Her Russian Billionaires #1 VIKTOR

By: Susan Westwood



The detectives left.

Viktor went into the kitchen. “Go shower and I’ll make you something.”

She watched him for a moment. “Why are you being so nice?”

She didn’t trust nice. He had to have an angle, though for the life of her she couldn’t figure it out. What was his agenda? If not to get her in bed, then what?

“Don’t be so suspicious, Alia.”

“I need to charge my phone,” she said.

“Plug it in anywhere.”

She also had to call Jess, who must be worried by now. She’d bet there were a dozen messages on her phone from her friend. That call back would have to wait.

***

As skittish as a colt, Viktor thought. That girl had seen some trouble in her life. He’d come from nothing. Had seen atrocities in Russia. He’d refused to let it get him down. He’d always had his family.

Maybe that was Alia’s problem. She hadn’t spoken of any family and there’s been no one to worry about her last night. She hadn’t called anyone as far as he knew.

No mother home wondering where she was? No boyfriend thinking she should be at her house by now? Viktor would have to probe further.

Meanwhile he called Sacha.

“Hello,” his brother said in a sleepy voice. It was almost noon and the boy was still in bed.

“Get up, Sacha,” Viktor said. “I need you somewhere within the hour.”

“Did you get in some kind of trouble?”

“No, Alia, the girl from last night, has to go give a statement to the police. I want you there as her lawyer.”

“Alia? Is she still in your apartment?”

“Yes, but it isn’t what you think.”

“You old dog, you.”

As if Viktor was an old man. He was barely thirty-five. “Sacha, stop. What was I supposed to do? Put her out on the street when those men were there?”

“At least tell me you slept with her.”

“No, Sacha I did not. I was a gentleman.”

He gave his brother the address and he agreed to meet him there. Alia came out of the bedroom, showered, but with her clothes from that morning. “I’ll drop you home after the interview.”

“No need. I can get there on my own.”

“Please, let me do this. I’ll feel better knowing you are home safe.”

A myriad of emotions crossed her face. He guessed that she wasn’t used to relying on anyone but herself. For the time being, she was stuck with him. There was something about her that drew him to her. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he found her attractive. It was beyond that.

Maybe he was drawn to the little vulnerability he’d seen in her. Or drawn to her strength. He mused over it as they waited for his car to arrive.

“Does someone else always drive you?” Alia said, eyeing the black car that pulled up outside the nightclub.

“I prefer not to drive in Manhattan,” he said.

She nodded as she climbed into the vehicle. The trip only took about twenty minutes and then they were walking up the steps to the precinct. Alia paused before the door. Viktor opened it for her.

“I can open the door.”

“Has no man ever held the door for you?”

“No.”

“Then you date the wrong men, Alia. A man doesn’t hold a door for you because you can’t. He holds a door for you because he wants to.”

She shrugged, but entered the building. A cacophony of sound hit them when they approached the desk. Her reaction to his holding a door made Viktor wonder what this girl had been through. She was tough. She’d seen a murder and been chased by a murderer. She was a strong woman for sure.

She strode up to the desk clerk. “I’m here to see Detectives Clark and Lewis.”

Viktor stood back, letting her do her thing. She clearly needed to be in charge. Still, he’d stay with her.

She glanced over her shoulder. “You can leave.”

“No. I told you that I’d see you home,” he said.

He wasn’t going to renege on a promise. That wasn’t who he was. And then he could go on his date tonight with a free conscience. Tonight’s woman was one he met at the club. He didn’t often date customers, but she had been in town for a few days last time and wasn’t a regular. She owned her own company. He liked independent women, but he also liked Russian women. They understood how he was.

That’s what intrigued him about Alia. She was so different from him, but he wanted to get to know her. Too bad he probably wouldn’t see her again after this.

Sacha showed up at that moment.

“Alia, this is my brother Sacha. He’s a lawyer. I thought it might be good to have one with you when you get questioned.”

Her eyes widened. “I can’t afford a lawyer.”

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