Not My Monkeys, Still My Circus
Which was why I had spent most of my life dodging bullets. My mother had once dated Oleg Borisovich. Not a big deal until the Soviet Union collapsed and organized crime and capitalism had created a new class of billionaires. I wasn’t sure if it was revenge because my mom had been with him when her US handlers had gotten her out of the country or just because he didn’t like to be dumped. I could have asked him, but I didn’t want to know that bad. I still had questions about why my aunt had hooked up with him long enough to have a daughter, but that was probably none of my concern. For now, my concern was getting said daughter out from under the thumb of the many warring Russian mob factions. Something I couldn’t do while being held for ransom by Chechens.
*So, does he answer the phone or not? If he does, what does Melina have to say this time? What does Nadine do. Is it a distraction tactic? “
Which meant my entire life had essentially revolve around, organized crime. So being kidnapped by Chechens, didn’t seem like a big deal. After all, they weren’t mob bosses or contract killers. That didn’t explain how they had found me outside the restaurant. Of course, I really was unlucky like that. They had probably been down the street pick up food and just happened to see some weird woman eating non-Russian Food through the windows. Then had decided to kidnap me, and as they said, the rest was history.
The guy took my phone and sent my mother’s call to voicemail. I didn’t know if that was a smart move for not. My mother was persistent to say the least, she would probably keep calling until someone answered. And if they refused to take her call, she would probably make my brothers start calling me. Vladik and Ivan could probably contact my kidnappers, because their names sounded Russian. Liam and Devlin might have more problems. I wasn’t sure how much Chechens understood American families. Would they understand blended culture names like Liam and Devlin were just as likely to be related to me as Vladik and Ivan?
As if on cue, my phone began ringing again. I didn’t know if it was my mother again or one of my siblings or Zeke or Uncle Niko or Vasilli or Alex or Kenzie or any of the other hundred people that had my phone number. If they were smart, they would just break my phone. It was possible that it could ring for hours. Since this wasn’t the first time, I had been kidnapped, my mom might have started a phone tree for what to do in the event of it happening again. Considering my families were Russian and Irish, I had large families. I couldn’t even remember the names of all my first cousins. There were days, I struggled to remember the names of my nieces and nephews.
My nieces and nephews were still mini versions of their parents and I was not known for being a good babysitter. None of my brothers had ever asked me to baby sit. I guess when the mob wants you dead, even siblings don’t trust you with their kids. For the first time, I realized just how much of my life had been impacted by their nearly constant attention. It went well beyond just the death threats and had leaked into the lives of my siblings and their children.
Perhaps for the first time, I stopped thinking solely about me. This was a bigger problem than just me getting blowfish poison in the mail. If I died, my brothers would have to explain it to their children. Just like they would have to explain to them why I wasn’t allowed to babysit. It had taken being kidnapped by Chechens for me to realize that I thought of myself as an island with lots of little islands around me. However, that wasn’t the case. Every time something like this happened, my brothers and their spouses, well not the one currently in prison, and their children, were impacted just as much as I was. How much of my life had I spent being selfish because I believed my life didn’t impact theirs, at least not to the extent that it did.
Would my kidnapping affect Vlad’s search for Gabriel? Would Aislinn Cain end up Tasering my little brother because Chechen jerks had managed to do a snatch and grab outside a restaurant where I thought I was safe? With most people, getting hit with the prongs of a Taser made for a really bad day, but with a Taser from an SCTU member, it made for a life-threatening day unless you were a psychopath and my younger brother wasn’t. I didn’t dwell on that thought. I’d have a conversation with Aislinn Cain about it in the future though. I had never heard of her hitting Gabriel or Fiona or Xavier or even Lucas with her Taser, but she had Tasered both Malachi and Caleb in the past, so what kind of threat did she actually pose to Vlad? It was something I needed to check out when I wasn’t being held for ransom in some crappy warehouse.
This was not the time or the place for an existential crisis. One of the Chechens answered my phone as it started ringing yet again. It was either my mother or maybe Alex or Kenzie. My kidnappers stared at the phone like it might bite them, of course, it might considering the women in my life. After about the fourth ring, it went to voicemail. The ring time was getting shorter, which meant that the repeated caller was leaving me voicemails. It instantly began to ring again. The guy holding my phone passed it to one of the other guys. He looked at the screen and then hit a button. He immediately began yelling into the phone and trying to pass it off. I knew that reaction, my mother had that effect on people.
I heard him say something like he couldn’t understand them. Which was odd because my mother and Alex were both Russian speakers. After a moment, I heard him say “No no no,” and repeat that he didn’t understand. The only reason I knew the phrase was because I had used it often myself. He hung his head and walked over to me. He shoved the phone at me but didn’t untie my hands. I couldn’t see the name of the caller. “What she saying?” He asked in broken English.
“I don’t know, I can’t hear her,” I replied. He shoved the phone closer and I recognized the heavily accented French.
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.
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
All Rights Reserved