Golden сarriage for Cinderella

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A novel about love

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From the Author

Once upon a time, a great king ruled in a small country. In this beautiful kingdom, a girl lived with her father, stepmother and non-native sisters. The named relatives nicknamed her Cinderella because she often did dirty and dusty work around the house.

Wait a minute, dear reader will say, but where is the novel based on real events? Probably, reading the title of the book, you will think that the author may begin to tell the good old fairy tale of Charles Perrault “Cinderella”, only remade in his own way.

But there is some truth in this. This story happened in real life, it happened to a person who survived it from the beginning to the very end.

And when you finish reading the book to the very last page, you will learn a completely new story of a modern young woman, in which people who met her on their way also saw Cinderella. Will there be a fairy tale? Of course it will, only you yourself will have to understand whether it is miracles or the inner strength of the heroine’s character and immeasurable love for a loved one helped her to live on and fight against the vicissitudes of fate.

The book tells about the love of a young woman and a married priest, and what price they had to pay for such happiness. You will also understand what the cricket that lives behind the old buffet is silent about.

Chapter 1

Sometimes, under the guise of love, a test comes to us

I often ask myself the question: how will I love a man if I meet a sincere and real feeling. Love is something important to me in life, and I wanted to be honest in my relationship, because it will be my real love.

So the frosty winter is over, and the first spring days have come, the sun’s rays, like bunnies, playfully play on my window.

Beautiful early morning. Opening the sash of the window frame and taking a deep breath of spring air, I take a sip of fragrant coffee brewed in a new coffee machine, press the “start” button on my laptop, the monitor lights up, and long live the miracle of scientific progress. I like to read articles on the Internet in my free time, sometimes I visit the Odnoklassniki website and communicate with my friends there.

And here’s the letter, I wonder who it’s from?

— hello.

They wrote to me from a page without a photo, I usually ignore such mail, but now I decided to talk, maybe some friend is hiding behind a faceless profile.

— Who are you? — I wrote back.

— My name is Peter, I am a priest, I serve in the Orthodox Church. I live in the city of Chernihiv in Ukraine. I’m not old yet and I’m not young anymore, I’m forty-three years old.

— Very interesting, and I’m Vlada.

— Good health to you, Vlad, and your family!

— Father, I live alone and am not married.

But there was no more response.

I had to finish my coffee alone.

It didn’t cost me much effort to put on makeup, because my naturally well-drawn facial features practically didn’t need to be tinted. Blue eyes with long, fan-like eyelashes, a straight nose and beautiful wide eyebrows lay in an even line on my oval face. My figure was slim, but for this I always had to sit on long grueling diets in order to maintain a thin waist and beautiful legs. My long blonde hair gave my face freshness and made me younger than my years.

Soon I left the house and was at work in a beauty salon all day. There was a lot of work that day.

The weather began to deteriorate in the evening, it was raining, interfering with melted snow and mud, it turned the road into a gray, muddy mud. Because of this, it was hard to walk and had to avoid puddles. For a few minutes I stopped at the entrance and, admiring, looked at the evening sky. Bright stars were burning on it, and among their brilliance I saw a constellation very similar to the Big Dipper. It even seemed to me that she was looking at me with her sad eyes, probably she was missing a little bear next to me, like me.

I quietly went into the apartment and closed the door behind me. In order not to be bored, I sat down at my laptop, and when I opened the Odnoklassniki website, I read there an interesting message from my new acquaintance, Father Peter.

— Your happiness is not going anywhere from you.

“What a nice man,” I thought. And I posted some of my successful photos, turned off the computer and went to rest.

Love cannot be predicted or hurried, it will come by itself with the beautiful murmur of the stream and the singing of birds, transforming your whole life.

At the age of thirty-five, I had quite a successful business in the field of beauty. My salon was called “Healthy Care” and was located in the center of Novosibirsk. When the front door opened, the bell rang, notifying of the arrival of each visitor, and at this time the face of our administrator Ekaterina spread out in a kind and hospitable smile.

— Good afternoon, what can I offer you,” she said politely.

So the days passed in the hustle and bustle of work.

One day I got free a little earlier than usual, went to the Odnoklassniki page and saw a message from Father Peter.

— You are a nice lady, judging by the photo. I would like to hear your voice.

I was pleased with this, and without hesitation I texted him my phone number.

There are so many roads and moments in life that decide our fate, and we do not think that this second will be the main countdown of your new path.

The next morning, the smell of coffee cheered me up, and after a few sips, my brain was already in working mode. A minute ago, I wanted to climb into a chair with my feet, turn on the TV and spend the whole day like this.

But the phone rang and I answered.

— Vlada Romanovna, I’m really waiting for you at work, I need to talk, — Katerina, my assistant, said in an anxious voice.

“Okay, I’ll be right there,” I replied.

I went outside, the weather was sunny, a light breeze touched my face and gently blew my thick, long hair.

The phone rang again, I was sure that Katya was calling me, so I quickly said:

— I’m running, I’m running.

And she quickened her pace.

But he didn’t calm down, he kept ringing anyway, and as soon as I put it to my ear, I immediately heard a man’s laughter.

— Where are you running to? a pleasant voice asked cheerfully.

— Excuse me, but who am I talking to now? I asked, slowing down a little.

— Dear Vlada, I’m sorry that I don’t know your patronymic, it’s Father Peter calling, to whom you left your phone number in Odnoklassniki.

— It’s very good that you called me,” I said in a joyful voice.

— I feel that you are glad to receive my call. I liked the photos that you posted on your page.

— Thanks.

“You know, you have a very beautiful voice,” Peter said good — naturedly.

— So many nice compliments, — but then the second line intervened in our conversation, and I switched to it.

— Yes, tell me.

— Vlada Romanovna, administrator Ekaterina is unable to work, she has locked herself in the service room and does not come out. What should I do?

— Nelya, I’m already here.

Quickening my pace, a few minutes later I was already in the salon. When the front door closed behind me and the bell rang, there was no reaction. At first glance, one might have thought that I was completely alone in the hall, but my loneliness was broken by sobs and a quiet female voice that came from the service room. Getting closer to her, I pulled the handle on myself, but the door wouldn’t budge, it was locked from the inside.

“Girls… open up,” I said and froze in anticipation.

The lock clicked on the back and the door opened. What was behind it looked very sad. Nelya and Katya were sitting by the sink, and there was a bottle of motherwort next to them, Nelya was holding a glass of water in her hands. Katerina lowered her face down and covered it with her hands, while her body shook with sobs. Katya had a calm character, so it became clear that something very serious had happened in her life.

— Please calm down, let’s talk,” I said in a calm voice, stroking Katya’s back with my hand.

I took a towel and gave it to Katya to wipe her face. Putting her arm around her shoulders, she gently sat her down at a small table for the staff.

“Good, you’re my good,” I whispered in the hope that Katya would want to talk to me. Indeed, my words soon had an effect on her. She took a deep breath, as if she hadn’t breathed at all until that moment, and on exhaling loudly said:

— He’s gone!

— Who left? I asked, not understanding what he was talking about.

— Sasha, my husband. Yesterday he didn’t come to spend the night, took his things and documents, and today he called and said that I wouldn’t wait for him home, and didn’t explain anything else to me,” and tears shone in her eyes again.

— Katyusha, don’t worry so much, you’ve always been strong. After all, the most important thing in life is children and relatives, and he, you’ll see, will definitely regret everything later.

“I think it’s not that simple,” she said thoughtfully.

But her face had already stopped being so gloomy, she became calmer, and we went to our workplaces.

It was a wonderful warm evening, I was walking slowly along the sidewalk home. Cars were rushing towards them along the roadway. The phone rang, it was Katya.

— Vlada, I’m hugging my daughter now and I understand that in the whole world I can’t find a closer and kinder person than my blood, my daughter.

— Katyusha, everything will be fine with you, you’ll see.

I put my phone back away. Suddenly the noise of the engines died down, and all the sounds of the street disappeared, a gentle melody sounded that was coming from inside me, there was a cello, and a violin sang thinly, it was the music of happiness. After all, how good it is when good comes from you, and you extend a helping hand to someone who needs it.

