Leander parked his car on the street behind the hotel and took a moment to think about who he had stopped by to see. “Why the hell did I agree to do this?” He ran a hand through his thick fair hair with annoyance written all over his face and gripped at it until the unruly strands pointed in all directions, sending an accusing look at the plastic bag he had shoved the bottle of absinthe into, that laid innocent on the passenger seat. “Right. I was pissed.” Leander sighed and grabbed the plastic bag, sliding out of the car and locking the doors behind himself.
It wasn’t that he had changed his mind, but he had had a long day. Leander woke up with a killer hangover—how was he stupid enough to let it happen in the first place? He wasn’t twenty one anymore—and everything went downhill from there. He would very much prefer to be in his shower, letting the steaming water wash away his frustrations, or at a beautiful stranger’s place, about to work on his frustrations his favorite way.
Instead, he walked towards Nadya Katalin’s hotel room with a bottled knock-out.
He identified himself at the front desk and took the stairs to her apartment’s floor. Leander remembered the first time he saw her and how he almost—almost—felt sorry for her brother’s predicament, but what really got to him was the way he could see so much innocence left on her after all the horror she had been through. How it held onto her, or she held onto it, and it somewhat felt like she could make it through hell and come out the other side victorious—like he had seen only a few do.
Leander glanced down at the bottle of absinthe he brought her and waved his head. Does this look like a victory to you? There was a certain appeal to cynism even the strongest willed men couldn’t deny at the sight of hopelessness. He knocked on her door. “Nadya, open up, it’s me, Lev.”
When she opened the door to reveal herself, he tugged his lips into a small smile that looked out of place, perhaps even a little unsure. “Alcohol delivery,” he joked, raising the plastic bag meaningfully, “Can I come in?”