Hands touch, eyes meet, sudden silence, sudden heat.
Anya's eyes locked in on Dimitri's. This is it, she thought, it's going to happen. Dimitri's eyes closed and his head tilted and slowly leaned towards Anya's. Butterflies playfully tickled the pit of her stomach and a smile crept across her face as her eyes closed and she too leaned in.
Lips, so close to interlocking, suddenly parted as Pooka let out a shrill bark. A sigh escaped Anya's lips as Dimitri pulled away and stooped down to stroke Pooka. Men are such babies, Anya whispered.
Dimitri's eye caught the diamond encrusted crown lying on the floor.
"They're waiting for you" He whispered handing over the crown.
Anya took the crown, their fingers touching, their eyes interlocking once again. Goosebumps travelled along her arms as Dimitri's hand gently stroked her inner arm.
This was what it had all been leading to, she'd come so far. She had started this incredible journey as a stranger. A stranger to Dimitri and Vlad...a stranger to herself. She was no longer 'Orphan Annie' but a Duchess. She had set out to find her family and on the way she had found herself.
"What if I don't want this anymore?" She asked. Dimtiri's eyes widened
"But...this was what the entire journey was about, you wanted to find your family and we did Anya, we did. It's not worth giving up, not for anything...or anyone" his voice grew quieter and his focus turned to the floor. He couldn't look into her eyes, because if he did, he'd tell her. He'd tell her that he wanted her, that she was all he could think about, that the reason he didn't get on the train back to St Petersburg was because he needed her, because he was in love with her.
"This whole thing started because I was chasing a dream. When you left for St Petersburg again I realised something, I was so lonely without you, I wasn't myself when you weren't around. All these parties, the gowns, the people, they're not me and I know that now. This journey has been the greatest journey of my life Dimitri, I wanted to find out who I was, I wanted to find myself and I did Dimitri, I found myself in you."
Dimitri couldn't hide the smile taking over his face, she had felt the same this entire time, I just might get my happily ever after with the woman I'm in love with, he thought. Then reality hit him.
"But your grandmother? You can't leave her, you've only just found each other"
"I lost her before and look where I am now. I'm sure we could work something out" she smiled.
Dimitri couldn't take it any longer, his arms shot out and pulled Anya into an embrace, their lips touched. Anya's arms wrapped around his neck. They pulled away from the kiss and looked into each others eyes.
"Run away with me" He smiled.
"I thought you'd never ask" she grinned, kissing him once again.
"I love you Anya, it's a problem of mine, I can't stop loving you, no matter how much of a pain you can be" he smiled
"I love you too you big baby" she laughed
"Hey Anya, if we live through this, remind me to thank you"