Latrivia Nelson and Bruce Welch
At the stroke of midnight, I was on the phone with Shag, while he told me that he loved me as he was working. I was in route to the party we both we soon be at in the late hours of the night. Our promise to ourselves was simple…We would no longer allow ourselves to be controlled by other people and their demands of us.
We had endured a tough year (1) the loss of our unborn child, (2) the craziness of past relationships, (3) near death experiences, (4) cleaning up the garage…and the list goes on. But we made it. Now it’s a new year, and a lot has changed. I went from the Sr. Account Services at the firm that I work for to the Senior Account Executive (big jump), I’ve got a load of new material to release for the Latrivia Nelson brand and more than anything, I’m actually thinking outside of the box.
The key, however, is to be consistent. You have to think outside of the box on a continual basis. Not easy. Not easy at all. It’s like sticking your big toe in the water but not following through with getting in, even if the water is just right. So this year, I’m diving in.
To prove it, I’m sharing something with you. Here is the rough, rough, rough draft of the Prologue of The Chronicles of Young Dmitry: Volume 6. I refuse to miss out on one more opportunity to share with you, because no one is promised tomorrow.
How are you stepping into 2014? I’d love to hear, so please share.
XoXo and all that jazz,
The Chronicles of Young Dmitry Medlov
By: Latrivia S. Nelson
Midnight, Private Airstrip
Manhattan (New York City, NY)
After a physically and mentally exhausting flight from Prague, Dmitry Medlov stepped off his shiny, new private Learjet in a private Manhattan hangar with five of his best men in tow and planted his long limbs on solid ground.
It felt good to be out of the confinement of the stuffy plane and back on the earth’s surface again. He’d never truly been fond of planes, because it took away too much control and put it in the hands of another; although at the same time, planes were an absolute necessity for his way of life. So were the bodyguards and the armored cars and the guns and so many other things, he would have been happy to live without had he had another life. A simple life. But that was wishful thinking.
Three black bulletproof SUVs were waiting outside of the hangar for the men along with his eager-to-please Brighton Beach team. All of the men on the team were young, barely in their thirties, dying to be in charge or at least to be recognized. They greeted him with the customary respects, shocked to see the boss in the flesh.
Although he was tired, he made sure to shake every man’s hand, even though he didn’t have to. It was unbelievable what a man would risk if shown a little respect. Over the years, just shaking a man’s hand had led them to dive in front of bullets for him, knowing that they would not survive. And what did it take to get them to sacrifice themselves? A little kindness. But that had been learned not taught sense, something that had come at a hefty price.
“Boss, you’re here,” Semyon said, opening the door for him to the SUV.
Dmitry paused at the door and looked at Semyon. “I want you on your best behavior.”
Semyon tilted his head. “Of course, boss.”
Although Dmitry loaded up, no part of him wanted to sit for a second longer. He would have walked in the night’s air, if he had the time.
His body ached in places that only a man of his age could, longing for a steaming hot bath and a warm bed, but he knew that his attention needed to be in other places at the moment, namely on his more than defiant daughter, Anya.
In a word, she was out of control.
And as a result, so was he.
Only, he denied himself any reason to show it. He couldn’t give her that power over the situation.
Another power struggle.
Life was full of them.
After an explosive argument that he and his oldest daughter had the day before about her desire to start running a part of his business that she should have neither known about nor in her right mind wanted anything to do with, she had packed her things and left the country.
It was a move that only proved to him that she was still an immature child, even if she was now technically a woman. However, his wife had begged to differ, rationalizing that his tyrant-like hold on Anya’s life was the reason that she had chosen to flee.
Who would blame her, Royal had reasoned.
Women all stuck together, no matter the age.
Again, it all came back to being his fault. The very notion that all that he had done to keep her safe had been not only unappreciated but completely overlooked made him want to show everyone what real immaturity looked like, but it wouldn’t have done any good. Anya had a hold on him, whether he admitted to it or not.
To keep the family from knowing her exact whereabouts, Anya had chartered a flight across the ocean using her own money, but what she hadn’t counted on was the chip that Dmitry had installed in the diamond bracelet that she was still wearing. It had been necessary after he had found out about her secret relationship with Semyon and her proposed marriage to the prince who would remain nameless.
