Chapter 10: Unexpected Visits
If I need to stay here and be subjected to the torture of pedicures, I will do it. Anything to stay away from Vik. He is a threat to my sanity as it is. I go from frustrated to hot and bothered and from angry to jealous in nanoseconds. And yes, I am fully aware I used the word “jealous” ’cause there is no other way to describe the feeling that got over me the minute Galina wrapped her arms around him looking for a kiss. And then I had to listen to her brag about how Vik is “sex on a stick”. Like I didn’t already know, Captain Obvious.
“Sooo,” Ava turns her attention to me, “how do you like the Riders so far?”
All eyes turn to me. I can see that I am the new, hot gossip and I don’t like it. I want to tell Ava to back off but for some reason that pregnant woman scares me. There is something in her eyes, something that tells me she has killed, taken a life. I should know.
“It’s OK,” I shrug.
“OK? Not sexy, good-looking, hot?”
Oh, she reads right through me. She saw how I ogled Vik in the kitchen and she caught us in the bar, Vik practically humping me with that thick shaft in his jeans. Oh, god, I try to maintain a straight face but Ava has narrowed her eyes and gives me a side smile.
“Are you staying?” Iris asks in her soft, tender voice and saves me from the KGB. “I mean for good.”
“That is an excellent question,” Daniel walks in.
All the girls get up and line up to give him a hug. I haven’t been in an escort before, but I am pretty sure that none of the girls welcome their pimp as if he were the uncle that spoils them. I try to read their reaction. It seems genuine and...innocent. By the looks of it, Daniel doesn’t shit where he eats and keeps it in his pants around the girls. Unlike Vik...Gnawing on the same bone, I see.
“How come you are here?” Ava leaves a peck on his cheek.
Daniel doesn’t even bother to make something up. He looks straight at me and his already wide smile gets wider. From the moment he found out I was his daughter, he has done nothing but show me he is happy with that. I have yet to return the favor. I am still here. He might not know it, but that is a big deal. I lift my chin to him.
After a while we are in the large living room, nursing drinks and listening to stories. Daniel has openly taken a seat next to me but Vik has decided to stay at the bar. I try to focus on Tanya telling some crazy story about a client but I am missing all the good parts. I feel Vik’s gaze on me, a cigarette lingering on his dreamy lips and it’s hard to fucking concentrate on anything else.
I know what’s going on with him. I said no. I didn’t drop on my knees to worship him the moment he smiled at me. I am a challenge, a test, a bet with himself – though it wouldn’t be beneath him to have an actual bet to get me in his bed. Two ways this can go. Either I give in, give him what he wants, have a great night -if Galina is to be believed - and have him lose interest in me. The other is hold my ground till he gets bored and gives up and probably miss out on an earth-shattering experience with my dignity intact.
I don’t get the chance to make up my mind or listen to Tanya’s story cause life is funny that way. One minute you think you are up against some serious problems and the next you are facing some grave problems. And while I am contemplating on my ridiculous predicament, life decides to hit me square in the face.
The front door of the escort cracks open and in seconds ten men barge in with guns in hand. What the...? The bastards seem trained and move swiftly. They have us completely surrounded and before I can do anything, Daniel is pulled from his seat and dragged away. I try to make a move, but something stops me. It’s Vik’s thick arm that pushes me behind him and holds me there firmly.
“What the hell is this?” Daniel demands. “Do you fuckers know who you are trying to rob?”
“We are not here to rob,” a man walks in through the broken door.
No way! I can’t believe that this guy is here. Is this a fucking coincidence? I decide to stay behind Vik that hasn’t let me go, completely shielding me from harm. If Daniel didn’t have a gun glued between his eyes and that man walk up to him, I would have appreciated the way Vik jumped in to keep me from harm. But I can’t.
I look around and I see Tanya and Galina have pulled close to Ava, guarding her and I got to think that these women are more than what meets the eye. Ava has one hand on her belly and the other goes up to the large pin that holds her hair in place. A big, metallic, sharp pin. Even Iris has a hard look on her face and I am guessing something from the Hellhound must have rubbed off on her. The rest of the girls scream frantic, annoying the hell out of me.
“Who the fuck are you?” Daniel demands from the newcomer.
“I am here for what’s mine. My property. Jong,” he pins his look on one of the girls.
Jong has crumbled to the floor and cries uncontrollably. I knew from the moment I walked in and saw her that there was fear in her soul. She spoke to no one, never smiled, never talked. Now I know why.
“She is Rider property now,” Vik says calmly but firmly. “From what I hear, you sold her to sick fucks that did all kind of fucked up things to her.”
The man turns his attention to Vik and walks closer. He is a lot shorter than Vik but he bears himself with a way that makes him dangerous. He is dangerous. Not in the natural killer way Vik is but still...Vik, tightens his grip on me and the muscle on his back tense. He is like a panther ready to attack. Don’t, I plead in my head.
