The rich aromas escaping from the covered silver tray taunted me. I reached toward the cover’s handle.
“Katya…,” he said.
I stopped. “I’d rather you call me Ekaterina.”
“Katya,” he said with emphasis, making it very clear that my preferences were of no consequence, “this won’t take more than a moment, and your dinner will be waiting here for you when you return.”
Sir stood. I followed suit. He opened the door and ushered me into the corridor. Our compartment was the first in the car. Two men, for security and privacy I guessed, stood at opposite ends of the corridor.
We walked toward the far end of the car. All of the compartments were vacant, except one. As we approached it, I did not need to extend my mind to detect the tidal waves of emotional chaos and madness that emanated from within. It was Polkovnik, but he was almost unrecognizable in the maelstrom.
Polkovnik wasn’t a loose end. He presented a danger to no one. This was all just a test, a very cruel test.