“Anvar,” bellowed the woman, “This is an important occasion and I will not have it sullied by serving that swill you and Dirk took such delight in drinking. You are holding the finest brandy in the land. Savor it and let me see to my tasks.”
Anvar inhaled the bouquet and then sipped in a conservative fashion. His face wrinkled slightly. “I honestly do not see why you are making such a fuss, Jelena. After all, it’s just Linvin coming home.”
“Do you see him?” shouted Jelena as she ran to the window.
“No,” laughed Anvar. “I was merely saying that this gala you have prepared seems rather…extravagant for Linvin’s tastes. Would you not agree, sister?”
Jelena stormed over to Anvar. “Having been through this past year with me, I would think you of all people would see a need for celebration. This house has been like a mausoleum since Dirk left. I have one good thing left in this world and that is my son. Is it so wrong to shout to the world that he is home?”
“It could be,” Anvar said before taking a larger drink from his glass. “You know how I feel about this. It is an unwise and unneeded risk. One that may very well get us all killed.”
“The gala will have tight security, I assure you.”
Anvar came face-to-face with her and said with frustration, “You know that I do not speak of the gala. Has time blinded you so that you do not see the impending danger? The risks have not gone away, Jelena. Bringing us together again and announcing it to the world will only compound those risks.”
“Dirk has been gone over a year and there is not the slightest hint of danger. You are paranoid, dear brother. Even if there was a danger, it died with Dirk.”
Anvar struck his forehead in disbelief. “Dirk is not what they wanted! They have just been biding their time. How can you be so ignorant of the impending doom?”
“Because all I can see is my son! He was practically stolen from me as a boy and sent halfway around the world to be raised by strangers. My boy has lived more years away from me than with me and I want him back! I want him home!”
“Even if it costs us all our lives?” Anvar asked as he held his weeping sister.