ORIGINAL CONTENT OF D.C. BLU. DO NOT COPY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE WITHOUT THE AUTHOR’S PERMISSION. PLAGIARISM IS CRUEL. PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL.
As Matt helped Val get into the limo, he slipped her ringing phone from her purse and answered without saying a word.
“Eiichi is moving. He must know you’re trying to leave. I can arrange a safe place, but I would prefer you stay in Japan,” the soft-spoken voice with a slight accent said. Val’s uncle warning her about Asahi’s son?
Matt didn’t make a sound and hung up handing the phone back to a pouting Val. She had a bad habit of not speaking to her uncle when he called. He’d bet now she would change that habit.
He got into the limo beside her. Once Ivan got inside and the door closed, Matt turned his body to face her, watching her watch him. No words were exchanged, but he had a million questions. The one to break the ice, wasn’t him or Val.
“Why didn’t you tell me you don’t like Asahi Ishikawa?” Ivan asked admiring his tie that looked like a waterfall scene. Ivan clearly noticed the same thing Matt noticed. Val barely gave the old man any respect the whole night. While she covered it up nicely, Matt knew his Val. She never used an honorific or title of respect when speaking to Asahi. She barely even looked at the man. She clearly held no respect for that man, so why did she hold it in?
“Its old news and its personal. I wasn’t going to even bring it up.” Val sighed smoothing a hand over her skirt while crossing her legs at the ankle.
“What does Asahi’s son want that makes you want to leave?” Ivan asked.
“He’s on his way, just so you know.” Matt added. His eyes never left her face, so he saw the disgust and the anger she tried to conceal behind those beautiful lashes and that clenched jaw.
“Do I need to kill him?” Ivan asked stretching out his long limbs and relaxing into the plush leather seat. “Daiki Nakamura, I think you know of him. He and the Ishikawa’s have always been rivals. He would love to take over here in Osaka, and expand his territory. Plus, Donya likes him a lot.”
“Probably because he’s young and attractive… I don’t want a gang war, Ivan.” Val warned looking very serious.
“Is that why you want to leave instead of fight?” Ivan chuckled. “You’re so diplomatic that its…frustrating.” He dropped his head and groaned. “What if I promise it won’t be a war?”
“The Japanese government will notice if one of its problem children went silent all of a sudden and Nakamura took its place? Besides, I thought Asahi was your friend?”
Ivan chuckled licking the corner of his mouth. “I have no friends, Val, just in case I have to kill them.” He checked his fingernails.
Matt nodded in understanding. Not long ago, the man even killed his own sister. So Asahi was nothing but an ant that needed to be crushed.
“For me, stay your hand.” Val pleaded. “I don’t want a blood bath.”
“For me, kill them.” Matt spoke up.
Val turned to him, eyes wide with shock. “Matt!”
“Done!” Ivan nodded giving Matt a thumbs up.
“No.” Val snapped. “You don’t even know what this is about.”
“Will you tell me?” Matt asked knowing she wouldn’t or she would’ve already.
Val looked all kinds of uncomfortable, and that said more to Matt than anything. After hearing those guards call her “Ricci”, he had an ugly feeling this Eiichi was a past that involved Domenic. Matt’s attention went to the passing scenery as a dark though clouded his mind. The darkness slowly took over and made a nice home in his heart. His imagination played out all the different scenarios that could’ve happened that involved Domenic and none of them were rated PG.
“Ivan, would you allow me to kill the man myself?” Matt asked.
“Nope,” Ivan said before Val could open her mouth.
She grabbed Matt’s hand with worry in her pretty eyes.
“Your hands are too precious to be soiled, my son. So let papa do the slaying and you do all the playing,” He said, waving his hands in the air as if conducting an orchestra. Then he issued an order in Russian. The next moment, the limo filled with the sounds of Matt’s first symphony.
“Puppy… He’s not worth it.” Val whispered to Matt.
Matt whispered back. “I’m duty bound as a hard-headed male to make it safe for my wife and children. So that means eliminate any possible threat.”
“What if I don’t keep the child?”
“We still have Christophe.” He’d finally gotten used to the crumb snatcher, so there was no way he was letting anything happen to the little guy on his watch.
