Chapter One

Why me? A bright, gold orb floated high above, casting its warmth onto the ground far below. Shadows clawed at the ground from the surrounding flora, darkening the bright green grass. My own shadow shifted slightly as I brought my knees up to my chest. A sift sigh escaped me as I wrapped my arms around my legs, and rested my chin on my knees. Why do I have to be different?

An unusually warm breeze kicked up and blew a few of my golden curls into my face; but I didn't bother to move them. I preferred it when people couldn't see my face…or how much I blushed.

A shadow fell across me, followed by a hollow thud. Boris stared down ad me, and brushed aside some of his short, black hair. "What's you so down for?" His thick, Russian accent still filtered through his newly acquired cockney one, making things sound strange since all the tones were off. There was also the fact that he was talking a lot louder than he needed too.

I shook my head and closed my eyes briefly, "Nothing." Picking my head up, I eyed the large bag of seeds Boris had dropped in front of me and quickly changed the subject. A conversation about my feelings was the last thing I wanted. "What's that for?"

"Your cow of a mother wants me to re-sod the front green."

I could tell where this little chat was heading with that one sentence since Boris had a particular hatred for my mother. Then I realized, "Didn't we do that last week?"

Irritation slowly began to creep into his voice, and Boris clenched his hands into fists. "Yes! Crazy broad say the grass ain't thick enough! Grass don't grow in a week, but try tellin' 'er that!" Boris continued on in Russian with a very animated display that involved a lot of fist shaking. I wasn't going to interrupt, since he was very…opinionated. I also felt that if he didn't get this out of his system now, he'd only take it out on my mother. If that was to happen things would get messy. My mother wanted things a certain way and there was no point in trying to change her mind because she would only get irritated; no matter how irrational she was being.

I nodded in silent agreement as he went back to English, attempting to stay engaged in the conversation.

The door behind me opened and Boris' soft spoken sister, Marina, stepped out onto the porch behind me. "Master Quillish, your mother is looking for you." Mariana was a lot more civil when she was compared to her brother. I had yet to see her raise her voice or protest against one of my mother's obscene requests. The only way you could really tell they were related was their somewhat similar appearance and the way the acted around each other.

"Mariana, did you manage to find my son yet?!" My mother's slightly nasally voice carried out through the open door. Her heels clicking on the tiled floor marked how quickly she was approaching us.

Quickly standing, I feebly attempted to smooth out my shirt so she wouldn't have anything to nitpick with. Mariana took a step inside, calling back, "Yes my lady, he's-

She was cut off by my mother bursting into the back reception room. My mother's heels continued to click on the floor until she came to stand in front of me just outside the back door. "There you are; where have you been? Didn't you hear me calling?"

It was kind of hard not too… Staring down at the concrete porch, I softly replied, "Sorry mother, I was out here and I didn't hear you." I grabbed my other arm and kicked at an imaginary spot, before meeting her steady gaze and forcing out a small, shy smile. The whole 'cute and innocent' act seemed to quell her anger…temporarily at least.

My mother let out an exasperated sigh after I had returned to staring down at the ground. She reached into the folds of her dark green dress and produced a dark blue ribbon. After turning around, like she had instructed me to, she started chiding me as if I was no more than five. "Honestly Quillish, just because it is acceptable to keep your hair long, it doesn't mean you're allowed to let it hang in front of your face. If it's covering your face you look like nothing more than a common street rat."

My mother gave the ribbon a final tug and turned me around. "There, now you look presentable and I get to see your pretty face." My mother gave me one of her rare, somewhat sincere smiles and rested her hand on the side of her cheek. A small genuine smile slowly worked its way onto my face until my mother refocused on the audience we had.

Boris, who had been standing behind me the whole time glaring at my mother, was ordered, "Boris stop socializing and get back to work! The front lawn isn't going to seed itself."

Boris flashed her a sarcastic smile while tossing the large bag of seeds over his shoulder, and I barely saw him roll his eyes as he walked away muttering something like 'crazy broad'. Much to my pleasure my mother hadn't heard him so I wouldn't have to listen to one of her lectures about the house staff being incompetent.

My mother's unprovoked rage was then redirected to Marina, "Don't just stand there! Go polish the silver and prepare the tea set. We have guests tomorrow and this house is nowhere near presentable."

Marina stood there staring at her blankly for a couple seconds, before registering what was going on and curtseying. "Yes, my lady."

She quickly retreated inside, and after the door had banged shut my mother let out a small, irritated huff, "This place would fall apart without me." That was probably the most illogical think I've heard today, since my mother was always changing out the house staff. Half the time they didn't even know what they were doing so they would up being trained the little time they spent here. The only people my mother hadn't fired at some point were about three cooks, Marina, and Boris.

My mother had this small arrogant smile plastered across her face as she adjusted my collar the collar of my shirt. It was like she felt accomplished for bossing everyone around in such an aggressive manor. She brushed an imaginary piece of lint off my shoulder, before telling me, "Go upstairs and help your sister find a dress for tomorrow."

Despite my not wanting to do so, it was better if I just did as she wanted. "Yes, mother." She rushed off as she brushed aside some of her dirty blonde hair, and I heard the kitchen door swing shut shortly afterward. I didn't really know what was going on tomorrow, but my mother had a tendency to overreact about everything.

I freed my hair form the ribbon and let it fall back onto my shoulders as I entered the house, hoping this whole ordeal wouldn't take too long.