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Hidden Truths: Chapter 5

Angelina

“This is great.” I point to the meatballs on my plate and stuff another one in my mouth.
“Finally, someone who appreciates what I do around here,” Felix grumbles and continues putting away the dishes from the dishwasher.
I take the opportunity to look around. The kitchen is rather big, with a dining table by the window on the left side. The house itself is not that large, though. Two bedrooms on the upper floor, and a huge living room and kitchen on the ground floor. It’s a nice place with new, modern furniture, and it looks lived in. One thing I find strange is there are no photos of any kind. Anywhere.
“Do you live here?” I ask.
“In the apartment above the garage.”
“Nice.” I look over my shoulder at the front door, calculating the distance. Felix seems rather fit, but he’s old. I doubt he would be able to stop me if I can catch him unaware. If the door is unlocked, I should be able to slip away.
“Don’t,” Felix says, and my head snaps back to him.
“What?”
“Mimi will get you before you even reach the door.” He nods toward the living room where the dog is sleeping on the floor next to the sofa.
I feign innocence. “I wasn’t planning on doing anything.”
“Yeah, right.” He puts the plate away, turns toward me, and leans on the counter. “Why don’t you just tell Sergei what he needs to know, so he’ll let you go?”
“I have my reasons.” I resume eating. “How’s his friend? The one who got shot.”
“He’ll be okay,” Felix says and crosses his arms in front of his chest. “How do you know about Mikhail?”
“Sergei told me last night. Someone called him to say he wasn’t doing well. Sergei got upset.”
“Upset?”
“Yeah. He kind of zoned out. It was strange.” I shrug and reach for the salad. Felix approaches, grabs my chair, and turns it toward him.
“Zoned out . . . how?” He leans over me, and I stare at him. Gone is the grumpy but funny old guy from a few seconds ago, and in his place stands a very serious and visibly alarmed man.
“I don’t know. He just sat there really still. His eyes seemed strange—like he was looking at me without really seeing me,” I say. “His hand started shaking.”
Felix closes his eyes and curses. “And then?”
“I approached him, but it seemed like he didn’t register me, so I poked him, and that got his attention.”
Felix’s eyes snap open. “You . . . poked him?”
“Yeah. With my finger. Like this.” I touch his shoulder lightly. “It seemed to help. He snapped out of it after a few minutes, called me a little fox, and left.”
“And that’s it?”
“Yeah, pretty much so. Why?”
Felix doesn’t say anything, only watches me for a few seconds. Then, he pulls out the chair next to him, sits down, and leans toward me. He still doesn’t speak. Did I do something I shouldn’t?
“Is something . . . wrong with Sergei?” I ask.
“Yes,” he says finally. “He sometimes processes things differently. And his views on what should be a logical response to a certain situation differ from yours or mine.”
I furrow my eyebrows. “How so?”
“Let’s say you’re waiting in a line to get a coffee, and a man behind you tries to take your wallet. What would you do?”
“I don’t know. Whack him on the head with my bag? Call the police?”
“Sergei would snap his neck, get back in the line, and order a cappuccino when his turn comes.”
I blink. “He . . . he doesn’t seem like a violent person.”
“Sergei is not naturally violent. He would never attack anyone under normal circumstances. He would never touch a child. Or a woman, unless she’s a threat. If an old woman is crossing a street, he’ll approach to help her. If a cat gets stuck in a tree, he’ll climb it and rescue the cat.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Unless provoked, his behavior is completely aligned with what’s deemed socially acceptable.”
“And when he is provoked?”
“When Sergei is provoked, people die, Angelina. Which is why, if you find him zoned out again, as you put it, you should stay back.”
I stare at him, finding it hard to believe the person he’s describing is the man who so tenderly brushed my cheek demanding to know who hurt me. “But he didn’t do anything to me. He just . . . we just talked, and he returned to normal.”
“Which is highly unexpected.” Felix nods. “Still, you shouldn’t do that again.”
“Okay.”
“One other thing. If you find him asleep, you will not, under any circumstances, approach him. You will turn around and leave the room immediately.”
What a strange request. “Why?”
“Doesn’t matter. Just do as I say.”
“All right,” I nod and heap more mashed potatoes onto my plate.
There is no way I’m buying this shit. He’s exaggerating, probably trying to scare me into spilling the beans. Yes, Sergei acted strange last night and has a reputation as a slightly unstable guy, but no one is normal in our world.
