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The huge dining room packed to the absolute brim of senior members of the family, associates and important guests as they chatted and with drinks and cigars in hand. The three tables placed in a U-shape to fit as many people in as possible and for all to have eyes on Ivan and the head of the family, especially for his pending announcement. His temper had already been flared by Lukas and his unwarranted opinion on his movements and direction the was going to take the business. [i Fucking child, talented but still has a lot to learn.]
The waiters keeping glasses full of the imported vodka direct from Moscow for this very occasion. His steely gray eyes scanning his surroundings as Iilya made his way through the deafening crowd in a fresh haircut and slipping his phone into his suit pocket. [i About time he updated his look.] Tonight was the night and Ivan had to have every bit of control over himself and everyone in the room that he could muster, despite his inner turmoil about the unknown future his demeanour hadn't changed. [i Just as cold and ruthless as a Russian winter.] Taking his seat and sending a warning glare to his right hand man as he sat next to him [b " Keep your tongue to yourself until I ask you to speak Zmeya."] his voice a low growl before running a smoothing hand back through his slicked gray hair. Ivan [i The Tsar] sat between a cunning snake and a raging bull with his ever loyal guard dog Gregor seated next to Lukas keeping an eye on every movement. [b "Друзья, сидите пожалуйста"] [i Friends, please sit.] His booming voice cut through the room like a knife through butter.
Despite the lighthearted chatter and general life of the party there was a mist of heaviness in the air as the large wooden doors opened and Nataliya made her way through the doors and the chatter subsided into hushed whispers between those attending. Her black stilettos echoing through the silence, dressed in tailored black suit her white blouse unbuttoned at the top revealing her mother's treasured jewel. Her golden locks pulled back into a long pony tail. [i She was all business, her business, the darkness she had run from now consuming her completely .] Her left thigh strapped with a black leather knife holster.] as she walked straight down the middle of the tables towards where the head of the family sat.] Her eyes locked onto those of her father's as he stood up with a large smile curved on his lips and Nataliya stopped dead in her tracks. [i Something wasn't right.] Her head held high, Nataliya would never let her facade falter, not here, not now. [i Confidence is key, stare down the threat.] Her gaze shifting to take in the sight of Lukas and Iilya and as to how different the two men were. [i Lukas the future with him would be pitch black, the unknown filled with uncertainty. Then there was Iliya a life of subdued power, opulence and a muzzle.]
Ivan's smile unfaltering as he took in the sight of his daughter in all her glory, She was here for work despite the punishment he had put her through. If he hadn't seen the damage caused with his own eyes he wouldn't have known. Wrapping his fingers around his refilled glass and raising to the air in a silent toast to his little kitten with a obvious wink and the room followed in suit. Ivan knew the second Nataliya walked into the room she wasn't here to enjoy the festivities, but his talent lay in ensuring no one else knew his plan before it was too late, she was now everything he had wanted his children to be, cold ruthless and determined. Yet a shiver of fear crept up his spine as he noticed the darkness in her eyes. Soon he was going to realise from that moment he had created a weapon not even he would be able to control. Nataliya took a few steps closer her eyes locked on Lukas and the tension he was holding in his jaw. [i God he looked delicious, what she would give for a few hours alone with that man.] Pushing those thoughts to the back of her mind Nataliya tore her gaze away and took in a long deep breathe to regain her composure. There was no way she would ever let Lukas know what she was thinking. The burning gaze of the entire room was on her as Ivan finally broke the silence. [b "Thank you everyone for being here tonight to celebrate the return of my dearest Nataliya to the family and passing her initiation with flying colours just as i knew she would."] Taking a sip from his crystal glass Ivan glanced around the faces filling the room and resting on Nataliya before he continued.
[b "This has taken a lot of thought and pondering over the last few weeks but given the direction the family is headed and business deals made to grow and expand into new and undiscovered areas, Nataliya is unfit to lead the family into the next chapter, Although my ever loyal right hand Lukas Pachiaveli, the Zmeya will be taking my seat at the head of the family."] Nataliya felt the heat rise up her spine and blood drain from her face, her heart slamming against her chest as she tried to wrap her mind around the announcement. [i This wasn't happening, he had called her bluff.]
As the chattering started back up immediately Ivan raised his hand before he continued [b " Nataliya although you are my only surviving child you will have a more important duty, to ensure the survival of the Renkov name and with the thrilling announcement of her engagement to Iliya Bykov you raise a suitable heir to take back the throne as time sees fit] His voice slipping into a growl as tempers flared throughout the room and Nataliya's hand slipped down her thigh and tightened around the knife. [i This wasn't what she had planned, she wouldn't be someones broodmare.] Ivan's large hand resting on Lukas' shoulder as he smiled down at him still in stunned silence as the chaos around the escalated.
Her knuckles turning white and her jaw clenched in fury as the sound of breaking glass brought her back into the now. [i Blood, here it was.] The room was divided. Half refusing to let anyone other than a Renkov take the reigns and the other half supporting Lukas' ascension over the rightful heir. As the volume rose and the room spiralled into utter chaos around Nataliya found her darkened gaze on her father and Lukas as Gregor made his way to her side. [i Mutiny.] Finally the blonde had found her voice over the deafening voices [b "Вы оба мертвы для меня"] [i You are both dead to me.] she hissed her voice dripping in venom as out of the corner of her eye Iliya made for the exit is face plastered in a smile. [i That old dog had just given him what he wanted, he got Nataliya, the family was tearing itself apart right behind him....perfect] The woman's gaze unwavering as she stood in the middle of the room untouched with Gregor by her side and the angry mob around them intensified their disapproval Nataliya was almost enjoying herself for a moment. [i Ivan had made the wrong move in the eyes of half of the family. ] The ties between Lukas and Nataliya severed with one strike of the sword, thrown against each other but despite the anger and shock she was still in, just the sight of her old lover had her complete attention. Her emerald orbs calculating everything around her and every slight movement the two men before her made as she slipped the silver blade from its resting place and held it by her side. [i One clean shot was all she needed.]
When Lukas left the room, he hit the side of the wall hard with his palm. He wouldn’t fall for this. Iliya was the epitome of all jackasses, and he wouldn’t just marry into one of the most powerful families in the entire country if not world. They had ties to countless businesses, both legal and illegal. They could afford to pay off judges or cops when it benefitted them, so they avoided the axe that would sever their efforts forever. The Renkov family was already thinning though. Aleks passed way too early, and Lukas would never forget that he played a part in that. He promised himself he’d do better. Lukas hadn’t seen it coming when Aleks was taken out. Lukas would have given his life to save his best friend’s if he could. He wished he could go back in time, but he couldn’t. Now, his priorities were the other Renkovs, father and daughter. He became more ruthless, more cold, more Zmeya. Iliya wouldn’t just waltz in and jeopardize everything if he had a say in it, but he trusted Nataliya. Surely, she saw what Iliya was doing. Nat wouldn’t stand for it. She’d make some big announcement about denying Iliya. Maybe she’d utilize some of the dirt he scrounged up and had sent to her room.
This dinner was huge. Lukas would spend time preparing himself for it back in his room. He had something planned if Nataliya didn’t step up to the ball. Lukas wasn’t made second in command for nothing. He had influence, but Nataliya did too. If they could come together in an opinion, almost no one would oppose. Ivan just saw dollar signs when he looked at Iliya. Lukas saw more. He was already having his contacts and acquaintances gather as much as they could on the guy. He tried to track calls, uncover fraudulent activities, and behead the dragon that he was. Ivan may think the man was nowhere as strong as the Renkovs, but he would be wrong about that. Iliya didn’t have one honorable bone in his body. How could Ivan not see that?
