Chapter Six - Beauty at Its Finest
My men demanded a meeting, so a meeting they will get, with her. Only so few of my men know of her existence and I’d like to keep it that way. The chosen few that I and Erseli handpicked are the only living men that know of her being. Of those men, most say that she shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely like she does because of the situation at hand. She wasn’t very happy with the new demands, but to compensate for the decision, no one can even touch the stairs until everything is under control, except for Erseli and me. Everything I do has a price, so I cannot risk anything. These weren’t just my men, they are my brothers.
“You understand that if my movements are restricted, then my work will be disrupted? Everything that you want to be done will take longer than necessary,” she informed as she lazily looked at the cameras.
“Everyone here knows that restrictions are never a problem for you,” Tarasov stated with a shake of his head, “If anything, you’d most likely ignore everything that we’ve agreed here and do what you like.”
“Listen here, Torchinovich,” she growled, “I don’t need to be told things I already know, especially by someone like you who couldn’t even protect your brother.”
Yermilov grabbed Tarasov before he could do anything that’d lead him to the infirmary alongside his brother.
“That’s enough,” I ordered as I rubbed the side of my head, “You went too far this time -”
Before I could say anything else, a disruption from downstairs caught our attention. She looked through the cameras before I could even order her to and before us we saw two figures bolting across the dance floor and threw the door that led to our Underground Unit.
Frowning, we all turned our attention towards Leonov. The one person who was supposed to lock all the doors after closing. His eyes widened at our gazes and pointed his finger at Yermilov who looked taken back.
“I told him earlier today if he could lock up for me,” he said as quickly as he could. The nervous look on Yermilov’s face proved his statement to be correct.
“Never mind!” I growled irritably, “Everyone take station. Tarasov, I want you to go to the infirmary and take guard there. Artem and Yermilov, I want you two to do a perimeter check. If you find anyone, take them and question them immediately. I don’t care if they’re a child or a walking mummy; I can’t take any more risks. Leonov, you’re coming with me and you,” I pointed at her, “you stay here.”
Rolling her eyes, she leaned back against her uncomfortable chair, kicked up her feet, and watched the cameras before her.
“If you need any help, don’t bet on me to help you since I can’t ‘roam around’ anymore.”
Not frequently have we had any type of break-ins before. Not even with occasional thieves. Most of the time it’s been quiet from what my sources tell me. It’s been years since the Irish-scum grew a pair and tried infiltrating, but like I said, it’s been years. So, who’s the idiot that decides to break-in now?
Leonov and I dashed down the stairs and into the open door where silence was broken when we just heard a door being pounded against. Further down we ran and we frowned when I could smell the aftermath of gun-smoke, so I took it within myself to push myself harder.
Using our sense of hearing, the commotion could be heard down the hallway where my spare bedroom and office was. Usually I slept in my office, but the bedroom was made in case someone like Erseli, who was previous Father, stays overnight.
Once we were just outside the doors of my bedroom, I signaled for Leonov to stay beside the doors before I passed the open frames. Before my eyes, I saw the two infiltrators, but it was a sight I never thought I’d see. Pushed against my dressers laid a woman held against her will as a man in familiar clothing pressed against her. One hand was hiked up her dress while the other held a gun against her head, causing my finger twitch on the trigger.
“Not one noise out of you or I end your life here and now,” the familiar sound of the Irish accent came out.
Hoping that the woman would keep her mouth shut, that hope diminished when I heard the familiar voice of the lady, giving me the strength to pull the trigger, “May God forgive you...”
After the shot rang out, the Irish-scum froze at the impact before his life drained from his body and he dropped. Watching cautiously, I watched Eleanor raise from her uncomfortable position where she struggled to pull her dress down to cover herself as much as possible. I watched as she continued to stare blankly at the wall in front of her, body shaking and small whimpers escaping her mouth. My eyes narrowed when I noticed the line of blood flowing from the small wound on her arm. Now I knew the reason for the gunshot.
Lowering my threatening weapon, I continued watching Eleanor in front of me, completely ignoring the fact that Leonov was still by the door, waiting for further command.
