Chapter 3

Tatiana was having a good dream. She was being saved by a man in a black suit. She was being carried by him away from the no man's land. She did not know but she felt safe in the man's arms. She raised her gaze to his face but it was all a blur. Her eyes narrowed, hoping that the sight would be clear. But it remained that way. 'Am I going blind?' She asked herself in her mind. 

The night was freezing but it did not bother her for she was being covered by a blanket made of fur. It was from the man. Oh, how she had hoped to look at the man's face and memorize every inch of it. It was like she was a princess in a perilous situation that was saved by his knight in a dark suit. The thought made her face heat up. Her heart would be coming out at any moment. She hid her face on the man's chest. 'Oh-lala… ' she thought as she felt those hard chests and smelled his manly scent. She bit her lower lip to restrain herself from drooling over him. 

She heard the man chuckle at her reaction. 

She was done. She was doomed. 'Goodness gracious!' His voice was heavenly to her ears. Her heart thumped faster. And she was all sweaty right now. 'You freak!' she scolded herself. She bit her lips to suppress her smile as she buried her face more on the man’s chest to hide its reddishness. 

But she was shocked when it suddenly went off in the morning. They were now walking in a windy meadow that was full of varied flowers and butterflies. The sun was soaring high with the cotton-like clouds. 

What a perfect romantic scene!

The man laid her down under a soft grass-made carpet. Then he touched her soft fluffy cheeks as he smiled. 

Finally! Tatiana saw him smile. It was too beautiful and contagious. She could not help but to imitate his smile. But all the butterflies left her body when the man stood and walked away from her. She sat in an instant. "Mister!" she shouted at the man. But he did not look back. She wanted to move and chase the man but it was like her body was glued to the carpet. "Hey!" She called him again. 

But still, the man just continued to walk away. 

Her eyes got glassy. She was as eager as a tiger chasing his prey to know the man. "I just want to know your name!" She saw the man's figure stopped. Her soul was filled with so much hope because of that. She assumed that he would finally turn his back but he remained standing without facing her. 

"You'll know soon, mi amor," the man smoothly said. 

Her brows furrowed. "Why? Are you coming back?" She did not know but she heard the sound of his smirk.

"I will always come back to you, my Tatiana," he muttered heartily. Then he continued to walk away towards the blinding sunlight. 

Tatiana could not help but to cover her face using her palm because of the extreme sunlight. It did not burn her skin though. But her palm was not good enough. Until she felt that she was totally eaten by that light. 

And when she opened her eyes, the setting had already changed. She was now lying in a comfortable king size bed. The room was shouting elegance and class. Its size was too much for a room. And the only thing she could hear was the ticking of the clock accompanied by minimal whispers of the wind coming from the balcony. She closed her eyes and massaged her temple. It was aching a bit. When she opened her eyes, she roamed them around.

"Am I still dreaming?" she asked herself. She pinched the back of her palm to realize that it was not a dream anymore. 

She sat up and moved the blanket away from her body then she stood up. She examined the room. From the beige, black, and white theme to the detailed sculptures of every furniture inside it. "Woah!" she agaped. She could not help but to be amazed. She was like in a modern palace bedroom. She ran towards the balcony and gaped at the environment. 

The manse was built as if the nature around it had willingly embraced it, where the wildflowers and plants flowed within and in the surrounding of it. The one who built this mansion seemed to be deeply in love with trees, that he had built it with a magnificent centuries-old oak tree as its center. 

She inhaled deeply. It was her first time to inhale air as fresh as this. It was enough to send serenity in her body, mind, and soul. 


"Wait." She stopped after she realized something. "Where is Serena? Where is my baby?" she hysterically murmured. 

Just when she was about to walk through the door and open it, it had already opened. 

A lady with a baby in her arms came in. 

Tatiana blinked a few times at what she saw. Was this for real? Was she really her high school bestfriend? "Athena?" she blurted out. 

Athena was now in front of her, smiling from ear to ear. Her eyes suddenly turned glassy. "Tatiana," she whispered. 

Tatiana hugged her like a child longing for her mother. 

"Did you miss me?" Athena asked, chuckling with her broken voice.

Tatiana did not notice that there were tears that escaped her eyes. "I missed you so much. Where have you been?" She cried. 

Athena tapped her back. "I missed you, too. I'm sorry if I lost contact with you." She wiped her tears then moved away. Her heart skipped when she saw tears on Tatiana's face. Oh, her poor baby. She moved her thumb to wipe the tears on Tatiana's face. "You're still a crybaby," she teased her. 

Tatiana pouted. "And you still act as if you're my mother," she remarked.

Athena laughed demurely. "I told you. I am your mother reincarnated to a teen's body."

