Practice had just ended for the day and you just returned to the hotel. You were pretty tired, today was last rehearsal day before the first ballet you were going to perform here in Berlin. It had been about two months since the date Ludwig kissed you on the cheek. You had been going out to dinner with him almost every day since then. He hadn't kissed you yet though, but you knew him well enough now to know he tended to be very shy with women.
Everyone at the ballet began to tease you about him; especially when flowers would show up from him. You couldn't help blushing as red as the roses he sent you.
You still hadn't learned anything. You starting to be inclined to believe that Germany wasn't up to anything. You were going to call Russia's boss sometime to tell him.
You got to your room and right when you did the phone rang. You quickly answered it, expecting it to be a call from Ludwig. Instead it was the concierge from the front desk.
“Sorry to bother you Ms. ______. There's someone here to see you, miss.” he told her.
“Did they say who?” you asked.
“He said you know him. He also said that you would know what sunflowers mean?” the concierge said.
A smile formed on your face and you sighed to yourself.
“Send him up.” you said and hung up the phone.
You quickly changed out of your sweats and into a light blue dress. There was a knock at the door and you quickly opened it. Ivan stood in the door just as you were expecting. He smiled at you and handed you a large bouquet of sunflowers. You pulled him inside and quickly shut the door.
“What do you think you're doing here?” you exclaimed.
Ivan quickly wrapped his arms around your waist and pulled you close.
“You missed me, da?” he said.
You gave a teasingly exasperated sigh, “I guess I did...”
Ivan leaned in and kissed you on the lips. His arms pulling you closer. After a moment he pulled back and smiled down at you.
“Missed me now?” he asked.
“Definitely.” you said giving him another quick kiss.
“But seriously, Ivan what are you doing here? You know I'm suppose to be spying. If someone see's us...”
“Don't worry, no one even knows I'm here. I just missed you. This is the first time we've ever been apart my sunflower.” he said.
He took your flowers and set them on the bedside table.
“I'm only just passing through, actually. I'm on my way to France for a meeting. I figured I could stop by and see you.” he said.
You smiled, “You're sweet, but I have to meet Ludwig soon for dinner and I still need to wash up. Actually...” you paused, biting your lip, “I'm actually considering telling the boss I'm quitting.”
“What? Why would you do that my sunflower?” Ivan asked.
“Well, I haven't found anything out. I honestly think that we're wrong about Germany. I don't think anything is going on.”
“They must be up to something, otherwise we wouldn't have sent you. I can talk to him, but he'll still insist that you stay for the whole time, since the company is here anyway.” he said.
He walked over and took your face in his hands, “As much as I'd like for you to come home and not be hanging out with Ludwig, my boss will tell you continue, but it's only for a few more months, da? And if nothing happens then nothing happens.” Ivan told her.
“Yeah... you're right. He's not a terrible person at least. He's actually quite an interesting person.” you said.
Ivan's smile faltered a bit and you could tell his mood changed slightly. His face moved closer to yours and his gave you a soft, long kiss. His thumbs stroking your cheeks.
“Just don't forget you belong in Russia, da?” he said softly, his breath tickling your face. There was something in his tone that made a shiver go down your spine.
He straitened himself and headed for the door.
“Goodbye my sunflower. See you in four months.” he said with his usual cheery self.
“Goodbye Ivan.” you said as you slowly sat down on the bed.
That was strange, you thought. Ivan's mood almost never changed around you, but there was something when she mentioned Ludwig. You rubbed your arms and could feel the goosebumps that prickled your skin.
He's probably jealous, you thought. You didn't tell him that you had started developing feelings for the German. You knew you shouldn't. It was your job to get him in love with you, not the other way around. You just didn't expect him to be so... nice.
You looked over at the clock on the bedside table. Crap! You needed to get ready.
Tonight was performance night and you peaked out from the wings of the stage as the audience filled the red velvet seats. The Komische Oper Berlin was a gorgeous building, with marble carvings and statues along the walls and over the red velvet entryways. Not as big as the one in Russia, but beautiful.
You peeked out to see if you could spot Ludwig among the crowd. He was suppose to be in one of the first couple of rows, but you weren't sure which one. Eventually you spotted him. He was dressed just like the night you first met him. An elegant tux that fit snugly to his muscled form and of course he fair slicked back, just like it always was. You noticed two other people were with him. One a man, with brown hair that had one curl that stuck out. The other was a girl with long light brown hair. She appeared to be with the other man. The three took their seats.
You returned to back stage and over to a chair so you could fix your slippers. To your right you could hear a girl speaking very loudly and very angrily. It was one of the German ballerina's. She was talking to the German ballet's director. She was speaking in German so you couldn't really understand what she was saying, but she was definitely not happy. The other ballerina caught you watching them and gave you a glare, before storming off in the direction of the dressing rooms.
Just then a stage hand came up to you with a bottle of water and handed it to you.
“Thanks. What was that about?” you asked him.
“Oh, her. That's the up-in-coming prima ballerina for the German Ballet. Orginally her first performance as prima was suppose to be tonight, but it was reschedule since you guys, the Russian Ballet is here. She's pretty upset about it.” the stage hand said.
