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The buzzer sounds like a death knell.
She hoped they wouldn't.
Yet she hoped they would.
Over the years, she had her fair share of fights and disagreements with her mom but nothing had come close to this, nothing to explain the sense of hurt and betrayal she had felt the moment she had stumbled on that chat.
Overruling Aurelia's order to stay put, Tatiana had returned home sooner than expected and was happy to find the house empty. No sooner had she settled herself than her mom's phone started buzzing with some messages. Her usual habit to browse through them had never died and she picked it up expecting to see her Aunt or one of the Aspects..what she hadn't expected was the chat with a man called Atticus. A man her mom knew if the messages were any indication.
A man who was her biological father.
A biological father that Tati had often questioned her mom about and those answers that seemed like the truth now shattered completely.
The Dhampir wasn't often given to these impulsive moments (or maybe she was) but before she could second guess herself, Tati picked up her bag and dashed out to find him and demand answers.
From what little she had gathered, she used her rune to figure out where the man lived and now here she was. Panting and conflicted at his doorsteps.
Just as she was about to give up, the door swung open and he stepped out.
"I'm...I'm Tatiana" Those words tumbled out, both as a statement and a question as she looked up to the man who had been absent for all her life.
Everything has been a whirlwind of him in the last few years, many turned into disasters but some were good. He didn’t think or expect finding those he thought he’d never see turn up being in the same city he moves too. Finding himself trying to build bridges with those he thought he’d lost and some new faces. Things didn't go too well as he hoped with his Volkari and ex Cecilia. He had hoped that they could amend and put things right but his past and things were too complicated to work out in the end. One thing that came as a shock was him finding out that he’s a father. Not expecting it to happen but after his and Aurelia’s romantic connection just before his death, things happened. Atticus couldn’t hope to feel regret for missing out on his daughter's life. Not knowing she’d existed until a year ago. Missing out on her being born, growing up, all of the milestones. Thinking he’d miss out on the opportunity of being a father that it all be too late now. At first after finding out from Aurelia he wanted to find and get to know his daughter but he knew it wasn’t so simple as that. Being reminded by Aurelia that they needed time for it all to figure out, with how she’d sent Tatiana away from the city for her protection. How it wasn’t the right time yet he couldn’t hope to wonder when would it be. The Celestial always has been eager to meet his daughter wanting to see and find out what she’s like other than all that Aurelia’s told and shown him. To see if she was like him or Aurelia, or a mixture of them both. All the little things every father wants to know.
Lately he’s found himself trying to keep himself busy. Splitting his time between being in the Celestial castle assisting Ophelia trying to be a good guardian. Helping other Celestials whose in need of help, whether it was for training or guidance. His other time was split to go to the Art Gallery he half owned with Aurelia. Still in disbelief how she managed to save and track down his old paintings believing they were long gone with him. He’d recently gone in to renting out an apartment in the city with Aurelia’s advice of having his own space. So he’d always have somewhere to go whether it would be the Celestial Castle or his apartment. He was surprised how expensive places were these days used to everything being so much cheaper in the olden days compared to now. Yet managed to get a discount because the blonde Valkyr knew some people. Still he was finding himself stuck. Having no inspiration to paint that he’d lost it all when he died. Letting the guilt take over stopping him from doing what he loves most. Aurelia knew that he was still stuck, finding she was trying to push him into finding his muse once again. He knew the reason because she probably wanted new pieces to hang up in their gallery with all his ones being old that they have.
Atticus was trying to distract himself away from his blank sketch pad on the table. Choosing to spend part of the day thinking of events that they could hold at the gallery instead. Knowing any fancy event would draw in more people and publicity something every gallery needs. Surprised that Aurelia was keen with the idea, having been texting his ideas for it with her putting in her thoughts too. Showing that he was keen and wanted to put in and show his appreciation to it all even if he wasn’t able to put anything new towards the art exhibit yet. Atticus heard his buzzer go, surprised not expecting anyone. With how he knew he’d only given Aurelia his address so far thinking it would be her. Atticus went to open the door, finding himself taken aback. Stunned to see who was at his doorstep. Recognising who it was from the many photos he’d seen. Finding himself face to face with his daughter. Atticus was lost for words as she introduced herself to him. Trying his best not to mess up or say the wrong thing. “Hello, I know who you are” He smiled softly looking at his daughter seeing how she was really a mixture between him and Aurelia. “Come in” He couldn’t recall Aurelia saying that she was back in town, yet he couldn’t help to think if Tatiana was anything like her mother she’d figured it out on her own somehow. Thinking if she was here on his doorsteps she’d wanted to find out who he is.
The chaos that befell the manor after Vlad died caused Aurelia to fill with fear. Everyone she loves life was on the line, knowing that not all would be as lucky as Atticus when it comes to being reanimated in some way. While Aurelia herself would lay down her life for anyone of her family members yet when it came to her daughter she didn't near the line of fire. Scorpio's family being a trained Dhampir family that Aurelia trusted she sent Tatiana out of Evermore for her safety. Not wanting to drag Atticus into the fray of the Ailward concerns stated that Tatiana went to travel and when she returned that they would have an official meeting.
Choosing to gear Atticus to focus on Art because it was the one thing that didn’t destroy the Valkyr to think about. She had broken up with her boyfriend in order to keep him safe, trying to keep the guards together, the aspects focused. In a weird way Atticus because she focused away from her guard life. That day she left her phone back at the manor before she found her way to the gallery. She had expected Atticus to come in at some point that day but till then she was busy switching out the artwork on the floor to ones that would be in an event.
When she was done she looked to her watch and wondered why Atticus hadn’t come in yet. She patted her pockets for a moment and groaned as she realized she didn’t have her phone. Making her way to the office and dialed his number, getting the voicemail she sighed and then left a message. “Hey Atty, Just wondering if you were coming in today for the event planning we had talked about? Call me back at the office. I left my phone at home. Okay bye.” She hung up and sat at her desk to fill out some invoices.
It wasn't a far-fetched fact to state that the Dhampir could be impulsive at times. It was one of the things Liam often teased her about. She would act and then react and muse about her actions. That was exactly the case here. Tatiana had been gearing up for a battle of facts with the man, but his calm quiet acceptance threw her off completely.
Of course, he knew who she was. How could he not? Her mother must have told him.
That fact surged a deep sense of anger and betrayal and wiped away any trace of nervousness. The fact that Aurelia knew who her dad was and hadn't told her stung. Rationality stated that she must have had her reasons, but Tati was in no mood to heed to it.
She entered his house, trying not to blatantly display her curiosity. He would want to know what she was doing here or maybe- he wanted nothing to do with her? Was that why, despite knowing about her, he never seemed her out. Did he have another family? Did she have step-siblings?
The questions whirled in her mind as she tried to process it all. She had intended on seeing him but didn't know exactly what to do once she did.
"Eh..Mom doesn't know I am here. Or..in town" She began wringing her arms. "I went home, saw the text messages between you two and kinda..came here" Her voice trailed off as a tinge of embarrassment coated her cheeks. "Not that I make it a habit to snoop but like..the phone was there and it was pinging"
She sarcastically applauded herself for this first impression on him. Tatiana didn't know what he'd think of this escapade of hers or of her actions. Urging for something else to talk about, some direction to proceed, her eyes fell upon his sketch pad. "Do you draw too? " she gestured at it "I kinda have a thing for drawing. Have you done any you can show me? I mean uh..this is weird." Her hands ruffled her hair as she gazed around "Sorry, I didn't really think before coming here. I am not intruding, am I? I can leave and.." Her feet shuffled towards the direction of the door.