Her Russian Billionaires #1 VIKTOR

By: Susan Westwood



Her instincts didn’t tell her he was lying, but he could be good. He could be a con artist, not that she had any reason to think that. She sighed.

“How exactly are you going to help me?”

“Would you like to go to school?”

School? She hadn’t thought about it. Her brother Deion was in college. She mulled that over in her mind. “I don’t know. I don’t have the money for school.”

“But I do.”

“Why would you give me money for school?”

“I’m investing in your future.”

She shook her head. “I don’t know what I’d study.”

“Think about it. Meanwhile, we’re going home,” Viktor said.

His tone rankled her. He was used to people doing his bidding. She wasn’t one of his minions. “I’m not your employee. Nor am I beholden to you. I want to go to my house.”

“Alia, please. I think you are in danger. Why not at least take my protection? No strings attached.”

“Because I don’t believe there are no strings.”

“I understand your mistrust, but I’m asking you to believe someone for once. Now let’s go home and talk about it. If you feel that strongly after that, I’ll have my driver bring you back.”

“Even if I decide to stay with you, I’ll have to come back for my clothes.”

He waved a hand at that. “I’ll buy you new ones. No reason to go back to that place. I’m right by your work anyway.”

He did make a compelling argument. Life would be nicer and easier if she lived closer to work. That would save money on subway fare. She was torn.

She bit her lip. “Okay, let’s talk. I’m not saying that I’m moving in. I’m saying that I’ll talk about it. That’s it.”

Viktor’s smile lit up the whole car. He instructed the driver to take them home. Alia sat back in her seat, watching her neighborhood recede. Was she making a mistake? She wished she could talk to Jess, but her phone was on the fritz.

She took it out and tried to dial, but nothing happened.

“First order of business, we get you a new phone,” Viktor said.

“I haven’t agreed to anything yet.”

“Alia? Really? You can’t even use that. We’ll stop on the way home. I’m not taking no for answer.”

She sighed. Viktor could truly be force of nature and right now she was a little tired of her life anyway. “Fine.”

***

Viktor bought Alia a new phone, with her old phone number. She went into her bedroom to make some calls. She returned a few minutes later.

“Here I am with a new phone and can’t reach anyone,” she said.

Viktor laughed. “Shopping for some clothes?”

She bit her lip. He knew she was an independent woman, but he wanted to take care of her. Someone had given him a hand up and he was doing it for her.

“Uh. I guess I need some things. I do have to go to work tonight so we don’t have much time.”

“I have my designer on her way,” he said. “I didn’t know what size you were so she’s going to measure you.”

“Designer?”

“I don’t shop. I hate it. So I have someone who knows my sizes and buys me clothes that she knows I like. In the beginning it was odd, but I don’t have time to shop.”

She plopped down on the couch as if in disbelief. “So, someone is bringing clothing to me?”

“Yes.”

She clearly had never heard of the concept, but she leaped into the experience when the woman arrived.

Lulu, Viktor’s designer and personal shopper, brought a truckload of garments in various sizes. Alia’s eyes were wide and her smile large the whole time. He received as much joy from doing this for her as she clearly got from receiving it.

Lulu left, promising to deliver clothes the next day. Alia dropped onto the couch. “Wow. That was exhausting.”

Viktor realized that they’d never had a discussion, but Alia seemed to be embracing his gift.

“I have to go to work,” she said. “I need a shower then I’ll be off.”

“I can walk you there. I want to make sure you are safe.”

“When does your club open? Why not have one of your bouncers do that. Surely you delegate most things?”

She had a good point. He was a large man, but his fighting skills were rusty. One of his bouncers would be better suited.

“I’ll call Arkady in early and he can walk you.”

“I’m not sure it’s necessary.”

“I think it is. I’m not arguing on this point,’ he said.

“Okay. We don’t’ know if those guys are lurking out there.”

“They won’t be, but their associates might and you don’t know what they look like.”

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