Chapter 5


“Happy anniversary, princess” Timur smiled hugging me tightly. He cupped my cheeks and kissed my forehead. Nikolay had gotten so used to Timur spoiling me that he didn’t bother commenting anymore. Though he did sometimes get jealous, or more specifically, pretended to be as to get a kiss or for me to lay in his arms in front of everyone. Proving to everyone that I belonged to him, and him alone.

“Thank you” I smiled at Timur who turned to face Nikolay who was smiling as he kissed Timur and Nikita’s son, Mikhail. The young boy was almost Lia’s age, a few months younger than she was. Yeah, when Nikolay teased at times claiming that the family was going to end up having a nursery, he wasn’t kidding. It was suddenly like we all decided to have children at the same time, though that wasn’t the case, anyone who heard of us giving birth or our ladies getting pregnant would think the same thing.

“Whoever thought that we’d see you married, let alone holding a marriage” Timur teased Nikolay who wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his chin on my shoulder, turning his face to kiss my cheek. I smiled and put a hand on his cheek, softly running my finger over his scruff.

“Look who decided to show up” Nikita said looking disgusted. I already knew who she was referring to before I even turned around. Nikolay tensed and when I pulled away from his arms and looked at him, I noticed that his eyes hardened. But I didn’t say anything as he wrapped his arm around my waist, the two of us looking at mother who approached the two of us.

“I see that you two didn’t have the decency to come and greet me at the door” mum said looking at the two of us. She rolled her eyes and extended her hand for Nikolay to shake before any of us answered and I knew that Nikolay was biting his tongue as not to respond with a harsher comeback which could upset me. The woman was truly playing with fire, and the thing was, I didn’t even understand why she was still doing so. It wasn’t like we were supposed to die, or allow father to kill us for her to be satisfied. The man had sent the girl who I grew up with, my best friend, to kill me, he didn’t only settle for that. He sent a man who sacrificed himself with a bomb as to be sure that both Richard and I died that night. As if that wasn’t enough, father had made sure to distract Nikolay and the men enough until the bomb exploded catching their attention. I was lucky that both Richard and I managed to take out Natalie and the four men who were with her. The bomb had caused me an internal bleeding that night and Richard’s waist was shot.

The two of us were thankful that Nikolay and the men had managed to get through the door before Richard lost enough blood to kill him, choked on smoke as fire was eating the whole garage up, or burned to death. Yet, mother didn’t find it normal that we made father pay for all the treason that he did. She called Sebastian and I traitor children and disowned us, I was even surprised that she came here. She was put under house arrest for years. Neither Sebastian or Nikolay trusted her, and if I was being honest. I couldn’t blame them for it after everything she’s done. The woman had tried killing her eldest son the second she found out about him and if that wasn’t enough, she even tried poisoning him, twice. Thankfully, I had made him drink small doses of a poison that I knew she had access to, having used it on a few maids who we knew were traitors to the Brook family before, I knew the effect of that deadly thing, and I knew it well.

Therefore, I made both my brother and his wife drink from it on a daily basis until their bodies gained immunity of it. They got sick when she gave them the dose, but it didn’t get past puking and a little fever. Both Nikolay and I were called by one of Sebastian’s men when he noticed that my brother and his wife suddenly got very ill and despite knowing that they were immune, I came to them with the antidote as to make sure that their bodies don’t weaken after having that bloody thing.

The effects of the poison were strong, and whoever took it would choke on his own blood in minutes. The first time I made Sebastian and Amalia take it, they were here at the Estate. The two lost conscious and woke up in the infirmary. The dose was too small to kill them, but enough to make them get very sick, the second time I made them take the dose, the two were put in bed for three days having gotten a fever. The third time, Sebastian’s fever rose a degree while Amalia was put in bed for a day’s rest. The two took the small doses of poison with them to England and were sure to keep them secret as not to attract any attention to mum should she think of trying anything, and I was disappointed when I learned that she did indeed try to get rid of the two.

“I believe that it’s the couple’s big day, mum. Therefore, I suggest that we not ruin it for them” Sebastian said from behind mum. She turned around to face him, but she knew that she couldn’t say anything to respond to his remark. The man was the family’s don, she was to respect him, especially in front of others.

