“Of course, I had to let him know I was okay since he would be reporting back to my mom.” I smiled at him. “One does not leave my mom dangling and waiting for updates on the safety of her children. Unfortunately, my phone was broken by my kidnappers, so I couldn’t call her myself, but while they were letting me make calls to you, they also let me make a call to my uncle to try and gather the ransom money. I was talking to them when they realized you were really who I said you were. They dropped my phone cracking my screen, then they cut the zip ties and took off. I was able to continue my call to my uncle, but the screen was unusable, so I couldn’t make any other calls.” I dug my cell phone out of my pocket and held it up for everyone to see that the screen was full of spiderweb cracks.
“How unfortunate,” he also smiled, and it gave me the creeps, not the same way Aislinn’s smile gave me the creeps, but fairly close. “We will have to get a replacement for you or have this one fixed tomorrow morning.”
“Thank you,” I tried not to shift my weight as I stood talking to him. I had come to Russia specifically to talk to men like him, I couldn’t get squirmy about it now. If I did, they would realize something was up. And considering Zeke and I’s lives might depend on them staying calm not to mention Apex and Vasilli, I had to force myself not to fidget.
“I understand Ms. Cain is not here.”
“No, she had to remain Stateside to deal with her boss being kidnapped. However, she has all the information my uncle had on the serial killer and will be advising me on how to capture him.”
“Do you think you are up to the challenge? You couldn’t even have dinner without being kidnapped.”
“That is why I was kidnapped. I was thinking about something Ms. Cain had told me and not paying attention to my surroundings when we left the restaurant. Besides, while I have come to Russia several times without an escort, these days, I almost always need an escort, I seem to have made a lot of enemies over the years. In the US, I travel with several armed guards. I am not used to having so few people protecting me.”
“I had heard that someone was trying to kill you, I didn’t realize it was that bad.”
“It has gotten that bad and what do you mean someone is trying to kill me. The largest faction of the Russian mafia has been trying to kill me since I was twelve.”
“That is regrettable. As soon as a new head is picked, a protection order for you will be put in place. We do not need more problems than we already have.”
“Why don’t you take over?” I asked.
“I do not wish to be opened and left on the street like a tainted side of beef.” He told me.
“Oh, yes, I can see where that would be a problem.”
“That is why we really hoped you would bring Ms. Cain.”
“Well, I can assure you that if anyone can catch your bad guy without being here, it is Aislinn Cain and Nadine Daniels,” Vasilli said. I wanted to punch my cousin. Yes, it was possible we could capture a serial killer with Aislinn on the phone and me in Russia, but I wasn’t sure I wanted that pointed out to anyone. Let alone someone who might be able to stop the mob from coming after me. Plus, Vasilli didn’t even know Aislinn all that well. He’d met her a few times, sure, but that wasn’t enough to get a good impression of her. She wasn’t a profiler, she might not have a clue who I needed to look for.
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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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