I hear the front door open and turn to see the object of my thoughts come inside, holding a helmet under his arm.
“I thought you went shopping,” Felix shouts from next to the sink. “Where are the clothes you brought?”
“Arriving by cab. I told the guy to bring the bags to the door.”
Sergei throws the helmet on the sofa, takes off his jacket, and walks into the kitchen. As he passes my chair, he reaches with his hand and lightly brushes his palm down my arm, igniting goose bumps where our skin touches. And it’s not a bad type of goose bumps.
“What’s for lunch? I’m starving.” He sits down in the chair next to mine and looks into the pot in the middle of the table. “Meatballs again? Jesus. I’m signing you up for a cooking course next week.”
“If you have complaints about my cooking, feel free to start preparing the food yourself.”
Sergei sighs, and starts piling the food onto a plate. When he’s done, he looks down at his meal, curses, and digs in. He’s obviously not pleased with what Felix prepared, but I don’t see him going into a murderous rage or whatever. As I suspected, Felix was exaggerating.
Sergei’s dog comes in from the living room, stops beside him, and starts nudging him in his ribs with its muzzle.
“Damn it, Mimi! I’m trying to eat.” He moves the dog’s head with his hand, but he does it with visible affection.
“Which breed is she?” I ask. I don’t think I have ever seen a dog that big.
“Cane corso,” he says between two bites. “I’m going to walk her after lunch. Want to come with us?”
Not a bad idea. I need to check out the area if I do manage to slip out at some point. “Sure.”
We’ve just finished with the lunch when the doorbell rings.
“It’s your stuff,” he says to me and turns to Felix. “Can you get that?”
“Nope.”
Sergei grumbles something in Russian and stands up. “Albert had a fight with his girlfriend yesterday, so he’s cranky.”
“Albert?”
“That would be me,” Felix calls over his shoulder. “Sergei’s take on a Batman joke. He thinks he’s witty.”
I raise my eyebrows. “Wasn’t that Alfred? In the movie?”
“Yes, but he says that Alfred sounds aristocratic and I’m not sophisticated enough for it. So he changed it to Albert.”
“Oh, well . . . that makes sense, I guess.” I shake my head in confusion. Those two have a really weird relationship. I turn to see Sergei taking a bunch of bags from the porch and carrying them toward the stairs. There are at least twenty of them.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“Probably the stuff he bought for you. Looks like he got slightly carried away.”
I slowly turn and stare at Felix slash Albert. “How long does he intend to keep me here?”
“You’ll have to discuss that with Sergei, I’m afraid.”
I get up from the table, carry the plate to the sink, and then rush upstairs to do just that. Only I see a bunch of bags strewn all over the bed and Sergei gone. I’m wondering if I should check the other room I noticed on this floor when I hear the sound of running water coming from the bathroom on my right.
I head to the door and knock on it twice. “Sergei?”
He doesn’t answer, so I try the handle and find the door unlocked. Without really thinking about what I’m doing, I open the door. And gape.
Sergei is standing in the shower while rivulets of water flow down his naked body. He is turned with his back to me, his head tilted up toward the spray. I follow the water trail with my eyes, from his wide shoulders, down his inked muscled back and then stop. Holy fuck! He has the most magnificent ass I’ve ever seen on a man. I should move away, close the door, and pretend I didn’t see him. Instead, I keep staring.
“You like what you see, Miss Sandoval?”
I gulp and look up to meet Sergei’s blue eyes regarding me over his shoulder. As I stare, he slides the shower stall door to the side, steps out, and reaches me in a few big strides. I find it hard to keep my gaze focused on his face instead of letting my eyes wander downward, but somehow, I prevail.
“How long do you plan on keeping me a prisoner?” I ask, trying to pretend that I’m unperturbed by the fact he’s standing in front of me completely naked. It’s quite a feat. I’ll add it to my resumé under “Other Accomplishments”.
“Until you start talking,” he says and places his hands on the door, caging me in against it. “You already know that.”
“You can’t just keep me here. I have a life.”
“Tell me what I need to know, and you are free to go.”
My concentration slips and my eyes slide down his front, and when I reach his crotch, my eyebrows hit my hairline. His cock is in absolute proportion with his body. Huge. I quickly snap my head back up.
“I told you everything I can,” I say but it sounds more like a squeal.
