Title: Parting Ways
Alexei Volkov - June 5, 2012 04:00 AM (GMT)
Alexei found the fact that he had to actually meet with his wife particularly distasteful. If he had his way, he would never have to see the whore again; however, he would do just about anything to make sure that he was properly parted from her. Of course, dragging her name through the mud was just an added bonus; she had abandoned him and was getting married, and so he did not owe her any sort of settlement out of this.
Still, he found himself waiting to meet with her, for all that he wished he was doing anything else. He could remember why he had married Ivana Sleptov, back when she had been a fresh faced little thing. He should have seen her flaws then -- her lack of proper submission, her greed, her spoiled nature. He should have seen it all, and then he would not be here today to see to the process of severing his marriage to a woman who did not even have the decency to bear her own child.
Ivana de Havilland - June 24, 2012 05:54 PM (GMT)
In retrospect, she had been foolish—foolish to think that, after leaving Russia, that would be the end of things, that she could move to Scotland and begin anew. Nikolai had warned her, warned her that her lies would catch up to her, could ruin anything, but Ivana had foolishly refused to heed her brother’s advice, and was now suffering the consequences. Though Gabriel was still of a mind to marry her (a miracle if ever there was one), the Russian herself was now something of a social pariah, a reputation she had gained in spite of great pains to keep her image clean, and a reputation that came about by her doing and her doing alone.
And how she hated herself for it.
Nik had offered to accompany her to meet with her husband, though in efforts to appear strong she had dismissed this offer without thought. Now as the time drew ever nearer, Ivy wished greatly that she had brought her big brother along—for protection or for support, she could not be sure. She had not so much as glimpsed Alexei since his sister’s wedding, and in the year that separated them and now, her memory of him had not dwindled. She still hated him, still wanted nothing to do with him—and still feared him just enough that that fact alone disgusted her.
And then there he was.
“Mr. Volkov,” Ivana offered simply in her accented English. While Russian no doubt would have been easier, she did not wish to give him that—her new life was not one in Russia, and she would be damned if she allowed his presence to pull her once more into the past.
Alexei Volkov - July 2, 2012 05:32 PM (GMT)
Alexei chucked at Ivana's stilted English greeting, and responded in Russian. "Really, Ivana, you should call me Alexei. We are, after all, still married -- at least for a little longer."
Really there was no point to all this. Alexei could have had her put aside from Russia, for she had abandoned him and intended to commit adultery if she had not done so in fact. She deserved a little discomfort, both for that and for how badly she had behaved before abandoning their marriage.
Once this was done, he wanted nothing to do with her -- and, in fact, he was rather amused that Mr. de Havilland was willing to marry her and commit both social and political suicide. Alexei had told everyone Ivana had done away with their child, and even those who chose not to believe it would still wonder, and be uncomfortable with her and her new husband.
Ivana de Havilland - July 27, 2012 08:12 PM (GMT)
“Mr. Volkov is a fair shade kinder than I might be calling you,” the witch snapped back, defiantly continuing her side of the conversation in English. If only her darling husband had done them both a favour and stayed under whatever rock kept him sheltered in Russia, this meeting would be entirely unnecessary, and Ivana might have been permitted to live her life without ever so much as seeing his shadow again. She could have married Gabriel without him having any leverage of this magnitude in their relationship, and carried on with an unmarred reputation. Now she was all but finished socially, and it was only a sad sort of determination that saw her willing to stay in the village: she had her (suitable) husband; in time, Ivy thought she might be able to repair her reputation.
“The more we dither, darling, the longer our marriage shall last. I do not think either of us like this idea.”
The sooner he was no longer her husband, the sooner she could move forward—or, at the very least, try.
Alexei Volkov - August 16, 2012 05:59 PM (GMT)
Alexei chuckled cruelly, pulling the papers to him and dipping his quill deliberately in the inkwell. Things were quite simple -- Ivana, a possible adulteress and attempted bigamist who had abandoned her husband, got nothing.
