Chapter 4 – Tuesday Morning

The Delegates Prepare for the Conference

On their arrival at the conference venue the small groups had been escorted to their own allocated floors and the suites which had been determined under the terms agreed for the attendance of the conference. Eleven floors from the 20th to the 30th inclusive had been requested and the management had been well and truly compensated for the impact on both their guests and the staff, considering not only the time of the year but the logistics of the dietary expectations and delivery of them.

The main suite on each floor was prepared for the delegate and each of her associates was allocated one of the other luxury rooms. What each group did or how they conducted themselves on those floors was not anyone else’s concern. However, each floor had been allocated close protection which was to remain by the elevator at-all-times. The hotel staff had been directed to attend to all their client needs but this was confined to each of the seven floors containing the delegates and the two meeting rooms which would facilitate the conference.

The floors immediately above and below these floors were allocated to security and to extend that security further the floors above and below those were to remain empty, except for the two security operatives who remained observing the elevators. This was normal practice under these circumstances and security was tight and fully briefed on their duties and expectations during the busy and festive period before the Christmas celebrations.

Refreshments and culinary menus which complied to the diet requirements of each group had been confirmed and delivered before their arrival.

There had been no request or complaints during the evening and the breakfast requirements were delivered as per the schedule for each floor. It was going to be a long day and adrenaline junkies would be having a blast as the stress and anxiety levels peaked and troughed and permeated through the establishment. This was a day that the staff would remember for a very long time and the reason why a few decided that the hospitality industry in the centre of Moscow was not where either their hearts or their futures would remain.

Floor 28: Taya Morozov (Russian Delegation)

07:00am. Taya awoke to the rattling sound of an alarm clock on her iPhone and almost simultaneously the spluttering sound of the coffee machine which was finishing the preparation of a piping hot double espresso. She was tired but excited to be back in her homeland even though her body was already being devoured by the cold miserableness of the Moscow winter.

The heat of Dubai sun seemed a lifetime ago, although in fact it was only less than a day before. The journey had been arduous but drama free. The conference notes and supporting documents were still in the briefcase that she had planned to empty and study on the desk in the adjoining room. However, those good intentions had lasted only a few minutes as the TV had boomed the latest Moscow news around the suite and a few ice cold vodkas had been consumed along with several delicacies provided by a very pretty hostess who was dismissed almost immediately to service the requirements of her close protection team who occupied three other rooms on the floor. She would not have heard the elevator descend over three hours later or witnessed the dishevelment of the hostess who had been suitably rewarded for her additional duties. Taya always maintained a respectful silence with her staff but expected total professionalism when attending to her daily requirements.

The king-sized bed was deliciously warm, but she quickly jumped out to retrieve the espresso before jumping back in and pulling the covers back over her head and blowing hot air over her knees.  The black silk romper suit with delicate lace down the sides was not really suitable for her present sleeping arrangements, but she always wanted to feel comfortable and sexy. Her fears were growing on that front, the silk felt a little tight around her breasts but maybe that was because the sudden cold sensation from the spacious bedroom had hardened her nipples which were one of her favourites assets, she caressed them with her hands and they softened to her touch.

There were just over two hours before the conference was due to start. An arm reached out of the warmth to pickup the coffee and secret it back under the covers to be sipped and appreciated as the caffeine kicked in and the sense awakened. Then a bolt for the shower in the spacious bathroom to dry herself and apply the beautifications for the day ahead.

The curtains had been drawn while she was in the shower and a selection of food and coffee placed at the table by the window which had sweeping views across the Moscow skyline. She stood observing the gloom with a large woollen robe wrapped around her before looking at the vast Russian breakfast. She was quietly pleased because the chef had made a real effort in presenting the food as delicately as possible and it made her feel at home.