Lukas finished, spritzing expensive cologne as he dressed in a prim suit, tailored specifically for him. It was worth a couple thousand. Peeks of his tattoos showed out of his sleeves, proving that he wasn’t some expensive prick like Iliya. There was more to him, and he was willing to take on the Beverly Hills playboy if he had to. Iliya didn’t know what he was dealing with. Lukas got there early, moving instantly to Ivan. Leaning forward and speaking in his ear, Lukas warned, [b “I advise you take another look at your potential son in law. That man is not worth whatever price he’s offering. You can’t control him like you do others, especially if he has your daughter.”] Ivan took another long puff of his Cuban cigar and then turned, grabbing the Zmeya with an iron grip. Anger flashed in his eyes as his gravelly voice came, [i “I know what I’m doing. I’ve been in this business since before you could shit on your own. Do not doubt me. If I am even thinking about this, then I know what comes with it. I am not stupid boy. Remember your place. I haven’t forgotten.”] Blowing some smoke in his face, Ivan then hobbled off to take his place at the head of the table.
Clenching his jaw, Lukas nearly broke the glass in his hand with how hard he tightened it. Taking another look around, he sat down, waiting for the star of the show to arrive. She needed to change her fathers mind. She needed to listen to him before it was too late. Taking sips of scotch, Lukas eyed the crowd, just waiting for the one person that could change what would happen with the marriage deal that wasn’t him. [i “Come on Nat... come on kitten.”] He worded under his breath, a little nervous for the first time in a long while. He had no control over this. He couldn’t just eliminate his target as easily as he would have liked. Lukas liked doing things alone, but he had to think about the collateral damage of the Renkov family, especially Nataliya. He wouldn’t let anything bad happen to them again, even if it took his life to do so.
Just as Nataliya finished pulling a brush through her tangled hair Lukas' words seemed to freeze the very air around them [i "Celebrating your efforts in the pit or celebrating your engagement to Iliya?"] her fingers tightening around her hairbrush as the reality of her situation and the fact the world outside the infirmary hadn't stopped spinning. [i The pit] Just those two words alone seemed to freeze her very blood and send fire throughout her every muscle, the memory of sheer panic and pain tightening the knot in her stomach. Despite the feeling of strength, determination and a different sense of freedom Nataliya was feeling the reality was. She was still here in this god forsaken place, Still heir to the throne and engaged to one of the most repulsive men she had ever met. But like a good daughter she would do as the king requested.
Her eyes lifting to meet those of the man before her, the colour draining from her face and the smile subsiding as he closed the space between them until he was all she could see. [i Truth be told he always had her attention despite her own protests.] In the years that had passed between them everything that had drawn the blonde to this ice cold killer seemed to be more defined, perfected if you will. His aura demanded attention no matter where he went. The Zmeya was a force to be reckoned with. His jaw straining to control his anger as Lukas' let his thoughts on her apparent fiancee be known, the plotting, the lying, the plans he had once she was of no use. Her lips parting slightly as she struggled to soak in his warning Nataliya's chin was lifted up to meet his gaze once again. [i God he looked good.] The fire burning deep in his eyes as they bore into her own widened ones, she had nowhere else to look. Hell she had been craving to be this close to him again. His voice low and soft as he delivered his final warning [i "Don't give in. Use your voice, princess. It does you well."] and with that his warm fingers left her skin and he made his way out the door without another word leaving the woman standing in silence holding onto the bed railing to steady herself. She wasn't ready to leave here on her own just yet but nothing was going to stop her. Lukas was right whether Nataliya would ever admit it on her own was another thing. She had a voice, now that she was indeed apart of the family again gave her an excellent platform in which to use it, the only problem would be the repercussions of her voiced opinions and defiance.
Taking a few deep breaths as Nataliya placed her hand on her fractured rib to steady herself, she headed for the door. Without a look back and a new chain of thought to unravel before tonight. There was no way she would be involved with someone like Iilya hadn't it been for her father, hell she had barely allowed him to touch her. There was nothing but disgust but just like her mother taught her, behave, give them what they want otherwise this life we live will be made so much worse. [i Her parents marriage made so much more sense now.]
Making her way up the her room unescorted was such a refreshing feeling for the woman as she sat down on the end of her bed staring at a framed photo of Aleks for what seemed like hours. [i I wish you were here, you'd know exactly what to do.] Yes Aleks was set to take their fathers place, he had known since the day he was born but that didn't mean he was without his rebellious streak too. Always pushing the limits, finding new ways to get the jobs done and test their father to no end. Aleks was the shield in Nataliya's life, always going to be there to defend her rights against their fathers iron fist no matter what. Hell, he had died defending his sister's right to a normal life, little did she know. It was on his fathers orders that he was to do this hit, he needed his best men on the job but what Nataliya was unaware of was the explosion of fury with Ivan before he had set of. Aleks had found out of Ivan's plans to marry her off the minute she could be controlled, that wasn't Nataliya, maybe if their father had spend more time with his children he would have gotten to understand them better.
Aleks knew Nataliya had alot more to accomplish in this life than become a silent broodmare for some cocaine addicted aristocrat from mother Russia. All the secret lessons their mother had taught them, how to act, how to become the lie, how to survive in a world like theirs. Were all very much put to use throughout their years.
Wiping a stray tear as it rolled down her cheek Nataliya took in a deep breath wincing in pain at her ribs as it brought her back into reality. [b " I'd give anything to have you both here with me"] she whispered but the truth was Nataliya was the last one left to deal with the brute force of the tyrant father himself. Tearing her eyes away from the photograph Nataliya's gaze was brought to her window were a raven sat in silence staring back at her. Her eyes widening as a smile spread over her lips. [i He was here.] The memories of their childhood flashed through her mind as Nataliya walked over and sat by the window just watching the bird in stunned tear-filled silence. Aleks at seven years old had found a birds nest resting in the snow after a ferocious storm the night before. Keeping it hidden from Ivan,Aleks tended to the abandoned chicks around the clock as the months ticked by the two surviving chicks had grown up into beautiful loving birds. Ravens. [i He is here with me, he always is.] Nataliya's strength renewed, refortified. She will never give up.
A knock at the door startling the bird as it flew off into the darkness, Nataliya wiped her face. [b "Время готовиться"] [i Time to get ready.] Letting out a deep sigh Nataliya couldn't help but feel a strange sense of calm around her as she entered her bathroom to get ready and ensure her place in the family. [i What's the worst he could do to her? He couldn't kill her, he needed her...Checkmate.] This dinner if Nataliya carried out her plan would go down in history.[i Thank you brother.]
Lukas found a place to stand near the bed, desperately wishing for a smoke. [i Certainly a bad idea what with oxygen lying around...] He really didn't want to go out on something as stupid as blowing himself up. The Zmeya deserved better than that, didn't he? So, he watched her beaten-down body leave the confines of the hospital bed, springing on some ripped jeans in the process. It was almost as if she didn't even recognize what had just happened to her. Ivan Renkov's men had unleashed on her. She was able to fight back somewhat, but no one, not even him, could fend off that many huge, elite men coming at you at once. Nataliya should have been down longer, but she was potentially the most stubborn person the Pachiaveli knew. She always had been. She wouldn't take no or sit down and rest for an answer, especially when things were happening in her life that could change it forever. Iliya was in the picture, and she was still the rightful heir to the head of the mafia that Ivan Renkov now sat in. Since Aleks died, Nataliya was always the next option, despite Ivan's declaration that Lukas himself would take the seat as second in command. But, Lukas didn't truly think Nataliya was worrying about that at the moment. She'd run from the life for a reason. Why would she suddenly want to accept the leadership of the mafia now? All she wanted was a simple, normal life. [i Too late for that, kitten.]