"You are correct, of course, Ivana," Alexei continued in Russian. "There is no reason to drag things out when the trash must be taken out."
With a flourish, he signed the papers that would sever his marriage to Ivana. He sanded the ink carefully so his signature would set properly, then tossed the quill back into the well and pushed the papers across to Ivana. "Sign so I can be done with you, and go back to manipulating your idiot."
Ivana de Havilland - September 21, 2012 04:20 PM (GMT)
“You of all people should know I would tire too quickly of an idiot,” she pointed out dryly. That much could be said of her—she preferred men in which she saw some of her own intellect, attitude; that was, perhaps, what had been her downfall where Alexei was concerned. That and her foolish, foolish pride which would not, she knew, lessen at all in the future. She was stubborn, and she was perfectly fine with that.
As she said this, Ivana reached almost greedily for the papers and quill, signing her name as elegantly as she could muster—Ivana M. Sleptov. She had not used his name and months, and was hardly prepared to do so at the end of her marriage. Inwardly, she sighed; the settlement was not at all in her favour, but then, she could not have expected it to be. Though the wronged party as plain as day, Ivy was far from the victim in the eyes of the law—and frankly, she would be pleased just to be rid of her dear husband, regardless of the cost. “You’ve what you came for—you’ll return to Russia now?”
Alexei Volkov - November 8, 2012 01:40 AM (GMT)
Finally he was done with her, and she was properly shamed as well. Still, he would add insult to injury ... although he was not doing this just to hurt her. That was just a bonus. "Of course not, Ivana. I like this little village, and I fully intend to stay. Perhaps I will even marry a meek little English girl."
He smirked, knowing this would grate at her nerves. She would hate to see him there, a constant reminder of her shame. She would never be through with him, never. He would be the specter of her past, haunting her, tormenting her with his mere presence.
Ivana de Havilland - December 7, 2012 06:25 PM (GMT)
She felt cold at this revelation, as if the blood in her veins had been replaced with ice. He wasn’t leaving. The notion hit her hard, unexpectedly—Ivana had only assumed the only reason her husband had appeared in the village was to reclaim his wife; never had she fathomed that he might wish to remain in Hogsmeade. The Russian did her best to recompose herself, knowing that the man—to which, thankfully, she was no longer tied—was apt at picking up the slightest betrayal of emotion.
Ivana responded, as coolly as she could muster, “You would not enjoy meek, Alexei; life is no fun without a challenge.” Though no woman deserved the challenge that was the man before her.
Alexei Volkov - December 9, 2012 07:37 PM (GMT)
[dohtml]<blockquote style="text-align:justify;">Alexei chuckled, but did not acknowledge his now ex-wife's rather enjoyable distress at the prospect of him staying in Hogsmeade. "Oh, I know better than to choose a challenging wife, my dear Ivana. You taught me that."
He would always enjoy breaking a challenging woman, but it was best to choose a meek wife. His wife had to be kept in line, to be prevented from shaming him. He needed a wife who knew her place, something that Ivana had never learned.
He stood then, giving his ex-wife a mocking bow. "If that is all, then I have other business to attend to. I imagine your idiot fiancé will be wanting you back as well."
Ivana de Havilland - January 1, 2013 07:48 PM (GMT)
The challenge of which he spoke remained in her eyes even as he departed. Ivana had once thought she loved the man—if she dared consider him such—from which she had just detached herself, but now her only feelings towards him were revulsion and an unruly hint of fear. She was, she knew, relieved that it was all over with, though in truth the Russian knew she would have rather spent the remainder of her life living a lie if it meant she would not have had to see him again. For the first time in years, Ivana Volkov was not a liar when she called herself unmarried, but it was a small comfort, and strong enough to ease the discomfort of the conversation that had just unfolded.
She had won, after a fashion, but it seemed even now to be a hollow victory.