— Heh-khe, girl, give the homeless for food, — suddenly a man’s hoarse voice rang out from behind me. I turned back and saw the stooped figure of a man. He was dressed in old, worn clothes, patches were visible in places, they were darned with threads of different colors.

— Just a second,” I said, and began to turn my pockets inside out, but there were only small bread crumbs and a handful of caramels in them. I didn’t find any change in my bag either, and some large bills were peeking out of my wallet. Now there is silence and expectation in the air.

I took out a five thousand dollar bill and handed it to the man.

— Thank you,” he said, and at that moment the man’s eyes sparkled, and tears rolled down his cheek, “and this is for you,” and he modestly held out several willow twigs, which he had been holding in his hand all the time.

— God bless you, — the man said goodbye.

This touching scene remained in my memory for a long time, and for many years I remembered the willow given to the homeless, it even became some kind of good sign in my life. After all, there was another story with her participation, but I’ll tell you about it a little later.

It rained all night, drumming on the glass first with a small fraction, then with increasing force it hit with large drops and became quieter again. In the morning, when the sunlight began to penetrate into my room, only wet patterns on the glass remained in memory of the rain. Such rainy weather has not been for a long time, and therefore I was happy to look out the window at the sun’s glare, which was reflected in puddles.

The phone rang, and a man’s voice wished me good morning. But I didn’t immediately understand who was talking to me.

— Vlada, it’s the priest who’s bothering you again.

— Come on, Father, what kind of concern can there be, I’m glad you called.

— Then I will call you every day. Our weather is so sunny, and the birds are singing in my soul. How are you?

“We didn’t get to talk to you last time,” I said.

— It’s God’s will for everything. And let’s talk right now.

“I want to talk about faith, hope and love,” I said.

— Probably, it will be about your friends? — the priest said with a touch of irony.

— About self — belief, hope for a better future and about love, which I have been waiting for for a long time, — I did not lose my head, I replied.

— Intricate, as I see it, you are a young lady, but it even pleases me. You can talk to me on absolutely any and different topics. Even the innermost secrets can be trusted with a priest. And with your permission, I want to switch to you.

— Okay, let’s break my rules,” I replied.

— And what, are there any other rules? — he was surprised.

— My personal rules of communication.

— Vladochka, do not attach much importance to this, breaking the rules, I will not cross the boundaries of our friendship. Better tell me about yourself.

— Peter, you have me very much in your favor, and I want to share a lot.

— Well, here you are again, Vlada, we have now switched to you, — his voice became quieter and more affectionate with me.

— In my life there was no communication with a priest at all, and therefore I want to tell one story.

— Of course, tell me what’s bothering you,” the priest said gently.

— When I was ten years old, my parents died in a car accident. Aunt Nina, my mother’s sister, took me to live with her. But while I was living with her, she was constantly drinking and driving gentlemen. Therefore, at the age of seventeen, after school, I left home for a completely different city and began to live independently. And she went on drinking.

— How old are you? Peter asked.

— Thirty — five,” I said.

— My girl, you are still so young, you still have a lot ahead of you. The main thing in life is not to lose yourself and love God. If you want, I will always support you.

— Yes, I want it, I really want it, — I answered and pressed the phone to my chest

— I will always be there, — said Peter and hung up.

The next day, a burgundy Volvo drove up to my entrance, without turning on the headlights, the driver got out of the car. He lit a cigarette and blew out a smoke ring. I walked up to the car, greeted the taxi driver and said:

— On Kamenskaya, forty-three.

Sitting comfortably in the seat, I closed my eyes and began to think about him. Maybe it’s bad to think about a married man, especially a priest, but it began to seem to me that I was falling in love with his voice, his manner of communication, and I wanted to be near him.

— Girl, wake up… — the driver said loudly.

I was startled and woke up.

— Girl, you can get out, we’ve been standing on Kamenskaya, forty — three for a minute, — the taxi driver said with a smile.

A few minutes later I was standing on the threshold of the theater. There were a lot of people gathered in the lobby, they were crowding everywhere: at the entrance, in the locker room, in the long corridors. They were smartly dressed, so a state of celebration reigned everywhere. There were tables with various trinkets and souvenirs along the walls, there was everything you could buy for a slow-moving onlooker. When the first bell rang, the audience slowly began to pass into the huge hall. And I was sitting in the buffet of the theater, enjoying the aroma and taste of latte, and with the second bell I also went to the stalls to take my place.

My dear reader, let’s open the veil of a woman’s soul with you, what does she want and what is she looking for? Spirituality is theaters, movies, exhibitions, wants attention, but most of all she is waiting for love.

My soul was also full of expectation of this feeling and, like a wonderful rose, is ready to open its ripe bud towards female happiness. And I saw this happiness in Peter.

Two months have passed. It was a wonderful summer evening, my room was filled with a cloud of dust from a huge pile of things that I took out from the shelves and put in boxes. It was a grandiose move to Moscow, which completely changed my whole life. Through the wide-open window, the screams of local children who were playing football in the yard could be heard.

— This goal was mine, you prevented me, you didn’t score it yourself and didn’t give it to me, — one young football player shouted.

— Let’s hit!

— Go-o-l!” they shouted again.

I heard a beautiful melody from the phone, and I answered.

— Good afternoon, Vladochka, — Peter said in a cheerful voice.

— Good afternoon, Peter.

— I hear screams, what happened there?

— Yes, these are young football players outside the window.

— Are you probably packing your things now and getting ready for the road?

— Yes, I’m packing everything in boxes, tomorrow a car from the transport company will arrive, and the movers will load all the things into the car, and then I will go too.

— You have no idea how glad I am that we will meet soon. Sorry, I can’t talk for a long time now, I’m in a hurry, my service will start in a few minutes.

— See you later, Peter, — I whispered.

— See you later, my dear, — he said warmly in response, and the connection was cut off.

I went to the window, opened the curtain and shouted with all my might:

— Hooray! Goal!

The boys stopped playing and raised their heads high in confusion. One of them hesitantly shouted back:

— Actually, there was a penalty!

I laughed and walked away from the window.

Apple of discord

The rattling of a spoon in a glass of tea on the table in my compartment interrupted my sleep. Opening my eyes slightly, I immediately squeezed them shut from the bright light of the lamp that was right above me.

My neighbor was a middle-aged Georgian with beautiful thick hair and a pronounced Georgian profile.

It was obvious that he was an intelligent and well-mannered man. There was a lot of aristocratic in his behavior. He spoke Russian at a high level.

Lowering my bare legs from the shelf, I felt the man’s gaze, he was sitting opposite and practically eating them with his eyes.

“I want to help you, — he said.

— Yes, I guess, because I forgot how to ride on the upper shelves.

His strong hands touched my legs and slid higher, up my buttocks, penetrating my dress with his fingers, a little higher, and, putting his arm around my waist, he lowered me down. My body clung to him for a second, and I involuntarily felt the exciting smell of his skin.

— My name is Avtandil, I come from the city of Tbilisi. And you, girl, where are you going?

— To Moscow. My name is Vlada.

— Vladochka, try the apples from my native house, — and he held out a grated liquid apple to shine.

I took a bite, and the juice flowed down my lips.

— Are you also going to Moscow alone? I asked with interest.

— Now I’m not alone anymore, — the man smiled. — Vlada, you can safely move your bed to the bottom shelf, no one will come to us anyway.

— Why? I said, surprised.

— You will see for yourself soon, let me help you.

Avtandil got up and reached for my bed, he had a sporty figure, and abs cubes were sexually peeking out from under his T-shirt.

— And if suddenly … — I wanted to ask, but he forestalled my thoughts.

— Don’t worry, I’m a man and I give you my word that no one will bother you.

It was comfortable on the bottom shelf, I felt tired and immediately fell asleep.

The train jerked violently, I shuddered in surprise and woke up. It was already quite dark outside. The lights from the lanterns made their way through the curtain into the window and the glare lay on the walls of the compartment. Avtandil’s eyes were open, and he was staring at me. His passionate gaze began to penetrate my body. Suddenly, desire seized me, and I opened the blanket a little, and bared my excited breasts. He put his hand on my stomach, gently stroked the skin, touching my breast, and gently squeezed the nipple with his fingers.

