Chapter 15 – Thursday Morning

Thursday Morning and the Delegates Prepare for the Final Session

The late night with very little proper sleep together with the excessive level of alcohol and the endless chain smoking had left Kirill feeling a lot worse than he had intended for the final session. He looked in the mirror and he did indeed look as bad as he felt, the eyes looked a little bloodshot and puffed and the wrinkles appeared a little more pronounced. He needed a close shave before a long hot shower, but first a thorough brush of teeth followed by mouthwash, he needed his breath to be fresh and to be able to taste the fresh coffee that would kick start the day.

Twenty minutes later he was feeling significantly better and looked a far more appropriate proposition for the schedule ahead. He gathered the flask which room service had delivered earlier, a cup because he hated the horrible plastic cups attached to the flasks, his cell phone, a fresh packets of cigarettes, the old reliable lighter and headed for the rooftop for his daily ritual while observing the rather depressing view of Moscow awakening to yet another gloomy, miserable and depressing day. Thank god he did not have to live here, that would be too much too bear and his liver and kidneys needed time to recuperate otherwise his life expectancy would surely plummet to that of the average Russian male. He needed to take more care of his health, after all he had plans, yes big plans and he aimed to follow them to completion.

He needed both the caffeine and the solitude of the rooftop to gather his thoughts and composure. This was the final day and up to this point the conference had passed relatively incident and drama free, could it possibly last for the next few hours before the delegates left for their own corners of the world? Below Kirill, in the heart of the hotel the delegates were also going through daily rituals and preparing themselves for the final meeting and their departures.

Floor 28: Taya Morozov

06:45am. Taya had not left the hotel during the final evening because she had preferred to be alone and catch up with her television programs before resetting her alarm and getting an early night. However she still had a restless night and awoke a full hour before the alarm clock was due to sound and really fancied a coffee but was basically too lazy to get up and switch the timer over to start so she just lay there feeling very much alone with a bagful of regrets and other bitchy stuff that would help her through the next twenty four hours. Although this was her homeland, she despised the weather, the people the politics, in fact she hated all of it and the loneliness compounded the hate and despair. She moved her butt and turned on the coffee machine, she did not want another soul to see her like this. The hissing had started before she had snuck back under the covers to the warmth of the sheets and the electric blanket which was still on.

Today the final meeting was scheduled for 09:30am to enable a brief synopsis of the last few days and to enable the delegates to get their designated flight slots at the airport. She had slept badly during the visit, she had also eaten far too much rich food and drunk far too much alcohol and the curves of her body were rebelling as they pushed out the delicate silk as they had done the morning before, but today she felt fat, obese even, and much worse than that she felt totally un-loved and now that self-centered obsession was turning into deep depression and her mood was darkening by the minute.

The coffee machine was pinging, the double espresso was ready, brain cells kicked her again, get up you fat old woman, you need that caffeine more than you think.

This morning she heard the hostess enter the room, open the curtains and leave a small breakfast selection which she had requested on the table by the window. Again her clothes had been picked up from the floor and hung up in the wardrobe and the jewelry had been placed in the ashtray on the dressing table, but this morning the hearing aid was missing and as she lay in self-pity the location of the hearing aid was not on her mind but it certainly would be in a couple of hours when she would be struggling to hear anything eligible and again she would blame everybody but herself for the loss of the vital instrument. She lay there in a cocoon of bitterness and lost hope but today she would be awake for the knock at the door from the bodyguard and she replied with her usual pleasantries and the Russian guard took the abuse as normal and was pleased not to have to enter the viper den and awaken the sad old bitch, at least the morning had started well for somebody.

Today she would have a small portion of the delicious Blini and Oladi with fresh coffee and bitter thoughts. She took a long hot shower followed by her own morning ritual beginning in-front of the mirror, the grey roots seemed even more pronounced than yesterday, she bit her lip and carried on with the ritual of face, hair nails, followed by a fresh selection of soft underwear, which felt so much softer than the day before and today she kept them on. Then a fresh stiff cotton blouse and the obligatory well pressed business suit, which today pushed the blouse hard against her nipples and her anger started to grow, then the hearing aid saga started in a very Russian way.

Just like the day before, she felt bad, miserable and very, very Russian.

Today the final meeting was due to start earlier at 09:30am and she would be late of course and regret it even more because the misery would be visible to the other delegates and you never get a second chance for a first impression!

