Her Russian Surrender

By: Theodora Taylor

“How about you?” she asked him with a worried look.

He looked back at her, confused. “How about me, what?”

“Don’t you need your jacket? Like you said, it’s very cold outside.”

“Da, but I am Russian,” he answered, as if that explained everything about everything.

“Okay, well, maybe I should thank you for loaning me this jacket, but I would have been fine if you hadn’t made sure I had to wait here outside for my car.”

He frowned down at her from his great height.

“Tell me why you gave away your coat.”

She shook her head with a sad sigh, thinking of the poor boy she’d met in the alcove. Who had he belonged to? Someone who worked for the man standing in front of her? One of the fans who had been milling around the front gates at the bottom of the long hill when she arrived?

“Do you know any little boys?” she asked. “Like one who’s maybe a tall seven or eight years old?”

Another confused look from the big guy. “Why would I know little boy?”

“Because…” she trailed off, her instincts telling her a man like this probably didn’t have any children he was close to in his life. And even if the boy had belonged to someone on his staff, Nikolai didn’t seem like the type who would ask after his employee’s families.

“It’s nothing. Nothing you’d understand anyway.”

With a bracing breath, she took off his coat and held it out for him to take back.

He just stared at her. Hard. “You should come back inside my house and explain to me your missing coat.”

She gave him a sad smile. “No, I don’t think so. It’s been a long night and yeah, you’re really hot. So hot, part of me is very flattered you went through all this trouble just to spit some more game. But I can already tell. You…” she circled the palm of her hand in his general direction, “…you’re the kind of guy who would chew me up and eat me for breakfast. So as cute as you are, I have less than zero desire to go there with you.”

To make her point final, she waved his jacket towards him, clearly signaling he just needed to take the damn thing, already. “I’m calling it a night. A really long night.”

But he didn’t take the jacket. In fact, he stepped closer to her, his hard tank of a body pushing the arm holding the jacket back. So close, she could feel the heat coming off him.

“I only agree with one thing you said.” His eyes bore into hers. “The part about eating you for breakfast. But I think you will like the way I eat you for breakfast.”

A hot chill ran over her, despite the cold, and she felt herself clench down below as the image of his face between her legs barged its way into her mind without invitation.

And suddenly he was no longer high above her. Suddenly, his mouth was coming down on hers, a hot shock of an invasion on a cold winter’s night.

Her first thought was that his lips, which she remembered thinking were set in harsh, cruel lines, were actually much softer than they appeared. Her second thought was that he was kissing her. Kissing her! Why was he kissing her? And why wasn’t she stopping him?

Maybe because it was cold and he was warm. Actually, make that hot, throwing off heat like a furnace as his lips took easy possession of hers.

Yeah, that had to be it.

Luckily her Prius pulled up in front of them at that moment with a whisper of tires coming to a stop underneath the low hum of its electric engine.

“Okay, okay…” she said, pushing away from him. Though only their lips had been touching, it somehow felt like she was ungluing herself from him, and she had to resist the urge to come right on back for another hot kiss.

“You spit great game and your kissing business is on lock, but here’s my car.” She seemed to be pointing this little factoid out to both herself and him. “So, I’ll be going now. Take your jacket, please.”

She held it out to him, this time with insistence.

He stared at her for what felt like eons, before he finally reached out and took the jacket from her.

“I will see you again,” he said, his eyes so hooded now, they almost seemed sleepy.

“No, you probably won’t,” she answered, heading for the car as quickly as her strappy heels would let her. She mentally made a decision to double the number of grant applications she’d been planning to write away for this year, because she wouldn’t be attending any more of these charity events, especially if there was any chance of him being there.

“I will see you again,” he repeated to her retreating back, not like it was a request or even a desire, but something that was inevitably going to happen. Whether she liked it or not.

Sam didn’t answer this time, just took the keys from the valet and got into her Prius. She didn’t even bother to crank up the heat before pulling forward out of the carport, insanely wishing she had one of those superhero cars that turned into a high-speed jet with the push of a button.

Sam risked a peek into her rearview mirror and yes, there he was… staring after her. Though she should have been relieved by her successful exit, she had an uneasy suspicion that she hadn’t truly escaped.