I moaned with pleasure and excitement, and he lay down on me, covering my body with himself. Our breathing quickened, and in an instant I felt his strong and wet penis inside me. Soon my body was shaking in convulsions, and he was whispering softly in my ear, pressing his lips:

— How good it feels to be with you.

Early in the morning I woke up to loud voices outside the door. I stretched and felt that the blanket completely hugged my naked body, but after spending the night with a man, I felt only spiritual emptiness. We no longer looked into each other’s eyes, he silently took his things and left the car without saying a word.

Moscow did not please me with the sun, it was a fine drizzling rain. People from the train were walking along the platform in a crowd and pushing me forward to the station, and then suddenly a ringtone from my phone rang.

— How is my beloved? Peter asked cheerfully.

— Hi, I’m already in Moscow, — I said without warmth in my voice.

— Why are you so unhappy or not happy with me at all?

— Sorry, but we’ll talk later.

I felt embarrassed in front of him, because recently I just succumbed to instinct and easily changed my feelings.

Peter’s voice became warmer, and he gently whispered:

— My dear, you are like a gentle sun, a warm breeze, a bright ray of light in my life, fly, my feather, and most importantly, take care of yourself.

I hung up the phone, and I felt warm in my soul from his tender words.

I had to visit several apartments that were pre-selected as options for living.

Several years of my separation from Moscow have passed, and now it pleases me again with its captivating beauty of the streets, worries my heart again, and I am happy to wander through it, looking at the facades of houses.

The first landlady of the apartment was an old, thin woman with very thin, bony fingers. Grandma reminded me of an old, rusty needle that was stuck in a homemade soft shoe from the Soviet Union. The apartment fully corresponded to the age and appearance of the old lady. I politely refused her and hurried to the exit. The weather did not change, there were large puddles on the sidewalk, it was raining, it seemed that there would be no end to it.

The next three meetings were canceled for various reasons, and only two apartments remained. One option was in the city center. But the apartment itself was very unsightly, and if compared with the dishes in the restaurant, it looks like boiled potatoes in a uniform, decorated with beautiful inedible twigs and artificial flowers.

My last option was far from the center, but I decided to stay in this apartment. She met all my requirements for temporary residence. By the middle of summer, I had settled into a new place. There was a lot of furniture in the apartment, I put things neatly on the shelves in the closet. The only unpleasant detail in the interior of the apartment was a painting, but there was no way to get rid of it. The painting hid a hole in the wall, although it served a noble role, but I had no desire to look at it at all. The reason for this was a naked woman who was lying on a red bedspread, she generated carnal desires, her nakedness drove me crazy and at the same time caused shame.

It was a warm summer day, and suddenly the phone rang.

— My sunshine, hello, — Peter’s voice was very happy.

— Hi, Peter, — I was glad to hear him.

“I’ve missed you and I’m looking forward to meeting you,” he replied.

— When are you coming to Moscow?

— I will come next week, one businessman promised to help me with money for medicine to his wife, he is from Moscow. And I will definitely stop by your place.

— I will look forward to this day.

— You know… — he said thoughtfully.

— What do you want to tell me?

— If at the meeting we do not feel any feelings for each other, despite this, always count on my support as an older friend and priest.

— Okay, — I agreed.

We talked for a long time that day until very late in the evening, and then I just fell down from fatigue and fell asleep without letting the phone out of my hands.

The man kissed my swollen nipples without interruption, his hands stroked and caressed, then suddenly grasping my buttocks, he pressed against me with all his might. I opened my eyes in great excitement and could not remember his face. What’s wrong with me? Maybe the painting on the wall is to blame? Or maybe that man was Peter?

The taste of the first meeting

The long-awaited day of our meeting has come. It was raining heavily outside the window. My morning started very early, I was spinning in front of the mirror, picking up my clothes. About nine o’clock the doorbell rang. The silhouette of an interesting and very unusual man peeked through the dusty glass of the peephole. The whole strangeness was in his clothes. He was wearing a long raincoat and a black gaucho hat. His beard and long hair emphasized his personality. I moved the lock lever, opened the door, and he came in. Peter’s hair was thick, black, combed back and gathered into a long ponytail. He was tall, about one meter ninety, and had a solid build.

The smell of his perfume filled my apartment. My head was dizzy from the fragrance and the feelings that surged over me, in my thoughts I began to climb high up and swirled in the air with happiness.

And he looked at me tenderly and smiled.

— Hello, here I am,” he said softly.

— Hello, Peter, — I replied, smiling.

I invited him to come into the apartment and offered to take a shower. After a while, the noise of the water subsided. Peter came out steamed, he smelled of the fragrant aroma of gel and shampoo. He changed into a housecoat that he had brought with him.

— Vladochka, I want to hug you,” he whispered.

His warm arms wrapped around my waist and dropped a little lower. I felt the warmth of his body on me. Barely touching my neck with his lips, he said softly:

— Trust me…

— Yes… yes…” I whispered, looking tenderly into his eyes.

So, in an embrace, we spun around, as if in a dance, and sank down on the bed. He hugged me, and his hands greedily touched my body, studying every millimeter. When we reached the highest point of pleasure, my womb was filled with insane desire. Our lips merged in a long kiss, and it seemed to me that we were caught in a whirlpool of endless voluptuousness. Only I didn’t want to rush.

— Peter, wait…” I whispered.

Then I got out of bed and started making tea with bergamot and black currant for us.

“I won’t do anything now,” he said softly and began to dress.

“Is something wrong?”

“I’m sorry, but I have to leave right away.

When the door closed behind him, I sat down at the table in confusion.

“Is it really over between us,” I thought, and my tears dripped right into the cup.

But he rang my doorbell again when evening came. Peter stood on the threshold and held in his hands a huge bouquet of red roses.

— My girl, I’ve been dreaming of hugging you again, — he handed me flowers and put his hands on my waist.

— Why did you leave so suddenly? And I looked into his eyes with a little reproach.

“I will always be there for you, even if I leave,” Peter whispered and gently touched my cheek with his lips.

Night came, and we were all talking and could not tear ourselves away from each other, at that moment it seemed to us that it would always be like this. When it was getting light, I made a bed for him in a separate room. And she poured a bath with air foam and decided to lie down in it for a while. The foam pleasantly stroked my skin, gathering into a plentiful air mass, and I was even afraid to move from pleasure. Suddenly the door opened, and Peter appeared on the threshold.

— Let me look at you, how you bathe, — his beard began to move on his cheekbones when he attached great importance to the conversation.

— I thought you were already asleep,” I said in confusion, covering my bare chest with my hand.

He came closer to me and gently ran his hand over my bare stomach, rose higher and stopped at my nipples. He began to massage them with his hands, and then he pressed his lips and began to kiss them continuously. I moaned with pleasure and went limp. The water from the bath began to slowly leave, pleasantly stroking my back, and his lips covered every cell of my body. He lifted me in his arms and carried me to the bed. That night we gave each other pleasure, discovering the land of great passion and love.

Love is carrots and all that…

The next day the weather was fine, the puddles from yesterday’s rain had almost dried up. Peter’s car was waiting for us in the parking lot, it was a blue Chevrolet Aveo. She dazzlingly shone with purity so that, coming closer to her, you could see yourself as if in a mirror. The cabin was still neat and smelled fresh citrus.

— What kind of owner is such a car, and your car is just fabulously clean, — I said enthusiastically.

Peter smiled, it was obvious that he was pleased with my compliment. The priest crossed the car and himself, turned on the songs of Father Alexander Starostenko, and we drove off. The navigator took us around the capital, narrow streets were replaced by large wide streets, and so we drove for an hour. We parked near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and got out of the car, where a man was waiting for us.

— Hello. My name is Sergey Valeryevich,” he introduced himself.

The man was dressed in a strict suit that emphasized his business style.

— Let’s go to my office, and after our conversation I will treat you to a delicious lunch, — he smiled and hurriedly walked forward.

Opening a huge door in the building, we went up to the third floor and walked for a long time along a narrow corridor, which was decorated with a carpet, along which various offices of secretaries, ministers and various deputies were located. Sergei Valeryevich was also, apparently, a deputy minister. Finally we reached his office. He was quite strict and formal. A leather armchair, a leather sofa and a work desk with a mini-bar were the boring interior of their owner. On the wall hung a picture of our president and the coat of arms of the country. Camellia flowers on the windowsills and a decorative rose on the floor in a vase slightly diluted the official atmosphere.

