A/N: For one of my classes, I have to write a short story and I have been thinking about my vampire story recently. I have had the urge to write it and so I just might. This is just a start, dipping back in the world of Milena and Aleksei. Enjoy! – Alixa


It was snowing lightly under the moonlight. It had been snowing that night too, Milena remembered well. The other members of her new family, they all said memories would fade away, but she knew she could never forget the night she had been given a new life. Her father and his small violin shop, her mother’s laughs, her brother’s stories… those, she would forget. With time. All that mattered was her new life.

Aleksei trusted she would become great; he had high hopes and expectations for her. The others, they were jealous and said she would never mature; she was too wild. It was true, she was still young and getting used to her heightened senses. They thought she couldn’t hear them across the room, whispering gossip like knives? Did they forget she was one of them? She could see clear in the darkness, she could hunt and track with smell as well as them. Probably better than any of them. Fools.

A faint knock on the door. Milena had heard him; she had recognized his footsteps. Aleksei entered the room he had given her in the large and cold castle, not waiting for an answer. He knew her too well.

“I am leaving at dawn, kitten.”

He was always leaving. He had found her and brought her here, but all he did was leave. Anger was burning inside, even though her skin was ice. It was a new feeling, this too. She wasn’t used to feel this intensely.

“I am sorry, kitten, but I have to. I will bring you back a present. Anything you want.”

His words stay unanswered, as always. He had tried to make the castle feel more like home to her; he had brought some expensive tapestries for her stone walls, colorful clothes and trinkets to amuse her. He had scolded her older brothers and sisters, she knew, ordering them to be kind to her. Nothing seemed to touch her. He had forgotten where she came from, hadn’t he? Everything felt too much, she could barely keep it all from exploding.

“If you need anything… Liza and Roza will take care of you.”

Aleksei bent down and kissed the top of Mila’s head as she stayed still, a doll sitting at the window sill staring at the white night. He pet her hair lightly, almost afraid to break her. It was strange, the way she made him feel, like he needed to protect her. Yet, he didn’t know how to reach her in the ice fortress she had built around herself.

“Talk to me, kitten. Tell me what would make you happy, and it’s yours.”

He was still hoping for a reaction. Anything. Aleksei wouldn’t give up, not just yet. If she didn’t want to let him in, though, he would not force her. With a sigh, he turned around and started to walk towards the door. He was still leaving in the morning, there were things that needed to be done beforehand.

He couldn’t know that Milena was still struggling with her new reality. She might have been the daughter of a humble craftsman in a small village once, but she wasn’t anymore and it was all so strange. Although she had been freed from a meaningless existence, she wasn’t ready for the new role she had been given. All he wanted her happiness, but she couldn’t give him that, not just yet. She could try, though.

“A violin…”

Aleksei paused at the doorway, about to leave, unsure he had heard correctly the whisper that had come through her pale lips.

“A violin, Father. If you would please?”

He looked at her and he met her gaze, clear like an frozen lake, and he smiled. There was a hint of life in her eyes, life he had thought gone forever since that night they had met. It was what had drawn him to her in the first place, the music. She could play the violin so beautifully; she could touch the soul of a soulless creature. She hadn’t expressed any interest in music since she had come to the castle. Aleksei saw her request as a sign of recovery; she was adapting to her new life.

Mila would try to find happiness in this castle, hidden between snowy peaks. For him, she would, because she loved him. He was her father, after all. Despite everything, this was her home now; she was one of them, a creature of the night. This was where she belonged. Now, and forever.

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