“Then I hope you like it here, lisichka.” Sergei smirks, and turns to grab a stack of clothes from next to the sink, giving me another view of his rock-hard, naked ass.
Finally, common sense kicks in and I spin around and head toward the bed, pretending to be engrossed in going over everything in the bags.
“I’m going to walk Mimi,” Sergei says a few minutes later when he exits the bathroom. Clothed this time. Thank God. Or . . . Shame. “Are you coming?”
“Sure.”

Sergei

I look down at Angelina, who is walking at my side, and barely manage to stifle a laugh. She’s been feigning disinterest, but she’s been inspecting the neighborhood while we’ve been strolling. The little fox is planning her escape route. It’s hilarious.
Ahead of us, Mimi barks and runs toward old Maggie’s garden, probably planning on digging out more of her flowers. She’s been fixated on those flowers since last year.
“Mimi, idi syuda!”
Mimi looks at the flowers with regret, then canters toward us. She almost reaches us when she notices a couple walking a rottweiler down the street and instantly snaps to alert. I hurry toward her to make sure she won’t attack what she may consider a threat, and at the same time, Angelina turns and starts running away. I laugh. It didn’t take her long.
I stop next to Mimi, take her by the collar and watch Angelina for a few seconds. She’s trying her best, but she’s slow. Probably still weak from lack of nutrition. I point with my hand toward Angelina, giving Mimi the command for “protect”, and cross my arms over my chest.
Mimi runs toward Angelina at mad speed and, halfway there, starts making a wide circle, to intercept her. Angelina changes her course, veering right, but Mimi keeps running a few meters in front of her, having a great time. My little fox realizes she’s not going anywhere and suddenly stops, turns to face me with her hands squeezed tightly into small fists, and glares at me.
“She’s herding me like cattle,” she grumbles when I approach.
“She’s guarding you.”
“Like I’m a cow.”
“Yup.” I bend and grab her around the waist, then put her over my shoulder. “Today’s prison break episode ends here.”
“Put me down.”
“Nope.” I lightly tap her ass with my palm, then decide to leave it there. She might be skinny, but her ass is nice and perky.
“That’s called sexual harassment,” Angelina snaps. “Remove your paw from my butt.”
“And what would you call sneaking into the bathroom while I was having a shower?”
“I did not sneak in. I just wanted to talk.”
“You were ogling me. I’m just reciprocating in kind.” I tap her sweet ass again and stroll casually across the park toward my house, waving to a mother who turns her children away from the scene.
“The moment I’m out of your clutches, I’m reporting you to the police.”
“What for?”
“Kidnapping. Holding me hostage in your house. And sexual harassment.”
“I’m sure the police would be thrilled to chat with Manuel Sandoval’s daughter.” I squeeze her butt cheek lightly, eliciting the most adorable, shocked gasp.
Angelina swats me on my back with her palm, and I laugh. She was a bit spooked the first day, but she doesn’t seem to be scared of me anymore. People are always wary of me, so this is rather unexpected. It feels good.
“I have to go to a meeting tonight,” I say, ignoring her protests. “Please hold any further escape attempts until I’m back. Albert is too old for chasing after you. He could have a heart attack, and who would cook for me then?”
“I’ll take your request under consideration.”
“Thank you.”
“Can I get a laptop or something?”
“Nice try.” I laugh. “No laptop. But you can ask Albert for a round of poker. Word of advice, though—he cheats.”
“Cheats? He’s seventy.”
“Exactly. He cheats very well.”
She arches her neck and looks up at me. “How much do you pay him?”
“I don’t. I’ve been trying to get rid of him for years.”
“I’m not sure I’m following.”
I sigh and put her down on the porch. “Albert and I go way back. We worked together for a long time.”
“Before you joined the Bratva?”
“Yes.”
“And what did you two do together?”
“Sorry. Can’t tell you that.”
“Why? Was it something confidential?”
I look down at her, finding those dark eyes of hers watching me with a question in them. She was born into this life, so she’s probably seen her share of nasty shit, but her eyes seem so innocent.
“Yes,” I say and trace one of her perfect dark eyebrows with a finger. “And because you don’t want to know. Trust me on that.”
“How can it be worse than working for the Bratva?”