The men sat down on opposite sides of the table and immediately began to talk animatedly. I sat comfortably in an armchair and, closing my eyes, decided to rest a little, so I did not immediately delve into their conversation. But when phrases about tribes began to reach me, I, of course, began to listen.

— We want you, Father, to act as a missionary and take Vera to New Guinea. I would like to thank God that there are still such priests,” Sergei Valeryevich said firmly and leaned back, stretching his arms wide along the back of the chair.

— I agree with you, in such places it is impossible without faith, — the priest replied and spread his hands.

— of course. After all, our goal is to develop a civilized society in Papua New Guinea. Many tribes that live there are actually still in the Stone Age and practice cannibalism. Our missionaries work with them. Maybe three drops of cognac before dinner? — Sergey Valeryevich got up from his chair, went to the mini-bar and opened the door of the cherished locker. And there was a huge variety of different bottles with different colored caps.

— Sergey Valeryevich, I would love to, but I’m driving. We still have to go home,” regret could be heard in Peter’s voice.

— Three drops, just three drops. Yes, and if the guys from the traffic police stop, then call me,” our rainbow host said cheerfully.

“Then I agree,” Pyotr said and, smiling, raised the crystal glass to his lips.

The men drank in one gulp and had a snack with a lemon on duty, which was lying on Sergei Valeryevich’s table.

— Good, strong cognac, — said Peter.

Sergey Valeryevich suggested that we go to the dining room with him for lunch.

We went down the stairs to the first floor, the doors to it were open. The dining room turned out to be all in marble and paintings, candlesticks hung on the walls. It smelled of delicious and fragrant food. Two young girls worked at the distribution, they laid out dishes on plates and smiled sweetly at everyone.

— My dear, hello! — the gray-haired man said loudly and took my hand, I recoiled from him in surprise, but when I looked at his face, I recognized him as a pop artist Aristarch Borisovich.

“Scared?” laughing in his velvety, beautiful voice, he asked.

— A little. Hello, Aristarkh Borisovich,” I said happily, coming out of my stupor.

— Bon appetit, and I’ll go, or a photo for memory? and his face melted into a snow — white smile.

Peter saw a celebrity next to me and immediately came up to us. He took a picture for me, and we went to lunch.

— We also have pop stars, so Aristarkh Borisovich came to dine with us. And I have chosen all the most delicious for you.

And indeed, there was a herring on the table, a smoked sausage, fried chicken with vegetables and fragrant borscht with pampushki.

— My father told me that you are not a vegetarian, and I included meat in the diet, — Sergey Valeryevich said carefully.

We sat down at the table. Everything was really delicious.

— The food is wonderful, — said the priest, he culturally brought a napkin to his mouth and dabbed her lips.

— Yes, we have the best chefs.

— As for the service in New Guinea, your main residence is in the city of Port Moresby, and from there you will go to different settlements and small towns. We will provide housing and food. You think about it and call me within a month.

Sergey Valeryevich finished his tea and, looking into my eyes, added:

— Yes, and of course, Father, consult your mother.

I nodded uncertainly and looked down. I was embarrassed to be in someone else’s role. We got up from the table and slowly began to leave.

Sergey Valeryevich walked us to the car and said goodbye.

— Where are we going, Vladochka? Peter asked, sitting at the wheel.

— To Kiev! I replied and laughed.

— No, we don’t need to go to Kiev yet, — he said playfully.

— Then let’s go to heaven!

— That’s it, let’s go to heaven!

Gorky Park has become our paradise for today. After parking the car, we got out and headed into the depths of the park.

— The sun is shining in the sky, and the sun is shining side by side, — Peter smiled, holding out his palm to me. I hugged him and took his hand.

The park was very large. We walked along the alley among the benches and fountains. Suddenly he stopped, looked into my eyes and unexpectedly kissed me on the lips.

— And you know, I fell in love with you like a boy, — Peter whispered in my face.

“I’m in love with you too,” I replied.

We continued walking forward, holding hands. I felt him, and he felt me, and it was a state of inexhaustible bliss that we let into our hearts now.

— Look how beautiful it is, up ahead,” I said, admiring.

— Yes, very much.

And Peter approached a young guy who was standing not far from us, holding the handlebars of a bicycle.

— Young man, what is the name of this pond?

— Mmm… I don’t know, sorry, — the guy was confused.

An elderly woman passing by overheard their conversation.

— And this, young people, is the Pioneer Pond, it was created back in the nineteenth century, the whole territory then belonged to the Petty-Bourgeois School. Before the revolution of 1917, the reservoir was called Small. Only when Gorky Park was built here, it was renamed. I worked as a teacher before, so I know the history of this place well.

— Thank you, and I’m also fond of history, — said Peter.

— Grandma, let’s go,” the little boy who was standing next to her said tearfully.

And they immediately left.

After walking a few steps forward, we came even closer to the pond. Boats and catamarans floated in front of us. Small fish splashed in the water, and fry in flocks dissected the pond.

— I have to tell you something, Vladochka. I definitely have to leave tomorrow. I have a service, and I have to be at the temple by the weekend.

— Of course, I understand everything.

I felt very sad, but he had his own life, another family, there, far away, in a completely different country.

— And so that you wouldn’t be sad, I ran to buy delicious ice cream. Which one do you like?

— Buy me a milkshake, then I will try not to be sad, — I tried not to show the true emotions that just engulfed me at that moment.

Peter bought himself an ice cream, a cocktail for me and went to the free catamaran:

— And now we’re going to do a few laps, have we swam?

— Of course, we swam.

Peter quickly stepped into the very center of the catamaran and held out his hand to me. Another second and I was there. Having settled down comfortably, we began to pedal, and splashes of water flew in different directions, getting on our face and clothes.

— Oh, how fun, look at the sun, it has crumbled into small fragments in the water, and it’s like a lot of lights are floating next to us.

— And one piece of glass fell into my catamaran, — laughed Peter.

We talked and laughed merrily, completely oblivious to how our time flew by and the evening crept up. We got home very late.

The next morning Peter began to prepare for departure. Suddenly the phone rang.

— Good afternoon! How are the kids? How is she? he spoke very softly.

I immediately realized that it was my wife calling.

Soon he hung up the phone and continued to work on trousers.

“Do you love her?”

— No, I just live with her, she’s a sick person. Let’s postpone this conversation for later.

— Of course, we will postpone.

— Maybe you won’t come to see me off? Let’s say goodbye at home.

Peter never once looked me in the eye.

“Don’t you want to be with me when the train departs?” I asked sadly.

— No, that’s not the point at all.

Peter got dressed. He took the suitcase by the long handle and said:

— Goodbye, Vlada, and thank you for everything.

And he left the apartment.

Of course, I was somehow uncomfortable. I haven’t smoked for a long time, but at this moment it was just necessary. The pack of cigarettes was in the closet in a small jar for cereals, hidden just for such a special occasion. Along with the cigarette I smoked, the idea came to me that everything in life should be told. I quickly left the house. I looked at my watch and realized that I would definitely make it before the train left, and my legs carried me along the subway faster and faster.

There wasn’t much time left, so I immediately ran to the platform. The train had already been announced, and there were more and more people. Among the many faces, only Peter was missing. Suddenly someone gently took me by the shoulder. My heart almost jumped out of my chest in surprise, I turned around.

— You again, and I recognized you! The gray — haired man was smiling happily.

Oh my God, I recognize that snow-white smile.

— Aristarkh Borisovich, what are you doing at the train station? I asked, confused by the unexpected meeting.

— I’m taking my friend on the train to Kiev, but where is the man who was jealous of me? — the actor asked and laughed.

— Yes, we missed him a little, he is also going to Kiev on this train.

— Here, take my business card, since we have already become friends so much, my dispatcher will answer, if you want to come to my concert, then they will tell you all the necessary information at this number. And now I’m in a hurry. But if I meet you again, then … — Aristarkh Borisovich smiled and winked at me.

A few minutes later, the Moscow — Kiev train started moving and began to pick up speed. I stood thoughtfully on the platform and watched him go until the last car disappeared from sight.

