– Where is this scarecrow? Don’t you dare lie to me, it will cost you dearly! – an enraged Stepan Alekseevich shouted into the phone at his assistant, who was supposed to report to him when his son Arthur would appear.
The assistant sluggishly tried to defend himself:
– Stepan Alekseevich, I saw his car near his apartment. He probably came back late at night, when I had already left my workplace.
– You’re going to go right now and check what this impudent man is doing! the man hissed.
He was extremely dissatisfied with the fact that his son did not want to take any part in the family business. After the death of his mother, Arthur was left to himself, which was reflected in his subsequent growing up. He categorically did not want to do anything, preferring to hide behind vague formulations like: psychological trauma suffered in his youth. The treatment of the young man’s injury was very specific: promiscuous relationships with numerous girls, partying in closed privileged institutions, racing on high-speed highways.
Several times Arthur miraculously escaped death, but his constant craving for alcohol and drugs turned a once blooming man into a real wreck, unable to make independent decisions. He did not forget about carnal pleasures, regularly spending time with one or another long-legged beauty. So this time Stepan Alekseevich’s assistant found his boss’s son in an embrace with his new passion, a certain Alice, who looked at the man with a dissatisfied look.
– What do you want? At least let me get dressed…
“You’d better leave,” the assistant insisted, looking at the watch on his tanned wrist. – The chief will be here soon. I wouldn’t want you to come face to face with him.
“And if I have to meet him?” The girl looked at him defiantly.
– Why? – the assistant was surprised.
– Something has happened, – Alice said mysteriously, – but I need to discuss this issue with Arthur’s father.
“I don’t think this is the right idea and the right time,” the assistant said harshly. – Once again I ask you to leave Arthur, his father will be here soon.
The girl shrugged her shoulders and slipped out from under the covers, she was not at all embarrassed by the presence of an outsider who sees her practically naked. Arthur’s swollen face soon emerged from the shower.
– Hey, what’s up? And this is you, Seryoga,” he turned to Stepan Alekseevich’s assistant. “What the hell are you doing here, where did you get the key?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Sergei answered evasively. – Your father is coming here and he really wants to know what you’re doing. I had to escort your passion out.
– Well, that’s right, I’ve already got it, – said Arthur, collapsing into a chair and lighting a cigarette. – When will my father show up?
– He’s already here.
The assistant looked out the window, there was a large SUV in the yard on which the personal driver brought Stepan Alekseevich. After meeting with his son, the man’s mood was disgusting, he could not understand where he made a mistake in dealing with the only offspring.
– Other sons tear themselves a point to raise and further develop the family business, but it never reaches my freak. He came up with an excuse for himself, you see, he has an injury. Everyone’s got a fucking injury! His mother is dead for twenty years soon, it’s time to let her go, but he does not want to part with her ghost. I never got married because of him, although I could have. I kept thinking about Arthur so that he wouldn’t have to fight with another woman after his late mother, but in vain.
Through Sergei, Stepan Alekseevich found out that Alice, whom Arthur was dating at that time, became pregnant. However, his son refused to acknowledge paternity and the girl left in an unknown direction.
“Now we need to find out what happened to her child.” the worried father mused. “I wouldn’t want my grandson to fall into the hands of the wrong people.”
Sergei said in an unperturbed tone that Arthur offered the girl to have an abortion, but she refused and left without leaving an address. Stepan Alekseevich looked at the assistant.
– How much time has passed since then? A year, two?
– Stepan Alekseevich went the third. Arthur wasn’t even interested in Alice. He’s busy with completely different young people,” Sergei replied disapprovingly.
– That is, she should have already given birth, and I have no idea who my grandson is … Listen here, – the man turned to the assistant. – Here’s a new assignment for you. Find Alice and find out what’s wrong with her and her baby. There is no hope for my Arthur. He’s almost a vegetable because of his dope. Is it a matter that I put my life before the creation and growth of a business that my only son does not need for nothing? You will find and inform! Then we’ll see what to do…
Stepan Alekseevich had to wait more than a month for news from the assistant. Sergei could not find Alice’s trail in any way. He even began to wonder if the girl had left the country under a false name or if nothing bad had happened to her. However, one day he was lucky to run into Alice’s ex-girlfriend, who was extremely skeptical about her future.
– Yes, where can she go with two boys. She’s sitting with her aunt somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where she came from five years ago.
– Do you know where she comes from? What kind of aunt? – Sergey listened attentively to every word of the stranger.
