Father Kempechny shook his head. “Yuri is as bad as his brother, he is leader of the Russian Mob in St. Petersberg. Nasty man, he is known to be involved with smuggling, prostitution, slavery, drugs- you name it and they are probably doing it. Even if you didn’t touch the money, keeping him from getting it would be a public service.”
Olga nodded. “This will be very delicate, because right now you are all that stands between Yuri Zubkov and an estimated three billion rubles.”
“He’s a dangerous man, that’s why we need to keep you well hidden,” the Father agreed. “Olga, you may use Natalya’s name because she goes by another one, that trail will be almost impossible to uncover.”
She nodded. “That’s fine with me, I don’t want to know.” She handed us each a card, an email address and a phone number on the back. “These are my private lines, not the firm. If you have any questions, call me, and don’t use Natalya… use Natalie.” I nodded. She turned to an intercom. “Svetlana, bring tea and come here please.” Turning back to us, she reviewed her notes. “The recordings and the birth certificate are easy. I can find employment or tax records for you mother to prove she worked at your father’s club. The rape doesn’t matter, only paternity does. To prove that, we need your DNA results and a comparison with his.”
The door opened, and a young blonde came in with a tray containing a tea service. She poured us each a cup as Olga called a medical testing company, directing them to immediately send a person to their office to obtain a blood sample for DNA analysis. “They’ll have someone here in thirty minutes,” she said. “We will take two vials, one I will have analyzed myself, the other we will submit to the Court for their own testing. We have to work fast, the probate case will close soon unless we intervene. The first step is to file a petition to establish paternity; once you are declared his daughter, then we can enter into the probate case.”
“How long will that take?”
“It could take months to get the court to recognize you as his legal daughter. The DNA helps, but we also have to address any other issues that arise. Did you change your name?”
“No, I was adopted,” I said.
She wrote some things down, then looked at the Father. “I take it Yevgheny never was notified of the adoption or gave up his parental rights?”
“Correct. She was declared an orphan after her mother’s death and then adopted.” He looked at me, then her. “It was the best way to keep her alive, Zubkov had already killed her mother and was actively looking for her.”
“That’s good, we can argue the adoption wasn’t enough to remove his claim to paternity.” We talked more about the process; I would not be required to be present, and she would be requesting I not be required to be in attendance due to the risks to me of being identified. “Even if we weren’t worried about Yuri, which we are, your father was a powerful man with many enemies. You are better off if no one ever knows you are his daughter.”
There was a knock on the door, and the secretary let a man in with a lab coat and a small black bag. He quickly took two small vials of my blood, packed one of them away and was gone again. “Are you staying in town overnight,” Olga asked.
“I’m afraid not, we need to return home.”
She looked at her watch. “There are some forms I need Natalya to sign, but it will take a few hours. Can you go get some dinner and return after?”
“We can, Olga.” We rose and shook hands, and her assistant Svetlana showed us out.
I listened with one ear to the microphone I’d placed in the conference room. I smiled, my brother would be pleased, and this information could be worth a lot of money. I knew as soon as I saw the priest that there was something more to this than a simple will. I could tell the meeting was coming to an end, so I ended the recording and removed the jump drive it was being recorded on from my computer. It went in my pocket.
Olga beeped for me and I came to the door, escorting them out. I made sure my phone got a good picture of the two of them in the process. Once they were out, Olga was waiting for me with the papers. “I’ll be in my office getting these forms ready,” she said. “Start a client file, here is the representation agreement and the other background.” She handed me some papers, I didn’t show any surprise that she didn’t give me the recordings. That was all right, I’d have what I needed.
I texted my brother, telling him I had information for him and needed to see him soon. He was in St. Petersburg; his boss and almost everyone else above him had been picked up in a police raid, and he was switching crews if the new bosses would accept him. He was meeting with a potential boss and would be back in the morning. He asked me to email it to him, but I’d have to do that when I got home. I couldn’t risk doing it on the work network.
I worked for another couple hours, leaving right after the young woman and her priest returned and met with Olga for ten more minutes. I popped my head in the office when they were gone. “Anything else, Mrs. Alexandrov?”
“I’ll be here half the night getting this written up, but it doesn’t have to ruin your night. See you in the morning.”
“Thank you, Ma’am.” I closed the door, grabbing my purse and making my way out of the office and down to my car. In thirty minutes I was home, the jump drive in my laptop, and Mikhail had the information he’d need to secure his place in the St. Petersburg Mafia.
My father had purchased the ticket to Moscow online and dropped me at the airport, the flight left only three hours after I had found out she was gone. I spent most of the flight sleeping, the rest worrying. When I arrived, I picked up my bag and was met outside by two big guys holding a sign with my name. Both were werewolves from the Kstovo Pack, sent by Alpha Viktor to help me protect and return Jessie to America. “Dobryy vecher, Beta Patrik. Good evening. I am Sergey, the quiet one here who doesn’t speak English is Ivan. Did you have a good flight?”
I shook their hands. “It was twelve hours locked in a tube with smelly humans, and I’m glad to be on the ground again.” Sergey laughed, most wolves felt the same. We would much rather run than fly. “Do you have any other luggage?”
“No, I barely had time to toss a change of clothes in my backpack before I had to leave.” We made our way out to the car, a third warrior, Anatoly. I sat in the back with Sergey as we pulled into Moscow traffic. “Have you located her yet?”
“No,” he said. “We left a man at Father Kempechny’s apartment and another at the graveyard, those were the only two places we figured we might pick them up. She just had too big a head start.” He looked over at me. “Our Alpha said to help you and protect her, he didn’t say why.”
I could tell it bothered him, but the fewer people that knew the better. I settled for a version of the truth. “She’s over here trying to find the truth, and there are dangerous people who don’t want that truth to come out,” I said. “She has no idea what kind of danger she is in, and since she is human, I can’t tell her.”
He thought about it for a minute. “What kind of dangerous people?”
“Moscow Mafia,” I said.
He whistled. “She worth all this trouble? You flying over here? Five of us being sent to protect her?”
I nodded. “Our Alphas think so, and that’s all we need to know. My job is to make sure she doesn’t get killed before I can convince her to come back.”
“You her boyfriend or something?”
“I wish, just look at her.” I took out my phone and showed them a photo of her I took when she was socializing with the puppies. Her raven-black hair, the sparkle in her eyes, and the figure partially revealed under the T-shirt caused Sergey to whistle in appreciation. He passed the phone to his friends in the front seat before I took it back. “I haven’t found my mate, but she is important to our Pack and I consider her a friend.”
“She have any friends here in Russia?”
“Not that I know of.” By the time the two hour drive to Sergiyev Posad was done, we were friends. His Pack members in the front seat? Not quite as friendly. The men had gotten hotel rooms a few blocks from the Father’s apartment, and they let me sleep while they set up a rotation to watch it.