Her eyes scanned the food and an almost smile appeared on face. There was not too much that would have insulted her, as she had to maintain her figure and eat sensibly even under the most difficult and appealing circumstances. The selection and portions were just about perfect although a Russian would never speak such things:

  • Black bread (which has a strong sweet flavour and is quite tough), butter and sliced sausage
  • Blini and Oladi (Russian pancakes), sour cream, jams and caviar
  • Scrambled eggs with mayonnaise
  • A pot of fresh, dark, strong and rich smelling coffee

Taya only nibbled small portions from the selection as she strolled dreamily around the suite sipping the delicious coffee while doing so. There was still plenty of time but she wanted to be fully prepared and leave nothing to chance. More time was spent in the bathroom before settling infront of the mirror and applying delicate amounts of makeup and tidying her hair which was dark and coloured to hide the gray roots and fell onto the shoulders. This enabled her to discreetly hide the hearing aid inside her left ear which she thought no-one was aware of and should have known better than be so innocent. The need for a hearing aid was the result of hedonist actions that had occurred after a night at the opera several years previously in Vienna and the blurred memories of that particular night were best forgotten and best locked away in the dark distant past.

The hostess from the previous night returned and Taya demanded fresh coffee and to be quick about it as her breakfast remains were removed swiftly and efficiently. The hostess nodded politely as she left the suite and returned only minutes later with fresh coffee and crockery which she placed on the table by the window and then exited the room as quickly as possible. The two security personnel maintaining their surveillance in the corridor observed her casually as she moved swiftly to the elevator door and pressed the button.

She was clearly apprehensive and wanting to be transported down to the service area asap before there was another request from one of the other members of the group. She had been very well rewarded for her services the previous night but that was not enough to recompense her for the loss of her lingerie which had been literally ripped off and the bruising around her backside which had been severely pounded the night before. She had been saved further embarrassment as she had removed her outer clothing before the drunken physical grappling that occurred almost immediately after doing so. The bell pinged and the door opened and she quickly stepped inside and a few agonizingly long seconds passed before the door finally closed and the elevator descended to the safety of the basement.

Taya was unaware of what had happened and would not have been concerned had she known because in her book that was life, there were givers and takers and she was a taker and ruthless with it.

The suit looked smart and hugged her body but not too tightly, the tailor had performed miracles with the jacket and trousers. Inside the jacket the strengthened blouse with starched cotton was strong enough to support her ample breasts without the need for her to wear a bra as well. The stilettoed black boots designed by Valentino caressed her feet and she posed moving her arms and hair infront of the full mirror. She felt good, powerful, sexy and very, very Russian.

The reception was scheduled to start at 09:00am and she would be late of course!

Floor 27: Zhen Li (Chinese Delegation)

08:00am. Zhen Li was on her back under the covers in the middle of the king-sized bed, eyes closed, tongue flipping between her teeth and the soft red chemise nightie was scrunched up her back and over her tight belly as she was gently wriggling and moaning at the same time. Her hands cupped a head with silky long hair which was working passionately between her legs as two hands were underneath her tight buttocks squeezing them softly, her tiny body jerked upwards and she pushed the head away, she was satisfied and very wet down there and needed a shower to remove her sweat and womanly juices.

Lifting the covers over her head she rolled over to the right side and planted a foot on the soft carpet, then another followed and then she was up and moving swiftly to the bathroom. The other body crawled beneath the covers to the other end of the bed, grabbed a fallen robe and left quickly and so quietly that in a moment she was gone and forgotten, she had done her duty and would be rewarded accordingly.

It is said that breakfast is not a terribly important meal in China. Chinese people start the day early, but that means breakfast is often just a question of wolfing down whatever’s to hand in order to fill the belly until lunchtime. But Zhen Li, although tiny in build had a voracious appetite which compounded by her sexual exploits often left her exhausted.