– Yes, I know that she is either from Omsk, or from Tomsk. The Siberian is shorter. Stubborn and persistent at least a stake on Tesh’s head. So she got it into her head that she was obliged to conquer a big city, but somehow she did it clumsily,” the girl giggled. – You know that she got knocked up by some major.
“You just said it yourself,” Sergei replied.
He realized that the girl probably dislikes Alice for something and turned out to be right.
– You know, if I had this major, he wouldn’t have just left, – the girl said with a laugh. – I would make him fork out for the kids so that life doesn’t seem like a raspberry.
It cost Sergey a lot of work to find out in which maternity hospital she gave birth. It turned out to be an ordinary state maternity hospital, where two boys were born.
– Yes, we had one, – said the head of the maternity hospital. – Her other boys turned out to be so strong, pretty. She wanted to give up one of them, and he was immediately taken away from another family when she wrote a refusal. And those don’t be fools immediately issued it as their own, in general, one of the twins in their family.
Sergey had to pay a tidy sum for such information, but he understood perfectly well that it was very important.
A couple of weeks later, he accidentally ran into Alice in the city park, where she was walking with a boy of about one and a half years old, an exact copy of his grandfather Stepan Alekseevich and Sergei followed them and found that Alice and her son lived in a rented room. After finding out the apartment number, the man returned to his boss.
“There are two pieces of news, Stepan Alekseevich,” he said. – Good, I found out where Alice lives with the child. The bad news is, I didn’t find any traces of her second child. The boy was adopted by another family and took him to another area.
– What do you mean, I have two grandchildren? Stepan Alekseevich did not believe him. Two heir boys that my junkie son doesn’t even know about. Well, Arthur, wait!
– What do you want to do with it? Sergei asked calmly. – Sorry for the abruptness, but he has not looked like a person capable of being responsible for his actions for a long time, and even more so to foresee their consequences.
“You’re right about that, I won’t argue,” Stepan Alekseevich replied after a short thought. – Give me Alice’s address, I have to meet her and invite my lawyer to me. We need to discuss a very sensitive issue with him.
Alice was surprised when she saw an imposing man of 50 years old on the threshold, who glared at her son’s face. It was clear from the visitor’s face that he had come for a reason.
– Are you Alice? – Stepan Alekseevich began without preface.
– Me and what? The young woman asked cautiously.
She could not understand what an unexpected guest needed from her.
I have a business proposal for you, but it’s not just business. The man went into the kitchen and sat down on the head of the chair in a masterly manner.
– My name is Stepan Alekseevich. I’m Arthur’s father. Yes, the one with whom you had an affair a few years ago,” Stepan Alekseevich carefully watched the expression on the woman’s face. – I also know that you gave birth to two twin boys from my son, one of whom is with you, and the other is growing up in a foster family. Correct me if I made a mistake.
– So far, everything is correct, – Alice did not take her eyes off him. – And what do you want from me?
– I want you to give me my grandson, of course not for nothing and not for beautiful eyes. But first I want to make sure that this is my own grandson.
– And what will happen when this is confirmed? Alice asked cautiously.
– I will install him or take him into custody, as a blood relative. I think you yourself know what Arthur is like, I have no hope for him and I would like to raise a new heir while I have strength and health. You will receive your reward for this child, any reward you want.
– Do you mean to say that you are ready to provide me with housing and provide me with a job?
– I don’t know about the job. I have no idea about your professional qualifications, but when you have your own place, it will be much easier for you to live. You will be able to arrange your personal life because your hands will be free from the hassle of caring for your son. Don’t worry about him, I won’t leave the boy to his fate. Your son will get a decent education, will be able to build a career in any field he wants. All you have to do is agree to hand it over to me.
– I can’t just give up my own child, – Alice answered proudly tossing her head.
– I understand, – Stepan Alekseevich bowed his head. – It’s not so easy to give up a child, but believe me, it will be better for everyone.
Alice asked for time to think, although she understood what decision she would make. Little Dima was in her way, which she did not dare to admit to herself. But if Arthur’s father is ready to provide such compensation, why not take this chance. When two days later Stepan Alekseevich called her about Dima, the girl almost blurted out that she agreed to part with her son.
As a result, two months later the baby became a full member of the family. Stepan Alekseevich looked at the newly-born heir for a long time, but was satisfied. The boy was quick-witted and very inquisitive. Seeing his grandfather intently studying the reports, the boy sat down opposite him, made the same facial expression and uttered wisdom from which the seasoned businessman almost fell from his chair.
– It’s necessary, my kid will beat me in business soon, – Stepan Alekseevich laughed listening to the pearls of his pupil.
