My Russian Master (Service & Submission Book 3)(7)

By: Megan Michaels

She hadn’t always been a size sixteen. In college she’d been down to a size six. But the amount of work to maintain that sort of figure became unrealistic. She’d been one who liked the more drastic measures girls used to stay thin, she found herself eating very little every day, then binging on pizza and beer on Fridays with her roommate Avery, doing “body cleanses” or laxatives, to purge weight on a daily basis.

And, thankfully, Avery had caught on and convinced her to stop with the purging. She’d always love her for that. Avery had helped her over that hurdle and kept her away from it — for the most part — for the next four years.

Speaking of which, I need to call her and fly her out for a weekend. A girl weekend.

She missed her girl time with Avery Beauchamp — Harrison, now. Avery had married an attorney, the same attorney who had made her clean his house as punishment for selling stolen goods. She been amazed that Avery — sweet, kind (and crazy) daughter of a judge, Avery — had committed a crime. God, the crazy times they’d had in college as roommates. She needed to get her out here for a weekend so they could rip up the town again. She wrote a note on her phone reminding herself to give Avery a call tonight.

Picking up the Parker files on her desk, she shook her head trying to focus. No need to concern herself over things she had no control over and his reactions fell into that category.

* * *

The long flight had been grueling. He’d forgotten how exhausting it was to fly to the US. Feeling like the walking dead, he and his fellow passengers had made their way down into the bowels of the airport, congregating like zombies in baggage claim.

Now, Maxim waited for his bags to appear, the only sounds the murmur of tired travelers and the repeated squeaking of one of the rollers each time the metal plates swung around the turn at each end of the stainless steel carousel.

A hulking, tall man walked up to him.

“Hi! Are you Maxim Volkov?”

“Who are you?” Maxim looked him up and down. Tall, well built — somebody who obviously worked out daily. Dark hair, piercing green eyes. Security, maybe.

“I’m Jason Steele, Ms. Caroline Turner’s security and chauffer. You’re a dead ringer for your pictures.” He extended his hand.

Maxim shook it. The man had a strong handshake. “Nice to meet you. I am waiting for my bag.” They both turned their attention to the carousel.

Once the luggage had been retrieved, they made their way to the car. As Maxim climbed into the front seat, he grabbing his phone out of his pocket saying to Jason as he dialed, “Samantha told me to call Caroleena’s office when we were leaving.”

Jason laughed. “Dude, you better start saying her name right. She’ll have your head on a platter. She isn’t someone to mess around with.”

Maxim raised his eyebrows at him. “Does she give you trouble?”

“No. Nobody gives me trouble. I don’t tolerate such behavior.” Jason looked in his mirrors before pulling out of the parking lot into traffic. “Ask my wife — or Caroline for that matter.”

“Same here. She will see fast that I am my own boss. I listen and accommodate to a certain degree. After that, it’s done my way.” He paused to listen to Samantha on the other end of the line. “Hi, Samantha. We are on our way. Yes, Jason found me. See you soon.” He shut the phone off, slipping it into the inside pocket on his suit coat.

“This’ll be fun to watch. The sparks ought to fly with you two. She’s a tough cookie and has a mouth on her.” Jason whistled, shaking his head. “Prepare yourself, man.”

“No preparation necessary. I’m always ready.”

“Good. You’ll need to be on your toes with her.”

“Speaking of which, she said for me to spend the night at her penthouse. Does she do that when she wants? Do you allow that? You are her security, no?” Maxim turned in his seat to watch Jason’s reaction to the question. He wasn’t disappointed in the response either.

Jason’s gaze narrowed as he watched the road in front of him. He turned his steely gaze on Maxim. “She told you to spend the night at the penthouse?”

“Yes. You don’t approve, I see. Good thing. She needs to be talked to. It is not safe. Not smart for an intelligent woman to do. She needs a keeper.” Maxim looked out the window. He couldn’t believe how foolish she was. He could be anybody. Opening her house to a stranger was a behavior that needed to be stopped.

The trees were beautiful. The ornamental cherry trees were full of round pin pom-poms, and nearby were crabapple trees with bright pink and white crabapple blossoms, the delicate petals floating in the wind like snowflakes. When their vehicle stopped at a light, he heard the familiar shout of the street pretzel vendor. “Pretzels. Hot, salted pretzels!” The bright yellow and red canopy over the stainless steel stand visible for long distances. He had missed the city, loved the bustle of Manhattan. It would be nice to see some of his old friends and check out his old restaurant again, on 42nd Street--The Russian Room had been a home away from home for him for many years. Spring in New York was beyond compare. Even in the heart of New York City, there was a riot of blooming tulips, lilacs, pansy beds, dogwood and cherry trees. After a long grueling winter, the residents were nicer too. People enjoyed everything, even the rain, after such a harsh winter.

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