People tended to close curtains during the long and bleak Russian winters, but the curtains in the suite had not been drawn the night before and had been ruffled by the maid more out of habit than anything else. An enormous selection of food had been carefully arranged on the table in the middle of the expansive window. There was enough to feed several people and her eyes glanced over enticing buffet as she returned from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her head and a very short white cotton robe which barely covered her backside. The chef had supplied many of her favourites and a few more besides:

  • Congee (zhōu – 粥) a rice porridge with pickles and peanuts
  • Yóutiáo (油条) deep fried sticks of dough and a bowl of steaming soya milk (dòujiāng – 豆浆)
  • Stirred fried pork and pickled fermented tofu
  • Puffy sheets of steamed bread, for dipping in the soya milk
  • Plain rice, fried rice, rice with beans
  • Dim sum including noodles, vermicelli rolls and shrimp dumplings in steamer baskets
  • A selection of sweets including steamed stuffed buns (baozi) filled with sweet red bean paste, a few sweet spring rolls and small individual sponge cakes
  • And of course, all the accessories to enjoy delicious Oolong tea (Da Hong Pao from Wuyi Mountain in Fujian Province is famous for its unique floral fragrance and special taste)

Zhen Li ate small portions quickly using the chopsticks and small bowls, her staff could only look on in envy on how much she could eat and still maintain her petite and delicate appearance.

She had to hurry up, a quick look in the mirror as she smiled cheekily to herself as she lifted her toes and pulled up the briefest of black silk French knickers, a starched cotton shirt with no collar and double cuffed sleeves in which she slipped two delicate solid gold cuff links. Thin and shaped black tailored worsted trousers which were too long without the high heels designed by Alexander Wang and a vintage style Chinese folk jacket which reached down to her knees. Zhen Li appeared much taller and the combination together with the short straight and bleached blond hair, it gave her a very David Bowie-esque persona of artistic refinement and elegance.

Zhen Li would be a few minutes early and she blew a kiss at the mirror then made her way briskly to the elevator and her three associates.

Floor 26: Suzu (Japanese Delegation)

07:30am. Suzu was awake and lay snuggled under the covers daydreaming about the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female musical theatre troupe based in Tokyo which she had been enjoying only a few days ago before the arduous trip to Moscow. She was wrapped in one of her favourite luxurious silk teddies, blue orchid in color, adorned in soft leavers lace around the neckline and hem, button up centre completed with satin covered buttons and featured an elasticated waistband and adjustable straps to ensure a perfect fit. A flawless garment worn by others, usually for special occasions, but her wealth allowed her to have a drawer full of them and that fact made her feel even more special.

The curtains had been opened and a breakfast buffet was spread over the table beside the window. The aromas were filling her senses until she could take it no more before throwing off the covers and grabbing a thick warm robe before sitting down to enjoy the feast. Although not a big eater she was hungry this morning and the weather conditions were also impacting on her natural instincts for survival. First impressions were good, and she hoped the food would taste as delicious as it looked.  The hostess had made everything look very attractive, a small feast fit for someone of her status and that was important to her ego and wellbeing. She wondered if the venue hired Japanese chefs as she was rather impressed with both the appearance and the proportions:

  • Plain steamed white (hakumai) and brown rice (genmai) with rolled omelette(Tamagoyaki) (rolled omelette) and Spinach Salad (hourensou) with Sesame Sauce (gomaae)
  • Miso soup made from fermented soybean paste and a dashi broth. Ingredients included tofu, chopped green onion, wakame seaweed, aburaage (deep-fried tofu), Japanese mushrooms and clams
  • Fermented soy beans (natto) seasoned with soy sauce, bonito shavings (katsuobushi), chopped green onions, spicy mustard (karashi), sliced dried and seasoned seaweed (kizaminori)
  • Grilled fish (yakizakana) with and salmon and dried horse mackeral (aji)
  • Pickled vegetables (tsukemono) made with plums (umeboshi)
  • Seasoned dried seaweed (Nori)
  • A mixture of vegetable side dishes (kobachi)
  • And of course, all the accessories to enjoy delicious Futsumushi Sencha tea (green)

Tea was very important to Suzu and she preferred to make it herself. The Futsumushi Sencha was grown in Tobetto in the Tamakawa sector, one of the highest tea plantations in Japan.

The very special conditions, in terms of both growing and processing, give this sencha, the star of the Tsukiji plantation, its incredible strength, rich aromas and perfect balance.

It is not a flood of umami, but a subtle balance of sweetness and astringency, a deep, enchanting fragrance and rich flavours, simultaneously fruity and floral. The length in the mouth is exceptional, and very few Japanese teas can be infused so many times.

