Chapter 2


“Have you managed to track anything?” I asked Ivan who shook his head as he handed me a few papers when I entered the office.

“Nothing, whoever set that bomb was sure to leave no trace” Ivan answered and I nodded. I expected this to be a little harder than usual, but I didn’t really care; these people were human, they were bound to leave a single trace.

“Try the street cameras, not the ones surrounding the building; those that are leading to it would do. See if you can find anything suspicious” I said putting the papers down on the desk “come on, we need to drop the kids to school before we head to work”

“Alright” Ivan said nodding. The two of us walked out of the office and to the living room where Natasha was rocking her and Ivan’s baby, Timur, Alexandra was watching her recorded episode, and Kiara holding Viktor who was watching Tatiana, Natasha’s eldest daughter as she studied for her exam.

“Alex, don’t you have a spelling bee today?” Ivan asked.

“I do, but I’ll be reviewing it in the car” she answered and Ivan nodded kneeling down to kiss Natasha’s forehead. He took Timur’s hand and kissed it softly before wrapping his arm around Tatiana who got up putting her papers away.

I cupped Kiara’s cheeks and pecked her lips before taking Alexandra’s hand in mine and walking out the door.

“Aren’t we going to say goodbye to Grandpa Damien and Grandpa Artur?” Alexandra asked.

“Not today, we’ll leave them to rest” I said smiling. Both having come back late last night from whatever they were doing. I knew that they had work to tend to at one of the safe hotels, being the representatives of the family when Ivan and I weren’t around.

I opened the door for the girls and watched as they got inside before getting into the car beside Ivan as he started it. Tatiana started helping Alexandra with her spelling bee, making sure that she didn’t make a mistake in the harder words throughout the whole way.

“Bye, daddy, bye, Uncle Ivan” Alexandra said kissing the two of us before she walked out.

“Bye, princess” I said smiling.

Tatiana kissed her dad’s cheek, whispering something in his ear before kissing mine “bye, Uncle Alessio”

“Bye, beautiful” I said softly. I watched as the girls walked into school before Ivan drove off, heading toward the office.

“Something is bothering Tatiana, you know that, right?” I asked and Ivan sighed but nodded.

“I tried asking, but no matter what I tell her, the girl doesn’t seem to want to tell me what’s bugging her. Natasha asked me not to pressure her, but it seemed that me leaving her be like that isn’t helping either” Ivan said and I nodded. We have noticed that she has been going cold throughout the whole week, though we weren’t really sure what the problem is, and Tatiana wouldn’t tell us what it was. We called her school, but they said that there was no issue either.

“I’ll see if I could try talking to her later today”

“Playing the uncle card” Ivan teased and I chuckled as we reached the office. Both our eyes hardening once we entered. Having become Pakhan years ago, Ivan was my second hand by default, it wasn’t even a question. Dad had retired after Alexandra died, and Artur chose to rest by our side, watching the kids grow in peace.

“Boss” one of the girls said once she saw me. Her blonde hair tied in a bun as she brought papers to me and I nodded glaring down at her before walking past her. She was one of my club’s managers, and the papers that she brought would most probably be about what happened during the weekend, or about information that I asked for. Some would be the club’s financial records, and whether or not it would need any supplies provided.

“Call for a meeting” I told the secretary once I caught sight of her. She nodded and dialed her phone calling the other departments for the meeting that had been canceled three nights ago due to the bomb attack. Thankfully, no one was harmed, but the fact that one of our allying families’ building was the one affected; I didn’t really appreciate it.

I watched as the men entered the meeting room. Ivan sat by my side with a smirk on his face. The confidence that we both had was something that was known all around, my eyes catching sight of Arda who never usually came to work. The man has been in bad shape since Alexandra died, and though he was with the fact of her dying, something changed in him when he saw her corpse.

I didn’t comment when I saw him sit down in front of me at the head of the table. But even Ivan was surprised to see him here. He looked at me and I shook my head in confusion. Nevertheless, I stood up and started my meeting.

“What are the outcomes of last year?” I asked Christina, my clubs’ main CEO. She was in charge of ALL the clubs, her managers ran the clubs during the nights and would report to her on a daily basis. Some would report to me when needed or asked for information, if urgent supplies were needed; they would either come to me, or go to Ivan.

“So far, everything has been going according to plan, and we’ve even exceeded the initial timetabled financial plan in most clubs. Two clubs haven’t reached to their target, however, I have taken care of their manager and changed the girls to more experienced ones. For our strippers, I needed to hire a few more; one sprained her ankle, and the other quit when she got pregnant” Christina said and I nodded.

“Winery?” I asked Mikhail who handed Ivan a file. He opened it revealing the pictures of the new wineries we had. I had them shift areas when the repeated attacks on our business bases started becoming more frequent. I didn’t miss Arda who frowned before composing himself once again.

“If things go as planned, boss, we should be able to open three new bars by the end of next week. We were supposed to be launching our main opening next month, but I believe a soft opening would bring in more publicity to the place” Mikhail said and I nodded.

“Arda, is there anything bothering you?” I asked my brother who seemed to glare at the table. His eyes met mine and he shook his head, avoiding my eyes. I didn’t bother commenting, but I was going to be getting to the bottom of his situation later.

We proceeded with our meeting normally, and somewhere in the middle of it, Arda left the room to take a call. However, he never came back.


I entered my office to find my brother sitting there with two of my security guards watching him. Their eyes were on him as hawks would have on their preys as to ensure that he didn’t hurt anyone, or himself to begin with. The men looked at me and I nodded for them to walk out leaving me alone with my brother who glared at me.

“It seems like your men seemed to find pleasure in holding me hostage”

“And it seems like you have a problem which you are refusing to admit, or speak of” I said glaring at the once genuine, kind man. Now he barely looked at his nieces and nephews, nor did he bother approaching anyone at the house.

“Arda, when is your fight with us going to end? We are your family. We are NOT here to hurt you” I said looking him in the eye.

“Wasn’t Alexandra our sister”

“You hit her to snap out of what she was in yourself. The woman kidnapped my wife…”

“The babysitter. You married a person dad hired to clean up after you. Call her what you want, a psychologist, psychiatrist, wife. That won’t change the fact that she came to work for us as an employee” it took everything in me not to punch the man in the face. To think that he once loved Kiara, the man would defend her with his life, but now, it was like she was his sworn enemy “everything changed in the house when she arrived”

“Yes, she fixed the damage that has been done on us all, and in case you’ve forgotten, your sister wanted us all dead”

“She wanted to avenge mom’s death. Something that you seemed to forget with your beloved bitch” I punched him in the face as he said that. His eyes widened and he glared at me before rolling his eyes.

“The woman is my wife, and the mother of my children”

“Those kids are bastards in my eyes, until that woman dies, those children will NEVER be Aslanov’s” he said trying to get up. However, I put my hands on his shoulders pinning him down to his seat.

“One more word about my family, Arda, and I’ll be sure to send you to Russia where you’ll learn the meaning of the word family” I said glaring at my brother whose eyes widened when my hot breath his face “am I making myself clear?”

“Yes, boss” he gulped.

“Good, now get out of the building, go home, and I don’t want to see your face until you’ve learned your limits”

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