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   Chapter 41 NO.41

The Romanov Sisters By svetaivanova Characters: 10306

Updated: 2018-05-07 19:02


ANASTASIA

"Long time no see. Are you up for a good ride today, Stardust?" I said to my thoroughbred horse as I stepped in the barn, a bag of pieces of apple in my hand. Stardust's cotton white coat shone like a puffy morning cloud. The mare hung her head over her stall door and let out an eager whinny in response. Her white mane flowed like raw silk. I reached up to pat her strong shoulder. Stardust's ears twitched in delight as I motioned to our human stable boys to take the horse out.

The white mare shook her powerful neck as she walked into a stream of spring sunshine. I took the reins from the stable boy and fed some more apple pieces to the horse.

"You want to get out and go as much as I do, don't you?" I adjusted the saddle on Stardust's back and fastened the throat latch. Then I slipped on my helmet and buckled it up, not that I needed protection. It was an old habit. Before I led my horse outside, my eyes glanced at an enormous coal-black stallion at the end of the stable. It was Alex's favorite horse, Thunderstorm. The horse was all clipped and groomed; his whole body glowed with a coppery shine. In fact, Thunderstorm was even faster than Stardust and much stronger. But now the animal just hung his head low over the stall door, his sad eyes looked at me. I felt sorry for Thunderstorm. He was probably missing his mistress. I turned my head back and tried not to think about Alex.

Once we were out of the barn, I swung onto Stardust's back, taking a deep breath of the fresh morning air. Stardust's impatient hooves pawed on the ground.

"Let's go for a warm-up ride, shall we?" I said and pressed the heels of my riding boots against the horse's sides. Stardust began to gallop forward.

I had left a note for Avery to wait for me at the backyard of the mansion. It was still early and I didn't want to wake her at this hour. But Avery was already there. She was sitting on a loveseat inside the cabana. The silky curtains flicked against the breeze around her. She rose up from the seat when she saw me approaching.

Avery was in her beautiful high-waisted wool dress, which I got for her. Her brown hair braided down one side to match a Byzantine design on the flowing fabric. Her face lighted up. I smiled back at her and then stopped the horse.

"Oh my goodness, Anastasia, " she gasped as she eyed the white horse. She walked toward us but then stopped a few steps away. It was more like she didn't want to startle Stardust. I got off the horse and walked toward her and took off my riding helmet.

"Good morning, beautiful, " I said, taking her lovely hand in mine and bowed down to kiss it. Avery giggled at my action. I smiled and slid my hands around her waist and pulled her delicate body against mine. Her youthful cheeks blushed crimson.

"You look like you come straight out of a fairy tale, " Avery said. She traced her lovely fingers over a row of gold buttons of my white gothic long-tail coat, my favorite riding coat.

"I could say the same thing to you, " I said.

Avery giggled and twirled my long wavy blonde hair

u give me so much, but you forget yourself." I said, looking back at her. "Even it burns my heart to picture you with someone else, I have to admit that sometimes love is about letting go. I wish I had realized that earlier. Alex did."

"Why does everybody always keep saying that to me?" She cried and sat up, crystal tears welled up in her eyes.

"Avery, have you ever stopped to think, that what if I'm not the right person for you?" I said as we stared at each other. "What if it hasn't always been me, but Alex you've been in love with? You chose to be with me, but your heart is in Russia. I could feel the tug of your pain every time the thought of Alex crossed. You saw her first, and not me."

"But I didn't love her then, I loved you, and I still do now."

"I know, " I said. "Alex didn't realize she fell in love with you either. You both are quite the same. You're both deeply in love with each other, yet unable to understand your own hearts."

"Anastasia, please!" Avery cried, covering her ears and turning her face away from me. "I don't want to hear it anymore." I looked at her as she wrapped her arms around her knees and began to cry. How I wished she knew I would do anything to kiss the tears away from her face.

"Avery." I moved over to her and pulled her body into my arms again. "I want you to be happy."

"I'm already happy with you, Anastasia, " she insisted in a choking voice. She turned around to wrap her arms around my neck. I held her with a sigh and stroked her hair to calm her down.

"Imagine if you were happy with the wrong person, how happy would you be with the right one?" I said.

"Please stop, Anastasia, it hurts, " Avery pleaded in tears. Her whole body shook, her breath hitched. I winced at the same pain inside my chest. A small tear rolled down my cheek as I kept holding her.

"I'm so sorry Avery, I love you too much, I have to let you go, " I whispered. Avery pressed her face against me and sobbed even harder. In that moment, I realized there was nothing left but two broken hearts.

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