Smoothing over where it hugs the back of my ass perfectly, I let my hair drop past my shoulders. I slip into knee-high boots and touch up my barely-there make-up.
As I move back towards the lounge room, I notice the noise level has risen since I left , and the spicy scent of cigars hangs in the air. Another four men have joined the party. Out of the new arrivals, one man in particular looks familiar. Dmitri Kozar, the kingpin. Jackpot! He looks every inch the stereotypical European gangster in his full black outfit, complete with a black leather jacket and gold chain. He’s the first to notice me, and clears his throat. The chatter amongst them ceases immediately and they all turn their attention to me. I smile and try to look as shy as possible as I make my way to Tench. His smile is genuine happiness. Dmitri, on the other hand, looks annoyed by my presence.
“Come here , gorgeous. Come meet my sem’ya, my famil.” Tench says, cigar smoke smoothly escaping out from his lips as he speaks.
I slide in next to him and run my hand along his leg as I sit. A shiver of revulsion rolls across me as I do it. I try and shake it but I see Dima staring at me through narrowed eyes. Did he just see me squirm with Tench then? I watch all eyes track down to my thigh as my dress slips back and exposes the bare skin between my boot and dress. Humph … men. I turn my attention to Tench and kiss him on the cheek to boost his ego and keep him right where I need him.
“This is my favourite cousin , Dima; he has taught me everything I know.” He waves towards my kingpin.
“Ah, young Joe. You made yourself.” Dima’s sentence is broken with a gravely Russian accent . “… And you must be the girl who has stolen this poor boy’s heart.” He offers me no hand. He arrogantly leans back into the armchair instead and takes a long draw of his cigar. His eyes slither over me and make the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention. I think Tench has eyes that are the doorway to his evil, but Dima’s are like a magnifying glass. He doesn’t trust me one bit. He probably shouldn’t ever trust me.
I smile , sickly sweet, and turn my attention back to Tench as he speaks. “And this is Dima’s brother, Misha.” A younger and more handsome version of Tench holds his hand out for me to shake.
“Pleased to meet you finally , Miranda. We were thinking you were a … how do you say? … Make-up?”
“Make -believe?” I reply with a chuckle, “Nope. I’m real.” I look to Tench and grin.
“I can see that ,” Misha cheekily replies before he catches Tench’s glare. “What, cousin?” He playfully shrugs his shoulders.
“That’s Boris over by the door,” Tench points to a towering Russian who looks like he boxed in every Rocky movie, “and this is my other cousin, Luka.”
I meet his eyes first. They’re like swimming pools, as blue as a blue wren. He smirks and I try not to become mesmerised by his lips. The dimples that frame his smile make me want to do things to him, bad things, and let him do bad things to me. His hair is a tuft of thick black waves that I want to run my fingers though, and grip onto. I feel my nipples react. Thank goodness I’m wearing a bra for once. He leans over the coffee table in front of me and stretches his hand out. Once he takes it, he gently kisses my knuckles. Oh not smooth, buddy. I snort obnoxiously under my breath, enough for Tench to hear it. He chuckles and squeezes me. I roll my eyes jovially at his cousin’s miserable failure in trying to woo me. It’s a shame, really.
“Or Casanova , as we like to call him,” Dima adds and the whole room erupts with laughter at Luka’s expense.
I can tell that Luka and Misha are trouble together ; it’s no wonder Tench is angry with them. To make matters worse, they’re both handsome in ways that make Aussie men look below average. I’ve met their kind of trouble before. Add a vagina and they become instant dickheads. I need to find