“What?” He asked me.
“That is my mother in law, and I think she just told you to go hang yourself by your manhood because it will be less painful,” I told him. “But I’m not fluent in French, so I could be wrong on some of that translation.” As a matter of fact, my French was pretty much swear words, Telisa told me everything else was moot in Tahiti.
“You French?” He asked me as he hung up on Telisa.
“No, American and I wouldn’t have done that.” I told him frowning. “You married?”
“Yes.” He answered.
“Imagine you just hung up on wife’s mother.” I told him.
“Oh,” he swore in Russian.
Before he could walk away, my phone started ringing again. It was like my mom had activated an emergency hotline to my phone. Which was a possibility knowing my mother.
He looked at the screen, Lee-em. He said the name slowly as if it were bitter.
“Liam,” I corrected. “He’s my brother.”
“Maybe he pay for you.” He said. I doubted that very seriously. I was the black sheep of the family; my brothers were all badasses and I was just kinda me. I suspected my brother was either a Marshal involved in Witness Security or the Secret Service. I didn’t know because he couldn’t say but he lived about a block from my other brother Ivan in the FGN which meant he had to be law enforcement of some kind. However, they had managed to get my mom a house in the FGN, so maybe they did or maybe my mother was back to working for the CIA. I couldn’t be sure with her. Maybe she was doing undercover work and that was the reason for the extra-long brightly painted fingernails and skin-tight clothing all the time. Or maybe I really was just living every daughter’s worst nightmare and her mother had taken a fancy to much younger men for whatever reason, and I didn’t need those reasons explained to me. My imagination worked well enough without details, especially she had insisted on the pearls that didn’t go around the neck at the sex shop right before I got married.
“Yeah, I was definitely not an island at least not in the real world. My family was just as involved in these shenanigans as I was because they were my family and like me, I was sure all four of my brothers would have preferred if our mother had settled into the Grandmother role happily without chasing men they worked with. Maybe I should set her up with Malachi. That would be entertaining, waiting to see which of them broke first would be like UFC with less blood, maybe.
I didn’t understand what was being shouted into the phone, but another guy came and took it from the guy that had taken Telisa’s call. I was definitely, definitely not alone and definitely the black sheep. My brothers were probably trained to get out of situations like these and the best I could hope for was to annoy them into submission, possibly with my phone.
The shouting continued with the new guy. I couldn’t hear Liam, they weren’t standing that close to me, but like everyone but me, Liam had embraced his Russian side and spoke it fluently. I imagined he was telling him what an idiot they were, in Russian.
When I got back to the States, I would need to hold family meeting and apologize to these people. For some reason, I had lost site of the fact that they loved me, despite my flaws and the strange death threats and even stranger assassination attempts and that just like when Amy had tried to have Ivan killed, we had all been there for him.
Sadly, that family bond was why I was in Russia, to negotiate some sort of release from danger for Alex’s half-sister. Some part of me realized that up until right this second, I had only ever considered Alex and Kenzie family. Which to some degree was true, but I just wasn’t close with my brothers and their families like I should have been. Part of it was because I had tried to shut them out to protect them in case someone succeeded in killing me, but the other part was that even though I wasn’t a girly girl, I was still a girl, and I had always felt like an outsider with my brothers because they were all manly men, which was probably why I dated insane lunatics like Malachi Blake and had ended up married to Zeke. Zeke wasn’t insane or a lunatic, but like my brother’s he was a manly man. And some part of his conscious was dead because he had been a mercenary when Anthony had hired him for Daniels’ Security. You didn’t kill people for money or start wars for money without some part of you being immune to the death and destruction it caused.
However, I rarely thought of him that way anymore. He was the guy who would bring me bacon in bed and help me fight off the six Great Danes to get a piece of it. He was the guy who had built an addition to my house when it exploded to keep me from crying. He was the guy that when my six giant oof dogs went through a midlife crisis, which I didn’t know dogs could have, agreed that we should just keep the bobcats they had adopted and he didn’t mind that sometimes we had to go weeks without intimacy because the Danes would stand outside the door and howl if we were trying to enjoy some alone adult time at home and wouldn’t let them in.
“Um, excuse me, but there is a number in my phone, I’d like you to call for me,” I told the guy who was still yelling at Liam. He looked beyond frustrated.
“Why you family no care that we kill you if they no pay us?”
“Because my family is more likely to kill you than you kill me. So yes, phone call please? Even prisoners get a phone call when the police detain them, even in Russia,” I told him.
“To your crazy family?” He asked.
“Yes,” I lied. “Ok, the name is Yuri in my phone. Just give him a call and let me talk to him for a moment. I don’t speak Russian, so it will be a short conversation unless he has a translator there.”
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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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