Read Kissing My Killer Online

Authors: Helena Newbury

Tags: #Russian Mafia Romance, #Romantic Suspense, #new adult romance

Kissing My Killer (3 page)

BOOK: Kissing My Killer
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diamondjack> Back


I’ve been
forever. A male name makes things about a thousand million times easier, in the hacking world.


lilywhite> Good break? :)


diamondjack> Yup, great. Let’s get back to it.


There are three of us, all women. We talk on the phone sometimes, so I know the others are women as well, but we’ve never actually met. I don’t even know what they look like or where they are in the world. Lilywhite says she used to live in Texas, but I don’t know where she is now. She didn’t sound like a Texan on the phone—in fact, she sounded like she was from New York. Yolanda I have no idea about—complete mystery. Yolanda’s the best hacker but we all have useful skills. Lilywhite has back doors into all sorts of international databases, Yolanda writes malware to open up machines and I’m good with firewalls. All of us break into things in one way or another. Together, we’re unstoppable.

We call ourselves The Sisters of Invidia.


yolanda> Are you into his email yet?


diamondjack> Working on it.


We’d first broken into Nikolai Orlov’s computer a few days ago. Since then we’d gone in a few times, searching for a way into his email account, which in turn would help us get into his bank account.

We weren’t looking to rob him. We’re hackers, but we’re not criminals. Well,
we’re criminals but that’s not the point. We do what we do for a good reason. The men we hack deserve to be hacked. Nikolai Orlov, for example, had—

it was. I finally found the chink in his email account’s armor and breezed on through.


diamondjack> I’m in. Grabbing now.


I started downloading his full email archive. Most of it would be in Russian but we could search for keywords. I sat back from my keyboard, watching the progress bar. There must be years of emails, because it was going to take a half hour to download them. Half an hour with nothing to do. I could try to work—I do freelance coding gigs for websites to pay the bills—but I knew I was too burned out from the day’s hacking.

I glanced around the office. It had been laughably described as a bedroom by the rental agency but it was less than eight feet on a side. It held my desk and chair and pretty much nothing else. There was one window, looking out at the buildings across the street. Given how much time I spent in my office, I’d got tired of the view pretty fast. So I taped posters of far-off locations over the glass instead, giving the illusion that it was Tahiti or Monaco outside. Places I’d never visit.

The rest of the apartment was more normal. With just me living there—no partner, no kids, no pets—it stayed pretty neat and it wasn’t as if I had a lot of stuff. Buying new clothes seemed stupid when you knew no one was going to see them. And I wasn’t trying to impress anyone with fancy furniture or art. In theory, I could have had visitors—I was fine with people, as long as they were in a space I controlled. But to have visitors, you have to get out and meet people first. The only people who’d knocked on my door, in the last forty-two days, had been delivery guys. I knew them better than anyone else on their delivery routes, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t allowed to count them as friends.

I checked the progress bar again. Twenty-nine minutes. I could sit there and mope…

Or I could go and wash the day off me. I was still jumpy from freaking out downstairs. Maybe a shower would help me relax. I could forget about the bad parts of the coffee shop and focus on the good. Like the part that came wrapped in a black suit and white shirt, pants stretched over his muscled thighs and ass. The part that had freezing gray eyes that pinned you right where you were and didn’t so much as undress you as sear the clothes right off of you.

I thought about telling the other two about him. I shared everything with Lilywhite and Yolanda—they were the closest thing I had to best friends. Maybe it was because they’d be so enthusiastic and happy for me, even though I’d only managed to say “um.” It seemed a long way from Lilywhite’s red-hot anecdotes about outdoor sex with her cowboy boyfriend and I was betting that Yolanda had a colorful sex life and a string of men, too. She didn’t talk much about herself but I couldn’t see any way she could be as lonely as me.

I couldn’t see
being as lonely as me.


diamondjack> I’m outta here. Talk tomorrow.


lilywhite> later


yolanda> sleep tight


I started to get undressed.











When I got back to the car, Lev didn’t even give me time to close my door. “Is it done?” His mouth was full of sandwich and there was a coffee in the cup holder—he must have strolled down the street to the deli, even though he was meant to have stayed put. He had his smart phone in his hand, too, browsing porn sites when he should have been keeping a look out for cops.

I sighed. “You need to learn some patience,” I told him in Russian. “That was just to scout the building. Now I want to check out his apartment.
it’ll be time.”

Lev rolled his eyes and muttered something, but he made sure to do it under his breath. He was meant to be learning from me—that’s why Nikolai had paired us up.

It isn’t that Lev’s never killed. He’s killed plenty of times—on the spur of the moment, in alleys and abandoned warehouses. But that’s a world away from what I do, where the aim is to sneak in and out unnoticed. If the police are able to trace a killing back to the Bratva—or, even worse, specifically to the Malakov family—I’ve failed.

There’s another difference between us, too. I’ve been with Lev when he’s killed and I saw the gleam in his eye, the way he pulled his shoulders back and put his chin up. Killing made him feel powerful. That’s dangerous. Killing’s what we do—it’s
But I don’t enjoy it. People who enjoy it...they’re the ones who wind up doing it more and more.