“Eleanor,” I called to her, but my voice fell on deaf ears. Trying again, I was met with the same outcome: silence, but this time her cries were overflowing.
Having no other choice, I approached her, my steps calculated as I reached out and lightly gripped her shoulder. Her body shivered away from my touch as she tried escaping me, but only for her to trip on her own feet and fall before me. Her body cracking more cries as she tried backing away from me, but once her eyes landed on me, her movements stopped, as if death enveloped her senses. Her tears may have continued streaming, but her eyes never gave way from my own eyes and across the scar that ran irritably down my eye.
I needed her to trust me. I needed answers from her.
Looking down at her, my fist clenched when I noticed how reckless she looked. Her hair tousled and tangled, her eyes red and puffy from crying, her arm injured, her clothes tattered, and her skin scraped. Her body was ravaged of some senses as she stayed on the ground as she looked upon me and I upon her. I may have a passive look on my face, but her eyes would not roam away from mine, delving into my darkest secrets.
Examining her with just my eyes, I knew she wasn’t okay. She was hurt, injured in so many ways possible. Physically and mentally, she was hurt, but it seemed as if she couldn’t notice herself.
"Tsvetok, are you hurt?” my voice sounded so strangled, it threw me off a bit. I never knew such a noise could come out of me. (Flower.)
Her swollen eyes looked at me in awe as my voice resonated through the room. There was no need for the fake accent I carried. Now was the time to reveal who I truly am. I am Russian. I am a killer, murderer. I root for my team whether it be good and evil, and may God forgive me for such thoughts. I am my mafia.
That’s who I was raised to be and forever will I be who I’m meant to be.
Clearing my head of the distracting thoughts, I redirected my attention to Eleanor, but she too seemed to be distracted as well. Her eyes roaming across every feature of my face that her eyes could lay on. Her mouth stood slight agape and lips moistened as her tongue unconsciously dragged across them.
"Tsvetok?” I whispered out cautiously to her. (Flower.)
I reached out to her, taking a step towards her, but my movements reacted with her backing away from me. I stopped once she began moving, causing her to stop as well. I needed her to be calm; I needed her to be reassured that I won’t hurt her. Information that I needed rests in her hands and I can’t have her running off. Once she’s gone, then any possible valuable information is gone as well. Staring into her hazel eyes, I waited, seeing if she would disrupt my trust. She was cautious and silent. The only noise that resonated within the room was our own breathing.
This time without making any fast movements, I placed my foot forward, awaiting her reaction. And still, she stayed rooted in place. I continued my small and slow movements before I was only standing a few feet away from her. Now, it was her turn to come to me.
I got down where I sat on one knee, my eyes never wavering away from hers. I stay rooted in my position, awaiting as to see what she will do. Her eyes never left mine; as if she was enchanted by them, she never directed her gaze elsewhere. Perfectly they stayed and through her eyes was I able to see what I wanted. She wasn’t questioning a damn thing. I knew then and there that she trusted me. Now all I needed was for her to act on that trust.
I reached out, like a starved beggar, I reach my hand out and prayed that she would take the bait. Her eyes redirecting towards the hand as her breathing began to stabilize. I released the bait for her to take and not long after was I satisfied like a happy drunkard as she fell for it.
She reached out with a hesitantly, shaky hand and her eyes latched onto mine again. I didn’t look away. I never did. I wanted her to think that I was enchanted to her as she was to me. I needed her to trust in me. My mind was full of determination and once I set my mind into what I want, then I get it. And I will not deny that my mind too has also desired more things of her. I am a greedy and dangerous man. Pleasure of the body has been something I am not a stranger to. Especially when it come towards someone such as the beauty before me if she was cleaned up.
The more that I thought of the greedy things I wanted, the more the atmosphere changed. I couldn’t control what I wanted anymore. What was supposed to be something for my mafia has now turned into something more of what I want. I don’t just want her; I want to own her. My mind delved deeper as to what I wanted and the dark joys that crossed my mind enveloped me in words that I couldn’t describe. I imagined her withering, crying, scared, but not like I saw her minutes before. I wanted to see her like that as she discovers new joys to her body, soul, and mind. I wanted more...
