Searching For Answers

After Rafael left Cassandra sat up on the bed. She hadn’t taken the sedative; she spit it out into a handkerchief when she coughed. She hated being sedated and was very agitated because she suspected that Nico was with his lover.

 She thought Rafael would find Nico and make him come back to the mansion. Anytime she complained he would immediately find his brother and send him home. Useless! Rafael is completely useless! I need to find him myself. He isn’t in Berlin, I had Freddie check for me…he is with the slut somewhere! Nico must have discovered the GPS on his phone. I need to fire that incompetent security company that planted it!

  Cassandra picked up her phone and her voice was shrill, “Freddie, get over to the mansion now!”

  Fredrick!..not Freddie! He clenched his jaw then politely answered,  “Didn’t you want me to check the apartment and the woman’s studio? I am on my way there now.” He was dressed in a delivery man’s uniform and there was a dozen white roses on the passenger seat.

   “I decided to come with you.”

   “…” 

   When he didn’t respond immediately she snapped, “Did you hear me?!”

  “Well…yes I did..but do you think that is a good idea?” Fuck me! If she sees the flowers and knows that is my cover she will fucking flip out. But it was the easiest disguise I could think of at the time.

  “Pfft! If I don’t find out the truth..who will? You and Rafael are incompetent fools!”

   “…”

  He stabilized his breathing in order not to explode, “I will be there shortly.”

  Freddie’s eyes behind the aviator sunglasses he was wearing were filled with rolling flames. I will go insane if I have to bring that lunatic! Why Old Man Kostros likes that little nut I have no idea. Well, I do…Diamond Industries.  He forced his favorite son to marry her and the poor guy’s life must be a living hell!  No wonder he disappears occasionally! He tightened his hands on the steering wheel. Not to mention she has that cold bastard Rafael wrapped around her little finger! It’s fucking crazy! Me..well.. I graduated with Honors from Harvard and am reduced to being Cassandra Diamond’s goddamn lackey because my father is an idiot! I really hate my job!

   He turned up the music and took a small bottle of vodka from the console. After he drank it he sighed, life really fucking sucks! The frustrated man gulped down another bottle then turned the car around to go to the mansion.

  Rafael was sitting behind a sleek desk in his office at Kostros Technologies. He just got off the phone with his father and asked if he had sent Nico to Berlin. His father said he had the situation taken care of internally and Nico wasn’t needed there. Nico had told him he wanted to take Cassandra to the Maldives and would be out of the country for a week. Of course his father said he agreed hoping they would conceive an heir soon. 

  Rafael hung up the phone in a state of confusion. Why was Nico on the yacht with Maya Hart and not with Cassandra in the Maldives as planned. Was he having an affair? Impossible! He and Cassandra are deeply in love. 

  He stood up and lazily strode to the floor to ceiling window overlooking the Bay. He had one hand in his pocket as he gazed out the window. Why did the yacht explode and where is Nico? Is he really dead? If he were alive he wouldn’t let his beloved wife worry about him. He knows how fragile her psyche is because she has abandonment issues. But, I don’t want to believe he was unfaithful or that he is dead.

 He was deep in thought when a thin man in a pinstriped suit entered the office carrying a folder.

  “Boss, I have all of your brother’s credit card activity for the last year. If you want me to go back further I can.”

  “Let me see.”

  His assistant handed him the folder and Rafael walked over to a black leather couch. “ Ask Nancy to bring me a cup of coffee. You emailed me the information on Maya Hart?”

  “I did.”

  “Okay.”

   He momentarily felt a twinge of guilt for invading his brother’s privacy but he felt he had no choice. Maybe he could find a clue in his financial records. He opened the folder and looked over the credit card transactions of both his brother’s company card and his personal black card. 

Rafael pushed up the gold rimmed glasses on the bridge of his nose, hmm… nothing suspicious. On his business card, Business dinners…trips to Berlin and the locations of the other subsidiaries of Kostros Inc. Golf… Annual membership to the Bayview Club. On his personal black card, I recognize the jewelry purchases …Cassie would happily show off whatever Nico bought for her. Plane tickets to cities in China and South Korea…Vietnam… hotels where he stayed. Art purchases…hmmph..no fucking diamond engagement ring!

Could he have paid cash? I will need to check his bank statement.

His secretary came into the office with the cup of coffee and set it on the glass topped coffee table. She smiled, “CEO Kostros, the bakery downstairs sent up some of their new pastries. Would you like some?”

  “No. ” He closed the folder, “You are friends with my brother’s secretary. Have you spoken to her lately? Is there anything unusual going on over there?” Instead of going over there and stirring up trouble he thought he would see if Nancy knew anything. She sometimes would inadvertently tell him some gossip.

  “I actually spoke to her a couple days ago because she wanted to get together. She was excited because your brother gave her this week off with pay. He said he would be out of the office on holiday.”

  He picked up the steaming cup of coffee, why did Nico tell father and not me? I spoke to him on Wednesday and he didn’t mention it. 

After he finished the coffee he walked back over to his desk and looked at the email containing Maya’s information on the computer.


Viktor Takes Merri To A Cottage

   The old doctor gazed at the terrifying man and replied, “Calm down Boy! The little girl isn’t going to die. I told you she needs to sleep for her body to recover. Look at the fragile girl, she is too thin and weak. The drug ravished her nervous system and sucked up her internal energy. If you want to kill someone, you should damn well kill the insidious bastard who gave her the drug!”

 Viktor clenched his hands into fists and the doctor could hear the sound of his knuckles cracking. Don’t worry, that bitch will die a horrible death for harming the little angel.

 The doctor’s wife came down the stairs and sounded annoyed, “Aren’t you finished yet?”

 He glared at his nosy wife, Greedy old hag!I don’t need you pissing off this hothead! If you didn’t answer the door I wouldn’t have to deal with this shit.  “Go back to bed. I will be up shortly.”

   Opening his black medicine bag he took out a pad of paper,  “I will give you a prescription to clear the remaining heat in her body. She might be feverish and disoriented later. I will also give you one for a sedative and you should buy nutritional supplements at the pharmacy. You don’t need a prescription for them.. From what I could tell from my examination the girl is severely anemic. She should rest and nourish her body.”

 Viktor took the prescriptions and nodded. “Give me your phone number, I will call tomorrow with an address. You need to monitor her condition daily. I have business I need to attend to and won’t be able to stay.” He handed him more money, “I will pay you more when I return.”

 The old doctor reluctantly accepted the money, he was aware he had no choice but to agree. Well, at least if this crazy bastard isn’t there it won’t be so stressful to treat the girl.

After Viktor put the number in his phone he picked up Merri to carry her to the car.

 When he reached the car Viktor’s younger cousin nudged his brother who was slumped over the steering wheel snoring. “Wake up, Vik is back with the girl.”

 He jumped out and opened the back door, “Why is she still unconscious?”

 Viktor ignored him and got into the backseat holding Merri in his arms. “Go to my parent’s house.”

  “…”

 They drove to a small village and his cousin stopped in front of a small farm. When Viktor first started making money with Alexi, he bought this small farm for his family. He always remembered when he was young and his family was extremely poor, his mother longingly looked at it. She would sigh and say she wished they could own such a beautiful farm. 