I grabbed some stuff from my bag—my rifle, a crowbar, wirecutters. “I’ll be back when it’s done,” I told him as I got out. “A half hour or less. Watch the building I go into—call me if anyone follows me in.”

Lev nodded, bored, glaring at the door I still held open. I knew he wouldn’t have my back—I’d have to look out for myself. “Hurry,” he said. “There’s nothing to do out here.”

I stood there staring at him, my hand still on the door. I wanted to say that it was a half hour in a warm car with a cup of coffee and a sandwich and fucking internet porn on his fucking phone. That he should try lying in a muddy ditch in Kazakhstan for eight hours, while icy water seeped into your uniform and eventually refroze in tiny, jagged ice crystals next to your skin.

But Lev hadn’t come to the Bratva that way, shifting from the brotherhood of the army to the brotherhood of crime. He’d come up from the street gangs, where violence was about making a statement, not getting the job done. Beating and killing was how he’d maintained his position. And I suspected he’d developed a taste for it.

“Stay out of trouble,” I grunted, and slammed the door.




There was a vacant office building opposite the apartment block. Breaking the chain on the fire escape, cutting the alarm and slipping in was easy. There were no security guards because there was nothing to steal. Just an echoing, gloomy space and a few broken office chairs.

I crept up to the tenth floor and sat down next to the window, invisible in the shadows. Then I took the sniper scope off my rifle and focused it on the apartment building across the street. Six apartments in from the west end. Three, four, five—


1006 had three windows. The outer two had their blinds open; the one in the center was closed. No, wait...not a blind. Someone had taped something over the glass.

I needed to know if the guy was home and if he had company. Once I’d confirmed he was alone, I could go over there and get it done. Shooting him from the office building would have been easier, of course, but if a man’s shot with a sniper rifle in the middle of New York, the police, FBI and media go into meltdown. It gets labeled as an assassination. But a knife or a gun, up close? That’s just a
robbery gone wrong

I’ve done a lot of
robberies gone wrong.
They’re even better than
tragic accidents
because accidents get investigated and there’s hell to pay if you don’t make everything look exactly right.

A light came on in the apartment. I sat up straight, adjusting my focus on the window….

And then I cursed out loud.

It was her. It couldn’t be her, but it was her. She was stretching and lazily yawning, arching her back like a cat, shaking out that long, walnut-colored hair.

I’d made a mistake. It must be a different apartment. I counted again. I even checked I had the right floor, in case I’d got eleven or nine by mistake. But I was definitely looking at apartment 1006.

The girl I’d met in the coffee shop was living with the hacker Nikolai had sent me to kill. His girlfriend, probably. I was going to have to go in there and kill the guy, right in front of her.

I lowered the sniper scope and just stared at the apartment building. Part of me was asking how fate could be this cruel. Another part was laughing its ass off at the first part.
Of course she’s his girlfriend. What did you think? That you’d kill him and then come back here, another day, and track her down again and go on a date with her? Cotton candy and Ferris wheels and winning her a fucking teddy bear?

Like an idiot, I’d forgotten who I was. Maybe it had been building for a while, under the surface, each killing gnawing away at me. I’d seen her in the coffee shop and I’d fantasized, for just a moment, that I could be somebody else. And now fate had slapped me in the face to wake me up.

I put the sniper scope back up to my eye.
No more dreaming.
I had to figure out if the hacker was home.

The girl was still in the room on the right-hand side, stretching and pacing around as if she was thinking. There was a TV in there and I could see kitchen units in the background. Then there was the room with the covered window. The lights were off in the final room so I couldn’t see shit. But it looked like she was alone. I’d have to wait for him to come home.

I swung back to focus on the girl, just to check what she was doing. God, she was beautiful. I zoomed in more, holding my breath so that my hand steadied. I could see her expression and she looked...troubled.

She moved suddenly and I lost her. When I found her again, she’d walked through to the room on the left and turned the lights on. A bedroom. And, through the open door, I could see a bathroom across the hallway. I was making a mental map of the place in my head. Living area, bathroom, bedroom...that just left the mystery room with the covered window. Maybe the hacker was in there. I wanted to be sure, though. If I showed up at the apartment and he wasn’t there, I’d blow the element of surprise. And what I was
hoping for was that the girl would go out for the night and leave the hacker alone, so I could do it while she wasn’t there.

I’d wait. I’d watch the place and wait until she—

She pulled her tank top over her head. I sat there stunned, staring at the perfect pale globes of her breasts in their black bra. God, the skin looked so soft, so flawless. The sniper scope made it feel as if I was six feet from her.

She reached behind her, feeling for the clasp of her bra.

I took the scope away from my eye and she became a fuzzy pale blob on the other side of the street.
This is wrong
went through my head. Which was almost laughable, given what I was going over there to do. It was unprofessional, though. I should be remaining detached and indifferent and I was anything but.

I was losing myself in this girl. I needed to back the fuck away and get some space, so that this could go back to being just another job.

It took me all of three seconds to decide.

BOOK: Kissing My Killer
2.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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