Date: 2010-02-21 05:22 am (UTC)
Ilarion's narrowed eyes rose, seeking Oleksei's.

His face wore the tolerant look of a benevolent watchdog, part bodyguard and part overseer. Indulgent, firmly convinced of what lay in the bests interests of all. He was waiting, affably, patiently, for Ilarion to relent, somehow knowing Lasha's investment in the matter was superficial.

Lasha gazed at him with eyes that were innately wintry.

"You have no idea what you've walked into," he said, in a crystalline undertone.

Nika was frowning, eyes on the floor.

"I told him, Lasha," he said, raising his voice.

Ilarion's lips parted slightly.

There was no way Liadov could have told him everything. Nika didn't know. No one did. No one but Aleksandr and two of his Ministry buddies.

"Of course," Ilarion said automatically. "Well in that case, there's no more to say."

Liadov's brow creased with faint incredulity and just a touch of well-disguised suspicion.

He eyed Ilarion skeptically for a moment, before speaking.

"I'm going out, Lasha," he said. "Come with me."

Nika indicated Cheslav with a flick of his eyes.

"...Let him do what he can. At least let him try."

Ilarion stared at Liadov's face, stymied by his quiet entreaty.

His lips pressed together, briefly.

"Da, kanyeshna, Nika."

Slowly, he turned his attention back to Oleksei.

Lasha smiled, in a deflective, disarming manner, but a touch of guarded crispness lingered in his tone and around his eyes.

"...You really want him, Cheslav, be my guest. He's all yours. But don't say I didn't warn you."
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February 2010

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