Within one mission in mind, they headed in a tight convoy towards NYU’s campus. As soon as Dmitry heard where she had traveled to, he knew exactly where to look for her. And after one call, he had gotten an address. There was only one person whom she’d travel thousands of miles to cry to, her childhood friend, and one of the sons of his most trusted confidants, Adamo Agosto.
Twisting the cap off a cold beer and throwing it on the coffee table in the living room, Adamo plopped down on his brown leather sofa, put the pillow on his lap, and grabbed the remote.
It was a perfect Saturday night, and here he was watching The Godfather trilogy and babysitting. What a life? He should have been out hanging with his friends or crawling into bed with strange women, just like his brother Madison was doing at that moment, but Anya needed him.
She had shown up on his doorstep unannounced and alone the night before, interrupting his session with Apple, a California blonde named for Silicon Valley’s most coveted technology and shaped like a vintage coke bottle, whom he had devoted two very long weeks to getting in bed. The entire courtship had been all for naught, seeing that he had to throw her out on her ass when Anya came storming in teary eyed and upset.
Apple had been his weekend plan, but Anya had been his friend most of his life.
Now, it would take days to line up something else; time that he didn’t have. Major exams were coming up starting Monday morning, and he had to produce good grades or his old man would have his ball sack. If he could recall correctly, his father had used those exact words in his threat.
So help me if you don’t get those grades, I’ll have your ball sack on my rearview mirror for Christmas, his father had threatened.
Reason enough for any sensible young man to take his classes seriously.
“Do you feel like some company?” Anya asked, standing at the top of the spiral staircase that led to the bedroom. Her voice hummed through the air like a summer breeze.
Adamo looked up from the sofa and spied her in one of his dress shirts. It was like a jolting shock to his inner wolf, and suddenly he was begging to get out. True, they had seen each other plenty of times naked when they were kids playing in the backyard of his parents’ home with the water hose, but this was no child that he was beholding.
Anya was all woman, all curves and sensuality. Her long black mane flowed like a black river down past her shoulders and her killer body peaked out of the Brooks Brothers pin stripe making him nearly forget that she was at least like his sister. Her perky large breasts pressed hard against the fine fabric and flawless firm long legs anchored her stealthy frame. And even in the shirt that tried to dwarf her, he could see wide hips and a remarkable tiny waist.
He moved the bottle from his mouth absently and swallowed hard. His large Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat. “Sure,” he croaked in a deep southern baritone. He moved over on the sofa quickly and tapped the cushion. “Bring a throw with you. It can get chilly with the ceiling fan.” He couldn’t take his gaze off the still, diamond-like blueness of her sultry eyes.
Look away, he told himself quietly.
“You sure? I don’t want to intrude any more than I already have,” she said in her weird English and Russian accent.
Even after many years of spending time back and forth in the states, Anya sounded extremely foreign to Adamo.
“Hell, you’ve already intruded more than you should have. Might as well go the whole way.” He knew that she knew he was playing.
“I’ll be right down.” Anya smiled gently, almost with a hint of flirtation, and disappeared back in the room to grab the covers. As she did, Adamo caught a glimpse of her white lace panties from his low vantage point. He liked white.
His brow spiked in curiosity, but he quickly shut it off. “It’s Anya for Pete’s sake. Get a hold of yourself,” he mumbled under his breath.
“What did you say?” she called out from the bedroom.
“Umm…nothing,” Adamo said, looking down at his lap. This would have all gone better if Anya had just shown up a little later last night. Apple would have cured what was suddenly ailing him.
Trailing down the staircase with the throw in her hands, she stopped midway when his doorbell rang.
“Are you expecting anyone?” she asked, staring at the black wooden door.
Adamo stood up. “I’m never expecting anyone,” he said, walking across the room. “But that doesn’t mean shit.”
Anya wanted to tell him not to answer it, but kept her lips pursed closed.
“Who is it?” Adamo asked, looking through the peephole. He looked back at her and shook her head. “It’s your dad,” he said with a sigh. Great, more drama for the night. Just what he needed. All he was missing was the angry boyfriend.
“Shit,” Anya said, heading back upstairs. “Stall him.”
“Uh huh.” Adamo waited until she closed the bedroom door before he opened the front door. “What’s up, old man,” he said with a smile.
Dmitry looked down at Adamo, shirtless and wearing basketball shorts and growled. “I’m here for Anya,” he said, breezing past him.