Athena used to be the protector of Tatiana when they were in high school. She acted like her mother because Tatiana was a soft, timid girl. She saw Tatiana as a fragile diamond. She had always wanted a baby sister. So when she knew that Tatiana lost her mother, she acted like one. She stood up for her every time somebody messed with her. They had just separated because Athena was offered a scholarship abroad. That was what she thought. 

"What's her name?" Athena asked as she looked down at the baby in her arms.

Tatiana gazed at her daughter then beamed. "Her name is Serena." Her eyes were twinkling. "Serena Ramirez," she answered her best friend’s question.

Athena mirrored Tatiana's happiness. She was happy for her best friend. She saw how her eyes spoke of her mother's love at a young age. "What a beautiful name," she murmured.

While Athena was busy staring at Serena, Tatiana realized her situation. "How did we come up here?" She spoke her mind. 

"Oh." Athena looked at her. "I got the news that you've given birth. I was about to visit you when the nurse in the info desk told me you just got discharged. I thought you went home. But I saw you outside the hospital, sleeping on cardboard," she answered. 

"Oh. So that's how." Tatiana nodded at her realization.

"May I ask how did you end up there? Did you leave home when you got pregnant?" Athena’s eyebrows furrowed.

Tatiana's lips went on a thin line. Then she exhaled soundly. "Nah. I did not leave home. Papa Ramon and Aunt Adel took care of me while I was pregnant. It was just that…" Her voice cracked as her tears fell down. "Papa Ramon found out that I-I was not—" She sobbed. "I was not his biological child." 

Her heart winced in pain as she remembered the devastating event yesterday. 

Athena was shocked. She saw how Tatiana could not breathe evenly because of her stuffy nose. Her shoulders and chest were moving violently because of sobbing. "What— But why would they abandon you in the middle of the night? It was raining heavily for Pete's sake!" She could not help but to feel angry. Who on earth would abandon a mother who just gave birth and her child in the middle of the night? And it was even raining hard!

"A-Aunt Adel left in the afternoon. And we were abandoned because I don't have any health insurance." Tatiana sniffed.

Athena felt her best friend's pain so she hugged her again. She was so kindhearted to experience this cruelty. She suddenly regretted leaving her alone. She promised to protect her but now this happened. She gritted her teeth while caressing her hair. She suddenly wanted to go to that hospital and punish who did this to her dear best friend. 

“I was so worried for my child last night, Athena. Serena just got born yet she was immediately exposed outside. I will never forgive myself if something happened to her. I should have prepared everything while I was pregnant. I shouldn’t have depend on my family’s support. I’m such a horrible mother.” Tatiana cried and blamed herself. 

Athena hugged her tighter. “Ssshh. Don’t say that. You’re not a horrible mother or a horrible person, Tatiana. Your heart is pure. And I know that you wished for the best for you daughter. It’s just that there are some people out there that are best in making other people suffer. Stop blaming yourself now. You’re already safe. I promise that I will do everything to keep you safe while you’re still here. And I will also help you take care of Serena. So don’t be afraid now,” she comforted her. 

Tatiana nodded. She stayed in Athena’s embrace cried her heart out. God was still merciful for her because even if she was facing problems right now, He still gave her shoulders to cry on. 

"Athena…" A man came into the room. 

Tatiana moved away from Athena and secretly wiped her tears. 

Athena's eyes softened at what she did. 

When Tatiana was done, she fixed her hair and looked at the man who called her best friend. Her eyes widened as she gaped at him. She almost forgot that she cried a while ago. 

Was he a Greek god? 

He sure was! His body was well-built. It was seen even with his white tee shirt on. He could also easily tower someone with his height. And he has this strong facial features that could swoon every person that would see him. He looked gorgeously dangerous. And those emerald eyes were the rarest. And he had them.

She was speechless because of amazement for him.

Who was he? Why was he staring at her? Or was she assuming? 

The man did not bother to flinch even when Tatiana caught him staring. He was just intently staring at her. 

And that made Tatiana extremely uncomfortable. She suddenly felt conscious about her appearance. She secretly pinched the back of her palm to behave herself. 

The man then turned his gaze to Athena. "Breakfast's ready," he said shortly.

His voice was cold as winter as his face was void with any emotion. He turned his back and left the room after announcing breakfast. 

She was stunned. But Athena's scoff made her come back to her senses. She felt her cheeks instantly burned as she pressed her lips into a thin line. 

"You like him?" There was a hint of tease in her voice. 

Tatiana's face heated up more at her sudden question. She looked away. "N-no. I was just s-surprised," she denied. 

Athena smirked at the lady’s reaction.  

"W-who is he by the way? Is he your boyfriend?" Tatiana tried not to stutter while talking but she obviously failed.

Athena cackled and messed Tatiana's hair. "Hell no! He is my older brother. His name is Hades."

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