He was more than excited to see his daughter, knowing that with what was going on with him and Katerina he knew he could have someone to turn to. “If you weren’t a vampire I’d be assuming you’re pregnant and I’m really hope I’m right,” he said as he slowly sat down, eyeing her with visible concern
Her mouth dropped at her father’s assumption, but she quickly recovered and shook it off. “No.. not pregnant. I mean, I was.. but that was centuries ago— no, anyway!” she said, quickly changing the topic and taking some of the scans of the documents she’d found in public records. “It’s not about me… I mean, it kind of is.. but not really..” she started, still shocked by the mention of pregnancy and the memory she had of her child, despite the time that had passed since then.
Meeting Boyan where he worked had become a bit of a recent habit of Nadia’s. By the time he was walking up the street, she was already there with two coffees in her hands, giving her father a smile. She waited for him, and leant into a hug when she saw him, already wondering if she should tell him about the information that she’d just found out after a couple of hours doing what she did best - searching public records and researching to find someone. “So you might want to enjoy that coffee and take a seat before I tell you what I’m about to tell you..” she said as soon as they got inside.
there was a lot going on right now. her step-sister nearly died, grace herself did die and became a heretic, valerie came into her life. so many cluster fucks of emotions were hoisted on to her in such a small period of time and she needed an outlet. someone to talk to, while she loved and had gabe, she didn’t want to burden him too deeply because he had things going on, too. she scried for nadia, finding her in no time at all and she set off for the other womans place. she arrived in no time, taking a deep breath before her fist balled and she knocked on the door –– restraint was her new best friend.
To say that Nadia had just made it through a difficult week was an understatement, not only had her father come back into her life, but she’d also been made to remember her past which was never an easy thing to come back from, so she resigned to staying at home that day, taking a break from the world and everyone in it as she attempted to navigate through the mess that was her life. When the she heard someone knocking on the door her first reaction was sheer dread, not wanting to see anyone. But as soon as she saw that it was Grace, her mood changed and she instantly wrapped her arms around her friend- restraint clearly not being Nadia’s strong suit. “Grace, thank God. Come in!” she said, opening the door wider so the blonde could walk in. “Drinks? Shots? Yes.”
“That was what I needed to talk to you about, Nadia.” She leaned against the counter and began to recount the story of what she’d originally been told, explaining that Ivan her childhood friend had lied and watched as Boyan was slaughtered. “So he never really left us…he was taken.”
She listened to her mother, eyes cast downward when she realized that what Boyan had told her was actually the truth of what happened. “So he was telling the truth..” she whispered, even if she knew her mother would be able to hear her clearly. “Why would Ivan do that to you?” she asked, shaking her head as she moved closer to Katherine and rested her head on her mother’s shoulder. “How do you feel about all of this? Him being here… learning about the lie that Ivan told you?” she asked, wanting to hear her thoughts on how everything was happening. “It can’t be easy…”
“I know, I was there for a part of it,” he told her, “I was probably the reason things got difficult, her father wasn’t too fond of me,” he admitted, scratching the back of his neck. “You sound like me right now,” he snorted, “you can’t keep it to yourself or else you’ll become an emotionally unstable person who doesn’t know how to control things” he explained. “If you need to talk, I am here, remember that always,” he told her before nodding. “Of course I love you, you’re my daughter and you’re the most amazing thing that could have happened to me”
She didn’t get to meet her grandfather, not really. So she didn’t know what he was like but the thought of him ripping her from her mother before Katherine could even hold her painted a pretty bad picture of the kind of person he was. “I never knew him, but… he didn’t sound like the best guy..so.,” she said, looking down at her hands because she knew what Boyan was saying was true. “I just want to protect her… she’s my mother, I love her.,” Nadia said, sighing because the least she could do was protect Katherine from more pain. “I’m far from amazing but.. I appreciate that.” she whispered against his chest where she was still leaning from the hug. “It’s nice… knowing I have parents who care.”
“Shhh, it’s alright,” he hushed, trying to be as comforting as possible. Normally, Boyan tried to not be too emotional, having been raised to keep your emotions to yourself but he knew that with the modern age emotions for men were more normalized now and he knew he needed to get with the times. “You don’t need to tell her, you didn’t need to tell me but I’m glad you did,” he reassured her, pulling away and wiping her eyes. “I love you, Nadia, no matter what”
She wiped her tears but lingered in the hug - she’d been deprived of her father for her whole life, she figured she was entitled to a couple more seconds in his embrace. “She’s just… had a really difficult life, I don’t want to tell her and make her upset about it, because she would be…” she said, trying to protect her mother from the truth about the way she’d grown up. “It’s easier to let people believe that I’m fine… but I can feel it taking it’s toll. I still have the nightmares..” she opened up to her father, but her eyes widened when she heard the three words that she had always wanted to hear from her parents. “–you… do?”