Val leaned her head on his shoulder. “Puppy…”
“Don’t even try to say it was in the past. Because this son of a fucker is reaching out to you in the present. This is no longer the past. Get it? So let me do this for my own piece of mind.”
“You can’t go around eliminating anyone you don’t like.”
“You’re right. And if this asshole hadn’t tried to approach you, I might not have wanted his head.”
“Tell me you didn’t do something against your will with him under Domenic’s orders, and I’ll tell Ivan I was just kidding.”
Val closed her eyes as if hating his words.
“Tell me he only wants to meet with you because he wants to apologize.” Matt continued.
Val turned her head away.
“Look at me, Val. Look me in the eye and tell me you never thought about killing him despite all the vows you took.” Despite that damn Code. He was starting to see why she didn’t much care for the organization.
Val leaned back into the seat and said nothing.
Matt watched her, knowing she was making a decision. His gaze shifted to Ivan who sat with his fingers drumming on his knees, head bobbing, but his eyes were trained on Matt. Though there was that usual hint of amusement, there was the undeniable approval of Matt’s actions reflected in the man’s strong face.
“When I first met Val…” Ivan had told him several months ago while Matt was visiting his medieval looking monstrosity of a mansion in Russia. “She was an obedient young woman. Though Domenic paraded her around like a prized pooch, she never lowered her head or showed how much his actions bruised her pride. She did what she had to please him even if she didn’t like it. But what fascinated me the most wasn’t her quiet strength — it was her ability. Val had the ability to take over Ricci and destroy Domenic. Anyone smart enough to see beyond the surface of a person, could see how much power she held with just a word. Servants, guards, and even members of Ricci, knew who was the real brains and brawn of that union. That was why Ricci didn’t want her to leave. That is why we argued with Lloyd when she joined Bellini-Sadik. And that is why others will seek to possess her. She has the ability to make a small town into a nation.”
“And that’s why you never slept with her?” Matt had asked. He wanted to know if Ivan ever laid a hand on his woman.
“Of course! A woman who can raise an empire, can also destroy one just as easily. Look at how she unintentionally got you to destroy Ricci. You see? Val is one of those tricky vixens that will smile in your face, praise you to the heavens, all the while stealing your people right out from under you and then have your former people bury you while she sips the finest champagne. That’s true talent! Reminds me of my little brother, Phil…”
“But you can’t tell me you weren’t tempted.” Matt knew that Mr. Voronin wasn’t a saint. He was as horny as they came.
“Of course I was! But I wasn’t going to pay to sleep with such a beauty. Hell, I’ve never had to pay! If anything, I would have stole her from Ricci, killed them off, and gifted her to my wife. A woman like Val is someone only my lovely could keep a watch over.”
Matt laughed. “Val could run circles around your overconfident wife. All she would have to do is compliment the woman a few times and Mrs. Voronin would be putty in Val’s hands.”
“And that my son, is why Val never became a Voronin. But she’s perfect for you. You know how to out-think, out maneuver, and protect her from herself while preserving her pride and her worth. I knew your brilliance was deeply hidden, but I never knew how insidiously ingenious you were until Val came along. You’ve made papa so proud!”
Matt took Val’s hand knowing she was overthinking things. But he would make things a little easier for her. He motioned for Ivan to lower the volume in the car.
Without Ivan having to say a word, the driver turned down the music.
“Papa!” Ivan demanded.
“Papa.” Matt rolled his eyes, but Ivan pretended he didn’t see it, grinning like an idiot. “Don’t kill Ishikawa just yet.” He drew close to Val and snuggled his face into the crook of her neck. She didn’t push him away, but she didn’t smile or invite him either. He inhaled her scent and placed a kiss on her neck.
“What are you up to?” Val asked quietly.
“Do you want to try to reason with him? See if your way works better?”
Val laughed then. Her head leaned away to look him in the face. “Matthew Delarosa, you and I both know why I cannot do the very thing you want executed.” She gripped his chin and came nose to nose with him. “But you must be careful, because you are too close to…” She probably wants to say the Code. And yes, he knew why she couldn’t kill Eiichi, the damn Code.
“But Ivan isn’t.” Matt wiggled his eyebrows.