Adamo stood to the side and let his NBA sized entourage inside. Closing the door behind them, he ran a hand through his black curls. “I can’t say that I didn’t expect you. Where there is one Medlov…there are normally many more.”
“I could say the same for the Agosto’s,” Dmitry quipped.
Standing in the middle of the open room, Dmitry looked around the little loft apartment, complete with New York Yankees memorabilia hanging on the exposed brick walls, a bike in the corner and tons of old textbooks lined up on the bookshelves. A typical college apartment. “Where is she?” he asked flatly. He took off his suit jacket and laid it on the recliner adjacent to the sofa.
Adamo pointed. “Upstairs changing,” he said, locking eyes with Semyon, who was standing right beside him, glaring at him. “What’s up with your guard dog?”
Semyon’s eye twitched and the veins in his neck protruded out.
Dmitry walked into the small kitchen and grabbed a glass out of the cupboard, like he had been there a hundred times before. Leaning against the counter, he sipped the water and looked out the window at the Manhattan skyline. “How is your family?” he asked, ignoring Adamo’s snide remark.
Adamo was about to respond when the dog finally spoke.
“Just another fucking spoiled American suka,” Semyon snarled. He stepped closer to Adamo.
“Suka?” Adamo turned and looked up at Semyon, blue eyes blazing. “Who are you calling a bitch, bitch? You better take that shit outside.”
“Boys,” Dmitry said, slightly raising his voice. He glanced over at them with a warning glare. He wasn’t here for them to measure their dicks. He was here for his daughter.
Both men backed down, but only because of Dmitry’s command. Otherwise, they would have already been at each other’s throats.
Adamo had been around Russians most of his life, so the intimidation factor had long gone out the window, and he spoke the language fluently, knew the customs, understood the underworld. Plus, if one added in the factor that he was also an interracial child born out of a marriage of a black woman and a white man, Italian in fact, then he’d had hard knocks enough. As such, he had become hardened over the years. He was his own man, ready to stand when needed against anyone who got in his way.
“You didn’t answer my question,” Dmitry said in a low even tone.
“Pop is good. He and mom took a vacation to Cabo,” Adamo finally answered Dmitry, while at the same time stepping away from Semyon before he lost his cool. “My brothers are scattered out. Madison transferred up here to NYU this semester. Michael and David are all stars on the football team back home. Rosalyn and Sadiri are both boy crazed middle schoolers. We’re all just one big happy family,” Adamo said, walking into the kitchen. He opened the frig and pulled out another beer. “Want one?” He offered the bottle to Dmitry.
“It’s odd watching you even offer me that,” Dmitry said, taking the beer. “Just a minute ago, you were a child running around my house with your brothers.”
Adamo grabbed one for himself. “Well, I had to grow up sometime.” He took a sip and looked back over at Semyon critically. “You sure that he should be here when she comes out? She was pretty upset when she arrived.”
“Why wouldn’t he be?” Dmitry asked, looking over at Semyon, who had his eyes locked on Adamo’s closed bedroom door.
“He’s part of the problem,” Adamo said, intentionally not lowering his voice.
“Lovers often are,” Dmitry said with finality.
Adamo bucked his eyes. “Him?” He shook his head in disbelief. “What happened to Prince Pussy pants?”
The bedroom door opened and Anya emerged fully dressed. As soon as her hand touched the banister, she locked eyes on Semyon. Even in his brooding silence, he dominated the room and her attention.
Without intention, her mouth parted when she saw him. His deep tan skin glistened with sheer anger. Looking over at Adamo and back at her, he raised a brow.
“No,” she said, rolling her eyes. “He’s just a friend.”
The tension left his wide mountainous shoulders. Licking his deep rose lips, he gave her another look, one that was mixed with relief and need. Semyon headed up the staircase towards her. Then he remembered himself. Gritting his teeth, he looked over at Dmitry. “Boss, may I have a word with her alone?”
Dmitry placed the beer down carefully on the countertop and walked back out where she could see him.
“Daddy,” Anya said, straightening up. “How did you find me?”
“Boys, why don’t you all step outside,” Dmitry said, temper quietly flaring. He kept his eyes on Anya. “I need to speak to my daughter alone and unlike Semyon; I don’t have the energy to hike up a flight of stairs.”
Adamo opened the frig again and pulled out the rest of his beers. “I guess I’ll be outside then,” he said, walking to the front door.
