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 The Broken Pieces They Left Us, Vivienne
Rurik Ivashkov
 Posted: Dec 31 2017, 11:35 PM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 304

Posts // 28

Rank // N/A

Nicknames // Rick

Species // Vampire

Status // Single + Fluid

Quote

Artemis + Mountain + she/her



Oh how he envied humans. They were not bound by the limitations of an innate nature. They were free to make their own decisions and shape how their own existences. But most importantly, they were not confined by the curse of immortality. He hated them for their ability to grow and change; something which had been denied to him. In the early years of his existence, there had been a chance (albeit, a small one) for normalcy as a human man. If God had smiled upon him, he would have had a wife, perhaps some children, and grown older with each passing year before his life finally faded away as the natural order prescribed. Instead, he was doomed to remain the same for all of eternity and time lost all meaning. Oh yes, he hated humans for all that they took for granted, but more than that, he hated the people who had brought him to this state; his mother, his father, and his uncles. They all contributed in some way to his downfall by first succumbing to their own. Although he could do nothing to right their crimes against him, he could distance himself from their poison and try to live out the rest of his existence in relative peace. Whatever peace could mean for a creature such as himself

But then there was Vivienne. Vivienne did not quite fit within the same loathsome category that was his family. She had been only a baby when everything had happened; an innocent to all of the horrors that eventually befell their family. Yet, she also embodied everything he had once hated about himself. She was still completely dependent on their father, requiring both his wealth and his admiration. Vivienne knew exactly how manipulative Mikhail was and how he remained entirely devoted to their mother, despite her murderous insanity, yet she still childishly clung to him as if she could not function without him. He had tried to get her to see reason; to abandon their father and all the evil he represented, but she had refused him each time. Her high and mighty attitude infuriated him beyond all reason. She was dependent on the people who had ruined them both, yet she looked down at her nose whenever he suggested something sensible. He simply could not understand her.

Yet she was his sister. He had been there on the day of her birth and held her in his arms as his parents, still human then, cooed over this fragile little creature who had just been brought into the world. For all that he did not understand about Vivienne, he knew he could not abandon her. She was all that he had left.

He didn’t always plan when he would drop in on her. Sometimes, it would just come to him in the spur of the moment and he would simply rearrange his plans to accommodate his sudden inclination. Tonight was one such night. When he had originally dressed himself, he had intended to pursue a business transaction of particular interest, but he got sidetracked when he got in his car and heard Tchaikovsky playing. Then, before he knew it, he was parked outside Vivienne’s townhouse without much left for him to do besides head in for a visit with his darling sister.

Now Vivienne had never exactly given him a key to her place, but she hardly put any effort into her security, which basically served as an open invitation for someone with his superior lockpicking skills. In a matter of moments, he was beyond the front door and taking in the interior design that so matched his sisters tastes. How very predictable she was.

Rurik casually slipped off his suit jacket and took care to fold it over the top of a nearby chair. Interesting, she had not come rushing in the moment she heard him. She was certainly there. He shrugged though, figuring she would make her presence known eventually and he might as well make himself comfortable. He was, after all, family.

And make himself comfortable he did. Rurik perused Vivienne’s wine collection (probably all purchased by their insufferable father) and cracked open a fine vintage red. He poured himself a glass and strolled through the bottom floor of the townhouse, exploring with little true interest. Still no Vivienne. She couldn’t honestly be sleeping, could she? Rurik rolled his eyes at the very thought. What on earth could she have done to strain herself? That girl had never worked a day in her life and he certainly doubted the situation had changed much since he had last visited her.

For a brief moment, he considered leaving and returning to his previous plan for the evening, but thought better of it. He was already here and he might as well enjoy Vivienne’s reaction when she realized he had invaded her home without permission. Again. But rather than wait for her to wake up naturally, he decided to kindly help the process along.

Rurik sat down in front of the beautiful grand piano that Vivienne had certainly never played. He wasn’t even certain why she had it in her home, considering her education probably only consisted of minor musical instruction. Sometimes he wondered if she only kept it for him, but he doubted she even thought about it. A piano of this quality was the height of class and wealth, even now, and she was nothing if not concerned with the appearance of her own importance. Still, he ran his fingertips gently over the keys in an almost loving fashion. Music had been his talent, his only way to diverge from the misguided intentions of his father when he was young. Now, he played simply because he enjoyed it, not that he would ever admit to something so meaningless.

For a moment, he just sat there and admired the instrument. Even though he knew for certain that it was paid with his father’s blood money, it truly was a thing a beauty. But his admiration only lasted so long. Soon his fingers found their proper place and he began to play Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture, the sound reverberating brutally within the quiet home. His fingers flew across the piano with great skill, never once faltering as the song built in intensity. If Vivienne could sleep through this, he ashamed both for her lack of awareness and taste. But she was the precious daughter of Lord and Lady Ivashkov and he was certain that before long, she would make her grand entrance. Preferably before he reached the end of the crescendo.



Phoenix
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Vivienne Ivashkov
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 01:47 AM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 301

Posts // 12

Rank // Princess

Nicknames // Vivi/Viv

Species // Vampire

Status // Crushing Hard :3 + Heterosexual

Quote

Oops I, did it again, I Forgot what I was losing my mind about I only wrote this down to make you press rewind And send a message, "I was young and a menace"

Phoenix + EST + She/Her


Tucked away in the king-sized bed was an angel… Or atleast on first glance she looked like an angel. Her medium brown tresses were draped over her back and around her head. Her skin was like porcelain. It was as if you dropped her she would shatter across the ground and be no more. She was much more durable than that. It took a lot more than a simple drop for break her. Well, physically at least. Her mental state was a different story. Her red eyes moved wildly behind her lids. These weren’t her dreams that were running across movie screen that is the back of her eyelids. They weren’t even her memories. She was living out other memories through the blood she had taken over the years. She hardly remember these encounters though. They were locked away in that pretty little head of hers.


She suffered at the hands of these memories though. Sometimes she woke up confused or not remembering where she was. She slept as little as possible to avoid these memories, but her father had taught her that she always needed to keep her strength up. Although he didn’t follow his own advice, she did as she was encouraged to do. She slept a few hours a day to mind her father. Most of the time she didn’t need it. She felt fine. There were days when she just stared at the ceiling lost in thought. Today she had actually been tired. She was sound asleep as the uninvited figure moved throughout the bottom floor of her townhouse. She had a little fuzzy mask over her eyes as if it were doing something in the pitch black of her room. Embroidered on it were a pair of stylized and simplified eyes. One was winking while the other blankly stared into space.