“Hello love” Sebastian said walking toward me, he lifted me in his arms and hugged me tightly. Amalia standing beside him holding the twins’ hands in hers as they looked at us with big wide brown eyes. The two girls were identical twins who looked a lot like both their mum and dad. Having inherited their dad’s green eyes, and their mum’s strong personality. The two girls learned not to fear anyone, they knew that they had their father behind them, uncles, and aunts that would kill the world for them if needed too. Therefore, Sebastian made sure that the girls grew up being strong and fearless, he didn’t want them fearing anyone or anything.

“Maya, Mia” I smiled kneeling down on my knees and kissing the two who ran into my arms and both kissing my cheeks making me laugh before I stood up and wrapped my arms around Amalia who smiled and hugged me just as tightly. I pulled away to find Nikolay and Sebastian greeting one another, the two have gotten closer over the years, and it was fair to say that they truly did trust one another. Despite my husband trusting no one, and being who he was, that was understandable. I myself was betrayed by my best friend, the man has been betrayed by more men and women than we could count. Therefore, no one would blame him for not trusting easily. Hell, people would think that he was a fool if he did.

“Great, a family reunion” mum muttered when I stood up and I frowned. I smiled at mum, though the smile didn’t reach my eyes before turning around to face Timur who was glaring at my mother. His eyes met mine and I shook my head at him not wanting him to cause a fight. But Uncle Dimitri beat both Nikolay and I with an answer.

“Yes, and it would be appreciated if you kept your comments to yourself, Lilian. Otherwise, I wouldn’t need to wait for Nikolay or Kiara’s approval, I’ll be sure to cut off that tongue and you wouldn’t be able to say a word again” I looked at Uncle Dimitri who simply nodded at me to stay quiet as he spoke. Both Nikolay and I looked at one another then at Mia and Uncle Ivan who were both standing beside Uncle Dimitri, the three of them had their eyes on mum “I would suggest that for this evening, you remain as polite as possible. I have taken your bullshit for years, I don’t plan on doing so this evening. Now, if you don’t have any answer to give me, do sit down on one of the couches and learn to mingle with everyone else. Oh, look, even your father is here”

That sentence alone made mum tense. After what happened between us and father, word began spreading around between the families and one way or another, word reached grandfather and he wasn’t very happy with what he head. Believe me when I say, if his and mum’s relationship was bad before. It is a lot worse now, having found out that he had a grandson that he didn’t know of. Another grandson that was a bastard, that his daughter had been cheating on her husband for years. Yeah, talk about having to stop him from killing mum more than once. Nikolay himself had to stand in his face as to protect mum.

“Don’t worry, he won’t hurt you. He was already aware of you coming, but all that depends on your behavior of course, you know. Your father could get angry by your attitude and boom. All it would take is one bullet” Uncle Dimitri said looking mum in the eye. The woman shied back and Uncle Dimitri let out a breathy chuckle before cupping my cheeks and kissing my forehead. He put his hand on Nikolay’s shoulder and gently squeezed it “now, you two should go and enjoy your evening before you decide to runaway”

My eyes widened when Uncle Dimitri winked and I shook my head at my father-in-law who knew his son all too well. I was happy that the two have managed to somehow put their differences aside. Yes, Nikolay didn’t call the man father, but in their opinion it would just sound wrong after being called Dimitri for almost twenty years. The two actually managed to have proper conversations together, Uncle Dimitri turned out being the most gentle person there could be when it came to his grandchildren. There would be nights when I woke up to check on the kids to find Uncle Dimitri sitting on the rocking chair with the baby in his arms as he gently rocked the child to sleep. When I first saw him doing so with Lia I didn’t have any words to describe how I felt. I was basically alone back then, mum refused to help me with Lia and I mostly didn’t know what to do. Though I knew that everyone in the Ivanov family were here to help, having your mum was different when it came to such situations.

Uncle Dimitri spent hours at night with me, teaching me how to deal with the baby in different situations. Mia was the one who taught me how to properly breastfeed and hold my baby, when to know that the child was full, how to change the diaper. No matter what I said about how much they helped me would never be enough. These people were truly my family, regardless of everything that happened in the past. I could never see myself without them.

“Don’t worry, when you decide that you want to leave. Just let us know, we’ll take care of things here”

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