Vasily's Revenge: The Complete Story (The Medlov Men Book 1), page 1
The Complete Story
The Medlov Men Series
Latrivia S. Nelson
This book is dedicated to the lovely women of the Latrivia Nelson Love Pub on Facebook and the Medlovians across the world.
I love all of you.
This book would not have been possible without the love and support of my family and friends. To my children, thank you for giving me a higher purpose in this world. To my fiancé Bruce Welch, thank you for the words of encourage and sometimes just the words. To my editor and co-captain, Karen Moss, who has listened to me whine, complain, cry tears of joy and even accepted my drunk calls, thank you for seeing the vision in my work. To my mentor, Deidre Malone, thank you for pushing me to push myself to the limit, knowing that it would take just that to succeed. To my fabulous diva beta readers: Leonie Radway, Natasha Kelly, and Michelle Jackson, thank you for your sleepless nights and candid feedback. To my awesome moderators of the Love Pub Ernestine C-Riley, Andrea Degenett, and Cassandra Rios, and to all my fans who have stuck with me through thick and thin. Each and every one of you have been a blessing in my life.
10 years Ago
Even from downstairs in the Upper East Side three-story, luxury brownstone, Vasily could hear Lilly and his boss Leo arguing. The sound of raised voices and heavy objects hitting the wall and breaking were like nails on a chalkboard for him, reminding him of his less-than-fortunate childhood and the grizzly scenes that had unfolded at his father’s hand.
After so many years of being around constant and abhorrent violence from a toddler to a grown man, he knew trouble brewing when he heard it. He also knew when a man was headed toward a vehement eruption, and based upon the growl in his boss’s voice and aggressive words coming from his mouth, Lilly would be in trouble soon, if they both didn’t calm down.
Lilly was a voluptuous woman, the kind who looked like she was born to be a centerfold pinup. With a large, double-D bosom, a freakishly small waist and wide sculpted hips, she had captured everyone’s attention in the house, including
Vasily’s but he never let on about it.
There was something charming about her raspy, seductive voice and smooth coco skin; the way her lips curved into a heart and her almond-shaped, brown eyes always showed all of her emotions. Her hair was like soft black feathers and the dimples in the sides of both of her high-cheeks seem to explode every time that she smiled at him.
And Lilly smiled often, despite his attempt to be as dull and quiet as possible around her.
In fact, he often avoided her just so that he wouldn’t have to take in her intoxicating scent or try to hide the primitive reaction she caused in him.
Fresh out of hair school and going nowhere fast, she had fallen into Leo’s arms at an upscale night club in Manhattan where she was a waitress. His romance of her was quick and to the point. He wanted her. So, he took her.
In exchange, she got this…
It was a lesson in the fact that all that glitters is not gold.
Looking up at the crown molding ceiling of the parlor Vasily shook his head at the vibrations coming from above.
They were not calming down. If anything, they were ramping up.
Another vase slammed against the wall upstairs, this time knocking down a painting with it. The clanging of the objects was only magnified by the constant name calling, not by her but by him. Leo berated her loudly, using his tongue instead of his hand for the moment to tear her down layer by layer.
There was only so much of this that Vasily could take, but the men sitting around the table with him seemed to be able to ignore it as they cleaned their guns, loaded their magazines and watched television like nothing was going on.
Some of them even ate their dinner and had sidebar conversations, never flinching as a woman just up the stairs screamed to the top of her lungs. To them, such a thing was typical, if not expected. Many of them had come from homes just like his, but had no better ideas of women than the men who had beat them and their mothers.
Vasily, on the other hand, swore to never hit a woman and never to allow one to be hit in his presence. Sure, there were evil women, no different from evil men in the world. But if he had to kill one, he did just that—respectfully with a bullet.
Taking a deep breath, he set down his Uzi on the round wooden table care-fully and stood up, pushing his chair a few feet away in frustration.
Most of the men sitting around the table did not paid attention to him. They could not possibly fathom that he was actually about to do something as stupid as intervene between their boss and his girl. Besides, they were supposed to be getting ready for a meeting tonight where money and microchips would be exchanged at an undisclosed location, not dealing in things domestic.
“Don’t do it,” Yakov warned his friend in a thick Russian accent. He sat beside him at the table, watching Vasily’s demeanor change with each and every scream. “It’s not worth it.” He looked up at Vasily with old wisdom in his young features and shook his head, begging him to mind his own business.
Yakov had been with Leo longer than Vasily and knew his boss’s hellish tem-per and his history with women. What was going on upstairs was nothing new for the house. There had been many women before Lilly and would probably be many after her.
A hiss escaped him in anger. “I can’t just sit down here and listen to this,” Vasily said, clenching his square jaw. He looked up at the ceiling again impatiently. “He could be hurting her this time. Every argument gets one step closer.”
“They are just arguing. No big deal. Tomorrow they’ll be better,” Yakov promised. “Besides, she’s not your girlfriend. But he is your boss. Remember that.” He pointed at him to add levity to the situation. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
Lilly yelled again, this time louder. The door to their bedroom flung open. “Fuck you, Leo!” she screamed. “I am so sick of dealing with your shit! You are not my father!”
