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Claimed By The Russian
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My men pull a curvy younger woman from the clutches of death in the middle of a freezing Moscow night and bring her to me, a Russian mafia boss.
It’s the first time I’ve seen a woman so innocent, so real, so perfect. And it’s also the first time I’ve ever felt this uncontrollable need overtake me and demand I make someone mine.
But she’s not someone. She’s the only one this older man has ever wanted.
And the first time I find out that I’m her dad’s friend from years ago and miles away, it only reaffirms that this is fate, meant to be. And the scumbags who meant her harm already sealed their own fate, their own death warrants, by putting their hands on what was always meant to be mine.
I’m going to set her free from her troubled past, but there’s one thing she’ll never be free of. Me. I’m putting a baby in her belly and diamond ring on her finger. She’s mine now…forever.
*Claimed By The Russian is a short, standalone romance with an HEA, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.
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“Kirill Kuznetsov. Kirill Kuznetsov. Kirill Kuznetsov,” I repeat to myself over and over and over again as I stumble up Red Square.
Kirill’s name is the only Russian’s I know at this point, and the only one I can trust…even though we’ve never met.
I’m practically dragging my back leg through the quickly gathering snow on the ground, leaving a clear trail for the man, or men, who surely must be close to tracking me down by now.
The winter air is crisp, sharp, and cuts my lungs like a razor blade. There’s cold and then there’s Russia, and not having a coat of any kind in sub-zero temperatures is damn near a death sentence at one in the morning.
My eyes sting from the backhanded slap those meaty fingers delivered across my face not ten minutes ago, but I squint through the pain and the tears, noticing one small borscht shop open at this hour.
Not for long.
The minute the tiny restaurant owner sees me, she rushes to close the shutters, bathing the street in darkness, and a second later I hear a bolt slam across the front door as she curses something in Russian.
As an introverted bookworm I was excited to come to Russia, reading that people kept their heads down and minded their own business, just like me with my social awkwardness. But now I’d give anything for that American friendliness where strangers help each other in times of need, my social anxiety be damned.
Up ahead I can see Basil’s Church, the only landmark I know of that ties to Kirill. But my dad said he lived right by here years ago. With all the time that’s passed he might not even be in the country anymore, based on the stories my dad told me of his love for travel.
I keep moving, following the skeleton of tree branches that are over trimmed along the wide open walkway, or is it just that winter took their ability to live, like it’s trying to suck mine down the drain right now too?
I stop, lean against a wall and try not to make myself visible. Despite the darkness which I’m trying to use to conceal myself, I’ve watched enough Animal Planet to know predators excel under the fall of night…and I’m very clearly being followed by some of the best hunters there are.
Blood roars through my body, as the silence of the cold collapses down on me. The only movement in sight is the vapor of my breath hitting the freezing air.
I take another deep breath and march on, hitting my wits end.
“Kirill!” I helplessly call out into the night like a madwoman. “Kirill! Help me! Someone please help me!”
Suddenly I hear the sound of a car engine rumbling and turn to see it’s the same man who I’m running from…the man who paid for my body. The prick who complained to the men that tricked me into this terrible mess that I looked much heavier than in my pictures…pictures which were stolen from my locked social media accounts. Russian hackers truly are the best as I’ve so unfortunately found out.
“There the fat little whore is!” he calls out in English, with a thick Russian accent. Two men come flying out from behind the inky-black tinted windows of the car and make a beeline for me.
I recognize them immediately by their size, their black leather jackets, and the scowls on their face.
They’re the security guards at the trafficking ring I fell victim to.
“If I’m so fat, just leave me the fuck alone!” I yell, but it only spurs them on.
“Catch me if you can,” I yell, taking off as best I can toward St. Basil’s. At this hour surely there are a least a few drunken foreign tourists who might be ballsy enough to help me if they see the struggle, and the fight, I’m going to put up. Plus I can yell and bite with the best of them…I hope.
Pain shoots through my ankle as I push off and move as fast as I can. I’m not ten feet away from the wall when I catch a piece of black ice and fall forward, flat on my face.
The sound of the men’s boots from behind, crunching through the snow, let me know they’re closing in with a quickness. I claw at the ice beneath me, looking for something to grab a hold of so I can pull myself to my feet.
Suddenly I feel my body being lifted, thrown over one of the men’s shoulders like a sack of potatoes, before he utters, “You’re gonna pay for what you did, you bitch.”
I start kicking and thrashing as hard as I can before his other hand comes up and bops me right on top of the head.
The man’s built like a tank, his fist a club, and I feel myself sliding out of consciousness, just before I hear the man exhale hard and feel a large jolt from the side, which keeps me awake a few seconds longer.