“Man, I feel bad. I didn't know.” you said.
“Oh, don't worry. It's not your fault. She get's pretty steamed easily, but also since last season someone else was appointed prima ballerina, but they just switched companies, so now she gets to be. She's kind of a brat if you ask me.” the state hand said.
You just nodded and finished putting on your shoe.
“Oh well, some people are just like that. Thanks again for the water.” you said.
You took a deep breath and went and stood in the wing again. Tonight you preforming Cinderella, one of your favorites, since you often felt like her when you were a child, but now you were like a princess.
The lights dimmed in the theater and the stage lights came on. The music started and you stepped out onto the stage. You grabbed your prop broom and began to pretend sweep the stage. In the back ground the two ballerina's that played the step sisters pretended to make a shawl. The scene progress on until the part when the old beggar women came in. You were on the tip of your toes, staying in one place, when you heard a strange sound. Like a whooshing sound. Suddenly something hard hit your back sending you crashing to the floor and you landed, hard, on your left arm. Pain shot up it. There was a gasp from the audience and the music stopped. The other performers came to your side to help you.
“Are you alright?” they asked you.
“I...I think there's something wrong with my arm.” you said shakily.
“Let's get her back stage.” they said.
You were helped up and walked back of the stage. You heard the director tell the audience that they would have an early intermission while they figured out what happened.
You were shown to a chair, while the stage doctor took a look at your arm. There was some commotion to your right and you saw Ludwig and his companions stopped by a stage hand.
“Please, let them through. They're friends.” you called.
Ludwig pushed past the stagehand and came to your side.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
“I don't know.” you said, “I think my arm is broken.”
Ludwig took your other hand and watched the stage doctor check your arm. You winced as he applied pressure to it and squeezed Ludwig's hand.
“Vell it looks like's it's fractured, not sure if it's a clean break. You'll have to go to the hospital and you von't be able to finish this season, I'm afraid.” the stage doctor said.
You sighed, “What happened? What hit me?” you asked.
“A sandbag.” said a stage hand, “It came lose somehow. It vas an accident.”
Out of the corner of your eye you saw the German ballerina leaning against a wall looking at you.
“Or maybe it wasn't...” you said mostly to yourself.
Ludwig heard you though.
“Vhat?” he said quietly.
You squeezed his hand, “I'll tell you later, it's not important right now.”
“Anyway,” said the stage doctor, “Someone needs to take her to a hospital.”
“I vill.” Ludwig said.
“Come on, dear. Let me help you get changed first.” said one of your ballerina friends.
“I'll just be a minute Ludwig.” you told him.
“I'll vait.”he said and gave you small smile, before returning to his friends.
You smiled back and the walked back to the dressing room.
“You're boyfriend is very sweet and quite handsome.” your assistant said.
“Oh, he's not...” you paused and then smiled, “Yes, he is, he's very sweet.”
The German man was not what you had expected him to be. He wasn't dull, proud or as emotionless as he appeared to be, in fact he was very kind and gentle. You felt yourself growing to like him very much.
But what about Ivan? You asked yourself. You didn't know, Ivan was technically your actual boyfriend, seeing as he had cared for you since you were young. You didn't think you could choose between the two of them. Perhaps you would have limit your contact with Ludwig. After all you hadn't discovered anything. If Russia wanted information they would have to find it out a different way. Maybe the fractured arm is good in a way. Russia's boss might let you come home early.
After you had changed, your friend went and got Ludwig and he walked you out to an ambulance that was waiting. He lifted you onto the stretcher and climbed into the back of the ambulance. Once at the hospital the doctors did an x-ray and put your arm in a cast.
Ludwig came in after they were done with you. His bow tie was undone and hung limply around his collar and his jacket was unbuttoned.
“I can take you back to the hotel if you like?” he asked.
“That would be great. Thanks.” you said.
He first took off his jacket and put around your shoulders. Then he put a protective arm around you and walked you out to the car. It only took you about ten minutes to get back to the hotel. He help you out of the car and up to your room.
“Thanks, Ludwig.” you said.
He nodded, “Ja, of course.”
You both stood there a moment in silence. Ludwig looked down at his feet, over to the right and then finally back at you.
“Um, ______? I vas vondering, since you really don't know anyone here, but me... and I hate to leave you by yourself in the hotel, so I vanted to ask vould you like to stay with me?” he finally said, flushing red and avoiding your eyes.
“Well... I was almost hoping I could go home, since I won't be able to preform the rest of the time we're here.” you told him.
Honestly, you didn't know what to say. So much for trying to limit your contact with him.
“I understand if you don't vant to, but ve von't be alone. My friends Roderich and Elizabeta are staying vith me right now. You saw them at the theater.”he said.
“Right, well can I have a night to think it over? Obviously, I'm not going anywhere at the moment and I'm really tired.” you told him.
“Of course, you don't have to decide right away. I just vanted to offer... plus your only here so long...” Ludwig said, saying the last part rather quietly.
“Thank you, Ludwig.” you said, giving him a reassuring smile.
He smiled back and then took a step toward you. He gave you a soft kiss on your cheek, one hand resting on your good arm.
“Goodnight, then ______.” Ludwig said and then left the room.