There was a small pasture for horses and an area for chickens and behind the barn the owner kept goats. The driveway leading to a two story brick house was lined with tall Birch trees. The house itself was old and in need of repair.

Viktor convinced the owner to sell by giving him much more money than it was worth. He hired an architect in Kazan and paid to have the home completely renovated.

Viktor’s cousin stopped the car at the driveway and turned around, “Uncle and Auntie are probably sleeping, don’t you want to come to my place?”

  “No. The last time I talked to my sister she said after the tenant moved out last month, they were going to rent the cottage by the barn on Airbnb next month. I will stay there.”

  “Huh…that is a good idea, a lot of tourists like to stay in the countryside and go visit  Kazan. It’s cheaper than staying in the city.” He pulled to the left and took a side road past the pasture to a quaint cottage located past the barn.

 When they arrived Viktor handed him the prescriptions and money. “Before you go to work in the morning, go to the Pharmacy. Fill these prescriptions and buy nutritional supplements. Stop at Lou’s and get me two burner phones.”

 “I don’t want anyone except my family to know I am back…got it?”

 “Yeah.”

  “Wait while I open the door.” Viktor carefully laid Merri on the backseat and walked to the front door. He opened his wallet and took out a thin piece of metal. He put it in the door lock and twisted it. The door opened and he turned on the lights. 

   Viktor walked to the bedroom and looked at the bed. Good. It looks like they bought a new bed and covers. He turned down the blue and white bedspread then went to get Merri.

  He came back to the car and picked up Merri then tapped on the window, “See you in the morning.“

  Viktor carried Merri into the bedroom and gently laid her down on the bed. He covered her with the blanket and bedspread then walked over to the thermostat to turn on the heater. I should go to the house and get a warm nightgown from Anya.

Maya And Nico

Maya twisted her hands trying to loosen the ropes around her wrists.When she was unsucessful she cursed Rafael. Bastard! Liar! Who does he think he is to hold me captive!

Frustrated and enduring the searing pain in her arm, tears flowed uncontrollably as she rocked back and forth, I don’t believe that heartless monster! I need to find Nico! I survived. I’m sure he escaped from the burning boat too. He just has no idea where to look for me..that’s it!

She wanted to scream but her throat was still injured from the ordeal. Her eyes were red and swollen as she whimpered, “Nico..Nico..please…please… save me.”

Maya’s body was weak and her mental energy exhausted, all her efforts to untie her hands were in vain. The only result was she opened the wound on her arm that was now bleeding profusely and her wrists were rubbed raw.

She couldn’t be considered fragile, she prided herself on being an independant and tenacious woman. But the thought that Nico might be dead was like her heart was crushed by a giant boulder. She felt as though she was suffocating from the thought her beloved Nico might never hold her in his arms again.

Since she graduated from a prestigious University, her star had been on the rise. Well respected as an expert in Art Restoration, with an emphasis on Chinese Art. She recently won an award for her work on a series of calligraphy from the Tang Dynasty. 

Until she met Nico Kostros, Maya led a quiet life focused on her work. She had a tendency to be obsessive as she meticulously restored ancient art. Maya didn’t have time for a social life because the work she did was very time intensive and needed her full attention. She was either in her studio downtown or traveling to various countries to work.

Maya met Nico at an art collector’s home in Shanghai a year ago and she immediately felt an attraction to him. She thought she had never seen a more beautiful and perfect man. He was not only handsome but gentle and very knowledgeable about art. 

Nico’s face was beautiful as though carved by the gods. He had deep brown eyes, a straight nose and sensuous lips. He had a small teardrop mole at the corner of his right eye which was very sexy. She wanted to run her finger over the teardrop. But, it was his serious expression as he listened to her explain what would need to be done to restore the ancient painting he wanted to purchase. When he commented his voice was low and magnetic which made Maya’s heart flutter.

   He was obviously very wealthy from the custom made Armani suit he was wearing and the Rolex on his wrist. From Maya’s experience these types of buyers didn’t care about the process, only the result. As she pointed out the details he leaned over her shoulder, his tall body exuding an intoxicating masculine scent and she could barely concentrate. 

  Nico was satisfied the painting of the beautiful ancient woman could be restored and went ahead with the purchase. The art collector was a friend of Maya’s late father and thanked Maya after Nico left. The elderly Chinese man didn’t have the money to restore the painting then sell it so he asked Maya to come to the meeting.

When she got back to the hotel she looked on the internet to get information about Nico. She read he was the CEO of Kostros Group, a philanthropist and art colllector, but there was little personal information. 

Maya was resting when Nico called, he invited her to dinner to discuss the restoration. Maya was happy to be able to see him again and readily agreed. During dinner he asked if she would be available to take on the project. Maya was surprised because she was only acting as a consultant to help the old man. Although she was busy she  accepted, hoping to be able to see him again.

Nico and Maya  grew close as he would often come by her studio to check on the progress. Their relationship progressed naturally and Maya had no reason to believe he was married. She accompanied him on several trips to China and would give him advice before he made a purchase. Just last month they were together in Hangzhou and Nico purchased a silk manuscript that needed to be restored. He was very interested in buying it even after she said it would be difficult to restore to its prior condition.

Nico affectionately hugged her and said he had confidence even if no one else could restore the ancient book she could. They held hands and kissed as they spent the day at West Lake. While admiring the temples and pagodas, Maya felt she was transported back to a distant era. It was romantic and beautiful.

All these memories floated in her mind as she leaned back on the chair. How could such a perfect love end like this? I don’t believe him!  Brothers? Hmmph! That brutal man’s aggressive appearance and rugged features can’t compare to Nico! They look and act nothing alike! Although he is handsome he is a far cry from my Nico!

Maya’s highly agitated mental state depleted the last bit of her strength and she fell asleep.

Meanwhile in the Kostros mansion, Rafael was sitting on the edge of Cassandra’s bed coaxing her to fall asleep. He had spent the morning reassuring her that Nico was in Berlin and would call when he was able. He was relieved when Dr. Lawry finally arrived and administered a strong sedative to calm her down..

 Rafael wanted to admonish the doctor for taking so long, he should have pushed the surgery back and rushed over when he was called. However, he suppressed his volatile temper because he didn’t want Cassandra to see his dark side; she would be frightened.

Cassandra held Rafael’s hand tightly and gazed at him with her doelike eyes. “Brother, stay at the mansion, don’t go back to the island.”

  He wanted to return to the island and further interrogate Maya but can never say no to anything his little love asked.Since they were children when she looked at him with that fragile and dependant expression his cold heart would melt. “Okay.” 

   She sweetly smiled as she sat up and hugged his waist. She nestled into his embrace and he kissed the top of her head, “Be good and sleep. I will be here when you wake up.”

“Sleep with me like you used to…I don’t want to be alone.”

Rafael’s heart was beating erratically as she pressed her petite body on his chest. He had taken off his suit coat and was wearing a form fitting gray silk shirt. Rafael could feel her soft breasts through the thin fabric of her nightgown and gulped down his saliva.

A thin layer of sweat formed on his forehead as he tried to control his turbulent emotions. Aware this was a dangerous position he wanted to push her away but his hands didn’t move. “We aren’t little kids anymore and Nico wouldn’t like it.”