The man became noticeably younger and began to look much more cheerful, if earlier his head was filled with problems related to business, then with Arthur, then the appearance of a small grandson who was smart beyond his years forced Stepan Alekseevich to switch to other issues and their solutions. It gave him sincere pleasure, he could play complex design games with the boy for hours, collect puzzles, ride a bike in the yard, taught him to swim.
He was pleased with the success of his grandson, who literally memorized the necessary information from the first time and could give it out at the right moment.
– My kid is a real genius growing up, he will shut anyone up when he grows up, – the loving grandfather proudly told his friends.
He abandoned all attempts to introduce his son to his own offspring. Arthur, drugged by another portion of the potion, was not interested in anything, judging by his reaction, he did not even realize that he had become a father himself and his son was growing up in his father’s house.
.. Dima graduated from school and university with honors, after which his grandfather offered him an internship in his company. The young man gladly accepted this challenge and managed to create a new cyber security product, which was positively evaluated by the small and medium-sized business sector. Now Dima was busy trying to adapt it to the needs of large companies.
Stepan Alekseevich invited him to head the information technology department. After some thought, Dima agreed.
One evening Dima heard Stepan Alekseevich talking to someone on the phone.
“Did you find him?” I’d like to meet him while I’m alive. Yes, I understand everything, but I can’t just give up my own grandson, you know?
– Grandfather, what are we talking about? Which grandson can’t you give up? Dima, who was standing on the threshold of the room, did not understand.
Stepan Alekseevich realized that it was time to reveal the cards. Having seated his grandson opposite, he briefly told the story of their family. Dima listened to him with wide-open eyes.
– So I have a twin brother. Why didn’t you tell me about this?
“Because I had no idea where to find him myself. Recently, my assistant called, said that he knows where the second grandson is. His name is Zhenya, he grew up in a foster family, where conditions are much more modest than ours. He has no education other than school. Because the guy did not want to study, got into a bad company and quit, did not recover, although they say about him that he is not a fool.
– Do you want to meet him, and will you introduce me?
“I’m not sure yet,” Stepan Alekseevich replied, “it’s worth getting to know him better before declaring him a relative.
“But he’s my only brother!” – the grandson was indignant.
– My boy, you have received a brilliant education, you are ready to work hard. And he’s judging because I found out not quite like that.
Dima went to his room and pondered the news for a long time. He was pleased, he was really glad that he had a brother, but the young man had no idea what he was in danger of getting to know this man. Stepan Alekseevich could not bring himself to say that the twin brother of his beloved Dima, whose successes he was more proud of than his own, managed to be behind bars more than once. The reason was banal: petty theft, participation in fights, petty hooliganism.
The last thing a man would want is for his worthy heir to associate with types like his Wife, such can easily lead astray from the true path. It’s better to stay away from them.
But it soon became clear that Dima, as an information technology specialist, himself managed to find his brother secretly from his grandfather. He began to communicate with Zhenya, and this one quickly figured out how to make money on family ties.
– You know, I always felt that I was not alone, – Dima once opened up, – for some reason I often had a feeling that something was happening, but for some reason not with me.
“I also had one,” Zhenya said.
He used his striking resemblance to his brother for his own purposes, into which Dima fit exclusively as a tool to achieve them.
– Let’s go somewhere for the weekend, I know a great place, adrenaline is provided, – Zhenya said confidentially.
Dima, who had never been interested in anything like this, accepted his offer with interest. When, at the appointed time, the young man drove his car to the meeting place with his brother, he looked very pleased with himself.
– Well done for thinking about the car, otherwise it’s still a headache to get there on your own two feet.
Zhenya unfolded the map and pointed with his finger in the middle of the forest:
– Here there is one task, I don’t know what was there, but it looks like a strategic complex of some kind, to hell with all sorts of pipes and pieces of iron there. Usually there are competitions for stalkers here, but no one will be here this week. They’ll all go to another facility, let’s see…
– Stalkers? Dima was surprised.
When he was a teenager, his grandfather strictly forbade him to go to such places, saying that usually such trips end badly, especially if you go alone. If, God forbid, you fall into a hole somewhere, who will pull you out? You’ll rot until they find you.
But curiosity overcame and Dima went without hesitation. He unconditionally believed his newfound brother, who never tired of repeating that a real man cannot do without adventures and ridiculed his twin’s office work. Having reached the right place, the brothers got out of the car and walked towards an abandoned building located in the middle of a forest belt. Everything seemed unusual to Dima and he walked turning his head in different directions.
Finally, they found themselves in front of a huge hangar, the very sight of which inspired ideas about the recent apocalypse.
