A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

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 #3160  by fizzing-whizbee
February 1, 2002 - Romania

She knew it would come for her eventually.

In a dark moment after the letter came, Varya considered running. Then she considered ending her own life. But she had a loyal partner, a dog, a career. Cousins. Parents. People she would leave behind. Except that she was probably going to be a dead woman anyway, wasn't she? What else was there to be done?

She kissed her partner goodbye, steeled herself, made her way to the old man's home, and she entered the room that she had not visited in so long. Would she be allowed to exit? Would he kill her inside, or would he spare his wife the scene and take her life outside?

Varya sat silently in her seat, staring straight forward. She refused to make the first move.
 #3171  by deraforia
Adrian was not known for his even temperament. Everyone who had worked for him or knew him closely, save perhaps his youngest daughter, had been exposed to his calamitous rage at some point over the years. He had beaten his own son, nearly killed another man whom he considered to be something like a son, scarred more than one young man for sleeping with one of his daughters, killed his best friend for attacking one of his men, and ordered the assassination of a dozen people in retaliation for an attack on his adopted daughter.

That last event had been Adrian at his most furious. Finding his daughter standing over the corpse of his friend's son, her own brother by blood though she did not know it at the time, was the second angriest he had ever been.

This, then, would be the third most furious point in a life ruled by wrath. His actions, however, were restrained. He had not attacked anyone yet. Some would call that progress.

"You know why you are here," Adrian Katoracov broke the silence. "I want you to say it."
 #3173  by fizzing-whizbee
She had left a ton of money to Dragana. The woman didn't know it yet, but Varya had managed to squirrel some away. Hopefully she would be able to find it. Her parents... they would have just wasted it, but she made sure they would be taken care of.

Varya had been so certain that she would not return from this meeting that she had taken every possible step, every possible precaution. She was too Russian to allow herself even a shred of hope, and too Romanian to keep herself from being stubborn.

"She took the contract out on herself," the woman stated firmly, trying to keep her voice steady.

"She had me kill another woman in her stead, and led me to believe it was her. The decoy was dead before I knew the difference."
 #3176  by fizzing-whizbee
Varya knew this.

She also knew that he was not wrong.

"She paid me off," Varya breathed, pleading.

"I had nothing. She offered a portion of her profits in exchange for my help, and I was afraid of what she would do if I gave her up. You have no idea what she is capable of, how many strings she has, in everything."
 #3177  by deraforia
"You had everything, Varya," Adrian shot back.

"As high paying a career as you will find in this country, a cut of Antony's profits, stable income from your business with me. And you know what I am capable of."

The old man shook his head.

"You made a mistake in not trusting me. We are family, and I look out for my family. But not those who turn their backs on me and mine."

He rose from his seat behind his ebony desk.

"Perhaps the greater mistake was in whom you chose to fear. You bought yourself three years. I hope you used them well."
 #3178  by fizzing-whizbee
The tears had started running down her cheeks, but Varya attempted to remain stoic.

Had she used her time well? He was not wrong about what she'd had.

Greed had consumed her. She should have wanted for little, instead she wanted more.

"I am sorry," Varya breathed, lifting her gaze to meet the old man's. "I am. It was a terrible choice, and I was stupid to allow myself to be swayed by her."
 #3179  by deraforia
It was a shame that the choices she had made had led them to this moment. Adrian walked around his desk until he stood behind the chair in which his cousin was seated. His right hand upon her shoulder was the final comfort he could offer her.

"Dragana does not deserve this," he whispered, before plunging a stiletto into her chest. "Gavril will think of a suitable lie to tell her. She will never have to remember you as untrustworthy. And we will see that she is kept safe."
 #3181  by fizzing-whizbee
The noise started low, growing to a shrill, pained wailing as the pain shot through Varya's chest. She had known when she arrived, had known when she had said goodbye to Dragana. Still, had there been some version of this story that could have ended differently? Maybe the one in which she had not been an idiot, had not tried to hide from Adrian Katoracov for three years.

"Please," Varya begged through her tears, her voice already hoarse. The pain was enough to make her freeze in place, to cloud her thoughts. That or it was the darkness coming for her. So long as he did not move the blade, though...

She wasn't thinking correctly. A whimper escaped her lips.

"Please... I... You can fix this..." she breathed, her words growing slower. "I will leave. You won't..."
 #3183  by deraforia
Adrian moved carefully, kneeling beside her and taking her hand in his. He watched as the animating light inside her eyes dimmed just as the blade in her chest drank away the blood that gave her life.

"The Lord is my shepherd," he whispered to his cousin. "I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters."

Tears filled his own eyes as he recited the psalm from memory, having spoken it many times before and sure to speak it several times again before his own passing.

"He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

He closed her eyes and crossed himself.

"Rest in peace, Varya Leskova. May God grant you the mercy that I could not."