The door at my entrance was half open, someone had planted a stone. When I got to my floor, I felt a hand on my shoulder again and quickly turned around. Peter was standing next to me as if nothing had happened.

— Did you plant the stone? I grinned.

— Yes, I was afraid I’d miss you.

— And I was looking for you at the train station and met you again, you won’t believe it, Aristarch Borisovich.

— Wow, did you meet him again? It happens. And I like to joke sometimes, it’s okay, you’ll get used to it,” and he showed me his ticket, where it was written that the Moscow — Kiev train No. 005 departs tomorrow at two o’clock in the afternoon.

“I thought you didn’t want to see me anymore,” I said with a smile.

— Come on, honey. Shall we go for a walk in Moscow? Peter suggested.

We left the car at a paid parking lot, and we went for a walk along the Arbat.

The walk was long, and it was only late in the evening that we returned home. Peter gave me several gifts: diamond earrings and a beautiful evening dress. If you say that I was happy, then it’s not to say anything at all. I was floating in the air and spinning in a dance, wearing new clothes on myself. He poured a glass of red wine “Cabernet Sauvignon” and offered to drink to our wonderful evening. After a few sips, a wave of warmth swept through his entire body. Peter took my hand, and we embraced and danced into each other.

But the next day came, no matter how we tried to delay the minutes of parting. At the train station, Peter did not take his brown eyes with long eyelashes away from me. His gaze fascinated me more and more, but at the same time it broke my heart. After all, there was a huge mountain of obstacles and uncertainty ahead of our relationship. You can’t love a married priest, my mind screamed, but how I need him, my heart said.

Standing on the platform waiting for the train, our heads were bent towards each other, we held hands, and our lips whispered:

— I love you, my Vladochka.

— I love you, my good one.

“I’m going to miss you so much, honey.

— And me.

— I’ll come to you, you just wait.

The train arrived on schedule. Peter kissed me gently, then stepped inside the car, and soon his silhouette disappeared into the crowd of people leaving. The train started, and the wheels rattled in time with my heart, taking with them my joy and my love.

Santa Claus as a gift

Time passed. The green leaves changed and turned yellow, but soon they too were gone. The bare branches stuck out absurdly in different directions, and the knots were intertwined with each other, like snake-haired monsters. It was the end of December. People were bustling on the street, and in the shops, gift packages with shiny ribbons, snowflakes, decorated Christmas trees were dotted in the windows, and everything was seasoned with flashing lights and garlands. During this time, I got a job in a Moscow beauty salon. I had to get used to Moscow life and learn how to work in the capital, so I was in no hurry to open my own business.

— Vlada, go, you have a client.

Nadia, the salon administrator, came into my staff room.

— Thank you, honey.

I put the unfinished glass of tea in the sink for dishes. A young woman was waiting for me in the hall. After a couple of hours, the work was ready.

— Coloring the roots, tinting and styling, — I told Nadia.

— That’ll be three and a half thousand.”

The client handed the money to the administrator and left.

— Vlada, I’ll come tomorrow at nine in the evening, — Nadia, my new friend and work colleague, said in the voice of the lord. — And we will immediately go to Sokolniki Park for the Christmas tree, it will be so interesting, I have thought everything through to the smallest detail.

— I would like to, — I tried to hide my true mood.

Peter has been in touch very little lately, referring to the large pre-New Year’s employment.

— At five minutes to ten, girls, have you overworked today? Julia, our manicurist, asked loudly.

— Yulka, the red — haired beast, — Nadia said with a grin, — a cold bed is waiting for us, but you run to your overseas prince and faster!

A few more minutes we finished our tea and a little later went outside, closing the salon door with a key.

— See you tomorrow, Nadenka.

And I walked briskly along the snow-dusted sidewalk.

— Taxi, — waving her hand, Nadia ran up to the car.

“Yandex-taxi” was written on a car painted under the brand, and, apparently, at the moment it was standing alone waiting for a passenger. Nadia was very assertive by nature, but with a sense of humor. Her red curls stuck out awkwardly from her hood. She gave her address to the taxi driver, quickly got into the car and closed the door behind her. The car let out a roar of brakes and disappeared from sight.

The next day I was preparing for the New Year. Last night, together with Nadia, we decided to share the responsibilities of preparing a festive dinner. I had a few salads and a baked festive goose stuffed with apples. And Nadia was supposed to bring dessert, French-style meat, a couple more salads and champagne. I spent the whole day in the kitchen, and in the evening, out of impotence, I fell on the sofa and fell asleep. When the doorbell rang, I realized that I didn’t have time to do half of the things.

— Here you go, Sonya, a taxi is waiting for us, and you’re not packed yet. Quickly put on jeans with some kind of jacket and hit the road. I didn’t come alone,” Nadia drawled cheerfully, and I realized that she was drunk.

She went to the table and put some prepared dishes with food and a cake with huge roses, which she brought from home.

— Where did you get so drunk? I asked in surprise, zipping up my jacket.

— We congratulated each other with a neighbor! At first she came to visit me, then I went to her, and then she came to me again,” Nadia replied and burst out loudly with her bright and infectious laughter.

I was getting ready quickly, like a soldier on alert. And after a couple of minutes we went outside.

When we got closer to the taxi, I saw a huge female figure, she occupied most of the cabin.

— Hello, Happy New Year! I said, opening the door and getting into the back seat.

— Hi, my name is Sofa, — said a large, obese woman in a low voice. I’ve heard a lot about you, Vlada. You probably already realized that I’m Nadia’s neighbor.

— I think it will be more fun together, — I muttered to myself and turned away, looking out the window at the kids who were running around in the yard, pretending to be riders on horses. It was unclear to me why Nadia took her with her.

— And I also thought that the three of us would be much more interesting, — Nadia said cheerfully, reading my thoughts.

When we reached Sokolniki Park, the Sofa opened the door in the car, caught on something with its foot and rolled out like a bun, right on the sidewalk. Nadia managed to catch her before she was completely sprawled out in the snow, and so they went to the park in an embrace. I just noticed the package in Nadia’s hands.

— What’s in the bag? I asked.

“Oh, and this is fuel for warming,” Nadia said cheerfully.

Soon we entered Sokolniki Park. The Christmas tree was huge and glowed with multicolored lights. The floodlights illuminated all sides of the park, it lay beautifully on the snow, on the Christmas tree, cutting further into the horizon, taking the rays far to the stars.

A lot of people gathered around. And we moved closer and closer into the crowd, and more and more dances with children formed around us, their happy faces were everywhere. A man with an accordion sang nearby, he danced, calling on everyone to sing along with him. Suddenly, two men dressed in the uniform of paratroopers fell at our feet from the crowd, the third, the largest and very tall man, scooped up two in an armful, having gathered a hand full of snow, and began to rub their cheeks with cold to bring them to their senses.

— What are you guys, you haven’t spent the old year yet, and you’re no longer in good condition. Stand straight and listen to your commander! — he commanded.

The men obediently tried to straighten their chests and draw in their bellies. And then they noticed us.

— Girls, Happy New Year!

— Boys, and you! Nadia answered cheerfully.

— And let’s spend the old year together with us in a warm company, — one of the paratroopers suggested. — I’m Sanya, the most important one in our position and rank is Yura, and next to me — he pointed to a friend who was barely standing next to him — Roma.

— I… I… Roma,” said a middle — aged man, stammering and barely moving his tongue, he was the drunkest of the three.

We also called our names together and took out a bottle of champagne from the bag. We fiddled a little with the bottle stopper, and here is the victory, she loudly banged to our applause. Nadia poured champagne for everyone in a plastic cup.

— I propose a toast! — she said cheerfully.

Everyone froze in anticipation. Even the paratroopers obeyed Nadia.

— For us, the beautiful, and for you, the infidels…

— Well, Nadenka, you offend, all three of us are not married, — said Sanya. “I suggest we get to know each other better,” and he held out his hand to Nadia.

— I have a toast too. We spend the old year so that all the bad things go away with it, and only all the good and good things remain in the New Year,” Yura said, looking at me affectionately.

We all joined together under the clinking of disposable cups.