“Come to me...” my voice demanded of her. I no longer knew what I wanted. It was just a jumble of demands that I knew that I needed; all of it. I needed everything this lady could provide me: pleasure and information. I needed it all. It was no longer a battle between wanting and needing. It was now a war between self-control and chaos.
And my prayers were answered when she practically fell into my arms. I brought her to me, knowing that I didn’t have the power within me to let her go. There was nowhere for her to escape. All she had now was me.
I couldn’t control as to how tightly I was holding onto her. I didn’t give a second thought to the ugly wound that marred her arm; I could only think of the woman that was in my arms. Even in her shaken, yet firm state, I looked into her eyes and tried looking into the one place no one wants them looking into: their soul. I wanted to look within her soul and control it within my hands like putty. I wanted to make her into putty so I can morph her into something I wanted.
But just as quickly as it came, it disappeared in a flash when the sudden sound of the Irish-scum groaned from his spot on the ground. I could feel the woman beneath me freeze in fear.
“You... You didn’t kill him...” she said with such uncertainty.
“Of course, tsvetok,” I lightly laughed as I tried gaining composure, “A man of his stature should be punished for his actions.” I wanted more than vengeance for the woman beneath me. I wanted to make the man suffer for crossing me. I wanted him to scream in pain as I torture his soul. I wanted him to feel like all hope is lost after I’m done with him. However, before I do all of that, I need information. (Flower.)
I kept my gaze on the dying man on floor as Eleanor turned away and distracted me by putting her head against my chest. Confused, I looked down at her as she closed her eyes and listened to what she could. I couldn’t quite understand anything about this woman. I wanted her to trust me, but I didn’t understand as to why she did. She followed what my mind commanded, but why? What made her trust me? What made her want to trust me? Because I saved her? Or was it because she was thinking of a deeper meaning?
This flower that finding comfort through me confused me, but in a way, made me curious. Even her name fits her like an “all size fits all” glove, but in such a mysterious way.
Like I was chanting a spell, I repeated her name across my tongue, “Eleanor... Eleanor...”
She froze up once more and looked at me, trying to figure everything out.
“How do you know my name?” she asked uncertainly, but curiously.
“Eleanor Marie Maedric, that is your name,” I stated, “Do not be surprised or afraid of what I know, tsvetok.” Our eyes connected once more, but still as I looked into her eyes, the windows to her soul, I still couldn’t figure out the answer I was looking for. I didn’t understand and I can’t stand not understanding. (Flower.)
Her eyes looked curious as she gazed into my eyes, but before either of us could breathe a word, her attention was caught elsewhere when she noticed our one-man audience by the doorway. Not letting her figure anything out, I acted alarmed as I faced my brother behind me. He stood still, back erect, and face passive. There was nothing he questioned.
“Leonov,” I acknowledged my brother before me.
“Boss... Who is this woman?” he finally asked.
I knew he was waiting to ask that question, but still it alarmed me to give him information about her to him. It made my scar itch irritably having to give him any answers as to why I held this woman before me.
"Komu-to budet ne byt’ zatronuty ili vred v lyubom sluchaye. Yesli ona postradayet v lyubom sluchaye, ya, ne koleblyas’, chtoby ubit’ vas,” I ordered as I tightened my hold around Eleanor’s waist. (Someone whom will not be touched or harmed in any way. If she is harmed in any way, I will not hesitate to kill you.)
"Samo soboy razumeyetsya, Boss,” Leonov responded accordingly as he gave me a former bow, but I could see his Adams Apple bobbing as he gave a nervous swallow. (It goes without saying.)
I looked back down at the small woman beneath me, staring right into the eyes that I’ve been doing. Those hazel orbs that held a certain glimmer in them, but now that glimmer held confusion.
“You know my name, yet I know nothing of yours...” she trailed off.
I smirked at her wonderment. Her sense of curiosity is a special quality of hers, but it could possibly be the death of her.
“Ivan Dmitrievich, nezhnyy tsvetok,” I said proudly, “Welcome to the Russian Mafia.” (Delicate flower.)