Semyon looked at Anya one last time and then headed out of the door behind Adamo.
As soon as the door closed, Anya came down the stairs. “I needed some time,” she said before Dmitry could speak.
“You were throwing a fit. Stomping your feet won’t solve anything with me, Anya. You have to know that by now.”
Anya raised a finger. “I was not stomping my feet.”
“Really?” Dmitry said, lifting his palms in the air. “We’re in New York. You left the country because you were upset.”
“I needed to get some distance between myself and my situation,” she said in a matter of fact tone. “But you can’t understand that because you’re too busy still trying to control me.”
“Are you trying to provoke me?” Dmitry asked, voice even. He put a large hand on his hip.
“No, I’m trying to…”
Dmitry cut her off. “Don’t. If you try, I might just get provoked.”
“Then what, Daddy? I’m not a Vor. You can’t have me killed because I don’t want to do exactly as I’m told.”
Dmitry smiled. “Clever girl. You think I’m out of options, don’t you.” He shook his head. “I’m far from it. You will do as I have instructed because I have instructed it.”
“I will not,” she said calmly. She clenched her jaw. “I’ve decided that I’m not going back with you. So, you’ve wasted a trip. And I won’t come back until you hear out my proposal. It’s a good proposal…”
“It’s ridiculous. You running my London affairs? Have you gone mad? No women are on the council. No women run entire outfits. You’re a child.”
“I’m not a child,” she said, snapping back at him. “I haven’t been a child since the day that Davyd was killed.” She fought tears as she said his name.
Dmitry pointed a finger at her. “You will not place yourself in harm’s way by running London.
Viktor is running London, and he’s doing fine as my…”
“Viktor is dead,” Anya interrupted said, voice lower. “And I assure you, he’s not fine.”
Dmitry’s brow furrowed. “What?” Did he hear her right? Why had he not been informed?
“I killed him,” Anya said, eyes darkening. She walked around the sofa toward her father. “Before I flew here, I stopped in London, and I met with him at his house, where I confronted him about his dealings with Hashed Nadir, and then I killed him after he basically admitted to stealing from us to fund activities that we don’t support, specifically terrorism. He was helping fund and fuel a civil war with our weapons and with our money.”
“If you had been in London, I would have known about it. If Viktor was dead, I would know about it,” Dmitry growled.
“Because of the diamond bracelet?” she asked, raising her wrist. It reflected in the light. “One plane came straight to New York with the bracelet on it. One plane went to London. And the reason that you don’t know about Viktor is because his men are dead also.”
Dmitry saw a glint in his daughter’s eyes that reminded him of a man he once knew. Even now, she bore his resemblance.
“Am I really to believe that a little girl killed my men?” Dmitry sucked his teeth. “Who helped you?” He looked toward the door as if to implicate Semyon.
Anya drew her father’s attention. “He wouldn’t have, even if I had begged him. He’s loyal to you way past a fault. And none of your men would have stood with me for fear of you, even though Viktor was a sorry excuse for a man and a traitor. The order didn’t come from you, so I had no help.”
“How many?” Dmitry asked.
“Five,” Anya said without flinching.
He thought it hard to believe that his daughter was capable of such a thing.
“They weren’t expecting it. That’s what made it easy,” she explained. “If they had even an inkling of an idea that I came there to kill them, then I’m sure that I’d be dead.” Still, she did not flinch.
“You only get that kind of advantage once. Eventually, your innocent façade will wear off and people will see you for what you are. No more surprises. No more advantages. Then where will you be?”
“And just what am I exactly, daddy?” she asked.
Dmitry walked up to her and rubbed her face. “You’re a Medlov.”
“Then give me the opportunity to prove it. My brothers have no desire to run anything outside of Anatoly. He’s got the States and everything on that side of the glob locked. But London…” Her eyes were bright. “We have so many growth opportunities in Europe.”
Dmitry’s shoulder’s slumped. “It kills me when I can’t give you what you want…”
“But…” She urged him to finish his sentence.
“But this is one of those times that I’ll just have to be unhappy. The Vor has no place for women and absolutely no place for my daughter. This family has billions of dollars at its disposable because I did the heavy lifting years before you were born. As a result there are even more opportunities…legal opportunities…for you to explore than most of the entire world put together. So you see, I can’t indulge this desire you have to live recklessly at everyone else’s expense. I appreciate your dealings with Viktor, and I will be following up on everything that you said, but if you are caught inserting yourself into my business again, then I’ll be forced to take drastic steps.”