Floor 27: Zhen Li

07:30am. The same procedure as the previous day, the curtains were drawn and the hostess had delivered the breakfast buffet. Clothes were strewn all over the floor, and also just as before, the hostess did not to touch anything and she left as quietly as she had entered. This morning there was no sound of giggling or any other noises coming from under the bed covers, but an alarm sounded on the iPhone on the table and Zhen Li slowly appeared from under the covers wearing a beautiful kimono styled night dress which barely covered the tight cheeks of her butt and as before she was also wearing high heels which must have impeded her sleep patterns whenever she rolled over.

There were no female associates this morning and she moved delicately to the bathroom for a long hot shower. Her vociferous sexual levels were legendary, but this morning even she appeared exhausted and could only manage ten minute under the hot power shower before towelling herself off lightly and wrapping the beautiful Chinese robe around her delicate skin which this morning had several small bruises around her breast and inside her thighs, she needed some ointment which was on the dressing table beside the mirror but first she needed tea and something to eat.

The previous evening had been a delirious but exhausting affair and she gave no thoughts to the suffering and humiliation of her two associates who she was contemplating replacing when they returned to China. Maybe she would decide their fate while they performed their duties during the long homeward bound flight, or maybe not, it was going to be another long arduous day and she had serious work to do.

She needed high energy levels today and quickly ate a selection of delicious portions from the small bowls, washed down with several mouthfuls of hot tea.

There was still time to read some of the paperwork and prepare herself, she needed to look her best infront of the other delegates and again chose functionality over sexuality for the clothing. It would be the essential silk French knickers which today would be black and the starched double cuffed cotton shirt covering her breasts with golf cuff links. Fresh pressed trousers which as usual were too long without her high heels and finished today with another beautiful vintage style Chinese folk jacket which again reached down to her knees, today the jacket would be black, to emphasise her focus on both business and duty.

As usual Zhen Li appeared both stunningly attractive, yet conservatively formal and she would be a few minutes early as she always was.

Floor 26: Suzu

07:30am. Very little changed in the world of Suzu, she had spent the previous evening reading the reports and devouring the data before having an early night. Almost on cue as the alarm had sounded, the curtains had been opened and a breakfast tray was prepared on the table by the window. She had requested a change to her breakfast menu as it would be a long and challenging day. She had requested a light omelette, but this time accompanied with side dishes accompanied with her favourite green tea.

There was no need to read anymore this morning, but she would anyway, and she read the analysis of the Zodiac Program again while sitting in the bed with more tea. She never spent too long in the bathroom as this was deemed wasted learning time and she wanted to dress sensibly but sensually as it would be a long day and she wanted to be comfortable.

Although Suzu always dressed in the formal business-woman style she always managed to exude highest level of class that is reserved for the elite echelons of the business world. Today she would wear cotton boxer shorts and silk blouse covered by a business suit of pleated skirt and matching jacket. She did not wear jewelry or other accessories. This was business and should be given the respect it deserved.

Suzu managed with consummate ease to look refined, delicate, sophisticated, sensual and business-like and today was no exception. And as before she would follow the same routine and would leave the suite with plenty of time to be early and maintain the tradition of Japanese etiquette.

Floor 25: Sabrina Belluci

08:00am. Breakfast had been delivered at 07:30am and she had finished the chocolate croissants with which had been washed down by double espresso before tuning into the classical music channel and returning to the bed with a latte macchiato.

As she had done the previous morning, Sabrina was wearing the large rimmed glasses and the La Perla nightshirt, pushed up all the pillows behind her head and studied several pages of the report.

However, the bitch inside herself kept on returning to thoughts of Victoria and Kirill and what they might have gotten up to the previous night. Sabrina needed more caffeine to clear her jealous mind but chose to have a shower first.

Today she would have loved to wear her red tailored leather suit but had instead chosen the gray on the pretence that this was the last day and people would be remembered for what stood out that day and if anything should be as it should not be then the memory works in many ways and she had no desire to be remembered for the wrong reasons and gray it would be. It was still a very stylish and well-cut suit, again designed in Milan to be both professional and powerful. Underneath she wore a less rigid basque than she had worn the day before to support her ample bosom and loose-fitting cotton French knickers, but in matching gray.

Her daily ritual continued with her long curly brunette hair, nails and jewelry to maintain that all embracing glamorous Italian look. The ritual concluded with her kissing the right index finger and touching her reflection in the mirror, “ciao baby, bad is good”.

