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Submitting to the Billionaire

By:Georgia Le Carre

A Dark Billionaire Romance

Chapter One


Nikolai

Something Inside So Strong


Thump, thump, thump.

Fucking hell! Someone take my head out of the drum of this washing  machine. The wash cycle continues as my cell phone vibrates against the  surface of the bedside table. The sound is like a nail gun going crazy. I  unglue my eyes.

My lofty, gilded ceiling comes into view.

I stretch out my arm, fumble around, locate the blasted thing, hold it  over my face, and squint at it. The blue light from the screen blinds  me. Screwing my eyes, I hit the green button and put it to my ear.

"Boss, I've been pushing the bell for some time, and didn't get a  response. Are you okay?" Semyon's alarmed, booming voice tips the  washing machine into the spin cycle.

"What time is it?"

"After seven, Boss."

"So?"

"At night, Boss."

"What?"

I took four pills and decided to lie down for a few minutes, but I must  have been more wiped out than I thought. I should have been at the club  by seven.

"Bring the car around to the front in fifteen," I instruct, pulling myself off the bed.

My shoes are haphazardly kicked in two different directions, but I'm  still in my clothes. Rolling my shoulders, I make my way to the  bathroom. I open my mirrored cabinet, and reach for a new box of  tablets. Discarding the plastic wrapper, I go into the drawing room and  head for the bar. It's an antique, made from wood reclaimed from a  Russian church.

Warning. Do not take more than

twelve tablets in any twenty-four

hour period.





Fuck that. I pop out eight pills into the palm of my hand. Grabbing a  bottle of Grey Goose, I unscrew the top, and take a generous swig of  neat vodka. Nice one.

Fortified by the best legal anesthetic available, I go swiftly to the  bathroom. In ten minutes, I'm showered and dressed in a fine Saville Row  black tailored suit.

I grab my phone and wallet, and glance in the hall mirror. No time to  shave. Still the five o'clock shadow suits how I feel. I open the door,  and cool autumn air fills my lungs.

"I've called ahead and informed Vanessa that you're running late and to  have dinner ready for 8:30, Boss" Semyon says, as he opens the rear door  of the Maybach.

I nod my approval and slide into the limousine's luxurious leather  interior. The air is scented with expensive perfume, and over the smooth  purring of the engine, classical music plays. Semyon closes the door  for me, and climbs into the front passenger seat. Immediately, Zohar, my  stone-faced driver sets off for the club. I let my body ease back into  the seat. Shutting my eyes, I rest my throbbing head on the plush  headrest.

Were it midweek I sure as hell would not have left the house, but it's  Friday. It's the one night I never miss being at the club. It's not the  truth, but I tell everybody that it's because Friday night is sucker's  night. It's time the dreamers, the hopers and the scammers will all be  along. They go because, of course, life is a complete  fantasy-fucking-land.

In their tiny, greedy bird-brains they think they're just gonna stroll  into my club, and a few fun-filled hours later, hit the £100,000 Free  Stake (which has the same lure of fresh blood for the Great White  shark). Sure, the odd one does good, gets to hold it in sweaty palms  …   for a bit, but that's when the big hook comes out to play.

It's the glittering, sweet-smelling, dream ticket out of their  miserable, pathetic lives: the irresistible £5,000,000 Free Stake. The  idea? Put a hundred K in there that didn't belong to you in the first  place, and win five million. It fucking fries their brains. Even the  most cautious, most level-headed gambler will forget that he walked  through my front door, the man who never loses.

What does the man who never loses, rush to his club like a slave running  to his master, on a Friday night for, you ask? Even when his head is  fucking killing him?

Awww  …  look at you. All curious.

Stick around, cupcake, and maybe you'll see me get it.





Chapter Two





Nikolai





Roman and Andrei, both over six foot five, retired Special Forces  soldiers, and the most loyal and reliable of my security team, are  already waiting outside the entrance of Zigurat. You're thinking because  I'm a Russian billionaire, it's fancy and probably built in a pseudo  pyramid style, aren't you?

Nah.

