Beep. Beep. Beep.

Her heartbeat was steady.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

"Nurse?" She called.

"Miss Lashvi?" her favorite nurse, Olivia Greene.

Ana Lashvi, gave the nurse a hesitant smile. "I need two favors."

Olivia tilted her head. "Okay-"

Ana shifted. "I need you to contact my fiance, and tell him I'm in the hospital."

"Your sickness is curable, you'll be out of here in less than a week-'' Olivia began with confusion.

Ana cut her off. "The second thing," she waited for an acknowledging nod. "When he comes in to find me on a ventilator, he'll inject my IV with Nembutal, the veterinary euthanasia drug."

Olivia blinked incredulously. "What?"

"Pentobarbital."

"No, I meant-"

"He's after my fortune. We're contracted to be married. If I die right now, he gets my money. I need to prove he's after it. After surgery I'll be on a ventilator, right? He'll come in, inject me, and leave."

"There's no cure, no antidote."

"He was a vet. He knows. In that case, I need you in the room. He'll sit by the IV, waiting for you to leave. He's crafty. He will inject the IV line. More evidence, but he won't think you're looking for traces. He can hide the line with his body or the head of the bed. You wouldn't be the wiser. It needs to be here, in the hospital, because if someone sees me leave, he'll just blame the hospital for my death when he injects me. I'd have proof then, but I prefer to be alive."

Olivia shook her head in disbelief. "I need to get my supervisors."

"Thank you."

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"We're going to tape the IV to your skin without inserting the needle. This little cap here is so you don't accidentally puncture your skin. Okay?"

Ana nodded. "Thank you, doctor. Has my fiance been called yet?"

"He says he's on his way. Plainclothesmen are waiting on the main floor to catch him as he leaves. All we need to wait for is for him to out himself."

"You mean you can't just take my word he's a crook, you have to arrest him for doing something wrong?" Ana snorted with a smile. "No worries, I understand. I've studied quite a bit of law."

The doctor smiled. "When he injects the IV, count to thirty. Begin to progressively blink slower. Ten, a sigh, half yawn. Fifteen, eyes close, say you're tired. Eyes flutter open at twenty, immediately close. Thirty, you're supposed to be asleep. In three minutes, you'll be dead."

"And the monitor?" Ana nodded.

"Our specialist, Kelly, will be hijacking your heart monitor. Your Jackson O'Brian will be ordered to leave the room when the heartbeat stops completely. Nurses will attempt to resuscitate, and eventually declare you dead. If he sticks around, we'll tell him and hopefully record his reaction. The desk will page the ground floor when he leaves the room, and again when he enters the elevators."

"How will your specialist know to mess with the machine? Can he see me yawn and blink?"

"Nurse Olivia will be sitting in view of the glass door. She will make a signal when you close your eyes, so keep them open otherwise."

Ana inclined her head. "Thank you, Doctor."

"Anything to keep a patient alive, Miss Lashvi."

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"Hey, babe!"

He was tall, dirty-blonde, with blue eyes. Typical-looking Irishman, but a jerk and a fortune-hunter. He fit every stereotype on the outside, but his core was a bubbling mess of tar and oil.

"Jackson!" She knew how to act. Her social standing called for it, she'd done this for years.

A light kiss, a brief hug, a casual moving of the IV tower, pushing it towards the wall and head-of-bed.

"I missed you." Ana's face lit up like a star. "Don't worry about me, though. The doctors say I'm mostly stable, and should be out of here in a day or so."

"That's great!" Jackson smiled. "Still want to go river-rafting?" He sat, taking her hand.

"Careful of the IV," Ana grinned, teasing. "Of course! You postponed it for me, though, you shouldn't have! You've been looking forward to this all year!"

He pecked her lips. "Couldn't go without you."

"Sap." She snorted. She felt queasy. He could wait for hours, just to throw off suspicion.

He did. She was almost relieved, when, while regaling her with tales of his mother's friend's corgi chewing on his brother's manuscript, he stuffed his hand in his pocket.

She laughed along with the story of a rare paper's near destruction as she watched out of the corner of her eye.

He was filling the syringe with one hand, the other squeezing hers.