Another visit to the bathroom and then the preparation for the conference. From an early age Suzu had been drilled on the importance of behaviour and appearance within Japanese culture. There were always rules to follow, business meetings had theirs:

  • Don’t try to stand out and consider the Japanese proverb, “The nail that sticks out gets hit with the hammer.”
  • Put care into your wardrobe
  • Shoes are just as important as the rest of your outfit
  • Women, like men, should aim for professional over noticeable

Her mentor had always said that if you feel good on the inside then you will also feel good on the outside. Suzu agreed with that sentiment and always wore the finest lingerie that made her feel not only comfortable but privileged.

The ivory silk basque pushed her firm breasts upwards and the silk thong felt good between her legs and she always preferred a Brazilian shave which was softened with aloe creams and soaps. Together they gave her a graceful dignity and although she was aging her curves held their shape. Her tight bottom squeezed into the woollen pleated skirt which hung with a sensual style down to her knees. This was not a day for other lingerie accessories which would have included stockings and suspender belt, and the cotton shirt looked expensive and well cut with three buttons undone to the middle of her breasts. Her short dark hair and green eyes completed the business look and she felt comfortable and proud of herself. The Louis Vuitton high heels were not too ostentatious and made her legs longer and more glamorous.

She would leave the suite with plenty of time to be early and therefore conduct herself in the tradition of Japanese etiquette.

Floor 25: Sabrina Belluci (Italian Delegation)

08:15am. Sabrina had been awake for a couple of hours and she was sitting up at the top of the bed dressed in only a seductive luxurious sleepshirt designed by La Perla in Bologna, Italy. She was wearing large rimmed reading glasses while reading from a selection of art and fashion books and magazines which were scattered over the bedding. Several drops of coffee were splattered on her sleeve, soothing classical music was permeating around the room, the scene looked chaotic, relaxed and fun as she flipped quickly through the pages.

Breakfast had been delivered at 07:00am and the remains were scattered around the table with pastry and biscuit crumbs everywhere. The breakfast was a selection of Italian style favourites:

  • Fresh Italian breakfast cookies, cantucci almond cookies, ricotta and chocolate pillow cookies, hazelnut cookies
  • Olive oil and very decadent chocolate cornetto pastries
  • Fresh baked rolls with butter and jams
  • An espresso and a latte macchiato

The hostess had returned twice with fresh espressos and she needed to get organized and quickly. She was in and out of the bathroom faster than wonder woman, with her arm flailing about like a demented marionette.

Sabrina was a curvaceous but ageing Italian beauty with a medium sized butt and large matronly chest which she was very proud of, but she had to watch her weight as they were not as firm as they used to be, and needed them reduced to lower the strains on her back. That was for the future, today was about image and showing those other women what being sexy voluptuous Italian woman was all about.

A dark green tailored suit designed in Milan with an exquisite cut and sensually soft finest leather, not too tight and cut to show her redeeming features and designed for long business meetings where time is mostly spent sitting down. Underneath she was wearing a stunning silk chiffon camisole top and beautiful cotton French knickers with soft lace around the legs to prevent her butt from perspiring and sliding over the leather trousers. The designers had been magnificent in that the leather jacket had built in supports for her breasts to keep her comfortable during the conference.

Her long curly brunette hair was tied up in an Italian bun style that allowed sexy strands to fall over her face adding to the glamourous but corporate business appearance. She finished manicuring her nails and added some delicate, but very expensive and exclusive jewellery. She kissed her right index fingers and touched her reflection in the mirror, “ciao baby, bad is good.”

She would be late in true Italian style and not give a damn about it either way, those hard nose bitches could wait for a real woman to brighten up the proceedings.

Floor 24: Susanna Bancroft (American Delegation)

06:00am. Susanna had been awake for an hour and already consumed a latte and bottle of still mineral water while studying some of the documents which sat in small piles across the sofa. She removed and replaced her glasses constantly as she paced the suite while watching the dark Moscow morning which was trying and failing to make the inhabitants below feel lucky to be alive. “God what a shit-hole” she thought, and her mind drifted to her ski cabin in Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA, “you would never believe we share the same planet, no wonder the Russkies are always so fucking miserable.”

