Building a Scene

This is my attempt to embellish my MS by picking up on an event that was only hinted at. So, don’t see this as how to do a scene, but merely my attempt to do so. This will be rough I’ll need to fact check and see how it, if in fact it does, fits into my MS.


The estate of Prince Ivan Michailovich Durkov was located east of Moscow in the ancient town of Novgorod. The Baron Ulenka’s family arrived there a sen-night before the ceremony and would follow the Slavic traditions of the Durkov family.

Annushka, who arrived with her infant son, would do the honor of being Matron for Adeline. Katia was unaccompanied and their father had to demand the presence of Sophia’s husband Yuri Feodorevich Kozlov who had become estranged from his wife and her family. The youngest child Vital Yurivich was now four years old and was very passive, and there was no concern about his behavior.

The marriage celebration started immediately. Dominika thought it excessive, but Tsyotsya Ludmilla enjoyed every minute her daughter was on display.

At first, Borys Ivanovich seemed devoted to his betrothed and Katia started to gaze upon him in a different light.

I should probably give him a second chance, for he seems to have changed, for Adeline’s sake I hope so, she thought.

The suite of rooms the Baron’s family were offered equaled the splendor of the Summer Palace. Katia swept through the four large chambers inspecting them and reveling in the joy she felt, mostly because of the freedom, for her father and mother would share the room next to hers, Annushka’s and Elizabeth’s. Even in these days of lessening of the terem traditions she still felt the stifling effect. Her inspection of Sophia’s chamber was only a quick glance, for she feared Yuri’s presence and only wanted happiness to prevail these few days. The largest chamber was given to the parents of the bride, the Baron Ivan Bilczor and her Tsyotsya Ludmilla. Katia turned in place eying every gold brocade drapery, dark blue treatment of the bed clothing and canopy, the over-sized bed and floor to ceiling windows. She ran her hand against posts of the bed and stopped in the middle of her daydream when Borys stepped in and closed the door behind him.

This is not what it seems, he is only here to greet Adeline’s mother and father. Stop assuming the worst, she thought.

“Borys Ivanovich, you’re looking well,” she said stammering. “Adeline’s parents are not here as you can see.”

He said nothing and walked toward her.

She looked beyond the canopy and noted a door to the adjacent chamber. She took a deep breath and prayed it wasn’t locked. Not taking the time to find out what Borys had in mind, she ran to the door and found tears forming as the knob turned and she stepped inside locking it behind her. A loud angry pounding on the door signaled her that her instincts were correct.

Sophia turned from the bed where she had just tidied up her son and sent him off to find his father.

Katia’s tears were flowing from relief as Sophia approached her.

“What is wrong?” she asked as Katia silently turned back to the door she had just appeared through.

Pointing, she tried to get the words out. Sophia found a linen cloth by the basin and handed it to her. She stroked her arm while holding her hand giving her the time she needed to collect herself.

“I’m glad I found you here…otherwise,” she said breathing hard and looking nervously over her shoulder.

“Come sit,” Sophia said.

“It’s Borys Ivanovich. I tried Sophia–I tried to think of him other than the rake he appeared to be at Annushka’s wedding. He followed me into the chamber and locked the door behind him. Is that the activity of a man who’s about to be married, and the chamber is assigned to her parents,” she said growing more agitated.

“In truth, Katia, they have been moved to another chamber. Father is hoping Yuri and I will share that chamber and Vitaly will sleep here with Elizabeth.”

“But, Sophia, who’s privy to that knowledge? Am I being daft to assume he had known of this last minute arrangement?”

“Father must be made aware of this,” Sofia said.

Katia’s face contorted, she didn’t want the problem to go any further. Shaking her head from side to side she stood up and took Sophia’s hand.

“Let’s find father,” she said. “But don’t leave my side.”

All through the days leading up to the ceremony Katia’s thoughts were of what might have happened in the dark blue chamber.

Did he think I would fall into his arms? Was he planning to pay me back for refusing him? I gave him plenty of time to explain himself. Why did he say nothing? she wondered.

“I wish Mitia was here,” Katia said watching the dancing and merriment surging around her at the evening celebration.

“That’s wonderful,” Sophia said. “So, you’re missing him? Too bad his business kept him away.”

‘Yes, with Anatoly and Feodor away, and your husband, who might as well be away, we Ulenka sisters are quite lonely tonight.” Katia said with a watchful eye upon Yuri who was oblivious to anything other than the glass of vodka in front of him.

Wiley and Pavel are most dearly missed, she thought.

Dominika had coaxed the Baron up to their chamber and Annuskha had only come down for a moment while Elizabeth kept an eye on the two children. Katia determined that she didn’t care to dance with anyone other than Wiley or even Mitia, but Sophia needed her company. When Sophia had the task of being sole support for her inebriated husband Katia had the horrible realization that she was alone to return to her chamber.

She gathered her belongings and Sophia’s wrap and left the grand ballroom.

She could hear Yuri’s voice coming from the stairwell and breathed relief that Sophia was not far ahead. She put her hand on the bannister and took one step when she heard footsteps behind her. She turned to see Borys Ivanovich, but not before he was able to grab hold of her arm.

The Baron sat up in his bed; his wife was asleep he looked to the candlelight that flickered in the draft from the window and one of the candles blew out.

“Katia?” he said as he jumped to his feet, grabbed his banyan, and hurried out the door.

He rushed past a struggling Sophia and turned quickly momentarily stopping, but then turned back to hurry down the stairwell.

“Father?” Sophia said confused as to why he couldn’t stop to assist her.

As he approached the lower level he heard a muffled voice and signs of a disturbance namely Sophia’s wrap, which he believed belonged to Katia. The daughter that needed his help but he neglected. If anything had befallen her it would be all his fault.

Katia was struggling beneath the firm grasp of an unwelcome advance. The Baron loosed the grip Borys Ivanovich had on his daughter and shoved him aside. The randy bridegroom stumbled and caught himself. The Baron didn’t hit him hard enough and struck again sending him to the floor.

“Father, I’m all right,” Katia said coming out of her shock and staying his hand before he struck him again. She could see that Borys was defeated as well as embarrassed for being caught in the act of forcing himself upon the man’s daughter. He hesitated, as if to say something but decided there were no words rose and bolted up the stairwell.

Katia, face was pale and streaked with tears, and her lips were swollen but that was the only evidence her father could see.

“It looks like I got here on time,” he said pulling her head into his neck.

His banyan had the familiar smell of smoke and her father’s essence.

“How did you know? How did you find me?” she asked sobbing and shaking against his solid embrace.

“I was languishing in my bed and suddenly something roused me, and as I sat a flickering candle went out before my eyes and I thought of you. My light.” he said as he gripped her more tightly.

The two days that followed, the traditional ceremony and the civil proceedings were conducted without any interference. The couple drank from the common cup and were husband and wife. Adeline never knew of the secret he told Katia, for he believed Katia was Adeline at Annushka’s wedding and wished it was she until the day he was married to another.

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