She immediately let go of him and fluttered her eyelashes deep in thought. Recalling Nico cursing her as a shrew and a lunatic then leaving for days, she gazed at him with a frightened expression. “I don’t want Nico to be angry with me…he will leave me all alone and go…” to that slutty little whore ! Her head was lowered so Rafael couldn’t see the murderous gleam in her eyes. She stopped midsentence then said, “Sleep in the study.”

 Rafael knitted his eyebrows and tenderly brushed her hair behind her ears, “Nico probably had work to do.” How could anyone be angry with you. You are so sweet and lovable.

Nina and Cassandra

Rafael returned to the room where Maya was tied to a chair. The doctor had just finished treating her but didn’t dare untie her for fear of angering Rafael. Maya was unconscious, she had a white bandage on her head and was hooked up to a hanging bag.

Dr. James told Rafael, “The woman is severely dehydrated and her head..well she should be taken to the hospital to be checked.”

“You can leave.”

  Dr. James handed Rafael a bottle of pills and a tube of medicine, “She has an infection where she was cut on her arm.These are antibiotics and a scar ointment.”

  Rafael handed him back the ointment, “Do you think I care if she is scarred?”

  “…”

  After the middle aged doctor left Rafael slapped Maya, “Wake up.”

   Maya was snapped out of her dream by the sharp pain, when she saw Rafael’s angry expression she remembered where she was. damn …I thought I was in a hospital.

 “ Tell me everything that happened from the time you met Nico on the yacht.”

  Although the doctor sprayed her throat with an anesthetic to relieve the discomfort, Maya still had trouble speaking. Her voice was low and gruff, “I..I told you.” She started coughing, “Can I have some water?”

  He looked at the Rolex on his wrist and grabbed a bottle of water from a side table. He roughly held the bottle to her mouth and the water ran down her chin. She tilted her head so the water would flow down her mouth but she choked. She didn’t have the courage to say anything to him.

  Impatient because he was worried about Cassandra, he glared at Maya, “Well?”

  “We had dinner and Champagne. He proposed and put a ring on my finger. Then..then there was an explosion.”

   Nico was enraged when she said he proposed, “LIAR! YOU FUCKING LIAR!”

   Maya’s eyes teared up and she whimpered, “I am not lying.”

   His handsome face was contorted in anger as he pointed to her finger, “Where is the ring then?”

  May’s heart was racing when she realized she lost the ring. She started sobbing and stammered,“The ring…the ring was a little loose, it must have fallen off in the water.”

  “Convenient.”

   Maya gazed up at him and pursed her lips, “Why…why would I make it up! I love Nico! He loves me! Why won’t you believe me?”

   Rafael leaned down with his hands on the chair, his pitch black eyes were cold and filled with suspicion. “Because Maya Hart, there is no way my brother would propose to you. He is happily married!”

   Maya’s blue eyes flickered in disbelief, “No..no ..you are the one lying to me! How do I know you are even Nico’s brother!” Maya struggled with the ropes on her hands, “Let me go! I need to find Nico!”

   He straightened his body then clapped his hands, “You could win an Oscar with your acting ability.”

   Rafael walked towards the door and turned around, “You aren’t going anywhere until I find out the truth.”

   When he left the room he slammed his fist into the wall, Nico would never betray Cassie! Why does the woman insist on continuing to lie!

   Maya was feeling better from the medicine and the IV drip, I need to get out of here and find Nico. We have been together for over a year, there is no way he has a wife. He is a well known businessman and there was never a mention of a wife.

  Cassandra anxiously paced across the living room clutching her hands by her side. Did Nico find out about my plan so he disappeared with that lowly woman? Impossible! 

   She was pacing back and forth when Nina arrived. Cassandra was wearing a  white silk nightgown and her long hair was tangled. She was extremely thin and her brown eyes had  black circles underneath. Nina stared for a few moments with her mouth agape watching her muttering and pacing. My Lord, she looks like a damn ghost. What does an outstanding and handsome man like Rafael see in this crazy woman?

 Nina approached Cassandra and smiled, “Sweetie, it is too cold to only be wearing a nightgown.”

  Cassandra was startled and wrinkled her delicate eyebrows together, “Why are you here?”

  “Rafael called and asked me to keep you company until he can get here.”

  “Rafael called you?”

  “Hmm..He is worried about you.”

  Cassandra smiled, “You are right, I should change since Brother is coming.”

  She held Nina’s hand, “Come upstairs with me and help me pick out a dress.”

  Cassandra calmed down after taking a warm bath and Nina helped her get dressed. Nina was used to taking care of her and smoothly completed the task. Cassandra looked like a fragile and delicate beauty when Nina finished.

She was wearing a dark blue cashmere dress with a pair of black booties. Nina curled her long chestnut brown hair into soft waves and clipped it back with a diamond hair clip. She applied makeup to cover the dark circles and colored her lips with the latest color from a trendy new cosmetic company. 

 When Rafael arrived the two women were drinking coffee in the atrium.

  Cassandra ran over and hugged him. Nina took this opportunity to leave, “Now that Rafael is here, I have a meeting to attend.”

  Both Rafael and Cassandra ignored her as they walked hand in hand to the living room. Nina had a faint smile as she picked up her purse. I wonder what he would have thought if he saw Cassie an hour ago. He has no idea what a lunatic that girl is. He is fucking blind! I have tried to tell him but he won’t listen. As for her husband, I don’t think he cares at all. It is strange she married Nico instead of Rafael.

Nina shrugged her thin shoulders as the housekeeper opened the front door. Well, not my problem. Rafael has always supported me and without his investment I couldn’t have expanded. So I have no choice but to take care of the crazy girl.


Antidote

When Viktor saw the old doctor’s house he breathed a sigh of relief because Merri’s condition worsened on the way through the countryside. She was on fire and begging him, he had no choice but to try to relieve her symptoms. He kissed Merri and caressed her body but she was still unsatisfied, pleading for him fuck her. It was very painful for him not to give into the overwhelming desire he was feeling, but he used all of his self control to fight his impulses.

His cousins were uncomfortable in the front seat listening to Merri moan but didn’t dare make a sound. 

As his cousin parked in front of the small brick house, Viktor said, “You two wait in the car.”

He carried Merri to the front door and banged on the door. An old woman rubbed her eyes as she opened the door a crack, “Too late. Come back in the morning.”

Viktor reached into his pocket and threw a wad of cash in her face, “Wake up the doctor. This is an emergency!”

 Seeing the large amount of money and the young girl in the man’s arms she opened the door. The old woman pointed to a room on the left, “Wait there I will go get him.” Her knees creaked as she bent her wide body and scooped up the money. She licked her finger and counted the bills then  stuffed the cash into the pocket of the blue bathrobe she was wearing. She held onto the railing as she went upstairs to wake her husband.

Viktor held Merri on his lap and gently kissed her forehead. He was very worried, she was as red as a cooked lobster and moaning in pain. “Little angel…hold on just a little longer.”

The old doctor’s sparse white hair was ruffed and he looked half asleep. He yawned and scratched his head, “Lay the girl down on the exam table. What is going on?” He looked at Merri’s flushed face, “She has a fever?”