[i "Apparently there is a big dinner tonight according to Gregor and yours truly is invited by their own father, lucky me."] Nataliya was still condescending and sassy as ever. The goons didn't punch all of it out of here it seemed as Ivan had hoped. Everyone with a brain knew that the onslaught of his daughter was punishment. Ivan Renkov loved his little princess more than anything, but he was still the most ruthless man in the room wherever he went. Nataliya wouldn't just get to sail back in without some form of consequence, no matter how hard it was to watch. Lukas still watched her, chewing on a toothpick now to resist his urges to smoke. She undressed as simply before him as if he weren't there, but they both knew what was underneath. Lukas and Nataliya had a certain past, and it wasn't like he forgot. She was a vixen. Plus, he wouldn't object to a woman stripping in front of him by any means.
[b "Big dinner? Celebrating your efforts in the pit or celebrating your engagement to Iliya?"] The tension returned to Lukas' already defined jawline, and he adjusted the denim jacket he wore. Removing the toothpick, he took a few steps forward, refraining from leaning on any furniture this time. He wanted her attention. [b "So what are you going to say? Did you think about anything I said? I hope you did because I sure as hell know Ivan is pushing this. There's something off about him. He's hiding and plotting, and I don't like where any of it is going. He smells blood, Nat. He'll use you to get to the peak of power then discard you like a useless paper bag. I won't say this again. If you trust anything I've said or taught you, know this. Iliya is not the man you want to get in bed with."] With that, Lukas took a few more steps forward, placing his fingers under her chin and lifting up gently, so she would look at him. [b "Don't give in. Use your voice, princess. It does you well."] With that, he turned, heading for the door if not stopped. He had a dinner to get ready for, and he was anxious to hear what the future of the Renkov family was, including what Nataliya Renkov would make for herself. And he sure as hell hoped Iliya wasn't a part of it.
The last few days had been a cocktail of l.V fluids, painkillers and god Knows what else as the doctor tried to bring her back to a picture of perfect health before he could release her from his care and let the Kitten have alittle more freedom but the leash still remained. [i It would always remain] Although it drew Nataliya crazy to be confined to bed rest it did give the woman time to slow down and unravel her the thoughts that had intertwined themselves into a massive knot. She had the time to sort her emotions too and what the hell she was thinking playing with fire where Lukas was concerned but somehow he seemed to fuel the spark within her.
Frowning as she ran her fingers through her hair Nataliya moved her tearfilled gaze towards the ceiling and the gentle hum of the bright lights overhead. [i How the fuck was she supposed to get out of here in one piece? let alone pickup the pieces of the life she was ripped from. ] Did she even want to be here? Not that she would ever admit it. What had concerned her the most was just how much she had retained after all those years and just how easily she had been dragged back in by the darkness. [i Problem was Nataliya liked the way her mind thinking, the air of power and confidence when she walked but most of all the strange sensation of calmness and mental clarity despite the chaos around her she could handle anything that came her way.]
Nataliya knew the training wouldnt stop now and the bright smile the woman had at just the thought of being a weapon was a worry.
The whispers Circulating about exactly happened that night were all different and all fabricated. For the newer members to the family the arrival of the mysterious Renkov daughter had set a seed of doubt sprout in their mind and thrown a spanner into the works for the machine of power. The zmeya was thier under boss, he had earned the title and respect. [i Long live the snake.] He was their heir not some little girl. Where the senior members followed tradition and the Renkov name without question, yes Nataliya wasn't the true heir but times did indeed change and she had the skills and the right name. [i May the Renkov star burn long and bright.]
The cracks were slowly starting to form, Sooner or later the blood would draw interest from the circling sharks just waiting to claim a piece and rip it all apart. Whether it was the Italians, Mexicans or even the FBI they all wanted a piece.
That cloud of confusion still hanging over the woman, nothing had changed. She was desperate to flee once again but although she had a few oppurtunities to slip out seemingly unnoticed but she hesitated. She missed having people around her and would miss those who genuinley wished her well then there was Lukas. Tall, self-assured strong and mouth wateringly delicious too bad the man was also arrogant, Cold and at the moment the only thing she could call him was a fucking asshole for bringing her back here. The memory of her skin against his, that spark between them. Nataliya was hoping to expoilt it, take advantage of his guard being dropped. [i Who said she couldnt have some fun in the meantime?] Lukas had made it clear years ago that it was only physical between them, sure they could be friends but anything more would be volitile. A ticking time bomb.
Nataliya's eyes glued to the world outside as the clouds drifted on by. [i Oh how nice it would be to get some sun] her gaze was brought back by a soft knock and Lukas' large figure filled the doorway, she couldnt help but laugh he looked so out of place. Her eyes glued to his as he moved to take a seat next to her bed. The glimmer of her beloved jewel under the light had Nataliya's attention, reaching out her hand and taking it gently, her tear filled eyes Meeting the steel gray of the man next to her [b "Thank you..."] her voice shakey and raspy as she held the jewel close. [b " You are the last person I expected to see."] She stated getting up from that horrible bed and slipping on a pair of ripped jeans [b " Apparently there is a big dinner tonight according to Gregor and yours truely is invited by their own father, lucky me"] Nataliya's Voice breaking into a slight chuckle as she looked over at the large man in the chair as she removed the gown and replaced it with a shirt. What did she care Lukas had seen and explored every part of what he saw. She had no shame, she was just going to have fun with this. Hell maybe she could bring this man to his knees, break his resolve, break free.. [i Tame the snake.] Tonight she would show them exactly what they had created, what they wanted to see. A Renkov. Nataliya wouldn't disapoint,
[i “Anyone would think you cared.”] Yeah, well that was the reason he didn’t let just anyone see it. His words were true though. He [i was] proud of her, and she surprised him. Nataliya took it seriously, and she remembered parts of their training. Lukas was just about to go before her gaze lingered and captivated him for a second long enough to brush her fingers over his. A small jolt of electricity courses through his veins at the touch, and his eyes followed her removal down the tunnel halls to the infirmary. What the hell was she doing? She was supposed to hate him for dragging her into the underground world she never wanted to be in. Now, she’d touched him two times within the past two days? And the touches were gentle... What exactly did she want him to do? Was she testing him to see if he had weaknesses?
The Zmeya could say nothing more as a star pendant was placed into his hand, the one she’d worn during the fight. It was torn off, so the clasp was broken, but the snake knew just what it meant. It was the symbol of her mother, a gift given to her before her death. Nataliya would hold it sacred, and Ivan sent men wearing the same symbol for her to best although the far outnumbered her. He was essentially reprimanding her for leaving in the midst of tragedy, claiming her mother would not be proud of her. It was certainly harsh.
With a small nod to the doctor of respect, the man knowing and treating Lukas well over the past few years, the snake retreated to the lounge. He’d hidden the pendant in his pocket, but Iliya was gone. Ivan was off drinking and laughing with elites, and Lukas knew he’d say something he regretted if he tried to join them. Ivan would explain the results in time, but there was no doubting he’d go to terrorize his daughter before he did. It was all a show of dominance, proving he reigned supreme and that Nataliya should have lost her life for running the way she did.
