I could tell this new kid - Nataliya - was pretty nervous, just from the way she walked. She spent most of the walk to Marco's apartment just staring at the floor or eating her bellini.
"Hey, kid, don't worry. The others will love you." I said, smiling down at her. She looked up at me almost with a look of awe, just like the one she had used when I had ordered 5 bellinis.
"Umm.." She said hesitantly, "Well... Who lives with you?" She paused, "At your house, I mean..."
I laughed, slightly harsher than maybe I should have, "You'll see," I said as we walked towards the front door. I knocked on the door with three quick knocks, paused and knocked again once - a secret knock we had invented when we had all got together to live here.
"You have a secret knock?" said Nataliya, with a slightly concerned look on her face, "Why?" she asked.
I opened my mouth to answer her, but was cut short by the door being opened. Anna stood in the doorframe, smiling a wide grin. "BELLINI!" she shouted, laughing as Nataliya jumped.
"Nataliya, this is Anna, Anna, Nataliya." I said, curtly. "I'm sure you two will get along just fine."
Nataliya smiled at me and then at Anna. "New blood, huh?" Anna said, slightly threateningly before laughing at Nataliya's scared expression, "Don't worry, I won't bite."
I playfully slapped Anna, "Leave her alone Anna." I said, putting my arm around the frightened-looking Nataliya. "Come in," I walked into the house, pulling Nataliya by the shoulders.
I placed the bellini on the table in the middle of the room as Marco walked in, "Nataliya this is Marco. This is his place." Marco grabbed a bellini and settled into the sofa.
"Hey," He said, scratching his shaven head. His hair was only a few millimetres long but already he needed a haircut. I made a mental note to remind him to cut it.
"Marco, where's Aleks?" I asked him, wondering why Aleksey hadn't run to the table to collect his bellini.
"Oh he's at work, he said he wouldn't be too long." said Marco.
"Aleks is Anna's brother... And my ex." I added. I don't know why I had said it, I just felt like telling Nataliya this information. She looked up at me quizzingly, before picking up her bellini and settling into the wooden chair by the table.
"Make yourself at home," Marco said, glancing uncomfortably at me. Anna shuffled into the room and sat next to Marco on the sofa, while I stood next to the table, holding my bellini in my hands.