Sacha, Her Russian Billionaire

By: Susan Westwood

Chapter1



Kendra Elliott picked up her younger brother’s backpack from the hallway for the third time that day. She’d tripped over it the first time then she’d moved it. Her brother, Cliff, was being obstinate about getting to kindergarten this morning. She had no time for this. She looked at her watch. He’d miss the bus. She’d have to drive him and she had an injunction to file. Some Russian guy was trying to knock down a building that might have historical significance. She was going to stop him.

As the lawyer for the Historical Preservation Society, a non-profit organization, she was always filing injunctions to stop people. No one seemed to care about history anymore.

Her mother, Jamaica Elliott, just sat on the couch; she had Alzheimer’s and most of the time didn’t know where she was. An aid should have been here by now so she could go to work. She couldn’t leave her mother here alone.

She opened her front door then crossed the hall the apartment of her best friend, Tembi. She worked as a flight attendant and often had several days in a row off. She hoped her friend hadn’t gotten in late last night.

Tembi opened the door, her hair a mess and a big yawn creasing her face. “Hey, Kendra.”

“My mother’s aid is late. Can you stay with her until she comes?”

“As long as she doesn’t mind me in my pajamas,” Tembi said.

“You could be naked and she wouldn’t notice.”

Her mother’s doctor had been pushing Kendra to put Jamaica in a home. Kendra didn’t have a heart to do it, but she was having more and more trouble getting people to stay with her mother. She couldn’t afford to lose her job. All three of them would be out on the street.

If she left this second, she might get to court on time for the hearing on her filing for an injunction. The judge certainly wouldn’t grant it to her if she wasn’t there. She knew that judge well. Punctuality was as important as your paperwork being correct. Kendra’s heart sped up when she found Cliff in the doorway to his bedroom. In his underwear.

“Is that how you want to go to school?”

“Yes.”

“Then fine.”

She scooped up his clothes, tucked them in his backpack then dragged him out the door. She buckled him into his car seat. He cried as she did it. She could dress him in the care before she dropped him off.

“I want to get dressed,” Cliff said.

“When we get to school.”

“My friends will see me in my underwear.”

“Not if you dress in the car.”

“I’ll dress now.”

“Not, while I’m driving.”

His school was close to her work and close to the courthouse. This way she could pick him up easily when he was sick. She could park once then walk him to the front door. He’d only have to dress in a parking garage.

She turned the key on her ten year old car. With her loans and small salary, she couldn’t afford anything else. I made a dying whale noise. “Please start. Please start.”

Cliff couldn’t miss another day of school. Nor did she have anyone who could take care of him today. All of her usuals were unavailable. She had to file this injunction before the building was knocked down.

The car finally started.

Damn greedy billionaire.

“You said a bad word, Kendra.”

Crap. She’d said that out loud. “I’m an adult. I’m allowed to.”

“No fair.”

“Life isn’t fair. If it were, we’d both have a father and I’d be making a huge salary.”

Cliff giggled. “You say that all the time.”

She pulled into the parking garage. She swiped her pass. The gate opened which always made Cliff squeal. Oh, to be a kid and see the joys in the small things in life. Life was simpler at five years old. As much as sometimes she wanted to curse her mother for having a baby late in life, she loved the little boy. Probably had been part of her early onset Alzheimer’s. She didn’t even remember the father or having sex. But she did and along came Cliff.

He’d made Kendra a less selfish person. She’d worked even harder with Cliff in the picture. She wanted better for him than what she had, but she could never give him a father. She wasn’t ever getting married.

She had sex sometimes. She had a few friends with benefits she could call on when she got the itch, but nothing was going to amount to a romance. Tembi would joke that she’d had her heart removed at law school. At least she’d had the romantic love part excised. That only led to heartache.

Cliff chose to dress himself, standing in the back seat of her car. She took his hand when he was done and he hosted his backpack onto his one shoulder. She dropped him off. He hugged her now that he was calm. She just had to wait him out. He always saw her way of doing thing eventually.

