The cool stone cathedral brought welcome relief to Bree’s sun-scorched skin. After a day in the seasonally hot city, she was relieved to be spending the evening in the cool surrounds of the gothic building. Lit only by the descending sun through stained glass windows and the flicker of what seemed a million candles, she knew it would be a special evening. Bree was fulfilling a promise she had made to her grandmother at Christmas, that she would discover her Russian roots and explore the country of her ancestors. Her first step, she rationalised, would be to discover any expatriate community in the city. Being in Australia, she was many thousands of miles away from her ancestral homelands, and two generations away from the country loved by her grandparents.
Two weeks earlier, she had seen an advertisement in the local paper – a Russian Orthodox choir would be performing in St John’s Cathedral in the city. It would be a perfect opportunity to dip her toe in the sea of Russian culture. After a disappointing response from her friends, she decided to go alone. What had she got to lose?
Entering the cathedral, she was greeted by both the Anglican Reverend and the Orthodox Priest, who warmly invited her into the oldest building in the city. The contrast between the two holy men could not be more stark – the white gowned, clean shaven Anglican Reverend could not be more different from the black-cladded, bearded Orthodox Priest. It was evident, however, that both were very welcoming of Bree into the house of worship. She was handed a programme, written both in Russian and English.
Inside, the cool wooden pew was remarkably comfortable. The sun, dwindling behind the last stained-glass window emphasised the yellow and orange flickers of the many candles adorning the walls, columns and music stands of the building. It was almost fairytale like! A mix of people filled the cathedral – traditional church goers, short Russian women wearing headscarves with well dressed, bearded husbands, tourists, locals, music lovers, a great range. So large was the audience that the ushers were encouraging people to sit close, to allow for more to enter. To Bree’s surprise, a very handsome looking man was ushered beside her! She had little time but to smile, before the concert started.
In unison, everyone rose to the welcoming prayers of the Reverend and the Priest. With closed eyes and hands raised, prayers were offered to the sky in welcoming this special event. It was evident that this inter-denominational meeting was of great significance. Even though she was not particularly religious, Bree enjoyed the spiritual surrounds of the cathedral and the peaceful sounding prayers. The Priest then gave an opening address, explaining how this Choir had to practice in secret under the oppressive Communist regime. He explained how the faithful were persecuted, prosecuted and even martyred for their faith. He impassionedly explained how this choir were not just singing about God – their songs were songs of freedom, of protest, of liberation, of faith. His speech alone was enough to bring a tear to Bree’s eyes!
The choir started with passionate, loud hymns – all in Russian. Bree tried at first to read along to the English translation but was soon wrapped up in the majestic sounding voices coming from the front of the chapel. It was one of the most amazing things she had heard.
About half an hour into the concert, she noticed a trickle coming from the face of the handsome stranger next to her. The tears continued to drip down his well formed cheek and jaw, each drop reflecting in the flickering candlelight. With the conclusion of the song, a short intermission was given. Unsure about how to comfort the man, she pulled a tissue from her bag and offered it to him, which he accepted with gratitude. It was evident that the tears were not of sadness – no – it was a much deeper emotion.
“It is a moving concert, isn’t it” Bree offered up a comforting word
“Thank you, miss” the heavily accented voice responded
Save for the shuffle of programmes, little other sounds or conversation was heard during the intermission. Looking around, Bree noticed many of the audience were drying eyes. It was a special, haunting moment.
The second half of the concert was as equally moving as the first. The voices seemed to radiate to heaven, majestic sounds caressed both her ears and her soul. Not understanding a single lyric did not prevent the themes of hope, liberation, freedom and faith piercing her soul. The choir were singing more than a song – they were singing a story, a life. It was moving, touching, amazing. Bree felt open, peaceful, close and strangely at one. The concert finished and no one moved. There was no encore, no applause, just silence. Silence, peacefulness, stillness. After what seemed like an eternity, the Reverend and the Priest simply stood and floated down the aisle to the door, giving silent permission for anyone to leave. Their invitation was slowly taken up as tear-blemished faces shuffled their way out of the church. Taking the lead of her handsome companion, she arose when he did, following him out of the cool Cathedral, into the humid night air.
Outside, the stranger turned and looked at her. She had a better chance to study his face, lit up by the floodlights illuminating the façade of the Cathedral. Short dark hair framed his studied face. He looked about her age – give or take a year or two. Deep brown eyes stared into hers, his soft but well-formed face was kind, stoic and handsome. His gaze, whilst intense, put her straight at ease, like he had seen everything, but had nothing to hide. He opened his mouth to speak, his accented voice softly questioned her
“Are you Russian, miss?” he rolled his ‘r’s’ as he spoke
“My grandparents are – they came after the war” Bree was hoping to make a connection
“Do you speak Russian?” his ‘r’s’ continuing to roll out of his mouth
“Sadly no. I made a promise to my grandmother that I would discover my Russian roots. This is my first step!” she perked up
“Well then miss, you have picked a great opportunity to do so. I am Dmitry and I am happy to meet you” a warm smile suddenly adorned his face, warmth emanated out of him
“Pleased to meet you, Dmitry, I am Bree”
“So are you ready?” Dmitry enquired
“Ready? For what?” she was surprised
“To discover your Russian heritage of course!”