Time runs fast in its own way, the years fly by unnoticed. One year is replaced by another, and a series of years takes childhood, youth, youth is replaced by maturity. All people have a New Year in different ways. Some are sitting at home with their family and quietly celebrating the holiday at home, while others are in large companies having fun and dancing. And no one will ever tell you how to meet him correctly.

— Now everyone look carefully over there, — Nadezhda stretched out her hand forward, where she was pointing, the skating rink was visible through the trees.

— It’s cool, we’ll celebrate the New Year standing on the ice. Let’s see who’s wearing what? Sasha said, laughing.

— And you, Sasha, I strongly do not recommend going out on the ice at all. You don’t even stand well on the ground,” I said, looking at him ironically.

Sasha gave me a positive nod in response and remained obediently standing in place.

The rental was a small house and stood in the thick of trees not far from the skating rink. Putting on my skates, I boldly stood on the ice and quickly slid across it. Yura also knew how to skate, and we drove several laps together. Nadia also rode on the ice with us. Having rolled enough, we went to the park. Sofa, Roma and Sasha did not even approach the skating rink, but were all the time at the Christmas tree, cheerfully looking at us.

As we got closer, the Sofa took another bottle out of the bag. Cotton — and champagne is spilled. Sasha brought us all together, and we organized a small circle and began to sing softly:

— Under the wing of the plane, the green sea of taiga is singing about something…

Suddenly an unfamiliar figure of a man squeezed into our circle, and he said in a commanding voice:

— Drinking alcoholic beverages in a public place, Article 20.20 of the Code of the Russian Federation “On Administrative Violations” states that…

— Who will you be? Yura asked.

— Andrey Yuryevich, major of the Police Department of the Department of Internal Affairs in the Western District of Moscow, I can also show documents, — the man said, frowning, holding out a red certificate.

— Yurievich, and I’m also Yura, the New Year is today! Let’s better join us, we are military paratroopers.

— Okay, then we’ll drink cognac now, — Andrey Yurievich took a small bottle of three-star cognac from the side pocket of his jacket.

Two other tall girls joined us, they were together with Andrey Yurievich.

— Hooray, Happy New Year, — everyone shouted together, raising their cups up.

— Girls, let’s get acquainted, my name is Sasha.

I pulled Nadia’s sleeve and whispered softly in her ear:

— Let’s get out of here.

We took the Sofa by the arms, and the three of us began to leave the park.

— Vlada, where are you going? — Yura was following me.

— To celebrate the New Year, we spent the old one, — I replied.

— Can I come with you?! Yura asked in a pleading voice.

“I’m sorry, I can’t,” and I shrugged in response.

— Maybe we’ll meet after all, leave me your phone number? — the obsessive groom did not lag behind.

I decided not to explain anything, waving goodbye to him.

— Nadenka, I’ll find you, honey, — Sasha shouted after us, he could not stand still at all and staggered from side to side like a pendulum in a clock.

We returned home an hour before the New Year. Nadia busied herself with the table setting.

And I hurried to the kitchen to put the goose with apples in the oven.

— The chimes will strike soon! Nadia said, hastily laying out the dishes and cutlery on the table.

Quite unexpectedly, the doorbell rang.

“Who could it be?” Nadia asked.

— Most likely, they made the wrong apartment, I’m not waiting for anyone, — I replied to my friend and continued fussing in the kitchen, laying out hot goose on plates.

“Only Santa Claus can come at this time, but I’ll take a look anyway,” Nadia replied and went to the door.

There was a click of the lock, and suddenly a melody came from the entrance, someone was playing the accordion and singing:

— Five minutes, five minutes,

The clock will strike soon.

Five minutes, five minutes,

Make up those who are in a quarrel!

I wiped my hands on a towel and also went out into the corridor to look at the artists.

The girls, like military men on command, lined up along the wall, but only the commands were distributed not by the military commander, but by Santa Claus himself, his staff was huge, beautifully decorated with tinsel with a star on top. He hit it three times and, as if by magic, took out a bottle of champagne from his red bag.

— The New Year is already on the threshold, so let’s raise our glasses, friends! Santa Claus said happily.

The guy smiled and sang again:

— Oh, like with Santa Claus

I want to get acquainted!

My beauty is not enough —

I’ll pay extra with moonshine!

Santa Claus with the Snow Maiden

They go everywhere together.

In every house they pour

They have two hundred grams each!

— Uh-uh,” the girls chimed in.

Nadia stamped her foot and danced with the accordion player.

— Well, why are you standing in the entrance, now the chimes will strike, come in, sit down, — I hospitably invited everyone home.

The guy in front of us politely bowed and sang:

— And my name is Artem,

The whole house knows me,

Day and night I’m on the accordion

I repeat “Waltz Boston”!

He bowed to us once more and introduced himself:

— Artem is my name, hello everyone!

The young man was at most twenty-five years old, he was a tall, fair-haired guy with excellent posture and a beautiful actor’s face.

I put all the guests at the table, there were enough seats for everyone. And at this time, on TV, the president’s congratulations were already coming to an end, the anthem began to play, we all got up from the table, and with a glass in my hands, I said:

— Let’s make our innermost wishes under the chimes and drink champagne. May all your dreams come true in the New Year!

When the chimes struck twelve, our eyes met with Santa Claus, and I began to realize that they were familiar to me, and I recognize his long black eyelashes from thousands of other eyelashes. But I decided not to show it.

— I wish you all a Happy New Year! I will give a gift to everyone for pleasure — a poem from your mouth for me! Santa Claus said solemnly.

Artyom took the accordion again and sang ditties:

— I fell in love with Santa Claus.

Oh, he’s a hot man!

So milo congratulated me,

That a Snowman was born.

The snowman listened to the whim

Attach the carrot from the bottom,

And when was it fulfilled —

He melted with shame.

The girls took scarves and kerchiefs and, merrily holding hands, began to dance.

— We sang ditties to you

Is it good, is it bad

And now we ask you

For you to clap us.

“Friends, I’m waiting for your poems, whoever remembers what tells, and for that I’ll give you a candy with a surprise inside,” said Santa Claus, taking out a bag of sweets with multi-colored candy wrappers from the bag.

— The poems are called “Never regret anything”, author Andrey Dementiev.

Never regret anything after

If what happened can’t be changed.

Like a note from the past, crumpling your sadness,

With this past, break the fragile thread.

Never regret what happened.

Ile about what can not happen already …

Nadezhda finished her poems to our applause.

— What a clever girl, Nadenka, here take a candy, look at what’s inside, — and Santa Claus handed a blue shiny candy to Nadia.

There was a note in the candy, she read it out loud:

— Give your kiss to someone you like.

Nadia boldly approached the accordion player and kissed him on the cheek. Artyom also took Nadia’s hand in his palms and kissed her back.

The Sofa became the next declamator. The woman stood in the center of the room, straightened her back, straightened her shoulders, she looked already sober, perhaps the champagne quickly turned her head and just as quickly faded away.

— Tell me, Uncle, it’s not for nothing

Moscow, burned by fire,

Given to a Frenchman?

After all, there were fighting fights,

Yes, they say, some more!

No wonder the whole of Russia remembers

About Borodin’s day!

After reading the poem to the end, the Sofa was flushed with excitement, and we applauded standing up, and emotions overwhelmed us.

— I read it extraordinarily, — said Santa Claus and held out a candy with a surprise.

The sofa took it and modestly sat down at the table.

— What is written there, read it! Nadia said, trying to take the candy from her friend’s hands.

— I’m on my own. Tell me about your love, if it is in your heart,” it was written in block letters on a small piece of paper. The sofa began to look around the room, she was looking for something with her eyes, as if peering into every detail of the interior. And when she saw the icon of the Kazan Mother of God on the window behind the curtain, she came up, knelt down and, bowing her head down, said softly, almost in a whisper:

— Oh… God, how I love you! I’m sorry for everything…

In the silence that reigned, she silently got up from her knees, wiped the tears that appeared on her cheeks, and sat down at our table.

I was next.

— In the morning in the rye nook,

Where the matting is paid in a row,

Seven were foaled by a bitch,

Seven red-haired puppies.

Santa Claus praised me, too, handed me a candy with a surprise. In my note it was written that I should share my innermost dream and desires.

— I want my beloved Peter to be with me now, — with these words I tore the piece of paper into small pieces and threw it up.