As usual she would take serious pleasure in being late and avoid talking about the whereabouts of Victoria and Kirill the previous evening.

Floor 24: Susanna Bancroft

06:00am. Susanna was a workaholic and was already was up and working through the considerable pages and graphs of the reports. A creature of habit, she was wearing her favourite cotton pajamas and had misplaced her glasses which were beside the remains of her breakfast. She gave little concern to the usual miserable Moscow morning and her mind was very much awake and concentrating on the data.

The same sour faced hostess had served breakfast which consisted of her favorite New York Deli breakfast of scrambled eggs with salmon, artichoke hearts, wild mushrooms and Parmesan. She had not ordered the extra croissants this morning, but she was enjoying the second pot of fresh very strong black coffee with fresh single cream.

Susanna had a very different routine to most of the other delegates in that she spent so little time on her appearance. This lack of self-attention together with her dress sense had a dramatic impact on her overall appearance which came across as lacking sensuality, class and style but she really didn’t give a damn about it, quite simply those factors did not have a place in her world.

Today she would again be wearing another dark pin striped suit, dark glasses and the barest minimum of womanly accessories that would guarantee a total lack of sex appeal. That was Susanna in a nutshell. She had other more important qualities, which was why she had been chosen for the program and those qualities were most suited to her beloved Beaver Creek in Colorado.

Floor 23: Victoria Stafford

08:30am. Victoria was underneath the sheets naked, she had been too tired and intoxicated to put on her Derek Rose cotton shirt and was stretched out in the shape of a star and the alarm rattled on the phone, it had very little effect as she lay there not moving a muscle. That was about to change as the hostess who had been given strict instructions to ensure that she wake her at 08:30am knocked loudly at the door and entered with a tray containing two large bacon and egg sandwiches and a pot of strong English breakfast tea.

The curtains were whisked open and Victoria was gently shaken again with no effect. The hostess then held a phone next to her ear and let off the alarm, it had an immediate impact. An eyelid opened only slightly and then quickly shut, a more extreme measure was deemed necessary. Kirill had instructed her that if deemed necessary she was to remove the bedclothes and place ice packs on her, that should do the trick and do not wait around any longer than she had to. Well she didn’t hang around and the screams followed her behind the closing door and into the corridor, much to the surprise of the associates who suddenly appeared from their rooms.

Although Victoria was still half asleep the ice had done its’ job and she was out of bed rushing to the bathroom before vomiting in the toilet. A few wretches later she reappeared looking like death warmed up and in a state of mild panic. OMG I’m going to be late and returned to further sounds of severe discomfort.

The first thing was to wash her teeth and rinse out before hitting the shower. The hostess had reset the shower to very cold and the water hit her after inhaling a lung-full of air which was exhaled immediately in a burst of loud screams as she grappled with the temperature gauge.

A few moments later she emerged looking shell shocked wrapped in a towel and headed for the tray as her sense of smell kicked in. The tea could not be drunk fast enough, and she was feeling better with every mouthful. Her sense of self-preservation started to kick in and she knew she needed food to restore her well-being and she continued by attacking the sandwiches like a rabid prisoner before washing them down with more strong tea. She was feeling so much better than only a few minutes before and knew she had very little time to get ready and prepared. Her associates were knocking at the door to ask about her condition, she replied with unconvincing shouts of “it’s ok, it’s ok.”

She was standing naked infront of the mirror holding a mug of tea and looked a complete mess, there was so little time to get ready, she felt like crying, but started to laugh at her predicament and the smiles stopped the tears. Although she had a stinking headache, she was happy, so much happier than she had been for a very long time, so chin-up girl and get going.

First the all-over dry with the hair-drier, more tea, underwear, no forget that today it’s commando, stockings, suspender belt, a silk basque and fresh starched white shirt, then a pin-striped business suit in black which included a matching skirt with braided sides. She had not worn this before, it had been bought on a whim and she never had the confidence to wear it, but today was different. The formal jacket hid the finishing point of the braid and left it to the imagination of the onlooker. A final brush up and make-up then heels and a look in the mirror.

