Radimir Petrovich Chadov had a suitcase and a backpack with him, and he left those in the middle of the lounge room while Corella showed him around the house. He’d insisted on doing the inspection straight away. “Matvey Lavrentovich arranged for me to come here because trouble is coming for you, Corella Lavrentova. I may not be as far ahead of trouble as we would like.”
He definitely had a point, so Corella took him around the property. After that he was happy to move his things into the downstairs guestroom, saying as he did so that it was the one he would have asked for. It was about time for lunch by the time he’d squared himself away so Corella fed them both and then, after another walk around the perimeter of the house, Radimir Petrovich slept for most of the afternoon on a garden bench.
He was, Corella could tell, largely cat.
At dusk her Russian guardian woke up again, padded around the boundaries again, and then joined her for a meal. “You should try to get to bed early tonight,” he said between mouthfuls of beef bourguignon, “if there’s going to be trouble, it will be later when the streets are quieter. Also, I hear yesterday was a long one for you.”
“It was,” Corella agreed quietly. “I’ll clean up down here and then I’ll go up.”
“You show me how this dishwasher works so I can take care of dishes after this, da?” Radimir Petrovich really did have a nice smile, if a little incisory.
The bang in the night came at half past midnight by Corella’s bedside clock, and the cries and swearing afterwards did not sound at all Russian.