“It can.” I place my free hand on the banister next to hers and bend until our faces are at the same level. Angelina’s eyes widen, but she doesn’t move away. We’re so close I can feel her breath fanning my face as her breathing picks up. Slowly, I move my finger over her cheek and along her neck, then pause when I reach the spot where her pulse beats. It’s strong. Faster than normal. “No more running away today,” I whisper.
“Okay.” She nods, without removing her eyes from mine.
I move my palm down her slender arm, lowering it over her hip, and press my hand to the side of her thigh, over the long thick scar I noticed while I was carrying her. “Who did this?”
Angelina’s breathing picks up. “I fell from a tree.”
I grind my teeth. She really should stop lying, it’s definitely not her forte. I let my hand fall from her leg, and whistle for Mimi. “Come on. I have to change before I head out to that meeting.”
* * *
Shevchenko is late, as usual. I take the mineral water the waiter brought over and observe the empty club. It’s still early, people won’t be arriving at Ural for at least a couple of hours. I prefer to conduct business in one of the warehouses, but Shevchenko insisted on a more public location this time. He probably got spooked when we last met. Coward. I lean back in the booth and call Felix.
“What’s wrong?” he asks as soon as he answers the call.
“Nothing.”
“You rarely call for nothing, Sergei.”
“I was wondering what Angelina is doing.”
“We had dinner, and I took her back to your room.”
“Is Mimi in front of the door?”
“No, she’s in the living room, where you left her.”
“Go to the living room and put me on speakerphone.”
“What am I? Your secretary?” he snaps.
“Stop grumbling and just do it.”
“Fine.” There are a few moments of silence. “It’s on.”
“Mimi,” I say into the phone and hear her bark once. “Angelina. Okhraniay!”
“She went upstairs,” Felix says. “Is that why you called?”
Nope. I called because even though I left my place barely an hour ago, I can’t stop thinking about the little fox I left there. “Does she like the stuff I bought?”
“Why would that matter?”
“I’m just asking.” I shrug.
“What the fuck do you think you are doing with this girl, Sergei? We don’t know her agenda. A daughter of a Mexican drug lord doesn’t end up as part of the cargo in a drug shipment on a regular basis.”
“I’m not sure what you are hinting at.”
“Oh? Let me enlighten you. Remember Dasha?”
My body goes stone-still. “Angelina is not a plant.”
“You sure about that?”
“She’s not an undercover agent, Felix. She is . . . too innocent for that.”
“They all seem innocent. Until they try to slice your neck while you’re sleeping. Consider your late wife before you even think about tangling yourself up with this girl.”
“Angelina is not Dasha!” I bark.
“She speaks Russian, Sergei.”
I sit up straighter. “What?”
“I checked her background. She studied languages and literature. She majored in English and Italian, but she also took courses in French and Russian. How convenient, yes?”
“It’s a coincidence.” I cut the call.
The waiter comes to ask if I want anything else, but I shake my head and focus on the entrance on the other side of the club. Could it be just a coincidence?
A group of men enter. Two guys in dark suits walk in front of a third one, partially hiding him from view, and both are scanning the surroundings. Shevchenko and his bodyguards. Looks like he’s trying to make a statement by only bringing two men with him. The slimy bastard usually has at least five guys in tow, which isn’t that strange given he would need several people to cover his enormous frame if shit did hit the fan. He’s almost as large as Igor, Roman’s cook, and that’s not an easy accomplishment.
They see me and head toward the booth. It’s only then do I notice a girl Shevchenko has with him. The bastard definitely likes them young. The girl can’t be more than eighteen.
The bodyguards climb the two steps to the booth first and stand aside. Shevchenko follows, dragging the poor girl with him.
“Belov.” He nods and takes the seat, pulling the girl to sit on his lap.
“You’re late,” I say, keeping my focus on the girl. I was wrong, she can’t be more than sixteen, and based on the terrified look in her eyes, she is not there voluntarily.
“I had a meeting with O’Neil. He wanted to discuss a partnership.”
“Oh?” I lean back and move my focus to Shevchenko but keep watching the girl from the corner of my eye. “And what did Liam have to offer?”
“Same product. He said he’s in the middle of negotiations with Diego Rivera, and should be able to deliver the quantities we need starting next month.”
“We take seventy percent of Rivera’s drugs. There is no way Liam can match either the quantities or the price.”