Victoria did not recognise herself, and somehow at that moment looking at her reflection she felt something that she had not experienced for such a long time, she just felt absolutely marvellous and spoke to the mirror with an unrecognised sexy gravelly voice, the result of too many cigarettes, maybe she should buy some of those that Kirill had given her, maybe she should do a lot more sinning, aspirins and tea would help gather those thoughts before heading down to meet the other delegates.

Floor 22: Tamara Krause

08:15am. Tamara had cried herself to sleep the night before and lay awake hiding under the covers as the hostess delivered her breakfast and opened the curtains. It was only what she considered a light breakfast, but this morning she lacked her usual insatiable German appetite.

She really did not want to attend the final session with the other delegates and time was running out, so only a quick shower this morning after which she had second thoughts about breakfast and devoured several small freshly baked rolls each with a thick spreading of butter and honey. The rolls tasted better with the black coffee, no milk today and for ever she secretly vowed. A final mouthful of coffee was followed by a deep teeth cleansing, she was obsessed with oral hygiene and always remembered the years of taunts from the braces which had done their job superbly, but the memories of those reflections in the mirror had never left her. She returned to the mirror naked from the bathroom and was none too pleased with who she was looking at! What to wear today to make her not only look smaller but feel smaller and time was running out.

Her fashion consultant had advised her to wear thin pin striped well cut men’s formal shirts with cuffed sleeves, they would make her look thinner and a more feminine shape which would really help hide her enormous tits which would be held in a robust but soft sports bra. She had not acted on this advice before but now she did. First the bra which did indeed appear to reduce the size and then the shirt which had been pressed by room service. She was very surprised and thrilled that it was very much as the consultant had said. Other advice included that she should not wear a necklace with open as eyes would target that spot and then drop to the ample breast area, a tie was far better at diverting attention. She had forgotten to bring cufflinks that were required for the double shirt cuffs, but she thought quickly and asked her security adviser if he could solve the problem, and as luck would have it he always wore them himself and gave her a selection to choose from.

The top looked good and she was pleased, next the bottom half. Firstly, a pair of delicate black cotton French knickers, which could not be seen, as the shirt tails hid their reflection in the mirror, but she felt comfortable. She had only bought along Saville Row business suits with trousers and not skirts, she chose a charcoal black pinstripe suit and tucked the shirt into the snug fitting trousers. The black chunky cufflinks were tricky to put in the shirt cuffs, but they looked superb, maybe she would keep them, the plain soft burgundy tie next, that took longer than anticipated and took several attempts to get the lengths just right. The jacket fitted like a dream and finally the shoes which against her better judgement she wore heels. Then turning around to see the final package in the mirror, she was thrilled it had worked, why hadn’t she done this before. The hair and makeup completed the transformation before the final push getting down to the meeting with seconds to spare.

She was smiling as she entered the lift the dark miserable thoughts of Victoria and the Kvartira 44 club were left behind on the pillows of the 22nd floor. No more starched Bavarian shirts with the frilly collars, they would be destroyed when she got back home.

Kirill: Hotel Lobby

Kirill finished the final details to the gift packages and needed a cigarette before meeting the delegates and quickly went outside the hotel lobby as there was not enough time to go to the roof and thought about the gifts as he drew on the cigarette in the cold Moscow air.

There was an extensive selection of gifts for each of the delegates, Kirill had given strict instructions to the consultants that they should include a selection of expensive items that should remind them of Russia and he himself would select a small collection of the most expensive Champagne, red and white wines and the most delicious desert wines. He quickly reread his notes and worried unnecessarily whether the selection would be deemed appropriate by his employers, but that was for another time, because there was a final morning to get through first!

Kirill’s Notes included:

Champagne: “Cuvee des Enchanteleurs”, 1998 France, aperitif

  • Color: Champagne pale golden color with fine bubbles
  • Taste: The taste of champagne mature, balanced, elegant, fresh and clean, with notes of toast, butter, citrus and peach
  • Aroma: The aroma is dominated by champagne tones of honey, which connect shades of citrus and hazelnut
  • Gastronomy: Champagne is excellent as an aperitif, but also suitable for fish dishes, especially for trout with roasted almonds, seafood, fruits and honey
  • Interesting Facts: Champagne “Cuvee des Enchanteleurs” made ​​from grape varieties assemblyazha Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Champagne: Dom Perignon 1996 France, RUB 33,761

