My first attempt on Bednaya Nastya story. Originally written in 2006 in my mothertongue (Czech). With a big help of two native-speakers I started to translate it into English. The whole story has 37 chapters besides Prologue and Epilogue. My story is quite independent on the original TV series. I just took the names and a bit of their characters. You do not need to know the series, at all.

This is a story about a very young maid called Anna Platonova and young Baron Vladimir Ivanovich Korf.

Big thank to both my brilliant beta-readers Cybelle and Kleindog.


Dedicated to my beloved husband for it was him who encouraged me to write and it was him and our love I was inspired with while writing this story... (July - November 2006)



"Mama," Yekaterina ran cheerfully into her mother's chamber.

Anna lifted her eyes and proudly glanced at her daughter. "You are looking glamorous, dear. I wonder whether your father has seen you already?"

"No one has seen me, Mother; just you and Daria. Do you think Alexei will like me?" she asked her mother uncertainly.

"Will he like you? Oh Katya*, you will enamour more than one gentleman this night, I am afraid. Alexei will have to watch you carefully if he does not wish to lose his bride."

Both ladies burst out laughing.

"Mama, I have come to you with a request."

"What request, my dear? Do tell me what your wish is. Perhaps I can grant it."

Yekaterina touched her neck. "You see, mama? I am to go to a ball tonight but have no jewel suitable for such an event. Please, let me borrow your necklace. Just for tonight."

"Do you mean the Mysterious necklace?" asked Anna with a little surprise.

"Yes, Mama. The Mysterious necklace would so suit my gown, do you not think?"

Anna glanced at her daughter again and silently agreed with her. That necklace would bring out her beauty. And this night is to be so important for Yekaterina for it is the first ball she is to go to with her fiancé.

Out loud, however, she said, "No, I am sorry, Katya. I will gladly lend you any of my jewels except for the Mysterious necklace."

The voice of her mother sounded determined but mild enough that Yekaterina asked,
"Mama, why do you not want to lend it to me?"

"Oh my dear, that necklace is not suitable for such a young lady," responded Anna indulgently. And then she looked at her disappointed daughter and added, "One day I will tell you the whole story of the necklace, but not today. We have to hurry, the carriage will be arriving soon." With these words Anna opened her jewel box. After some consideration she took out an emerald necklace and earrings.

"You see, Yekaterina, these emeralds are like your eyes."

Yekaterina smiled. Her mother was right. She gazed at her image in the looking glass with delight.

"Now go show yourself to your father," said Anna.

Yekaterina stood up and left her mother's room. As Anna watched her daughter leave the chamber, her thoughts travelled twenty years into the past.

*Katya = another variety of Yekaterina name