Then again, the Chechens were far more worried about the possibility of any faction of the Russian mafia showing up then whether I was still secure in the zip ties they had put me in. I knew this because they had begun to argue several feet away from me. At this point, I could probably break the ties, run out of the building, and they wouldn’t do anything to stop me. It might even relieve some of their stress if I did just that. The Russian mob was a scary thing.
There was a small snap like a branch breaking under someone’s foot that was very quiet considering the argument going on about ten feet away from me. One guy was now literally yelling at the other two. Russian was like every other language on the planet, there were dialects and sometimes that made it impossible for someone like me, to understand. I wasn’t even completely positive they were speaking Russian. Chechens might have their own unique language altogether. It was something I would have to learn about now that I was going to try and embrace my Russian heritage a little more.
I was free and had a decision to make. Did I run for the door like a scared girl or did I stand up for myself. I wasn’t really the knock them down type if I didn’t have to be. However, I also felt like my Chechen kidnappers needed to be sent a message. God only knew how many women Chechens had kidnapped recently in get rich from the Russian government schemes or what they had done to them. Just because my kidnappers didn’t seem interested in rape and torture didn’t mean that other kidnappers felt the same way. If I maimed these three, it would send a message that looks were deceiving and that kidnapping American women in hopes of a payment needed more thought put into it. Maybe I could start offering services to protect tourists in Russia. I had considered opening offices in Mexico for that same purpose, letting tourists hire some of the best mercenaries in the world at an affordable price when they were visiting the country, especially given that it was quite likely that nearly all tourists in Mexico had either met a Mexican serial killer or met a cartel member that thought they looked like quick and easy money.
Zeke had talked me out of it because he hadn’t been sure he could find enough mercenaries in Mexico to make it work. That was not true of Russia. Russia had a lot of former mercenaries because of the way Spetznaz was trained and then tossed aside when they weren’t in the middle of a war, which Russia currently wasn’t, so they had been cutting Spetznaz activity, leaving a lot of mercenaries unemployed. At least in Russia, I could hire Russians like my cousin Vasili. American money was practically gold considering how poorly the Ruble was valued. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. In both Russia and Mexico and maybe some other Central and South American countries. I’d used mercenaries to protect single women traveling to countries like Egypt in the past, but those hadn’t been cheap enough to be affordable by the general public.
I was pretty sure that it was a sustainable practice, even if I offered the services at a serious discount to make them cheap enough for almost anyone to afford. I’d definitely start with Mexico since I could hire American mercenaries for those jobs and no one needed a VISA to travel to Mexico. The Board of Directors and I were going to have a long, long discussion when I got back to the US. This was a service that was needed, I was proof of it. I seemed to have “Please Kidnap Me” writing on my forward in ink only bad guys without brains could see. There was no way I was the only one.
The Chechens were still arguing when I stood up and began walking towards the doors we had come through.
“Stop!” One of them suddenly shouted.
“Why?” I asked. “Wouldn’t it be better if I just left. Then when the Mob showed up you can tell them you let me go.”
“They will kill us regardless,” the guy told me.
“That is probably true,” I agreed. “See, kidnapping women is not a good way to make a living. I offer services that protect people and rescue them from kidnappers. Meaning this isn’t something you are going to win.” I picked my phone up off the floor. The screen was cracked, but it was still on. In my hands it immediately started ringing. It was a strange number that didn’t have enough digits to be Russian, American, or really a phone number from anywhere. The screen read 999. If I’d been in England, I would have that emergency services were calling me, but I wasn’t in England and 999 wasn’t a real phone number that could make calls.
“Hello?” I answered it.
“I’m across the street on a roof top. Do you want me to take them out?” Apex’s voice came over the line.
“I don’t think they are going to let you just leave,” Apex said.
“Trust me, they will.” I paused for a moment. “Why are you anywhere near me?”
“Ace was worried about you and Zeke coming here to deal with the mob.” Apex answered.
“So, she sent you along?”
“Sorta,” Apex answered.
“Ok, maybe fire a warning shot, but nothing more. As you can see, I’m in the middle of rescuing myself by channeling my inner Aislinn.”
“If you were channeling your inner Aislinn, they’d be dead.”
“You got me there. I’m channeling my less violent and destructive inner Aislinn.” I told him. “At some point, I seemed to forget that I am mostly a badass.”
“I think it’s because you run around with Zeke, Anthony, Malachi, and Aislinn.” Apex fired a single shot into the room that entered the car. The sound wasn’t deafening, but it definitely got everyone’s attention. “See, you’ve spent so much time around mercenaries and people that kill first and ask questions later, that you compare yourself to them and as such have forgotten that you are not a good victim.”
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This book is a work of fiction. Any names, places, characters, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination and are purely fictitious. Any resemblances to any persons, living or dead, are completely coincidental.
Copyright © Hadena James 2016
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