“She was drugged with an aphrodisiac.”

“Huh?”

“An aphrodisiac.”

 He waved his arm and snorted, “Leave. I can’t do anything for her. My wife will return your money.”

Viktor grabbed him by the collar of his pajama and leaned his head close to the old man’s ear “Unless you and that old hag want to die you will treat her.Now!”

“I don’t have any antidote.” He leered glancing at the tent in Viktor’s pants and the beautiful restless girl on the exam table. “Sonny,  all you have to do is have intercourse she will be fine.”

“You call yourself a fucking doctor! I’m not having sex with her while she is drugged!”

“Then put her in a cold bath with ice cubes. Boy, you can threaten me all you want, I don’t have any antidote.” He has an idea, “Go to Dr. Kipski, he deals with the brothel on Birch St.He might be able to cure the poison in her body.”

“Call him and tell him to get over here now! I will pay the same as I gave the old woman. Where is your bathroom? I will put her in the bath to soak until he gets here.”

 His wife told him how much money the terrifying man paid and his looks looked cold and ruthless. “Down the hallway to the right.”

  The old doctor calls Dr. Kipski then explains the situation. When the doctor hears how much he will be paid he quickly grabs two different antidotes and rushes out the door of his house.

   While the cold water was filling the bathtub, Viktor took off Merri’s dress and underwear.She was incoherent and when he touched her breast she put her hand on his, “Mmmm…”Viktor felt like he was going to lose the last shred of sanity he had as she moved his hand down to her sparsely covered mound. Her low and seductive voice muttering softly,  ‘Please…so Itchy…I need you,”  was like adding fuel to a raging forest fire, 

Touching the strip of soft black hair soaked with her sweet honey, his c*ck swelled.  No..I can’t…she is too vulnerable and fragile. If I give in to my desire…she might not forgive me.

 He put her thin body into the bone piercing cold water, she shivered then tried to climb out. Splashing water onto his pants as she scrambled to escape from the bathtub she screamed,“Too cold! Ahhh!”

 He helplessly looked down at the little girl. Merri had a pitiful expression on her delicate face and her petite body was shaking uncontrollably from the shock of being submerged in freezing cold water. He rolled up his sleeves then held her shoulder down, “Behave.”

By the moment it was becoming increasingly difficult for Viktor to press down the rising heat in his body.  Viktor wiped her face with a washcloth and his voice was full of tenderness, “You need to cool your body down. The doctor will be here soon.”

 Tormented by the effect of the aphrodisiac she felt empty inside,She held his arm with both her hands and bit her lip that was red and swollen from his kisses.“Help me…I…I’m really going to die.” Her body was fluctuating between being on fire and freezing.

 She pulled Viktor closer and kissed him, then licked and sucked on his neck. He ran his fingers through her hair and was about to come unglued when there was a knock on the door.

  He let go of Merri and opened the bathroom door a crack. “You got it?”

  The young doctor  tried to look inside the bathroom and Viktor blocked his sight. He pulled out the money, “Give it to me.”

  Dr. Kipski hesitated, “I should examine the patient. The old doctor said the girl looked like a fairy and he was curious. “I can’t guarantee this is the right antidote but it works on most generic aphrodisiacs.The second bottle is in case the drug isn’t expelled.” He warned, “If you have to use it, be aware there can be side effects.”

  Merri was dripping wet and naked as she hugged him from behind. Viktor quickly shut the door. His Adam’s apple rolled and he peeled her hands off of him. He turned around and lifted her chin, “Drink this, you will feel better.”

   “I don’t want to..” She stood on her tiptoes to kiss him and he poured the liquid into his mouth then kissed Merri. He forced her to swallow and held her chin so she couldn’t open her mouth to spit it out. She gagged and her face twisted into a sour expression, “Ewww.. bitter.”

  Viktor had a faint smile gazing at her cute reaction, “Well Chinese medicine is usually bitter.”

  As he picked up the towel Merri fainted. He grabbed her  thin waist before she hit the floor. What the hell!

   He quickly put on her dress and carried her out of the bathroom, “Where the fuck is the doctor who was just here!”

    The old man was sitting on the couch, “He left.”

    “She is unconscious!”

   “Of course she is. Didn’t he tell you she needs to sleep off the drug.”

    “NO!”

    “I will check the girl’s vitals, but you can see her complexion has improved already. She is no longer flushed from internal heat.”

   Viktor’s heart tightened as he laid Merri down on the worn out couch. His body tensed, surrounded by killing intent and the atmosphere was suffocating. The veins on his neck were bulging and his voice was gravelly, “If anything happens to my woman, I will kill you..your wife and that other doctor.”


Sydney Ignores LingLing’s Call

Viktor’s eyes were full of blazing desire as he gazed at the alluring girl on his lap. He held Merri’s hands to prevent her from stirring up the fire she ignited in him to the point he won’t be able to restrain his urges. She lifted her head and stared at him with watery eyes and puffed out her cheeks pouting, “Don’t you want me? Am I not pretty enough?”

 He brushed back her damp hair and wiped the sweat on her flushed face with a handkerchief. Viktor’s expression was full of tenderness and warmth, “You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. But you are drugged…I can’t take advantage of you.”

 Merri’s pupils were dilated to the point her eyes looked black,  unfocused and hazed over with undisguised lust. She fumbled as she tried to unbutton his shirt.“I want you…I need you.”

 His cousins returned and Viktor placed his finger on her mouth. She licked his finger with her small hot tongue sending a jolt of electricity through him. He whispered in her ear, “Be good.” Viktor was beginning to sweat, if she continues I might not be able to control myself.

  When they got into the car Viktor ordered, “Drive to the countryside..to the old doctor who lives on the edge of town.”

  “You want to go to Laishevo?”

  “After he gives her an antidote I am going home. That will be the safest place to leave her. I have to go back to Kazan and take care of some business.” Ivan will detain LingLing as long as I need, then I will dispose of the  venomous bitch after I steal the Jade Dragon. I will make sure the evidence points to the Mayor and my hands are clean. She never should have crossed my bottom line by using the little angel as bait.

  “Uncle and Auntie…what do you plan on telling them?”

  He hugged the disoriented little girl tighter in his embrace, “She is the girl that I am going to marry.”

   “…”

  At the police station LingLing was taken to Ivan’s office. He politely smiled as he told her that she can sit on the chair or on the couch.

  LingLing sat on the couch and crossed her long legs. Resting her hands on her lap she leaned back and lifted her lips into a sarcastic smile, “Who is paying you? I will triple the amount if you let me walk out of here now.”

   He raised his eyebrow and his tone was sharp,“If you insult me again, instead of sitting in my office waiting for the Mayor, you will be in a cold cell with some very unsavory prisoners.”

  “Hmmph! Do you think you can scare me? I am a close friend of the Mayor’s, when he arrives we will see if you still have a job.”

 Ivan took out a sheet of paper from the desk drawer and picked up a black pen. “State your full name.”

 When she didn’t answer he calmly said, “You are being charged with a serious offense. I suggest you cooperate.”

 She looked at her watch and frowned, it has been over an hour, where is that fat prick to get me out of here!