“Bottom line is,” the man raises his eyebrow, “I want back what is mine. And of course, I can’t let this disrespect go unpunished.”
A man grabs Jong and another cocks his gun, the same one he holds in the back of Daniel’s neck.
“No!” I push Vik’s arm away and I take a few steps forth.
The man looks at me and instant surprise spreads on his face. His eyes widen making the lines around them deeper. An unsettling smile sets in and he walks up to me. I feel Vik move behind me but I wave him away.
“I’ll be damned!” the man exclaims. “It can’t be the legendary Cold Bitch, now can it? Is that why you vanished from the face of the Earth? To be a fucking whore?”
“Motherfucking asshole!” Daniel seems to give zero fucks that there is a gun on him. “Call my daughter a whore one more time and you are dead.”
“Daughter! That is an interesting development,” the man turns to me. “I am sorry to ruin the family reunion. I hope you have said your goodbyes to daddy dearest.”
“Jack,” I say calmly, “we can come to an agreement. Surely you didn’t come all the way from Vegas to start a war with bikers over a girl.”
“First of all, I happen to be quite attached to Jong.”
He clicks his fingers and Jong is brought to him. He pulls her in his arms, her back to his front. He then leans down and puts his hand under her skirt. The girl flinches and lets out a cry. I sense Ava has let her hair down and both Galina and Tanya have taken their high heels off. But it’s the look on Iris’s face that is the most disturbing, pain mixed with anger. This is going to be a bloodshed. I keep a straight face while Jack pulls out his fingers and licks them eyeing me.
“And secondly, I don’t appreciate being disrespected.”
“You are a businessman, Jack, and respect has nothing to do with business. Money is. We can reach an agreement.”
“Yeah, we fucking will,” Vik is by my side. “You will go away now and we will not kill you slowly. How about that?”
“I like your boy toy,” Jack says to me.
“You sick fuck,” Vik takes one step forward.
I throw my arm to him and stop him. Vik looks back at me and at my hand. I implore him without words with the underlying fear of seeing these people killed, him included. Despite the rage in his eyes, Vik stops his charge. I nod in silent gratitude.
“Jack, talk to me. There must be something the Riders have that you want. Favors, guns, protection, connections.”
Jack throws Jong back to one of his men and narrows his eyes to me. I see his always calculative mind work which means that carnage can be avoided. That man didn’t rise to the top of the Vegas food chain by being stupid. He must know that even if he killed everyone, he would have to face the consequences. The Riders would hunt him down to Hell. Plus, Ava’s uncle is the pakhan of Sacramento and I am sure that the Russian Mafia boss would have some say on people hurting his only niece, his very precious, very pregnant niece.
“There is something I want,” Jack takes out one of his trademark cigars and starts preparing it.
I sigh in relief and dare one look on Daniel. There is murder and wrath in his eyes but there are ten heavily armed men in here and there is only him and Vik here. Three if you count Ava that even in her condition fidgets ready to attack. Five if you count the Russians behind her. Six if you count me. Daniel keeps his eyes on me and I nod to reassure him. Jack moves and I give him my attention.
“What do you want, Jack?”
“Well, the Riders have nothing I want. But you...” he narrows his eyes and takes one drag of his cigar, “you do.”
I tense. I know what he wants. Everyone’s eyes fall on me and the surprise is palpable. Even those with guns against their heads seem a bit distracted by his statement. I have promised I’d never go back but... I look down and then at Daniel. Absent or not, that man is blood. And he has treated me with nothing but respect, made me part of his family and openly shared all that was his. I grind my teeth and I frown.
“When?” I ask
“In two weeks.”
“New thing I am trying in San Francisco.”
I throw my head back and take one deep breath. I was a fool to believe I would be left alone. No matter how far you run from your past, it always comes back to you.
“Deal,” I say.
“Great,” Jack extends his arm to me.
“What the fuck!” Vik gets in my face. “Lys, what the fuck is going on? What is this shit. You are not making a deal with that fucker! The Riders will take care of it.”
“Vik,” I try to explain.
“No,” Vik runs his finger on my cheek in a surprising gentle gesture and turns to Jack. “And you don’t even dare look her way.”
“Touching,” Jack snaps his fingers.
The guard on Daniel kicks his knees and presses the gun between his eyes when Daniel kneels on the carpet. Still he is eyeing his soon-to-be executioner with a cold look. Even his breath is even. I guess I get that from him.
“Vik, please,” I hiss.
Vik eyes Daniel and then comes back to me. He is in an impossible position. I can make all that shit go. I push past Vik and extend my hand to Jack.
“We have a deal.”
“Good,” Jack shakes my hand.