Katherine’s eyes widened at the mention of his name. “You’ve already met him?” She wasn’t exactly surprised, all Boyan had wanted to know about was Nadia - whether she was alive and well. “It is.” She didn’t really know how to say what she knew needed to be said. “Do you know what really happened?”
“I almost attacked him at the ball when the fog clouded everything… we got to talking and he… said a lot of things that contradict everything that you told me about my father, and I’m just–” she sighed, pouting softly as she looked into her mother’s eyes, the eyes that brought her the most comfort and safety that her life had known. “I’m so confused, mama…”
He could see in her eyes the fear that was still evident and while he wanted to push - god he wanted to push - he had to stop for her sake. Sighing, he walked up to her and wrapped her into a hug. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to protect you, Моят ангел”
Nadia usually put forward a tough and impenetrable exterior, and it was extremely difficult to break through, but considering the topic of their conversation and the fact that her father was hugging her for the first time she couldn’t help but start shaking and holding on to Boyan like her life depended on it. “I-its not your fault.” she said, shaking her head and holding on to the fabric of his shirt… “I don’t like thinking about it.. them… I haven’t even mentioned it to my mother..”
His fists tightened as anger overwhelmed him. How could someone, two people who yearned for a child, manage to adopt one and then go to ruin them? And his daughter? Their entire family was going to regret ever touching her. “Tell me, what were their names?” he asked, trying to seem calm so he could get information. “I may have known them”
She looked up at him and shook her head, “It’s been centuries… we don’t need to revisit the past.” she said, not wanting to go anywhere near descendants of the people who raised her, slightly fearing that she’d see the resemblance and go into some kind of panic attack. “There was nothing you could have done, it was my grandfather who placed me with that family… if it could even be called that.”
“Nadia, don’t act like I didn’t hear what you just said, talk to me,” he said as he took a step closer to her. He had no clue how to be a parent, he never got that chance to grasp it, but he knew he had to at least try for her. “After you were born, what happened with your life?”
Nadia sighed. For someone who hadn’t been a father for very long, Boyan seemed to be getting the hang of it quickly. She looked at him, trying to figure out a way to say something without telling him everything, though she knew that it would be difficult with the way he was looking at her, like he was examining every statement. “When I was born my grandfather took me before my mother could even hold me… or that’s what I’ve heard… I was brought to a couple a few villages over who could not have children, and they raised me… but they were never parents. When I grew it became more evident that they had no interest in having a daughter. More like a slave they could make do their bidding… that was the world that I grew up in… not exactly smiles and bedtime stories.”
“Well, it was, but your mother told me she was pregnant right before I went to battle,” he admitted, “so I did know beforehand but still, it was definitely a shocker. I was excited though” he chuckled, but that quickly faded as she mentioned on what to call him. “What… What are you talking about?” he asked, face growing serious but his eyes showed visible concern. “Nadia, what happened after everything?”
She smiled sadly at him, their story was a tragic one but as hard as her life had been, Nadia was hopeful that the life she could have now with both her parents could be better. At the very least, it was nice to know exactly where she came from. Nadia could see the concern on his face and sighed, knowing that what she’d been talking about was as difficult to hear as it was for her to say. “Nothing… don’t worry about it.” she said, dismissing the memories from entering her mind as she stood up from where she’d been sitting. “What are you asking?.. after what?”
“If you’re anything like me you probably are,” he laughed softly, remembering just how good his tracking skills were back in the day. At her apology, he quickly shook his head as he walked towards her, “don’t apologize, you have nothing to apologize for. I’m happy to see you, I just didn’t expect it,” he reassured her, offering a reassuring smile. At her assumption, he couldn’t help but laugh, “alright, that’s funnier then it should be but yes, it appears I am your father. You look too much like your mother and act too much like me to deny anythinig”
“Makes sense… mom’s good at running and hiding from people who are looking for her, I had to get the knack for tracking from someone,” she said, smiling and slowly feeling more at ease around Boyan. “I guess I was fated to always be a surprise to you,” she said, making another joke despite the painful backstory that they shared - her mother’s pregnancy coming as a surprise to both her parents. “People keep saying I look like my mother, maybe I’m just blind to it.” Nadia said, thinking her mother was far too pretty for her to hold any resemblance to her, though now looking at her father, she couldn’t deny that she had good genes. “Uhm… so what should I call you? I’ve never really… had a father… well, not a good one at least.”