She was wearing cotton pajamas which cost a ridiculous $4,000 from The Row on the Upper East Side of New York. They had clean lines, a dignified and superlative quality, and brand name itself justify the cost of its products. She was very willing to pay that much for sleepwear because she was both insanely rich and totally obsessed with getting good night sleep. The fact that she only ever slept for a few hours did not alter her reasoning for demanding such luxury.

The food and drinks had been delivered by the sour faced hostess who almost dropped the coffee, heaven forbid that dreadful sin! The Russian was too disgusted to believe that one repulsive American woman should order enough food for at least ten people and made the suite look to be a restaurant. But Susanna loved her eggs and could never decide which to start the day, so she had ordered her favourite selection as if she was in a deli in New York. The chef who was having a nightmare morning had prepared a smorgasbord of egg dishes and other specials which were far from typical for a Russian breakfast, but this was Moscow and money was king:

  • Scrambled Eggs in Puff Pastry with wild mushrooms and asparagus
  • Eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon
  • Eggs Norwegian with smoked salmon and hollandaise on an English muffin
  • Eggs Florentine with spinach, artichoke hearts, béchamel sauce and Parmesan
  • Avocado and Poached Eggs on Toast with tomato-jalapeño salsa
  • Eggs-en-Cocotte with cream and thyme baked in a ramekin, with “soldiers”
  • Omelette with Herbs with gruyere cheese
  • Egg-White Omelette
  • Smoked Salmon Tartine with pickled red onion and caper cream cheese on gluten-free bread
  • Sour Cream-Hazelnut Waffles with warm berries
  • Brioche French Toast with applewood smoked bacon
  • Buckwheat Crêpe filled with scrambled eggs, ham and gruyere
  • Toasted Bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese
  • Selection of fresh croissants, butter and jams
  • Two pots of fresh very strong black coffee and a jug of fresh single cream and no sugar

Despite the wealth and education her appearance gave off an air of superiority lacking any sensuality and together with the fact that she always looked akin to a CIA agent or government official deterred almost all male attraction. Those who had dared approach had been rebuffed in a swift condescending manner, henceforth she was single and entering middle age both lonely and afraid.

Susanna dressed well but being tall, skinny and shapeless with short hair combined to complete an image of dullness with zero sex appeal. It would have been totally complete had she worn brown suits, but Susanna did not, however they were always pin-striped with male looking formality.

To that end and the fact that she cared very little about her underwear meant that most males avoided her like the plague, that was until they talked about fast cars, skiing or politics. The dates she longed for had never materialised, maybe they would have, had she ever have taken one for a drive in the black Ferrari Enzo or shared a weekend at her cabin in Beaver Creek, but she hadn’t.

On that note Susanna headed for the elevator and to meet up with the “ghouls” in the conference room.

Floor 23: Victoria Stafford (English Delegation)

07:15am. Victoria pulled the giant curtains apart and strolled to the main door of the suite. Outside in the corridor stood the two hostess trolleys as per the request, a quick peek to the left and right and she retrieved them both before closing the door. The security personnel did not move and remained silent during those brief seconds as the “strange Brit” did her thing!

Victoria trusted no-one to do even the simplest of task and certainly did not enjoy hotel staff faffing around and meddling with her stuff. She was wearing a deep blue man’s cotton shirt from Derek Rose in London and where else indeed would she consider purchasing such an item.

She had ordered the Full Monty English breakfast with extras but without the black pudding, fried bread, baked beans and hash browns that many of her old prep school chums would have and from what she could see and smell the chef had done the business.

  • Large poached eggs
  • A platter of grilled back bacon
  • Grilled Northumberland sausages and outdoor bred British pork chipolatas
  • Devilled lamb’s kidneys in Worcestershire sauce with mustard and cayenne pepper
  • Grilled tomatoes and mushrooms
  • Freshly baked wholemeal toast, butter and English marmalade
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • and strong English breakfast tea, not any of that “poncey” earl grey crap

She needed to lose a few pounds, but today, in this miserable place she needed some real comfort food and tucked in while thinking of all the places she had eaten all these goodies in the past.