As Lukas left, he heard a loud noise of breaking in a nearby room that should have been empty. With one swift move, he removed his gun and pushed the door open before bolstering the weapon. Crossing his arms, Lukas eyes the parts of the broken phone before his steely gray eyes met Iliya’s. [b “Trying to hide something are we? Only makes sense with you missing all the action so long. And here I was thinking you were a good match for Nataliya. But one thing I know for certain is that power hungry douchebags like you never fucking change.”] With a deep glare, Lukas slammed the door shut and went to having Iliya followed by men he trusted that would blend in. Lukas needed to know more about the man before it was too late.
Nataliya was still recovering a while. He felt stupid as hell, but he did something out of the ordinary. Something the Zmeya would never do otherwise. Several days following the attack when Nataliya was healing up again, Lukas entered her infirmary room with a small knock on the outside of her door. [b “Hey, Sleeping Beauty. You know you look like hell.”] It was Lukas’ way to taunt her and mess around as he stepped closer slowly. He didn’t even really know why he felt obligated to do this, but he just did. Holding out the pendant with a new chain he paid for wrapped around it and the clasp fixed, Lukas spoke, [b “Missing this?”]
Like the rat he was lliya excused himself in silence as Lukas' back was turned and everyones attention was drawn in by the specticle of the successful re-initiation of that blonde bitch. Closing the door quietly behind him IIiya slipped his phone out of his pocket and made his way down the maze of hallways looking for a secluded corner as he dialled the number into his phone and brought it to his ear.
Nataliya's lungs desperately trying to take in as much as possible and her muscles burning with exhaustion but she couldn't help a smile curl onto her lips as she was lifted up of the ground and her arm swung over the mans shoulders for support as they made their way out towards the infirmary on the third floor, another man walking along side them doing his best for a patchup job. But at the sight of their underboss they stopped dead in thier tracks. Nataliya lifted her head up to meet the towering gaze of Lukas, she knew he was there the scent of his cologne gave it away. Despite her utter exhaustion Nataliya couldn't help her smile remaining on her swollen lips as his praise seemed to lift an emence imaginary weight off her shoulders. [i He was proud, maybe he is human after all.] Her voice croaky [b "Anyone would think you cared"] she joked and her gaze lingered longer than it should have, Nataliya let her fingers intertwine his if only for a moment before she was ushered away to an infirmary bed for rest, recovery and fluids.
The older doctor nodding to Lukas in respect held out the woman's pendant that had been torn off during the event before placing it into the mans hand as he hurried off with a smile. He of all people knew the significance of the snake himself to come down from his tower and sing praise for the woman he now had to clean up and make as presentable as possible in the coming days before Ivan made his visit and made Nataliya aware of the outcome of his disgusting excuse of an initiation. It was flat out abuse.
lliya groaned in annoyance as he redialed the number and slipped through another door and into a small study just as the phone was picked up on the other end. Starting at the slightly ajar door on the opposite side of the room. [i Fuck, this will have to do] his voice hushed as he tried to hurry the phone call along. He didnt have much time. [b " That little whore isnt going to go down easily Emilio, she wants nothing to do with me, How do you expect this to work? you fucking lied to me you piece of shit..."] his temper flaring as he slamed his palm against the wall [b " I need the others taken care of soon before I get to her or the deal is off, at this point I will personally pay 3 million to whichever one of your men can take the head of that fucking pathetic old dog they call a boss"] his voice almost a growl before throwing it against the wall Watching the pieces fall to the ground. [b "Fucking Italians"]
Smoke filled the room as many rich supporters of the Renkov family drank and laughed and ate. Ivan knew exactly how and when he needed to turn something into a party. Everyone wanted to see exactly how Nataliya Renkov handles potentially the most difficult initiation of all time. Men would pay fortunes just to be in the crowd. Lukas knew all this too well as he puffed his own cigarette, adding little clouds of smoke to the room that was already dimly lit to create a mood of relaxation and luxury. Music drifted from the stage, the musicians emitting smooth sounds that soothes the ears and stimulated attention. When Ivan entered the room with Iliya, everyone stood at attention. Staring holes into Iliya as he passed, Lukas nodded respectfully to the head Renkov as he recognized him with a hand to his shoulder. Soon enough, the stone cold man was revealing how Nataliya would be punished and pushed completely to her limits due to her disobedience for years. [i Get ready, Nataliya... I told you this wouldn’t be a walk in the park.]
The Zmeya himself tilted his head again as Ivan dryly complimented his work of dragging Nataliya into the family and essentially keeping her prisoner. The training was just something to try and get her ready for the beating waiting during initiation. A part of him wanted to go down there and fight off the huge men surely to surround her soon enough, but he knew he’d trained her as well as possible. Lukas wouldn’t tell anyone, but he’d given her a few of the techniques he only knew... the ones that set him apart from any other. Many men would kill for the opportunity. Lukas didn’t sit. He stood, just before the glass, ensuring Nataliya could see him if she looked up. He wanted her to know that he was [i there] if nothing else. Also, he kept a good distance between himself and Iliya before he beat the ever living hell out of the man.
Keeping his calculating eyes on the scene before him, Lukas continued silently puffing his cigarette. Nataliya looked so scared when she was thrust into the walls that the glass lounge looked over. She was trying desperately to find any way out. Slightly clenching his jaw, Lukas knew it was sealed tight. She would only get out after she proved herself or nearly died trying. Soon enough, the trained men in masks surrounded her. Lukas surveyed their scene, picturing each move he’d take to take each of them out. He knew he’d taught Nataliya for the moment.. What would she do?
With one sweep of her knee, Nataliya took one man out cold. A small smile lifted his lips, a certainly rare sight. He was proud of her. It didn’t last. The other men took advantage of her standing on one knee, slamming her to the wall and taking turns punching and kicking her. She fought back as hard as any woman of her size could, but Ivan didn’t exactly give her a chance. He was testing her pain, and he was showing her a message that she wouldn’t leave the mafia again. He wanted to know just how she reacted to the situation, and he wanted to showcase his daughter’s skills. Waves after waves of men came to face her, some even carrying weapons. Nataliya was bloodied and bruised, but she never went down... Until she couldn’t fight any longer.
Lukas held up a hand, signaling Ivan to stop the simulation. Throwing his cigarette to the side, he spoke finally. [b “That’s enough, Ivan. She can’t take much more. You’ve been harder on her than anyone else.”] Ivan shut it off, but he stood and took a long, intimidating gaze at Lukas. [i “You wouldn’t understand. She deserves this. She deserves worse. Don’t test me Zmeya.”] Lukas bit his tongue, simply leaving the room as others cashed in on bets and got drunk and high to no end. Ivan took the opportunity to get cheap deals, and Iliya was nowhere to be found. Lukas got out easily. He’d been through an initiation, and it was one of the worst nights of his life. Lukas easily got through guards with his title and ranks, meeting the men before Nataliya was taken away. They’d done a quick examination and controlled most of the bleeding as well as given her medication for the pain already. The Zmeya knew it wouldn’t do much, especially in her condition.
Snapping, the men left, and he caught up to Nataliya before she exited the room. [b “You fought like a true Renkov out there. I’m proud.”] The words were huge coming from him. Lukas didn’t remember the last time he even complimented anyone much less told them he was proud. But he was. Nataliya didn’t give up until exhaustion and pain took over. He admired that. In many ways, she reminded him of himself.