He had finished with work, still adjusting to now being a father. His mind went from being pretty vacant of worries and concerns to being literally bombarded with what if’s and how he could try to fix literally anything about his past. But as he went to leave he heard a familiar voice and quickly looked over to see who it was. “Nadia,” he breathed, visibly nervous as he thought of how to go about this. “What are you… What are you doing here?”
“I’m pretty good at tracking down parents,” she said, allowing a small smile to grace her lips as she looked at her father, for the first time looking at him without the hatred and feelings of abandonment as she tried to keep all of that at bay. “I’m sorry, I should have called… or waited outside at least… I’m just pretty sure that I would have chickened out if I did.” She approached him hesitantly and bit her lip. “So it’s true then… you’re really my father.”
Nadia had been doing her best to avoid her father since the ball, needing some time to think things through and process the fact that he’d been alive all that time. But after talking to her mother, she realized that with all the pain and suffering their family had been through, to ignore him now and deny herself the chance to know about that part of where she’d come from would be like looking a gift horse in the mouth. She tracked him down, using what she’d learnt from when she looked for her mother, and found out where he worked, getting there early that morning before anyone else arrived, just in time to see him walk through the door.
“Nadia,” Finally Katherine had found a private moment with her daughter, “I need to speak to you about something.” She wasn’t sure how to say it, better to just let it out bluntly, surely? “It’s about your Father.”
She’d been looking for Katherine everywhere but in the excitement of the ball, it was hard for her to find her mother, much less steal away to find a moment that felt like a good one to bring up the fact that she’d met her father. “Boyan, right?” she asked, looking at Katherine as she leaned on the kitchen counter and held on to it like some kind of lifeline. “… I think I met him… at the ball… which sounds crazy– Is that what you wanted to speak about? .. is it him”
As the smoke cleared, he could see her and she looked exactly like her mother, features and everything. A part of him wished he could have been there with her but, with tear filled eyes, he grabbed the folded up paper that was at least 500 years old. “The day I died, I wrote this to her,” he said, handing her the love letter -
Dear Katerina, This war has been difficult, but I know that it will be worth it when you come into my arms once again. Hopefully this won’t be a long wait and we’ll eventually be married. As for our child - I was thinking of the name Adelina, it had a certain ring to it that I think you would like. I’ll be seeing you soon. Your’s Truly, Boyan
The smoke cleared and she looked into her father’s eyes for the first time. Nadia felt as if her feet were cemented to the ground as she took in his appearance. He looked so different to what she had imagined, but at the same time, she could see the features that they shared. She’d always wondered how much of her looks had come from Katherine, and how much had come from her father, and now looking at Boyan, she knew. She was the perfect mix of them both, if not leaning more towards her mothers looks. With a shaky hand, she reached for the folded paper that he’d offered her, reading the words and tearing up, though she never let a tear slip down her cheek.
“But if you died… how did you— you’re a vampire.” she said, more of a statement than a question as her eyes stared intensely at him. “So… you died but you came back to life… you could have stopped it. All of it… why didn’t you come back?” she sighed and looked down dejectedly. “Why didn’t you come back and save us?”
“That bastard,” he growled, fist slamming and subsequently breaking a table. “I died in battle and he tarnishes my name like that? I was going to marry your mother when I got back, we were going to be a family”
Nadia was confused. The stories contradicted each other and she didn’t know what to believe, or where to funnel her anger. She was mad at everything, the way that she’d never known her real father, the fact that her mother had to face all that humiliation and shame, the fact that her mother had never even had a chance to hold her when she was born, and all that the anger did was fuel her as she stared at the blurred face of the man claiming to be her father. “Why should I believe you? I don’t know you? All I’ve known is that my father abandoned me long before he had a chance to know me.”
“No, I’m not,” he said, “for over 500 years I’ve thought you were dead, I need to see Katerina, what… what has she told you? Where is she? Is she here?”
What he said made Nadia protective of her mother, and even if she couldn’t see his features, she didn’t want someone going to her mother like this and bringing up all the painful memories all over again. “You— if what you are saying is true, you were alive this whole time. The whole time!! My mother was right when she said that my father abandoned us.”