Her relationship with her brother was in one word strained. Their parents were fully to blame for this. Everything have been find before her mother took her brother’s life before her. Things weren’t the same after that. She hadn’t known what it was like to have two human parents who loved and cared for her. She envied her brother so much for those memories he had always refused to share with her. That was if he still held onto them. He might have left them behind lifetimes ago. It was something easily done. Who knew though. She had asked him many times to share them with her, but he always gave her the same look which said more than words ever could. She would just get quiet and regret even asking. All she really wanted was to know what their mother had been like, but nobody could give her a straight answer. Her father would always give her some over romanticized answer in a poetic way. It was funny that she didn’t take his answer and leave it. Her uncle didn’t like talking about things before. He always seemed to have something else on his mind though so she never bogged him down with questions. Rurik just didn’t answer… Her choices were slim to none. Her other uncles probably could give her a straight answer, but she rarely spoke with them. They too had their own things going on.

Her mother was a mystery. She was that ever-elusive butterfly that evaded all chance of capture. Not that anybody was looking to capture her. She was allowed to do as she pleased. She came and went like an indoor-outdoor cat would through her little door. Although she rarely came in. When was the last time her mother blew into town like the tornado she was? It was over a year ago. She knew that much. Even though there wasn’t any physical evidence of it (besides for all the drained bodies) she was the cruelest storm NYC had ever seen. She showed no mercy and took no prisoners. She always left some sort of trail of destruction behind her though.

Curled up peacefully in her blankets, Vivienne slept soundly… That was until her sleep was interrupted. The reverberating sound of the pounding of the key on her piano forced her to stir. She quickly blinked awake and ripped her mask from her face. She sat straight up, her red irises darting around the room frantically. Had someone broken into her home? A scent quickly came over her though. She deeply inhaled it and her eyes suddenly narrowed. What the hell was wrong with him? Scaring her like that…

She tossed her sheets off her and traced into her closet. Her brother had always been a talent pianist. She had been fascinated by his talent from a young age. His fingers flew over the ivory keys unlike anybody else’s. She had questioned whether or not his fingers even touched the keys. She could remember sitting beside him on the bench and watching him play. Her little brown-haired head up popping up over the keys. Sometimes she would try to play along with him. He taught her the simplest of things like Chopsticks. When she started dancing, she would try to dance along with him as he played. Eventually their father used their cute little skit to entertain his company. Puppets for him once again. Not something she knew at the time, but Rurik seemed more receptive of what was really going on.

She tossed on a pair of jeans and a sweater. She made herself look presentable. She had heard this song more times than she could count over the years, but then again she wasn’t very musically talented so sometimes she couldn’t tell the difference between the tunes. She messed with her hair in the mirror a bit and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Deeming herself presentable, she slipped into a pair of heels and traced downstairs. She appeared before her brother, delicately perched on top of the piano with her legs crossed. She lazily looked at her nails before peering down at him as he played to his little hearts content. She noticed the glass of wine sitting before him. He had made himself at home. How lovely. Her expression was one of annoyance as she waited for him to finish his little tune.


Artemis
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Rurik Ivashkov
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 11:01 PM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 304

Posts // 28

Rank // N/A

Nicknames // Rick

Species // Vampire

Status // Single + Fluid

Quote

Artemis + Mountain + she/her



And there she was; appearing atop the grand piano in a well-mannered huff as if she were completely unbothered by his sudden appearance, not that he couldn’t see straight through her little act. Vivienne had never been very good at masking her emotions, although goodness knows she did always try her best. Out of them all, she had always been the easiest one for him to read. She was too impulsive, too childish to perfect the mask of complete indifference that their father possessed and far too predictable to match their mothers unique erraticness that made her especially difficult to understand. No Vivienne wasn’t like that at all. He could tell without looking away from the keys that she was less than pleased to have him here and was likely waiting for the perfect moment to make her opinions known. Rurik’s lips quirked up into a smirk. Patience was not a believable emotion in the princess’s body language.

Rurik never faltered in his playing. He had began the song and it would be a crime against his own taste if he did not finish it before speaking. Besides, it would do his sister some good to be exposed to some culture every once in a while. So on he played; his fingers expertly dancing up and down the keys as the music electrified the night air. Ah here it was; the climax of the song. Even after losing his soul to the temptations of darkness and revenge, his skin still tingled whenever he heard the powerful beauty that was the conclusion of Tchaikovsky’s melody. It was a shame that his sister had such poor taste, otherwise she might enjoy these moments as much as he did.

The song came to its conclusion naturally with his fingers finally slowing as the last note rang out and then faded away into silence. Then, and only then, did he finally shift back and look up at his sister. One look at her face confirmed what he had already suspected. Namely, that she was irritated.

Rurik knew his sister’s face and her mannerisms perfectly, but even so, he never quite got over the initial shock of seeing his mother’s face with his sisters expressions. Vivienne and Lady Ivashkov were practically identical to the untrained eye, save for a few differences in physical mannerisms. Even he had mistaken one for the other before, which always made him a little extra cautious whenever he interacted with the Ivashkov women for fear of making a fatal error. He could never be too careful when it came to his mother’s cruelty. She did like to play her daughter when it suited her which had led to several awful encounters that Rurik did not care to repeat. But as for right now, he was certain that the woman who sat before him was Vivienne. If it was mother, she would not have waited for him to find her.

“Oh don’t give me that look Viv,” He chided, meeting his sisters gaze with a knowing smirk. “You weren’t doing anything of importance anyway.” Of that he was certain. His darling sister was a pampered little princess who had never worked a day in her life. He wasn’t entirely certain how she spent her time, but he imagined it was wasted on endless shopping at their father’s expense. Vivienne’s taste for Chanel and Marc Jacobs probably put Lord Ivashkov out more than his own thievery.

“So,” He began, plucking his wine glass from its place on the piano and taking a leisurely sip. “What have you been up to little sister? No wait,” Rurik held a hand up to stop her from speaking. “I can see for myself.” And with that, he traced back up to Vivienne’s walk in closet to assess the damage. He strolled around and picked up a purse with his finger, swinging it around as he took it all in. “Prada, Chanel, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel, Chanel.” He tsked, dropping the purse carelessly on the floor. “Careful sis; people will start to think you’re a label whore.” He stopped when he came to the wall of shoes and could not help but roll his eyes. Could she be any more predictable? “How much did daddy dearest shell out for these I wonder?” He shrugged, not really caring for an answer and leaned back against the shoe display. As he did, he purposely messed up the perfection of the display and crushed a shoe or two in the process. Was it necessary? Probably not, but he did enjoyed ruffling her feathers.

“Seems like you’re doing well for yourself Viv. Still daddy’s little princess I see.” There was a part of Rurik that understood that Vivienne did not have the same relationship or problems with Lord Ivashkov that he did, but he could not help but judge her for her continued attachment. She was forever the perfect daughter of two twisted people when she could be so much more. But she couldn’t see that so he was doomed to sit by as she wasted her time living up to the expectations of others. Was he being fair? Probably not, but he didn't care. This was who he was, who they both were. This is how they coped and he simply couldn’t help that.