— And wishes must be fulfilled, because I am a magical Santa Claus, — and hitting the floor three times with a staff, he took off his beard and hat.

“It’s hot at your house, Vladochka,” Peter said with a smile and gently hugged me.

— So you know each other? And I’m thinking how Santa Claus can come to visit, this just doesn’t happen,” Nadia said cheerfully.

— But you did believe in a fairy tale a little? Peter asked.

— They believed me,” the girls laughed in response.

“But she’s here and hasn’t left you yet!” “Get dressed and go downstairs, and Artyom and I will be waiting for you outside.”

Such a pleasant feeling when on a warm winter day soft and fluffy snow falls in white flakes on the face and clothes. It’s just as good when, wrapped in a soft, warm blanket in the bitter cold, you sit at home and drink hot tea with lemon and melissa. It is also good when your loved one envelops you with his tenderness, and you feel his love, it warms your heart, carrying it through the years.

Volleys of flickering fireworks greeted us as we stepped outside. Right at the entrance, the kids were fussing, setting up their festive fireworks and throwing firecrackers at the feet of passers-by. I looked around, Peter and Artem were nowhere to be found. Shifting from one foot to the other, the Sofa said:

— I’m freezing…

And then a white limousine appeared around the corner of our house, it drove up to us slowly and gracefully.

— Girls, — Artem shouted, opening the window of the limousine, come to us, the carriage is served.

The limo stopped at the entrance. The lambo door leaf turned 130 degrees. Peter was sitting at the very entrance and was holding out his hand to me like a footman. There was a spicy vanilla smell in the cabin, and music was playing softly. Leather seats stretched along the limo, and on the opposite side there was a bar with wine glasses and champagne.

— How do you like my surprise, Vladochka? — and Peter put his arm around my shoulders.

— It’s a very nice idea, but the biggest gift is your unexpected arrival.

— I really wanted to see you and give you and me a holiday.

— You did great.

— No, honey, it’s just beginning. Something very pleasant and unforgettable is waiting for you now.

Our limo was moving smoothly and quickly along the highway. We were happy that night, and the memory of such moments leaves burning bright stars for a lifetime.

Behind a fir branch, in the forest

After a while, the car slowed down and stopped completely. The flap of the lambo door rose up, and a coniferous forest spread out before my eyes. The breeze immediately carried the smell of pine needles and fir cones.

— Have a nice weekend, — I said goodbye to everyone who stayed in the car, and Peter and I slowly walked to the exit.

The forest with sparse trees was more like a forest belt, a frozen lake peeked through the trunks and the thickening twilight. A well-trodden path passed through the trees and led us to it. There were houses near the lake, these were cottages.

— Here we are.

Peter approached a large house, which consisted of two floors and was made entirely of timber.

“It’s beautiful here,” I said, looking around.

Currant and raspberry bushes grew around the house. The yard was well maintained and clearly divided by paths that led to the bathhouse, gazebo and somewhere else. A Chevrolet Aveo, already familiar to me, was parked next to the house.

— Tell me, who is Artyom?

— The son of my old acquaintance from Ukraine, who now lives in Moscow. A good, smart guy, he is studying at the institute to become a dentist.

Peter took out a huge bunch of keys from his slate-colored leather purse. The door was massive and closed with several locks. Turning over the keys one by one, Peter remembered which keys the hostess of the dacha showed him to open this huge door. After a while, the door creaked open. And we immediately found ourselves in a small corridor. The interior was chosen for the country style and was very well suited to the atmosphere of a house made of natural material.

There was an old gramophone in the center of the hall, the case itself did not look shabby, but the handle for the spring factory was all rusted. Peter went up to him and began to sort out the mechanism of the player. And I wanted to go around the whole house and look around. The hall on the ground floor was most likely intended for receiving guests, festive events, and there were also two sports simulators. At the end of the hall was a staircase leading to the second floor. The steps were far apart from each other, and I had to lift my leg high to move it to a step higher. The second floor had a more cozy atmosphere, it was divided into two rooms. One room was a bedroom with a wide bed, a wardrobe, and on the opposite wall there was a dressing table with a mirror decorated with decorative red roses.

In the other room there was a wood-burning fireplace built into the wall, decorated with ceramic tiles, and two rocking chairs. There was a glass coffee table between the chairs, and on it was a large vase with decorative fruits. The silence of the house was broken by an ancient melody, which is now playing on the ground floor.

— Vladochka, I seem to have coped with a difficult task and launched the old technique.

— I’m coming to you.

Peter was waiting for me next to the stairs, he held out his hand to me so that I was safely at the bottom. Then he hugged me and we danced.

— One-two-three, one-two-three,” we repeated, making waltzing movements to the music.

“This New Year’s Eve is the longest in my life,” I said in a happy voice.

— After all, it’s good, we are together, and we are happy, — Peter smiled in response, and his gaze pierced me so that I trembled, and butterflies tickled my lower abdomen.

After a while we ran out of strength and went upstairs.

Near the bed, Peter hugged me and began to kiss me.

“How I’ve missed you all this time,” he whispered, continuing to kiss, rising from the shin and higher, exposing me more and more.

He lifted the dress, covering my naked tummy with kisses. Unbuttoning the bra, he eagerly clung to my excited nipple, continuously caressing it. I let out soft moans, and my womb filled with moisture. He abruptly pulled off my panties and entered me. After making a few movements, he lay down contentedly next to me and fell asleep.

Time is running inexorably fast, and the hands on the clock are counting down the minutes of our lives. Minutes form an hour, which turns into a day, days go into years. Years turn into eternal life in the universe. And sometimes you just want to stop time.

When we woke up, it was already dark outside the window.

— Hi, sonya, — said Peter in a warm voice. — it’s probably about six in the evening.

— We’re not in a hurry today, are we? I asked, stretching while lying on the bed.

— Of course, we can live here for a month, but I can only be with you for three days. And then I will have to go to Chernigov and be at the service in the temple.

“It’s a pity that it won’t be so long,” I said and sighed sadly.

— And now it will be for a very long time, — said Peter and began to kiss my excited nipples, and his hand began to walk between my legs.

“You’re my most desirable man,” I said, putting my arms around his neck.

When we enjoyed each other enough, we immediately wanted to eat.

— Vladochka, I bought sausages, meat, potatoes and bread. We can make a grill out of them,” Peter said happily.

— Let’s light up the fireplace, — I said, throwing on a light translucent robe on the go, yesterday I still managed to leave some of my things in the bag.

Peter went to the fireplace, took the firewood that was lying next to him, and threw them into the furnace. The fire began to flare up more and more, and the yellow-red flames began their all-consuming dance.

— Now I’ll bring a bag of food, — said Peter and went to the stairs.

I remained sitting by the fireplace and looking at the fire. The wood crackled as it burned, the fire darted across the tree like a red monster that left nothing alive in its path.

— Have you been waiting, honey? And one funny thought has just come to my mind, because it turns out that we haven’t eaten at all this year,” Peter said and laughed out loud.

“We should be very hungry right now,” I smiled back.

I cut the sausages and bread into large pieces and put them on skewers. Peter put chairs next to the fireplace, and we sat comfortably in them, picked up a skewer and began to fry from different sides. The sausage slowly browned and exuded a fragrant smell.

— I wonder whose house it is? I asked.

— One woman, she is my spiritual child, I pray for her soul every day, and in gratitude she allowed me to live in it for free.

— Do you have many such spiritual children, Father?

— A lot, Vladochka, it’s easier for me with women, but men also have spiritual children. Here, for example, the car I’m driving now was given to me by a cool and famous bandit Prince.

— A bandit? I didn’t think they had any kind of relationship with the clergy.

— Of course there is! But how? I confess my sins to him, and for this he thanks me with gifts and money. I have a lot of rich women in spiritual children who have their own business. There are owners of a cheese factory, a tannery and a food fragrance factory.

— Very interesting. Tell me about your wife.

“Not now,” he said.

“I need to know everything, tell me,” I already insisted.

“Okay, we’ll talk, but only after dinner, otherwise your appetite will disappear,” Peter replied and laughed.

Grilled sausages and fried bread were a success. The fried bread was crispy, and the sausages were juicy and smelled of smoke.