“Bye Kendra.”

He skipped into his school. She sighed for a moment. Must be what a mother felt for her child. Kendra then turned and raced to the courthouse. She arrived a little hot, but not sweaty.

Her phone rang before she could go inside. It was Tembi. Not good.

“Hello?”

“Hey, did you leave food for your Mom? She’s hungry.”

Her mother hadn’t eaten breakfast this morning. “Can you make her eggs?”

“Yes, I can. Okay if I make myself some?”

“Go ahead.”

She’d have to pick up more because everyone ate them in the house. Hopefully she’d remember by the time her day ended. She reached the court with seconds to spare. She didn’t even sit down when the Bailiff told everyone to rise. The judge entered the courtroom with a stack of papers. The woman didn’t look happy, but Kendra crossed her fingers behind her hoping all would go well.

***

Sacha Kozlov stood beside his brother, Viktor. Both had hard hats on, waiting for the wrecking ball operator to start his piece of machinery.

Viktor turned to Sacha. “You ready?”

Sacha was. He was out on his own and going to open his own nightclub. Not anything that competed with his brother’s in another part of Manhattan. Viktor’s was a private club. Sacha’s ideas were bigger than that. He wanted to make the hottest club in the city. The only thing standing in his way was this building that had to be knocked down.

The crane operator started his machinery. Sacha’s heart sped up. He couldn’t have been more excited. Despite being a lawyer, he was looking forward to owning his own business. He’d been Viktor’s lawyer for years, but had chosen to go out on his own. He’d saved his money. A few class action suits had helped and now his net worth rivaled his brother’s. Viktor had made it clear how proud he was of his younger brother. Sacha had made enough that he could be sitting at home. He’d always been more ambitious than that.

The wrecking ball would topple this building. The one Sacha had planned would be bigger and have a penthouse for him. He already resided in one, but he wanted to be closer to work. Besides, he’d own the whole building this time. Presently he only owned the top floor of where he lived.

“This is so exciting, Sacha,” Alia Kozlov said.

His new sister-in-law also wore a hard hat. Her smiled creased her face. She glowed with the early stages of pregnancy. Her flat stomach hadn’t begun to show yet, but he’d been assured that he would be an uncle in six months. And he’d bet his big, bad older brother would dote on that child. They’d built a house in the suburbs, choosing not to raise kids in Manhattan. He understood that even though he and Viktor had been raised in the city. Kids should have room to run.

Not that he was close to having them. No woman had caught his eye and with the amount of work this nightclub, Zap, would be to get up and running, he doubted he’d find someone now. Marriage and kids would have to wait. Besides, he already had a kid. He just didn’t know where the little one was. That was something else on his list for the year. Find his son.

“Wait, stop!” someone yelled above the sound of the crane.

Sacha spun around to see a stacked, black woman rushing toward him. She wore a suit and a fiery look. Wow. Those were some luscious lips, but why was she yelling?

She finally reached him, her hair a little mussed. “Stop.”

“No, we’re on schedule,” Sacha said.

He signaled to the crane operator to continue.

“No, you aren’t,” she said.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Kendra Elliott. I’m an attorney for Preservation One. I have an injunction to stop demolition of this building.”

Sacha blinked. It was a decrepit building. Who cared if it was historical? He wanted to replace it with something safe; something that would create some jobs.

She handed him a piece of paper. He read it through, admiring how thorough she’d been in her wording. She was a good lawyer and he didn’t see any way around it.

“Damn,” Sacha said.

Her smile was triumphant. This woman and her injunction stood between him and his dream. Why did he find her sexy? Maybe it was her unwavering gaze. She hadn’t taken her eyes of off him. She must feel very right in her position.

“Is there a problem?” Viktor said.

He’d hand his brother the piece of paper, but it wouldn’t mean anything. His brother wasn’t a lawyer. “She has an injunction to stop the demolition until it’s proven beyond a doubt that this building isn’t historical.”

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