The roses were waiting for her alongside the morning papers. Georgie went instead to the breakfast servery. Which Petroski brother had sent the flowers? No one else had cause to send them. Would it be a thank you for the dinner the night before from Demetri or an apology from Vladimir? Bacon, a poached egg, grilled tomatoes, wilted spinach and toast arranged on her plate, she sat, flower card in hand. Tea poured, she opened the envelope and drew out the card:
Good morning Miss Georgina,
The dinner was delightful and the company more so, a man couldn’t wish for a more accomplished and charming sister in-law.
Foolish, how she warmed at the sentiment; how she felt only the smallest disappointment that Vladimir had not sent them. She was halfway through breakfast before she picked up the paper. As was her habit, she scanned the headlines as she made her way to the gossip column. She bet herself a crumpet with honey that her betrothed featured there again.
Finally, the moment arrived when there was nothing to do but turn the page, sight targeting on the evil little column, brace and read…read and re-read.
The Petroski Brothers reigned the night at Madam Debuverey’s salon. The writer was informed that the salon was introduced to a range of Russian salon games which, rumor has it, touched the lips of many a female salon member, especially the elusive and beautiful widow. Invites abound as the Petroski brothers spend their last few nights in the city.
Georgie, slapped butter and honey on her toasted crumpet, ripped it apart with her teeth and masticated it into oblivion….brothers. She picked up the nasty little column and read it again. And, sure as eggs, there it was again, the Petroski brothers.
Her father came into the dining room whistling, “Morning sweet-cheeks. Paper? Anything of note?” He piled his plate with kippers, sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and pan-fried potatoes. Then stepped towards the table.
“Spinach!” Georgie growled.
“Yes, yes must have been an oversight.” He placed a few leaves on his plate.
“Don’t make me come over there, father.”
He enlarged the portion of spinach.