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Vivienne Ivashkov
 Posted: Jan 10 2018, 01:26 AM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 301

Posts // 12

Rank // Princess

Nicknames // Vivi/Viv

Species // Vampire

Status // Crushing Hard :3 + Heterosexual

Quote

Oops I, did it again, I Forgot what I was losing my mind about I only wrote this down to make you press rewind And send a message, "I was young and a menace"

Phoenix + EST + She/Her


Vivienne was the black sheep of her family. Looking at her parents then her brother one would ask if she was biologically theirs. Her sweet demeanor was the polar opposite of who they were. If she didn’t look her mother people wouldn’t be able to place her with her family. She didn’t see the family resemblance. Or at least… She refused to acknowledge it. Her mother was a frightening individual. One minute you could be having a normal conversation then the next she could have you pinned against a wall with her fangs in your neck. She snapped for reasons probably not even known to herself. The thirst had a very tight hold on her. Vivienne wanted to believe she could be good again, but that was extremely naïve of her to think. She had been lost for so long… Now she was just an attack dog looking for its next victim. There was no going back ever. Their father seemed to be alright with it. He was never heart broken or upset with their mother running off like she did. He would always just smile with his fangs and say, ‘she will be back soon’.

As much as Rurik refused to believe it, he was much like their father. The way he talked, the mannerisms… She saw so much of their father in him. He would always sneer when she teased him for it. Oh, did he get angry… She found it hilarious. He had a hatred for their father and mother, but mostly their father. He’d seen things that he didn’t talk about. She knew it. She had a feeling it had to do with a woman from so long ago, but she didn’t ask. All she knew was that one day he was with her then the next he was traipsing around with their father. He didn’t like being compared to their father as much as she didn’t like being compared to their mother. She knew he did it on purpose, but when he looked at her he always searched her face quickly before deciding it was her. She’d never hurt him like their mother would. He was all she had left. She had come to face the truth that their father was stuck in his own little world of insanity. Maybe they were all just desperately insane. They wouldn’t know though, right?

She listened to her brother as he played so beautifully. Yes, she was angry with him for just waltzing into her home like it was nothing, but she loved hearing him play. She just wished he would write his own stuff already. He could probably become quite popular if he did. He didn’t play as much as he used to though. Little did he know she actually kept this piano so he would play. She knew he couldn’t ignore the temptation. Maybe one day she would break out her ballet slippers. She probably needed new ones though. Her current pair were old and worn.

She rolled her eyes as he finished and looked to her. “I could have been…” She muttered under her breath. Honestly though she didn’t have anything planned for the evening. She was probably going to stay in and watch tv. A girl needed her break from being a socialite. But here she was… dressed and ready for anything her brother wanted to toss at her. He always had some smart remarks to give her about being a princess. They came from his mouth without fail so she learned to expect them and brace for whatever mean things he wanted to say.

Before she could formulate an answer to his question, he stopped her with a hand in the air. She frowned when he showed himself to her closet. She quickly traced after him to just take the insults as they came. She had gained a number of things since his last visit. Her closet was ever expanding. Little did he know the bedroom next door was becoming an extension of her hoarding situation. It was a tiny room so why not make it her second closet? She wasn’t expecting any guests any time soon anyways. She bit her lower bit as he swung the Prada purse around by his finger then let it drop to the ground. She gasped and hurried to pluck it from the ground and held it in her arms. It was from their Fall 2017 line so it was a rather new purse. She hadn’t used it before from what she remembered. It was just a little gift from her father. Just a little surprise. He did those quite often. They always came with a poetic note that said something along the lines that he was thinking about her. “I don’t care about what other people think.” She said and clutched the purse close to her chest. “Rurik, stop it!” She yelled as he leaned on her shelf of shoes. She hoped to god that they weren’t her favorite Louis Vuittons. She moved and pushed him off the shelf to fix the display. She gave a sigh of relief as she adjusted the shoes. He had broken the left shoe from a pair of Gucci’s. She wasn’t a huge fan of Gucci so she wasn’t heart broken.

She finally turned to him and placed the purse on the shelf for safe keeping. She would fix it later. “What do you want Rurik? Hmm?” She crossed her arms in irritation. “I know you didn’t just come here to irritate me… Unless you did. Then congrats. Job well done.”


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Rurik Ivashkov
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 12:02 AM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 304

Posts // 28

Rank // N/A

Nicknames // Rick

Species // Vampire

Status // Single + Fluid

Quote

Artemis + Mountain + she/her



It was far too easy to antagonize Vivienne. Unlike the Lord and Lady Ivashkov, she was sensitive to other people’s perception of her and she could not help but seek their approval. In a way, her goodness and her innocence made her a target for the more brutal aspects of life. She still desperately clung to their father, wanting his approval as if she needed it survive. And although she would never admit it, Rurik sometimes suspected that there was a part of her that still wanted their mother’s love as well. He was the opposite in the fact that he could not stand to thought of being admired by the monsters that had stolen their lives from them. Rurik liked to think that in abandoning the future they had envisioned, he had created a rift between himself and the people he so despised, but in his more self-aware moments, he realized that there was a part of himself that was so completely defined by his parents. He and Vivienne were two sides of the same coin; both needing something from the parents that disappointed them so. They were doomed to live out the rest of their lives dissatisfied.

Rurik didn’t put up a fight when she pushed him off of her precious wall of shoes. He had no real desire to destroy her property, just mess with her a little bit and remind her that nothing material was ever permanent. Still, he could tell from the look on her face that he hadn’t damaged anything she particularly liked, otherwise her mild irritation would have quickly shifted into full-fledged rage. She might be the kindest member of the Ivashkov family, but she still had a temper and she certainly wasn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with her older brother when he had royally pissed her off. He knew that much from experience.

“Not your favorites then?” He mused casually as she fussed over the disheveled shoe display before flitting over to place the purse back on the self. “I agree. The color doesn’t suit you.”

Ah there it was, the huffy expression and the crossed arms. Rurik fought to keep a look of genuine fondness from marring his amused expression. She really hadn’t changed all that much in the last hundred years. She looked exactly the same as she did when she was a little girl who wanted her favorite toy returned to her. Just as hopeful and just as petulant when she didn't get her way. He had another snarky comment at the tip of his tongue, ready to lash out at her and cause her more well-intentioned irritation, but instead he paused and considered her question. For a long moment, he said nothing. He just stared into her eyes that had once been a beautiful shade of blue. He could remember the portrait of the two of them still hung in their father’s family home, depicting them as young children. Their eyes had been painted with the same shade of blue but he could still remember the distinction between what his own and hers had once been. Vivienne's had been brighter than his, more pure. Even now, he wondered if that still held true.

“It was your birthday,” He finally said, slipping his hands into his pockets and leaning against the lone wall that wasn’t covered in false affection bought by their father’s wealth. “Did you forget?” He certainly hadn't forgotten. He wasn't sure that he could forget. He remembered that cold January night better than most of his adult years. Even the wind had ceased its howling when Vivienne entered this world, as if wanting to hear her first coos of life.

“I came to give you your gift.” He cocked his head to the side, no longer smirking in his usual manner, but rather watching his sister with look of calm contemplation. “Would you like to know what it is?”