“Do you have anything better to do?”
Thinking for a second, she actually didn’t. She felt strangely at ease with Dmitry, his confidence and charm took her by surprise! Holding out his arm in an old-fashioned way, she accepted his invitation as they strolled down the busy city sidewalk. Making small talk, she found herself laughing at his surprising humour and anecdotes of his life growing up in Moscow.
About half an hour later, they found themselves in the lobby of the Rendezvous – one of the finest hotels in the city. Dmitry led her up to the ballroom which overlooked the city lights and the river. To her surprise, the room was full of people! She noticed some of the faces from the concert – and yes – the choir themselves! People were sitting around tables – there were maybe 5 or so people. Bottles of vodka and Russian savouries adorned the table as people laughed, told stories, slapped backs and generally, seemed to have a good time. Leading her over to a table, Dmitry pulled out Bree’s chair. Grabbing two glasses and an open bottle of vodka, he poured two generous serves. Lifting the glass high, he toasted to discovering roots! The vodka had been kept on ice and was freezing cold. Bree took a few cautionary sips of the drink – she had not had it straight before! As expected, the freezing beverage burned down her throat, her natural reaction was to try to cough the spirit out!
Smiling at her, Dmitry instructed
“Don’t sip – you miss out on the true flavour. He guided her how to take a proper sip, she could see it sliding down his tongue to the back of his throat. Copying, she still spluttered as the vodka tickled the back of her throat!
The evening continued to surprise her. Dmitry introduced Bree to many of the local Russians and the choir. It was amazing to hear the stories, the challenges, the triumphs they had back in ‘the motherland’. She felt incredibly proud of those around her, about how they resolved to bring freedom to Russia, about their struggles, about their joys. She especially enjoyed chatting to Dmitry. The warm air, the icy vodka, his charm and kindness, the stories – they all added to his allure. He was the perfect gentleman, a refreshing change to the guys she had dated in the past – not that he was dating Dmitry! Either way, she still felt like his ‘date’ for the evening.
As the night continued and the stories kept flowing, one thing kept on niggling Bree. With the confidence of too much vodka, she turned to her new-found friend
“Dmitry” her blue eyes explored his
“Why were you crying in that song?”
At that, his cheerful disposition changed. It was like the whole room actually went quiet. Dmitry slugged back in his chair, grabbing his glass as he went. He took a long sip, looking reluctant to speak. After an extended silence, a lady to the right of Bree piped up.
“That song” her voice quivered “That song was sung when someone was getting arrested or taken away. You sung the song loudly when you were being arrested, when you saw someone being arrested. The Communists hated it. It sings of our love for Russia, of forgivness for our enemies, of love for our family. Many times we sung that song. Many times the soldiers would get very aggressive or very sad when we sung the song. It says that we forgive you for hurting your fellow Russians”
At that, Dmitry piped up. Finishing his last swallow of drink he added to the ladies explanation
“I sung it when I watched my parents being taken away”
Bree was stunned silent. The whole room got awkward, quiet. The mood became colder than the icy vodka they were drinking.
“It’s ok, Bree. It was 20 years ago now – I was just a boy. They knew what they were doing, I am proud of them. They did it for me”
He filled a glass and raised it “FOR THE FALLEN” he loudly declared
A haphazard echo came from the compatriots as glasses were similarly raised in memory of those who didn’t make it.
Dmitry had a brooding allure – Bree was beginning to understand him, his serious nature, his stoicism, his strange humour. Despite his hard upbringings, he was incredibly positive and warm. The party soon recovered as the choir started to chime some happy Russian folk songs. Older guests joined in, the young soon learning the simple lyrics and tunes. Tables were moved aside, a few instruments produced and before too long, dancing was the flavour of the hour. Hands clapping, feet stamping, voices raised in triumphant jubilation as the music continued. It didn’t take too long for Dmitry to grab Bree’s hand and swing her onto the dancefloor. Not being familiar with the steps was no problem – Dmitry soon showed her the moves! From then on, the evening certainly picked up.
