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Behind the glass door entrance to the recently-founded, but an already successful bank spread a large hallway finished in bog oak. To the right, in the far end of the corridor – a stairway and elevators leading up to the sanctum of the building. That's precisely where the well-fed and groomed Georgian headed after he passed entirely unnoticed by the security and by the police officers who were checking passes in front of the glass door leading to the employee-only area. The Georgian, at a leisurely pace, approached the elevator and pressed the button.
"What an amazing movie! I wish you saw it!" Two young ladies walked up to the same elevator.
"Will you send me a link?"
The Georgian entered the elevator and, smiling effulgently, asked, "What floor, lovely ladies?"
"Me too!" The Georgian exclaimed. "You look at me funny. Did I put a frying pan on instead of a hat?"
"Oh, no!" The young lady who entered the elevator after him was abashed, "Usually Georgians speak Russian with a Georgian accent, but you – with an English accent."
"I'm an American Georgian. From Florida."
"First time in Russia?"
"Yes. My name is Dato. And what are yours?"
"Sorry... We're not that kind of girls," the ladies said in unison.
"That's too bad. I wanted to take you out to dinner."
"Both of us?"
"Do you have more friends as pretty as you?"
The doors gently slid apart. The girls fluttered out of the elevator. One headed to the door with a sign saying “Finance Director,” and the other – “Reception.” The Georgian marched to the reception hall and stopped by the desk, "See, here I am in Moscow. Snow, and it's so cold. But such wonderful girls! Is Andrey Borisovich alone? I need to see him."
"Andrey Borisovich is away. He'll be back in two hours. Please give me your contact information."
"Why do you say this? I can see that he's in."
"How do you see it?" The secretary was confused.
"Through the wall."
"Through the wall? How can you see through the wall?" The secretary, noticeably irritated, sat on her chair and leaned over the visitor log book. "What time should I put you..."
The Georgian's finger poked the girl's marble neck. Mid-sentence, the girl, limp, dropped her head on the desk and froze. "I'm sorry, sweetheart. Sometimes it okay to sleep on the job."
Then the Georgian opened the office door, "Dear Andrey Borisovich!"
Bank's managing director, a scrawny man of about thirty-five, was sitting behind a huge mahogany desk. "What can I do for you?"
"I have a small matter to discuss." The Georgian approached the desk. "An acquaintance of mine suggested that I talk to you."
Andrey Borisovich Romanenko hated uninvited guests, and, habitually, was about to call the secretary or the security and excoriate them in front of the stranger. But then, he changed his mind. The guest, though very flamboyant, appeared to be good-hearted, and most importantly, very wealthy. You don't want to be rude to wealthy guests for your own sake.
"Please sit down." Andrey put on a friendlier face. "Who do I have the honor of speaking with?"
"Dato Basilashvili. No relation to Oleg," The guest preempted the question about the famous last name.
"Pleasure to meet you. Andrey Romanenko. So, how can I help you?"
"I am curious about apartment number five in the building that your bank just acquired."
"I'm sorry, what do you mean by curious?" Andrey's head tilted to one side.
"A woman lives there with a child. And you want to mistreat them and take their apartment away. That's not good!" The Georgian looked straight into Andrey's eyes.
"Why take away? The bank will buy her a new two-room apartment in South Butovo. She doesn't need more space: it's just her and the kid."
"My precious, you don't understand," The guest raised his index finger and shook his head. "She lives in a four-room apartment in an iconic building. She's a widow. Her parents and her husband died in an accident. Her parents were, by the way, war veterans. You want to send their daughter and grandson to Butovo. How much is their apartment? Right, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And how much will the bank pay for a place out in the sticks? Are you going to pocket the rest of the money?"
"South Butovo isn't that bad," Andrey clasped his hands behind his head and leaned back into his chair. "Who is she to you anyway?"
"Just an acquaintance." The Georgian's voice still sounded calm. "You must not mistreat women — widows, especially. And with a child in hand. Alla can sell the apartment herself if she wants to. And buy whatever she needs. And raise her son with the remaining money. Did anyone teach you the laws of humankind?"
"Who needs those laws? Today, men act like wolves with one another." Andrey winked, "I think you and I can make a deal, Dato."