“It looks just awesome,” Dima repeated enthusiastically, following the twin deeper into the building.
Suddenly Zhenya disappeared and Dima realized that something bad had happened.
– Zheka, where are you? Where have you disappeared to?
Something heavy suddenly fell on him and Dima, losing consciousness, saw that he was flying straight into the hole. Zhenya’s face flashed over him, who, after making sure that the guy was unconscious, busily took off his jacket and shoes, pulled out his phone and car keys.
– Well, don’t worry, little brother, – Zhenya said mockingly when he saw Dima barely opening his eyes. – It’s time for you to learn what it means just to survive, not to posh. Don’t mention it with a dash, – hitting Dima in the jaw so that he lost consciousness again.
Zhenya quickly slipped into the gap in the wall and was gone. He walked with a light springy step like a man who had just solved a most difficult task.
“Serves him right.” While you were rolling like cheese in butter, I stupidly had nothing to eat! So get it… – continuing to talk to himself, Zhenya got into his brother’s car, started it and rushed forward.
He decided to come to Stepan Alekseevich’s house later so that he would not ask unnecessary questions, but to his horror he saw that his grandfather was sitting in a spacious hall and reading a newspaper. At the sight of his grandson, Stepan Alekseevich put the reading aside:
– And where did the adventurer take you? Couldn’t you have called and warned at least Sergei so that I wouldn’t worry about you?
– What are you worried about? I don’t seem to be small,” Zhenya grinned.
To which Stepan Alekseevich suddenly pressed the bell button on his desk, two thugs appeared, who immediately took the guy by the arms and twisted him.
– Grandfather, what are you doing? Zhenya struggled.
The man came up to him and looked mockingly into his face:
– Did you really think to trick me, you son of a dog? Yes, I know my Dimka like a flake! He would never behave like that. Where is he?!
“It’s me Dima,” Zhenya croaked.
The old man slapped him backhand:
“I know exactly who you are. Yes, you are also my grandson, but I didn’t raise you! A prison rat is threatening a kilometer away from you! Since you know what I’m talking about, here’s my last word. I’ll let you live, but you have to give me back my grandson! Got it! My real grandson! And not a vile fake like you, otherwise you will not be well! Is that clear?!
– More than, – Zhenya croaked again and the old man gave the command to let him go.
– It’s already dark, but tomorrow morning you will go out and bring Denis to me, you won’t bring him, blame yourself!
Zhenya lay awake in the closet and wondered how Stepan Alekseevich understood from the first word who was in front of him. After much thought, the guy came to the conclusion that if this old bastard himself was not the same criminal, he would not have been able to reach such wealth.
“And he also makes a clean-cut from Dimka, too, a holy family for me.”.
The next morning, my wife had to go to that forest under the protection of two thugs and look for an abandoned building. To his surprise, Dima was not there.
“He couldn’t have left there,” Zhenya muttered to himself, puzzled, wondering how his brother managed to get out.
… The day was specially chosen so that no one was there. However, three days later, a phone call rang, after which Stepan Alekseevich personally left with all his bodyguards. Zhenya watched through the window of his prison as several cars lined up in front of the mansion three hours later.
– Wow, what’s going on with them?
Dima was carried out on a stretcher nearby, there were two guys and a girl who looked no more than twenty years old. The girl looked around in fright.
In the evening Stepan Alekseevich looked into the prisoner’s room:
– Take the money and get out, you bastard!
– And what happened then?
– That the world is not without kind people. Quite by chance, the guy who carried Dima on his hump turned out to be there. And this girl, his sister, nursed my grandson while he was unconscious. He received a serious wound, it almost came to blood poisoning, but this little girl saved him. Dima will be treated at home, I don’t want to risk his health, and you take the money for which you arranged this dirty trick and disappear from our lives! – throwing a small envelope on the table in front of Zhenya, the man gave him a contemptuous look and left.
The guy didn’t waste any time, grabbed the envelope and ran out. He now knew that only once he appeared in the eyes of his grandfather’s or brother’s bodyguard, how bad it would be for him.
– I think you should stay to work for me, – suggested Stepan Alekseevich. – Thanks to you, my grandson remained alive and well and I would like to have people with him whom I can trust.
Brother and sister exchanged glances and nodded:
– Okay, we’ll think about it…
– And you, my boy, get well soon, – the man turned to his grandson. – I was very lonely while you were away. It’s you who should see me off on my last journey when the time comes, and not the other way around, okay?
– Where are you in a hurry, Grandfather? You still have everything ahead of you! – Dima hugged the old man and pressed his head against his shoulder.