His hand withdrew from the pocket, falling behind his knee as if to scratch his shin.

The story began to wind down, him emphasizing the last parts to keep attention away from him.

Still single handedly, he pushed the needle into the IV, and slowly emptied the ten grams.

A killing dose.

She knew him too well.

1

"I love you, you idiot. Why didn't you tell him it was a copy?"

5

"It was funnier that way!"

She grinned through a yawn, giving a sigh.

10

She squeezed his hand, adjusting her head on the pillow. "Y'stories suck. M'tired." she teased.

15

"I resent that!" He joked.

"Hmm." she closed her eyes.

20

"Go to sleep." He snorted, leaning forward to kiss her forehead.

Her breathing slowed.

30

He continued to hold her hand, pulling out his phone to snap a picture like the besotted fiance he was.

A minute passed as the clicks of a mobile phone's keyboard became the only sound to complement her breathing.

The heart monitor began to beep.

Olivia crossed the room to check it. "It's slower than normal."

He glanced up. "She's asleep."

"It's not that."

He closed his phone. "What is it, then? Is something wrong?"

The monitor changed its tone.

"It is now." Olivia backpedaled, opening the glass door.

She flatlined.

"Get me a crash cart in here, stat!" Olivia yelled.

Nurses poured in.

"Get him out of here!" Olivia reached for the defibrillator.

Jackson was hustled out, looking behind him.

Olivia held out the paddles as another nurse squirted gel.

She rubbed the two together as the door closed. "120!"

The door cut off sound, and a nurse closed the curtains.

"Clear." The word came from the curtain nurse, not the ones with the defibrillator.

Ana opened her eyes. "How long till you call it?"

Olivia smiled, wiping the paddles clean. "Brain damage occurs in four, survival is low after ten. We'll wait fifteen, and call it."

"Anyone up for charades?" Ana asked out loud.

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"We're sorry, Mr. O'Brian."

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"Jackson O'Brian? You're under arrest."

"What the-"

"You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will-"

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Ana Lashvi.

Tsisana Gelashvili.

Ana Potter.

Wait, what?

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"What do you mean, the-boy-who-lived is my brother?" Tsisana felt rather calm, considering. Her mask was like stone.

Cold and immovable.

"You are adopted. You know this. Now you know whom from. Lilith and James Potter had two children, twins."

"I was of the opinion her name was Lily, mother."

"Lilith is a name befitting the mother of my second heir. Refer to her as such in my presence."

"I apologize, mother. And of my brother? Why tell me now?"

"Harridan and yourself are twins. As you are both nearing your seventeenth birthdays, you must return to each other's sides. As magical twins, such seperance on the anniversary of such an important birth could be fatal."

"I see. Does Harridan know?"

"I have contacted his headmaster. You will transfer into the next school year as well, but until then, will live in their safehouse from the day of your birth until school."

"May I enquire as to the reason for my attendance to a magical school, mother, considering my training has already covered such subjects?"

"As my second heir to the throne of Georgia, you have a duty. Aleksandre will assume the throne. You will expand our influence. This is your perfect entrance. I will be most displeased if you ruin this, Tsisana."

"May I ask how long these plans have been in the making?"

"It is not your place to ask such things."

"I apologize, Queen Mother. I went too far."

"You will be ready by sunrise tomorrow."

"Yes, mother."

"Now listen carefully. You have much to learn."

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She was reflecting.

Her name, as far as she could remember, had been Tsisana. Her mother, when she was a babe, had called her Ana.

Alek called her Ana when mother couldn't hear, but the queen had called her by full name since her eighth birthday.

Was it a coincidence that Ana Potter and Ana Gelashvili had the same first name?

Tsisana was beginning to think the queen had known her thue origins from the beginning.

Why else would you name a child the same name, if not to ensure she adjusts well, as the name would merely change from Tsisana to Ana?

Tsisana closed the jewelry case.

"Damn it."

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"Goodbye, Aleksandre. Do write."

"Goodbye, Tsisana. I will send an owl your way."

"Goodbye, Queen Mother."

"Do not fail me, my daughter."

Tsisana inclined her head, reaching to her broach to enchant the portkey.

She whisked away in a swirl of gold.