This possessive Russian isn"t just my dad"s best friend"he"s an inked alpha male.
And the first time I see him is the first time I"ve ever seen someone carry out such violence right in front of my very eyes.
I should get on the next plane out of here immediately, but why does this inked alpha male"s violence have me thinking it"s time for another kind of first time with this older man who is very apparently my new possessive Russian protector"
As an inked introvert and younger woman I always felt misunderstood, but suddenly I"m the one who doesn"t understand why I"m falling for my dad"s best friend"the older man with all the answers to questions I didn"t even realize I had.
But what happens when I have a question of my own and his answer challenges me to question everything I thought I knew to be true"
Will our feelings continue to blossom like flowers in May, or will my heart turn as cold as December in Russia"
*Possessive Russian is an insta-everything standalone instalove romance with an HEA, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.Books by Author:Flora Ferrari Books
"It"s like a different world down here," I say as I slowly spin around taking in the Avtovo metro station in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
I"m supposed to be keeping my eyes peeled for my dad"s best friend, but instead all I care about right now is taking in this incredible work of art.
It may be a subway stop but it feels more like a palace.
I open up my guidebook and reread the passage. "Yep. Forty-six columns and thirty are made from marble and sixteen are decorated with glass just like the guidebook says," I say just after I count them off by pointing to each one with my finger. And there are chandeliers galore. It"s not hard to see why The Guardian British daily newspaper named it one of the twelve most beautiful metro stations in the world.
At the end of the platform I see a large mosaic mural depicting a woman holding a child. This is where the first train departed way back in 1955 which put the Saint Petersburg metro into existence as the second operational subway in the country, after Moscow.
And that"s where my dad"s buddy is supposed to meet me at this exact moment.
I make a mental note to come back and check out this metro station during my five day stay here in Saint Petersburg before I fly back home to Miami as I make my way towards the mural.
Suddenly I feel a large body bump into me almost knocking me over, but instead of an apology or a check to see if I"m okay I feel the hands of the man who just slammed into me wrap around me and push me towards the waiting metro car which has it"s doors open as the conductor seems to be making an announcement that the train is about to depart.
What"s going on"
And then just as suddenly as the hands wrapped around me they come flying off as I feel my body spin around halfway just before I hear an "uh" and turn to see a man crumple to the ground face first with a loud thud right next to one of the massive columns.
"This way, Alice. We don"t want to be late for dinner," a man in a black suit says as he wraps his arm around mine leading me towards the escalator before I can even process what in the hell just happened.
"This is for your father," the man says, handing me a small USB thumb drive. "And this is for you," he says handing me a set of Russian nesting dolls.
"What just happened back there" Where are you taking me" Tell me now or I will scream," I demand.
"Someone wanted to get their hands on the item your father sent you here to receive. I stopped them from doing that. Now we will have dinner," he says matter-of-factly like he"s a telemarketer reading from a script for the thousandth time today.
He"s completely devoid of emotion as his eyes face forward with a glassy stare that reveals nothing.
I quickly look him up and down noticing how well he fills out his suit, and wonder what the tattoo on his hand would reveal if I had any idea what it meant.
It"s hard to tell with tattoos these days. Twenty years ago they were still an obscure item that weren"t safe to have if you wanted a white-collar job or a loan from a bank. These days it seems like every hipster in South Beach has at least three.
And I have one myself. Maybe it"s because my dad seemed more interested in shouting into his phone in Russian than raising his only daughter. His idea of parenting was sticking me in front of the TV with a remote control in my hand.
And somehow I managed to click my way to Miami Ink"s debut episode in 2005 when I was five. I was just a kid, but I was fascinated for all six seasons until the show went off the air.
I became addicted to art and ink and found myself watching Eastern Promises every week for years. That film was like an addictive elixir of both the dark underworld of my Russian heritage mixed with how the tattoos on your body tell your entire life story in Russian prisons.
That led me to Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volumes I, II, and III, Russian Criminal Tattoo Police Files by Arkady Bronnikov, who is regarded as Russia’s leading expert on tattoo iconography and was also a senior expert in forensics at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs for more than 30 years.
But when I look at the tattoo on this alpha bad boy"s hand I have no idea what it means.
And that scares and excites me all at the same time.
My dad does "good deals with bad guys" as he likes to say, so it"s no surprise that I"d meet a character like this one who"s either leading me to safety, or to a quick death.