He’s a mysterious character with classic Medlov traits: brooding good looks, a muscular build and height. He bears stare difference to his first cousin and soon-to-be boss, Anatoly Medlov.
However, you might feel sorry for Anatoly because of his inferior build. Considered the runt of the family, he is vastly different from his father but still works hard to prove himself.
One of my favorite parts of this book is when Anya comes in and meets her cousin for the first time during Anatoly’s mother’s funeral in Moscow, Russia. We see how her presence affects each of the men and commands love and respect.
What was your thought of Anya in the following scene? Can you see her as the leader of the Medlov clan in the future? Also, what were your thoughts about Royal? Did you think that she had started to be more comfortable in her role as Dmitry’s wife?
Excerpt from Chapter Six of Anatoly Medlov Complete Reign © 2011 (All rights reserved)
Clutching a teddy bear in silence, she watched the men as they talked with a clever grin on her face as if she knew exactly what was going on. Gabriel peered over at her, unable to take his eyes off the beauty.
“Daddy, can I come and sit with you?” she asked. Her clear voice carried across the room like a song, stilling the quiet chaos that ran feverishly through the men’s pensive stares.
Dmitry stopped his conversation in mid-sentence. Eyes lighting up with every step that she took toward him, he extended his arms, received her with a homecoming hug, and pulled her into his embrace. Gabriel watched in amusement.
Such a small child commanded such reverse between the two men. He looked over at his cousin and realized that even Anatoly had switched his focus. While just a moment ago, he was adamantly opposed to him being in the room, he had all but forgotten him long enough to admire the young girl. And his uncle was completely entranced. It was evident without saying so that she was his reason for retirement.
“As I was saying, we are all family,” Dmitry continued, kissing his precious daughter on the crown of her head. “And it is important that we work together in concert with each other instead of against each other. If I had my way, Ivan would still be alive, and we all would be working towards a more powerful empire.”
“How much more powerful can one empire get?” Gabriel asked.
The men turned his way with greedy stares. He could tell in their looks that they both desired more. It was the most prominent gene in their collective DNA. Greed.
“A great deal more powerful, my boy,” Dmitry said, still doting on his daughter. Rocking her on his knee, he bounced her playfully. “Once you check out, we’ll show you how the Medlov’s really do business, and you can walk away from this day job that you so religiously cling to. It’s against the code. It’s against your blood.”
“But you ran a restaurant,” Gabriel debated.
“Where I was the boss. Are you boss at your day job as day trader?” Dmitry asked.
“In that lies the problem,” Anatoly finished.
He broke his trance and walked over to the butler to retrieve a small hors d’oeuvre. “We are about absolute power, not a piece of it. A piece of anything will never get you anywhere. You must discipline yourself to see supreme reign.”
They locked eyes.
Gabriel questioned his temporary tutor. “And do you consider yourself to have complete reign, cousin?”
Anatoly gave a lazy smile and slipped the caviar in his mouth. Patting his hands together to wipe off the crumbs, he looked up at the giant man and shook his head. “I won’t allow myself to have anything but complete reign, brat. That is what makes us different. I would never settle, where you already have.”
There was something cataclysmic about the reference of the word brother for Gabriel. For a moment, his cousin, his superior, had allowed their differences to be removed long enough for him to share his philosophy of life and of business. And most of all, he had been called brother. The look in Anatoly’s face was that of absolute certainty like God himself had assured him of his place on earth. It was odd that a man of such evil would have such a look – to be so sure of himself and so focused on his goal. Gabriel shook the thought off. He would think about that more when he was alone.
Their philosophical moment was over; however, when the black woman whom Gabriel assumed was this family’s Helen walked into the room. She strode in with her eyes locked on him like he was a leper. With eyebrows spike and hands slipped into the pockets of her pants, she made her way over to Dmitry and stood behind his chair. Placing her hands lovingly on the back of the chair as if to protect her small family, she broke her silence.
“I was wondering where you had run off to,” Royal said to her daughter.
“Daddy’s having a meeting,” Anya informed her mother. Looking over at Gabriel, she smiled. “Who is he, daddy?” she asked in a near whisper.
