Date: 2010-02-20 12:19 am (UTC)
Cheslav's lips parted.

"No, I didn't know," he said, after a pause.

He felt something of what he'd felt when he had first heard the news. A bit of unguarded emotion that slipped through him, mostly surprise, and a tinge of something else that he did not acknowledge.

"I have to say, hearing that surprises me."

His gaze drifted, unseeing.

When Cheslav had heard the news, his first instinct had been to head over to the townhouse, but something, habit, had counseled him to wait until he was called. That was how Aleksandr always summoned him when something needed to be done.

However, three days had passed, and there had been no call.

Aleksandr had missed their weekly breakfast appointment. Not that Cheslav had necessarily expected him to show, but he'd expected...something.

This was Avdotia, after all.

Aleksandr's silence had told him two things.

First, Avdotia's death was not an unsanctioned murder, since Cheslav was not called to take action.

The second was that no unwarranted suspicion had blown in Cheslav's direction, since he was not dead.

Or more likely, he'd decided, he would have been arrested and sent north.

All Cheslav had known was that Aleksandr knew who, or what, to blame. And that Avadya was dead. Now he knew she had killed herself.

He focused on the candid young MENT again, seeing clarity in his glass-green gaze.

Cheslav remembered his initial impression of familiarity, and now could recall seeing him now and then. Grey coat. Tousled blond hair. Always around Ilarion.

"I've seen you around, too. It's good Ilarion has a friend who understands."

He paused, for only the briefest of seconds.

"...how these these things work."
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February 2010

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