"Tatyana, bring me my icon," I looked at mother, she looked so ill and frail. She looked far, far older than her real age. I obligingly reached for the icon for which I knew she requested, the holy mother and child. We had always been close mother and I, we were well suited, both of us being in contact with our inner spirutuality. We both had God as our solace.

She stroked it thoughtfully, gazing at the beautiful artistry and craftsmanship that had went into creating it, and then I noticed it. She was crying.

"Mama, what's wrong," I bent forward to brush away the tears from her poor, lined face.

"Nothing, my child, only my mortality," she reached for my hand and clenched it tightly her eyes seeking out mine in the dark. Her eyes flared with the candlelight. "Tatyana, can you still remember our old life? The palaces, the fine dresses, the balls?"

"Of course mama, those are parts of my life I shall never forgot for all my years," I was worried. Why was mama asking such odd questions? Why did her way of speaking worry me so? "I shall never forget that massive Christmas tree at Livadia, can you remember mother? You have that photo of us all knelt down in front of it, such a beautiful, beautiful tree, with candles and baubles and little chocolates hidden on it for us all-"

Mother was sobbing noiselessly, she was such a pathetic sight in her little bed, with her needlework lying lamely underneath her motionless hands. Oh what could I do to appease her!

"Mother! Please tell me what is wrong!" I came close to shouting at her. I immediately realized my behavior and bowed by head I am sorry Mother.

"Tayana, I will answer your question. But you must tell no one." I nodded, I would of signed away my life to know her answer.

"There will be no help from England. If we are to make are way to freedom, we must find our own way."

I had no idea what to say. Always, always, we had always been of the hope we would be taken to live a new life in England. A more modest life, certainly. But nonetheless that hope gave us a future. No I had no future. And what God could remedy a life with no hope.

"But wh-" Mother moved a finger to her lips and beckoned for me to come close. I snuggled up to her, feeling like a little child once again. It wasn't soon before the tears began rolling down my face, intermingling with mama's as if we were one soul.

"Shush Tatyana, questioning life is no use, for now we are in God's hands."

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This is told from Tatyana's viewpoint. I'm afaraid I have no idea of the historical accuracy of this, because I have no idea when 9if ever0 the Romanovs found out they would not be getting safe passaged to Britain.

This is the first chapter in a while, so I hope it's okay!

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