“Well, he said that’ll change soon.” Shevchenko takes the bottle of whiskey the waiter brought over, fills his glass to the brim, and empties it in one tug. He pours another round, then places his meaty hand on the girl’s naked thigh, squeezing it. The girl flinches and quickly presses her legs together, but Shevchenko opens them forcefully and starts moving his hand upward, under the hem of her short dress. The girl squeezes her eyes shut.
I look up at Shevchenko’s bodyguards, then move my gaze to the bottle of liquor on the table. It should do.
“I am very excited to see how the Irish plan on accomplishing that.” I lean forward, grab the bottle, and smash it against the edge of the table.
The girl screams while the bodyguards reach for their guns and turn toward the booth, but they’re too late. I am already pressing the broken bottle to the side of Shevchenko’s neck, right over his carotid artery.
“Put the guns on the table,” I say without removing my eyes from Shevchenko’s panicked face. Nothing happens.
I look up at his two men, who are standing on the other side of the booth with their guns pointed at me. I grab the hand of the one nearest to me and pull him across the table, shielding myself just before the other man fires. The guy I’m holding screams as the bullet hits his chest. I twist his hand which is still clutching the gun toward the shooter, and squeeze his fingers. The gun fires twice, catching the guy in the stomach both times. As he crumbles to the floor, whimpering, I use the broken bottle to slice the neck of the man I’m holding, then return my attention to Shevchenko. He is still seated, holding the girl to his chest like a sacrificial lamb. His eyes dart from me, over the bloody body sprawled on the table, to his man now lying unconscious on the floor.
“It distresses me when people point guns at me,” I declare and motion toward the girl with my hand. “Come here, sweetheart.”
Her eyes widen. She seems reluctant at first, probably because I have blood dripping from my hand, but then she gets off Shevchenko’s lap and rushes to stand beside me.
“How old are you?” I ask, not removing my eyes from the horror-stricken bastard still sitting in the booth.
“Fifteen,” comes a barely audible whisper.
Fifteen. Jesus Christ. She could be his granddaughter. “Go upstairs,” I say through gritted teeth. “Ask for Pasha. He’ll find someone to take you home.”
I wait for her to leave, then approach the sick son of a bitch who is leaning back in his seat, as if that will help him. Tilting my head to the side, I size him up, then reach for the gun left on the table.
“I don’t like child molesters.” I raise the gun and shoot him in the center of his ugly mug.
After throwing the gun back on the table, I clean the blood from my hand with the corner of Shevchenko’s jacket and turn around to find the waiter and a cleaning lady cowering in the opposite corner of the club, staring at me.
“Is Pasha here?” I ask.
The cleaning lady tries to take a step back, plastering her back to the wall. The waiter blinks and points up. I look up at the gallery suspended over the dance floor. Pavel is on the other side of the glass wall, holding a phone to his ear and looking in my direction. He’s probably calling Roman to tattle on me. I hook my thumb over my shoulder toward the booth, then motion with my hand to signal that he should clean the mess. Pavel squeezes his temples with his free hand and shakes his head. I don’t think he’ll let me conduct meetings at Ural anymore.
My phone rings when I am halfway to my car. I fish it out and take the call without looking at the screen. I don’t have to . . . I have a special tone programmed for my brother.
“Yes?”
“I’m going to fucking kill you!” Roman roars, and I quickly pull the phone away from my ear. The yelling continues for a minute or so, the usual warm family banter. All hearts and rainbows. “ . . . chop you into small pieces, and then feed them to that beast of yours.”
“Mimi doesn’t eat raw meat.” I put the phone back to my ear and light a cigarette. “It’s bad for the digestive tract.”
“You have a week to find me a new buyer. A week. You got that?”
“I already talked with the Camorra last week. They’ll take twice the quantity we sold to Ukrainians. And, I have a meeting with some gangs in the suburbs this weekend. We’re good.”
“Damn it, Sergei.” He sighs.
“Shevchenko said something interesting before I dispatched him. It was about the Irish.”
“What?”
“They’re in negotiations with Diego Rivera. Sounds like they plan on intruding on our turf.”
“Oh, I’d love to see them try,” he snarls. “No more killing off our buyers, Sergei. You hear me?”
“I’ll try my best.”
“He’ll try his best. Wonderful,” Roman mumbles into the phone and hangs up on me.
* * *
As soon as I park my car in the garage, I take a detour to Felix’s place to take a shower and change. I tried not to get any blood on my shirt, but some ended up on my sleeve anyway. I don’t want Angelina to see it or be afraid of me. Also, allowing her to see me covered in blood would require explaining.
