“Never been.” Tatiana’s eyes scanned the crimson and gold embellished foyer till she seen an unwelcome customer approaching with outstretched arms.
“Tatiana Ivankova, what a pleasant surprise!”
Josef Krasnoff had darkish pores and skin with a trace of a mustache shadow. His brown eyes have been protected by his skinny, wired glasses that rested on his ears. Strands of his brief, brown hair caught out beneath his cap.
“Josef.” Tatiana pressured a nice greeting whereas Vera and Alina exchanged understanding appears to be like, hiding laughs. Tatiana wished to smack each of them.
Still grinning from ear to ear, Josef stood earlier than Tatiana, who stood up. “What are you doing here?”
“We’re attending the dance.” Tatiana pointed over her shoulder to the ballroom.
“Ah.” Josef appeared her over. Whenever one thing enjoyable was introduced up, he appeared as if he had develop into unwell.
Looking to take away consideration from her, Tatiana motioned to her cousins. “You remember Vera and Alina, don’t you?”
Josef checked out them and nodded politely. “Yes, of course. How are you?”
“Well, thank you.” Vera pressured out the phrases. Like Tatiana, she was no fan of Josef’s.
Seemingly understanding this, Josef refocused on Tatiana. “I hope you aren’t staying out too late.”
“No, not at all.”
Why did she care what he thought? He wasn’t her father or brother.
“I didn’t think you would be in Leningrad,” Vera stepped in. “Aren’t all the Lenigradskaya Pravda writers out at Fox’s Bridge?”
Josef was a reporter working for the largest newspaper in the metropolis. It had apparently been a dream of his since he was little—to be a author—although why somebody would need to
write propaganda all day lengthy made no sense to Tatiana.
“They needed a reporter to stay behind in case anything happened over the weekend,” Josef replied earlier than shrugging. “I volunteered.”
Volunteered or pressured since nobody can stand you?
“That was kind of you,” Alina commented when it turned clear Vera couldn’t reply with out repeating Tatiana’s sentiments.
Oblivious, Josef lifted his head excessive. “It was something I had no issue with. We live in challenging times.”
“How so?” Tatiana requested.
Josef appeared stunned by her query, however as he all the time responded to what he most likely seen as silly questions, he defined, “With the war going on. The Germans have taken
Greece and Crete, and Africa is being crushed.”
“Sounds more like terrifying times than challenging ones,” Vera famous.
Josef’s eye twitched. “One could make that argument, I suppose but have no worries, my ladies. Comrade Stalin will protect us.”
That didn’t give Tatiana and her cousins any consolation.
“Well, we should be going.” Tatiana cleared her throat and compelled a tender expression onto her face. “It was good seeing you, Josef.”
“You as well, Tatiana. Let’s not go this long again before we see each other once more.”
Now it was Tatiana’s flip for her eye to twitch. “Yes, of course.”