“You realize I have a sniper outside and a communications unit in my ear, right?” I asked. “Meaning everything you say; my sniper can hear, and he speaks fluent Russian.”
“Yes, but my men will find him before it’s a problem,” he told me.
“I do not have a shot, Nadine.”
“Hold on,” I told Apex, reaching down into my boot, and pulling out a small fob that looked like it should unlock a car. I held it up.
“That’s the trigger for a bomb,” I told him, hoping that was exactly what it was since I didn’t have a clue why my aunt would have someone slip it in my boot.
“You brought a sniper and a bomb, I’m impressed.” He told me.
“Yes well, that isn’t the impressive part,” I answered.
“Please continue to impress me,” he told me.
“Sure,” I answered, stepping forward and stabbing one of the goons in the abdomen. His eyebrows drew together and raised as he realized what had happened to him, frown lines appeared at the corners of his mouth and eyes. The mobster I had originally been set to meet with, stepped forward. Apex fired a shot and before anyone could react, he crumpled into a ball on the floor as blood leaked out from where his skull was missing. I had to give it to Aislinn, being around this all the time, would be awful. I was ready for my nice comfortable bed and my Great Danes and a movie about aliens or something to stop me from having nightmares, if I was ever able to sleep again.
“Now, I am impressed,” one of the remaining two guys with expensive suits said to me.
“I’m not really here to impress anyone,” I told him, taking a step backwards towards the door. I tripped over my other foot and my butt impacted the ground rather hard with a squelch. I put my hands down and used them to get myself standing. Something warm and wet had seeped into my jeans. My hands were already drying, covered in sticky burgundy goo that I refused to let myself think of as blood.
“I think we can agree that your US relatives and yourself will be safe from us,” the man told me. He was incredibly polite. He took a step forward. “May I take the money?”
“I don’t even know your name,” I told him.
“Josef,” he answered. “Oleg Borisovich is my brother, however, I never agreed with his desire to make your mother pay for wanting a better life for herself, away from the Soviet Union.”
“Do you trust this guy?” Apex asked me. I wanted to tell him no, but I didn’t.
“You may take the money, as long as you promise to leave me alone and consolidate this mess so that it stops leaking over into my life.”
“I am not my brother Dama Nadine, I will not promise that I can unite all the factions, what I can promise is that if I don’t, I will keep my ears to the ground and let you know if one of them decides to get revenge for the capture of Oleg Borisovich.”
“Did you send the serial killers Bec to my house?” I asked him.
“No,” he answered. “I did not agree with my brother’s desire for revenge and I kept telling him it was going to end badly for him. Although, I expected your mother to kill him, not for him to be captured by law enforcement in the US. Bec was sent to remind you that Oleg Borisovich was not your only enemy, and he wasn’t sent by me or anyone under me.”
“I thought he had been sent to capture my cousin.” I told him.
“I would not send a maniac like Bec to recover my niece, think what you will of me, but I am not a monster.” Josef told me. “Bec was sent because you were protecting her from her enemies, which made them your enemies.”
“Why does she even have enemies?” I asked.
“Because almost everyone thought she would take over for her father, but she didn’t. They fear me more than Oleg and Tatyana.”
“That is not a ringing endorsement for you,” I told him.
“Dama Nadine, I am not in the business of revenge for such ridiculousness as breaking up with me, as Americans say it. If I want revenge, it will be for a real reason.”
“That I understand,” I admitted. “So, take the money and do what you can with this brood. I just want out of it. I won’t even hire people to figure out who sent Bec if you can keep the organization off my doorsteps.”
“I will do my best,” Josef told me. I nodded, deciding that was the best I was going to get.
“Now, may I leave?” I asked.
“Yes,” he told me. I didn’t want to turn my back on Josef, but I also didn’t want to fall in anymore blood. Vasilli came to my rescue, he moved in front of me, walking backwards with a grace and poise I didn’t have. His gun was trained on Josef. Zeke also began to move, shadowing my movements to ensure that no one suddenly shot me in the head or worse. I stepped over the dead body that I had fallen in his blood earlier and walked to the door. Tatyana came with me.
“It isn’t over,” she whispered.
“Good lord,” I muttered.
From behind the closed door there were suddenly lots of gunshots. One pierced the flimsy wall and entered my calf. It burned like I had been set on fire. Blood began to soak through my jeans.
“If you can run, you should do so,” Apex told me in my ear. That was all Zeke needed to hear. He swept me up in his arms and began to take the steps three at a time. Zeke was taller than me by a significant amount, more than a foot. I didn’t know why I liked tall men, but I did.
Our rag tag group ran down three flights of stairs. My aunt took the key fob from me and held it at arm’s length.
“We should definitely keep moving,” she told us. I nodded, feeling bad for Zeke and my Chechen friends. Zeke had pretty much signed up for this when he didn’t back out of the wedding by telling my mom we hadn’t eloped, but the Chechens had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing. I would have to give them a bonus before we left.
“Go, go now,” Apex sounded frantic.
“You realize Zeke is carrying me because I was shot, right?” I shouted at my ear piece.
Then I heard the sirens. The police were coming, and I was in a building full of dead mobsters, and I was shot and covered in blood, and there was a bomb and a sniper. This was not going to be good for me, it didn’t matter who Nikolai was.
“Hurry,” Nikolai shouted from somewhere below us.
“We’re hurrying,” I shouted at my uncle. Vasilli reached over and grabbed me from Zeke. Vasilli was bigger than Zeke. He was bigger than anyone I knew except maybe my brothers Ivan or Liam. Vladik and Devlin had gotten our father’s short gene, whereas my older brothers had gotten my mother’s tall gene. Vladik and Devlin looked more Irish and Liam and Ivan, looked like scary Russians.
Vasilli moved faster carrying me than Zeke had. His long stride didn’t seem to notice my weight at all as we bounded down the stairs. My aunt, who was also taller than me, was running to keep up. When we hit the lobby, my aunt hit a button on the key fob. There was a noise that sounded like bricks breaking and then we were running out the front doors to the cars that were parked in front of the building.
“Why did you do that?” I asked Tatyana.
“Destroying evidence,” she answered. I nodded looking at my hands.
should definitely discuss this later,” Apex said, sounding about normal, but
standing at Nikolai’s car. I was put
into the backseat, squeezed in between Apex and Zeke. Vasilli was in the front seat. Tatyana and the Chechens got in her car and
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