“After a delicious dinner, we can talk,” Peter said in a satisfied voice, looking at the dying embers in the fireplace and turning over baked potatoes with a stick.

— Where is your wife now?

— She is in the hospital, undergoing chemotherapy under the supervision of doctors. She’ll be there for another week. After all, she has breast cancer, I already told you about it.

— Can she die? I asked with a little regret.

— There are two options: she will die or I will help her recover. I am raising money for her treatment, and people are helping me with this. Vladochka, I never loved her, and I only got married out of pity. She had a bad relationship with her mother. And now it’s very hard for me to live with her, she shouts at me for any reason. These scandals bother me. I’m an unhappy person.

And I saw tears in his eyes.

— I can’t leave her, because I’m a priest, I can’t. I may be defrocked, and I will be a father-stripped.

“I didn’t know about it, Peter, and I’m in a lot of pain right now,” I said softly, and tears flowed down my cheeks.

— Vladochka, I really need you. But please, let’s not decide anything yet, time will put everything in its place. I can’t live without you.

“I need you very much too, very, very much,” I replied.

Pyotr’s face turned pink from the fire, he leaned back in his chair, closed his eyes and dozed off. It was about midnight, and I didn’t feel like sleeping at all yet. On the ground floor there was a small bookcase with old, thick books and countless volumes of encyclopedias. I took one book and decided to look through it a little. The house was silent and completely silent, and only a small crackling of dying embers came from the fireplace.

Suddenly, on the first floor, there was a ringing from the kitchen, something fell to the floor and broke. I followed the sound. Soon a picture appeared before me: not far from the table, two pots were lying on the floor, and a huge rat was sitting next to me and looking at me with its small black beady eyes.

— Boom! — suddenly said Peter, who was already standing behind me, hugging me around the waist. — I forgot to warn you, there are rats here.

— I already understood! I answered, laughing.

— Vlada, and you are very brave, as I see. What if they were robbers?

— It’s nothing…

— Yes… here Lydia Ivanovna asked to set traps for rodents.

The rat immediately darted under the table and disappeared from sight, as if it had heard what we were talking about. Peter put a rat trap with a sausage inside under the table.

— I hope that in the morning she will already be caught, don’t worry, they live only on the ground floor, — said Peter and, taking me by the hand, led me to bed.

We lay down together under the blanket, and I felt his lips begin to cover my body with kisses again. He spread my legs, and his kisses made them bend at the knees and put them on his shoulders. Soon I was convulsing with voluptuousness, his tongue caressed, and his lips kissed my bosom, and at that moment my paradise was right here and now.

Ding dong! Ding dong! The clock on the wall struck midnight. I’m walking through the house, this gloomy, gray house. Mother Maria is standing in one room with a dim light, she did not mind that I stayed with them for the night. And here’s another room. With a creak, the door slowly began to open itself. I became terribly interested, and I decided to take a look. What’s behind the door? The room was small, there was nothing in it, only gray wallpaper hung on the wall. There was also a man sitting on the wall, his long, black hair was scattered all over his body, his face was also not visible, it was covered with long hair. The man began to run along the walls, floor and ceiling with great speed, suddenly he crawled up to me. I looked closely at his face and saw his eyes through his hair. Oh, my God, what did I see! It was Peter.

— Peter! Peter!” I shouted through my sleep.

— Vladochka, wake up, what happened?

Peter excitedly began to shake me by the shoulder.

My nightgown was soaked with sweat. When I came to, the same eyes from my nightmare were looking at me.

“It can’t be,” I thought. — This Peter from the dream is a real demon. What a stupid and terrible dream. My beloved is just an angel and a kind-hearted father.” I began to drive away the thoughts inspired by this nightmare.

— My sweet, what did you dream about? It’s like you’ve seen the devil.

— I saw him,” I whispered.

— I will take you to the temple for the service, and then you will definitely need to confess to me. And now we have a health day! Peter said.

— What are we going to do? I asked.

— I’ll heat the bathhouse now, there are birch brooms, we’ll get drunk, and then I’ll give you a massage, and you to me, if you want.

— Any queen would envy me.

— And you are my Cinderella! Peter drawled happily.

— But the fairy tale about Cinderella ended well, she married her beloved prince, — I said with joy in my voice.

— Your fairy tale will also be happy, you have to believe in miracles, — and after these words Peter kissed me.

“I’ll go and melt the bathhouse and call you,” he said, going down the stairs.

Almost an hour passed, but he still wasn’t there. My patience snapped, and I threw on a fur coat and went outside.

The bathhouse was made of high-quality timber, and next to it was a cozy veranda. Peter closed the door tightly, he heated it well, and thick, black smoke poured out of the chimney.

— Vladochka, we will be coming in soon now.

Peter’s face was flushed. He was wearing only a jumper.

Suddenly a strong wind blew, which brought to us the increasing ringing of bells and the clatter of hooves. And then, from around the bend, a trio of white horses harnessed to a sleigh appeared, and in them several men dressed in Russian national costume. They swept past us and disappeared somewhere in a white cloud of snow.

Peter opened the door to the bathhouse, and thick steam poured down on us.

— The bathhouse has already been heated, let’s go.

We washed for a long time, steamed well and whipped each other with a birch broom. I came out of the bathhouse first, and Peter stayed to wash. When I was walking home, two men in suits blocked my path, and it became clear that these were the men who were riding in a sleigh.

— Look, Vadik, straight from the bathhouse, — said one of them.

— The dress is just not needed on her, it will be wrong, — Vadik spread his hands.

— But listen, Ivan Terentyevich said to take it quickly and without witnesses. And we have just such a case.

“I’m sorry, young lady, but we were told to kidnap you.

After these words, the tallest man came up to me, grabbed me by the waist and put it on his shoulder. From surprise, I experienced a stupor and rode him in silence for several minutes. Consciousness turned on only when I was already sitting in the sleigh.

“But — oh, touch it,” one of them shouted.

The sleigh jerked from its place and drove off.

— Let me go! I shouted.

— What are you shouting, Aglaya, we are taking you to your future husband, — the man who carried me on his shoulder said loudly.

— Peter, help me,” I shouted.

The door to the bathhouse opened, and Peter ran after us.

“Wife… wife,” he shouted, waving his arms excitedly.

“What wife?” According to our script, Aglaya is not a wife, but a bride. What is he shouting? one of the men asked in bewilderment.

— Please stop. I’m not Aglaya and I’m not a bride,” I said in a pleading voice.

— Stop, — the coachman ordered the horses and pulled the reins on himself, stopping the obedient troika.

— Listen, girl, aren’t you Aglaya? a gray — haired man asked me.

“Of course not,” I replied.

— You don’t have a Star Lane, 56? — Vadik asked in surprise.

— I think not, I’m visiting here myself.

— Guys, what is going on, my wife was taken right out from under her nose, you could say,” Peter shouted. He had already caught up with us.

— Sorry, we’ve come to the wrong address. We have a wedding. And we are Ivan Terentyevich’s best men,” said the same gray — haired man.

“The most important thing is that you haven’t gone far,” Peter said and took my hand.

The coachman shouted to the three horses:

— But, touch it!

The sleigh jerked from its place, and the strange people in Russian costumes left.

— My God, my dear, how are you feeling?

Peter hugged me, his voice was very excited.

— They called me Aglaia,” I laughed.

— And I thought that the robbers attacked us and took away the most expensive things in the house, — said Peter.

When we approached the house, Peter still decided to inspect the fence. It completely encircled our territory, looked huge and impressive, so it was very difficult to get through it. But it was only at first glance.

— Look where the fence ends, there is a huge hole, there are several boards missing, — I said and pointed with my hand to the place where they were able to squeeze in, and then calmly leave.

We went into the house and immediately went up to the second floor. Peter invited me to lie down on the bed, and I obediently did it. He sat down next to me and began gently kneading me, doing it rhythmically and at the same time gently.

“It’s so good,” I whispered in a heady voice. — You know, I was pleased when you called me your wife.

But Peter didn’t say a word in response, he just silently massaged. I wanted to turn over, and I lay on my back, exposing my excited nipples.

— What a slut you are,” he said reproachfully.

I just smiled silently, looking into his eyes.


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