Authors: Bella Rose
Russian Mobster’s Blackmailed Bride
By: Bella Rose
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright 2016 Bella Rose
Table of Contents
to subscribe to my newsletter for a chance to win free books!
Trisha threw her hands up into the air and shouted with excitement as the little white ball tripped and bounced along the roulette wheel. Around her, the new friends she’d made in her study abroad program were drunk on cheap liquor and the freedom of being out of the dormitory. The ball finally settled into a red slot, and the dealer called it. Trisha grabbed her friend Minka’s arm, and the two girls did a little victory dance.
“We won!” Trisha was practically screaming to be heard over cheers and moans from the other people at the table.
The casino in Moscow was everything Trisha could have wanted for an adventure. The high ceilings were covered in ornate carvings coated in gold leaf. Rich draperies hung from ceiling to floor. The floors themselves were marble shot with pretty pink quartz. And there were sexy Russian dealers at every single table. The place was a college student’s dream.
Minka nudged Trisha’s shoulder. “That man over there. He’s looking at you. Did you notice?”
It took Trisha’s pleasure-soaked brain an extra second to translate her new friend’s words from Russian to English. Then she hazarded a look in the direction Minka was staring.
“No!” Trisha sucked in a quick breath. “Wow. He looks serious.”
“He’s handsome, though. It would be worth walking by and giving him a smile, don’t you think?” Minka asked slyly.
Trisha smiled at her friend. “Easy for you to say. You’re gorgeous.” Unlike Trisha’s stereotypical redhead appearance.
“I look like every girl in Moscow.” Minka rolled her blue eyes.
With her long blonde hair, pale skin, and willowy figure, Minka certainly did look like every other woman in Moscow. Except the other fifty percent of the population who were dark and good looking. From what Trisha had seen so far, it was a whole country full of beautiful people.
“Come.” Minka started dragging Trisha in that direction. “Let’s go. Now!”
“Oh fine!” Trisha giggled and swiped her chips off the table and into the little velvet bag she’d been given for that purpose. “But when he laughs at me, I’m blaming you.”
Trisha smoothed the skirt of her sassy black dress.
Minka nodded with approval. “You look good. That dress suits you.”
“Really? Because I feel like blowing the rest of my clothing allowance on one dress was a bad idea.” Trisha sighed. “I don’t want to go back to Cleveland this weekend. I’d rather just stay in Moscow.”
“At least you don’t live in Siberia,” Minka teased. “I have to go home to a tiny village where all of the men are my relatives.”
“You’re right.” Trisha held up her hands to indicate surrender. “You win.”
Both women knew they were being intentionally dramatic and flirty. They were getting closer to their target. The nearer they got, the more Trisha grew fascinated with the man standing by the big drapes. He seemed to be watching the whole room in the way she might imagine a king would survey his kingdom.
Minka began cursing in Russian, her fluency making it impossible for Trisha to keep up. It was something about the guy being edible, which he certainly was.
Then she poked Trisha. “He still stares at you. Look!”
Everything about this man was dark. He was very tall, over six feet if Trisha was any judge. He wore an impeccably tailored black suit. Diamond cuff links glittered at his wrists, and the fine linen shirt he wore was snug over what had to be killer abs. Still, it wasn’t the suit or the obvious wealth announced by the jewel-encrusted watch he wore. There was something undeniably powerful about this man.
His eyes were dark, like pools of midnight in his chiseled face. His stare made Trisha’s skin tingle. She felt as though he’d touched her without actually doing so. He didn’t smile. His lips remained in a firm line. But she could easily imagine what it would look like to see a sensual smile curve those lips. His dark eyes would glitter, and Trisha knew that she would melt from the inside out.
Minka grabbed Trisha’s arm. “He is making my panties wet, and I haven’t even spoken to him,” she whispered fervently.
Trisha couldn’t help it. She burst into laughter. So much for being mysterious and sexy. Apparently it just wasn’t in her nature to be alluring. Feeling bold, she threw the sexy stranger one of her best smiles. Not a flirty smile. Not a come-and-get-me smile. Just a real, uninhibited grin to see if she could shake some of that self possession.
To her shock, he smiled back.
She nearly stumbled and went to her knees as she and Minka cruised by the stranger’s station near the bar on their way to the ladies’ room.
“Holy cow,” Trisha breathed.
She had been right. The smile transformed that man’s face into something an angel might envy. His eyes gleamed as though he knew the most delectable secret. The slight curve of his mouth was inviting. And Trisha felt her entire body tighten in response.
Finally, she and Minka were past the temptation. The two of them slipped into the ladies’ room. Trisha waved her hand in front of her face to fan away the flames of embarrassment as much as desire. That had most certainly been fun even if nothing would ever come of it.
“Okay,” Trisha began, switching to English so she could say exactly what she meant. “That guy was incredible! Seriously! Who looks like that?”
Minka was giggling. She stared into the mirror for a few seconds before pulling a tube of lipstick from her clutch. “Ah. Dreams look like that. Don’t you think?”
