The Set up:
Olga Romanov meets a mysterious stranger, Paul Kerensky.
Soldiers normally patrolled the roadway from an elite Cossack
regiment, of which my father had made me an honorary colonel.
Tatiana was also an honorary colonel of a Cavalry regiment. Marie
would receive an honorary title on her sixteenth birthday as well,
which was still two years away.
Tatiana suddenly stopped and caught my wrist.
“Do you hear that?”
I shrugged my shoulders and Tatiana frowned at me with her big,
hazel eyes, pulling me to a nearby rock to hide ourselves. There was
nothing that exasperated me more than when my sister looked at me
like I was a ten-year-old. Mind you, Tatiana and I shared all our
secrets, and were each other’s closest confidantes, but she was far
more outgoing and bold than I. She peered around the side of the
thick, gray boulder, and I looked over her shoulder.
I was totally unprepared for what I saw. Marie and Anastasia were
talking to three young people, two men, one girl, closer to my age.
They were laughing and giggling over some unknown joke, but the
sight of him nearly stopped my heart from beating. I stumbled against
Tatiana, accidentally pushing her to the ground, collapsing on top of
her. She screamed my name at the top of her lungs and he
immediately ran to our position. His strong hands helped me to my
feet while his companion helped Tatiana to hers. The electricity that
jolted my body sent waves of pleasure rippling down my arms, and I
had no idea a touch could inspire all that.
The minute our eyes met I stumbled again on the hard ground, and
he wrapped his muscled arm around my waist to prevent me from
falling. His firm lips curved into a sweet, sincere smile, and his
almond brown eyes held me riveted to the spot. His thick black hair
gleamed in the beams of the sun. He wore a long overcoat to keep
warm, but underneath he wore a simple shirt, with the top button
undone to reveal manly wisps of dark hair curling against the opening.
I had no doubt he was used to the cold and that he enjoyed it. My
mystery man had an air of authority and confidence of one who
commanded respect. As his body pressed ever so gently into mine, I
could feel his granite-like muscles and I knew in that moment he was a
man fickle history would recall as a hero.
“Are you all right?”
His deep, masculine voice seemed to purr in my ear, and I thought
my cheeks might color under his heavy gaze.
“I’m fine, just a little…”
“Embarrassed?” Anastasia volunteered.
“I think Olga likes you, Paul. I’ve never seen her blush like so,”
added my sister Marie.
I took a step away from him, glaring at my young sisters, as I
brushed off the remnants of the ground’s hard dirt from my jacket’s
He stopped my hurried, flustered actions by taking my hand in his.
Another warm jolt of electricity seemed to shoot down my arm the
minute he touched me. Then, like an imperial gentleman, he bowed
before me, sweeping his lips lightly over my knuckles.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Grand Duchess Olga. I am Paul