Her Russian Billionaires #1 VIKTORBy: Susan Westwood
The man could probably snap her into two.
First, he’d have to catch her and she’d been a track star in high school. He led her up a set of stairs. Below, men and women danced to a techno beat. Colored lights swirled all around her. Then they were through a door and the music couldn’t be heard anymore.
This hallway was well-lit and had carpeting that muffled their footsteps. He pointed to a chair. “You wait here. Boss will call you in.”
He spun on his heel and left her to contemplate who the boss was.
Viktor Kozlov stood at the window in his office that overlooked the dance floor. Bodies moved and writhed to some music that always gave him a headache. That’s why he’d soundproofed the upstairs of his club.
Every club he owned was this way. No matter what city in the world, he’d built the second floor the same way. Each club looked different, but not his space.
He ran a legitimate, private club, keeping a low profile in some nice neighborhoods around the world. This venture in Manhattan was newer to him. He wasn’t sure he liked it here in America.
Bribing did not work. You had to work within most of the laws. Unless you found a dirty official who could be bribed. Not as simple as Russia where you knew everyone wanted to be paid off.
He sighed. And now this woman was out the hallway with a story of a murder. He ran a tight ship and didn’t let any crime from the outside world invade his place.
“She’s waiting,” Sacha, his younger brother and lawyer, said.
“Just hear her story, then let her loose. No one’s knocked on our door so they have no idea she’s here.”
Viktor frowned then turned back to his brother. “Let her in and leave us alone. Have someone check around the block to see if anyone suspicious is about.”
“You want to see her alone? What if she says you tried to do something with her,” Sacha said.
He was always looking at things from a legal angle. Once in a while Viktor was sorry he’d paid for his brother’s schooling. The kid thought too much.
“Alone. Send her in,” Viktor said.
He was the oldest. He was the one to be obeyed.
Sacha nodded, then left. The girl didn’t walk in meekly. No, she strode into his office as if she was ready to take it over. Pretty ballsy for a woman who’d supposedly seen a murder. Then he looked into her eyes and knew her posture was mere bravado.
She was scared and her gaze darted around the room. Probably looking for a second escape route. Viktor remembered thinking like that. He was out of practice as his life had been very good since making his billions on nightclubs.
He brought the hottest Russian acts in, so, for a few hours, ex-pats from that part of the world could feel as if they were home. They paid well to have membership and in return, he made the place a safe haven.
Now this dark woman stood tall in his office. She might bring crime to his peaceful slice of heaven.
“I’d rather stand,” she said.
Her voice was sexy. Husky and smooth at the same time. Deeper than most women’s voices. It stirred something in him. He tamped it down. She would be on her way in a matter of minutes. As soon as his men said that, the area was safe.
He wanted her gone, but he had enough of a conscience to make sure she arrived to her destination safely.
“Tell me what you saw.”
“There were three men. One had a gun on another man. The other man was kneeling. I looked away then heard a gunshot. When I looked back, the kneeling man was on the ground. The man with the gun saw me, so I ran.”
Viktor sat down on his buttery leather chair. He steepled his hands in front of him then observed her. Now that her gaze had alighted on him, she wasn’t backing down.
“So you ran and found my club.”
“The door was open and about to close so I slipped in.”
“You could have entered any establishment on the block. Why mine?” he said.
“Yours was the only door open. All the bars are closed.”
“Mine is not because it is a private club.”
“I didn’t check the sign before I came here. I was running for my life.”
She had spunk. Even when she didn’t have the upper hand, she stood up to him.
Other than his mother, no one stood up to him. He wanted to laugh.
His phone on his desk buzzed. He answered it. “Viktor.”
“There are two men lurking on the other side of the street from us. Do you want me to take care of them?” his guard, Yuri, asked.
“No. That would make them suspicious. Leave them. I’ll deal with the woman.”
He hung up.
“Alia,” she said.
“My name is Alia.”
Viktor nodded. “The two men are still out there. It isn’t safe for you.”
▶ Also By Susan Westwood
- · Her Russian Billionaires #3 NIKO
- · Her Russian Billionaires #2 SACHA
- · Her Russian Billionaires #1 VIKTOR
- · Amedeo, Her Italian Billionaire
- · Her Russian Billionaire: Niko
- · Her Russian Billionaire: Sacha
- · Her Russian Billionaire: Viktor
- · Dante, Her Italian Billionaire
- · Sacha, Her Russian Billionaire
- · Viktor, Her Russian Billionaire