“So because I am a woman…”
Dmitry cut her off. “You are my daughter. You will do as I say. This discussion is over. Now, I have rooms for us at the Waldorf. We’re leaving and going their now. And upon your arrival, you will call your mother and let her know that you are safe again.”
“I was safe before,” she snapped, stepping away from him. “I can’t believe after everything that I just told you, it still boiled down to a no answer. Do you think that my spoiled ass baby brothers are going to lead the next generation of men? Or Demi?” she laughed facetiously. “Anatoly isn’t exactly raising the next Czar. Gabriel never had a blind man’s chance in the first place and if you even think about selecting Semyon over me…” Her nostrils flared.
Dmitry smacked his lips and looked away from her. “You’re too power hungry for your own good, Anya,” he warned.
“It worked out well for you, didn’t it. Heavy lifting aside, you made out pretty well from the slums of Moscow to where you are now.”
“Do you think that you really have what it takes to lead at all costs?” he asked, stone faced.
“Yes,” she answered quickly.
“Fine,” Dmitry said, pulling his gun from the holster under his tailored suit jacket. The steel weapon gleemed across the room. “What if Semyon is the only thing standing in the way of you and your coveted position? When I was your age, I would have simply killed him. Got him out of the way.” He put the cold steel in her manicured hands. “Not much has changed since that time when it comes to life and power. If you want the Vory so badly, go and get it. He won’t be expecting it either. Blow his brains out and if you’re afraid of Adamo being a witness, then kill him too.”
Anya looked at the gun and then shoved it back toward him.
“What’s the matter?” Dmitry asked, taunting her.
“You would really let me kill them. Both of them. I know it,” she said pissed.
“That’s the point. The Vory v Zakone has no place for love,” Dmitry said, acknowledging the fact that he knew about covert but blooming relationship that she was having with Semyon.
“Who said anything about love?” she snapped.
“If I have to tell you how I know, this conversation is going to take a drastic turn. Now, I’m still your father dammit.” His teeth showed
Like a deer in headlights, Anya stood in shock. “How did you know?” she asked. “Did he tell you?”
“No. He did not tell me, though it did nearly cost him his life.”
Anya’s eyebrows immediately spiked.
Dmitry continued with a low ease in his voice. “Besides, it’s my business to know.” He bit his wide heart-shaped lips, contemplating just how much to tell her. “I may not always have a close enough eye on my men, Viktor being a prime example, but you aren’t one of my men, and I have to keep you safe and keep both eyes on you.” He sucked his teeth. “Would you make an excellent Czar? Absolutely. Will you make an excellent Czar? Hell no. It will be over my dead, rotting body.” He thought instantly of his father.
“As usual, your word is the last word father,” she said snidely. Her eyes were ice cold as was the sudden chill in the room.
Dmitry countered quickly. “And as usual, you only see your side.”
With that Anya threw her black backpack over her shoulder and cut her eyes at her father, realizing that at that moment he was getting exactly what he wanted while she was left empty handed yet again. “You’re making a mistake,” she said, walking to the door. “I’m your best chance for the future of the Medlov family and you know it.”
Dmitry followed a few feet behind her with his hands tucked into his pants pockets. She could say whatever she wanted now that she was in his view, unable to get into any more trouble. “If I have to chose a fallen legacy in organized crime or the health and protection of my daughter, then I think that the answer is obvious.”
Anya opened the door and turned to look up at her father. “The problem is that you don’t have to choose. You can have both.”
“That’s the child in you speaking, Anya. Serving two masters has consequences.”
Dmitry immediately thought back to when he was her age and a young woman he was seeing taught him first hand about serving two masters and having two faces.
Even after all of the years that had passed, he could see her bright perfect smile and how when the light hit her beautiful flawless face just right, the damage and bagged showed. Her eyes told the story of a woman who had been through too much, had been hurt by the ones she trusted the most.
The result had been inward destruction. Somehow Elsa had begun to rot from within; only he hadn’t noticed it in time to save her. He had accepted that, but he would never accept what Anya was proposing.
He couldn’t and wouldn’t let that happen to his daughter. Despite Anya’s desire to fight against it, she still had a more good in her than anyone else he knew. And it was his job to protect it, to bring it out of her, even if it was the last thing that he did.