Val sighed helplessly and kissed him. “Yes. You’re right. Do what you want.”
Matt laughed hugged her to him while glancing over at Ivan. The man nodded and signaled for his driver to turn the music back up. They road with the music blaring until they made their way to the airport. When they arrived at the private hanger, the guards retrieved their bags while Matt helped Val out of the vehicle.
With her hand on her arm, they were about to head towards Ivan’s personal plane when several black cars pulled up on the tarmac between them and the plane. Several Japanese men in suits exited the vehicles.
“Wait.” Val warned Voronin who reached into his suit jacket.
“Fine.” He shrugged dropping his hands to his sides then mumbled, “Being a bad guy around you is no fun.” He signaled for his guards who pulled guns from their holsters to be ready but not to fire yet.
Matt felt Val pull him, so he followed to find her put him on the other side of the limo. “If you see that lunatic pull his gun, you duck down,” Val said.
“If you go to meet that man, I’m going with you.” Matt demanded.
“Of course you are.” She chuckled. “That’s why I’m stay right here beside you.”
Hell, he loved this woman. She knew him so well!
A younger looking Asahi who was slightly taller, hair black instead of gray and eyes smiling as if everything was amusing, stepped out of one of the limo’s after his guard opened the door for him.
“Voronin-sama.” The man immediately bowed his head to Ivan before buttoning his suit jacket.
“My son…” Ivan turned slightly to look back at Matt, “Do you know what chaffs my balls worse than cheap tighty whities?” He pulled his gun from the holster inside of his suit jacket. The powder blue and pink metal handgun gleamed in the airport hanger’s lights. He lifted it making all of Eiichi’s guards lift their own weapons. However, Ivan’s hands kept rising until he had the gun pointed to the ceiling. Then he carefully balanced the gun on his bald head. “I hate it when ill-bred son of bitches intercept my path without so much as an apology. Where the fuck are your manners, boy?” Ivan turned back to Eiichi with the gun still balanced perfectly on his head.
“I sincerely apologize, Voronin-sama.” Eiichi quickly bowed several times.
“Better.” Ivan nodded slightly in approval, the gun still staying put.
Matt leaned in close to Val, “How much practice do you think it took him to learn to balance that thing perfect?”
“Is this what’s important to you right now?” Val asked exasperated.
Matt just shrugged, because, yeah it was seriously awesome. “Can I ask about the gun?”
“I’ll make you one after this is over, now shush.”
“You’re the best.” Matt kissed her on the cheek while his hand slid down to her ass.
“I was hoping to speak to Valeria-san…alone,” Eiichi spoke loud enough for it to echo.
“I’m afraid that won’t happen, Eiichi.” Val spoke up while playing with the hem of Matt’s shirt. “Matt is very protective of me and Ivan is very protective of him. So speak here. What business made you so inpatient that you almost got killed by Mr. Voronin?”
Matt squeezed the hand cupping one of Val’s cheeks. She lifted her chin a bit higher but didn’t betray anything on her face.
Eiichi said nothing for a moment as he looked between Ivan and Matt.
“Getting bored.” Ivan announced. Then his guards shifted their stance to fire.
“Wait!” Eiichi held up his hands. “Father warned me you were hard to deal with.” The man grunted.
“Spit it out so we can leave.” Ivan grumbled.
“Which one of you do I speak to about…a monetary transaction for…”
The words that followed barely registered with Matt as a bolt of hot white anger shot through him. He didn’t remember what he said but he said something and the next moment, Val was pulling him inside the limo.
Gunfire resounded like drum rolls waking Matt from his rage. He found himself on his back, Val laying on top of him. She just looked at him with a deadpan expression that told him she wasn’t happy.
Then he remembered what he said.
“Allow me.” Ivan’s words.
Matt gave Val a sheepish grin. “Sorry?”
“Bullshit.” Val shook her head as the car rocked with each bullet that hit the side. “You and Ivan together are worse than Ivan is by himself.”
“Not that bad.”
“Yes, that bad.”
“Well…at least the limo is bulletproof,” Matt said running his hands up and down Val’s back to soothe her.
Val just laughed, dropping her forehead on his chest.