The title of this chapter is the name of an awesome song by the Shins, if you're interested. Anyway, Tasha wakes up a few hours after chapter one. Let's see what everyone thinks of it....



For some reason the scene went dark. It went quiet, too, and then her eyes opened. Looking around at the curtains and the shelves and the lavender carpet, Tasha realized where she was.

Throwing off her covers, she stood up and walked out of her pitch-black room and into the hallway. The clock on the wall read just past three in the morning---no one else would be awake now. Because she had her father's appreciation for rules, Tasha thought to herself that this would be a good time for that dessert she'd missed out on.

Tiptoeing down the stairs and into the kitchen, she flicked on the light and was startled to find her mother standing at the sink. Anya was startled too, and when she looked up, she gave her daughter a knowing grin.

"Heading for that cake now?"

Tasha started to deny it, but in the end she just gave a bashful little smile. "I woke up," she explained.

"That's okay. So did I." Anya held up the glass of water she'd come for. "Still hungry?" she asked, surprising her daughter.


Opening the refrigerator, Anya took out a plate with a slice of chocolate cake on it and grabbed two forks. "There's no harm in a midnight snack here and there."

"Agreed." Tasha pulled out two chairs from the table and sat in one, leaving Anya the other. She sat, too, and handed her a fork.

"Feeling better?"

Tasha nodded, taking a bite of cake. When she swallowed, she said, "I had the strangest dream."

"Really? What about?"

"Well, you know how I was saying it would be wierd if you were a Duchess and if dad took the reward?"

Anya stabbed another piece of cake. "Sure."

"That was the dream I had. It was everything you guys told me, but different."

"Different?" Anya was genuinely interested in hearing this part. She set her fork down and turned in her chair a little. "How so?"

Tasha thought back. She hated how difficult it was to remember dreams once you were awake. "Let's see.... Dad took the money and left. He was going back to St. Petersburg, but he came back and helped you, and then after the fight you took the crown to get back at him."

"Wow. That's pretty vivid for a dream," Anya commented.

"That wasn't all of it. Then five years went by, and you and dad ran into each other again, except you and Aunt Lydia and Aunt Rosaline were all really rich, and dad was rich, too. He was there with Paulie and Leo and Gregorio."

"He told you about them?"

She nodded. "Once. I can't remember when. Anyway, they were there, and Sophie invited him to your wedding."

Anya had to laugh at that. "My wedding? Who was I engaged to?"

"Some jerk. Doesn't matter. But then dad decided he wanted you back, so he spent all week finding ways to be around you, and then once you came back he tricked you into getting married."

"Yep," Anya laughed, "that sounds like your father all right."

"What sounds like her father?"

Both girls looked toward the stairs, finding that the voice had come from Dimitri as he entered the kitchen.

"Nothing," Anya covered, sharing a smile with her daughter. "We were just discussing how stubborn you are."

"Trust me, neither one of you has any room to talk there." He walked over to the cupboard and got down a glass. "What's everybody doing up? Besides eating cake at three in the morning."

"I was just telling mom about this wierd dream I had," Tasha explained.

"Ah. And you, your highness?"

Anya got up from the table, setting the empty plate in the sink and blocking Dimitri's path. "I was thirsty. I find it funny that you ask us why we're up so late, when you came down ten minutes after us. Right Tasha?" She winked.

Tasha loved playing Gang Up On Dad. It was fun. He was defenseless. "Right!" she grinned.

Dimitri was still just trying to get a glass of water. "I woke up because you were gone, thank you very much. That, and two certain redheads were having a Talk Radio session down here."

"We are not that loud," Anya argued, pretending to be insulted.

"You'd have to be. I woke up, didn't I?" he smirked. Anya still wouldn't move, so he picked her up and lifted her out of the way, and she shreiked in laughter. Tasha watched this with a smile on her face, recalling the dream. I like it better this way, she decided.

"We're lucky Mikey sleeps like you do," Anya said once she was on the ground. She started up the stairs. "I'm going back to bed. You make sure nothing blows up, okay?"

"I will," Dimitri called after her.

"I was talking to Tasha!" she called back, just before she closed their door, ensuring that she had the last word.

Dimitri finally got his glass of water, and Tasha yawned, realizing she was more tired than she'd guessed. She stood up, putting her chair back where she'd found it.

"So what was that dream about?" Dimitri asked.

Tasha stopped at the foot of the stairs. "I dreamt mom was the Grand Duchess and you took the reward."

He looked curious, and she really did want to tell him the whole story, but not now. It was getting harder to keep her eyes open. "Yeah?" he asked. "How'd that go?"

"Well, we woulda been really, really rich," she decided. "I'll tell you tomorrow, okay?" She turned back and gave him a hug, and he huggged back.

"Sure, kiddo. Go get some sleep."

Tasha started up the staircase. "'Night daddy."


But just before she disappeared upstairs, she thought of one last thing. "Hey daddy?"


"You should look Paulie up."

With that, Tasha ascended back to bed, leaving a confused Dimitri alone in the kitchen.



Ha. Fun. XD So there you have it, people, the alternate story. Hope you enjoyed it. Oh, and I HAVE to mention, this entire story was inspired by the song "Age Of Consent." You must download it/listen to it/whatever, because it's perfect. I'm talking about the version by Grant-Lee Phillips from the album Nineteeneighties, though, NOT the one by the New Order. They're totally different. But that's beside the point. The point is PLEASE REVIEW ME!!! :D Thank you all. Peace & love, I'm off to pick back up with the Travelogues.