16 Sep 2013

Snippet - Tanya

A few years ago, an idea came to mind and just would not leave.  A dinner between two people, with a tragic ending.  After the break, the result after writing the scene down.

        Piotr walked through the front door to his family's manor.  He spotted a familiar overcoat hanging in his closet.  Piotr smiled; dear Tanya came to pay a visit.  He hung up his own jacket, then walked into the foyer.

        "Piotr, is that you," a woman's honeyed voice called.

        "Yes, love."  Piotr followed the warm voice to the den.  "Have you been seen to?"

        Tanya stood up and walked over to the tall man.  "I've given the servants the rest of the day off."  She raised herself on her tip-toes.  "I wanted us to have some private time," she breathed into Piotr's ear.  Settling back on her bare feet, she loosed her lover's shirt.  "I've even had something special prepared for just the two of us for dinner."

        Piotr let himself be pulled along by the gorgeous blonde into the dining room.  On the table, candles waited to be lit, while glasses stood at attention for the entering couple.  Tanya led Piotr to his chair.  "I have a wonderful chablis being chilled," she purred.  "Let me go get it.  You just sit and get comfortable."  She winked before disappearing through the door.

        Piotr sat back in his chair.  He patted his pants pocket; the small box was still there.  All Piotr needed was the ideal time, and Tanya, without knowing he was going to propose, had created it for him.  He started lighting the candles.  A clattering came from the kitchen.  "Do you need any help?" he called.

        "No, darling."  Tanya returned, carrying a tray.  She set it down on the table.  "A special dinner, just for us."  She set a glass of wine in front of Piotr.  "Wait until I'm ready; I want to make a toast."  Tanya continued serving, setting the plates down for Piotr and her.

        Piotr looked at the meal.  Carrots drenched with butter rested beside several thin slices of roast covered with creamy gravy.  The smell of the dinner set Piotr's mouth watering in anticipation.  "Did you make this yourself?" he asked, trying to distract himself from the feast before him.

        "I slaved over the oven all afternoon, just for you."  Tanya giggled, then sat down.  "The toast: To us, and to our future."  She raised her glass.

        "To us!"  Piotr clinked his glass on hers, then took a long swallow of the wine.

        Tanya picked up the bottle of wine.  "Let me refill that for you."  She topped up his glass.

        Piotr gazed across the table at his love as she adjusted herself in her chair.  Her delicate hand picked up a fork.  "I have a surprise for you, darling," Piotr said.

        "For me?"  Tanya's eyes glittered.  "You shouldn't have."

        Piotr pulled the box out his pocket.  He flipped open the lid to reveal a gold ring with four diamonds.  "For you."

        Tanya glanced at the ring.  "Really, Piotr, I mean it.  You shouldn't have.  I've poisoned you."

        "Poisoned me?"  Piotr set the ring on the table.  "What do you mean?"

        "I put a fast-acting paralysing agent into your wine, Piotr," Tanya explained.  "You should be feeling the effects soon."

        Piotr tried standing, but his legs gave under his weight.  "Why, Tanya?  I thought..."

        "You thought a lot of things, Piotr.  You even thought that your House and mine were getting along."  Tanya sipped her wine.  "Your cousin killed my brother, Mikhail.  There was only one way that debt could be repaid."

        Piotr's fork fell out of his numb fingers.  "My cousin . . .."  He fought to form words with his thick tongue.

        "Your cousin cost my House an heir, Piotr."  Tanya waved her hand dismissively.  "Yes, I know that the investigation ruled what happened an accident, but Father had plans for Leonid that had to be shelved until Nicholai has a son of his own."

        "Help me," Piotr pled, his voice hoarse.  "Tanya, help me!"

        Tanya shook her head.  "No, Piotr.  It's far too late.  Even if I wanted to help you, the poison can't be stopped now."

        Piotr's arms felt like lead.  He had trouble keeping his head up to look at her former love.  "You won't . . .."

        "I won't get away with this?"  Tanya smiled.  "Dear, simple Piotr, I had this all planned before we even met.  As far as law enforcement is concerned, we planned to spend a night alone, but got into a fight."  Tanya tossed her fork; it clattered once off the plate before landing in the carrots.  "It got heated, though not physical - we are, at least, civilized - and then I broke up with you and left crying.  You, being heartbroken, decided that you couldn't live with out me and added poison to your wine.  Oh, that reminds me."  Tanya pulled a pair of surgical gloves from her pocket and put them on.  She then dug out a vial from her pants pocket.  "I need you to hold this."  Tanya walked over to Piotr, who gazed at her through fearful eyes.  "It's the little details that always get noticed."

        Unable to resist, Piotr watched as Tanya placed the vial into his fingers, holding them closed in the proper position to have poured the poison.  "Please, Tanya."

        Setting the vial down, Tanya walked back to her chair.  "Piotr, I have no choice in this.  Your family owed mine a debt.  It has now been repaid."  She stripped the gloves off and placed them in her purse.  "I better go.  I do hope the scandal that breaks out doesn't last long."  Tanya picked up her belongings.  "It's time for me to leave, Piotr.  The poison shouldn't take much longer.  Your hand was cold when I touched it."  She walked away from the table.

        Piotr tried to turn in vain his head to follow Tanya as she left.  He heard her footsteps as she walked to the front door.  Feeling his throat starting to close up, he called for her, but his voice was a mere whisper.  Blackness closed in around his vision.  He heard his front door slam, then his heart beat, then silence.


And now?  I have no idea.  I worked out who Tanya is and who her family are.  Tanya is a young woman, late 20s at most.  She was trained to be her family's assassin.  In the above, Tanya mentioned her father as sending her to kill Piotr, but, after some thought, her father isn't the head of the household.  The family is a dynasty, so, while her father might be the heir to take over the when the current head passes away, he isn't in charge yet.  The head could be Tanya's grandfather or her grandmother.

I've tried to figure out where I could place Tanya's story.  I have a space opera setting that she could be fit into, but that would turn her into a villain, working against the characters already created for it.  At the same time, a story focused on Tanya follows a trained killer anyway, and the end of her story could see her have, at best, a bittersweet ending.  Tanya is not a nice person; she just pretends to be one.


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