Prologue

In 1917, after the Revolution, the Communist Government groomed the Bolshoi Ballet to be the major dance company of Russia. During that time, Demetri Romanoff, an aristocrat of Russian society and a former dancer in St. Petersburg's Imperial Ballet, brought his latest conquest - star ballerina, Isabella Swan, whom he'd recently acquired from the United States - to be trained at the Bolshoi School in Moscow. There she would receive private instruction under the tutelage of Nicholas Zverev among other prominent members of Ballet Russe. Demetri also managed every other aspect of Isabella's life, including being her sole guardian, provider…and lover.

At the time this story takes place, Isabella is nineteen years old. Demetri is thirty-four.

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Bearing down into the merciless wind and frigid night air littered with snowflakes and doing his best not to slip on the ice-covered sidewalk, Edward Cullen pulled up the collar of his worn woolen pea coat and wrapped his arms tightly across his chest. It was nearly midnight in Moscow and he hadn't eaten since the stale piece of toast he dipped into his lukewarm mug of coffee at 6am that morning, but he knew there would be a plate of whatever Rosalie had made for dinner warming on the stove for him when he pushed open the front door of his older brother, Emmett's, modest home.

It was on nights like these when Edward would look up into the clear, star-filled sky and think about the city on the other side of the world. The city of his birth. He was a long way from Chicago's West Side, but for the last three years Moscow had been the only home he'd known.

Edward kicked off his worn-out boots and placed them by the cracking fire to dry. He hung his coat up on the nail and shook the wet from his thick, bronze hair. Rosalie and Emmett would have turned in hours ago so he made sure to be as quiet as possible as he moved around the small kitchen. Expectant mothers had the hearing of a hound, he'd learned from experience over the past few months.

Edward,

Just potatoes and carrots tonight, and as much broth as I could save you. Not enough money for meat this month.

We'll do better next month, don't worry.

Love,

Rosalie (and Emmett, too. He's just being stubborn.)

Edward smiled and folded the note written in Rosalie's meticulous script into his trouser pocket. He spooned the stew into a chipped bowl and ate quietly at the kitchen table alone by the light of the fire. Candles were scarce and there was no need for him to waste them on the illumination of his meager supper. But it was delicious. Rosalie knew how to work wonders with the little she had to work with and money was tight, to put it mildly. She would only be able to keep her housecleaning position for another month or so, as her pregnancy was proving more difficult than expected, and Emmett was working sixty hour weeks at the mill on the outskirts of town in order to make ends meet. It felt wrong to be giddy with excitement while the only family he had on this earth was struggling to survive. But he couldn't contain it. He wanted to run down the hall and jump onto their rickety bed in exclamation. How excited they would be when he told them the news he received only an hour ago! That he had found a new job! Playing piano accompaniment for the dancers at The Bolshoi Ballet Academy!

At the time this story takes place, Edward is twenty-one.


First time doing a prologue! Review!