The location is discreet, and it's sandwiched between some plain, gray  offices on a deserted backstreet. There are no bright lights to announce  its existence. In fact, the nicest thing you could say about the  entrance is it's nondescript. No cameras, or reporters hanging around.  Exactly the way I like it. We neither advertise nor court any attention.         

     



 

One has to be recommended by another member to enter, then there is a  rigorous vetting process. Before a punter can step a foot through our  door he must understand exactly what's on offer inside  …  and the risks  …   of non-payment. This way there are no, well, let's call it,  misunderstandings.

Roman opens my door. I slide out, and stand on the sidewalk for an  instant, while Roman and Semyon with military precision step into place  on either side of me. Their cold, expressionless eyes dart around, alert  and wary. Andrei, he's always scowling, remains holding the front door  open. I shoot my cuffs before heading for the door, my bodyguards  closely shadowing me.

It sounds like too much?

Trust me, you can't be too careful in my business. I have more enemies  than friends. Come to think of it. I have no friends. They are all  enemies in disguise.

It's a different world inside the plain black door. Rich velvet  curtains, glossy marble floors, chandeliers, and burnished gold  fittings. It's every nouveau riche oligarch's wet dream. I walk through  the splendor without seeing it. Anastasia, who mans the front desk, nods  and smiles at me. She doesn't expect me to smile back. I don't.

I head upstairs to the first floor. Roman remains on my heels. He enjoys  his job and takes his task of protecting me very seriously, which I am  rather pleased about.

"Good evening, Mr. Smirnov," a cocktail waitress, greets me on the  landing. Her smile is wide and promises all kinds of things. She is  tall, willowy, and very beautiful, quite honestly, catwalk material. She  licks her lips. Ah, that age-old invitation.

She's new, but she'll learn soon enough. I don't ever mix business with  pleasure. As a matter of fact, I don't mix anything with business. I  haven't had a girlfriend since I was seventeen. That's twenty years ago.

In my world, everything has a price. If I want pussy, I don't chase it  around the room. That's bullshit. I just pay for it. That way I get  exactly what I want, when I want it. It's worked real well so far.

"How many in the Blue Room?" I ask her.

"Six, Mr. Smirnov."

"And next door?"

"Six as well."

"Excellent."

"Thank you, Mr. Smirnov."

I look at my watch. Eight-thirty on the nail. I head downstairs and make  my way to the purple room, where I normally dine, and where, very  occasionally, the richest punters are invited to dine too, but never  with me, obviously.

Vanessa, a sweet little thing, greets me. "Good evening, Sir."

I take a seat. With military precision, a glass of Chateau Petrus  arrives. I let its opulence slide over my tongue. Yes, this is the life.  In five minutes Vanessa brings seared fillet mignon and girolles in  truffle sauce. My head has stopped banging so I enjoy the food. It's  Friday, and I have a good feeling about today. A very good feeling.

I skip dessert, but accept the small, strong expresso she puts in front  of me. Standing up, I make my way back upstairs to my offices. Roman  follows silently at my heels.

Passing through reception again I see a number of punters milling around  waiting to hand their coats over to the cloakroom staff. Some stare,  some attempt to make eye contact, others are oblivious, one tries to  dash over to shake my hand. He is one of those fools who hope that  knowing me personally will make his situation somewhat more favorable  should he lose. He is wrong. It doesn't.

Roman ensures there is no contact, and I keep moving.

I pass the main gambling room. As I put my foot on the first step of the  stairs that lead to my office, my ears tune in to a loud voice. Every  sinew in my body tightens. Here is another one of those fools. Slowly, I  turn around and look towards the commotion. Nigel Harrington. Look at  him. In his sharp pinstripe suit.

"Nico," he calls. Looking directly at me, he attempts to barge past security and come to me.

Three feet away from me Andrei slaps his huge palm on his chest,  effectively stopping him in his tracks. Well, well, who knew today was  the day. I walk towards him, my face wiped clean of the joy and  excitement surging in my veins. This is it. This is the moment I have  been waiting for.

"You got my money?" I ask.

Nigel's facial expression doesn't alter. "I will. By tonight. I promise."

I raise one eyebrow. "By tonight?"

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