As the hours drifted by Nataliya didnt dare emerge from the safely of her suite especially after her moment that she had with Lukas. She didnt trust herself around that man and judging by the unrestrained look he had given her Lukas was feeling the same strain to keep his composure, Especially with lilya's constant belittling and condescending behaviour. His eyes always watching her. [i His property] Natalya was the key to gaining the biggest stronghold in the United States and once her usefulness had worn off, what use was she?
Sure IIiya enjoyed watching her, physically she was incredible but the second those lips parted out came exactly what he despised. An outspoken, smart, determined and utterly strong willed woman. [i Never the matter, he would just have to break her in, show her who really had the power ] Never would lliya Bykov be second best to a woman, A woman who didnt know her place. It wasnt until he saw Lukas and Nataliya in the sparring room did he understand her "training" Silly little woman playing at men's business. [i She had no place nor right to partake in such unflattering activities] As soon as the ink was dry on their marriage licence she would be locked away, caged and remain something to be looked at not heard. As for his father in law, Ivan wasn't the only one with officials on the payroll. But the men he hadnt counted on were Gregor, ever watchful and loyal and that fucking snake, just the thought of Lukas sent the man into a boiling rage.
[i Behead the snake, Kill the guard dog]
Wiping the sweat from her forehead before rolling up her yoga matt Nataliya took a deep calming breath as another wave of anxiety Washed over her at the thought of the unknown events she would be enduring in just over an hour. Clearly no one trusted her as she knew while all the others were off tending to business and preparations she had someone outside her door around the clock. [i Fuck, they would have scouts everywhere waiting for her to make a move... She was just going to have to wait it out] Nataliya had heard a few Whispers of what she could possibly expect but the blonde Knew better than to believe the stories of housekeepers, that was until she had heard Gregor talking to her father's lawyer about what Aleks had to go through which caused a knot in the pit of her stomach. Nataliya wasnt by any means naive , she was the defiant one too head strong like her father. She knew what she was about to go through would be the tougest initiaton of anyone in recent history, especially taking such an elite roll rather then working their way up the ranks. Ivan was going to make an example out of her, release eight long years of build up anger and frustration.
Her fingers still tingling from the fire on lukas' skin as Nataliya tied her long locks into a ponytail before lacing up her old black combat boots with her eyes on the man standing in the doorway arms crossed over his chest his eyes focused on her every move. [b "время идти Наталья"] [i Time to go Nataliya] his voice low as she stood up and straightened her clothing. Practical and black her favorite color.
Making her way out the man's grip on his pistol as he followed closely behind, eyes like a Hawk. There was an eeire silence as she passed many people who just nodded at her. [i Did they know what was about to happen?] Her fingers reaching up to touch her mothers large ruby star pendant to ground herself as she stepped into the elevator with her armed guard. In the last two weeks Nataliya had gone from living in fear of this place to actually kind of enjoying it but there was still her greatest need to fly free. She didnt want to be tied down and caged but since the day she had decided to try and make the best of her situation she felt more alive more of her true self and her confidence sky rocketted. Despite her anxiety she was excited to be put to the test as a weapon and that sparkle of pure determination in her eyes. Gone was Natalie, Gone was the American.
Ivan and IIiya was the last to enter the lavish room filled with the smell of cigars, cologne and an array of different liquors. The men all dressed to the nines as he unbuttoned his jacket. As he entered Ivan placed his hand on Lukas' shoulder in silent recognition before walking past to find his seat. [b "Gentlemen, this will be no normal test. Nataliya will be pushed to her limits to prove her loyalty to the family after her disobediance"] taking a sip from his glass Ivan nodded at Gregor who switched on the large tv to another sparring room with Nataliya looking around anxiously for an exit. [b " Before begin Thank you to Zmeya for bringing back our dearest Nataliya into the family and her intensive training, for her safety and ours we will observe her from here"] his lips curving into a dry smile.
Nataliya's hands fumbling over the walls trying to find an exit in a silent state of panic her heart slamming against her chest as the hidden door opened a 6 men wearing Masks entered and all but one lining themselves around the room arms patienty behind their backs at ease. Nataliya didnt have time to think as the first onslaught began in an instant. [i Who were these guys, they meant business] Ivan's eyes intently watching the screen as he watched his newly bought Mercenaries earn thier keep. Nataliya knew she was going to have to pace herself she had a long night ahead. [i These guys could take a hit] The red star stitched on their bicep caught Nataliya's eye sending her rage alright as her knee connected to the face of the man sending a loud snap through the silent room her father was in. She knew what that patch meant, He was sending her a message, there was no way she was coming out of this walking. He wanted her to suffer.
Over step the line? What the hell, Nataliya? Iliya overstepped so many lines so quickly, and what did he have to worry about? Lukas Pachiaveli was the Zmeya, and he would make a scene or make it known he did not like Iliya if he so wished. How could anyone like the man? He was dripping with betrayal and always hungry for power. If anyone asked around about Iliya, they would always get warnings to stay away from him or something of the sort. Lukas would know. He’d been studying up on the man since Ivan let his name slip from his mouth. Iliya did not have one shred of honor or respect. Lukas was still heaving when Nataliya spoke in the charming way she had over him.
[i “Is that all I am to you? I thought I meant more to you Lukas, what a silly girl I am.”] There was something so sultry laced in her words, and it almost felt like fire when she kissed his cheek. Nataliya knew she meant more to him than just a last name. Part of him had vowed that he’d never let Aleks down again, and that meant that he would protect Nataliya. Also, they’d shared several nights together. How could he simply feel nothing after all of that? Lukas didn’t remember the last time she kissed him, but it felt so right... even if it was just on his cheek. Nataliya’s hand was pressed onto his skin, and there was waves of tension just waiting to drown them both... Lukas didn’t want to know what Ivan would do if he saw them in that moment. Lukas gave her a look that was full of exactly what he pictured doing to her as she stepped so close and finally left in the tempting way she always had.
She just exited as if nothing fazed her. Nataliya was as headstrong as anyone. Of course, she wouldn’t listen to him. She was latched onto proving she was not just the daughter of Ivan Renkov. She wanted people to have reason to fear her, just like the Zmeya had. He was proud of her. She was changing, and he could see it unraveling in front of his eyes. She was becoming more of her true self and not the fake identity of Natalie that she strode around in. Nataliya’s skin was tougher than that... and she didn’t even mind standing up to the Zmeya himself. [i Bold move Nataliya... but why don’t you stand up to your father and Iliya?] Lukas still couldn’t count on the fact that she would stay in one place and not run. Nataliya was trying to play him for a fool, and it wouldn’t so damn easy. He couldn’t let it be. If she was planning to run by tricking him, she would have to think up something else.
Before long, Ivan called him up to his office again, and Lukas knew what that meant. Taking a quick few puffs of a cigarette, he finally closed himself in steel as it ascended. He knew it was about Iliya. [i Tattletale.] With a roll of eyes as the silver box opened, he adjusted his jacket and stepped in to Ivan’s office. As predicted, the pathetic man was inside complaining about things and certainly asking for the head of the Zmeya. As soon as he was called inside, Lukas didn’t say anything when he was instructed to explain himself. Ivan knee better. The Pachiaveli would be deliberately clear what he felt, most likely running off Iliya in the process and his huge money bags and cheap haircut. Turning to look straight into Iliya’s eyes, Lukas lazily puffed on his cigarette again before speaking. [b “Now isn’t that a lovely thought, Mr. Renkov. Hear that Iliya? Watch yourself. Wouldn’t want to make enemies in high places.”] Lukas then stepped forward, placing a hand sarcastically on Iliya’s shoulder with an iron grip.