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Vivienne Ivashkov
 Posted: Jan 20 2018, 02:23 AM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 301

Posts // 12

Rank // Princess

Nicknames // Vivi/Viv

Species // Vampire

Status // Crushing Hard :3 + Heterosexual

Quote

Oops I, did it again, I Forgot what I was losing my mind about I only wrote this down to make you press rewind And send a message, "I was young and a menace"

Phoenix + EST + She/Her


She knew her brother looked down on most of the things she did. Rurik had been independent for as long as she could remember. With their family’s connections were enough for him to be able to do whatever he wanted when they were younger, but even still he pulled away from their father when he could. When Vivienne was able think things through and look back on it all it looked like he paid for with his life. She wished she knew what she had done to deserve to die too. Who knew though. Their mother did things for reasons unknown. Maybe she did want approval from their mother. She wasn’t sure if it was approval she wanted or she was just clinging to what she wanted her to be for her. A mom. Someone who guided and loved her. She had read somewhere that a child’s biggest role model growing up was the same sex parent. She wasn’t sure how true that was considering what she grew up with.

Her brother knew exactly how to irk her and get her to crack. Just dropping. By unannounced had done the trick. Mission accomplished. Ruining her shoe display and tossing around one of her beloved purses was just the extra cherry on top. She loved her brother to death, but she wished his sole purpose wasn’t to just piss her off when he felt like it. That seemed to be what big brothers were for though. At least, that’s what movies taught her. He knew not she mess with her too bad though. He’s face her fiery temper more than a time or two. She wasn’t sure who she took after in that respect. Their father had a pretty nasty temper too. They’d both faced it before. Those were the moments that nobody talked about. It was as if what had happened to cause the anger didn’t even happen. There were some moments a person just didn’t want to relive.


She tossed her Rurik some annoyed glances over her shoulder as she tried to clean up the mess he have made. She would have to get those shoes fixed, but things could have been worse. “It doesn’t matter if they aren’t my favorites. You still broke them…” She muttered as she brushed off the purse after placing it back on its display.


She watched him in that long moment of silence. She felt like they were children again. It was a cycle that went on and on throughout their lives. He would pick on her for some reason then she would huff and puff about it. These days it was always about being Daddy’s little girl. It was getting really old and it was the obvious choice, but unfortunately, it always got to her. She always let him annoy her and get to her. She knew it was one of his many jobs, but sometimes she just really wanted her brother. She watched him quietly, waiting for him to say something. His whole demeanor changed in the matter of seconds. He seemed as if he was about to feel her some smartass comment, but instead he softened and met her gaze. He wasn’t giving her that look that she hated so much. That look of momentary resentment that he felt toward their mother. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking though. Sometimes she felt like he took out his anger toward their mother on her because of the family resemblance. Sometimes she wished she didn’t look like her just so he wouldn’t lash out like he did.

She tilted her head when he finally spoke. Of course, she remembered her birthday. Their father made it a point to take her out to a nice dinner and give her another item she didn’t absolutely need at the end of the day. “No. It didn’t forget.” She said softly and dropped her arms to her side. Everybody around her seemed to remember her birthday besides her. She didn’t know why. It was the same day at the beginning of every year.

She was surprised when he said he got her a gift. Her eyes widened a bit as she watched him. “You… You did?” She said moving toward him a bit. She was suddenly that little girl again with those widened blue eyes and innocent expression. Her fingers toyed with the long sleeves of her sweater as she stood in front of him. “I would.” She smiled softly as she gazed up at him. “What did you get me?” She asked, waiting patiently for him to reveal his surprise.


Artemis
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Rurik Ivashkov
 Posted: Jan 24 2018, 09:27 PM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 304

Posts // 28

Rank // N/A

Nicknames // Rick

Species // Vampire

Status // Single + Fluid

Quote

Artemis + Mountain + she/her



As much as Rurik hated to admit it, he was very much like his father. They were both exceptionally driven when it came to accomplishing their goals and they both had the patience to wait when the situation called for it. But they differed in one crucial regard. Unlike his father, Rurik was not motivated by material possessions. Yes he enjoyed nice things and stole priceless items for the hell of it, but he did not need to display his wealth the way his father did. Lord Ivashkov was a proud man and he liked to show off all that he had as if goods alone was enough to classify him as important. In contrast, his son could care less about whether or not people believed him to be wealthy. It made little difference to him whether people envied him or not. That simply was not his goal for existing.

However, there was another way that Rurik and Lord Ivashkov differed. Unlike his father, Rurik did not believe in giving fancy gifts as a means of bribery.

Vivienne was used to getting whatever she wanted from their father and quite a bit more that she didn’t necessarily want. Because of this, she was practically drowning in stuff and the last thing he intended to do was spoil her further. Goodness knows she had several hundred years of that already. In fact, when he announced that he had come to give her a gift, he saw her eyes begin to sparkle in that expectant way as if she was a little girl who had just been offered cake before dinner. She was waiting for a fancy piece of jewelry or a new purse like their father had no doubt given her, but she was bound to be disappointed.

Rurik slowly placed his hand into his pocket, maintaining eye-contact with his sister as she no doubt watched him with anticipation for the gift she thought she was going to receive. Then, he slowly raised his closed fist out towards her and, when he was certain he had her attention, he opened his palm to reveal it to be completely empty. Rurik grinned widely, his eyes dancing with amusement but before she could voice her irritation for his perceived deception, he raised three fingers up instead. “Three.” He began, his amusement fading now that his little show had ended. Now it was time to do what he had come here to do. It was time for Vivienne’s gift. “Three memories Vivienne. That is my gift to you.”

It had been difficult for him to come to this decision. He despised talking about his life as a human because looking back only reminded him of all that he had lost. But Vivienne craved that knowledge. He didn’t know why she was so fixated on who their parents used to be. As far as he was concerned, those people were dead and gone and there was no point in remembering who they once were. Still, she wanted to know all that she could and throughout the years, she had begged him for scraps of knowledge that he had unwillingly parted with. But tonight, he made the decision to relinquish a little of what he knew in the hopes that it would satisfy her. Then, he hoped, she would let go of whatever hold their parents still had on her and find her own way in this life. Although, he doubted very much that would happen.

“I will answer any of your questions, tell you whatever story you want to hear, but you only get three responses, so consider it carefully.” He paused for a moment before finally adding, “Don’t use what I tell you as an excuse to romanticize our parents. The past is dead and gone. Who they once were is also dead and gone.” And with that final warning, Rurik traced back into her living room, reconnected with his wine glass and settled into the love-seat. On the outside, he was the picture of comfort, but in truth, this was not a conversation that he was looking forward to. There was a reason he never wanted to discuss the past with Vivienne. It was hard on him to remember what could have been if life had been a little kinder. But he loved his sister. No matter what transpired between them, he still loved his baby sister and he would do this for her. He only hoped this wouldn’t come back to bite him in the ass.

“Whenever you’re ready then.” He invited as he sipped at his wine, readying himself for whatever was to come. God only knew what Vivienne would say next.