“She…” his tough exterior slowly faded away, “she died, I went to the village and she died, how…” he took in a breath, realizing that if this was her mother… Gasping, he took a step back as tears formed in his eyes. “толкова съжалявам” he repeated, “Казвам се Боян Емилов и аз съм баща ти” he told her, voice breaking. “Как сте живи?”
“I’m kind of living proof that she did not.” she said, unsure of what was happening in this man’s mind and why he cared about the details of what should have been both hers and her mother’s death. She heard the gasp, and the sound of shuffling feet, and she was about to turn thinking he’d left, when she heard the next sentence that escaped his mouth. “Вие лъжете. Вие лъжете!!” she said, angry tears slipping down her cheeks.
“Who is your mother?” he asked, voice eerily calm but worry was evident in it. “Because the Petrova I’m assuming died. Her whole family died and if you dare lie to me I will end your existence”
Her brow furrowed but her anger fueled her as soon as he threatened to end her existence, because there was no way she was going to allow that to happen. “My mother’s name is Katerina Petrova. She was the only one to describe the slaughter of her whole family, and like her I have the Petrova fire so I would not threaten me, sir.” she bit back.
Petrova. That was one name that haunted him throughout his many years of living. He had failed her - she had died and he couldn’t save her. “You are…” he stopped, feeling the tears beginning to brew in his eyes. “My child and my wife died centuries ago, I suggest you watch your tongue if you want it kept in your mouth,” he growled, voice breaking a bit.
“And I suggest you stop using your personal tragedy to re-awaken mine with that name. Honestly, if you were trying to get to me there are about five thousand milder ways to use before invoking the name of the father that I lost before my life even began,” she growled, though she was confused at the way she could hear his voice breaking, almost like the way everyone’s voice did when they were distraught. “Answer me! What do you want? My mother? Because only her most dedicated enemies would stoop as low as to use that name.”
a frown drops to her face ( with a bit of a pout too, because what’s wrong with the 1920s? ), but she does take an actual moment to ponder whether she truly does want gloves or not. nevermind, though. in her thoughts, the other girl blinks away and, just as quickly, returns with said wrap. oh. a vampire. yeah, no big deal. it’s like seeing a tree in the streets for lizzie. “ thanks. guess this’ll have to do for now, ” she breathes out, reaching and taking the cloth. “ i’m lizzie, by the way. hater of bedazzled suits, cutter of punch bowls. clearly. ”
Nadia shrugs, “better than nothing, right?” she asks, tilting her head to look at how Lizzie’s dress looks now that her outfit is supplemented by the simple cloth, and she has to hand it to herself, she looked good - almost as if she’d chosen the cloth to match her gown perfectly. “Well, nice to meet you Lizzie. I’m Nadia, fellow hater of bedazzled suits and supplier of stolen coverups.”
She understood Hungarian? Shock quickly turned to anger as he felt her try to grab hold of him and he quickly pushed her away and while a part of him felt remorse for it another part knew that if it was between life and death he sure as hell wasn’t sitting back and letting himself die. “How do you know a person named Boyan?” he asked, walking closer to her, his defenses growing higher with each passing moment. “Ki vagy te?”
She was thrown to the ground but in an instant she was at his neck again, grabbing him and pushing him back as she regained her balance on two feet. “Like I have to answer that question to someone who clearly knows exactly who I am.” she all but growled at the blurred face, her anger evident in her voice. “My name is Nadia Petrova, the better question is why are you using my father’s name against me? What have you to gain from this?”
“този шибан град” he muttered under his breath with a low growl, running a hand over his face. “I’ll tell you my first name, you need to earn the rest of his,” he hissed, “I’m Boyan. And I hope to the Gods you have an answer on what’s going on here”
She understood what he was saying, but she knew that he was speaking a different language - not english. Still, the fog or whatever had happened to everyone in the room distorted everything she thought she knew, so she was on edge to say the least, revealing that she had understood him just by answering him, “This city, what?” she asked, looking at the blurs around her wishing she had some way of defending herself. She was livid as soon as she’d heard the name, furrowing her brow when she realized it was the name that Katerina had said belonged to her father. She lurched forward, grabbing the man when she was sure that he was in front of her, “Where did you hear that name, and why are you using it against me now?”