The policeman impatiently tapped the pen on the paper, “I don’t like dealing with arrogant people who think they are above the law. My patience is at its limit,I will give you one more chance to cooperate.”

 LingLIng reluctantly answered, “LingLing Sun.”

 He continued to ask questions and she said, “Can I have a drink of water?”

 “When I finish with my questioning.”

“I want to call the Mayor.”

 “You get one call, I suggest you use it to call a lawyer.”

 “I told you the purchase agreement is in the safe in my hotel room. I have nothing to hide.” In reality the purchase agreement doesn’t exist but she thinks the Mayor will take care of everything.

  He pointed to the phone on the wall, “One call.”

  LingLing chose to call the Mayor, she tightened her grip on the phone as it rang several times and he didn’t answer. When she heard an electronic message,”The party you are calling can’t be reached” her face turned green then white. He is avoiding me! I will have him killed when this matter is resolved!

   She turned to the policeman, “No answer. I need to make another call.”

  He nodded and inwardly laughed at her ugly expression, serves you right for fucking over my friend. Viktor and Ivan grew up together and although they took different paths they had a brotherly bond.

   LingLing’s hand was trembling as she dialed Sydney. He was in a private room in an exlusive Members Only Club in Shanghai. Sydney was having dinner with a beautiful young Chinese woman when he saw the caller. He ignored the call then turned off his phone, annoyed that LingLing changed the plan and went to Russia. He knew she had a hidden agenda but he had no time to pursue the matter.  In his mind Viktor was more than capable of stealing the Jade Dragon and bringing the little piano player would only anger Viktor and Alexi. 

 He held the beautiful young girl’s’s hand sitting on the white leather couch leaning on him, “Baby, are you sure you can convince your father to sell?” I don’t want to use underhanded tactics but I need the factory he owns. It would be best if the little thing could convince him.

“Daddy listens to me the most.” She wrapped her thin arms around his neck and puckered her lips into a pout. Fluttering her curled eyelashes she pleaded, “ Honey, I really want to be in Director Han’s new movie.”

He caressed her cheek and his eyes were full of pampering, “I will invest in ‘The Princess Escapes Marriage’. Director Han will have no choice but to cooperate.”

Her almond shaped eyes sparkled with excitement, “Really?”

 “Have I ever lied to you?” He leaned down and kissed her alluring cherry red lips. He met WeiWei three years ago at a banquet held by her father, Gao Mo at his company. He was captivated by her innocent beauty and refreshing personality but she was only sixteen. WeiWei was instantly infatuated with Sydney and would pester him every time he was in Shanghai. 

A year ago he was angry at LingLing and got drunk at a bar. WeiWei and her friends were there and when she saw him she immediately approached. In his drunken state, Sydney was unable to resist her seduction and took the young girl to a hotel.

   After meeting a few times the attraction grew stronger between them despte the age difference. Now, whenever he is in China she accompanies him. He was quite satisfied with WeiWei’s attitude towards their relationship, she never overstepped or interfered in his marriage. WeiWei wasn’t demanding and was a lively and cute girl. 

  WeiWei parted her lips as his eager tongue entered her mouth. While deepening the kiss he put his hand under her short red dress on her thigh. As his large hand slid up to between her legs she softly moaned.

 He kissed her until she was breathless then she whispered in his ear, “Let’s go to your villa, I want to thank you properly.”

Rui And LiMei Return To The Compound

When Rui and LiMei return to the cave LiMei exclaims, “Where did he go?”

Rui raises an eyebrow, “The antidote must have worked.” He isn’t stupid, staying on the Island wouldn’t be safe. Master hasn’t forgiven him.

“Wouldn’t he still be weak? Should we look for him?”

He tightens his grip on her hand and his face darkens, “You just met him and you are that worried about him?”

LiMei realizes Rui’s jealousy is flaring and quickly responds, “No..but he is Baobei’s friend.”

“The man is quite capable of taking care of himself. We should return to the Compound.” I don’t want to be here with LiMei if he should return. I might kill the bastard myself.

When they leave the cave LiMei furtively glances around the area to see if Wong Kai  collapsed anywhere. Rui ignores her small actions and says, “When we return to the Compound I want you to stay by my side.” I need Master to cure the cold poison in LiMei…convince him to give me the little brat and get the hell out of here.

She sweetly smiles, “Okay.” I don’t want to run into that scheming woman…it is obvious she has feelings for you even if you don’t return them. 

They each have their own thoughts as they head down the mountain.

When they reach the treacherous section on the side of the mountain Rui says, “it is still slippery from the rain.” He leans down, “Get on my back I will carry you.”

“I will be careful, it will be too cumbersome for you to carry me.”

“Behave. Do as I say.”

 LiMei reluctantly hops on his back and wraps her arms around his neck. Leaning into his ear she whispers, “My hubby is so strong.”

 He has a devilish grin on his handsome face, when we return to our room I will show you just how strong your husband is.

When they aren’t far from Wong Hu’s courtyard LiMei says, “Put me down. I see Baobei and Yang Chenxi.” They are sitting at a stone table under a shade tree and Baobei is petting Jack’s head.

“So?”

  She pinches his waist, “Don’t be a rascal!”

He laughs and puts her down as they arrive at the entrance. He opens the iron gate and Baobei’s eyes light up, he stops petting Jack and excitedly jumps off the bench.

 Baobei dashes over and trips at Rui’s feet. Falling onto the ground his face lands on Rui’s shoe. Quickly standing up he dusts off his clothes and hugs LiMei’s legs, “Sister LiMei you are finally back! I was worried about you.”

Rui picks the little boy up by the collar and carries him over to Yang Chenxi. Baobei’s cheeks puff out and he tries to wiggle free, “You bad man! Let go of me!”

 He drops Baobei onto Yang Chenxi’s lap, “Where is Wong Hu?”

“Should be in his study.”

When Rui starts walking towards the front door LiMei tugs on his sleeve. “Rui! I can’t go see Wong Hu like this, I am a mess!”

He gazes at her disheveled appearance and the pitiful expression on her face. Her charming eyes are full of grievances and he tenderly kisses her lips. “Okay. We can go get cleaned up first.”

LiMei breathes a sigh of relief and wraps her arms around his waist and hugs him. 

Su Wanqing witnesses them hugging and digs her fingernails into her palm as she walks up to the main house. Adjusting her expression she sweetly smiles,“You’re back. Master Wong has been waiting for you to return.”

Rui holds LiMei’s hand and walks away ignoring Su Wanqing. LiMei lowers her head and has a satisfied smile, Rui is mine…my husband…he only loves me.

After they are out of sight Su Wanqing stomps her foot, what does he see in that little slut!  She enters the main house then knocks on Wong Hu’s study door.

His hearing is extraordinary and he recognizes Su Wanqing’s footsteps, “Enter.”

“Brother Rui and his wife are back. They were walking up to the door and I overheard Feng LiMei say she didn’t want to see you.”

He looks up from the book he is reading, “She must have her reasons.”

“Master! It is disrespectful of them not to come and see you after they return!”

“Wanqing, I told you not to concern yourself with them. Did you prepare the medicine as I told you?”