Moving forward, he acted as though he were apologizing as his hot, angry breath trailed over the man’s ear, [b “Don’t you dare think for one fucking minute that I don’t know exactly who you are and what you’re doing. Stay away from Nataliya or I’ll make you regret it. I don’t know if you’ve heard... my bite is much worse than my bark and when a snake bites its fatal.”] Finally pulling away, Lukas nodded to Ivan. [b “See you tonight boss.”] He spoke and then went to dress in the nicest of suits he had, spritzing expensive cologne and spending hours to make himself look the best possible mentor and bodyguard.
He would be lead to a room with plush couches and chairs for the elite to watch Nataliya perform in her initiation. There were several phrases, but he’d stay the entire time. Lukas was her bodyguard and mentor. He trained her well, even if she didn’t like it most of the time. The Zmeya never let her off the hook, always pushing her to practice and perfect. She was talented naturally, but he knew she must be nervous. Nataliya would be tested at the end if her oath to the Renkov family was unwavering. If she said no, then Lukas didn’t want to know what Ivan would do. She ran away enough before, but it was time to step up to her legacy. Would she accept it?
Lukas stood there in silence, his always stoic expression plastered on. On the inside, he couldn’t wait to see Nataliya return to her rightful home. And he wanted to see exactly how she chose to do things. Nataliya Renkov would be a sight to behold. He knew that the instant he saw her.
For one of the very few times in her life Nataliya was left lost for words as the two large men in front of her finally came face to face, her green eyes scanning the scene before her and silently her money was on Lukas but there was still the air of the unknown around the newly imported Iliya. The anger radiating from Lukas each time Iliya was close by was scorching, sure Iliya said some stuff that Nataliya wasn't happy with but he wasn't the worst person in the world, but as much as she was utterly against spending any more time with him than necessary,she held him at arms length. [i Just like mama taught me, never be available, never give them what they want.]
Nataliya couldn't even find her voice to protest as Lukas grabbed Iliya's hand and twisted it painfully to the right. Yes, Lukas shouldn't have put his hands on the other man but in that moment Nataliya didn't care, she was seeing just as much red as her trainer. [i Arrogant ass] It all passed in a flash and they attracted too much attention for Nataliya's liking as he raced down the hallways,past some of the men and finally into the solitude of his room despite her protests and the loud abuse that filled the air as they fled. [i If that rat thinks he can lay a single finger on his woman and himself and have no repercussions he had another thing coming ]
It wasn't until Lukas' gaze met her own did Nataliya see just how volatile he really was. [i The look of a killer] it wasn't often the man lost it but at this moment Nataliya was completely blindsided. It all happened so fast, this was defiantly not the end of it, the war had just begun. Lukas' flustered voice filled the room as a growl, his breathing rapid almost reprimanding the woman for something she had well under her control. Lukas still hadn't learnt she was smarter than most people gave her credit for. Letting her arms fall to her side Nataliya just lifted her eyebrow questioningly awaiting the verbal assault to cease. [i I thought I taught you better than that...You’re the fucking only daughter of Ivan Renkov. If anything, we all bow down to you to whatever you say! Even the damn Zmeya is at your feet. When are you going to realise that?] that was it he struck a nerve. But that wasn't the only thing that had caught her attention a wave of curiosity shot through her body as she replayed those words [i Zmeya is at your feet...] that sounded too good to Natailya 's ears. His body close to hers, she could feel the heat from his exposed him and finally she got a closer look at his decorated skin before bringing her soft eyes to meet his. She wasn't angry maybe just a Little but she would harbour it. Reaching her hands up Nataliya let one rest on the side of his neck and the other gently on his stubble covered cheek, her eyes glued to his, Her body barely an inch away from his own and the flaming tension between threatening to break free. Nataliya kept her composure, his skin soft beneath her fingers. [b " I am careful with him, but you need to be careful you don't overstep the line"] her eyes searching his as her visibly calmed down slightly and a soft sales smile formed on her lips.
[b " I am well aware I am his only daughter, I have known for quite some time Lukas no one ever lets me forget that fact, but is that all I am to you? I thought I meant more to you Lukas, what a silly girl I am"] reaching up to place a soft kiss on the man's cheek Natailya removed her hands and headed towards the door, her head held high but what Lukas didn't see was the quiver in her bottom lip. Old buried feelings were being uncovered, but this time it was different. [b " I am better than just being someone's daughter, I am better than him..."] her voice trailed off as she shut the door behind her before heading down the hall to the elevator. [i She had a plan but no one trusted her enough to let her do her own thing]
Taking in a deep calming breath Nataliya entered the steel box, just get their trust back Nataliya, she reminded herself build up your resources and skills then disappear into the night when they least expect it. She had a plan she just had to wait for the right time. Yes the last two weeks had been fun, getting to know herself again and what she was capable of and how much things had changed but for the Renkov daughter it was only temporary, although the small dull pain she felt in her heart that the thought of leaving had given her a cause for concern as she retreated to her suite in silence.
Pacing Ivan's office Iliya had his hands balled into fists as his pace spead up, his voice in an unclear mumble before her turned to Ivan still fuming [b " Who the Fuck does he think he is?! I want his god damn head Renkov, he dare touch me, we had a deal"] slamming his hands on Ivan's desk in anger the big man didn't flinch as he pulled out his phone and dialed a number, it rang for a few seconds before he hung up the smoke from his cigar filling the room as he watched the man in front of him with a grin spread across his face and he leant back further in his leather chair. Iliya couldn't contain his anger which he didn't know would be his ultimate downfall. His face red with fury as he looked down his nose at Ivan [b "Put your dog on a leash, Nataliya is mine"] his voice almost a growl as there was a loud knock on the wooden door. Ivan's voice booming over Iliya's outbursts [b " Идите сюда змея"] [i Get in here Zmeya] standing up and fixing his suit Ivan's eyes watching the two men come face to face but mainly for some of his own amusement [b " Explain yourself Pachiaveli"] but he didn't even wait for a response he just continued despite the loud protests from the other man. Ivan silently held his hand up to silence him [b " Ensure everything is good for tonight, i want her to do this on her own, prove her loyalty to the family"] Ivan let a slight smile play on his lips as he turned to Iliya [b "Control yourself Bykov, don't forget who's calling the shots and Lukas here will call the shots in my absence as he sees fit."] He growled and folded his arms across his chest [i Tonight had yo go off without a hitch. Nataliya had to be perfect.]
Lukas didn’t spend much time away from Nataliya since Ivan left her alone with Iliya. While some of the senior men attempted to talk with him on issues they wanted the Zmeya’s opinion on or maybe issues only he could handle. No one doubted Lukas Pachiaveli’s talents. While it wasn’t always so undoubted, Lukas clawed his way back, death after death that he caused. When Aleks does, a select few investigated everything he did, sure Lukas was on a power hunt and killed the Renkov himself. Ivan would have roasted him alive if he found any trace of the Pachiaveli to his heir’s death, but the man soon became necessary. No one else knew more about the inner workings of the Renkov mafia than Lukas. The man had spent years alongside Aleks as his best friend and bodyguard, working around secret meetings and being asked to accompany Aleks in high stakes missions. Everyone was lost when Aleks died. Before the Renkov family fell into shambles, Lukas stood up as someone to look up to. He proved his innocence, and he more than proved his worth. Some even believed the conspiracy theory that Lukas was Ivan’s bastard son.
