't.

As he listened to his mother ramble on about social gatherings and English royal friends, he reviewed his agenda for the day: first he would give the speech for the opening ceremony of Parliament, before lunch he would visit his late wife's grave, and then he would have the Same boring meetings, with the same clients. 

In fact, he would go to London, much later, to attend the wedding of a distant cousin and prominent businessman of Tara Românesca – without a doubt, another dull wedding, with the same boring people and the same tasteless menu – and the queen -mother knew this, as it was on her public agenda.

When she asked him to come by and have a drink with her before the wedding in the evening, Theodoros said: — I'll stop by quickly. 

Not that he wanted to spend a minute with her, but, after all, she was his mother and they should have a minimum of coexistence – for the good of the kingdom. The gap between them was so great that nothing could overcome the void left by the complete lack of maternal love.

He ended the call, wishing he could throw the device at the wall, but his good manners wouldn't allow it. Instead, he just pressed the off button and placed it on the table. 

What I need is a new challenge.

Surprisingly intelligent and talented in the field of asset management, in college Theodoros had been classified as a genius in analyzing the emerging global money market and when his cousin, Ivan Lieven-Danesti, invited him to expand the bank his family had owned for generations, he didn't hesitate.

Juggling complex numbers of politically conflictual and developing countries gave him great pleasure and satisfaction. As one of the most successful investment bankers in the financial world, his expertise was highly sought after. And since Tara Românesca was a small country, it balanced both things quite easily.

When he tasted his coffee and grimaced, his eyes fell on the left wall, where, among others, was a portrait of his late wife and cousin, Irina von Lieven Coburg-Danesti.

The fact that his mother and no one else in the family remembered that today was the anniversary of Irina's death irritated him deeply.

Love had not been the main component of their marriage, as the tendency to place feelings above reason was not one of the most striking characteristics of Theodoros' personality. But he and Irina had been good, loyal friends – which he valued above all else – and they enjoyed a peaceful coexistence, as well as good chemistry in bed. His tragic death – a broken neck from a fall from a horse – had wreaked havoc on his routine, which was only now slowly beginning to weave itself together again.

Theodoros folded the napkin and placed it on the table, contemplating the perfect creases, before getting up and walking to the door, which was already being opened by a footman. 

In the hallway, he stopped. — Josiah, please inform Commander Smith that I will be leaving for London early. Five hours instead of six.

— Of course, sir. 

Yes, I definitely need a new challenge.


England, Greater London

Kurt Addington's house



- Happy birthday. — Kurt Addington pulled back tightly on the sheet covering the car and took a step back. 

Mouth agape, Catarina Stephen circled the used Freelander she had seen at an online auction a few weeks ago and discussed with Kurt. At the time, her best friend and adopted brother said it was silly to buy it, even though she knew she needed to replace her old Beetle that had given its last breath two months ago.

- Thanks i loved it! — Catarina threw herself at him in an emotional hug, which he returned, wrapping her in a bear hug. Blonde, strong, and over six feet tall, Kurt was easily eight inches taller than her. 

— It's nothing, darling. I just stole your own idea so I could give you a good gift this year,” he admitted with a smile.

She took a step back, and turned to admire the car again. — For me it's a lot. I really loved it.

- Great. And there's another little nonsense inside.

She opened the car door and leaned inside to pick up a box from the passenger seat. 

Through the transparent lid, she saw that it was a cake shaped like a kitten and written in icing Happy Birthday, Cat, a reference to her nickname in English which meant cat.

— Oh. How cute. I'm sure I'll love every bite. — She smiled and gave her brother another hug.

It moved Catarina that he had dedicated his free time – and his money, even though he wasn't poor – to buy her that car. 

It's not that the car was essential for traveling to craft stores and fairs in the interior of the country, where she sold her handmade necklaces and bracelets on the weekends, but it made it much easier to carry a larger quantity of displays and also her tools.  ;

Her dream was to make exclusive jewelry and one day have her own small store.

She tried hard to pay her bills, be independent and still save some money, and even though the job paid well, she knew that her dream was still far from coming true, more because of her stubbornness than her lack of talent.  

When she had finished Birmingham School of Jewellery, she had had several job offers, but none had tapped into her highly creative streak. So, Catarina had returned to her adoptive parents' home and started working as much as she could for a luxury catering company, saving every penny, with high hopes for a better future. 