The ballroom party continued late into the evening. Bree continually found herself in Dmitry’s arms as they danced, drunk, chatted and laughed. They exchanged stories, they held hands. The dancing was dwindling as the pair nestled on a couch infront of the huge windows, the sparkling city lights framing the couple in a fairytale picture. Bree loved feeling close in his arms, staring out into the beautiful night sky. His hot body, still recovering from dancing was breathing down in relaxation. Too much vodka and dancing would normally of made Bree want to crash, but tonight – tonight it was different. She felt energised, alive and happy with Dmitry. She had set out to find her history, but she mused to herself – had she also found her future? Captivated by Dimitry’s handsome smile and attention, she was powerless to resist as he moved in to kiss her. Bree closed her eyes, her lips tingled as they met his. His tender embrace, his kiss, melted her from the inside. She wanted his tenderness, she craved his strong Russian body, she desired his desire. A simple kiss, perfectly set against the shimmering lights outside – how could she say no? His rough hands delicately on her shoulders, her body swooning under his touch. Inching towards him, she needed his warmth against her skin
Bree should have known better then to get on the motorbike with Dmitry, but she was too tipsy to care, so utterly infactuated. City lights raced past as he weaved through the empty city streets, a refreshing wind swept across the river as the bike sped across the bridge, to Dmitry’s inner city abode. Kissing in the elevator, Bree loved being pinned against the wall as his lips graced her neck. She reached out to hold the ‘close’ button on the elevator, craving extra time for his lips to kiss her hot skin. Crashing through the doors of his ultra-chic apartment, their emeshed bodies soon found refuge on the soft white leather couch. With Dmitry underneath her, she made light work of his shirt, unbuttoning his shirt and inching it off his shoulders. Her fingernails ran down his impossibly cut chest and torso, she could tell his tanned skin even in the dim moonlight. Sliding up his body, their lips met once again in sweet unison, kissing lightly, kssing deeply, kissing passionately. Bree felt his strong hands wrap around her drawing her in, drawing her near to his body. He squeezed her tight, she loved feeling herself pulled into him. His quickly breathing chest lapped against hers, she felt him unzip her dress, it loosened over her back as she felt his fingers trace up and down her skin. One click of his fingers released her bra – she sat herself up to remove the clothing, only to rest back down on his comforting chest, her erect nipples rubbing against his, their skin warming against each others, their hearts beating in unison. How incredibly erotic it was to be naked with such a deep, caring man! His hands continued to run up and down her back, through her hair, massaging her neck and shoulders. Still kissing, she stopped to rest on his chest as his hands travelled south down her back, tracing the seams of her lace French-cut undies. It was so nice to be touched again – to feel desirable, sexy, wanted! He softly traced down the edges of her undies, she felt herself moving her bottom to give him ‘easier access’! She wanted to feel his hands everywhere – she wanted to feel all of him everywhere! In the stillness of his apartment, all was quiet, save for the sound of their breathing as his fingers traced down the centre of her bottom, circling down towards her front, teasing the sides, slowly, slowly, slowly tracing and teasing. Bree bit her lip in anticipation – his touch was driving her crazy!! So soft, so erotic, so sexy – she wanted more but dared not move!
Dmitry’s fingers continued to trace, slipping into her undies, his fingers gracing her soft, soft skin. Goosebumps ripped across her skin as her desire increased, she loved not knowing where he would go next! She found her raising up, giving him more room to work his teasing fingers! Reading her body language, he traced around her leg, now teasing her from the front. Their bodies wriggled side by side, Bree finding her legs moving apart to give him more space, to which he used. All she could do is close her eyes as his hands gently, softly, enticingly slid down the front of her undies, his index and middle finger tracing around the sides of her throbbing flesh, teasing around, teasing in. He gently massaged her flesh, her body pulsating with desire at his touch. Between her legs quickly became a wet, slippry mess, begging for more action! To her relief, Dmitry slid both hers and his undies down, in the still evening she felt his thick cock rub up against her!
They continued to kiss, now totally naked. Her hands ran up and down his chest, over his back, over his totally squeezable bottom. She giggled in delight as he gave her an occasional smack, loving the change in sensation against her skin! He lifted her up and carried her to his king-sized bed, where he laid her down. Coming up close, he stroked her hair as they continued to kiss. She wrapped her arms around his waist, encouraging him to level above her, to give her what she desired! He hovered above her, the tip of his cock just teasing her aching pussy. Lifting up, she felt him enter her just slightly, then feeling his gentle push into her! Gasping in pleasure, she felt every bit of his warm manhood as it slid in, feeling his body ultimately close to hers. She cupped his ass again, squeezing it, pushing it in, feeling him push in, pull out, push in again. Starting slow, he rode her gently. Working up, she felt herself pushing up into him, wanting him more, wanting him faster, wanting him deeper. His body responded in kind, his pelvis rubbing into her, pushing her into the bed, pushing her hard, pushing her fast! His hands gripped her wrists and held them back as he rode her, she loved the feeling of restriction as he moved faster and harder! Their bodies, pulsating, gyrating, pushing and gasping, Bree’s head spinning in ecstasy as they found themselves climaxing together!
Dmitry held her close and whispered sweet Russian lullaby’s into her ears, kissing them, running his hands through her soft hair. Bree loved the feeling of closeness with him and smiled to herself, thinking ‘who would have thought that finding her ‘Russian Roots’ would be so fun!!’