“I’ve been with a few guys back home,” Trisha mused. “But I can safely say I’ve never even seen anyone that looks that yummy. I wonder who he is?”
Both young women realized at about the same time that they were not alone in the ladies’ room. In the far corner of the lounge area sat a woman of such sophistication that Trisha felt almost wistful with envy. “Blonde bombshell” was an apt description. Legs two miles long, a tight silver dress that showed off most of her thighs and a good portion of her smooth back and generous cleavage, and the woman had the narrow face of a professional model.
“Ridiculous!” she said in accented Russian. She stood, sweeping Minka and Trisha with a derisive glance. “You speak of things you know nothing about.”
Trisha frowned, wondering what they’d done to earn this woman’s ire. She struggled for exactly the words she wanted in Russian. “People speak of what they don’t know in order to learn. Or we can just remain angry and ignorant like others do.”
The woman obviously knew to whom Trisha was referring. She straightened so much that Trisha almost expected to hear her spine snap. “That man you are discussing with such disrespect is Anatoly Zaretsky.”
“Okay.” Trisha pressed her lips into a thin line and nodded. “Thanks for the tip.”
“You fool!” The lady gave a delicate snort. “He is the owner of the casino.”
Minka gave a little gasp.
understands.” The woman turned and swept out of the ladies’ room as though she were a princess.
“Is this important?” Trisha asked her friend. “Of course a casino owner is going to hang around. It’s his business. He wants to know what’s going on.”
“Yes,” Minka said hurriedly. “But this casino is mafia owned.”
Trisha was certain she’d heard wrong. “I’m sorry.
did you say?”
ANATOLY WONDERED WHERE Bianka had wandered off to. Not that he particularly cared, but he was tired, and since he had agreed to escort her this evening, that meant he was required to see her home. He was more than ready to dump her back at her apartment and return to his own place to call it a night.
“Sir?” Fyodr approached from the direction of the security room.
As the head of security for Anatoly’s casinos, Fyodr rarely left his lair. That meant there had been some sort of incident and Anatoly wasn’t going to be able to go home anytime soon.
He sighed. “Report?”
“We’ve had an incident.”
“Incident” referred to someone cheating the house.
Anatoly raised his brows, surprised. “Truly?”
“Yes. A group of students from the Moscow Academy were playing roulette. Prior to that, they were at the blackjack tables. Someone was counting cards. We have him on video.”
“Bring them in.” Anatoly rubbed his face, feeling tired and out of sorts. “To my office please. The whole group.”
Bianka finally showed up just as Anatoly was turning to head for his office on the top floor of the casino’s attached hotel. Her appearance irritated him. Had she not wasted so much time primping in the bathroom, they could have been gone and he would not have had to deal with this incident.
“Where have you been?” he demanded.
She raised her elegant eyebrows in surprise. “You will watch your tone when you speak to me, Anatoly Zaretsky.”
“And you will not provoke me any further.” He narrowed his gaze on her. “I will have Frederick take you home.”
“What?” Now she looked positively incensed. The expression twisted her normally pretty face into something quite ugly. “You promised to escort me.”
“And now I have business to deal with.”
Her lips formed a pout. “You have ignored me all evening. And then I hear two young women in the bathroom sighing over how handsome you are and how you made them feel good when you smiled at them.”
“This is hardly reason for a tantrum, no?” He didn’t even bother to hide his annoyance. “The two young women you speak of walked by. I didn’t seek them out. We didn’t even speak. Are you accusing me of something? Because I might remind you that as a single man, I could fuck my way through every woman in this casino and it would be none of your business.”
Bianka sucked in a sharp breath of obvious shock. “You would never! You have agreed to marry me!”
“No.” He wondered why she persisted in this delusion. “I did not. Your father approached me on the topic, and as I recall, I said no quite emphatically.”
“But the Zaretskys and the Sokolovs must have an alliance if we are to thrive here in Moscow! You cannot turn your back on that.”
“And surely you are not using
as a way to pressure me into marriage,” he said silkily. “Do you not want a man that wishes to be with you because he
“You like me.” She put her hand on his shoulder and stood quite close. He could not breathe with the overwhelming scent of her perfume clouding his nose. Still, she was not done. She stood on tiptoe and brushed her lips over his cheek. “You know you want me.”
“Actually, I don’t.” He shrugged her off. Grabbing her hands, he tried to be gentle as he deliberately set her away from his space. “You are a snake. I cannot imagine how I would enjoy that sliminess in my bed.”
“You bastard!” Drawing back, she tried to slap him across the face.
Anatoly caught her hand, holding it firmly in his. “Nobody strikes me, Bianka. That was your last mistake. I do not care who your father is. Although you must know that the old man would be heartily ashamed by your behavior. At least
knows how a woman should act.”
He snapped his fingers at one of the enforcers standing nearby.
The man hopped to attention, striding over and giving a curt bow. “Sir?”
“Please escort Ms. Sokolov to the casino’s exit. She is no longer welcome here. Have Frederick take her home please?”
Another curt bow, this one accompanied by a raised brow as the enforcer processed the request. “Yes, sir. Right away.”