“I apologize for dragging you down here. I didn’t realize that just knowing I was here to see you and getting a telephoned confirmation of that meeting was enough to make my kidnappers not kill me. If I had, I wouldn’t have asked you to come help me get out of this situation.”
“No need to apologize, it was a pleasure to meet you. I look forward to our more formal meeting tomorrow.”
“Great, thank you. I will be hiring a few more guards and bringing them tomorrow. After getting kidnapped tonight, I realize that even in Russia I should have more protection than just two men, no matter how good at their jobs they are.”
“I understand Ms. Daniels. I will see all of you tomorrow. I can offer you protection using my men if you would like.”
“Thank you, but your men will be loyal to you and I need men loyal to me, if that makes sense.”
“Completely, it would be like me traveling to America and hiring your security firm with the expectation that they would keep me safe while attending to my businesses in the country, which I know you do not always agree with.” He walked over and took my hand. I thought he was going to shake it and instead he kissed it. I was really proud of myself for not jerking my hand away. I had set the first meeting with this guy, because Tatiana had told me he was very civilized and very powerful. I understood why she thought that. I was pretty sure he was a psychopath, but that could just be because I was spending too much time around Anthony, Malachi, and Aislinn.
Our mobster left and Vasilli and Zeke began training my new Chechen security detail. I could appreciate that they were Chechens. Chechens had their own mafia, their own rules, their own identity outside of Russians. At the moment, I felt that could work in our favor.
For starters, the mob would be suspicious of them, but would think they were mostly harmless, because unless a Chechen was wearing a bomb, that’s the way most people in Russia thought of Chechens. Essentially, I was using Russian prejudice against them. Granted, I was probably not an excellent judge of character on the matter since the reality was all factions of the Russian mafia scared the crap out of me. Russia was like the US in a lot of ways, they were breeding psychopaths at an alarming rate and the Russian Mob was recruiting them for everything from errand runners to killers.
I had dealt with enough mobsters to know that they didn’t play fair or by the rules, even their own rules were subject to their own rules were subject to the whims of those in power. Harry Burns with Homeland Security had given me a briefing some time ago, while the SCTU was hiding out in my safe houses about the Russian mob and the things these people did to each other, weren’t much different than the serial killers the SCTU had hunted. Aislinn and Malachi had even been nice enough to give me a run down on some Russian Serial Killers they had believed to be mobbed up. However, I had decided to make this trip on a whim of my own and now I was thinking I should have planned it a bit better. Zeke and I had flown to France because it turned out some of his mom’s family was there and then we had flown to Russia. The entire trip had taken just five days so far, but I was exhausted and positive I was going to die in the morning. Which made me wonder if I had been rash and naive thinking I could save Tatiana from these madmen with just Zeke and some of my family members. And Apex, I did have Apex which might or might not work in my favor. God knew he was an amazing shot and he wasn’t scared of anything as far as anyone could tell.
“You know he would have killed them if you hadn’t lied about who they were, right?” Zeke asked me in a whisper as Vasilli was showing my kidnappers how to execute a good pat down.
“Yes, that’s why I lied.” I whispered back.
“That was good, quick thinking on your part,” Zeke took my hand and rubbed it on his jeans.
“Right, that was perhaps the creepiest part of the entire exchange,” I whispered to my husband.
“Well you are a woman and you will eventually become Matriarch of the Zeitzev family, if you outlive Alex, although even if you don’t, you might become Matriarch based on your own mother. Russians were enamored with matriarchs, which was odd given they were definitely a patriarchal society. However, it was hard to be Russian and not revere women. I was sure it was in their very DNA.
I was touched that Zeke knew this. I didn’t know Jack about Tahitian culture or French culture. Just another failing of mine.
“The only way this day could get weirder is if Malachi dropped from the ceiling or if I was abducted by aliens.”
“I think that’s the same thing,” Zeke smirked, and I nodded. They were kind of the same thing.
Zeke’s phone rang. He looked at it and frowned. The number was 999.
“It’s Apex,” I told him.
“Oh,” Zeke said and then hit the accept call button.
“Okay,” Zeke said holding the phone out to me.
“I hear you are in a predicament that isn’t getting better,” Apex said when I said hello. “Well, somehow, I now have to capture a serial killer in place of Aislinn. I’m hoping she can help me.” I told him.
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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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