Phoenix
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Vivienne Ivashkov
 Posted: Jan 31 2018, 01:08 PM
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Member

Age // 301

Posts // 12

Rank // Princess

Nicknames // Vivi/Viv

Species // Vampire

Status // Crushing Hard :3 + Heterosexual

Quote

Oops I, did it again, I Forgot what I was losing my mind about I only wrote this down to make you press rewind And send a message, "I was young and a menace"

Phoenix + EST + She/Her


Vivienne was quite surprised her brother had come to present her with a gift. He wasn’t materialistic in any sense of the word. He had nice things and drove nice cars, but he didn’t feel the need to flash it about. He was almost… humble about it, but using the word humble to describe an Ivashkov felt wrong. Even she, the littlest and most innocent Ivashkov, knew that. She was innocent by no means. Having slaughtered hundreds or thousands with her mother in the past she was far from being pure. She didn’t remember any of that though. Each time she was rebuild, she came back her normal sweet self. Maybe
this was her state of insanity.


He left her waiting in anticipation. She had not a clue what he could have gotten her. He usually didn’t gift her material things. Unlike their father, he didn’t feel the need to fill her home with things that meant no sentimental value. He didn’t spoil her beyond her wildest dreams. He didn’t have to though. Even though he insisted on picking on her for the obvious reasons… she enjoyed his presence. She was usually pretty lonely in this house all by herself. She didn’t have many friends and their father generally didn’t sit and talk to her. Maybe she just enjoyed having his presence too.

She watched him quietly with wide red eyes. She felt like she was standing on the tips of her toes she was so excited. She had her hands clasped behind her back as she waited, her little frame buzzing with excitement. She peered down at his hand as he pulled it from his pocked and offered it to her, presenting her with… his empty palm. Her eyebrow knitted together in confusion as she stared at his empty palm. Before her irritation and confusion could reach her lips, he held up his three fingers in front of her face. Her eyes flickers from his hand and to his face. The amusement over her sudden rush of emotions faded from his face. She tilted her head at his announcement of her gift.

Memories… She had to process this gift. Over the years she had desperately looked for memories that were locked away in Rurik’s head. The ones he refused to share with her. She envied him for having memories of their parents. Memories of their human lives… She knew he had only been three or four when they had been bitten, but there had to some memories her kept, right? She had begged him for centuries for these memories and every time he would deny her of what she searched for. She couldn’t help that she had just been an infant at the time. She just needed to know and he was finally going to give her the information she wanted to badly.


She listened as he explained further what his gift meant. She just listened quietly and nodded a bit. She bit at her lower lip with a fang as he warned her not to romanticize their parents. He really did think her head was full of fairytales and wishes for unreachable things. She let him trace away without her for a moment. Her gaze was trained on the floor where he stood just a second ago. She hated that he thought of her like that. She wondered if he really thought so little of her. She just shook her head and slipped into a pair of cushy slippers and grabbed a blanket from her closet before tracing down after him. She wrapped the soft blanket around her small form and curled up on the other side of the love seat he had sat on. She sat sideways, her eyes just watching him as she debated how to phrase her first question. He had to have a suspicion of what she was about to ask. If he didn’t then he hadn’t been listening to her over the past several hundred years.


“I know you don’t understand my need to know these things… I wish I had my own memories, but truth is I barely have any. Most things are just blank. Nothingness.” She whispered with a sigh. “Even if they aren’t my memories, I want to keep them like they are my own…” She fought back the welling of tears. “My only memories of mom are of how she is now… My only memories of dad are of how he is now… Not exactly things to cherish or keep sacred, huh?” She rested her head on the back rest of the loveseat and got comfortable. “If anybody could remind them of what once was it would be you… I was just a blip in their human existence.” She shrugged as she toyed with the tassel on the corner of the blanket. “I’ll stop boring you with my babbling… I just felt like I needed to explain myself finally…”


She sat up a bit, conjuring her first question. “I want to know about mom…” She paused for a moment before continuing. “I want to know your clearest memory of her, of who she really was.”


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Rurik Ivashkov
 Posted: Feb 7 2018, 08:33 PM
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Age // 304

Posts // 28

Rank // N/A

Nicknames // Rick

Species // Vampire

Status // Single + Fluid

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Artemis + Mountain + she/her



It took some time for Vivienne to emerge again but emerge she finally did. As she settled into the loveseat beside him, Rurik was struck by how young she looked. True, neither of them had been very old when they were turned, but there was something about Vivienne that always seemed childlike. She had always been… fragile; like she could break apart at any given moment. There was a part of him that was always afraid that if he let her into the harsh reality of his world that she might shatter under the strain. So instead, he kept his distance, keeping her safely in a glass box where no one could hurt her. He did his part from the outside to keep her safe; monitoring who she spent her time with and quietly doing away with those he deemed less favorable, not that she would ever thank him for it, but he did it all the same. Still, as he sat there watching her, he wondered if it was him that had a distorted perception of who she really was. They had both lived far beyond what they should have and they were both eternally young, but he couldn’t seem let go of the past. Perhaps he was hypocritical to tell her not to romanticize what was dead and gone; he did it everytime he looked at her and saw the little girl that used to follow him around like a shadow.

There was so much that Rurik wanted to say in response to her attempted justification. He could have pointed out that he hardly ‘cherished’ his memories or how, despite the fact that he could remember their human parents, he could not forgive what they had done to them both. But, out of respect for the sister he loved, he said nothing to dispute her. Vivienne had her own path to forge and as much as he wished he could help her through some of the more difficult parts, he couldn’t. She had to make decide for herself what mattered and what didn’t. Still, he hoped that he wasn’t doing her more harm than good by relinquishing some of his guarded memories.

The question she asked was one he had expected but he didn’t speak for several minutes as he mulled over what response to give. Despite having made his decision some time again, the urge to lie was still there, reminding him that it would be easier for her if she thought there had never been anything good about Lady Anastasiya Ivashkov, even during her human days. Then maybe she could let go of this fantasy that their mother could be saved and just focus on living for herself. But no, she would know if he lied and then, she would believe another word that passed through his lips for as long as they lived. So truth it was, no matter how painful it was bound to be. Here he was giving her a taste of everything she had always wanted and all that she had been denied. Her little glass case would crack, leaving her vulnerable to breaking and he, her protector, was the one chipping away.

Self-loathing threatened to overtake him and he almost jumped out of his seat again to trace away again and leave her behind for good, but he forced himself to stay and calmed himself once more. She wasn’t who he thought she was. She wasn’t going to shatter. She was stronger than he gave her credit for… But even so, he agonized over causing her pain.

“She was wearing a pink dress…” He began carefully, keeping his gaze fixed firmly on the wall in front of him. He couldn’t bare to meet her gaze. “Silk with lace on the front. Her hair was put up and she had this pendant around her neck…Her cheeks were flushed and she looked… she looked like she was glowing.”

* * *
Moscow, Russia
1715


Tonight was the big night and Rurik was anything but excited. His nanny had already made him take a bath, scrubbed him pink, combed his hair, and then put him in clothes that were far too stiff to be comfortable and shoes that made his feet hurt. By the time he was finished, he was red in the face and ready to start crying and ruin all her hard work in getting him ready.