When I’m done, I head into the house. There’s no one downstairs, so I run upstairs and into my bedroom, where Angelina is curled on the recliner, holding a book in her hands. For a moment, I think she’s reading one of my detective novels—I have tons—but I stop in my tracks when I notice the cover. She’s holding Anna Karenina, Russian edition. Was Felix right about her?
She looks up from the book and meets my gaze. “How was the meeting?”
“Fine.” I lean on the doorframe and nod toward the book she’s holding. “You speak Russian?”
“Not exactly. I know some basics.” She shrugs. “I took a Russian course my freshman year but eventually decided to focus on English and Italian.”
“How much do you understand?”
“Well, I could probably ask for directions in Russian, and I remember the names of some fruits and vegetables. I know a lot of curse words, though.” She snorts, stands up from the chair, and walks toward the bookshelf to put the book back. “I loved the movie and wanted to try reading. I got stuck on the second sentence because someone wouldn’t let me use the laptop to check the translations.”
I leave my spot at the doorway, walk across the room until I am standing right behind her, and place my hands on the shelf on either side of her. Angelina sucks in a breath and turns around to face me.
“Are you lying to me again, Angelina?” I bend my head to look her directly in the eyes.
“About what?”
“Are you a spy, lisichka?”
She stares at me, then nods, her face a picture of seriousness. “Yeah. You totally busted me.”
I narrow my eyes.
“I went through rigorous martial arts training as well, so you should watch your back when I’m around.”
I look her over and burst out laughing. After her starvation, she’s rail-thin and wouldn’t be able to take on a squirrel. And even if she has lost some of her muscle mass, she doesn’t hold herself like a martial artist.
When my laughing subsides, I study her. She’s smiling, and I can’t remember the last time someone teased me. “Tell me something in Russian.”
“Now?” Her eyebrow curls upward. “What do you want me to say?”
“The first thing that comes to mind.”
Sabaka Bobik,” she blurts out.
I cringe. Her pronunciation is atrocious. “Sabaka Bobik? Where in the hell did you unearth that?”
“It’s a cartoon character.”
I cock my head and regard her as she chuckles. There is something about her . . . something that makes my demons sleep. I don’t remember the last time I felt so calm in someone’s presence. Moving my right hand to the back of her neck, I bury my fingers into her hair. Her eyes widen, but she doesn’t flinch as I expect her to, only watches me. There is no way she’s a spy. Her face is like an open book, and, as I have already concluded, she can’t lie worth a damn.
That still leaves the question of what she was doing on that truck. I wonder about it for probably the thousandth time as I bend my head until my mouth is right next to her ear. “I will find out what you’re hiding, eventually.”

Angelina

I stand utterly still, trying to ignore the compulsion to lean in and inhale Sergei’s scent. He is wearing that cologne again, the one that reminds me of how it felt to be pressed to his solid chest, with those strong arms holding me close. I am not an overly affectionate person, but I imagine my face snuggled into the crook of his neck while his hand slides up and down my back. Like he did that first night.
Sergei straightens, the tip of his nose brushing my cheek in the process, and my breath catches. My eyes follow him as he walks out of the room, and I still feel the goose bumps on the sensitive skin at the back of my neck where his hand has just been. This man is highly dangerous. I’ll have to focus all my energy on getting out of here as soon as possible. This conclusion, however, has nothing to do with his reputation, and everything to do with the fact I don’t like the way my body, as well as my brain, react to him. Being attracted to a person who keeps me prisoner is not normal.
A sound of loud barking outside reaches me, and I walk toward the window and look down at the patio in front of the house. Sergei is standing at the edge of the driveway, holding a stick while Mimi runs around him in excitement. He launches the stick toward the other end of the patio and Mimi dashes after it. For a dog that size, she is rather fast. I move my gaze back to Sergei, wondering why he insists on holding me here.
Does he really believe I’m a spy? If so, wouldn’t it be more reasonable to have me gone? It doesn’t make sense.
It’s rather hard to connect the ruthless, crazy persona my father’s men described, with the guy who is currently rolling on the grass with his dog, and laughing. A killing machine—that’s how they labelled him. Felix also said a similar thing, so there must be some truth in all that, but still . . .
Placing my palm on the window in front of me, I watch the man who’s been the center of my thoughts since the first moment I saw him.

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