“I did.” She hands him a porcelain bottle. “Who is this for?” She concocted the poison per his instructions but had no idea why he wanted it. The medicinal herbs used were rare particularly the Pycarius Berries she had to find on the dangerous cliff.  

Wong Hu slams the book shut. “Impudent!”

His angry reaction startles her and she immediately bows, “Sorry Master! Please forgive me!”

He waves his arm in a dismissive fashion, “Get out.”

As she leaves she curses LiMei under her breath, “It’s all because of that little slut! Brother Rui is ignoring me and Master got angry over a simple question! I was curious what the poison was for! In the past he would patiently explain…wait..maybe it isn’t a poison but an antidote for a cold poison!” She rushes back to her courtyard to look in her Medical books. Does it have something to do with Feng LiMei?

  Rui and LiMei walk into the Plum Blossom Courtyard and LiMei sighs, this place is really beautiful. She picks a red and purple variegated bloom. “What is the name of this flower?”

  “Purple Passion “

  “So pretty.”

  When they walk into the house LiMei goes into the kitchen and puts the flower in a glass. Rui comes up behind her as LiMei gazes at the unusual flower and sniffs its sweet scent. He lays his head on her shoulder, “Can we plant this flower in the garden at our villa? The fragrance is so sweet.”

  Rui’s heart filled with happiness when LiMei says ‘our villa’.He nibbles on her ear and whispers, My beautiful wife, anything in the world you want I will give it to you. ” We can expand the greenhouse, it is a tropical flower and can’t withstand cold temperatures.”

  LiMei turns around and stands on her tiptoes then kisses him, “My handsome hubby is the best!”

 With his beloved woman’s delicate and beautiful body pressing against his chest, his heart was pounding. Rui tightens his embrace and deepens the kiss entangling their tongues, savoring her unique taste. When they are both breathless he loosens his arms around her slender waist. His voice is raspy and seductively low as he tenderly caresses her cheek, “We can continue in the shower.”  Then we will go to see Master, he should have the antidote ready. My beautiful wife, the sooner you are cured of the cold poison we can start a family. 

 LiMei gazes at his incredibly handsome face with a hazy layer of desire in her charming eyes,“Umm.”

   Seeing her eyes reflecting only him, Rui’s Adam’s apple bobs up and down as he lifts up LiMei into his arms to carry her to the bathroom.

We Need To Find A Doctor

The art gallery was in turmoil as the police barged in after being tipped off there was an illegal auction being held. Luc had no time to care about Merri as he escaped out the back exit with his brother and bodyguards.

Seeing people fleeing out the door without regard to their image LingLing gritted her teeth. She pulled one of the policemen over, “What are you doing?

 The policeman had no intention of detaining the powerful people who were escaping. His only goal was to hold LingLing because that is what Viktor’s man instructed. “We have reason to believe there are stolen goods on the premises.”

 LingLing stomped her high heel and fumed, “Are you kidding me? I am showing the latest collection by the Mayor’s daughter! You dare disrupt my exhibition! Do you know who I am?!”

 “If you have nothing to hide, allow us to search and we will leave.”

  LingLing was relieved that at least the auction had not started yet. The rare stolen artifacts are still locked in the secret storeroom…ahh..except for the jade statue I brought to Russia for Luc, it is in my unlocked desk drawer! 

 “I’m calling the Mayor!”

 He waved a document in her face, “Go ahead, we will begin the search now.”

 LingLing appeared unusually anxious as she dialed the Mayor’s number. He was sick with a cold which is why he didn’t attend the exhibition. He rolled over and picked up the phone on the nightstand. His voice was hoarse, “It better be important. I feel like shit!”

 “The police are here at the art gallery, they suspect there is an illegal auction.”

  He coughed, then laughed, “Isn’t there?”

  LingLing pursed her lips in a thin line and snarled, “Listen you asshole, call off these insolent dogs NOW!”

 “Put the man in charge on the phone.”

  She hurried across the deserted room to a tall man who was giving orders, “Stop now. The Mayor wants to talk to you.”

  The Mayor sneered, maybe I can make a bigger profit. “Did you find anything?”

  “Not yet…well..wait…” A man in a gray and black uniform approached him holding an intricately carved box and said, “I found this in the desk in the office.”

 LingLing lunged forward to grab the box, hoping to buy time, she screeched, “That’s mine! I have the purchase agreement at my hotel.”

 The Mayor’s beady eyes flashed with a malicious glint, “Tell Miss Sun that you need to detain her at the station and someone will go to the hotel to verify ownership. Then hand her the phone.” The policeman had a faint smile, as expected of the greedy bastard…he smells a bribe. He will definitely not let the woman go easily until she pays a hefty sum to him.

  LingLing complained, “Are you going to let them take me to the police station!”

  “Calm down, it is only a formality. For show! I will talk to the police chief and he will let you go.”

   “No! I won’t go!”

   “My Dear, it is better to leave with them now then have them do a thorough search of the art gallery. One item…the origin can be swept under the rug..don’t you agree this is the best solution?”

   LingLing knew the Mayor’s idea was the only way she could salvage the situation. Although the hidden room is virtually impossible to find, why take a chance. The contents are worth millions. Did that fat bastard orchestrate this farce? 

   She  pursed her lips then warned,“Very well but the matter better be straightened out quickly or don’t blame me for being rude!”

   The policeman  pulled her arm and two of her bodyguards rushed forward. He gave them a look, “Do you want to come to the station too.”

   LingLing motioned for them to stand back and glared at the policeman, “Get your filthy hands off me. I said I would go.”

   On the way to the station she leaned back in the seat. When they rushed in I didn’t see Luc and the little idiot.  She was drugged and with Viktor unconscious, he shouldn’t have had any trouble leaving with the girl. Maybe I can still salvage the situation.

   Luc was in the backseat of a black Mercedes with his brother heading to his mansion. Enraged he couldn’t locate Merri before he left, a storm was brewing in his deep brown eyes.”When you headed over to the bar did you see the little piano player?”

  “No. I saw the police coming in the door and I hauled ass over to where you were.” He pulled out a small plastic bag, “I didn’t want to get busted with this shit.”

  Luc slapped the back of his head, “You fucking moron! I told you to stop doing that shit!”

  “I figured if I had to deal with that boring ugly girl I might as well be high.”

  Luc thought about Merri being drugged, where could the little beauty have gone? He had to leave in a hurry because he was meeting with foreign businessmen in a few days. To secure the lucrative deal, he didn’t want any bad publicity that could affect the negotiations. Normally I wouldn’t give a fuck, but the timing couldn’t  have been  worse.

 He tapped his long slender finger on his muscular thigh, I will definitely have LingLing bring her to the mansion tomorrow.

 Merri was squirming on Viktor’s lap. She had her arms around his neck and her warm breath sprayed on his face. “Kiss me Handsome…you look so good.”

 Inhaling her intoxicating fragrance and gazing at her lustful expression, Viktor felt like he was about to lose his mind.

  Merri put her soft hand inside his shirt and rubbed his chest as she clumsily pressed her lips on his.

  Viktor wished the car had a glass partition so that his cousins couldn’t hear her coquettish moans.

   When they arrived at the hotel his cousin pulled into the Underground garage. Viktor handed him the room card and told him the suite number. “Don’t worry about the clothes, grab the two small bags and my laptop. Hurry.”

