Antonin's days ticked by in relative peace, if not boredom. Nothing seemed to be happening, which became very frustrating. He had been through a lot to get to the point where the police could take Vladimir Volkov down and now they were wasting time.
Frustration gave way to suspicion as time passed. He was beginning to think that either something had gone wrong when he had recorded the evidence and Dariya had turned in it, or Yaroslavl's corruption problem went a lot further than he had realised.
He couldn't really do anything right now though. He was effectively a wanted man. Dariya had warned him that going outside was bound to get him killed.
So he was stuck with nothing to do but wait, his frustration and suspicion growing by the day.
Dariya wasn't finding things any easier. She might not be stuck in an abandoned warehouse, fearing for her life, but she was stuck at home, listening to her father rant.
Vladimir had deployed most of his children to hunt for Antonin across the city, but Dariya was kept at home to 'help' him with plans that he had.
So far, she hadn't discovered the nature of his plans because he had spent the time ranting and raving. She just tuned most of it out but it didn't stop him.
Currently, she was sat at the dining table, eating lunch, while her father paced up and down the room, spitting fire.
"How dare that slimy little maggot come here and interfere with our business?! He lied to you just to spy on us!" He growled.
"I know..." Dariya sighed. Her sigh was mostly one of boredom. She had heard this far too many times.
Vladimir, in his emotional state, mistook it for sadness and shook his head, "I am so sorry, my dear, how were you supposed to know? To think, he could have destroyed all of us, if I hadn't accompanied you and saved you!"
She rolled her eyes while he wasn't looking. He was just using this as extra fuel for his stories about how brilliant he was and how she should just stay around him, where she would be safe, forever.
It would just be another excuse for him to control her life.
She could already hear him starting up again, his rants a familiar backtrack for her thoughts.
Eventually, she couldn't tune him out anymore and decided it was time to interject. That could be a risky business, knowing his temper, but at this point, all she wanted was to shut him up.
"Papa, really, it's not as though any harm's been done. I expect all he did was run away. He's probably long gone by now," She tried to pacify him.
It was too much to hope that he would buy it and leave Antonin in peace, but if she was calm and tried to be the voice of reason, she might get beyond the ranting and find out how much he knew.
She had already uncovered how he had found out about Antonin's job, but she wanted to know all the details, just in case there was anything that could help her friend, or at least keep him out of danger.
"No harm? My dear, naïve little Dariya," She gritted her teeth at her father's dramatic, patronising tone, "That man could have toppled my whole brilliant organisation and ruined everything! And I know he's still in town... I will find him."
With every word, he made her hate him more. But already, she was learning new information. He knew Antonin was still in town? How?
The best way to uncover more seemed to be to make him think he had to explain the twisted up workings of his mind to her. When he had thought she 'didn't understand', he had inadvertently let something useful slip.
So, she wrinked her brow at him, feigning confusion. "How would he have done that? Anyway, there's no way to be sure that he's still around... Surely he'd go back to Moscow?"
Vladimir seemed angry at the reminder of how his whole precious operation could have been destroyed. "He broke into my workshop! He could have done so much damage!" He cried out in fury. "And of course he's still creeping around here! His car's still at the hotel!"
Dariya stopped. She didn't want to make her father any crosser and risk endangering herself. If he suspected her, he'd surely kill her.
Besides, she had learnt a disturbing amount. Vladimir definitely had someone more powerful than she had suspected working for him.
She hadn't even known Antonin had a car here, but Vladimir had it under observation. And how could he know about Antonin accessing the workshop? They hadn't broken in, it all been done very neatly.
He couldn't possibly know.
Her heart skipped a beat as the thought crept into her brain. There was a way for him to know. If he had seen the evidence.
She could only think of two possible chances for him to have seen it.
He could have looked while he had been fighting Antonin, but he had been focused on killing the other man and hadn't stopped to think or to search him.
The only other way for him to know would be if one of his spies was the person she had entrusted the evidence to.
The Chief of Police.
Her heart was in her mouth... She had to go and tell Antonin about her suspicion! He had dealt with the Polcie Chief as well and she knew a lot about his mission. If she was working for Vladimir, then he was in more danger than they had realised.
"I see," She nodded to her father, just so he had had answer. "Anyway, I better go check how things are out in the city," She came up with an excuse quickly. It wasn't a great one, but he often sent her to check on his terrority, so it worked well enough.
"Yes, yes," Vladimir nodded, "You do that. I have to work on my plans. Now that he's violated my space, I'll need to move the workshop somewhere more secret... And make some kind of space to keep difficult customers like him, so they don't escape in future..."
He was muttering away to himself now, planning things out, so Dariya could her chance and slipped away.
It only took her a few moments to reach Antonin's hideout and she hurried inside. He only needed to glance up and see her grave expression to know something was very wrong.
He jumped up off the floor and hurried over to her, "What? What is it?!" He demanded to know.
"My father knows more than he should. I think someone very powerful is working with him!" She got straight to the point.
He bit his lip, looking nervous, "How powerful?" He questioned.
"The Chief of Police..." She admitted to her suspicions.
He visibly paled. "You're serious? Th... I have to get out of here!" He looked around in a panic, checking for anything he might need to take with him.
"Get out of here? Why? You're still safe..."
"This isn't about me! She'll destroy the evidence! I have to go to someone higher up! If I go home, Ilya will help me, I'm sure." He explained.
"The Chief in Moscow. He sent me here at her request, but that was probably some kind of trap, so she could get rid of any evidence against your father, then pass the blame to another department. But if I speak to him before she can, then he'll know how to stop her. I can't, obviously, she outranks me..." He reasoned.
"How are you going to get to Moscow before she can do anything? She's had the evidence for days now. You still have to travel one hundred and seventy three miles without getting murdered by my crazy family!" Dariya seemed flustered by the idea.
Antonin looked determined. "We'll just have to get there as quickly as we can. It's not like I have a choice. I can't let her do this."
"We?" Dariya frowned, confused by his sudden use of the plural pronoun.
"Well, I can't leave you here! You'll be in danger. Doesn't she know that you helped me?" He insisted.
She shook her head, "I told her everything I had to, but I kept my disguise on and I didn't tell her my name..."
"But she told me to target you because they suspected you would help me," He revealed, still concerned about her.
She shrugged, "They can't prove anything and I know how to play my father by now. I'll get away with it. Besides, if we both vanish, it'll be more suspicious and they'll definitely come after us. This way, they'll come after you and I'll try to distract and disrupt as much as I can."
He nodded, "I see..." He felt a little sad about that. He had hoped he could help her out of her, away from her insane family, before everything got a whole lot worse. But he had to focus on his mission.
"Then I'll appreciate any help you can give me. Best to get ready to go now..." He replied, knowing that he would have to be ready to leave. His only chance to save this case was to move faster than Sunnikov.