There was one thing Boyan didn’t like and that was to be without one of his many senses. And now he knew he was at a disadvantage. He wasn’t a hero, he wasn’t going to go scope out the entire place and make sure each and every person was safe. Now if it was a child, that was a different story. But as a figure approached him, he felt himself go on edge again. “I suggest you tell me your name,” he warned a figure nearing him, turning to try and see if iit was even remotely distinct
Nadia didn’t know what she was doing, without her ability to recognize anyone, she was on her guard even more than usual. “If you think that I am going to tell you my name without knowing who you are first, you’re the idiotic one here.” she said, trying to figure out how far away the man was, by the volume of his voice. “I suggest you tell me yours before this conversation goes any further.”
As the words hit her, Izabela’s smile faded. Her eyes taking the girl in in a completely different way than she had been just a matter of seconds ago. “Nadia,” she questioned a sad look across her features. “I have been trying to find you for so long to no avail. Katerina’s father hid you well.” Crazy? Impossible? No, now that she really looked at the girl she could see the comparison’s between Nadia and her parents. “I never wanted you to grow up not knowing your father’s family,” she sighed. “I don’t want you thinking that Boyan or I or our family abandoned or didn’t want you. It was the opposite. Boyan was excited about you before he left to fight and I had promised him that if anything happened to him I would watch over you but I never got the chance to. I’m so sorry.”
Hearing what her aunt had to say came as a surprise to Nadia. She’d grown up believing that her biological parents had given her up, and that both families hadn’t wanted her for the shame that her birth would bring on everyone. Was it possible that she’d been wrong about all of that too? Nadia just tried to process all the information that was being thrown at her as she looked at her aunt, seeing the similarities even in their appearances. “I– you.. you knew about me? You looked for me?” she asked, her brow furrowing as she faced her aunt and bit her lip as she felt the gravity of loss that her grandfather had forced on her. “I can’t believe you looked for me… that there was a whole side of my family that wanted me…” she murmured, thinking about how her life would have been different if she’d been found and taken in by her father’s family when her grandfather got rid of her. “Ne légy sajnálom Bela néni… Megpróbáltad. Thank you for trying..”
#translation: Don't be sorry Aunt Bela. You tried. #bela
“No, don’t be,” he said, hands raised, “maybe I shouldn’t have told you, please don’t tell your mother she’ll kill me,” he breathed, realizing just how painful it was to see his daughter upset. Smiling as the memory of Kat telling him he’d be a father, “it was the most surreal, amazing, experience of my life but I was also fearful. I didn’t know how to be a father” he chuckled, scratching the back of his neck.
“No, I’m glad you told me.” she was quick to assure him of that as she allowed her eyes to meet his, “I’ve spent so much of my life searching for answers – looking for my parents, I would’ve hated to lose another second,” she said, giving him a soft smile. The smile only grew as he started talking about how he’d felt when Katherine told him about being pregnant with her, chuckling with him as he admitted that he was nervous. “So you… actually… wanted me?”
“ would it? i could smear it all over my face and turn myself into the corpse bride and make people drop their plates. ” despite it being a joke, she says it with the straightest, most offended face possible ( the famed resting bitch face ). the remark makes her glance at her wrist in joined oblivion. “ —- oh, yeah. just cut myself on the punch bowl. ” a pause. “ you don’t happen to have some gloves, do you? ”
Nadia raised an eyebrow, amused by the other girl’s joke and going along with it, “If they aren’t dropping their plates for the bedazzled suit jacket, I don’t think they’re dropping their plates for anything.” she said, chuckling to herself before her attention was brought back to Lizzie’s wrist. “Gloves? What is this, the 1920s? no I don’t have gloves but a wrap might work if you need to keep that covered.” she said, using her vampire speed to take a thin wrap from one of the guests without them even noticing, and handing it to Lizzie.
A laugh escaped the blonde’s lips as the younger girl agreed with her comparison before shrugging. “I’d prefer to escape the time they’re escaping to,” she admitted. “It contains heart break and mistakes but I guess those are thigns that make us who we are at the end of the day.” Izabela looked towards the girl as she asked if there was any relation to Boyan before another small laugh left her lips. “Yes,” she nodded. “He’s my twin brother. You know him?”
He was her brother.. so that meant that she was Nadia’s aunt? Having so much family was foreign to Nadia as she’d never really experienced it before but she had to admit, it felt good to know that she wasn’t alone in the world. “This might… sound crazy to you… or impossible, I know it did to me..” she started as she tried to find the words to explain their connection. “My name is Nadia Petrova… my mother is Katerina Petrova and my father…. is Boyan Emilov. Your brother.”