“Get your black ass back here,” Leo ordered in a thick Russian accent, bolting out of the door after her with his black Armani shirt open to show his sinewy muscles and a tattooed chest.
Grabbing her by her slender arm, he swung her around and slapped her across the face all in one motion.
Instantly, she fell to the carpeted floor, grabbing her face and crying. She was stunned that he had actually hit her this time. With wide eyes of disbelief, she looked up at him deathly afraid.
The hit echoed as the men went silent in the room below.
His heart strained. “That’s it,” Vasily said, voice going sharp as he headed through the doorway.
Yakov was immediately torn. Vasily was his best friend and like a brother to him, but Leo was his boss and he was his second-in-charge. He knew that Vasily wasn’t wrong for wanting the fighting to stop. Lilly, after all, was a good and decent girl, but it was not their place to save her from a situation that she had put herself in.
Yakov stood up to go after Vasily, but gave him a moderate and intentional start. This was going to happen at one point or another. It might as well happen while he could help Vasily. He knew, while never saying a word, that Vasily had a thing for Lilly, but he also knew that his friend had never made one advance toward her. Vasily wasn’t like that. He was more honorable than any other man that he knew in the Vory v Zakone. And it would be his honor that would be his ultimate downfall.
“What do you want us to do?” one of the other men asked, not really alarmed by Vasily’s
Yakov motioned for the men to stay seated. “I’ve got this,” he said, refusing to put his friend into danger without cause.
Everyone sitting at the table was the shoot now, ask questions later type. Even if they had to kill Vasily, they wouldn’t care. He was one of them, but not really. He was newest to their small crew and only close to Yakov.
Headed up the elaborate alabaster wood staircase toward Lilly’s cries, Vasily saw Leo look over the banister at him. He rushed as fast as he could, moving up the stairs two or three at a time, seeing red, determined to make the man stop his shouting and hitting.
As Vasily arrived on the third floor, heaving furious breaths, Leo scowled at him. His penetrating gray eyes were like a wolf locked on his prey. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” he asked in a deep baritone, still standing over Lilly like he was ready to attack again.
He looked down at the woman, wearing only a torn pink satin slip, lip bleeding and long black hair covering her bruised face. Unable to help himself, Vasily reached out for her. All he wanted to do was to protect and keep her safe, only he didn’t know why. “Get up,” he said to her with both authority and concern.
Leo snorted in response. “Are you serious?” He frowned; looking around like someone was playing a practical joke on him. “What is this?”
“She’s had enough,” Vasily snarled. “I’m not disillusioned by what kind of men we are, but we don’t beat women.”
Leo’s mouth dropped open when he realized that Vasily was serious. “I do whatever the fuck I want to do,” Leo reminded, hitting his chest like a caveman. He stood between Vasily and Lilly, purposefully guarding his territory.
Leo was a big man, not easily pushed around or intimidated. Nearly as wide as Vasily, he boasted a thick, muscular chest and bulging arms and bottomed out with legs as large as tree trunks that were covered in tailored black slacks and leather dress shoes. His low black crew cut outlined his chiseled features—gray eyes, wide-lips, tanned skin, thick black brows and a splash of freckles across his face. He was menacingly handsome and overtly dangerous.
Leo gestured at the quivering woman while keeping his eyes on Vasily. “You’re fucking her, aren’t’ you?” He wiped his nose and planted his feet ready for a fight.
Vasily stepped closer. “No.” His tone was bitter and unapologetic. “If I were, I would not have let you lay the first hand on her.”
Lilly pushed to her feet, forgetting the pain in her face for a second. She wiped her bloody mouth. “Leo, don’t. Let’s just go back inside and talk this out. There is no need to get anyone else involved.” Her voice nearly failed her. She didn’t want anything to happen to Vasily because of her. She liked him, more than he knew.
Leo laughed. “Oh, this is rich. You and my fucking foot boy? Really?” He looked between the both of them and put his hand on his hip in contemplation.
“Vasily has never touched me,” Lilly answered.
“I just don’t like men beating women,” Vasily said, eyes narrowing. “I don’t care who you are. I’m not going to let you put your hands on her again.”
“Is that a fact?” Leo’s fangs began to show. He was amused somewhat by the ridiculous attempt.
Yakov came up the stairs behind them, assessing the situation quietly. He looked over at Leo with faux-confusion. “What’s going on?” he asked, although he already knew.
“Are you fucking her too?” Leo asked Yakov.
“No, boss.” The look on Yakov’s face, a mix of surprise and denial, made Leo turn his attention back to the six-foot-four wall of muscle that was Vasily.
“Let me explain something to you,” Leo said walking over to Lilly and grabbing her up by her neck. “This is my property.” He pointed at Vasily. “You are my property, and if I choose to beat her or you then it’s my fucking business. Until you are boss, you don’t have a thing to say about it. Do I make myself clear?”
Vasily could feel the heat growing under his collar. “Let go of her,” he demanded. “I won’t say it again.”
