Glazov (Born Bratva Book 1) - Suzanne Steele

Chapter One

Kathleen

I waved in my assistant, Robin, and then held up a finger to signify I’d be with her in a moment. I was in the middle of a call, but even as distracted as I was with the conversation, I could tell there was something gravely wrong with my employee. She had always been a timid soul, perhaps even a bit skittish, but today, her elevated anxiety was evident by the way she toyed with her fingers. Something was making her very nervous.

I was finally able to end the call, so I directed my full attention to my assistant. Brushing the loose strands of my auburn hair away from my face, I leaned back in my chair and waited for Robin to tell me what had her so distressed.

“I’m in trouble, Kathleen, and I mean big trouble. I’m in way over my head. I borrowed money from Alexander Glazov.”

Her words hit me like a ton of bricks.

“Alexander Glazov? As in the Russian mobster, Alexander Glazov?”

“Yes,” she sobbed.

I stared at her in disbelief as she wiped her tear-stained face and continued talking. Witnessing her despair, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of compassion for this woman. After all, she had not only been a wonderful employee, but she was a dear and trusted friend as well.

“I started gambling, Kathleen, and I was winning. It was like a drug—an endorphin high or something—until I started losing. Oh God, what have I done? This guy kills people for a living.”

“How much money, Robin?”

“I started going to underground games, and before I knew it, I was losing and borrowing money from the house. That’s when…”

“Robin!” I cut her off. “I need to know how much money.”

“One hundred thousand,” she mumbled. “I have a husband and kids. This guy is a killer…” she trailed off, and her sobs only intensified at the thought of how indebted she was to the notorious mobster.

“Let me see what I can do, Robin. For now, I just want you to calm down and go back to work. I’ll handle it.” When I spoke, I was proud my reassurance sounded so full of strength and confidence because those were two attributes I most certainly didn’t feel like I possessed at the moment. I only made it through the rest of the day by distracting myself and pushing any thoughts of what I’d have to do later this evening out of my head.

I engulfed myself in paperwork, going through page after page until my eyes crossed. I would have gladly kept going too, even beyond the time I normally left for the day, if only it meant I wouldn’t have to face Alexander Glazov on my employee’s behalf.

Kathleen

The sound of my heels click clacking in the back alley as I walked towards the two large suited men only seemed to exacerbate my anxiety.

I stood straight and spoke as I eyed them, determined not to show any fear. “I need to speak with Mr. Glazov, please.”

The brawny guard snickered as he said something in his native Russian tongue to his counterpart, and then he stared at me as he spoke into his earpiece.

I suddenly found myself being grateful for the long trench coat I had chosen to wear. It covered my entire body and, at the moment, provided me with much needed modesty. Something about the way the guard eyed me gave me the creeps, though, I’m sure it wasn’t every day they were approached by women demanding entrance. Perhaps I was just a novelty and was reading too much into it. I’m sure most women had more sense than to come here, but I wasn’t thinking with my head right now; I was thinking with my heart.

“Come,” he growled.

I almost had to run to keep up with his long strides. Apparently, hospitality was not an important quality to this ogre. I would find out in a matter of moments, his lack of etiquette was the least of my worries.

He led me down a long corridor and tapped on a large wooden door. A voice bade him enter, and I found myself staring into the cold blue eyes of the man who would soon change my life.

Chapter Two

Glazov

I eyed the tall redhead who stood before me and immediately recognized her. I first saw her when my men brought back surveillance on the bitch who owed me a hundred grand. That I knew her identity would remain my little secret though. My curiosity was piqued, as was my sadistic nature to toy