He knew that tonight was supposed to be different. He had been told over and over that he was going to make an appearance at the ball and wasn’t he lucky that his parents wanted him there to greet everyone? Apparently little boys never got to stay up late and he should be happy that they wanted him there but really, he didn’t think he was very lucky at all. He would much rather get back into his comfortable clothes and sit with nanny reading books until he fell asleep. That would be much nicer than standing in stiff clothes and hard shoes. But no, his father had already been down earlier to remind nanny that he had to be dressed and ready at 7 o’clock sharp, so dressed he was.

Nanny was doing her best to keep him calm. She was cooing over him and pressing a damp cloth over his cheeks to try and get him to relax without ruining the fabric of his little coat, but Rurik could feel the tears building. He didn’t want to do this. Why did nobody ever listen to him? He didn’t want to go!

But before he could start his wailing, the door opened and in came in a figure dressed in a soft pink skirt. Rurik looked up and saw the face of his mother, her eyes knowing and her lips quirked up into a half smile that told him she knew exactly what he was thinking.

“That will be all nanny,” She said, crouching down in front of her son. “I will take care of things from here.”

Nanny gave a pretty curtsy as she always did when confronted by his parents and slipped out the door, closing it softly behind her. Rurik watched her go and then, sniffling a bit, he turned his attention back to his mother. “Mama…” He whimpered, clutching the front of his little coat with fingers so tight that they turned white around the knuckles. She shook her head though and cooed as she reached up to run her hand through his hair. “I know my love. I know… It’s a lot to ask of you, but tonight is very special and I want us to be together.”

Rurik couldn’t calm himself though. He kept shaking his head and whimpering to convey his feelings. But instead of being dismayed, his mother kept running her fingers through his hair and smiling. She said nothing more though and after several long moments of teary-eyed distress, she tucked her feet underneath her bottom and sat on the ground, pulling her distressed boy into her arms. “Shhh love… shh. No more tears.” Rurik pressed his face against her bodice, clutching her tightly as his whole body shook. He loved his nanny because she took care of him most, but no one held him like his mother. Whenever she took him in her arms, he felt safe; like he was the most precious person in the world to her. When she held him, he never wanted to let go.

Slowly, but surely, he began to calm down. His whimpers became small hiccups and his eyes, while still red, were no longer brimming with tears. When he was quite and only then did his Lady Mother pull away enough to look down at him. “There’s my love…” She tapped his nose and smiled, her blue eyes bright with happiness. “I am sorry for making you so upset…” She paused as if considering something and then leaned in, looking around as if someone might overhear them. “To make up for it, shall I tell you a secret?”

Rurik, finally recovered, nodded slowly, wondering what it was his mother wanted to say to him. A secret? He never got told secrets…

Mother smiled and took him into her arms again, this time bringing her lips next to his ear. “You are going to be a big brother my dearest one…” She breathed quietly.

A brother? He was going to be a brother? But he didn’t know how to be a brother. “Mama… I…” He began, stress already seeping into his voice, but she calmed him once more with a gentle squeeze. “Hush… You will be a perfect.”

Rurik smiled a bit and tucked himself more tightly against her, hugging her close. It was a secret he liked and he promised silently that he would keep it for her. A brother… he was going to be a brother…

Lady Anastasiya continued to hold him for a long moment but slowly, she pulled away. Rurik looked up at her questioning but she leaned down and took him by the hand. “Come. It’s time.” Rurik shifted uncomfortably, still unsure about this whole affair but his mother pressed a finger to her lips and smiled. “Did I tell you? You look handsome tonight; just like your father.”

Pride rushed through him and despite all his reservations, Rurik did his best to stand a little straighter. Anastasiya, her eyes still bright with glee, kept a hold of his hand and together, they walked through the doorway to find the lord of the house.


* * *
Present Day


Slowly, Rurik came back to the present once more. In truth, he wasn’t entirely sure what he had said. As soon as he opened himself up to the memory, he had succumbed entirely to it. He couldn’t even bring himself to look at Vivienne, least her expression tip him off that he had let on too much. For years she had begged him for his memories without ever really understanding the implications of what she was asking for and for years he had denied her. Vivienne had always made it clear that she was jealous of the time that he had spent with their human parents but truthfully, he was jealous of her for having missed it in its entirety. She never knew what they were like aside from the scraps of knowledge she gleaned from their uncle and himself over the years but it was never enough to construct a full picture. She romanticized them and craved knowing the kinder parts of their personalities but she didn’t understand how much it hurt to know. Rurik had always been careful not to let her know too much because he agonized over those memories. They were the root of all his pain and he hated that he could still remember the way his mother used to look at him.

There was a secret he had wanted to keep with him until eternity claimed him, one he would never admit to, especially to his sister. But if he was being honest with himself; totally and completely honest, he had loved his mother dearly. Even when he was a young child, his father had intimidated him. Lord Ivashkov had represented all that he was one day supposed to be and he worried that he would never be able to emulate him. But his Lady Mother… she understood him. She used to curl up with him in bed and hold him until he fell asleep. She used to sneak him treats before dinner and smile when he hid them in his pockets. She always held him close when he was scared and would run her fingers through his hair. Then, one day, she stopped and the mother he knew disappeared forever; becoming a sick parody of the woman he loved. The memories of her haunted him, even to this day and now, he was cursing Vivienne too.

After several minutes of dead silence, Rurik spoke again. “Two more.” He preferenced, keeping his gaze fixed straight ahead.



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Vivienne Ivashkov
 Posted: Feb 13 2018, 10:06 PM
QUOTE

Member

Age // 301

Posts // 12

Rank // Princess

Nicknames // Vivi/Viv

Species // Vampire

Status // Crushing Hard :3 + Heterosexual

Quote

Oops I, did it again, I Forgot what I was losing my mind about I only wrote this down to make you press rewind And send a message, "I was young and a menace"

Phoenix + EST + She/Her


Their family had strange ways of showing they loved each other. She knew Rurik loved and cared about her or he wouldn’t be here right now and giving her a gift. Yes, they did fight like they were each other’s worst enemy, but they wouldn’t bother with it if they didn’t love each other. She knew he never actually meant her harm with his words. In her cold unbeating heart she knew it, but sometimes the words stung and struck a nerve. Sometimes though… the voices in the back of her head convinced her otherwise. Or at least they tried. It wasn’t only them to worry about though. Sometimes she simply read too much into things and worked them up in her mind like most who sought out approval. There was a little bit of truth behind every lie, right?


She didn’t know why he did the things he did or said the things he said. She just wished she would let him in. She hated being at arms-length. It made her feel like she had done something wrong enough for him not want to keep her close. What he didn’t know was by trying to protect her he was hurting her just as much. It was a cold and lonely place being an arms-length away when all she wanted to be was be pulled in for warm and loving hug. She didn’t understand him and she probably never would in their long and unyielding lives. He came to see her when it was convenient for him. She had tried to go see him, but he always seemed so busy that she gave up a very long time ago. She wasn’t house bound. No. She was just a homebody these days unless her best friend came to take her out or asked her to go on one of his little trips that she still assumed Rurik had no clue about.

