Her Empire (Mafia Made #2) by E.M. Shue



I barely recognize my reflection in the mirror. I look just like my mama with the same icy blue eyes and blond hair reflected back. The moment causes a slight tremor in my stomach and a shake to my normally steady hands. I take a deep breath and fight the reaction down just like I’ve done every day since she died. I push myself to be what I am now, not what she would have wanted me to be. A rueful smile graces my bright red stained lips. The makeup on my body covers all the tattoos on my arms. Too many of them he’ll recognize, and I don’t want that until it’s too late.

The shaggy bangs from the short bobbed blond wig hang in my eyes. My eyes are overly done up in a dramatic cat eye. My lashes thick and full. The hair and makeup all say, “I’m ready for anything you want from me, big boy.” Exactly the look I’m going for. But it’s the outfit that ties it all together. Slitted, black patent leather micromini that sits low on my hips, showing off my belly chain, paired with a matching cropped tank top. The skirt barely covers my ass, and the top presses my C-cup breasts up. Altogether, the ensemble declares I’m ready to play.

Oh, I’m ready to play alright. The chain wrapped around my body looks innocent and sexy, but its true purpose is far more sinister. If things go wrong, tucked inside my thigh-high platform boots are my blade and 9mm. I’m ready to end this. When I was requested by my handler for this assignment, I jumped at the chance to finally get revenge against another one of the men who raped my mother. The man who watched as she was murdered. The man who tortured me. The man who is working his way to be second-in-command of the Bratva.

This is personal.

I look around the hotel room I’m staying in for my cover and double-check that I haven’t left any evidence of my true identity. I step out of the room and head to the lobby, and then out onto the Moscow streets. It’s been six years since I was in this city. Six years since I walked away from everything I knew to go work for MI6.

I approach the club at promptly eight as planned. The night air is cool on my exposed skin, but I don’t feel the chill due to the adrenaline pumping through my system. I’m sick in the head if this is what I crave, but it’s all I know. The bouncer tips his head, granting me entrance. I walk through and up the stairs to the private area where my target is sitting in a roped off section. He’s appraising all the women walking around, but I know what he likes. Not only have I studied him, I know him personally. I walk by him, ignoring his eyes, and head for the bar to order a drink I’ll barely sip. I move my body seductively to the song, curving my hips in ways that attract many men’s attention. A large hand lands on my shoulder, and it takes everything in me not to break it or drop them for touching me. I don’t like to be touched.

“Da?” I ask. My voice I’ve been told sounds like a phone sex operator. But the whiskey tone is barely heard over the loud, pumping music.

“Mr. Kalshnik khotel by pogovorit' s vami,” he says in Russian. Excellent. My target wants to talk to me.

“Da.” I tip my head and drop my eyes.

He leads me over to the roped off podium area. I step up and walk right to Kalshnik.

“Nadya?” He says my mama’s name and another slight tremor runs through my body. He thinks I’m her. The woman he “loved” until she betrayed him with his enemy. The woman he gang raped as revenge.

“Nyet.” I shake my head. “Irina.” I point at myself, giving him my alias.

“Nu davay zhe.” He directs me to follow him.

He leads me through the door into a private chamber where I knew he would bring me. I try not to inspect the room too much, though I’m aware there’s only one exit door. But I prepared for this. Kalshnik sits in a chair in the center of the room. Every night he picks one lucky girl to come in here with him. They think it’s a privilege to be picked out by a member of the government and Bratva. They dance for him and then he fucks them.

He won’t be fucking me though.

He won’t be fucking anyone ever again because tonight he dies.

“Poloska.” He orders me to strip.

I smile as I drop my eyes and tip my chin down. He likes them shy. I move my hips to the song playing in the room. “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails is perfect for what I have planned for him and what he thinks is going to happen. I lean forward and move my body like I know he likes. In the years I worked with him, I learned what turns him on. I make my way behind him. My hands land on his shoulders and I rub against the chair between us. I slip off my belly chain and flip it over his shoulder onto his chest. He eggs me on.