Claimed By The Russian Billionaire

By: Riley Moreno

Chapter 1

Mary Joanna held back the tears. She was not going to give him the pleasure of seeing her cry. She knew her days at the needle factory were over. She had seen this coming long before it had reached this point.

“I tried all I could Mary, but it’s just that bad” Jerry, the factory manager said, apology plastered all over his face. “The big guys at the top just don’t want anything they feel is not absolutely necessary with the economy going to the dogs”

Mary did not believe it but she made to pick up the pink slip from the table. Jerry held her right hand, “Of course I could put on some pressure for you if you like; I could tell them how dedicated, punctual and dedicated you’ve been… that is if you do something for me”

Mary wanted to slap the lewd smile off his face. She had suspected this whole thing was in retaliation to her repeated refusals towards his advances. If she felt put off by him before, she positively hated him now.

Ever civil, she grabbed the pink slip and pulled her hand away, “Thanks, but no thanks. I think I’ll pass”

“What is wrong with you?! Why are you so damn difficult all the time?” Jerry spat, jumping out of his chair “You think you’re better than any of them other girls? Than Eileen? Than Roxy?”

“I don’t wanna hear the names of all the women you have frightened to your twisted ends Jerry! I have taken my notice and I am going home” Mary said, making for the door.

“You think it is easy out there?! On the streets?! I took you in when nobody else would; I took you all in even when we did not need the extra personnel-you owe me!” he was almost upon her now.

She turned to face him. Six inches taller than she was, she raised her head to look him straight in the eye, “I know what you did for me Jerry, and for that I am forever grateful but don’t you ever in your life tell me what I can and cannot do.” Jerry suddenly felt shorter all of a sudden, and he quickly remembered that Mary was no pushover. She continued, “What do you know about the streets Jerry? Growing up in your little suburban getaway-breakfasts before school, presents at Christmas? Mister I grew on the streets and it does not scare me-not anymore!”

Jerry staring into her dark, liquid eyes felt embarrassed at her open defiance, not only at him, but at life itself. Not surprisingly he could not shake the creeping feeling of loss. The type you feel when you are about to lose something you really cherished through your own fault entirely. Most of all, he felt disappointed; just over an hour ago he had envisioned this meeting following an entirely different course, eventually ending with Mary gratefully jumping into his bed. He briefly toyed with the idea of offering her job back but he knew she would not take it. He knew she would not take it however; Mary had too much pride-or was it self-respect?

He made up his mind not to care, “Get out of my office!” he growled into her defiant face. “And don’t come back!” he snarled at her already retreating back. The stubborn feeling of loss remained.



****

Mary pulled up along the curb that lay by her house. She was surprised at the silence, Andre was supposed to be home and there was never a silent moment when he was around.

Mary sighed, thinking of her brother Andre. Strong, athletic, good looking, he was not book smart, but he was street smart. He also had not held a real job in over three years, something which Mary had never failed to remind him of the whole time. He was not the nuisance you would expect-he managed the odd job here and there, but she knew he was capable of so much more; forget that he had not completed college.

The apartment was set at roughly the middle of a series of similar apartments, joined end to end. It was not a pretty sight, set in a neighborhood which was not a pretty sight. She made up her mind to set Andre straight about the trash she had to skip over to get to the door.



Not very far away, a rowdy big money card game was under way. Leander Kolarov, both drunk and alert, the way only Russians can pull off, was barely visible behind the pile of stacks he had amassed for the night. There were eight other players seated around the semi-circular table, a dealer sat at the head.

The game, near its end, already had a winner-except Leander could somehow pull off a monumental blunder and lose the game. The others seated at the table with their poker faces intact secretly hoped he would, but following his track record, they were not about holding their breaths. None of them really needed the money. They each had more than enough, ten times over.

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