~ Dmitri ~
I was intrigued by Eiji the first time I saw him dancing in my club. I became obsessed with him when the ink was still wet on our marriage certificate. I wanted to give Eiji the life he should have had until I realized I had taken something from him I had no right to take, and then I knew I had lost him forever.
My life became uncomfortable the moment my father married my stepmother. It became a living hell when he died, leaving me in her cruel hands. At least, that's what I used to think, but then I discovered what true hell was, a brutal assault leaving me without a voice. When my stepmother married me off to a mob boss to pay her gambling debts, I realized that I had been wrong once again. My hell had just started...So why was he so gentle with me?
Part of the Marriage Mayhem world.
"Who is that man?"
"Which one, sir?" My second in command stepped over to stand next to me.
"The one on the dance floor with Parker right now." Parker and his crew of dancers came to the Illumination Club quite often and as the sole owner, I reaped the benefits of each and every visit. "The one in the pale blue sweater."
I didn't remember ever seeing him in here before, and believe me, I would have remembered. The man was simply stunning.
"Oh, that's Eiji Yamada," Yasha stated. "He comes in with Parker and Buffy and their crew sometimes. Not often, though. The others are here more frequently."
"I want to meet him."
I snapped my gaze to Yasha. "You have something to say?"
"Eiji is a mute, sir."
I slid my hands into the pockets of my slacks and turned back toward the floor to ceiling windows that allowed me to look out over the first floor of my club. "I still want to meet him."
Mute did not mean stupid.
Yasha didn't question me more. He knew better. I wasn't the boss for nothing. I got what I wanted when I wanted it and those that denied me paid for it painfully.
"Vasil, find out what he's drinking and have it brought to my office." I wanted Eiji made comfortable while I got to know him.
When my phone rang, I reluctantly pulled my gaze from the attractive man on the dance floor and made my way over to my desk, picking up the phone.
"I wanted to let you know that O'Donnell has been spotted going over the bridge into your territory. I don't know if he's up to something or—"
"If he's in my territory, then he's up to something." Michael O'Donnell had taken over the Irish mob for his father, and they were two peas in a pod. They both thought they had a right to territory in New York City that was not theirs. "I'll have someone look into it."
"You do that."
"Thank you for the call, Vinnie."
I chuckled when Vinnie hung up without saying goodbye. Vincenzo Borelli and I were not friends, but we had a healthy respect for each other. I appreciated him calling to give me a heads up.
Maybe I'd send him a fruit basket or a case of vodka.
I walked over to the sideboard to pour myself a glass of vodka. Yes, it was stereotypical of a Russian to drink vodka, but it was really good vodka. I had it imported all the way from Siberia. Due to the embargo set down on Russian items, when I say imported think smuggled.
It was worth every dime.
I had just set the top on the crystal decanter and grabbed my glass when Yasha entered.
"Where is Eiji?"
"He left before I arrived downstairs, sir. I questioned a few of his friends and they said he had to return home."
My disappointment was like a rock in my stomach. I had been captivated by the vivaciousness on Eiji's face when he'd been out there on the dance floor. Yes, it had been a very sensual dance, but more than that, the smile on his face told the story of how much he had been enjoying himself.
It had been a long while since I'd had a smile like that on my face. I wasn't even sure I could remember the last time.
With my evening plans shot to hell, I sat down behind my desk and started working. I was always working so it was easy to slip into that mindset.
I'd been running my family's business for ever a decade. I knew what needed to be done, starting with finding out if O'Donnell was stepping foot in my territory.
"Yasha, send out word for our people on the streets to keep an eye out for any of the O'Donnells passing into our territory. Borelli called and said O'Donnell had been spotted heading our way."
"You got it, Boss."
"And get me the figures we have so far tonight." Might as well get started on the accounting side of things. I was into a lot of different businesses, not all of them legal.
This club was one of my legal ventures and I had to make sure everything stayed above board in case the authorities decided to stick their noses where they didn't belong.
I had one or two others, but smuggling illegal items into the United States paid so much more. No drugs and no human trafficking. I didn't need to go those routes to make myself rich. I was more the smuggle in vodka type anyway.
I knew Vinnie Borelli felt much the same as I did, although his illegal wears tended to be guns and ammunition. O'Donnell on the other hand ran anything that would make him a quick buck, which was one of the reasons I wanted nothing to do with him.
The man was a lowlife thug.
"Boss!" Yasha shouted as he came running into my office with a tablet in his hands. "I just got this off the security tapes. You're going to want to see it."
"What now?" If there was a problem in the club, I needed to know about it.
Yasha set the tablet down in front of me and pressed play on the video. It took me a moment to figure out what I was looking at, and then rage boiled through me at an alarming rate.
"This was the side parking lot?"
"Yes, sir, the one closest to the alley. I'm pretty sure they didn't think there would be any cameras back there because of how close it was to the alley."
"Did you get a license plate?"
"I did and I already have our tech guy tracking it down."
"Good." My fingers clenched tightly around the tablet screen as I hit play and watched the video again. It didn't lesson my anger one damn bit. "Get me every piece of video on Eiji from the time he walked into the club tonight until that car left."
"Right away, Boss."
I waited until Yasha left the room before hitting play for a third time. There was no way to mistake the fact that three men had grabbed Eiji as soon as he stepped out of the club and dragged him to a car or the fact that they had hit him so many times, even I winced in sympathy.
I simply needed to figure out who had grabbed Eiji so I could end their miserable lives.
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