Kolya Agapov is handsome, wealthy, intelligent ... and desperately wants to be someone else. Trapped between his family’s ties to the Russian Mob and his father’s impossible expectations, he can’t find a way out until he visits the opera and meets a beautiful performer named Alyona.
Notoriously uninterested in anyone trying to take her on a date, Alyona nevertheless sees something in Kolya Something that might just lead to something deeper, and more dangerous.
Alyona might be able to offer him a new life, but will Kolya be willing to pay the price?
Her head tilted slightly. “You don’t want to have dinner with me?”
“I didn’t say that,” he objected, trying to keep his voice from giving away the sudden butterflies in his stomach. “I would love to have dinner with you if that is what you want, but I don’t like being caught in old men’s schemes either. If you just want to go home, I’ll take you. If you want to leave, I’ll tell them you refused. Father keeps telling me to be a gentleman, after all.”
Alyona’s eyebrow rose. “Are you not gentle? Or are you not a man?”
Koyla shrugged. “I’m from Jersey.”READ MORE
She unfolded her arms and shrugged. “Then I suppose I could eat something.”
He let her pick the place, and Alyona gave him the address of an all night Cuban joint in a tone that made something deep in Kolya’s brain feel fizzy as he pulled out of the parking garage. They were a round of appetizers and drinks into the meal before he realized something important.
“You never actually asked my name.”
She shrugged as she finished a bite of the octopus and chorizo she had ordered. “Does it matter?”
Something in her tone felt like a challenge, and it made him smile. “You might want it later. Wouldn’t it be awkward to have someone ask what you did after the show, and have to tell them ‘Some stranger came and took me out for dinner before driving me home’?”
“Not as much as you think,” Alyona countered. “I told you before - a lot of strangers have been trying to make a match with me.” She took a drink that didn’t quite manage to hide her irritation. “Idiots.”
Kolya nodded, but didn’t quite concede the point. “Did any of them make it this far?”
Alyona turned her attention back to her plate. “...No.”
“Then it might matter,” Kolya observed before he went back to his churrasco. “But I suppose it’s up to you.”COLLAPSE