amy_rashelle: (ilena - pleased)
[personal profile] amy_rashelle
Feliks Krylov led Greg further into the house.  It was fashioned after the era of the Bolsheviks, so there were quite a few memoirs from the 1917 revolutions.  Swords from the royal army were hosted proudly on the wall beside some other choice weapons of Russia’s illicit past.  Whether it was just a sampling of an expensive collection or meant to intimidate visitors, Greg felt is was effective either way.  Still, in his opinion, the French had them beat with the guillotine.

As Feliks opened the door to the office Greg caught sighed of a woman in red walking down the long staircase.  There was something familiar in her form.  He craned his neck to see her clearer, but Feliks ushered him inside before he could get a good look.  “Papa, here he is!”

Resting against the back of the wall near a large floor-length window was a thick oak desk and a squeaky leather chair.  Its occupant, Anton Krylov, was half asleep, or so it seemed.  His belly protruded from a clean suit shirt in a neat semi circle where his hands rested towards the top.  He had thinning gray hair that had once been a rich chocolate brown and weathered skin that was unnaturally dark for such a sunless region.  He opened one eye a crack before his interest was piqued enough to open the other.  “What is this?” he barked hoarsely due to a combination of age and cigars.  “I thought you said he was blond.”

Greg held his hand out.  “I apologize for the sudden change in appearance.  It seems the FSB is a bit smarter than the films depict them to be.  Daniel Kingston, at your service.  You said the shipment would be here in a few days, right?”

Krylov narrowed his eyes suspiciously.  “I thought you were Russian.”

“Mother was,” he said smoothly.  “She died when I was little.”

“Ah.  Tragic.”  He took his hand and shook it.  “Feliks has good things to say about you.  If my son approves then I can hardly disapprove.  I need this deal to go through and I need a good man to trust.”  Despite his words, Greg knew he was walking on eggshells with him.  “Papa” was no fool.

Krylov smiled disarmingly at him nonetheless.  “I think business can wait, though.  I treat my partners well.  They get the best of everything.  Feliks will show you your room and tomorrow we will discuss business.”

This was contrary to the schedule Daniel had given Greg, but he smiled happily and shook his hand again.  “Thank you, Mr. Krylov, that sounds good.  I’ve been traveling for a while today.”

Feliks stepped forward and slapped his arm around Greg’s shoulder.  “Let’s go, Danny Boy.  I have someone special for you.  I normally don’t share her because she’s clean and beautiful and talented, but you deserve the best.”  Up the spiraling staircase they walked to a set of double doors.  There was a bullet hole in the doorframe, but Greg noticed a small camera just inside of it peering down at the entrance.

Inside the bedroom there was an enormous bed taking up the majority of the space.  It was a giant four-post king with a silk top that draped down the sides.  An antique dresser against the wall, two intricately carved bed stands, oil paintings on the wall, and a beautiful redhead in bed completed the scene before him.

At first Greg just stood in stunned silence.  Shock, yes, that’s what he experienced first.  Then came denial followed by overwhelming joy.  Her hair had been straightened and she was clad in black lacy lingerie and there were at least ten years added somewhere, but Greg couldn’t find them to save his life.  What he did find was a strange tightening in his throat and an uncomfortable pressure growing lower down.  “Beautiful,” he said softly.

Feliks grinned at the look on his face.  “Enjoy, Kingston.”  With a slap on the back he turned around and slammed the door behind him.  Greg set his bag down at the base of the bed and walked around to the side.  He lifted the silk veil and stared down at her.  Yes, it was her.  He couldn’t believe it.  Sleeping Beauty, the elephant lover.

“Are you just going to keep staring?”  

Her eyes opened and looked up at him as she spoke.  He swallowed hard.  Green, just like he remembered.  From the look on her face she clearly didn’t.  He was surprised how much her lack of memory hurt, but he didn’t let it show on his face.

“Depends,” he said lightly.  “Is the rest free?”

“Nothing is free.”  She watched him with a growing smile.  He knew it wasn’t genuine.  Despite being an expert at appealing to men, there were some things even a woman like her couldn’t fake.  “But I would be willing to discount.  It’s not often my work is attractive.”

Greg smiled charmingly, but he couldn’t help letting his eyes wander.  How long had he dreamt about her?  How long had he wondered where she was and what she was doing?  He had bribed the taxi service into giving up her address years before, but she had moved on by then.  For the next ten years he had wished without hope.  Now here she was in his bed.  

Clad lingerie no less.

He sat on the edge of the bed and tugged a little at his tie as he continued to gaze in her eyes.  “I would prefer it was free,” he said slowly.

She chuckled softly.  As if that wasn’t a request she had heard a dozen times.  “Everyone prefers it was free.  What kind of a world would it be if I just gave it away?”

“I seem to remember Boris the elephant getting kisses and hugs for free, Ilena.”

At the sound of her name she face hardened and she pushed herself up defensively.  It took a little longer for her to process the rest of his words.  As she did her eyes began to widen in recognition.  She sat up on her elbows and stared long and hard into Greg’s face.  Ten years and she had almost forgotten about the boy.  He wasn’t a boy anymore, though.  Greg grinned as he saw her throat bob slightly in approval.  He reached down and brushed his hand against it gingerly.  “You haven’t aged a bit,” he murmured.

“You have,” she said softly.  Then she laughed softly.  “You look….good.”

He laughed gently.  “I take it the years have only benefited me then?  They certainly haven’t detracted from your beauty.”

“Still playing the game, I see.  You must be a master at it by now.”  She smiled playfully at him as she tugged on his tie.  “Now what are you doing here?”

“Working.  What are you doing?”

“Working.”  She raised an eyebrow at him.  “And my reason for being here is much clearer than yours.  How does a young seventeen-year-old wind up in the house of a prominent member of vor v zakone?”

“I am not seventeen,” he said, sounding a bit put off.  Without warning, he kissed her as if to prove his advanced years and experience, which had grown considerably in this field since they saw each other last.  The past years had been spent dreaming of what another kiss would feel like.  Women came and left quickly, but she remained a constant memory.  Green eyes, dark red hair, and perfect skin.  How could he forget her?

The kiss lingered for some time until he was forced to pull back for air.  Taking a few deep gulps, he reached his hand out and combed his fingers through her hair.  He tugged through it gingerly before cupping the back of her neck.  His thumb brushed the soft skin.  Years of wondering were finally at an end and he was thrilled with what he found.

“You’re beautiful,” he said quietly.

Ilena turned her head to the side with an amused smile.  “You never forgot me,” she said in awe.  They had been nothing more than a few silent meetings culminating in a kiss and a departure.  How had he clung to those moments for so long?

“It is hard to forget someone like you.”  He kissed her again.  She flipped his tie over his shoulder as she began to unbutton his shirt.  That was enough talking for now.
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