At the end of the day, all she wanted was her brother… Was that too much to ask for?

She waited patiently as he mulled over her question. He didn’t respond to her little speech. They just sat in the silence of her dark home. His red eyes were trained on the wall in front of them for the longest time, refusing to meet hers as he almost went through this roller roaster of emotions. She could tell he was beginning to regret this offer he had made to her. He was contemplating something, but she couldn’t tell what it was. She was certain that if his heart still beat, it would be thundering away in his chest and it would be the only thing she could hear. She wanted to wrap her arms around his torso and hug him tightly, but she didn’t. He probably wouldn’t like it very much and just shrug her off of him. He needed to figure it all out on his own kind of like how she had to do things.

When he finally broke the deafening silence, she closed her eyes so she could picture his words. She could remember seeing pictures of Rurik as a young boy. He had been so precious. The spinning image of their father’s side of the family. She couldn’t believe their father hadn’t been vein enough to just name him after himself. She listened to him as he described their mother the way he did. She couldn’t imagine her in anything pink and lacy… Maybe that was only because she only knew her at this monster that lurked in the shadows and bathed in the blood of her prey. Well, unless her father hand-picked it for her and made her put it on...

She tried to picture it though and listened to him as he spoke, describing the scene as he went along. She could picture him at a little boy, whining and whimpering because he didn’t want to stay up late and wearing the uncomfortable dress cloths. She could remember being forced into poofy dresses and pointed dress shoes. She didn’t like it for a little while, but then she learned that it was kind of fun to get dressed up and skip around the house. Then she did it because of dance. She had loved the glitz and glamour, but she also loved the structure it gave her. It was hard work, but she was willing to put in the time and effort.

She continued to listen as he described the way their mother spoke to him. A soft smile spread across her lips, her eyes still closed. She wished she could have heard soft words like that as a child. Reassuring words of encouragement or words that soothed. She did get them, but unfortunately, they weren’t from a maternal source. She remembered a woman, but it hadn’t been her mother. Sometimes the words of a mother were the only thing a child needed.

She hadn’t realized where her brother was going with this story until he said it. His favorite memory of their mother had been finding out he was going to be a big brother. Vivienne smile widen to the point of showing some teeth and her eyes closed even tighter till the outer corner of her eyes crinkled. She had to stop herself from reaching out and hugging him tightly. She just hugged her blanket around her and kept still, bubbling with happiness. She felt like she was learning more than just things about their mother or father tonight. She was learning things about Rurik tonight too. Like that he really had loved their mother at one point. She had been his security blanket. The person he looked to when he needed something. Even if it was just for a few years, she had been his person and that’s why it had hurt him so badly when she turned her back and gave into that bloodlust. It made her heart hurt just thinking about it. She still had their father in some shape of him, but Rurik’s person had left him behind in the dust.

She felt like she was finally understanding him after all these years. She hated that it took this long. Why did it have to take almost three hundred years for her to finally understand him? To finally understand why he resented her so much. She wasn’t sure what to say so she said nothing. She just held onto the silence until her quietly prodded her for the next question. She kept her eyes closed, thinking about her next question. That smiled had long faded from her lips and she had composed herself.

“Dad… I want to know about dad.” She said, her blind stare cast downward. “What’s your favorite memory with dad as a human?”


Artemis
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Rurik Ivashkov
 Posted: Feb 17 2018, 06:40 PM
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Age // 304

Posts // 28

Rank // N/A

Nicknames // Rick

Species // Vampire

Status // Single + Fluid

Quote

Artemis + Mountain + she/her



If there was one thing Rurik could be grateful for, it was the fact that Vivienne had chosen not to respond to all that he had just shared. He had no doubt that she knew precisely what he was all but admitting but still, he appreciated that she did not press him for a full confession. It was difficult enough to come this far and face the reality of all that he felt. Lady Ivashkov, his mother, she had been his everything when he was young. His father may have wanted a son to continue the legacy but his mother had been the one that had truly loved him. As a noble lady, she was expected to relinquish the care of her own child over to the maids of the house and visit for playtime only once a day for an hour or so. It was simply the way of nobility but she did not comply. She was always a bit of a rogue in the world of rules and regulations.

Every moment she could spare, she spent with him. She was the one who woke him in the morning, often before the maid even arrived. She would whisk him into her bedroom and they would eat breakfast together, just the two of them. Then she would help him dress and they would walk, sometimes for hours despite the blistering cold and she would tell him stories. Sometimes they were about her life back in Estonia or about her brothers and the sister she had lost. Sometimes she told stories about the wicked things in the world, but he was never frightened of the monsters in her stories because in the end, she would always take him into his arms and reassure him that she would always be there to protect him. And he, being young and naive, had believed her.

How sweet her lies at been then. Really, he should have been afraid of her. The worst monster of all had been sleeping inside her own heart.

But the feeling that tore at him the most was the realization that he could never shake the feelings of hurt and damaged hope. And worse yet, she knew the power she still held over him. He and Vivienne never spoke about their dances with madness for the sake of their own recoveries and he never wanted them too. It was painful enough for him to admit that he lived on the edge of insanity but he couldn’t bear to face the true reality of what forced him to those dark places. Whenever Lady Ivashkov appeared to take him away, all she had to do was look at him, smile, and whisper a few false promises of motherly love. It always began the same way;

“My love… my darling boy… come home with me.”

Sometimes she would brush his hair back and kiss his forehead, making a cruel mockery of the affection she once lavished upon him as a child. Yet every time, he fell back into her grasp, desperate for the mother he had lost so long ago…

Rurik was grateful when Vivienne forced him back to reality by asking for a memory of their father. He slowly allowed the tension to leave his body as he focused on the task at hand rather than the pain of his past memories. Lord Ivashkov was a far safer topic than his lady wife. As much as he despised his father, there was never much fondness between them. Lord Ivashkov had always been rather indifferent to his own son. In fact, looking back on those happier years, Rurik could almost swear that the Lord was rather put out by the attention his wife lavished on their only son. He never did fair well with playing second fiddle, least of all to his own flesh and blood.

“I am afraid I will disappoint you on this score Viv,” He said after several long moments. But despite the pause, a genuine, albeit, exhausted smile appeared on his face.“Dying really did not have much effect on our father. He is pretty much the same as he always has been. And, shockingly, we were never particularly affectionate towards each other.” He snorted. Still, he tried to think back on his memories of their father and select one that Vivienne would enjoy. It took some time, but eventually, something bubbled up from the surface of his memory.