Gabriel thought that it was clever that the young girl had not asked the question when she had first come into the room. Rather, she waited until her question would carry the most weight and garner the most attention before she posed it. Already methodical.
“This is Gabriel,” Dmitry explained. He would not clarify his presence any further, at least until he had irrefutable proof via DNA that the man was anything more to him.
“Like the angel,” Royal said with a crooked smile. Her eyes gazed over him for a moment, summing the man up. “Are you an arch angel, Gabriel?” she mocked. “Have you a message from God?”
Gabriel could tell that she didn’t like him, but he knew that she was his key to getting into this family. The men couldn’t love the daughter as they did without loving the mother.
“I guess that it is ironic that a man like myself would be given the name,” he agreed. “A Medlov could hardly ever be a messenger of God.”
“So you believe in nature versus nurture, do you?” Dmitry joked. He raised Anya carefully off his knee and guided her to her mother. “Love, let us finish this, da. I’ll be in for dinner in a moment.”
“Alright, baby,” Royal said, taking her daughter’s hand. Walking past Anatoly, she rubbed his back. “How are you?”
“Fine,” Anatoly said, understanding her concern for his loss earlier. He touched her hand.
“Will you have dinner with us tonight?” she paused. She insisted quietly.
“Da, da,” Anatoly answered softly.
“It was very interesting to meet you, Gabriel, the arch angel,” Royal said before she left the room. She gave him a dirty look. “You look very much like your late father. Let us hope for your sake that that is the extent of your similarities.”
“I’m sure it is, ma’am.” He bowed his head a little to bid her good evening, although he was unsure why. There was something about the woman that made him feel the need to bow, to be careful and most of all behaved.
An older man was standing in the corner looking at them the entire time, listening to their conversation and watching Gabriel’s every move. He was stocky with a head of blondish gray hair tapered carefully around his pale face and startling blue eyes.
In a pair of black slacks and a black shirt, he brandished two very powerful weapons in holsters under his massive arms. As Royal approached the stairs, he turned his attention and followed her and the child back into the other rooms of the suite.
Gabriel automatically assumed the man must have been their bodyguard as he could feel emanating across the room another aura of protection.
Once Dmitry was sure that his wife was gone, he focused his attention back to the young men. He had been calm the entire time, choosing his words carefully and keeping the conversation light for the most part. Gabriel found it odd that he was so gentle. He had expected a brooding man full of threats and words laced with violence. Instead, he had been greeted by a man who had been all but forgiving of his father and respectful of everyone around him.
“You’ll be staying with us until those results come back,” Dmitry said, leaning his sharp elbows against his knees. “A room has been arranged for you on our floor and your friends have already been sent off.”
“You want me to stay in this suite with you?” Gabriel asked dumbfounded.
“No. Royal would kill us both,” Dmitry chuckled and looked over at Anatoly. “I’ve arranged for him to have a suite on this floor, if that’s fine by you, Anatoly.”
Anatoly rolled his eyes. He wouldn’t deny his father his wishes, even though he wanted to do so. Instead, he tried to maintain his fleeting composure. “That will be fine, papa.”
“Good,” Dmitry said pleased. “Anything that you need, our men can provide for you. But you won’t be allowed anyone in or out until the doctor visits us tomorrow evening. I’m sure that you can understand that you can’t just waltz in here and make your introduction without a proper background check. In interim, be available should Anatoly or myself have questions for you. And if you check out, then be prepared for further instruction.”
“Look.” Gabriel shook his head. “I’m okay with checking out with you guys and having my mouth swabbed, but I’m not cool with being quarantined like I’m some kind of virus. I have businesses to run myself.”
“What Vor does everything himself?” Anatoly asked. “You have soldiers for that. If you don’t, you are a failure.”
Gabriel didn’t respond.
“This is not negotiable, Gabriel,” Dmitry said, standing up. “The men at the front will show you to your temporary housing. I’m sure you’ll find it more than acceptable. But for now, you must excuse us. We have dinner waiting.”
Walking out, closed to any discussion, Dmitry and Anatoly left Gabriel in the sitting room to await his next escort.