   He glared at his younger cousin, “Go with him.”

  Once the two left he was relieved, Merri’s appearance and soft voice was too seductive. No other man besides him should see her in this state. 

   Merri’s eyes were unfocused and she was acting on pure instinct.”Please…please…I want you so bad. I like you sooo much!” She wiggled her small bottom on him and he could feel his body reacting. We need to get a doctor for the little angel soon!

 

  

Art Gallery Part Three

    Merri looked everywhere and couldn’t find Viktor. She worriedly walked through the bar area for a second time and the bartender stopped her, “Are you looking for Viktor Rushkin? He asked you to wait here for him.”

 She was relieved and smiled, “Thank you.”

  Meanwhile in her lavishly decorated office LingLing had a malicious glint in her eyes as she negotiated with Luc. After they came to a mutually beneficial agreement, she ran her finger over the intricately carved box on the desk she had just closed. “Remember what you promised.” 

  Satisfied knowing he will possess the little beauty tonight he sauntered back to the art gallery eager to find her. He told his bodyguards to take care of the two women he brought and headed to the bar area.

 Merri was patiently waiting for Viktor when Luc walked to her table. He had a harmless smile as he politely asked, “Do you mind if I sit with you?”

 She was flustered by his sudden appearance and hesitated. Merri didn’t know what Viktor would think when he came back and saw Luc Zaraski sitting with her. She shyly blinked her eyes a few times then replied, “I am waiting for someone and I don’t think it would be appropriate.”

“LingLing said you came with Viktor Rushkin. I am a business associate of his, I don’t think he would mind.”

 Hearing that he knew Viktor she relaxed her vigilance, “Oh..you know Viktor?”

 “Yes.” He waved at the woman serving drinks, “ Vodka.” He turned towards Merri, “What would you like?”

 “Just a glass of water.”

  The man behind the bar turned his back and leaned over a glass of water. He poured the white powder into the water, after he swirled it around with a spoon, it dissolved. Handing the glass of water to the cocktail server, he snickered while staring at Merri, the girl looks prim and proper now,.. wait until the drug takes effect she will tearing off that dainty little dress and begging for a f*ck. He grabbed his crotch, too bad I can’t have a taste.

  Merri wrinkled her nose wondering where Viktor went. She lowered her head and nervously sipped the water.

   Staring at her beautiful hands wrapped around the glass Luc can’t wait to take her to bed. He no longer cares about the auction thinking the delicate beauty across from him was more precious. I will find another way to get the statue. Tonight I want to indulge myself and savor her delicious body. 

 Viktor was in the back of a black SUV with a bloody dagger resting on Irina’s throat. The razor sharp blade was dripping with the driver’s blood. Irina was in shock staring at her dead bodyguard and the lifeless driver slumped over the steering wheel. She thought Viktor would be defenseless after ingesting the drug she put in his drink.

 Her eyes were filled with fear after witnessing Viktor mercilessly kill her two highly trained bodyguards. They didn’t have time to react, his moves were swift and ruthless. “You..you..were pretending?”

  Viktor sneered, “Your petty little tricks won’t work on me, now tell me why did you try to drug me?”

  Afraid for her life she stammered, “It wasn’t me…I didn’t want to do it! LingLing…she forced me! I had no choice!”

  “Why?”

  Tears were rolling down her cheeks as the point of the razor sharp blade pressed on her skin. The stinging sensation from the small cut was extremely painful. “Move..move the knife and I will tell you.” 

   “Speak.”

   “LingLing wants that girl. She made a deal with Luc to give her to him for the weekend in exchange for something…she didn’t say what. Afterwards, she plans on taking the little fairy to Shanghai to train.”

    Viktor’s eyes were filled with killing intent and his mind was in chaos. That fucking bitch! I will fucking kill LingLing!

    He hit the back of Irina’s neck and she fell sideways on the leather seat. He got out of the car and as he quickened his pace to the back entrance of the art gallery he made a call. “Get rid of the two bodies in a black SUV behind LingLing’s gallery. Dump Irina and her the man she keeps at her husband’s Club.” Viktor doesn’t trust the driver from earlier, he most likely is one of LingLing’s men. “Have my cousin meet me in the alley behind the Supermarket on 45th Street.”

   Viktor had an idea and his eyes narrowed dangerously. “Have Leon call in an anonymous tip that there is an illegal auction going on at LingLing’s gallery.” That should give me time to take Merri to a safe place and figure out what to do next. I wish I could just kill the poisonous woman but she is Sydney’s wife. I need his help to break away from Alexi.

   “Got it.” The man crushed out a half smoked cigar then kicked a burly man with a tattooed face. The man was leaning over a pool table and dropped the cue in his hands, “What the fuck!”

   “Let’s go.”

   Viktor walked into the art gallery and hid behind a pillar while searching for Merri. He saw Luc sitting in the bar, on the table was another glass. Where is Merri? While he was wondering if he should search for her, Merri was walking not far from the pillar. He reached out and grabbed her then covered her mouth as he pulled her behind the pillar.”It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

   He waited until a man and a woman passed then took Merri by the hand out the back door. Merri was confused and felt light headed, she tripped and almost fell to the ground. He caught her and wrapped his hand around her thin waist. Viktor frowned as he noticed Merri’s eyes were glazed and she had a befuddled expression. Drugged?

   Viktor lifted her into his embrace and ran through the parking lot to a park not far away. Carrying Merri in his arms he moved swiftly through the deserted park, he didn’t stop until he reached the alley behind the Supermarket. 

    Merri had her arms around his neck and her head was buried in his chest. The night air was chilly and she wasn’t wearing a coat but she felt her body was on fire. She was rubbing her face on him, her soft voice sounded raspy tinged with a seductive tone, “So hot…hot..Itchy..”

     He sat on a stack of empty pallets and held Merri on his lap. He smoothed her hair and his voice was gentle as he comforted Merri, “Be good. I will get you a doctor soon.” Under the light at the back of the Supermarket Viktor could see her face was flushed red and the bright color extended down her exposed skin.

    Merri looked up at him with a pitiful expression as she clawed at her clothes, “Help me…my skin is on fire.”

    He held her hands and hugged her tighter in his embrace, “Hold on…just a while longer.” Damn those bastards! I will make all of them pay for hurting the little angel.

   Viktor’s face was dark as he called his cousin, he sounded agitated , “Where the fuck are you?”

   “Almost there…turning onto 45th now.”

   A black mid-sized car screeched into the alley and a thin teenager hopped out to open the door for Viktor. He was shocked that Viktor was holding a fairy-like girl in his arms, “Who is she?”

   “Shut up.” Viktor had a fierce expression as he glared at the teenager, “Why are you here?”

   “I was with my brother when you called.”

   Once inside the car Viktor said, “Drive to the hotel then we are going to the countryside. Do you have any water?”

   The teenager tossed him a bottle of water. “What is wrong with her?”

   Viktor had no patience to deal with his young cousin, “One more word and you can get out of the car.”

 



Art Gallery Part Two

Merri sat down at the piano and glanced in their direction then looked down at the piano keys. Viktor is a handsome and successful businessman, of course he will be surrounded by beautiful women. She comforted herself, he must like me a little to invite me to come  on this trip.

