15. Boss in a tee and shorts, testing the limits of her power

September 30, 2006

Misha took Kamila to the club, and then planned to show her his London appartment. And I’ve got Wuthering Heights.

There was a knock on the door. She glanced at her watch. 9 pm.


‘Milana, open the door.’


‘I’m not here,’ she sneezed.

He laughed.


She obeyed.

Arkadiy Novikov was standing in front of her. Blue jeans, white shirt, black bag. His hair was wet due to the charmingly English rain. The sunny days went on a week-long vacation that could probably last until Christmas.

‘I brought medicine,’ he said, and entered her room without an invitation.

Milana did not find words to stop him.

‘Nice place,’ he sat onto her bed and picked up the book she was reading. ‘Having fun?’

‘I was.’

I feel I’m in real trouble. Whoa, Smolenskaya! Feel? And who’ll do the thinking?


Saturday evening, the coveted freedom, and Smolenskaya is all alone in her room. With Brontë, whom, of course, we must read, but a short summary is more than enough for something so long.

Milana made it clear she had no desire to discuss anything at all. She sat onto a chair opposite him, cast a meaningful look at her watch and…sneezed once again.

‘Did you catch a cold?’

‘No,’ she replied stubbornly. ‘I’m immune to cold. I’m sick on principle.’

He grinned. She looked so funny with her hair in two long braids, and her voice full of her trademark arrogance.

Naughty boss in a tee and shorts.

‘If you’re sick, you must be in bed.’

‘You’re not the one to put me there,’ she smiled.

«She wants you. Obvious as fuck.» Got the hint, baby.

‘Wasn’t going to. I just want to take care of you.’

She gave him a look of deepest mistrust.

‘Do you have glasses?’ he asked, pulling a bottle of Jack Daniels out of the bag.

Milana shook her head and sneezed.

‘Bless you,’ he laughed.

‘Nothing funny. And I’ve told you I don’t drink.’

‘Nor do I,’ Arkadiy put the whiskey on her bedside table. ‘It’s medicine. Come here.’

She approached him and the next moment found herself sitting on his knees.

‘Novikov!’ Milana exclaimed indignantly, sharply diving out of Brontë’s age of refined manners.

‘Arkadiy,’ he corrected, switching off any further protests with a long kiss.

She did not push him away, but shifted into a more comfortable position and hugged him. He was holding her with one hand, while his other hand slipped under her T-shirt. Her skin was hot, and so was Milana.

‘What’re you doing?’ she drew back a minute or two later.

Clouded eyes. Strange question.

‘Curing you,’ he explained. ‘You’ve got temperature.’

She nodded.

‘Let’s date?’ he offered.

‘Are you taking advantage of my temperature?’ she asked playfully.

‘Fuck yeah.’

‘Okay,’ she agreed unexpectedly, and kissed him. Not bad.

She slowly unbuttoned his shirt, and her hot long-nailed fingers were now exploring his body. Awesome.

‘But no sex,’ she said suddenly.

‘What?’ he stared at her. You don’t mean what you say, baby.

‘Until May.’

She was looking him in the eyes, her hands still moving under his shirt. Come off it.

‘Are you kidding me?’

‘No,’ she drew back.

‘Wait,’ he pulled her close. ‘Okay.’

‘I’m serious,’ she was looking at his lips.

‘Me too. It’ll be as you want it to be.’

Milana smiled and kissed him again.

I see what you want. It’s the end of September, and we’re already dating. A temper like that, you’ll give up in a week. Meanwhile, fun without fucking.

‘Okay, baby, get into bed,’ he got to his feet.

‘What?’ she looked up in surprise, hugging him around the neck.

‘You should be in bed. You’re sick, aren’t you?’

Let’s play by the rules if that’s what you want.

‘I’m feeling much better!’ Milana protested.

He kissed her forehead. Liar.

‘No. I’m your boyfriend, and you must do what I say.’


Her outraged look made it clear Milana was not used to the word. He stoaked her leg. She looked at him with a different emotion.

‘That’s better,’ Arkadiy grinned.

He put her in bed, ignoring all the protests.

‘You rest, and I’ll go.’

‘No,’ she sat up in bed. ‘It’s raining there. You must stay!’

Boss is checking the limits of her power.

‘Okay. What will we do?’

‘We can watch a movie if you want,’ she looked hopefully at him.

It’s not the movie that I want. I’d better leave.

‘Milana, why must we wait until May?’ Arkadiy set next to her again.

‘I’ll be sixteen on the third of May.’

She spoke without a shade of embarassment. Simply named her terms. Pure, decisive, confident.

‘And no sex until then?’

‘No,’ she pulled her knees to her chest. ‘If it doesn’t suit you, we won’t date.’

‘It’s okay, I just wanted to understand,’ he traced her cheek with his finger. ‘Cheer up.’

Milana smiled.

‘Movie?’ she suggested again. ‘Or I could read Brontë to you!’

‘What movie?’

‘I watched The Godfather recently.’

‘I’ve seen it.’

‘Lock, stock, two smoking barrels? Eleven friends of Ocean? Scarface? Brigada? The Italian Job?’

‘What was that last one?’

‘The Italian Job. It’s about a robbery in Venice.’

‘Let me get this clear,’ he sat closer to her and hugged her around the shoulders. ‘How can you like criminal movies and read Brontë?’

Milana laughed.

‘I read Brontë because I want to get an A in GSCE.’

‘You will.’

‘Do you read?’

The question annoyed him slightly. Fucking levels of intellect.

‘Yeah, I do,’ Arkadiy replied rather sharply.

‘What’s your favourite book?’ she looked at him curiously.

«The catcher in the rye». Did you read it?’

‘I shall,’ Milana smiled. ‘Let’s watch the movie?’


She hugged him happily and brought her white MacBook from the table onto the bed.

‘Do you like Apple?’ Arkadiy asked, spotting a white iPod on the bedside table.

‘Love it.’

Milana put two pillows behind their backs and snuggled up close to him. The movie began.

‘In English?’ Arkadiy asked, slightly disappointed.

‘I like everything original and true,’ Milana put her head onto his shoulder. Her hair smelt of something delicious. Arkaidy stoked it, smiling.

Sweet and proper gangster-boss. Such a detonating mixture. It won’t be easy for you, Novikov.

All rights reserved. If you want to use any part of the book, please, contact the authors.

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Contents. Part 1