“A few months after you were born, Lady Ivashkov took sick,” He said, pulling the pieces of the events together in his mind. “Nothing serious but she couldn’t…” He paused, again struggling with indecision about how much to admit about the woman their mother had been. But, after a moment of consideration, he relented. “She couldn’t take care of you the way she would have. You were small Vivienne. So small and you hardly cried. It worried her and the nurses said you were sickly.” He wasn’t sure if she ever knew that. “She wouldn’t trust the maids to look after you. But when she got sick, the brunt of the responsibility fell on our father.”

“He was in his study and you were in a bassinet by his desk. Nanny tried to keep me away but even she couldn’t keep track of everything, although bless her, she did try her best.”

* * *
Moscow, Russia
Ivashkov Manor
March 1716


Rurik was not supposed to be here. Nanny had told him that he couldn’t disturb his father but mother was ill and she had made him promise to look after his sister. She was his responsibility and he couldn’t look after her like he was supposed to if he wasn’t near her. Besides, he couldn’t say that he trusted his father completely. Yes he was his father but he wasn’t gentle like mother was. How could he take care of the baby if he wasn’t gentle? No, Rurik needed to be there. He needed to see that his sister was taken care of because if she wasn’t, he would have to act. So when the opportunity presented itself for him to slip away from the watchful gaze of his nanny, he took it.

He walked through the long hallways of Ivashkov manor towards his father’s study, fear building up within him the closer he got. What if his sister was not alright? He had heard the nurses talking about how she didn’t cry much and how they feared she was a sickly baby, but surely they could keep her safe? Right?

Rurik came to a stop outside the great wooden doors leading into his father’s study. Usually, this was a room he would avoid at all costs. The only times he came here was at his father’s invitation and those were never particularly fun. Lord Ivashkov would usually talk for a long time about things he didn’t understand and then send him off again with an awkward pat to the head. But today, he knew his baby sister was in there and he needed to see that she was being taken care of. So despite his anxiety, he peeked through the crack of the doorway, careful not to make a sound.

His father sat in his desk beside the bassinet that held his sister, looking far too casual for his liking. He had a book in front of him and he spoke in gentle, hushed tones, but he was looking at the words printed before him rather than the baby nestled at his feet. For a moment, all Rurik could do was stare, horrified that he had been right and his father truly couldn’t be trusted with the care of his new baby sister. Had mother been well, he would have run to her first to inform her off the horrific act he had just witnessed. But since she was bedridden, he decided to take action himself.

Summoning up all his courage, he pushed open the great wooden door and rushed over to his father, his face screwed up with anger. “You aren’t watching her!” He shouted, then remembering the baby, he repeated his accusations again in a sheepish whisper. “You aren’t watching her.”

Isidor looked surprised at his son's sudden intrusion and he put a finger in between the pages of his book to hold his place. “I am watching her. She is perfectly safe,” He said, nodding to the small, swaddled bundle that was his sister.

But Rurik shook his head, determined to call his father out for his inaction. “No. She is sick. I heard nanny say it. And mother thinks it too. You,” He pointed to his father, “Should take care of her.”

Isidor’s surprise faded as irritation set it. “Rurik, she is not sick.” He said with a slight groan. “I can assure you of that.”

Rurik didn’t believe it though. He had heard it from nanny and mother believed it too. She was so worried that she wouldn’t let anyone else touch her. Why would she do that if little Vivienne was alright? She wouldn’t, so father must be wrong. And what did he know about babies?

Isidor must have seen the argument in his eyes though because he suddenly leaned down, snatched his squirming son up, and brought him next to the bassinet. “Look at her and tell me she’s ill.” He demanded, holding him firmly.

At first, all Rurik did was struggle, but he quickly determined that his father was not going to release him anytime soon, so he stopped and looked at the bassinet with a pout on his face. It took him several long minutes, but eventually he began to see what his father was talking about. Laying in the bassinet was a wide-eyed baby with rosy cheeks and a dark tuft of hair. Her lips were puckered in the usual baby fashion but her brow furrowed and relaxed in an alternating pattern as she observed the commotion above her. And she was moving more than just her face. Although she was swaddled, he could see her little limbs rustling beneath the fabric, although he saw no discomfort in her face that meant she was feeling poorly. She looked just like any other baby, although her eyes were a lighter blue than anyone’s he’d ever seen before.

“She… doesn’t cry,” He said, now somewhat unsure of himself. Lord Ivashkov finally released him and settled back into his chair, flipping the book back open. “No, she doesn’t,” He agreed. “But that does not make her ill.”

Rurik stared down at his sister in silence, unsure of what to say. He couldn’t think of a response so he looked back up at his father with a questioning gaze. Isidor glanced down at him, sighed, and once again put his book down. “Children cry when they need something or when they want something; whether it be food, attention, comfort, or whatever else. Some children cry far more than they are required to, some less. Vivienne,” He glanced down at his daughter, a thin smile playing at the edges of his lips, “Vivienne knows she is well-taken care of, so she does not need to cry. She is perfectly content. You can see it in her eyes.”

Rurik kept looking between his sister and his father, utterly confused by the whole affair. “But mother…” Lord Ivashkov cut him off. “Your mother would be concerned regardless of what Vivienne did. She was the same way with you and you cried excessively.” He announced with irritation that thankfully, went right over his young son’s head.

Rurik didn't know what to think anymore. He usually trusted his mother with all matters but his father looked so sure of himself. Plus the baby didn’t really look sick. She was small of course and very fragile but she was wiggling around and seemed to be enjoying the attention. So what did that mean? Could mother be worried over nothing? He wasn't sure but as he tried to sort through his feelings, his father leaned down, plucked the baby out of the bassinet and nestled her in his arms. Then, Lord Ivashkov, as proper as ever, opened the book back up and began to read aloud.

It was like watching magic. Almost as soon as his father began to read, the baby stopped squirming and relaxed within her father's arms, her eyes wide but attentive. He didn't know how, but somehow, Lord Ivashkov had known something that his wife had not; he had known what his daughter had needed. The soft sound of his voice reading was comforting her and even though he might not be worried that she was sick like the ladies in the house, he was gentle in his care of her all the same.

Sometime later, Nanny found him dozing at the foot of his fathers chair. She had cooed at the sight of the two Ivashkov children lulled into sleep by the comforting sound of their father reading his poetry. Doing her best not to deserve the picture of serenity, she backed out of the room and gently shut the door behind her again, allowing them to enjoy their moment of peaceful comfort.


* * *
Present Day


Finishing this story had not been nearly so draining as the first one had been. Isidor Ivashkov as a human was hardly any different than the vampire Mikhail Ivashkov. They were both selfish creatures of ambition, but even he could admit that his father’s intentions were sometimes in the right place. When it came to Vivienne at least, he knew he would never do anything to purposefully harm her.

Now came the moment of unknown. When he decided to gift Vivienne his memories, he had anticipated that her first questions would be about her human parents. He may not have given her much over their centuries of eternal life, but he had done her the courtesy of listening to her requests before outright rejecting them. Now that those needs had been fulfilled however, he wasn’t sure what she would chose for her last memory. What was left for her to crave?

“Last one Vivienne,” He prompted her carefully, both curious and perhaps a little worried about her final choice.



Phoenix
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