  • Color: Champagne brilliant golden color with a nice long bubble game
  • Taste: Concentrated flavours of wine with an excellent creamy texture filled with notes of tropical fruit, roasted hazelnuts, peaches and spices
  • Aroma: The aroma of champagne starts notes of peaches, candied lemon, hints of cashew growing rapidly, vanilla, white pepper, dried herbs and fully disclosed notes of toasted buns
  • Gastronomy: Champagne is served as appetizers and desserts, as it perfectly combines with fish dishes
  • Interesting Facts: Vintage Champagne Dom Perignon, was first produced from the harvest of 1921, is still considered the top creative winemakers Moet et Chandon

Sparkling Wine: Krug Rose France, RUB 32,513

  • Color: Champagne elegant pink and golden brown
  • Taste: It has a refreshing, silky texture with notes of wild berries, exotic spices and flowers.
  • Aroma: Very flavourful champagne, the longer it is in the glass, the more it appears a variety of exotic notes of: wild berries, ginger, pepper, quince jelly and peony
  • Gastronomy: This unique pink champagne, should be served with lobster, salmon pate, truffles and complex aromatic Japanese dishes
  • Interesting Facts: In 1976, inspired by the magnificent harvest Henri and Rémi Krug decided to experiment and laid in the first rose wine cellar Krug. In 1983, they learned to light a few bottles and brought the glass to his father Paul II. He knew nothing about the experiment but came to a complete delight from the new champagne, which struck notes of wild berries, exotic spices and flowers and fascinated freshness and silky texture. Since then, the production of luxurious pink champagne has become a new family tradition

Red Wine: Barolo DOCG Riserva “Granbussia”, 1990 Italy, RUB 79,791

  • Color: Wine rich garnet color with a brick hue
  • Taste: Perfectly structured wine tastes different full body and extremely long finish
  • Aroma: The wine has a surprisingly rich aroma, demonstrating the subtle shades of violet petals and vanilla jam of red fruits and berries, as well as the subtle nuances of cinnamon, liquorice, chocolate and tanned skin
  • Gastronomy: Wine perfectly combines with red meat, game, dishes with truffles and mature cheeses
  • Interesting Facts: Great wine “Granbussia” Barolo Riserva is produced only in the most successful years. Wine is an assemblage of Nebbiolo with three small vineyards: Romirasko (70%), Chica (15%), Colonnella (15%), which are located on a hillside Busse. Over the past 20 years, the wine produces only 8 times

Red Wine: Les Forts De Latour, Pauillac AOC, 2007 France, RUB 29,960

  • Color: The wine has a dense ruby color with a brick hue
  • Taste: A full-bodied wine with a thick bright fruity notes and velvety tannins
  • Aroma: The wine has a sweet aroma of blackcurrant jam with skin tones and sweet spices
  • Gastronomy: The wine goes well with red meat dishes with berry sauce, hard cheeses
  • Interesting Facts: Château Latour is one of the few large estates in Bordeaux, which are controlled by foreign capital. It is located on the border of two communes, Saint-Julien and Pauillac, to the north of the vineyard Léoville Las Kaz

White Wine: Gaja, “Gaia & Rey”, Langhe DOC, 2015 Italy, RUB 28,000

  • Color: Straw yellow
  • Taste: Full concentrated flavor consists of tones of ripe fruit, lively acidity gives the wine and oak shades, creating a clear tannic structure
  • Aroma: The aroma of the wine offers shades of fresh pastries, vanilla and fresh notes of citrus fruits
  • Gastronomy: Wine is served with seafood, white meat grill, risotto and cheese
  • Interesting Facts: White wine “Gaia & Rey”, having exotic flavors, made from Chardonnay grapes harvested in the vineyard “Gaia & Rey”. It may be in the bottle 10, 15 or even 20 years and is best decanted at least half an hour before serving

Dessert Wine: Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes AOC 1-er Grand Cru Superieur, 1996 France, RUB 29,916

  • Color: Beautiful golden yellow
  • Taste: The wine has a rounded, soft, harmonious and balanced taste
  • Aroma: In the rich aroma of wine felt tones of apricot, quince and dates, besides different floral notes and citrus nuances
  • Gastronomy: Despite the fact that the Château d’Yquem refers to dessert wines, it is best served paired with foie-gras, oysters and mature cheeses, as the wine requires a very restrained sweetness to show your taste best
  • Interesting Facts: Great wine Chateau d’Yquem has incredible depth of flavor, fullness and true harmony. The wine is aged in new oak barrels for 42 months

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