Considering the time and effort she put into her appearance Victoria always ended up looking the archetypal stuffy office secretary, and glasses would have completed the effect. Today, however it would be contact lenses that would compensate for her long sight, contrary to most people who thought she was short sighted.

She had a good figure considering that she enjoyed fine-dining and full English breakfasts but could lose a few pounds, especially around the backside. The tight pin-striped business suit with knee length pleated skirt and plain white fitted shirt, underneath would be a tight boned silk basque and definately no knickers, because she always went “Commando” in true “Brit-toff” style. The secretary look was completed with her long dark hair tied in tails and folded on her head and sensible black low-heeled moccasin shoes from Harrods.

And like any top quality business secretary she would of course be early to the “ball.”

Floor 22: Tamara Krause (German Delegation)

06:30am. Tamara sat up rigid like an Aryan soldier in her Shelby pajama top and tia boxer shorts in blue silk by “Araks”. The knock at the door had awoken her from a recurring nightmare and she was sweating profusely. The hostess had entered and opened the heavy draped curtains that allowed the gloom of the Moscow weather to permeate the room. Food and drink had been carefully presented on the table by the window, and the hostess then left as quietly as she had entered.

The four buttons on the pajama top were undone as was the one on the boxer shorts, she had slept that way for a long time and knew that her Bavarian ass and tits should have been allowed more room than the pajamas allowed, but she would never order the larger size as it would admit defeat. Pulling the covers away she swiftly removed the delicate items and stood naked infront of the full mirror. She did not like what she saw; tall, short blonde hair, big bottom, large breasts that were beginning to gravitate to the floor, a muscular and overweight figure that looked worse in the blur as her glasses were on the side table.

Horses, theater, football and Munich reminded of her roots and when she returned the diet would start again along with the personal training with Emery (meaning “home strength, industrious leader in German”) in the gym by the lake near Starnberg. But that was tomorrow and today she needed some comforting. With that she grabbed the heavy woollen dressing gown and wrapped it around herself in a big personal hug that she could only wish for and she felt alone. Fruhstuck would help fight the depressing Russian environment and placate her German coldness. The chef had prepared a typical German breakfast selection including:

  • Bratwurst, Blood sausage “Blutwurst”, white sausage “Weisswurst”
  • A selection of smoked hams, salamis, liverwurst “Leberwurst”
  • A selection of cheeses, Bavarian Berkase, Brie, Cambazola, Cream Cheese and Gouda
  • Smoked Herring and Mackerel
  • Boiled eggs and fresh fat free yoghurt
  • Apples, bananas and grapes
  • Hot brown bread and white crusty rolls with butter, sweet jams and honey
  • Strong black coffee and skimmed milk

At home in Bavaria, breakfast could, depending on circumstances take a couple of hours or even longer, today however, she would not have that luxury and she wanted to be ready on time, a concept some nationalities on the planet had no idea about, she was of course making a reference about the “brainless Italian tart” who she envied for having that graceful elegant sexuality and self confidence that she had always dreamed of.

She needed to look her best and started in the bathroom; Alpercin caffeine shampoo, soft fragrant lavender soaps, sensitive shaving cream for the armpits and Brazilian all under the powerful rush of the power shower. Senses were returning to normality as the towels and hair drier continued the beautification process. Hair, eyes and lips, then to the conservative underwear designed for comfort and certainly not sexuality, a well starched Bavarian shirt with frilly collar and cuffs before adorning the stylish and official looking business suit from Saville Row, London. Tamara loved black pin-striped worsted double breasted British suits because they gave her an air of power and authority which she needed in bucketloads today. She did not need high heels, but today was going to wear them anyway to ensure that not one of the other attendees would be taller than her, as she knew that the Psycho Susanna always wore sensible low heeled ankle boots that allegedly included a steel toecap but that myth had never been substantiated.

She had always dreamt that she would have the looks and sex appeal of the legendary Marlene Dietrich but she counted her blessings in many other ways, then a final look in the mirror and it was “auf wiedersehen meine liebe.”