Corella got up late the day after her parents’ funeral to find an email from her brother Matthew. It had been sent barely an hour after she’d gone to bed in the early morning after the last of those who’d come to pay their respects had left. Matt was somewhere in the middle of an Arctic Siberian winter so he, like their other brothers, hadn’t been at the funeral.
“Sis,” it read, “one of the guys here is getting a bad feeling about you. His gut instincts are pretty good so I’ve arranged for someone else’s brother to come round and keep an eye on things for you. If he can’t have the ground floor guest room, then he could have my old room. He’s a professional but you don’t have to worry about paying him, I’ve traded favours to make this work. He’s already in that part of the world so he should be there by half past ten this morning, your time. Not sure which name is on his papers but he’s got green eyes and a feline theme. Let me know when he arrives. Matt.”
Corella looked at the time and almost swore. It was after ten and she was still in her nightwear and hadn’t cleaned her teeth. A rather frenzied ten minutes ensued, however it wasn’t until she was cleaning up from breakfast that the doorbell rang. When she checked through the peephole she saw a man in his mid-twenties wearing clothes that looked vaguely foreign and a broad brimmed hat.
When she cautiously opened the door she realised that the man on the other side of the security screen had a pair of clear green eyes, and then he took off his hat, resting it with one hand in the middle of his chest while he said, “Corella Lavrentova? Matvey Lavrentovich sent me.” Corella realised that not only did the man have blue-grey hair or fur on his head, he had cat’s ears, “I am Radimir Petrovich Chadov.” He bowed and Corella noticed that he had a fine set of shoulders. “As I am here to protect you, Corella Lavrentova, it would help if you let me in.”
This is now followed by Settling In.