Her Russian Billionaires #2 SACHA

By: Susan Westwood



Sacha frowned at his brother. “This is airtight. I’m going to have to do some research to prove there is no historical significance to this building.”

A delay. He should have known things were going too smoothly. He sighed, then handed the piece of paper back to Kendra. “Okay. I’ll stop, but I plan on having a full report on your desk in a week. Then I will knock down this building.”

He got in her personal space when he said those words. To her credit, she didn’t flinch. She didn’t blink. She just held his gaze as if she wasn’t intimidated by him. He couldn’t even detect a flutter in the pulse at her long neck.

She smelled of peaches. His favorite fruit.

“I’ll look forward to it,” she said.

He waited for her to turn away under his scrutinizing gaze, but didn’t seem to be cowed. How odd. Most people found his resting face to be scary. His ice blue eyes and almost Nordic blond hair made him seem like an obvious James Bond villain. Guess Kendra didn’t watch those movies. He finally stepped away from her. He saw the lilt of a smile on her lips. She’d been doing it on purpose. Damn her. He didn’t back down to a woman.

“Have a good day, Mr. Kozlov.”

She spun round then left him watching her walk away. She had curves into next week. And that ass would probably be like biting a watermelon. Damn. He shouldn’t be thinking about his adversary that way.

Viktor’s chuckle brought him back to reality from mooning over Kendra Elliot.

“Pack it up. There will be no demolition today,” he said.

“You okay, Sacha?” Alia said.

He smiled down at her. “I’ve only been waylaid. It will still all come together.”

She smiled back at him. “That Kozlov tenacity.”

She squeezed her husband’s hand. His sister-in-law knew all about his family’s tenacity. It had taken that to finally bring Viktor and Alia together. Despite his initial dislike of Alia, she’d turned out to be good for his brother. The man had more balance in his life.



*

Kendra was about to finish her day. A friend was picking Cliff up form after school care. She didn’t have to relieve the aid at her apartment because for a rare treat, she had paid for someone to stay overnight. Kendra planned on meeting Tembi for a drink. Just one. She wasn’t going to get outrageous; one lone drink and a chance at adult conversation that didn’t have to do with preserving buildings.

Kendra wasn’t completely sold on the idea of saving the old building, but that didn’t meant she didn’t give her all to the cause. She was a pragmatist. She had to be. Taking care of her mother and her little brother, she had no choice.

Once in a while she treated herself. Tonight was that night.

Her phone rang. She hoped Tembi wasn’t backing out. She didn’t recognize the number, but her instincts told her to answer it.

“Hello?”

“Miss Elliott?”

“Yes.”

“This is Sacha Kozlov.”

She hadn’t received his report yet. She couldn’t wait to see what he came up with. Smug billionaires rarely backed down from what they wanted. She didn’t think that Sacha Kozlov would be any different. Men that rich thought that they could get away with everything. If they threw enough money at it, all would be right.

“Yes?”

“I’d like to meet you and give you this report in person.”

“I’m about to leave the office, but you can drop it off here in the mailbox slot in the door.”

“No, I want to hand it to you.”

Must not have found anything historical. He wouldn’t be so smug if he did. She’d have to have someone at Preservation One check his work. Not her job. Her job was to grant them time to do it by blocking demolition. Some of the bigger companies could keep it tied up for years. Thankfully the organization didn’t pay her by the case. No, she was on salary. Not a large one, but it kept a roof over their heads.

She sighed. She’d have to send a text to Tembi that she was going to be late. “Where do you want to meet?”

“At the building,” he said.

“Why there?”

“It’ll make sense when I talk to you.”

“Fine. I can be there in fifteen minutes.”

She could walk. She didn’t want to take a bus or move her car. The bar she was meeting Tembi at was close to her office. No need to find a new parking space. She walked in the warm weather of spring, the building that was almost knocked down a week ago. It was a majestic building made of stone with tall windows. It had a certain charm. Wanting out of the heat, Kendra tried the front door. It was open.

She was early so she looked around. Then she heard voices, but something in their tone told her not to yell out. Mr. Kozlov could already be here. She stopped, listening to see what direction the sounds came from. She moved closer, tiptoeing. She peeked around a corner and almost gasped. Standing in the room was Carmen Lopez, a Councilman for the City. He was up for re-election. What was he doing here? Was he meeting Sacha?

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