Her Russian Billionaires #2 SACHA

By: Susan Westwood



No, he’d been a C-section baby. His mother said he’d never gone in the birth canal. He wasn’t content to do it the way he was supposed to; the story of his entire life since law school. Instead of studying political science he’d gone for business before law school. Then he’d taken a year off to work for Viktor. Law school had been good and he’d passed the bar exam on the second try when most of his classmates, who’d had better grades than his, took three and four tries.

Despite offers from various high-powered law firms, Sacha had chosen to work at Legal Aid. He didn’t need the money. He’d invested well during his college years and had plenty of money. His next project was the nightclub, but he wanted to do this properly.

If the building in question had been historical, he would have worked with it, but as far as he could tell, it had no historical significance. Preservation One was just being obstructionist. That organization traditionally didn’t like progress. Given that Kendra didn’t seem as passionate about the cause as she could have been, how had she landed that job?

He put his hand over hers that rested on the seat between them. “I know this is hard. I get that, but realize that I’m none of those people who let you down.”

She eyed his hand, and then pulled away. He sighed. Like dealing with a skittish colt or a woman who had been abused by her husband. He’d dealt with a few of those in his Legal Aid days. He’d been able to coax every one of them to press charges and see it through. He was sure his being a man had worked against him most of the time, but his charm, when he chose to use it, paved the way.

“You realize that doesn’t matter. The damage is done. I don’t trust easily.”

“Got that. Well you got in the car with me so I think you trust me a little.”

“A little. I have no choice. You have resources. I don’t.”

“Got it.”

He understood where he ranked with her. The obstacles with Kendra weren’t insurmountable, just difficult. Sacha liked a challenge.

They picked up Cliff at a park near where he was supposed to have spent the night. Sacha looked at his phone. “Your mother is on her way up state.”

“No problems?”

“None.”

Kendra looked relieved. “Good.”

Cliff eyed him. He was a handsome little boy with big, brown eyes. He held onto a tiny car in his fist.

“Hi, Cliff. I’m Sacha.”

“Mr. Kozlov,” Kendra corrected. “He’s been taught to address all adults that way.”

“Fine. Mr. Kozlov, if you must. You and Kendra are going to come live with me for a time.”

He held out his hand. The boy took it after prompting from Kendra. The boy’s hand was so small in his, but it squeezed his heart. His son was this age. It had been a strange time in his life and the woman he’d made pregnant had been adamant that she’d was going to give him up. Where Sacha was in his life, he agreed to sign off custody rights. He regretted it ever since. Viktor didn’t know about this child. He would have wanted him to keep the baby, but Sacha didn’t think he could raise the child. Now he knew that he could give that child every advantage. He had people looking for the boy. Adoption laws had been loosened and if the adoptive couple agreed, he might be able to see the boy. He knew nothing about him, having not been there at his birth.

“Where are you from?” Cliff asked.

“That’s rude, Cliff,” Kendra said.

Sacha shook his head. “He’s just curious. That’s okay. I was born in Russia, outside of Moscow. Though I’ve lived in the United States since was just a little older than you are. I haven’t completely lost my accent. Is that why you asked?”

“Yes.”

Cliff snuggled up to Kendra. “I’m hungry.”

“We can eat something when we get to my apartment. You’ll have to tell me what you like so I can keep it in my kitchen.”

“Cheetos?” Cliff said.

“I can get whatever you want.”

Kendra shook her head. “Not Cheetos. Mr. Kozlov means healthy food.”

“Oh,” Cliff said, a frown forming on his face.

Sacha leaned across the seat to get closer to Cliff. “We’ll see what we can do.”

Cliff smiled at him and he thought he might have won the boy’s heart. Kendra was going to be a much tougher sell. The boy dozed off leaning against Kendra. Sacha studied him wondering what his own son looked like now. Did he eat Cheetos?

Kendra gazed out the window. “Don’t encourage him, Mr. Kozlov.”

“Sacha. Please. If we’re going to be living together I think we can call each other by our first names.”

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