Lilly’s brown eyes were filled with shame and fear. “Stop, Leo, please!” she begged.
Leo rubbed his jaw in contemplation. “Let go of her?” he asked, pushing her body against the banister as if he would push her over. “Here?” He pushed her harder and she screamed. “Or here?” He almost smiled at the reaction on Vasi-ly’s face.
As half of Lilly’s body dangled over the edge of the railing, Vasily went for the gun in his holster at lightning fast speed.
Pointing it at Leo’s head with his finger on the trigger, he heard the distinctive click of a weapon behind him.
“Don’t do this,” Yakov begged, gun pointed. His friend had pushed his hand, leaving him no choice but to protect his boss.
“You throw her over, I pull this trigger and Yakov pulls his. Three people die. Won’t be the first three; won’t be the last. It’s that simple,” Vasily said without blinking. His greenish-blue eyes were intense under dark lashes and arched brows. “I really don’t give a fuck if I live or die as long as I take you with me. But one thing is for sure, if you push her over that railing, you’re next.”
Lilly screamed, crying for her life and looking down three floors at the daunting marble floor beneath. Her two-carat diamond necklace broke and fell below as Leo squeezed her neck. There was no doubt that if he pushed her over, she would fall to her death.
Pushing her hands against the railing to keep from going over, she struggled. “Please, Leo. Don’t do this? I’m sorry. God, I’m sorry, just please let me go!”
Vasily gripped the gun tighter, a bead of sweat forming at his left temple. “I’m waiting,” he bit out.
Leo calculated the impending risk. In all the time that he had had Vasily un-der his employ, he’d never known him to bluff. This was not an idle threat, nor was it a good situation for him.
Yakov’s hand shook, not because he was afraid to kill, but because he didn’t want to kill the person in front of him. “Vasily, think of what you’re doing,” he said in a calm voice.
“I am thinking,” Vasily said, not taking his eyes off of Leo.
Leo wasn’t exactly anxious to end his life over a woman that he’d only met the year before. And there was no way that he wanted to be shot by one of his own men. There was no honorable death in that. He’d be the laughing stock of the Vory v Zakone in New York.
Snatching her back over the banister, he threw her on the floor against the wall.
Vasily looked down at her and reached for her again. “Come with me,” he said softly. “Don’t stay here and put up with this shit.”
Lilly looked at his hand and started to cry. She wanted to leave more than anything, but she was afraid. Where would they go? Where would they hide from a man like Leo Rasputin? He was everywhere and knew everyone. He would find them and kill them.
Vasily’s face was awash with disappointment and rejection as he watched her recoil away from him.
Leo laughed, already acutely aware of the outcome. “You see, you’re the only one here who doesn’t know his place.” He put his index finger over his lips as he gave a crooked smile. “But let me remind you.”
Suddenly, a gun went off behind him as a man, who had gone unseen the entire confrontation, standing in a few feet back from the four of them in the hallway released a round that went straight through Vasily’s back.
It seemed as though time slowed down.
As the bullet exited his chest, Vasily dropped to his knees and looked across at Lilly one last time. Falling forward on the carpet, blood splattering out of his mouth, he finally released his gun.
As Vasily wheezed a gurgling violent last breath, Leo spit on his open wound and kicked the gun across the floor. “Get this piece of shit out of here,” he said, stepping over him.
Even as the light faded from Vasily’s eyes, he could hear Lilly’s screams. She cried as Leo drug her down the stairs out of the view of the man who had tried and failed to protect her.
10 years Later
Attica Correctional Facility
Attica, New York
Under a picturesque evening sky of the sun preparing for a triumphant setting on the now bluish, gold horizon, a small group of brooding men were released from the strong holds of their ironclad cells into the patchy, muddied, over-run recreational grounds of the Attica maximum security correctional facility for their daily one-hour walk in the yard.
With armed guards up on the risers holding binoculars, serrated barbwire covering the tops of the mountainous white-washed walls and additional men walking the perimeter with weapons and radios, there was not an ounce of freedom or opportunity in the fresh air.
Still the group of prisoners walked in the yard, huddled together, taking in the macabre view and laughing quietly like it was another carefree day at the beach.
Despite the system’s best efforts, not much could affect Leo Rasputin or the men of the Rasputin Organized Crime Family. None of the men of the family were related, but they were in all ways relatives. They trusted no one who did not wear their tattoos or did not do crime with them. They only held sacred the laws of their governing body, the Vory v Zakone, and despite the warden’s efforts to break them, they feared no man, recognized no government and took no prisoners.
In fact, it was their basic tenants on life that had kept them secluded from other prisoners for quite some time.
Nearly six months ago, a bloody, murderous riot in the mess hall started by another prison gang and aimed at the assassination of the Rasputin leader, Leo, had left them with no choice but to revert back to the savage creatures that they were. Never had such carnage been recorded within the walls of Attica since the riot of 1971, an event that made history and set new rules for prisons across the country. After that, the Rasputin men became historic figures in their own right. No more was there a question of who was the deadliest gang on the yard.
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