Alexei (Her Russian Protector #8)(5)

By: Roxie Rivera



“We have business here, Spider.”

“If you have business on my property and in my territory, your boss needs to lift the white sheet off his head, pick up a phone and ask me for permission.”

“I’ll make sure to pass that message on,” the man said. “But since we’re already here, Mueller wants to talk to her. I’m just here to pick her up for a little chat.”

A little chat? A cold spear of terror lanced my chest. If I got into that vehicle with those men, I wasn’t going to come back whole or alive.

Spider glanced at me. “Shay, do you know these men?”

Feeling braver now, I shook my head. “No, sir.”

“Do you want to go with them to meet with their boss?”

“No.”

“Do you want these men to leave?”

“Yes, sir. Very much,” I added forcefully.

He gestured to the truck. “You heard the lady. Get in your truck and get the hell off my property. You tell your boss that he needs to respect the boundaries—or else my boys and I are going to start making some visits of our own on your territory.” Spider pointed to the truck again. “Go.”

The three men glanced at Spider’s backup, smartly ran the odds and retreated to their vehicle. The tall one shot me a warning smile before sliding behind the wheel. “We’ll be seeing you around, sugar.”

His threat struck me cold. I gripped the handle of my purse and watched the truck disappear down the street. Two of Spider’s men, the ones who hadn’t dismounted from their bikes, followed the truck. I was relieved to lose sight of the tail lights but what would happen once I left my driveway? There was no way I could ask Spider or his men to tail me around Houston.

As soon as the truck disappeared from view, the VP turned toward me. Hands on hips, Spider stared at me and shook his head. He had always been something of a father figure to me. I had gone to school with his daughter Marley so it had been a natural role for him to assume after my own dad had been killed in a car accident. When the apartment I had shared with Shannon had been robbed, he had packed us up and moved us into this park so we would be safe.

“Well, hon, it looks like you’ve got some explaining to do.” Spider waved his tattooed hand in the direction the truck of white supremacists had taken. My gaze lingered on the heavy silver rings adorning his fingers. The skulls and letters were a language I didn’t speak. “How do you know those men?”

“I don’t.”

“You’re sure?” He narrowed his eyes in a way that warned me not to hide anything from him.

“Positive.”

“What about your sister?” When I waited too long to answer, Spider exhaled roughly. “Were they here looking for Shannon?”

Reluctantly, I nodded. “I don’t know why.”

“Considering the company she keeps, I can think of ten different reasons they might show up here and none of them are good.” He glanced toward the street and then back at me. “Those men won’t bother you again, not here at least, but you need to be careful, Shay. You tell your sister to clean up whatever mess she’s made and to do it fast. I’m not about to get tangled up in some nonsense with Mueller’s boys.”

Mueller? The name was familiar but I couldn’t think why. Whoever Mueller was, it was clear that he was powerful and dangerous, maybe even more powerful and dangerous than Spider and his club. That didn’t bode well for me or Shannon.

Spider stepped closer and dropped his voice so only I could hear him. “I’m about to give you some fatherly advice, Shay. I would highly suggest you listen close and do what I tell you.”

I swallowed nervously. “All right.”

“Get out of here.”

The words weren’t spoken meanly or aggressively but I still shrank back with shock. “What?”

“Pack up your things and get out of here, Shay. It’s time for you to cut ties with your sister and start your own life. Away from here,” he added forcefully. “You’re a smart girl. You’ve got drive and ambition. You need to get out of here and make something of yourself. Cut the dead weight, sugar.” He made a snipping gesture with his fingers. “Go be somebody.”

It was probably good advice, but how was I supposed to just walk away from my sister? From the only person who had always been there for me? From the woman who had given up her dreams of cosmetology school and her own salon to raise me after Mom left?

“You stay safe, Shay.” Spider backed away slowly. “Be smart, honey.”

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