"I wish we could go out and celebrate," Kurt said.

— Me too, but I can't. I begged for another extra shift. I can't say I've changed my mind now. Plus, I think they let me work those extra hours as a birthday present.

- I know. — Kurt kissed his cheek. — I'll take your cake inside and wait for you to get home before stealing a slice. Now go, or you'll be late, darling. And see if you find a nice, rich, single young man tonight, huh?

Catarina laughed and shook her head at him.

During the mere seven years she lived with her mother, Catarina witnessed her mother's many volatile relationships with a long list of men of all types. In fact, it was more casual sex than relationships. Fortunately, the men ignored her, but the fact that when they were around her mother no longer remembered her existence had left a deep mark on her heart.

She knew she didn't want a man for a one night stand or something casual. She wanted something more. At the very least, commitment, responsibility, love and respect. If turbulent passion and crazy desire entered the recipe, it would be perfect.

With the exception of a few friends and her adopted brother, all the other men Catarina met made her even more cautious.

When her mother died, the tearful and confused seven-year-old Catarina could not understand why her own mother's family had not taken her into their home and left her in the care of social services. But even worse was when at her mother's funeral, her grandmother said that her mere existence was a shame and indiscreet evidence of the sinful life her mother had led.

She knew that her father had not recognized her because he was married and that he had never sent a penny to help support her. Even now at twenty-five years old, she still couldn't understand that rejection – after all, she was their flesh and blood – and added to her father's, the deep hurt of that abandonment, without any regret or plausible reason, made causing Catarina to become even more cautious with her friendships.

And even so, until she moved to the Addingtons, at the age of fourteen, the docile and kind Catarina lived a tumultuous life, with constant changes of shelter and foster homes, damaging and broken relationships and a lot of insecurity. 

When Kurt's parents died, one after the other in the space of a single week, he invited her to continue living with him and even offered what had once been the servants' quarters in the backyard so she could have more privacy, which she wanted. He accepted it without blinking. After some renovations, the place was transformed into a little house with a living room and bedroom, with enough space for a bed, an armchair with a side table and a special table with several mini-drawers; where she kept her materials and worked on her jewelry, as well as a small kitchen and bathroom.

No longer wanting to think about her childhood or the painful times of her youth, Catarina got into the bath and let the warm water clear her mind of such memories, focusing on the joyful things in her life, like Kurt's gift and the delicious cake they gave her. they would eat together later.

Still, as he got dressed for work, humming a song quietly without warning, a feeling of lack settled in his chest.


Somewhere in Tara Românesca 


In the hazy opium twilight, the pain in her body eased, her anxiety calmed, and she could no longer see the faces of her dead parents or hear the screams of her injured relatives and friends. In fact, while she was chasing the dragon, her mind was not troubled by dreams. Or nightmares.

Chasing the dragon was a very appropriate definition to describe his routine, his addiction and his life in general. 

With a tired exhale, she looked at the chipped paint on the attic ceiling. 

In the past, the smoke had stifled the anger in his heart, but now his need for revenge overpowered even the sweet lull of opium.

She got up from the sweat-dampened bed and went to the bathroom to take a shower. 

In the mirror, he studied his naked body. Five bullet wound scars riddled the tanned skin of his chest and chest; a constant reminder of the assassination attempt decades ago.

Even though so much time had passed, she remembered perfectly the order in which each bullet had pierced her body, all of them coming from the pistols of the soldiers of the kingdom of Tara Românesca.

But revenge was at hand. 

Then, after the enemy was driven out, Tara Românesca would be restored to its ancient traditions and glory and placed in the hands of those to whom the land truly belonged.

The cold water washed the sweat from her body, slowly bringing her back to life and brought with it a pang of sinister desire, filling her insides, making her muscles tired -0000-000000000222_tremem. 

It won't take much longer now.

Once clean and dressed, her reflection revealed no hint of the darkness writhing within her. With a sharp nod of her head, she abandoned the illusion of safety in her home and stepped out into the street.

There, hanging twenty feet above her, was the dragon. It writhed and flapped its wings at her menacingly, as if the very fabric of the flag knew the dark desires of its mind.

Baring her teeth at the symbol of Tara Românesca's royalty, her entire existence was reduced to a single thought: you are mine.

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