I could see the change of mind within her as she came atoned to what I said. Her bottom jaw slightly quivered, but I could see the most fear within her eyes.
“The Russian Mafia...” she whispered, frightened.
“Do not fret, Eleanor,” I frowned as I moved the disfigured hair out of her face, “I will never set harm unto you. If anything, I wouldn’t dare lay finger on you that is to cause any type of harm. You are safe with me. Trust me.”
She looked uncertain, but that was before she finally gave in and her emotions showed through her face. She felt safe and I will make sure that she is. Making her feel safe and sound is the main key to making her trust all of herself to me. No woman would throw herself to a man she barely knows, especially if they just revealed he’s involved with the mafia. I had to make her trust me and there’s only so few of ways I can. Grabbing her hands delicately within mine, I pulled us both up. I supported most of her weight, letting her lean on me as necessary.
The lie was all part of the game. This was definitely a game; whether it be a game of lust or a game of loyalty, this was a game. A game I cannot lose. I can’t afford to lose this game and I have the strength and defiance of a person who will not accept failure as an answer. I will win this game; whether it be the last thing I do, I will win this game.
Guiding her out of the room, I led Eleanor and I towards the infirmary where we could get her arm patched up. She lost quite a bit of blood, but once she was fixed, all she would need is lots of water and rest.
As I guided her towards another spare bedroom, I continually watched Eleanor. I watched at how she paid more attention towards the gauze wrapping around her wound than around where she was going. She looked curiously at the wound, but she mostly looked at it with such sadness. I didn’t understand as to why. Even though it may have been a horrible way as to how I gained my scar, I wear it proudly.
“Don’t let such a trivial thing such as a scar get you down, tsvetok,” I muttered into her ear, “Wear highly and proudly. It shows that you survived.” (Flower.)
She turned her head wear she was looking at me; her face so close to mine. If either of just moved any closer and we would be centimeters apart from any connection.
Her eyes grazed my face, caressing my features until she finally landed on my scar across my eye. She reached out and unexpectedly touched it, shocking me. I jerked away from her touch and I kept on walking ahead of her this time.
Never had I had anyone touch my scar before. Her touch was gentle, almost as if she was afraid the scar would open up and spill before her the scarlet blood that laid beneath. Even though it felt different from any woman that have touched me, it angered me in such a way I couldn’t understand. That was a part of my past that I didn’t want her getting close to.
I reached up myself and touched the cheekbone, the place where the scar ends. My head erupted with memories of the past and my ears was filled with the screams of torture as the knife was placed against my brow and slid down across my eye. Shivering at the haunting memory, I scratched the scar like I usually do and paid my attention towards leading the woman behind me to her room.
“Ah, your ring...” Eleanor’s voice rang with slight surprise as she stared at my hand that wore my family’s ring.
“Thank you for finding my ring and returning it, tsvetok,” I replied with thankfulness, “This ring is one of the most precious things in the world to me.” (Flower.)
“I noticed it on at the bar after you left. I just thought it’d be yours for some weird reason. It just doesn’t seem like someone like you would wear,” she said as she continued staring at the ring.
“Then what do you think I would wear?” I asked her with a raise of my brow.
She looked up at me with quite surprise at my question and all that would come out were jumble of words that she couldn’t quite form into sentences. I could only laugh at her nervousness, making her tag along truthfully.
I stopped in front of a door that was a bit far from where my office is. This was where she will stay until I say otherwise. She will be guarded every second of the day and if she should need anything, then we will provide it for her if its consented by me. Another way for me to win her complete trust is having her being comfortable.
She looked up at the door curiously before looking at me with the same look.
“What is this?” she asked with a raised brow.
“Where you will be staying,” I responded quickly before opening the door. The room wasn’t much different from where my men sleep. A regular queen sized bed laid in the middle of the room, spare bathroom, and closet. Nothing more, nothing less. There was nothing out of order within the room, except for the lone suitcase that laid open across the bed and a lone female that sat next to it.
I could only react in such a way at the familiar face that I haven’t seen for twelve years.
“Hello, Ivan...” her mellow voice ruptured the silence.
"Starshaya sestra?” (Older sister?)