LingLing had sent Irina Malonski over to Viktor to take care of him so he didn’t interfere with her plan. She looked around the room to locate Luc Zaraski and frowned when she didn’t see him. I’m sure he will come for the auction. While she scanned the crowded room, a beautiful melody drifted through the venue. LingLing smirked, the girl certainly is talented. Luc definitely will fall for the bait…where the hell is he?

 A man with a flat nose and a round face approached LingLing. He rubbed his stubby fingers together to hint for more cash. “It wasn’t easy to get.”

“I paid you plenty.. Make sure you wait to put it in the girl’s drink after Luc Zaraski makes contact with her..not before. Do you understand?”

“Got it. What about Viktor?”

“Irina will keep him occupied, when he realizes Luc Zaraski left with the girl…well…naturally he will attempt to rescue the little fool… and die.”

The unattractive man was surprised,“You never planned on having him steal the Jade Dragon?”

 She narrowed her almond shaped eyes into slits, “Don’t ask too many questions.” 

 Viktor sat at a tall table by where the bar was set up. He drank a glass of vodka watching Merri to see if Luc Zarnski appeared. Bored listening to the annoying woman drone on, he finally said,“Irina, cut the crap. What do you want exactly?”

“I want you to move back to Russia and work for me.”

“ I only work for Alexi.” He finished his drink then stood up, “If that is all.”

 “Sit. I’m not finished.”

 His face darkened, “What?”

 “LingLing told me you want to separate from Alexi . Why not stay in Russia?”

“She lied…I am perfectly happy with my situation.”

 “Why would she lie? What does she have to gain?”

“Ask her. I have no clue.”

  Irina was forced to keep Viktor away from Merri so LingLing’s plan would work. LingLing blackmailed Irina that she would tell her husband about the little white face she was keeping. 

  Viktor saved her life during a raid on a warehouse full of weapons so she didn’t want Viktor to get hurt. She planned on drugging him so he wouldn’t follow Luc Zaranski to his mansion. 

  Pouting she pursed her lips together, “Have one more drink with me. These events are so boring.”

  “One.”

  Luc Zaraski entered the art gallery with two beautiful young women. He was a very good looking man and with the stunning women at his side his entrance was very eye-catching.

   LingLing was getting worried he wasn’t coming and when she saw him she breathed a sigh of relief. She leisurely swayed her hips as she approached him and smiled. In a flirtatious manner she flipped back her burgundy highlighted black hair, “Darling, I’m glad you could make it.”

  “How could I miss the auction?” 

   One of the women with him took a glass of champagne off a server’s tray and handed it to him. He drank a sip and frowned then handed it back. “Get me a vodka.”

   The woman immediately walked to the bar and he turned to the other young beauty, “Find my brother.”

    After they left he asked, “Who is the pianist?”

   “A friend of mine from abroad.” She hooked his arm, “I think you will find her to your liking.”

   He removed LingLing’s arm, “Not interested. When will the auction start?”

  “In an hour.”

  He walked over to a painting by a local artist. “Is this painted by the man Irina is sponsoring?”

  “Yes. He is quite talented for his age.” According to Irina he is quite talented…in bed also.

   “Not bad, but this piece is somewhat flat… doesn’t convey much emotion.”

   The young woman who was sent to find his brother returned. She clutched the side of her dress hoping Luc doesn’t hit her, but has no choice but to report “He is by the piano. He won’t come.”  I can’t say that he looks like he is in a trance dazzled by the woman playing the piano.

   The atmosphere around Luc Zaranski froze as his face darkened, “You told him I want to speak to him?”

   She nervously stuttered, “I..I did. He said…umm.. n..no.”

   LingLing watched Luc as he stretched his long legs, striding towards the piano with an angry expression. He suddenly stopped when he saw Merri’s delicate face and alluring appearance. In a daze his eyes were riveted  on her slender snow white fingers gliding across the piano keys. Her fingernails were short and painted a delicate shade of peach.He licked his lips wanting to suck on the little beauty’s incredibly soft looking fingertips. 

  Merri was immersed in playing and didn’t notice the man’s scorching gaze. He stood there motionless until she finished the song. His brother snapped out of his infatuated trance when he felt the oppressive aur surrounding Luc. He sheepishly smiled and scratched his head, “Brother, when did you get here?”

  “…”

  Merri saw LingLing and stood up, “Miss Sun, I am going to take a short break. I am thirsty.” I want to find Viktor…make sure he isn’t snatched away by one of these gorgeous women here. She noticed he wasn’t sitting in the bar area and wondered where he went.

  LingLing licked her lips, he took the bait. He looks like he wants to devour the little thing. Tsk..My instincts about men are always spot on! “I would like to introduce you to my friend. Luc..Luc Zaranski.”

   Merri reached out her hand and brightly smiled exposing her cute dimples. “Hello. I’m Merri Winslow.”

   Luc took her small hand in his palm, the soft and exquisite feeling made the blood in his body rush to his lower abdomen. He impulsively kissed her hand, so incredibly soft..her delicate little hands feel almost boneless… I can just imagine them wrapped around my fucking c*ck…I must have her at any cost!

  Taken aback, Merri pulled her hand away and he said, “Did I offend you? My apologies.”

  Merri thought maybe she overreacted, it must be their custom, “No. I was just surprised.”

  Listening to her soft voice Luc imagined what it would be like to press such a tender girl underneath him. His Adam’s apple rolled and as he thought about having her perfect small hands touch every part of his body.

  LingLing was sure he was bewitched by the look on his face as he held Merri’s hand. She inwardly chuckled, even a domineering and arrogant man like Luc Zaranski can’t control his desire. Miss Merri Winslow has no idea that her innocent and pure beauty is lethal to men. I could see it on Viktor’s face and now Luc’s, the uncontrollable urge to bully her and make her scream their name. If the little thing was one of my girls she would make me a fortune. Hmmm…

 Merri didn’t notice the strange atmosphere and said, “Nice to meet you,” and walked towards the bar area.

 After she left Luc came straight to the point. “Now I know why you wanted me to see the little beauty. How much?”

 “You misunderstand. She isn’t one of my girls. Miss Winslow is a friend Viktor Rushkin introduced to me. She came with him and when I said my pianist didn’t come she volunteered to help me.”

 “She came with that bastard? What is their relationship?”

 LingLing’s lips curl up into a sly smile “Does it matter?”

 Luc Zaraski’s brother pipes in, “Brother! I saw her first!”

  Luc raised an eyebrow as he dragged him to the side, “I haven’t dealt with you yet for sneaking out to Suli’s and losing a small fortune. I told you to come here tonight because I need you to get close to the Mayor’s daughter. The girl in the picture I gave you, she is one of the artists here tonight.”

  he wrinkles his forehead, “ Fucking shit Bro! I don’t want to! She is so ugly! I almost vomited when I saw her picture.”

  “ It doesn’t matter what she looks like. She is that fat old fuck’s only daughter and he dotes on her.”

 “ Bro, I can’t do it. I have standards.”

 Luc pushed him, blocking his view of Merri he growled, “Find her now.”

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