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Old Debts

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Tatjana woke up alone in bed. Turning around, she touched the bedsheets to feel the rest of Safin's body warmth. She sighed and took his pillow to push it under her head. With closed eyes she breathed in his scent.
A moment she allowed herself to remember the last night and her husband's announcement. She realized with a heavy heart he was falling back to his old ways. Nevertheless, part of her understood his action. He was furious. Thankfully he decided not to get it out on her or his family, but to act professional. 
Eventually she got up, cleaned herself as good as possible in the narrow boat shower and dressed. 
On her way to the galley nothing more as the calming hum of the motors surrounded her. The men on their post worked in silence, just nodding a greeting, Safin were nowhere to see. 

The only voices she heard were the ones of the twins, sitting in the galley and playing cards with Marie. 
Tatjana stopped at the door and watched her boys a moment before entering. One of the many good things to be with one of the dangerous men in the world. No normal, dull life, hunting for a bit of peace and financial ground. But an adventure and adoration and eternal love. On any cost. 

She had a man who would kill for her and her children and if he would go down then with her at his side. Tatjana had made this decision a long time ago.. At least at the moment she killed Blofeld. There was no life without him. 

 

"Hey guys!", she greeted the twins and smooched one after another before kissing Marie on her chest. The smutje peeked in, recognized her and turned around. In no time a warm breakfast tray stood in front of her, definitively held warm for her. 
"What time is it?" Tatjana wondered loud. "Did I overslept?" 
"It's the second watch already.", Marie answered and Tatjana counted back. "So already noon?", she wondered. 
Marie nodded with an understanding smile. "Yes. We are close to Madagascar." 
"Madagascar? I thought we are on the way to Russia?" 
Marie shrugged. "Luc didn't explain to me anything. There was something to prepare in Moscow, but it seems they had handed this to a middle man."
Tatjana sighed. "So, South Africa next?" 
"Can we swim in Africa? Will we see Lions? Elephants?!", the twins asked thrilled. "Please mummy, can we?" 
"We have to ask your papa, but I fear this is a business trip at first, and secondly a holiday." 

"I can't make any promises.", the satin, rasp voice of Safin appeared behind them. 
Tatjana turned around while the twins greeted their father like hungry little puppies. 
"… oh papa please? I never saw a giraffe.. can we watch lion babies?…" 
Safin looked nearly helpless to Tatjana, who reached out to the boys to get them back to their seats. "Please give your papa some space. Work comes first.", she told them firmly. "But you both know, your papa will spend the time with you - all the time - after work." 

Lightly pouting, the boys sat back at the table. Safin walked behind Tatjana and rested his hands heavily on her shoulders. She felt him kissing the top of her head as he whispered: "Good morning, Sirena." 
Tatjana reached out for his hands and looked up to his broken, serious face. "Good morning, my pirate." 
To her surprise he peeked a quick kiss on her lips, a sentiment he normally avoided. 
She rubbed the back of his hands with her thumbs, touching his wedding band. "Plan is working out thus far?" 

Safin shook his head slowly from one side to the other before humming: "We shall see. I fear I have to spend my time at the COM today. Making sure things work out as planned. But for now I can join you all for dinner." 
While he spoke the smutje came in again, setting a plate for Safin. The usual; sea-grass salad and vegetarian maki-rolls with a mug of green tea. 
Marie put the cards aside and left, giving Safin and Tatjana space with the children. 

By the time the smutje brought the lunch for the twins, both had already managed to 'steal' some makis from Safin's plate. As always he went with the boys, acting astound where they went. 
So the lunch went on with giggles and teasing, especially that mummy had her breakfast plate to eat. 
"Don't make fun of your mother.", Safin warned the boys lightly. "She works hard to make sure you both are safe and secure. She surely needed her rest." 

Tatjana changed a look with Safin and smirked. "I hope I manage to make you all feel safe and secure.", she muttered and Safin rose an eye bow. 
"I think you do a marvellous job, Sirena." 
Tatjana smiled wide by his praise, but before she could say more Safin pointed with his chopsticks to her plate. "Now eat your breakfast. You need your strength…" 
"Aye, Captain.", she playfully saluted. 
The boys, watching their parent's interaction bursting out in laughers, mimicking their mother. 
"Aye, Captain… Aye, captain…"