The Visit

Feb. 18th, 2010 12:31 pm
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Later, Cheslav would always remember it was winter when Avdotia Isaeva died.

Cheslav Oleksei remembered the Siege as an eternal winter, even though he knew intellectually that the seasons must have changed during those two and a half years. Yet when he caressed the place in his memories that knew starvation and fear and aching desperation, squatting in bombed-out buildings and eating stringy meat nearly raw, taking his knife to the veins of a man for the first time and finding fleeting solace in the slow grind of hard flesh, that place, those memories, were grey and tinged with frost.

Now, there was real snow on the ground in front of the Isaev estate.

The estate stood as always, imposing and elegant, a tall historic townhouse facing the wide road. The snow around the curb been recently plowed but was blackened with mud from the tires of many recent visitors, like the first shadow of tarnish on silver.

Cheslav drove himself, and parked his white Moskvitch in front, instead of going around to the back like usual.

The night air felt crisp, and very heavy.

His breath streamed between his lips like smoke. Seeing it made him want for a cigarette.

There were few things Cheslav Oleksei denied himself, but he denied himself a cigarette now. Instead, his hand went absently to his pocket, and felt the weight of the bottle within.

Cheslav wore a black wool coat that spanned his broad shoulders and swirled around his boots as he walked up to the townhouse's front door. Above him, most windows were darkened save for a couple that were faintly backlit with the softest of warm glows.

No other signs of life.

He allowed it was possible that no one was home.

His heavy brow knit low over his dark eyes.

Cheslav had even features, for the most part, a straight Greek nose and squared-off chin, and a long, angular jaw. It was the thick brow that glided his face with a touch of menace, and betrayed his coarse birth.

Rather, both his jaw and his massive form, tall and thick with muscle like the butcher he'd once been, and Cheslav knew it mattered as much where you'd been as where you were.

He reached for the wrought iron knocker, but then changed his mind and rang the bell, instead.

Date: 2010-02-20 10:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheslav-oleksei.livejournal.com
"Absolutely," Cheslav muttered. "Wouldn't live any other way."

The young MENT spoke with the unforced calm of someone who had been in possession of terrible knowledge long enough to come to terms with it, at least to be able to speak of it to a stranger.

The image haunted Cheslav.

He could see it as soon as the MENT had conjured it, and now it lingered in his mind's eye. Avadya, floating in the Fontanka, hair spread out around her, drifting lifelessly in the water. He imagined her face was pale, her lips were blue.

He knew that gown.

She would draw it around her after they'd finished fucking, white silk clinging to her damp skin.

Avdotia owned a lot of lingerie, in various colors, fancy, lacy, silky things that Aleksandr had indulgently bought for her, had smuggled in from all over Europe.

Cheslav had always preferred her in white.

He exhaled slowly, and wished he'd smoked that cigarette outside after all.

Cheslav nodded.

"I understand," he said, slowly. "I know how much Aleksandr loved her."

He knew it in a way he did not think many men did, and would probably shock the young Ministry man to know.

"How bad is it?"

Cheslav focused on him again. They were of a height.

"Has he...done anything?"

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February 2010

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