Lukas had almost singlehandedly destroyed empires that challenged the Renkov’s, and it wouldn’t be the last time he did. Plus, Lukas was gifted with the talent of observation. When Ivan first slipped up and told him Iliya was in the works to marry his daughter and produce an heir, Lukas found everything he could about the man. He was about as crooked as the state of the Renkov family itself. Iliya was rich to no end, but his wealth came from backstabbing, lying, and manipulating. Iliya was a big man, tall and sturdy. He could intimidate others if needed. Not to mention that he had money to back it up. The lame excuse for a man worked his magic by first getting close to Ivan Renkov by bailing him out of a few close calls. Soon enough, Ivan was indebted and in gratitude to Iliya, seeing gold everywhere he walked. Lukas knew better than to be smitten by the prospect of wealth. However, in all honesty, Lukas had taken offense to the idea. Iliya only came around after Nataliya left, but Lukas was always there. They’d lost Aleks, and the Pachiaveli assumed his role in that shaded his reputation in Ivan’s eyes somewhat.
Nonetheless, he played the part of second in command. He spoke with the top drug dealers, arms dealers, hit men, and money launderers from around the world. Some deals would be struck up in the coming days. It was a huge night for the mafia, but Lukas was admittedly not himself. One eye was always trained on the vixen he was supposed to give his life to protect. He would do just that, even if Ivan trusted Iliya. [i Because the Zmeya sure as hell didn’t.”]
The night went by with toasts and laughs and smiles. Lukas wasn’t sure, but it looked like none of the attempts Iliya made to charm Nataliya were working. The night faded into weeks of training where the male never let her off easily. He pushed her with sparring and target practice as hard as they could possibly go. She showed progress every day, becoming faster and stronger. But he’d be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy it. Nataliya was quick on her feet, and she had a natural ability to fight unlike many others, causing him to enjoy sparring. Lukas even let out some laughs at the end of their spars. He and Nataliya had inevitably become closer. Lukas would never hate her... Not after their history. If Lukas was a cold blooded monster, he was also loyal to a T to those he cared for. He would be heartless if he had no care at all for Nataliya’s well-being after they went through grieving her brother and his best friend together. Nothing brought people closer together than tragedy.
Nataliya was a bad ass. She shattered every goal Lukas set for her, and they were always high achieving ones. She was more confident and happier, all of it not going unnoticed by Lukas. Lukas wiped off the sweat from his brow and let out a slight laugh. Tonight was Nataliya’s initiation. She would be officially returned to the Renkov family as Ivan’s secret weapon... if she agreed to it all. [b “That depends on you, Nat.”] Lukas was wearing a wife beater that showed off all his tattoos and sculpted figure that he constantly worked on. Lukas had a routine he almost never broke. He wanted to be at the top of his game at all times, becoming a machine of ultimate destruction. [i The Zmeya.]
Squirting some water in his mouth, Lukas was about to give her some advice when none other than Iliya stepped inside. His lips went into a thin line, eyes narrowing. Lukas threw his towel down angrily, hearing Iliya’s direct jab at him. Tension was obvious all over his jaw and shoulders. He wanted nothing more than to slam the man up against the wall and beat him to no end, but Lukas knew better. Ivan would literally rip his head off. Iliya was someone he’d have to deal with in alternate ways. Lukas knew he didn’t need to explain how he was in no way low company. The Pachiaveli was second in command and a known killing machine, the Zmeya.he didn’t appreciate the jabs at his person, attempting to make him slip up. Lukas knew better... [i But damn was it hard to hold his tongue.]
As soon as Nataliya took Iliya’s hand, Lukas nearly destroyed the man then and there. [i Dress like a lady!? Do you want to lose your fucking head?] Lukas eyed all the ways he could pain the man, all his pressure points... Lukas had to say something to Ivan or Nataliya... he needed to warn her and arm her. How could Ivan want this man as his son in law? The jerk believed a wife was only seen and used. Nataliya Renkov was worth much more than that. The Zmeya watched Nataliya’s face as pure fury washed over it. In that instant, seeing her hating every bit of it, he acted. Stepping forward, Lukas grabbed Iliya’s hand with enough pressure to cause some pain. His dark eyes stared like black intimidating holes right into Iliya’s, [b “She can dress like a lady after her initiation. I’m sure you’ll be there?”]
Lukas didn’t wait for a response. Taking hold of Nataliya’s hand, Lukas pushed past Iliya and didn’t stop walking until they got somewhere private, his room. Pulling Nataliya in and closing the door behind him, the man looked straight into her eyes. [b “Be careful with him. I thought I taught you better. If you hate even touching him, then rebel! Why the hell would you just let him run over you? You’re the fucking only daughter of Ivan Renkov. If anything, we all bow down to you to whatever you say! Even the damn Zmeya is at your feet. When are you going to realize that!?”]
Lukas was angry. Nataliya wasn’t understanding her importance, and it drove him crazy. Why would she just accept such a miserable life? His breathing was heavier, and he hadn’t realized how close he got to her. But hell, she needed to hear his words, even if they were harsh. Nataliya was the most important person in the entire place, save for maybe Ivan Renkov.
Nataliya had no idea what was in store for her that night, all she knew was her father was testing her ability to put on a face and charm anyone that meant anything to the family. Drug dealers, money launderers, arms dealers hell anyone that made a very good profit from or added to any of the Renkov inventory was there to see her. The myth she had become since the day she was born, sure Aleks was heir to the throne but to be the only daughter of a man who had built his own empire since coming to America and what an empire it had become, he was untouchable. [i She was something else entirely] Any man to be able to prove his worth to the family and marry in was set a place next to the king a lot of men had approached Ivan in the past about any possible suitors but he had sent them away without an answer.
That was until Iliya's uncle arrived from Moscow, heavily involved in prostitution and the drug trade with a lot of power behind them from the old country. [i This would cement him more power and backing from both countries if his plan worked ] But Ivan didn't get to his position by taking chances it was all cold analytical decisions. He knew forcing his girl into anything was a sure fire way to loose her, she would rebel and vanish just like before. [i Just like her fucking bitch of a mother.] Little did Nataliya know Iliya had done his homework on the blonde haired vixen. He had done everything in his power to learn what he could about the secretive Renkov daughter with the help of her father, her likes, dislikes anything he could use to his advantage. Too bad it was false outdated information.
The rest of that night for Nataliya flew by in a blur. Lots of smiles, handshakes and of course toasts to the health and good fortune of the Renkov empire. Iliya had tried his best at charming Nataliya, sure he was charming and handsome in his own way but he didn't hold a candle to the man that was following their every move. It gave Nataliya some comfort knowing Lukas was close by, sure she could have handled it if the need arose but the sheer size of Iliya he would have out powered her immediately. She had no idea who this man was, Ivan disappeared shortly after the introductions, Nataliya wasn't stupid, she would play the part until the plan came to light and whatever was meant to happen here was made known.
For the next two weeks Nataliya fell into a routine and her training was intensifying each time Lukas set her a goal she would easily smash it out of the park.She was actually enjoying herself. For the first time since returning Nataliya had a genuine smile and glint in her eye as both her and Lukas finished up their sparring session with a laugh from both of them as Nataliya lay down on the floor trying to catch her breath. [b " Hopefully tonight isn't that intensive"] she giggled as she looked up at Lukas. Tonight was the big test, her initiation back into the family if all went off without a hitch, Nataliya would be lying if she didn't say she was nervous but as long as she had Lukas by her side Nataliya knew she could take on the world.
