Date: 2010-02-19 12:11 pm (UTC)
Nika glanced behind him reflexively, then turned his eyes back to the man at the door.

"Kanyeshna," he said, slowly. "Aleksandr"

That much was true.


He shook his head briefly, letting a faint smile crease his lips as he gestured.


He paused, moving away from the door, letting the man step inside the vaulted antechamber of the foyer, and out of the cold.

As he closed the heavy doors behind him, Nika studied the visitor circumspectly in the low, warm light from the dimmed chandelier overhead. He did not forget many things; not faces, not names, not moments or words or melodies

Nika had seen this man before, more than once, in more than one place, almost always peripheral to the circumstance at hand. He would appear somewhere, say a few low words to Aleksandr, perhaps share a few drags of a cigarette, then clap him on the shoulder and take off with forward-leaning stride, hands in his pockets.

Nika had marked this, absently, in the way he marked everything.

He had marked other things about the man, unthinkingly, such as his physical presence, which was considerable. He was possessed of a large frame and a burly stature, yet had an easy way of moving and existing within his space. Unforced. His features meant business, but the innate expression of them was pleasant enough.

"Come into the kitchen if you would."

Nika adjusted the lie of his cuff beneath his jacket, habitually, with a slight, precise motion.

"Aleksandr's son Ilarion is handling affairs while he's indisposed during this difficult time. Perhaps you know him."

His eyes fell on the man's strapping frame once more, shoulders and chest cutting a broad, punishing chevron in black wool.

"Can I take your coat?" he said, belatedly, reminded of his manners.

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February 2010

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