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Dancing tbrough the waves of wheat that stretch to the hilltops
on the horizon; dancing in a long, flowing skirt in brilliant red, a neck
free and clear of hair and the smell of the steppes in the air as
Grandmother and Grandfather beckon from across the golden field...
Svetlana woke with a start from her sleep; woke in the bed she didn't remember crawling into.
Then she rolled over and buried her face as she came to remember dinner the night before: the champagne, and the sudden wooziness as he smiled intently at her from across the tablecloth...
Svetlana rolled back over, stripped herself of the bedcovers, and began breathing again after she stared downward: she was still a girl.
The girl was out of her bed in another instant, angry now at her "country weekend" date. She ripped open her door, ripped open his, and marched into a room which contained a made bed, no Hans, and no sign of either his resence or his departure.
The girl's pair of eyes, set above a pair of high Slavic cheekbones which had captured a modeling agent's attention from a world away, surveyed the lifeless rooms another time, then fastened on her left arm's crook. Her fingers snatched away a bandage which had been placed over a needle wound.
Svetlana threw the bandage across the room, marched to the two
suitcases sitting in a corner of her
own room, and threw the empty vessels atop her bed. She packed
hurriedly, determined as she was to be on a plane to Moscow before
the sun had set once more.
"Are we sure we want to do this?" Bradford Bettmann asked his fellow Green Beret as they walked down the narrow, crowded, and brilliant Bangkok street.