Wiping the sweat from her blushed face with a towel as she sat up Nataliya kept her eyes trained on the usual stoic Lukas. Her voice quiet as she saw out of the corner of her eye Iliya stride into the gym towards them with a large grin on his face [b "Thank you for being patient with my training..."] she trailed off as Iliya opened his arms wide, Nataliya forced her lips into a smile as her moved her focus his loud voice filling the air [b " Beautiful girl, why do you lower yourself to such low company and activities"] his English still slightly broken as he finally acknowledged Lukas' presence before turning away [b " Come, I am taking you shopping to dress like the lady you should be"] Nataliya reluctantly took Iliya's hand and a wave of fury washed over her. [i Fuc k this guy] Iliya's mentality a woman should be seen and not heard, always dressed to impressed and not let their mouth be filled with anything but calm, positive and loving tones towards their man. [i He had his work cut out for him with Nataliya Galina Renkov]
Another puff of cigarette smoke came from his lips as things seemed to slow down just a moment. One hand stabilized the cigarette as the other gripped onto the railway lightly. Nightfall allowed the lights in the city to shine as brilliant as ever. There were some days Lukas admires beauty. He was a cold, Russian-blooded, killer, but he was still human. Lukas released a breath of tension. There was always pressure on his shoulder and always another target on him. When he wasn’t worrying about missions for Ivan and the Renkov mafia, he was worrying about keeping his head. Lukas was a despised yet important and powerful man. He was none other than second in command to one of the most wealthy and influential men in Los Angeles if not the entirety of California. He wasn’t a joke. [i But Nataliya was maybe more important than anything he could ever be.] Lukas had to deal with that. He was used to being the best, but Nataliya would always hold her last name over him. Gregor’s words were still lingering in his mind. Many of the mafia wanted a man on the throne, and they wanted the ruthless Lukas Pachiaveli. Nataliya, if she was smart, wouldn’t let her birth right fall to the side. Although, she wouldn’t have come back here if he hadn’t knocked her out and drug her.
Her presence changed everything. He’d splurged for some vodka that night. He wasn’t huge on drinking, knowing how much it could alter the senses and weaken a man. He wanted no weaknesses, but he could hold a few down. Standing so close to Nataliya, he recalled the times they’d shared together. It was usually always just physical chemistry and need. One that was unsatisfied by anyone but her. There was no denying that past, and she already explored that earlier when he had her pinned against the wall. He wouldn’t show that weakness again. If he wanted meaningless sex, Lukas could find Cat or almost any other woman he chose. His tattoos, power, body, infamous story, and mystery drew women all the time to him. [i Yeah, might need to do something about that tonight.] He thought, the instant Nataliya’s fingers came into contact with his hand just barely enough to show him that she was there. Lukas looked at her with a side glance, trying to gauge what she was doing. He thought she was angry with him, but the touch was so gentle. [i Nataliya Renkov will be the end of me.]
Lukas was about to say more when the doors opened, and Nataliya retracted her hand like it was burned on a hot stove. Turning at the sound of gravel and the smell of Cuban cigars, Lukas knew who it was without looking. He stayed there, his back to the man a moment to take in the view as he took another puff of his cigarette before turning to address his boss the instant he heard that snake’s name.. [i Iliya.] Lukas’ whole body stiffened, and tension locked his jaw. In almost no time, Ivan and his daughter left into the abyss of wealth and drink. Lukas leaned heavily against the wall, staying on the second floor as he surveyed the scene for the two-faced man. [i Fucking Iliya? Ivan still wants to marry her off to that bastard?] Lukas thought, considering the implications of such a union.
He was powerless to step in then, only waiting to observe the interaction. Lukas weaves his way through the crowd to a safe enough distance to hear what was going on. After all, he had an excuse to be close. He was her bodyguard. And he had to hear this. Ivan made it clear how significant Iliya was to the family. The man had a wallet that was potentially bigger than his ego, and he used it to get what he wanted. Securing a marriage with Nataliya Renkov would permanently install him into power. Lukas hated the plan with every fiber in his body. Who was to say that the man wouldn’t kill Nataliya the instant he married her? How could they trust his oath? Also, did Ivan really want his heir to share traits with the ugly fucker? It confused Lukas to no end.
While it should have made Lukas happy to know Ivan still wanted the Zmeya in control of the empire until an heir was made, there were still shivers sent up his spine. Lukas replaced his cigarette for another vodka, throwing it back as he sternly took in the scene before him. [i I’m watching you Iliya. What are you planning?]
Nataliya's eyes scanned the glittering lights below as she rested her hands on the railing, her mind drifting away in thought to the people below going about their normal lives. [i I'd give anything to go back to that] The silence between the cat and mouse deafening as Nataliya Watched out of the corner of her eye the flicker of light as Lukas Puffed on a cigarette and his free hand coming down to rest mere inches from hers. The woman's mind racing with thoughts. Could she go back to being Invisible? Why did she seem to blend back in so well? Why did she enjoy the rush of using her mind and body as a weapon so much? Why did they want her back?
Nataliya took in a deep breath and brought herself back to the hazy reality. [i slowdown on the vodka] her body heat increasing as Nataliya finally took in more details of the man next to her. He had put in extra hours at the gym, the evidence of more scars, definitely more tattoos but however much Lukas had changed and become a walking Adonis Nataliya Knew he wouldn't share his thoughts. Even their time together was mostly dominated by their physical Chemistry, they left emotion forgotten at the door much like their clothing if they remembered to remove it. There was no emotion between them. Russians don't like weakness. Lukas the ice cold calculated killer and Nataliya the fiery manipulative seductress.. [i One very dysfunctional team] A team that lvan in the coming weeks would put to the test. A re-initiation so to speak to test the loyalty of his daughter in returning to the fold and for lvan to gain some favour back with his most senior men who opposed Nataliya's return, they wanted a man on the throne, Lukas.
Her fingers moving closer before softly coming into contact with the inked skin of his hand caressing carefully as Nataliya Kept her gaze on the nightlife before them. Yes it was bold but in that moment Nataliya let her guard down. She was her with Lukas, a stunning view but maybe in another life that moment would have the norm. Maybe in another life they could have worked but god his skin felt good against her own. Nataliya had no idea on how that simple gentle gesture would impact the near future between them both. As the large glass door opened Nataliya ripped her hand away as her father took a few steps closer the Scent of Cigars filling the air [b "принцесса"] [i Princess] Nataliya Immediately turned to face the man with a smile on her face before closing the space between them [b "да отец"] [i Yes father] Ivan's arm wrapped around her waist as they made their way back towards the party [b "Я хочу, чтобы вы встретились с Ильей"] [i I want you to come meet Iliya] Nataliya turned back to glance at Lukas with a soft smile for an apology as her father spoke. She couldn't help notice Lukas stiffening up as the name left Ivan's mouth before disappearing back into the deafening surrounds.
[i Did Lukas know who he was?] little did Nataliya Know all of the Senior men Knew of Iliya. He was from old Soviet Money and the new favourite family associate. Tall, Blonde, handsome, rich and powerful. Lukas was present at their first dinner meeting where a liquored up Ivan Renkov let slip that if his disrespectful whore of a daughter came back to the family and were to marry he would want lliya as his son in law. [i Fuck What Nataliya thinks, this is business] Lukas was to take control of the empire until Iliya and Nataliya produce a son.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.