When all was said and done, when presents had been presented and goodbyes had been said, Anya put out the fireplace in the den. She walked, happy, tired, and just a little lonely, toward the staircase, the one by the front door.

The house was dark and quiet. Anya approached the doorway to the foyer, that much closer to sleep. What she saw, just beyond the mahogany arch, was a silhouette in the darkness. She stopped walking. The silhouette was tall, very familiar, and held a suitcase in one hand. He dropped it.

She didn't say a word. He didn't say a word. But, at exactly the same time, they both moved toward each other, almost without walking. At exactly the same time, they kissed, wrapping their arms around each other, and neither wanted to be the first to let go.

Anya was the happiest she'd been all day. Now, finally, her birthday had been perfect. If anyone didn't deserve anyone in this situation, it was her. Finally, she pulled away. She let an elated smile work its way over her face.

"Anya, I'm so sorry," Dimitri gasped. "I did everything I could to get here. My train got delayed--if I had thought...."

Anya cut him off. "No," she said. "I know. You don't have to apologize; it's not your fault." She paused. "Your letter...."

"Was all true," Dimitri finished. "Everything. I meant it. And I do have to apologize. I am sorry. I screwed up. I was supposed to be here. I felt terrible all day. I must have taken nine cabs to make it here before morning."

He put both his arms back around her and hugged her as tight as he could, and so did she. When she stepped back, she smiled at him and held up her wrist, turning it so that the bracelet would catch the moonlight.

"Beautiful," he said, looking at it, and then he grinned up at her. "And the bracelet's not bad, either."

Anya laughed. She reached for Dimitri's suitcase, but he blocked her arm. "Nope. You're still the woman of the hour. No lifting; that qualifies as work."

Suddenly, Anya remembered something. "Oh! Look at this." She ran to the bottom of the stairs, at which an old Romanov family Bible had been left. She turned to the "Births and Deaths" section in the front, and pointed to her own name in the first column. "Grandmama showed me."

Dimitri looked at the page where she was pointing. Then he looked back up at her. A confused "So?" was all he could manage.

Anya just smiled, and pointed again, this time directly to the Time of Birth. Dimitri read it. 11:26 p.m.

He understood. Quickly, he looked up at the clock. It was exactly 11:19.

"I'm still twenty," Anya said quietly.

Dimitri felt himself smile. "You're still twenty."

"You made it."

He only had one thing left to say before he kissed her. "Happy birthday, your grace."




Okay, guys, let me know what you think! I love this story. The sap in me has to come out somehow. Special thanks to britney268 for being my first reader, who also added me to Favorite Authors. Thank you thank you thank you! As far as Story Update, I'm sorry, but that's all I've got for this one. DO NOT ABANDON ME, though! THERE WILL BE MANY MORE ANYA/DIMITRI STORIES TO COME! And soon. Promise.